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Subject: 2-player game recommendation-yeah, another thread rss

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Edwin Priest
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My wife and I have recently discovered San Juan and for reasons that I am not entirely sure, it seems to have caught on like wildfire. So.....I am looking for a recommendation for another two-player card-based game that will hopefully be another such winner.

What I am looking for is:
--less that 1hr and preferably around 30-45 min (weeknight friendly)
--not too complex
--some conflict is OK, but limited

She likes Lost Cities, Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde, Dominion and Odin's Ravens. We have tried Catan Card Game, but found it a little too long and didn’t like some of the conflict, especially for the length of the game. I personally like Race for the Galaxy, but I am fearful it will be a little too confusing, and I am doubtful that it will go over well. I am also considering Glory to Rome, but it sounds like it may have a little too much conflict.

So, with all this in mind, some of the games I am considering are:
--Jambo
--Roma
--Jaipur

I welcome opinions about these three and any other suggestions as well. Thanks.
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Anthony
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Me and my wife both really enjoy San Juan and Lost cities like you and the two others that we most often play that fit what your saying are Perry Rhodan and the Cosmic League and Innovation. I personally perfer Innovation between the two but really like both.

Edit: meant to mention that I hadn't played any of the 3 you asked about hence why I went a different direction with my answer.
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Michael J
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If she likes Lost Cities, definitely get Battle Line. I've played Jambo, and I liked it, but it may have more conflict than you want A new game hot off the presses that plays well 2P is Innovation.
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Christopher Todesco
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My girlfriend and I play Race for the Galaxy all the time. It took some time for her to "get" the game, but persistence paid off. You and your wife know San Juan, so you're already halfway there.
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James Hemsley
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Hi Ed,

I'm going to throw out König von Siam. It's a great, tense, tactical game played on a board and with cards. I'd love to show it you sometime at a meetup.

--James
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J.R. Shoenberger
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Taluva
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Jambo

Are all big with my wife and I right now, and they're all pretty cheap (which is a huge plus).
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Ray
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Blue Moon and all its expansions!
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Joe Neff
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My wife and I enjoy Roma on occasion.

Be sure to pick up some reference material here on the geek. Each card has a unique power. With several cards that allow you to look thru the deck or discard pile, you'll need a ref card for you first few games.

Some games might go really quickly, if one player gets a good combo early on. Not a problem, just play another round!
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I think Glory to Rome would work very well. We have been playing a bunch of it lately. We don't like conflict in our games, either, but it's easily avoidable - just don't build a building that lets you steal from the other player, or play the role that lets you take a card. There's plenty to do, and it doesn't feel like anything's "missing" if you play it with a different play style. It's got lots of paths to victory, tons of replayability, and variety in each game.

Jaipur and Jambo are both good games, though Jambo can have aggression issues that you need to avoid as well, and Jaipur is lighter, more like Lost Cities.
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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
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Me and my wife enjoy most of the games mentioned by you plus:
Kahuna
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Hive
Caesar & Cleopatra
Mr. Jack
Macao- this might go beyond the 75 min mark
Notre Dame
Louis XIV
Jambo
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Marty Jackson
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Here are some games my wife and I enjoy together:
10 Days in Europe
Abagio
Alpha Playing Cards
Army of Frogs
Can't Stop
Day & Night
Lost Cities
Ra: The Dice Game
Rattus
Ticket to Ride: USA 1910
Tobago
Triumvirate
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Jaipur

We have a variety of tastes and a number of these are fairly light.



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Captain Spaulding
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My wife and I also love San Juan. Race For The Galaxy we traded away - we felt it was a needlessly complex version of San Juan. For us it scratched the same itch in a much more convoluted way. I would recommend Saint Petersburg way before RFTG for fans of San Juan. Jambo is also a hit with my wife, but we haven't played it much since At The Gates of Loyang came out. ATGOL I would recommend in a heartbeat except the play time is longer than what you're interested in.

Edited to add: Although similar, RFTG does offer a somewhat deeper experience than San Juan, so if you're willing to deal with more rules and a whole set of icons to learn, it may be worth it. Faimilialarity with San Juan does go a long way towards learning RFTG.
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inga
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We also love San Juan, it is hard to find something just as good.
We do really like:

Schotten totten
Day and night
Carcassonne
Dominion

Mr. Jack is also good but a bit of a brainburner sometimes. The better you know your opponent the better this game is though Being Jack you even have to hide where you are looking at. The detective is watching you very very closely. Fun!

Groetjes van Inga
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J. Jefferson
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My wife and I played a ton of San Juan for a while. Eventually we played it out, and Jambo proved to be a good replacement. Different enough, but about the same weight and timeframe.

You might also like Saint Petersburg. I think that there's a little bit more to San Juan than St. Pete's, but SP does have some nice tension. Direct conflict is minimal.
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Ethan Larson
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Aton is very cool. My wife and I play this quite a bit.

If you're ok with abstracts, you might check www.nestorgames.com. There are a lot of interesting games there.

Linkage is one of the games published there, and it goes over quite well with a wide range of people, though it is quite short (about 15 minutes per game). Disclaimer: I designed it.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Jefforama wrote:
My wife and I played a ton of San Juan for a while. Eventually we played it out, and Jambo proved to be a good replacement. Different enough, but about the same weight and timeframe.

You might also like Saint Petersburg. I think that there's a little bit more to San Juan than St. Pete's, but SP does have some nice tension. Direct conflict is minimal.


I was also going to suggest Saint Petersburg!! We love it!
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Seth Brown
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I second the Aton and St. Petersburg recommendations above.

Glory to Rome really doesn't have too much conflict aside from the Legionary role. I'd imagine someone who doesn't like conflict but likes San Juan would still really enjoy Glory to Rome, which is a fantastic game (and oft available quite cheaply). One of our top two games.

Roma is another fantastic game, but has a lot more conflict. Much as it pains me to warn people away from a game I love, if you are worried about conflict, this may well not be the game for you.

Jambo has some conflict, with all the animal cards being used to attack another player. It's not the main part of the game, but it's sufficiently present that if the cards in Catan Card Game bothered you, these might too.
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Alan Goodrich
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I'd also third Aton and St. Pete - not card games (well, St. Pete is basically a card game), but great with 2.

For card games I would recommend:
- Haggis (a great 2 player climbing game)
- Innovation (a bit of a learning curve, and pretty high on conflict)
- Battle Line (already mentioned, but a great game)
- Parade (I'd only play this one with 2)

My fiance loves all these games. We tried Jambo, but found it slow and dry as dust (and we like Mr. Dorn a lot).
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Isaiah Mackler
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Race for the Galaxy seems to fit the need!
 
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J. Jefferson
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almo2001 wrote:
If you're ok with abstracts, you might check www.nestorgames.com. There are a lot of interesting games there.

Linkage is one of the games published there, and it goes over quite well with a wide range of people, though it is quite short (about 15 minutes per game). Disclaimer: I designed it.


My wife and I own two Nestorgames, TAIJI and Gauss (hopefully more soon!) and really like them--and she's generally against abstracts. As abstracts, they tend to feel like they have more direct conflict than Euros. In both Taiji and Gauss, for every gain you make, your opponent loses something. In a Euro like Jambo or St. Petersburg, it's more like a parallel race, the goal is to get there faster, or get more points on the way, not to directly beat the other player.
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p55carroll
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ERPriest wrote:
My wife and I have recently discovered San Juan and for reasons that I am not entirely sure, it seems to have caught on like wildfire. So.....I am looking for a recommendation for another two-player card-based game that will hopefully be another such winner. ...

She likes Lost Cities, Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde, Dominion and Odin's Ravens. ...

I don't want to put a damper on the fun, but my question is, do you really need another game? How often do you play the games named above? And are they all getting so stale that you need more variety already?

The reason I ask is that I was in a similar boat a couple years ago, and I made the mistake of buying half a dozen excellent 2-player games for Christmas. All but a couple of them are still unplayed. There are several more such games I've got my eye on and would like to buy--but I'm having to face reality and acknowledge that there are only so many hours in the day, only so many days in the week.

Maybe things are different for you. Hope so.
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Edwin Priest
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Thanks for the advice one and all. This certainly gives me a lot to chew on, and I suspect my Christmas list just got quite a bit longer.
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Edwin Priest
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
ERPriest wrote:
My wife and I have recently discovered San Juan and for reasons that I am not entirely sure, it seems to have caught on like wildfire. So.....I am looking for a recommendation for another two-player card-based game that will hopefully be another such winner. ...

She likes Lost Cities, Mystery Rummy: Jekyll & Hyde, Dominion and Odin's Ravens. ...

I don't want to put a damper on the fun, but my question is, do you really need another game? How often do you play the games named above? And are they all getting so stale that you need more variety already?

The reason I ask is that I was in a similar boat a couple years ago, and I made the mistake of buying half a dozen excellent 2-player games for Christmas. All but a couple of them are still unplayed. There are several more such games I've got my eye on and would like to buy--but I'm having to face reality and acknowledge that there are only so many hours in the day, only so many days in the week.

Maybe things are different for you. Hope so.


You know, I actually own several of the games recommended in this thread, and yet many sit unplayed or only played once or twice.

This website can be dangerous. Your words ring true and give me pause.
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