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Subject: Looking for more weenight games. 15-30 minutes, little setup, fun rss

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J. Jefferson
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Columbus
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I'm looking for more games to play two-player on a weeknight. Normally, in evening down time after our kid is asleep, my wife and I will play one game then do something else (clean up, watch tv, read) before going to bed. We've gone through a lot of games this way and I'm looking for some new ones. The game must play in 15-30 minutes, have quick setup, and be fun, and it must play well with two players. Really, what I want is Dominion with no setup. I know it doesn't take that long, but the mental energy is a bit too much for a weeknight, even for my favorite game. Here are some games that have worked well:

San Juan
Quarriors!
Ascension
Ra Dice
Jambo
St. Pete's

Thanks for your ideas!

Also, it's not necessary, but it's a bonus if we can play the game on the couch using our smaller coffee table rather than our larger kitchen table.
 
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David Sims
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Kangaroo Flat
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Cthulhu Gloom

Set up 1-2 mins. fun mechanic, quick after a couple of plays to learn the game. Lots of fun trying to kill your own side while keeping your opponents people alive!
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Netherlands
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If you can find a copy (I hear the English version is OOP, though I bought the Dutch version last month), Fjords would be perfect.
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jflartner
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Conshohocken
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Jaipur
Monopoly Express
PAX
Battle Line
Carnival
Ascension

What's My Word and Roll Through the Ages can be played in bed!!
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Jim Jamieson
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I would recommend Biblios, it plays really quick and with only using cards and dice it does not take up a whole lot of room.

+1 for Jaipur and Carnival as well.

Since my wife and I have had our kid in August we have enjoyed many of the recommendations on the She's Asleep! geeklist as well. It has become our go to resource for next games to try out after the little one goes to sleep after a long day of work.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
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+1 for Jaipur and Biblios. +1 for the She's Asleep geeklist.

Others that have worked well with my wife and I:

Dragonheart
Oceania
Coloretto
Monopoly Deal Card Game

Take a look at the Kosmos two-player series. Lots of options there.
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J. Jefferson
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Thanks for all the great ideas. Here are my thoughts on a few of them.

Cthulu Gloom is a maybe a change of pace from what we've been playing, that could be good. Is the 60 minute play time listed here accurate?

Fjords is on my radar, we will see if I am able to trade for it.

Jaipur was ok, it didn't feel that substantial to me. I know I may have unreasonable expectations of a very short game.

PAX and Carnival both look nice, I'm definitely going to take a closer look.

Battle line--I've played Lost Cities to death. Does this add a lot? My understanding (possibly my misunderstanding) is that the games are similar.

I like What's my Word, but it fell flat with my wife. I think it is a bit too intense for a weeknight.

Biblios--definitely on my radar.

Dragonheart looks great, how similar is it to Jambo, which we own and like?

Oceania we did not like, just didn't seem to be a lot of game there, but I didn't give it much of a chance, just one play.
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Bob Graffagnino
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It seems like Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age is exactly the game you are looking for (judging by your opinion of Ra Dice).

A couple of other quick games that are popular with the wife:

Can't Stop
Sushizock im Gockelwok
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Blue Mountain
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Triumvirate - great little card game .. plays in 15 minutes.

You may also be interested in this geek list: She's Asleep! - Games for time poor couples with infant(s)
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Jefforama wrote:
Dragonheart looks great, how similar is it to Jambo, which we own and like?


Dragonheart is nothing like Jambo. If you want to give it a try before buying, it can be played on Yucata and Board Game Arena.
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いい竹やぶだ!

South Euclid
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My wife's and my 20-minute games are Cribbage and Can't Stop. Cribbage has somewhat of a learning curve—best if you're learning together. Can't Stop is less deep but more exciting.
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Jennifer Derrick
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Blokus Duo

Any of the 10 Days in... series (I prefer Europe, but wherever you like best is a good place to start)(board's a little big for playing on the couch, but it does go quickly and is easy to set up).

Times Square -- once you figure it out games go in 20 min or less.


Word on the street
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Jeff Miller
United States
Ogden
Utah
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Working through the night Jeff fixed the broken link. After being fixed the broken link became Jeff's BGG profile.
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Jefforama wrote:
Battle line--I've played Lost Cities to death. Does this add a lot? My understanding (possibly my misunderstanding) is that the games are similar.

The only real similarity is in both games you play a card in a row then draw a card. Beyond that, they feel like much different games. In Battle Line, there's much more freedom in card placement, a simple win or lose victory condition, and Tactic cards to throw a curve-ball at your opponent when needed.

I too was burned out on Lost Cities when I first got Battle Line and found that later to be both different and a refreshing change up two players...
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jflartner
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mildthrill wrote:
I too was burned out on Lost Cities when I first got Battle Line and found that later to be both different and a refreshing change up two players...


Agreed.

Mondo is also fun with two players, and the "setup" is the game.
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David Sims
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Jefforama wrote:

Cthulu Gloom is a maybe a change of pace from what we've been playing, that could be good. Is the 60 minute play time listed here accurate?


Once you have played a couple of times 2 players should come in 40-50 mins or less. As always the more players the longer it takes.
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Mitchell
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I read the title as weenielight. As in a game lighter than a light game.

I would recommend
Battle Line
Mr. Jack
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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OMEN: REIGN OF WAR

 
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ani
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+1 for Jaipur.
It's a light game that doesn't take very long and doesn't require much set up. We've enjoyed it quite a bit.
 
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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Super light: Coloretto

+1 Dragonheart (simple and fun. Looks great too)

Roma

Aton

Loot (better yet, Korsar, the German version, looks better IMHO)

If you can find it... Scarab Lords.

Coming out/just rereleased: Reiner Knizia's KINGDOMS

Fun game and absolutely beautiful artwork: REVOLVER




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Kathy Sheets
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Stuart
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+1 for Aton-our newest love. You'll have to pick it up in an auction though, I think.

+1 for Biblios

Cities-a puzzle game that sounds like it might be like Mondo, though I have not played that.

Infinite City-we don't bother shuffling the tiles, just store them on edge in the box & pick at random rather than from the top of the deck.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age

Battle Line is NOTHING like Lost Cities

I have Triumvirate & Haggis but have not yet played them. But I bought them because I was looking for games within the same parameters you outline.
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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+1 Blokus Duo

Further I´d suggest Hippos & Crocodiles and Fairy Tale.
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K
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Flash Duel: Second Edition fits your criteria perfectly
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Jeff Forbes

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This is an odd recommendation, but as an activity, you might try Zendo. It uses Icehouse pieces, which can be used for many, many games, and might be a suitable mental challenge to play around with. It is a game where the "master" generates a secret rule, places pieces that follow that rule, for example "There are three pyramids". And the student(s) try to figure out the rule by placing a series of pieces of their own, and asking the master whether they meet the rule or not.

It's a neat game, fun with people that are in to it. It's certainly not for everyone, though.
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Goat Goatington
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Parade is one of my favourites of the sub 30 minute games. It's typically over in 15 minutes and it's interactive enough that you can't fly through on autopilot. Setup is shuffling a deck of cards and it takes up slightly less space than something like Lost Cities. There's enough depth that the way we play it is still shifting; if one person is very aggressive the other has to counter it or be left behind, but it's easy to be too aggressive and lose masses of points.

If you like traditional card games, Haggis is a good 2 player climbing game. You can pick your point limit to fit any timescale and again, setup is shuffling a deck. I'm not as big a fan of traditional games but this is definitely one that works brilliantly with two.

Edit: oops, don't use that character.
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J. Jefferson
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More great ideas. Thanks! We've tried a lot of these. Some of them have been great, some have not clicked for idiosyncratic reasons. Here are my thoughts on some more.

Roll Through the Ages -- I own this and I like it. My only coplaint is that it's sort of a quiet, game where you watch the other person play for a while, then you play. Turns are a bit long and non-interactive for a short game.

Can't Stop -- I found this ok, but totally one-dimensional.

Sushizock--I will take a closer look.

Triumvirate--I am drawn to this game. But my wife dislikes trick-taking and climbing games. Same goes for Haggis, a really great game, but not one that I can get my wife to play. They don't click for her for some reason.

Dragonheart--not sure why I thought it was similar to Jambo. I will take a closer look.

Cribbage is a nice idea. It might take some convincing as the Mrs is not big on traditional card games.

Blokus Duo -- I like this game, but I find that abstracts do not have much replayability for us.

Time Square -- Maybe. Is it fun?

Word on the Street -- I love word games, but only for occasional play.

Mondo -- look nice! Definitely going to look closer.

Omen -- looks great.

Roma -- looks fun, perhaps too long for my current need?

Aton -- I owned and traded. For some reason the mechanism where you secretly place cards and then reveal them (do I remember that right?) fell flat for us. Felt like ra dice with an auction instead of dice.

Revolver -- looks awesome, but maybe also too long?

Cities -- yes, I really like this game. A friend has a copy, maybe I should pick up my onw.

Infinite City -- looks good, i will take a closer look.

Fairy Tale -- I have not enjoyed it when playing with just two players.

Flash Duel -- yeah this one is on my radar.

Zendo -- I'm intrigued. I am definitely going to learn more.

Again, thanks everyone for your ideas. If I have panned yours, it's just because of our idiosyncratic tastes, not because it's not a great idea!





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