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Subject: 2 player game for Dominion fans rss

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Catherine F
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Hello!

You were hugely helpful to me a year or so ago in recommending a new game for my husband. Would you be able you help again please?

We mainly play as just the two of us, occasionally 3 adults, sometimes 2 kids join us. The game must play well for just 2.

These are the games we have and our opinions (it is a present for my husband, but I've put my views too, as we need to both enjoy it to play it regularly)

Dominion (original, prosperity, intrigue). This is my favourite & the one we pay most often. I like the fact you have your own deck, so you can just get on with your own game, without having to worry too much about what others are up to, although the interaction cards are fun too.

Carcasonne - he likes this. I'm not so keen on the simple placing tiles aspect.

Pandemic - we play this lots too. Like how it is quick to set up & cooperative.

Ticket to Ride Nordic - he likes, I don't enjoy the ruthless strategies of blocking each others routes, I would probably like it without this. I'm also not keen on having to memorise and keep secret several routes.

Citadels - haven't played much but quite enjoy when played with a group.

Race for the Galaxy - we don't get this at all. We have tried several times. Big mistake purchase, don't want anything similar to this.

Lost Cities the board game - he likes, I find it a bit dull.

Think that is everything we own. I don't think I want an expansion at this point, as would like to introduce something new, as it's a present.

Thanks v much in advance for your help!



 
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Jerry Martin
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And for the 3rd time today I will suggest

7 Wonders

It is better with more players, but my wife and I really enjoy a quick 2 player.
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We didn't care for 7 Wonders with 2, but we enjoy it with 4.

Walnut Grove may interest you - pretty easy to set up, has tile placing which your husband likes in Carc, with more going on. You mostly have your own farm, with some interaction in the worker placement phase in town.

A slight step up from Ticket to Ride might be Thurn and Taxis or Airlines Europe.

Glory to Rome has a lot of combo-building that you may enjoy, while still being different enough from Dominion. There's a bright cartoon version and a more subdued Black Box edition.

Jaipur is a lighter card game like Lost Cities, but with a bit more variety in what you can do. Like Lost Cities, it is 2p.
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Bryan Fischer
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indigopotter wrote:
We didn't care for 7 Wonders with 2, but we enjoy it with 4.


I have to second this. The game uses a dummy player for 2 player games. It's a shame when such an amazingly awesome game (I love 7 Wonders) doesn't scale to 2 players. That being said, it scales wonderfully for 3+ players.

Smash Up isn't the best game I've played, but it plays well with 2 and has combo building like Dominion while not being a deck builder in the usual sense.

Glen More seems to be a favorite of people who enjoy Carcassonne. It plays really well with 2.
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Walt
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I like Glen More, but it's quite a heavy game--more than you're used to. Goa is nearly as heavy, and plays two very well; but apparently the reprint was very small, so your best chance of getting one may be your FLGS. Kingdom Builder is by the designer of Dominion, but it's a totally different game. A classic is Alhambra; in my opinion, don't get any expansions or the big box--the base game is just right.
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Terry Gwazdosky
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A recent thread on 2-player games suggested these three:
Crows
Jambo
The Castles of Burgundy

My wife and I just got them last weekend and have played them all and really like them.
 
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Jerry Wilkinson
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My wife and I enjoy playing Thurn and Taxis, Fairy Tale, and Finca with 2, and they all play up to 4 (Fairy Tale plays up to 5).
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Bryan Fischer
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Alhambra is a good suggestion.

Saint Petersburg is also a good option.

Oh! And I almost forgot! A great two player option for you is Seasons
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Brian A
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I really, really enjoy Biblios. I've never played it with only 2p, but apparently it's very much recommended at that level.
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Brook Gentlestream
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Innovation may be worth looking into.
In a way, it's the anti-Dominion.

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Sam Cook
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Have you looked into Morels? It's about gathering and eating mushrooms! It is a very laid back experience. Only plays 2 though.
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James Deignan
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Two suggestions from me:

Since you like Dominion, you might consider Smash Up. You mostly do your own thing, but there's a bit more interaction. Expansions to the existing base game are likely to be reasonably priced and it's fairly cheap as board games go for the initial expenditure.

As you like Pandemic which is a coop, I might suggest either Yggdrasil if you like the theme (I do, so this is one of my preferred coops) or Flash Point: Fire Rescue which I haven't played but gets excellent press here on BGG.
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X Topher
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+1 for Biblios...but I actually prefer Airlines Europe. It gives me a similar auction/drafting feel of Biblios, but with less hidden information and more direct control over the value of what you're investing in. It works great for two.
 
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Geoff King
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Kingdom Builder __By same designer as Dominion. Quick and easy.
San Juan __Like Race For The Galaxy but much less weird.
Ra: The Dice Game __Still one of my favorite dice games.
Stone Age __I haven't played it with two, but lots of people say it works great.
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HenningK
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+1 for Thurn and Taxis. Sort of like Ticket to Ride without the blocking.
+1 for Kingdom Builder. Huge variety (like Dominion). Seems very simple and maybe even dull at first, but it will click after a few games.
+1 for San Juan. As said, like Race for the Galaxy, only much simpler (and better in my opinion).
+1 for Stone Age. Works great from 2-4 players.
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Catherine F
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Thank you all so much for your replies. I have read A LOT of reviews & think I have narrowed it down to Alhambra and Castles of Burgundy.

From what I have read, Alhambra seems a bit like Carcassone with the addition of cats to buy tiles. I like the addition of dice in Castles of Burgundy - we don't have a game like this.

I was also tempted by Glory to Rome, although I'm worried it will be too complicated initially. Kingdom Builder also appeals, but is more expensive than I want to pay really.

Any thoughts on these choices? Please bear in mind we are not experienced gamers and not have anyone else who can teach us, so if a game is hard to get, we stumble. I am put off anything that says its like Race fr the Galaxy, as we did nt get on with that.

Thanks again!
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Shawn George
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Gecko192 wrote:
I am put off anything that says its like Race fr the Galaxy, as we did nt get on with that.


Don't skip on San Juan due to the Race for the Galaxy comparisons; you'd be doing yourself a disservice. San Juan is a big hit with my wife and I (we're big Dominion fans as well), but neither of us particularly care for Race for the Galaxy. When people say they don't like RftG, it's usually due to the complex and confusing iconography. San Juan doesn't have that. It's a simple, elegant game of role selection and engine building. Just like how you create an engine by adding cards to your deck in Dominion, you create an engine by building structures in San Juan, each of which has a different power.

Plus the game is super cheap...you can get it for about $20 on Amazon, and even cheaper at some other online game stores.
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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+1 Thurn and Taxis !!!
 
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Moe45673
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I'd say Castles of Burgundy is a great choice.

If you really want to go all the way.... just get Agricola. It plays excellent 2-5 and my wife (a non-gamer) and I are addicted. She even asks me to play sometimes. Excellent game.
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John Shepherd
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Gecko192 wrote:
Thank you all so much for your replies. I have read A LOT of reviews & think I have narrowed it down to Alhambra and Castles of Burgundy.


Of those two, I'd go with Castles of Burgundy. Alhambra is a decent enough game, but a little dull after a few plays unless you have the expansions to mix in ... plus, it's two main mechanisms are close-ish to stuff you already have in your collection (laying tiles - carcassonne, collecting a set of same-coloured cards - ticket to ride).

Castles of Burgundy is a really nice game... a tiny step up in terms of complexity from what you already own, but I think you'll maybe appreciate it for that... and it's different to everything else in your collection. Plus, it plays brilliantly with two. Get that one.

(Edit: this assumes you've already ruled out Agricola for some reason. If you're still open to suggestion, watch this video: http://boardgamegeek.com/video/1431/agricola/board-games-wit... , then decide )
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I know you're choosing between Alhambra and Castles of Burgundy; but if I may suggest another game -- take a look at Homesteaders.

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Chris
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Hi Catherine,

Gecko192 wrote:
Race for the Galaxy - we don't get this at all. We have tried several times. Big mistake purchase, don't want anything similar to this.

You have a lot of great suggestions here already, no need for any more.

This game, RFTG, gave us a terrible time. We tried it maybe a half dozen times, over about 3 years or more. It just wouldn't sink in - those billions of icons! It sat, and sat. We got determined, and finally made ourselves figure it out and made it work. Some plays, maybe half-assed, until the whole thing clicked. It turned out that it really is "straight forward" and "obvious" how it works, once you have it figured out, once we forced ourselves to do so.

Then played it a number of times while it was still fresh to reinforce our knowledge and now really love the game and have all of the expansions. Have since taught it to other people as well - everyone likes it and wants to play again. Don't give up on this one, even after a long period of no play.
 
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Leonard Moses II
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I did not find Race for the Galaxy terribly difficult but it did take me about 6 hours of studying and thinking about it (I have some difficulty focusing at times) to learn it well. I have played 60+ board games, though most of those were around 2.3 or so.

Don't believe the 3.0+ rating on Castles of Burgundy. It felt like a 2.0 and only earns that rating for a few special bonus tiles that you can refer to the rulebook about when they come up. The rulebook is your dictionary. You don't have to play perfectly the first time.

Alhambra is very easy to learn. It is one of those that takes about 30 minutes or a few turns.

I firmly believe that The Castles of Burgundy is one of the most fun, best made board games I have ever played. I badly need to spend the effort to swim in the deeper end of the pool though. There's freedom there.
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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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Gecko192 wrote:
Dominion (original, prosperity, intrigue). This is my favourite & the one we play most often.

Why not Dominion: Seaside?
 
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