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Subject: Tally Ho! or Lost Cities rss

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Kevin McF
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I am looking for a two player game to give to my brother in law for Christmas. I've had one gamer tell me that Tally Ho! is their favorite two player but I've heard a lot of good things about Lost Cities. It is going to a family of gamers who are just looking for some two player games. Let me know what you think would be better.
 
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Matt Davis
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Well, I really enjoy both, although I think Tally Ho! is the better game of the two. LC seems to have less skill involved, just some minor tactical things, and a bit of bluffing and trying to read your opponent. Tally Ho! seems very luck driven, and yes, some games of it are decided merely by the tile distribution. However, you usually get one really interesting board position every game. It's as if you flip over tiles for a while, and then suddenly a miniature chess game breaks out. Not too deep, but enough to be really interesting. I think for more serious gamers, I'd go with TH!. On a side note, I've also heard many a good thing about Jambo, although I don't know it myself.
 
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♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
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With all respect due, I disagree with Matt. I prefer Lost Cities, because the random distribution of cards is much easier to overcome than a random distribution of tiles. I've only played about 3 games of Tally Ho!, but in 2 of them, the bears were stuck behind the trees.

Lost Cities has some great tensions, but Tally Ho!, less so. For me, at least.
 
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J. Green
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I have Tally Ho and have played it and Lost Cities. If they are looking for a game to play with their kids, I would suggest Tally Ho. If it's going to be two adults mostly, I'd suggest Lost Cities. Kids tolerate the randomness of the Tally Ho setup better than adults who like strategy games; however, LC has more replay value for two adults, especially a man and woman, in my opinion.
 
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shumyum
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If he likes card games (especially Gin or Cribbage), I'd go with Lost Cities. If he likes Chess or Othello, go with Tally Ho. If he's a Monopoly fan, go with Jambo. How's that for pigeon-holing??? I also think Carcassonne is a great "gateway" two player game that can also be played with more players.

My preference is Lost Cities and I think it has more strategy than Tally Ho, but this might be my card game bias.

Edit: I agree that Tally Ho might be better with kids.
 
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Dane Peacock
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I agree with Isaac that Lost Cities has a bit more tension. It comes in the form of deciding when to play a card and in hoping to get the right cards as the draw deck gets lower and lower.

I agree with everything Matt said about Tally Ho! It is a quick tactical game with a good dose of randomness.

I like Tally Ho! quite a bit more than Lost Cities, but according to the ratings and comments here, I am certainly in the minority.

 
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Allen Vailliencourt
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My wife and I picked up LC last month and we enjoy the game. It's not her favorite but I do like it cause it plays quickly, has some nice tension moments in deciding when to play and how to play it. I've never played TH though so I can't comment on that...
 
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Tom Key
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shumyum wrote:
If he's a Monopoly fan, go with Jambo.


How's that?

Personally, IMHO Jambo is far more interesting than LC. Not played TH tho. LC is glorified Rummy with a 5 suit deck of cards (heck, there's even 13 in a suit, numbered 1-10 and three court cards... ahem, 'handshakes'.) Its ok, but theres more lasting depth and variety of play in Jambo...

Agree with Carc tho also. Plays 2 very well and more if needs be...
 
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Pedro
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I don't know about tally ho! because I've never played it but I can tell you one thing about Lost Cities's alleged randomness: played a few games in BSW yesterday and lost by a huge advantage to a very good player with a very good win percentage...
 
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Dennis Ku
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As good as Lost Cities is, since I picked up Battle Line, it doesn't get played anymore. I find Battle Line to be just as easy to learn, but deeper in strategy and with tougher decisions. It's just as light, though, and palys in 15-20 minutes, at the most, once you have the rules down pat.

Still, you can't go wrong with Lost Cities. Have fun!

(alternatively, there's Wallenstein...)
 
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Tom Volpe
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I haven't played Lost Cities or Tally Ho! but I have played Jambo. I really like this game. It's like playing an exciting game of magic the gathering but without that feeling of dread you feel when you think of all the money you have spent/wasted on the cards in your deck. Lots of fun, great replay value, I can ply this game all day (and the games a fairly quick, around 30 minutes each). The endgame rule that gives your opponent one last chance to outscore you makes for some great endings.
 
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Mark Mokszycki
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I own both Lost Cities and Tally Ho! and I find Lost Cities to be the better game. However, being very simple games, both can wear out their welcome if played regularly. Lost Cities, especially, is very addictive at first.

Of the Kosmos line, I've found Babel to be the one that has stood the test of time the best.
 
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Kevin McF
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Just to reiterate, this is a gaming couple (they're the ones who introduced me to Puerto Rico). I already have Caracssonne and want some variety when I go to their house. I will have to look at Babel and Jambo, though, I must admit I cringe when I hear that a game is like Magic the Gathering.
 
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Tom Key
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Yeah, I've never played MtG, and would probably also cringe, but its a long way from wizards in my book...
 
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Brian Campbell
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Another good one to consider is Kahuna. It's a fairly abstract, but it's easy to learn, and there's a good deal of strategy packed into a small package. You can try it out online at http://www.yucata.de/ ; I've heard the designer, Günter Cornett, plays on there a lot. I also like Odin's Ravens, though I don't think it's as good as Kahuna. From what I've heard about the other games in the line, it sounds like there are really an awful lot of good games in the Kosmos 2-player line.
 
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Tom Volpe
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Just because a game is simple doesn't mean that gamers won't like it.

As for the Magic the Gathering comparison to Jambo...maybe it was not a very good one. Jambo has many of the fun mechanics of MtG (cards that give special abilities, cards that counter these, etc. you never know what your opponent has waiting for you). The games are exciting and quick. The rules are simple (the rules for special cards being printed on the cards themselves). You won't be flipping through rules with this game. Simple, elegant, fun, pretty cheap, how can you go wrong.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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Jon W
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pitris wrote:
I can tell you one thing about Lost Cities's alleged randomness: played a few games in BSW yesterday and lost by a huge advantage to a very good player with a very good win percentage...

I'm not sure what to really make of BSW and win rates, but the top players of LC there generally win about 60% of their games. Contrast this with a rate of about 75% for Tally Ho/Halali.

Further comparisons (2-player only) include: rates of 85+% for Attika and Carcassonne, and 75-80% for Transamerica, Yinsh, Streetsoccer, San Juan, St. Petersburg. I didn't go further, but just looking at this metric (and yes, it isn't perfect), LC may have the *lowest* "skill rate" among all BSW games.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics, I know, but I think it's clear that LC has a *lot* of luck, even compared to TH. Which is not to say LC is a bad game (I dislike it and would not recommend it to anyone, but that's largely beside the point, and not really so much for the luck issue), but I'd hate to see the notion that LC is a game of skill in the same sense as any of these other fine 2-player games gain any traction here on BGG.
 
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Jon W
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Just to add my recommendations:

Attika (great with 2, less so with more, but...nice to have the option)
Any of the Gipf games (but of course they're pure abstracts)
LOTR: Confrontation
Blue Moon
Jambo
Dungeon Twister
Starship Catan
San Juan (scales to 4)
Domaine (again, scalable)

Never been that impressed with much of the Kosmos line, really. Not that they're bad, but they just never have much spark for me. Jambo is an exception. And Lost Cities...eesh, don't get me started.
 
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