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Subject: Two-player games for people too tired to play Ticket to Ride? rss

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David White
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My wife and I often find that we have about a spare hour for a game after the kids have gone to bed... not quite enough time to pull out our favorites of Ticket to Ride (Nordic), Thebes or Tobago. As fun as they are, we just can't make them much shorter than about 1.5 hours or so. (Maybe we're just slow to make in-game decisions!)

Neither of us are really beyond the "gateway gaming" phase - the ones I mentioned above are about our speed in terms of complexity and skill/luck balance. We'd love to find some games that would be just as fun but shorter - maybe 45-60 min. (We gave 10 Days in Africa a try - not bad, and reasonably short.)

Any recommendations?

Thanks to anyone who can help!
 
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Thomas Dunagan
United States
Clermont
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Jaipur
Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Forbidden Island
Aton
Haggis

To name a few.
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Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
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Battle Line

It is done.
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Wichita
Kansas
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If you like Battle Line, you might also like Knights of Ten.
 
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Kevin Shillinglaw
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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+1 for Jaipur
Batt'l Kha'os
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Biblios
Dragonheart
to name a few more.
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Vivienne Raper
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+1 to Dragonheart

If you want to work together, Onirim and Urbion are good and quick cooperatives.
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Rich Charters
United States
Chandler
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+1 Jaipur
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Steven McBride
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Carcassonne

Without any expansions, it has to be 60 minutes maximum. I dont know how it could take longer than that. Even with plenty of AP (which is not really an issue with this game).
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Jacovis
United States
Las Vegas
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Some good recommendations here. I also recommend:

Coloretto
The Battle for Hill 218
Cities
and Cribbage

I know Cribbage isn't one of the new "fancy" board games, but it's one that when my wife and I only have an hour or so to play tends to come out more often than most of my other games.

Cheers!

Jacovis
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Vaucharwen 30
Australia
St Ives
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Would Blokus or even a light but fun co-op like Castle Panic (plus the Wizard's Tower expansion) be worth trying?
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Adam 'Fenn' Fenton
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Falkirk
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200 Geekgold and all I got was this lousy Overtext
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Lost Cities (Really quick and fun!)
+1 Jaipur
+1 Carcassonne
+1 Coloretto

My fiancée is much more a casual/gateway gamer than me, and these are some of her faves. She also loves Pandemic which is a bit more involved, but cooperative. Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a similar one with rules for an easy, fun, family version.

With some experience the set up, playing and tear down of all of these games will be less than an hour.
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The Soot Sprite
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+1 Jaipur
+1 Battle Line (without tactics cards for a faster, and for us, more enjoyable game. We prefer this to Lost Cities, though both have had plenty of play)

Qwirkle
Blitz YINSH (first to get 5 in a row wins)
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The Soot Sprite
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And regarding the 10 Days in... series, I prefer Asia over Africa. The extra transport modalities add welcome variety.
 
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Kenny VenOsdel
United States
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90 minute Nordic! We usually take 30 or less per game! If you put in the time to learn it race for the galaxy is a great 25 minute game. San Juan shares some features with it, is easier to learn but not as interesting IMO.
 
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David B
United States
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Yup

+1) for Jaipur


and another two player game that hit the market this year that is similar to Jaipur but a little bit deeper (but still within your comfort range I believe is: Morels.

Its a card game about foraging through the forest in search of mushrooms to cook. The game even includes cider and butter cards to score more points when you cook them. There is even a basket card that lets you increase your hand size.


By the way, I have seen Battle Line mentioned a lot. Very good game, but it just lacks the charm of Jaipur and Morels. If Morels is hard to find, you can always get it directly from their website at Two Lantern Games.

Jaipur is currently available at coolstuffinc.com
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Roel Theuws
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I'd like to recommend finca. It is definitely a gateway game, has fun mechanisms and plays really well as a 2 player game.
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Campbell
United States
Lake Worth
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I'm definitely still in the "gateway" phase, my wife is more in the "vaguely interested" phase. Pandemic has been our before bed game. We usually lose, but at least we lose together instead of one of us beating the other.
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tim thorson
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Chaska
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Lost cities
Coloretto
Zooloretto
Pandemic
Forbidden island
Dominion
 
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Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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Ascension: Deckbuilding Game works well for 2 and is quick. The expansions make the game longer but the base game alone is pretty fast.
 
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John Squires
United States
Brooklyn
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Hi David. A few of my faves off the top of my head:
Jambo
Torres
Carcassonne: The Castle - a great version, designed just for two.
Odin's Ravens
Fjords
The Rose King
Blokus Duo
 
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Dice bags!
United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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When we want an after-dinner game without a lot of setup, we usually choose:

Utopian Rummy
Magnate
Ra: the Dice Game
Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Piece of Cake
Qwirkle Cubes
Jaipur
Can't Stop
 
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Matt Saldana
United States
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San Juan (wife's favorite game at the moment)
Summoner Wars (very satisfying balance between luck and strategy)
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Rob Steward
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Not mentioned yet...

The Hanging Gardens

A nicely, relaxing game... but not fluff.
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Nelson Stanley
United States
Louisville
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thedacker wrote:
Battle Line

It is done.




There's no use to going to bed mad.


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Kevin B. Smith
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Lots of good suggestions so far, including Jaipur, RTtA, Ra dice, Forbidden Island, Flash Point, Dominion, and perhaps San Juan.

I'll add these fantastic newer games that fit your criteria:

Africana
Roll to the South Pole
 
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