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Subject: help - game to play with my non-gaming wife rss

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TJ Hsu
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looking for a 2 player game that I can play with my wife. she's not very competitive and not really into games, so coming up with ideas has been pretty challenging. I'm thinking something where play time can be relatively short and some strategy to make it interesting but not so much strategy that I would end up winning too often.

her favorite game is probably taboo (obviously a group game). scrabble is ok. texas hold 'em and spades are also fun for her - but again, more of a group game. settlers was good for a while, but the games are pretty long and might be too much strategy?

i've had a couple busts so far. I got bohnanza but I had a hard time myself figuring it out. also have lost cities but didn't find it very compelling. ark of the covenant was ok - but i think partly b/c it's not as good with just 2 people?

any ideas?

tks
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tjhsu wrote:


her favorite game is probably taboo (obviously a group game).


I'm a very bad man for thinking what I'm thinking.
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A good non-Gamer card game that I've had my group (my dad and his girlfriend and me) playing is Monopoly Deal Card Game.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Bohnanza isn't the right game with 2 anyway. Neither is Settlers.

What was wrong with Scrabble? If it was the pace, perhaps Bananagrams or Word on the Street (which is played in 2 teams, but works just as well for 2 people) could work.

Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation is very good, quick, and easy to teach. If she likes the books/movies, that might give you an 'in' to teach it. Otoh if she hates fantasy, probably best to avoid.

Forbidden Island is cheap, fast, has a compelling, Indiana-Jones-esque theme, and is cooperative, so you don't need to worry about varying skill levels (as long as neither of you is trying to dictate the moves of the other).
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David Debien
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My wife who is also not a gamer likes Pandemic for 2 player and El Grande for the larger groups. However, both games require a lot of strategic thinking. Pandemic is a co-op game, so that helps!

And cue feminist response to the "gamer wife" topic in 5, 4, 3....
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Zack Stackurski
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There are a number of good gamery card games that wouldn't be too big a stretch for someone who enjoys traditional card games but have more to offer than Lost Cities. Coloretto, Parade and Jaipur all came immediately to mind.

If you're looking for something with a grander presentation I really don't think you can go wrong with Ticket to Ride.
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Forbidden Island could be what you want. Short, engaging, cooperative, cheap

Also check out Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne
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Vicki Scheele
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Jaipur, a quick, easy to learn 2 player. Haven't introduced it to a single person who hasn't enjoyed it. Camels and goods for trade in a effort to please the Maharaja with your skills and be awarded the Seal of Excellence!
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Sicaria Occaeco
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I would also recommend starting out with an easy cooperative game like Forbidden Island.
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Mark Kale
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Kevin B. Smith
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Jaipur and Forbidden Island have been big hits here. We also enjoy Ra: The Dice Game (scoring rules are a bit overwhelming at first) and 10 Days in Europe (best for someone who loves the idea of travel). Lord of the Rings is also fun, as a longer, more-intense cooperative game.

Carcassonne and Trans Europa didn't work for us, due to the "stealing" of farms and rail lines, respectively.

As an aside, my wife regularly crushes me in both Jaipur and Ra Dice. I still don't know how.
 
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We've been playing alot of Monopoly Deal. Quick playing, easy to learn, light on strategy.
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John Van Wagoner
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my wife and i play games often, and she loves:

- lost cities
- kingdoms
- ticket to ride card game
- cribbage
- arena roma II

just bought blue moon city and we'll give that a try in next few days!
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Doug Mazur

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Fill or Bust - is a simple dice game, my wife loves.

I think cooperative games work well for non competitive types, and non-gamer types. Everyone wins or loses together. Even bettter if it is strong on a theme that she already likes. Lord of the Rings, comes to mind if she already likes the books, movies, characters, fantasy.
 
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PirateVicki wrote:
Jaipur, a quick, easy to learn 2 player. Haven't introduced it to a single person who hasn't enjoyed it. Camels and goods for trade in a effort to please the Maharaja with your skills and be awarded the Seal of Excellence!


+1 for Jaipur. Good light game
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Some two player games my wife enjoys

Cathedral
Carcassonne
Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper
Dominion

 
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Wil
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My recommendations:

* Dominion - This was the first board game that I heard my wife say the magic words of "let's play again". Although better with three or four, it is still a great two player game.

* Bananagrams - Quick, fun, cheap. In my opinion, a must own for couples.

* No Thanks - Fantastic game but it requires three and really shines with four. I'm mainly mentioning it as it was a huge hit with my wife and a perfect game for family get togethers.


One more comment:

* Forbidden Island vs. Pandemic - Forbidden Island is often recommended when considering both but I personally didn't care for it and neither did my wife. The theme and mechanics just didn't work for us. Since then, I have personally played Pandemic and enjoy it quite a lot. I haven't played it with my wife yet but based on the feedback of others, I'm fairly confident it will be a hit. In summary, if you're leaning towards one of these, definitely go for Pandemic over Forbidden Island.



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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Probably not what you're looking for, but maybe a push-your-luck dice game would work, like Farkle.

 
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TJ Hsu
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Wow - thanks for all the replies. Looks like a mix of card, dice and board games. Cooperative sounds like a good way to go.

This is probably geeky but, going with the "wisdom of crowds" method, here are the frontrunners with # of "votes" or recommendations:

Forbidden Island (4)
Jaipur (4)
Lord of the Rings - various versions (3)
Ticket to Ride - board or card version (3)
Monopoly Deal Card Game (2)
Pandemic (2)
Bananagrams (2)
Dominion (2)
10 Days in Europe (1)

I think I'm going to strike out Banagrams - we already have scrabble, so we can basically play this game by just using the tiles. I've also played this before with my wife and ... I end up being too competitive and winning too fast. I'm also going to add 10 Days in Europe b/c we like travelling.

So I guess that's my short list...now I have to go research and find out which one(s) to buy.
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Joey W
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My wife likes as well as all my non-gamer friends like Battleline.

Also she likes:
Ticket to Ride
Coloretto
Bohnanza is a great game (terrible two player IMO) with 4 or more.
Dominion she will play.

I would say co-operative games are always a good thing to try. I have Ghost Stories ( I absolutely love it, she hated it), maybe the theme of Pandemic may be more to someones liking (I only thought it was OK).

Try Agricola with her. I kept hearing from all the women that come to our gaming club that they liked this game. I just played this for the first time and even though it took me quite a few turns to figure it out ( I have only been playing games for about 8 months), I spent about an hour afterwards thinking about what I did wrong and how I would play better next time. To me this is what gaming is all about. I had played a couple other worker placement type games (Stone Age being a great one to start with) and so this helped me get into Agricola a bit easier.

All of the other suggestions I have seen are equally great suggestions. Just find out what styles she likes and dislikes.

Have fun.




 
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Kevin B. Smith
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tjhsu wrote:
Lord of the Rings - various versions (3)

Just to clarify: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (and the deluxe version linked above) is absolutely nothing like the cooperative Lord of the Rings game. Confrontation is roughly like Stratego, a direct battle of forces. The other is a cooperative game with a rather unusual design, where you must manage your hands of cards while abstract tokens traverse different paths across multiple game boards. It's hard to describe, but is fun. Anyway, my point is that you should treat those two as separate items on your list.

All in all, that looks like a fine list of candidates, and while I have only played about half, I don't think you'll do badly no matter which ones you end up with.
 
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Wil
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One more comment on going with Pandemic over Forbidden Island.

I personally think Forbidden Island gets the nod all of the time since it is inexpensive, but Pandemic isn't going to break the bank either.

That said and more to my point of warning is that Forbidden Island is a Gamewright Game. They sell a number of fantastic games but they are targeting kids. In short, Forbidden Island is a kids game and is essentially a watered down toy lite version of Pandemic.

I hate to bash it but I think it will be a huge strike out with your wife. Pandemic on the other hand has a theme that really works better for adults in my opinion.

Two cents from a guy who also primarily games with his wife (and kids).
 
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Chris Koenig
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Battle Line

If she like card games
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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wgerken wrote:
In short, Forbidden Island is a kids game and is essentially a watered down toy lite version of Pandemic.

Yikes. Them's fighting words! You seem to be calling me and my wife children.

Not all adults want a heavy, complex gaming experience. Especially if they are just getting into gaming. Having played and enjoyed Forbidden Island, I can say that it's not just for kids. We are considering trying Pandemic too, as a step up in complexity. But I am very glad we started with Forbidden Island. We didn't choose it based on price.

As for theme, well, that's a matter of taste. I think for most people, collecting treasure on a sinking island would be more immediately attractive than curing worldwide diseases. That's not true for everyone, of course. I'm glad both games are available (along Defenders of the Realm and Ghost Stories, two other similar co-ops).
 
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