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Subject: How does Village change with 2 players? rss

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Norberto Leiva
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I am looking for a mid weight worker placement game with several paths to win. The most important issues for me are:

1. It must be GREAT (not only ok) with 2, because I will play only with my gf. I'm very interested to know how does this game change with 2 players: less paths to win?, less replayability?, less cutthroat?..

2. With several and balanced paths to win. I prefer 'specialization in something' over 'you have to take something of everything to win' (I see you Agricola) games.

3. Rewarding look ahead decisions (strategic thinking)

4. Good replayability with 2 players.

Is Village the worker placement game I am looking for 2 players?

Other candidates I am researching are:

Agricola: All Criatures Big and Small: Designed for 2 players, but not cards, not feeding tension, not harvest...it seems missing a lot of interesting decisions from Agricola.

Walnut Grove: After reading rules I like it. Poll says that it works very good with 2...but I am a bit scared about some folks reporting production fails.

Lords of Waterdeep: Huge hype with this one. I'm not sure about its depth (some folks think it is a lite game with too much luck), and not wery fan of fantastic themed games.

Thanks in advance,
 
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Robert Manore
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I think it scales well to 2-players with just one exception. I have noticed that whoever becomes the Starting Player is typically the same person throuhout the game because the Council Chamber is hardly used during 2-player sessions with my wife. Typically we just take the influence cubes there and pass the action.

Otherwise, it was the first worker placement game I introduced to my wife and she loves it! And she is not an extreme gamer like myself. The majority of our battles normally occur in Church for the most influence because the 2 extra Prestige Points at the end of each round can really separate the players if one player always has the most influence during Mass.

Our 2-player matches are normally within 1-2 PPs.

Edit: to address your specific question regarding paths to victory, I think there are several paths to victory. For example, one could service more customers in the Market for PP tiles, or one could travel more outside the village, or one could trade more grain for gold coins and in turn trade them for PPs in the Council Chamber. It all really depends where and when the plague cubes come out. So you have to adapt to that.
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Michael Steenbjerg
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In my opinion it works very well with 2 players. It does not change a lot with only 2 players. The starting advantage is not as big in a 2 player game, so it does not ruin the game that it does not change as often.
I have played it often with my girlfriend and we both enjoyed it. We both prefer games with a minimum luck-factor.
 
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Pedro Pereira
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out of those you mention I'd have to recommend either village or Agricola, since these two seem to be the most appealing to female players. Village plays great with 2, and you always have the bonus of being able to play with up to 4 with, perhaps, another couple friends of yours...
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Kevin B. Smith
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I haven't played Village.

Stone Age seem to meet your criteria, but you only gave it a 7. What was disappointing about it to you?

Agricola: ACBaS sounds like a very pale shadow of the original to me, leaving out my favorite parts and keeping the less interesting ones.

I love Walnut Grove, but it's really not worker placement. WG definitely has multiple paths to win, and requires planning ahead. I don't think it rewards extreme specialization, but it also doesn't require complete balance. It feels quite light, because there is not a lot going on. But at least for me it has a lot of tough decisions, and after 12 plays I feel like I still have a lot of depth to explore. I have only played 2p twice, I think, but it scaled well. Buildings and improvements become slightly more cutthroat, but there is less blocking in town. Some in my group don't like it because it is a minimalist game: Lay 9 tiles, move your rondel guy 8 times, and the game is over.

LoW plays much differently with 2 than with more. Some (most?) will tell you that it's not as good with 2, but I think I might like it better. There is at least one 2p thread in its forums where you can read about the pros and cons. With any player count, it really only has one and a half strategic paths to victory ("Complete Quests" plus "Get bonus point for your lord"). There are a variety of tactical decisions to accomplish that. The fantasy theme can be ignored, if you want to.

 
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Jimmy Okolica
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I'm also in the "great 2-player game" camp. To address your points specifically:

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:
I am looking for a mid weight worker placement game with several paths to win. The most important issues for me are:


I tend to have two weights of games: medium/medium-heavy and medium/medium-light. Village definitely falls into the medium/medium-light category. Technically it is not a worker placement game since when you place your worker you're not stopping anyone else from placing their worker. Instead, it is the cubes you take that may prevent others from taking certain types of actions.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

1. It must be GREAT (not only ok) with 2, because I will play only with my gf. I'm very interested to know how does this game change with 2 players: less paths to win?, less replayability?, less cutthroat?..

I'd say it is excellent as a 2-player. My gf and I play it in about an hour (give or take) but the time seems to fly by and I always feel like it's over too fast. I don't think Village is that cut-throat since usually players have multiple chances to take an action; so, if I take harvest, my gf stil has a shot to take it on her next action (of course, if she doesn't I can take it again and hose her). That may make a little less cut-throat with 2; however, the # of cubes per action does change with the player count so I'd say it doesn't change it much. As far as replayability and multiple paths to victory, it works just as well with 2 as with more.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

2. With several and balanced paths to win. I prefer 'specialization in something' over 'you have to take something of everything to win' (I see you Agricola) games.

This is definitely not a "little bit of everything" game. I'm not sure if my gf has beaten me yet (she's come with a point several times); however, when we normally play, she ignores travel and council and focuses on customers. She normally gets 30+ points from it whereas I normally focus on travel (where I usually get the full 18) and generalize other places (church/council). We always fight over the Chronicle and usually whoever wins that fight wins the game.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

3. Rewarding look ahead decisions (strategic thinking)

There is certainly a bit of look ahead decisions but since I put this in more of the medium/medium-lght category, I'd say less so than the heavier games. That said, if you start out down the traveling path, you've got to see it through. If you start out down the crafting/sales path you've got to see it through. So, there's some strategy involved.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

4. Good replayability with 2 players.

This is probably the toughest one to answer. I've only played it 4 or 5 times 2-player. I expect to get up to about 15 - 20 but probably not much past that. The cube mix and the customer mix does change the strategy around somewhat but probably not that much. That said, I generally only have about a dozen games on my dime list in a given year and I expect Village to make that. As a comparison, games that I think have great 2-player replayability include: Agricola, Race for the Galaxy (with all expansions), Through the Ages, and Innovation. Unfortunately, Village can't compete in variability with these power card games.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

Is Village the worker placement game I am looking for 2 players?

The theme is fresh; the "killing off your old folks" mechanics is innovative; the game play is varied; there are multiple paths to victory; and there is a good dose of player interaction. This is probably a good game for you.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

Other candidates I am researching are:

Agricola: All Criatures Big and Small: Designed for 2 players, but not cards, not feeding tension, not harvest...it seems missing a lot of interesting decisions from Agricola.


Yep, that was my take on it as well and it is off of my list. If someone else gets it, I'll probably try it but since it's strictly 2-player, that will probably never happen.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

Walnut Grove: After reading rules I like it. Poll says that it works very good with 2...but I am a bit scared about some folks reporting production fails.

This is a game that I've been thinking of. I've gone back and forth on how light it is. My current thinking is it's about the same depth as Village and so I may pick it up at some point (a second plus for me is that it also can be played solo).

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

Lords of Waterdeep: Huge hype with this one. I'm not sure about its depth (some folks think it is a lite game with too much luck), and not wery fan of fantastic themed games.

Yep, the early buzz is it's an excellent medium/medium-light worker placement game. Reading the reviews of people, I don't think it's too luck-driven. My gut is that's coming form people who haven't played it enough. However, depending on your tolerance for randomness, that might bother you. The reason I'm going to be passing on this is that I've got way more than enough medium/medium-light games and LoW doesn't look like it's got anything new. For me, the killing of family was enough to get me to try Village and I'm glad I've got it in my collection.

tigrevasco_2003 wrote:

Thanks in advance,


You're welcome. Hope it helps.
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Kevin B. Smith
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I forgot to comment on the Walnut Grove components. If you are very picky about components, they might fall short.

The main board could be thicker.

The land tiles are designed and/or printed such that the colored areas and fences that should end exactly at the corners often do not. As long as you realize that they are all corner-oriented, it doesn't matter at all. In my games, it has never been an issue for me, and I don't think anyone else has even commented on it.

That's all I can think of. The components are fine for me.
 
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Michael Noakes
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I've played Village with 4, 3 and 2 players, and thought it worked really well with all three numbers. It certainly played faster with two players. Two players makes it easier to specialize, I thought, as you could choose a path (say, council chamber for free wagons; wagons to travel) to victory with less competition.



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I haven't played village yet, but you might want to add Hawaii to your research. I think it's in the zone you're looking for and I can say that it plays well with two. Check out this review if you're interested:

Ode to Hawaii
 
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James Derbyshire
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My wife and I are worker placement-a-holics. We play all our games 2p. We've not played Village however, but are very interested in it.
Also check out:
Last Will
The Manhattan Project
Carson City (might prove difficult convincing gf on theme - but my wife doesn't mind it)


 
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Norberto Leiva
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peakhope wrote:
I haven't played Village.

Stone Age seem to meet your criteria, but you only gave it a 7. What was disappointing about it to you?


I have played Stone Age (online) with 2,3 and 4. I don´t know exactly the reason, but the game with 2 changes a lot, and blocking seems too important. It feels like some paths of victory are not so balanced.
 
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Wesley Kinslow
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I think my favorite mid-weight two player worker placement would be Egizia.
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Drew Gormley
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Not LoW based on your criteria. Le havre perhaps? Or Trajan. More rondel than worker placement but the two are similar and it's a better game for your standards than any you've mentioned or are mentioned in this thread.
 
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Chris Browne
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I would certainly second the suggestion of last will! One of the few games that I think is as good with 2 as any!

Chris
 
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Clyde W
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I think Village scales well down to 2. It certainly plays faster which is nice. Also check out The Castles of Burgundy! Not WP per se, but wonderful at 2 and fits all your other requirements.
 
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Drew Gormley
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clydeiii wrote:
I think Village scales well down to 2. It certainly plays faster which is nice. Also check out The Castles of Burgundy! Not WP per se, but wonderful at 2 and fits all your other requirements.


Village isn't really worker placement either - if anything "worker", its worker reduction. But I guess there are spots on the board which give you benefits, so if that is how one definites worker placement, then it would qualify. It plays quite well with 2, although I'm not sure how it scales up, as I've only played with 2. It reminds me a lot of Stefan Feld games, which save itYotD, all play much better with 2 or 3 than with more, so we'll see what happens with Village
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Clyde W
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Agre. Burgundy and Village seem quite similar in that regard. Also I don't think Village is worker placement either.
 
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Village is definitely an action drafting game, but the main mechanism for selecting an action is cube removal, rather than worker placement.

That said, there are some worker placement elements. When you put one of your meeples into a crafting location, City Hall, the Church, or the wide world, you're using one of your limited "action choice tokens" to claim benefits from that action area. You don't exclude others from doing the same, but I'm not sure that's an essential element of worker placement.

Definitely not a vanilla worker placement in the vein of Stone Age though.
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