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Michael Walton

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Special thanks to those who confirmed that Stone Age may be a good fit for my wife, the partner-in-crime to a developing BBG. We played Stone Age today after a week of new games on our vacation. Forbidden Island was not a big success as she doesn't like cooperative games. Ingenious was a success and Jaipur a success, but she liked Stone Age the best.

She initially said she liked it because "it's like Settlers of Catan" then commented she liked it better than this game that has become her benchmark. With Stone Age, she liked that lots of things were going on and that she could still participate during some of the civilization card activities when it wasn't their turn and she didn't have to wait too long to participate as each did their worker actions back and forth.

What do you recommend for the next strategic game that works well with two-players to take her to the next level? Using her words of "lots of things going on" and the strategic bent she enjoyed, would be a great basis for the next step while not burning her out. I'm not in a hurry, but would love to start thinking about some options.

Seems Agricola may be the next step. What are your thoughts?

BTW, today was the first time I played Stone Age as well. And new to the scene, I really enjoyed the game. We played twice in a row and we're going to play again in a bit.

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: typo
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dustin boggs
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agricola it will be familiar with the worker placement but more depth and there is not much wait since placement is interactive and the resolution occurs upon placement. To get the interactivity deck incorporate the Interactive deck or the komplex deck.
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Bartosz Trzaskowski

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Good job.

I won't be too original, but Ticket to Ride and/or Pandemic are always good choices and wife-friendly. That's going in a slightly different direction, though.

From your wishlist, Jambo looks like a good option, perhaps also Kingsburg.

My latest hit with wife was Masons, which is now supercheap at amazon, so it may be also worth checking.
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Agricola might work well, as long as the players aren't prone to AP to make the game drag.

I think you might look at something like San Juan - you both get to do the action, so you're always doing something. If a step up in complexity and the theme doesn't bother either of you, there's always Race for the Galaxy later.

Someday, you might look at a Splotter title like Roads & Boats - it's a resource and building game with LOTS going on, and you're both doing each phase at the same time. In the beginning, you can watch each other and learn, but later you can speed some parts up by doing things simultaneously.

Who knows, you might like something like La Città, which has really well written rules, and is a bargain for what you get.

If you want to play with more people, take a look at Diamant, where you all play at the same time during the round - you secretly choose to stay or go, and see where it takes you.

You may want a break from SoC, but Catan Card Game may give it a breath of fresh air, and it's affordable. Familiar, yet different.
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kochamkinie wrote:
...Pandemic[/thing] are always good choices...


except

Quote:
she doesn't like cooperative games
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Lutz
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I've never played stone age... but I feel Puerto Rico is not as heavy as Agricola. But, if she likes worker placement, strategy and little down time Puerto Rico is a good choice. Agricola to me would be a step heavier than that...

Either way... keep in mind the first games will take a bit longer and go slower as you learn the Buildings (Puerto Rico) or Cards (Agricola).

Actually we have played Ag twelve times, 3 only with the I deck so we are still learning the cards. Yesterday we played with the 10-3 variant mixing all the E and I deck cards in... but I didn't like it as much... I feel the I cards are much more fun when played exclusively.

BOb
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Eric Knauer
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Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery is a solid worker placement game that plays well with 2.

I've heard the new game, Egizia, reminds people of Stone Age.
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monchi
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The big question is are you looking for games that you and your wife can play together or if you are playing with friends? If it is just you two for the most part that rules out a bunch of games.

Stone Age is one of my wife's fav's too. Some of the other games she likes are Ticket to Ride Europe, Endeavor, Thurn and Taxis and Dominion Intrigue. A couple of games I have played that I think my wife would like are Tobago and Tikal. Aside from Endeavor which is only has a 2 player variant the rest play well with two.

I am not sure if Puerto Rico would be a hit or not and it is a 3-5 ply game. I know that my wife would get frustrated with Puerto Rico the first time she played it and that would most likely kill that game. To be honest I actually prefer Endeavor over Puerto Rico but that is just me.
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Mike Kollross
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Stone Age is Pillars of the Earth-lite, with dice.

Why not The Pillars of the Earth?
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Neil Christiansen
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I strongly think you need to branch out and not stick to a resource collection and conversion game such as Agricola (pretty stale anyway) or Pillars of the Earth.

I suggest games that are different and play exclusively or quite well with 2: Mr. Jack, Through the Desert, Thurn and Taxis, or Carcasonne the Castle. Perhaps Battle Line or 1960 the Making of a President of the themes do not throw her.
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Jody Webb
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I agree with the guy that said Agricola. my wife loves it, its probabaly both of our favorite game right now. I couldn't imagine her liking Stone Age better the THE GRIC.
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euronoob

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obligatory Stone Age recommendation...oh wait

I'm going to second Bob's suggestion of Puerto Rico. I've had great success with my gf with the official 2-player variant. I think it would be a smooth transition. Agricola would probably be rockier...

and, really, in terms of fun & little downtime, 2 player Dominion has been very (surprisingly!) successful.

Pillars of the Earth felt very scripted after these more open-ended games. Jury still out on that.

Age of Empires 3 is like Stone Age meets Puerto Rico (meets something else). Maybe the next step after

and we went the Puerto Rico --> San Juan direction, and I'm satisfied with that. Playing PR first made it easy to pick up SJ and to have a good sense of what SJ would be like ("the PR card game"). If we had played SJ first, I don't think I would have had any clue, really, what PR was like.
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Mark Thompson
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Slightly different direction again. Either Memoir '44 or Commands & Colors: Ancients. Can't go wrong with either and they are both at their best 2 player.
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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
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Puerto Rico- Definite step up from Stone Age and an absolute beauty

Thurn and Taxis- Very subtle, easy to pick up and multiple paths to victory

Carson City- Believe me this game is fun! Combination of multiple game mechanics add in dueling, plays in about 60-75 min! Though more the merrier.

Samurai- Another simple game to learn and play, plays under an hour and a Knizia master piece

Agricola- A very good worker placement game, but not sure how well your wife might like very very tight games. But the theme should appealing.As others have said it is surely more complex than Puerto Rico (or is it something I feel :what

Macao- Very interesting mechanic and I feel this game is fairly easy to pick up and has lots of depth. This is the new sensation. Definitely lots of things going on. Non-confrontational and you can experiment multiple things.

Hansa Teutonica- Haven't played this one, but have heard good reviews about it. Though I have to warn you that I have seen some people not being very happy with the 2P game play.

Notre Dame- Another Stephen Feld game, the latest is Macao. I feel this is a little lighter game compared to Macao, but my wife enjoys this game a lot. Interesting card drafting mechanism.

Dominion- Not sure if you already have it or others have already recommended it, but this is a must have as the variety is too large to ignore

Tikal- Beautiful board, very easy game play, lots of options on a turn, exploration theme, this is a great game with 2-4. If anything the game might get long due to AP prone players.

Louis XIV- This is a good game with either 2 or 4. Interesting game board (or is there a board ) Lots of things that can be done, can be confrontational, but not like in your face. Plays under 75 min. Some feel the theme may be dry, but I like this game mainly for the game play, which is very solid.

Hope this helps.
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Michael Walton

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monchichi wrote:
The big question is are you looking for games that you and your wife can play together or if you are playing with friends? If it is just you two for the most part that rules out a bunch of games.

Stone Age is one of my wife's fav's too. Some of the other games she likes are Ticket to Ride Europe, Endeavor, Thurn and Taxis and Dominion Intrigue. A couple of games I have played that I think my wife would like are Tobago and Tikal. Aside from Endeavor which is only has a 2 player variant the rest play well with two.

I am not sure if Puerto Rico would be a hit or not and it is a 3-5 ply game. I know that my wife would get frustrated with Puerto Rico the first time she played it and that would most likely kill that game. To be honest I actually prefer Endeavor over Puerto Rico but that is just me.


For now, I think we're looking at games for two (or two plus with strong two player.) Thanks.
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Sicaria Occaeco
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monchichi wrote:
I am not sure if Puerto Rico would be a hit or not and it is a 3-5 player game.


Says the box. There is a 2-player variant that works very well. The strategies change a bit with only 2 players but the game is just as good.
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Michael Vinarcik
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Roma
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Citadels

And this is a stretch, but my wife enjoys playing 2-player with me:

The Kaiser's Pirates
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Eric Price
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My wife and I love the Settlers of Catan Card Game. If you ask me it is WAY better than the board game. My wife and I play this all the time.
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Brett Nuske
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Something a little more obscure that I would recommend is The Princes of Machu Picchu. It has worker placement with alternate ending conditions and hence variable game length. It also has the feature where each player can participate during each other's turns through resource collection or worshipping the gods. As a 2 player game, once familiar with the rules, you can finish a game off in under 1 hour.
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Max Maloney
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My girlfriend is willing to try fairly heavy games, but definitely prefers lighter ones. Her favorite, by a huge margin, is Dominion. She will pretty much play it any time, anywhere.
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Tony Chen
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I feel the same way as your wife does (Stone Age better than Catan). I do not like Agricola at all.

Maybe Kingsburg or Vikings? How about Vasco da Gama, Hansa Teutonica, Cuba.
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V. M. G.
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I find Kingsburg a little weird, I should like but don't (for some reason).
It seems like she will like it.
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Timothy Lashley
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I second Jambo.

As a guy who plays games with his wife I encourage you to buy this game. This game is the one that, as a couple, we always come back to. It has a great balance of play and lots going on especially when you add the expansions.In fact a lot of the Kosmo 2 player games are quite nice.

Balloon Cup is quite nice. Not too much going on but it has a decent level of competition that doesn't go overboard.

Of course as you mentioned...Agricola is quite nice and will allow for expansion when you decide to add others to the table. In fact the gameplay changes quite smoothly whether it is 2 people or 4 people.

Good Luck!
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Stéphane Bourdeau
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Granby
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Like others have mentioned...
For now, I would go for Vikings...
My Girlfriend loves to spend her money at the wheel!!!

Recently, I introduced her to At the Gates of Loyang... We didn't finish the game... The knowledge of the cards was to powerfull... she said.

Since then, we are back with 10 Days in Asia... "De retour à la case départ"
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