Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: A 2 player game and a 3 player game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
YaVerOt YaVerOt
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
Armchair warriors often fail, and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales.
badge
Aoi Aoi toki ga toke dasheta.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have a couple friends and I'm trying to find a few good games to play with them.

I'm assuming you guys know how to find my collection and ratings to get a starting basis for me. One thing that isn't going to show in that is how dice hate me for long stretches of time. I don't hate dice, they just "work" worse for me.
Also, while looking at my ratings, one problem is that 99% of all games ever created will fall in the ranges of 5-7 (inclusive) the absolute statements are too strong, and any game that doesn't rate atleast a 5 will have a hard time qualifying for a 3 instead of a 2.


Neither of my friends have *geek accounts, so:

My 1st friend: Doesn't like abstract strategy games, is better at pattern matching than me, and has an excellent memory. On average, he will memorize an opponent's Magic: the Gathering deck in 3 plays. And depending on the game, he'll count cards. He isn't interested in a traitor mechanic.

That isn't bad, but it does make it hard to find a game to play with him. Since a game that I can't win isn't any fun*, I need a game with enough luck to give me a chance, but not so much that we might as well just flip a coin instead of playing. He's the one I need a two-player game for.

*As the Civilization board game is an excellent example.

My other friend, is fine with abstract strategies: Go, Pente, Othello, Chess... but I don't get to play 2 player games with him, normally only 3+ (him, above friend, myself, and occasionally others). He's even better at pattern matching than either of us. His memory seams similar to mine. If I could find some other players sometime when my above friend isn't around I could give Battlestar Galactica a try. (He introduced me to both the new BSG, and Doctor Who.)

At the moment I can't think of a 2 player game to play with my 1st friend at all. He wants to play Magic with me again, but I'm in a "the designers have betrayed certain core design principles too often and too much (and without indication that 'that was a mistake') for the game to ever become playable again."

For the 3 of us, the best choice at the moment is the Star Trek game, but we don't want to over-play it.
We've played 2 games of Kill Doctor Lucky, using both dog variants together; it is fun enough but isn't anything "special".
Back to the Future: The Card Game: Fun, but now we've played it enough that it is too quick. IE we want to play something immediately afterward, but I know I don't like two back-to-back games of it.
Illuminati: We like this game, but haven't played it enough yet, so it plays a bit too long, and I'm holding it for 4+ player games.
Settlers of Catan: I have to be in the right mood, it is fun enough, but "dice hate me" combined with two opponents who find the best starting spots on the board, make it a very difficult game to do well in.
Order of the Stick: Desperately want to play this again, but waiting for The Shortening to arrive. If I had six players and 6 hours, I'd be playing GURPS or D20 (or ... or ... or ...). I don't know how well it'll play with our more likely 4th & 5th player.
Three Dragon Ante: typing this now, I realize we've never tried this 3 players. It fixes all but one of Poker's problems. They're both too long. I hear the Emperor's Gambit tries to fix that.

So there you have it. I admit this'll be a great challenge. I expect questions, I just can't predict them. I know finding good 3 player games is hard because of 2vs1 "kingmaker" problems.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It appears that much of your experience is with card games (particularly older ones and the Steve Jackson variety) and abstracts.

Notable exceptions are the 2010 Sid Meier's Civilisation (which you dislike) and Battlestar Galactica. Could you elaborate as to your experiences with them? Did you like Heroquest? Have you tried any Eurogames or more modern AT games?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
yaverot wrote:
My 1st friend: Doesn't like abstract strategy games, is better at pattern matching than me, and has an excellent memory. On average, he will memorize an opponent's Magic: the Gathering deck in 3 plays. And depending on the game, he'll count cards. He isn't interested in a traitor mechanic.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: How about a co-op? Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Pandemic, etc. Neither contains a traitor (like Shadows Over Camelot or Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game)

The counting/memorizing cards is a problem, otherwise Catan Card Game would have been an option. Also, both 1960: The Making of the President and Twilight Struggle have the card thing going against them, but at the same time there is a distinct element of luck in them, though with your aversion to dice I'd say that 1960 is your best bet. No dice, you pull cubes out of a bag - and you somewhat controls how many cubes are put into the bag.

I also don't see Carcassonne on your list. Again, the possibility of someone memorizing all tiles could potentially be a problem, but at least in a multiplayer situation I don't think it's going to be a huge problem.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.A.H. van de Laak
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Biblios?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Perry Tan
New Zealand
Auckland
North Island
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Busen Memo. Let him try to memorise those cards ay. XD

On a more serious note I 2nd biblios. With less players a random assortment of cards are taken out, so even if he does memorise the deck, its a little bit randomised.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dominion sounds like a good choice for you and your friend. There's lots of combos to explore and he can count cards all he wants but it won't make him win. He'll have an edge for sure if he is better at optimizing his purchases than you but you'll still have a shot.

Try Haggis with them for 3. Again, he can count cards but it's not necessarily just gonna give him a win.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
flag msg tools
This is what I play.
badge
Vegatable Alien is perlexed by slab of meat.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For 2 or 3-players, you may want to look at Tales of the Arabian Nights. This is a "story telling" game that is basically one big "choose your own adventure".

Not sure how you feel about auction games, but The Speicherstadt is an excellent auction game that can play 2-5 players. It does have cards, but card counting won't matter because no one will know what cards will show up in what order for the auctions. It also has a worker placement mechanic that adds another layer.

For 2-player, Dragonheart may work. It is a card game, but I don't think card counting would make much difference.Each player has their own deck and the decks are the exact same. I think there should be the right mix of luck and skill to keep you and your friend entertained.

Good luck!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I second the idea of purely cooperative games. There are tons to choose from, in many themes and at many levels of complexity.

It looks like you have mostly been playing lighter games. Have you tried heavier games (BGG weight 2.5+), and did you like them?

Perhaps Thebes. It is quite thematic, and does not rely on memory (or pattern matching as far as I can think of). The main randomness is from chit pulls from bags, but a huge part of the game is in setting yourself up before the pulls start to maximize your odds of success. Works great with 2 or 3.

Caylus Magna Carta is an interesting game of managing resources. There is randomness in the card draws, but they are more "spice" than "meat". I don't think memorization or pattern recognition would help. Better with 3 but works with 2.

Yspahan uses dice in an unconventional way. First, each round one person rolls the dice for everyone. Second, higher numbers are not necessarily "better" than low numbers. There is no memorization, and I can't think of pattern recognition elements. Perhaps this would also be too abstract. Does the game simply have to have a theme, or does it have to drip with a strong theme?

How about an auction game like Ra (too abstract?) or Dream Factory? Both work with 2, but are better with 3.

+1 Dominion, if it looks appealing to you.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
YaVerOt YaVerOt
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
Armchair warriors often fail, and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales.
badge
Aoi Aoi toki ga toke dasheta.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First, thanks everyone for all the help so far.

fateswanderer:
Experience with 2010 boradgame Civ: too much need for military making it not a Civ game (cool series of computer games of building, culture, tech, and diplomacy where you use B2 bombers against their knights as a last resort). Since Civ isn't a Civ game, its just a low quality wargame (for lack of a better term). Played twice, both times the game ended 2 turns (45 minutes) after I'd effectively lost, and pushed clean up from "Put everything away neatly, it was $50" to "Toss it in the box that is too small, it is time for bed."

Battlestar Galactica: Haven't opened yet, I need two other players and friend 1 is hostile enough to the theme that I don't want that to perminantely ruin the game for me. A local game store had a going out of business sale, or I wouldn't have it yet.

Heroquest: I played it back in junior high, it was my game so I DM'd it. There was at least one flaw in the rules that I wasn't able to fix then, so my players had no problem with the printed scenarios. They hated the scenario I created. Played through the entire book in about a month and hasn't been touched since. If I can't pull out a real RPG, I'd do better turning on the NES or SNES and playing Gauntlet II or Secret of Mana (I have those extra controllers for a reason). I have no idea how the new same/similar named game plays.

hakko504:
Twilight Struggle: Something seams off when I'm looking at the pictures. I'll look again later.

1960: 2 player game with a high politics theme against someone who hates politics (sorry should have mentioned it sooner). I'd love to play this sometime, but I don't know when that'll come up.

Carcassonne: This'll go on the short list, the big problem I see is the non-game problem of needing to buy the next set/expansion like Munchkin.

Co-ops: definitely worth a try. But I need focus.

QueesteGeest, nuke737:
Biblios does look interesting, and now there's a link for it in the thread.

FreeHansje:
Puerto Rico: been considering this to some degree, really want to play before buying.

kvenosdel:
Dominion: see comments on Carcassonne, above.
Haggis: A more advanced version of Dilbert? Interesting.

Deathstroke:
Tales of the Arabian Nights: As a game I don't think this what we're looking for. But it is screaming to be a aid in plot design for GMing. It also looks good for family play at some point.
The Speicherstadt: looks interesting as well. The hard part is that the name isn't pronounceable.
Dragonheart: 2 player dragon theme for play with my dragon obsessed friend... The question here becomes do I get it for myself, or as a gift...

peakhope wrote:

It looks like you have mostly been playing lighter games. Have you tried heavier games (BGG weight 2.5+), and did you like them?

One of the things I was hoping to get out of signing up for BGG and listing my collection and rating was to get some better clue as to what I want (or am missing). How do I get a list/report that tells me the weight of the games I have/played/rated/etc or which category it is in? I've looked a enough to realize the easy-to-access "game mechanic" doesn't help. I've found a way to get "my weight" in some report, but not the general BGG weight. I know this is further thrown off by category (very heavy Party vs light wargame has a huge gulf between them).

Thebes: This actually sound pretty cool, like what Dragonology should have been.
Caylus Magna Carta: The more I try to find a way to comment on this, the more it drops. There's some key piece of hook missing in the description.
Yspahan: I see enough theme, but I don't know how this'll fly with my friends.
Ra: My initial reaction isn't "too abstract", but missing something.
Dream Factory: could be a good try.


Theme pluses: Dragons, magic, spaceships; humor (and I use my razor-dazor-bana-fana-foe-phasor)

What I probably need to do is find a local place where I can try some of these games out. So I can buy it once I know it is good.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
flag msg tools
This is what I play.
badge
Vegatable Alien is perlexed by slab of meat.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, The Speicherstadt, Dragonheart, Yspahan can be played at Yucata.de. Haggis, Puerto Rico and Dominion can be played at Board Game Arena. You can give those games a try before buying.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
yaverot wrote:
How do I get a list/report that tells me the weight of the games I have/played/rated/etc or which category it is in?

I don't know of any way to get a list or report, but for any given game, on its BGG game page there is a Statistics section, and the user-voted weight is shown there. I usually agree with the voting, give or take 0.5 of weight.

Quote:
What I probably need to do is find a local place where I can try some of these games out. So I can buy it once I know it is good.

Yup. Strongly advised. If you're in the US, meetup.com is a great resource. There are also region-specific forums here on BGG that can be used to find (or start) local groups.

Some of the games can be played for free online as well (Dominion, Yspahan, etc). The experience is definitely not the same as playing in person, but you might learn enough to be able to make a decision one way or the other.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kathy Sheets
United States
Stuart
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you get Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers you won't need any expansions. I still think Dominion will be a really good game for you and it might be quite awhile before you need an expansion for that. When you do, you can research here on BGG to get the one that will suit you best.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Håkan König
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mamadallama wrote:
If you get Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers you won't need any expansions.
I 100% agree with this. On the other hand, only having a base game may enhance the problem of someone memorizing the tiles. In any case, the original plus the two first expansions and possibly The River is everything you'll ever need of Carcassonne. Do not buy anything after that, you'll just be disappointed in the long run.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with trying out the games online or with AI versions before you commit (see this geeklist for the latter). I think it's better to get an idea of what's out there and what you respond to before more concrete recommendations.

And congratulations to finishing a game of Civ in 45 minutes - I played a 3p game for 5 hours before I finally managed to kill someone and end it.

(I personally would rather play civilisation games and dungeon crawls on the computer.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Woolls
United States
Grosse Pointe Park
MI
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife and I got Carcassonne big box and it has been pretty good. I actually owned the base game several years ago. Never got played too much. Got back into gaming and after some recommendations here picked it up again. I like it much better this time around, the big box also has several expansions and being able to rotate them in and out makes the game fresh. Put more than one expansion in and it would be pretty hard for any but the most die hard player to "count" the cards.

The big box can be had for about $50-55. I know that is not cheap, but it is doable. There is a Dominion big box that is a little more expensive. I have heard that it has been obtainable on amazon around Christmas time for a reasonable price. If this holds true I will be getting my copy this year.

-Joshua
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Brown
United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Since you don't hate dice, I'm going to recommend Roma as a 2-player game. Some of the luck is in the dice, but most of it is in the cards you draw, and of course all mitigated by clever play. It's quick, interactive, and has enough different cards to appeal to players of CCGs (even though it plays nothing like a CCG).

Also, you should totally try Dominion online and see if it suits you. That can work for 2 or 3, also appeals to CCGers, and rarely has any kingmaker issues.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Kiley
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm amazed no one mentioned Race for the Galaxy yet. Excellent game, and one that friend #1 in particular would probably like. I'd consider getting the first expansion for it at the same time.

The game plays really well with 2-3 players using the advanced rules (each player picks two roles per turn). The expansion includes rules for a card drafting variant, that any MtG player would likely appreciate.

EDIT: If you worried about being driven to buy expansions for Carcassone, take a look at Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, which has a prehistoric theme to it and works very well as a standalone game (I've heard much better than normal Carcassone). My wife and I love it as a two player game, but it scales up to 5 players nicely.

On a more general note, don't feel compelled to purchase expansions for any games if you enjoy them as they are. I bought the first expansion for Munchkin way back when and thought it instantly ruined the balance and pacing of the game. I took it out and haven't looked back.

I do suggest the first Race for the Galaxy expansion (would really only adds a handful of new cards) because it mainly provides some new rules, the goals, the solo player variant, and cards for a 5th player.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
YaVerOt YaVerOt
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
Armchair warriors often fail, and we've been poisoned by these fairy tales.
badge
Aoi Aoi toki ga toke dasheta.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Figured it was time to put up an update.

Since the prior posts, my friends and I went to the local anime convention ( http://ndkdenver.org/ ), where friend 1 spent most of his time in the game room.

He played a few different games and since then has picked up Quarriors!. I've only played one game of it so far. The problems that I know are the game is:
1. Poor production quality. "What's the defense of your creature?" "Rain drop." "What?"
2. Blatant misadvertising, the game isn't long enough to be "uber strategic" or for the dice-building mechanic to build up to the comparisons with Dominion*.

I looked at things for the other problems I thought I saw... A rule that wasn't explained right. Portals and Dragons being too good. Victory Spell and Oozes being worthless. ... and looking at what is here at BGG, every "easy" fix to an "obvious" problem actually makes the game worse (most importantly in 10 minutes past fun).
And maybe the problems was the exact set of cards in play.
I'm definitely going to play it a few more times, to reveal if it is fun or just fake choices.

Also, OotS:The Shortening finally arrived. We played 5 player (no Belkar), timelimit/deadine with backstories. Two players hadn't played OotS before. The game was just starting to get into the flow when time came. So I need to find the right way to do an "in media res" start.

I did some looking at the local stores, when I asked about Biblios, I found out it isn't actually available. I looked at Dragonheart. I looked at Rattus. I looked at a few other things with sticker-shock.

I'm considering pre-ording The Manhattan Project. I've spent the day thinking about picking up Pandemic.

And I really need to take the more important advice of trying out online the games that can be.

*Not that I've played Dominion yet either.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.