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Subject: Need help picking 1 or 2 new games for 2013 rss

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Lee Frank
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Possibly looking into a new board game or 2 for the new year. Must be OK with just 2 or 3 players. Prefer games that can be done in about 1 hour.

Current faves are Scrabble, Settlers of Catan, and Carcassone.

Anyone play the following or have suggestions?

The short list:
1. Ticket to Ride
2. Dominion
3. Pandemic
4. Puerto Rico
5. Qwirkle
6. Small World
7. Citadels
8. Race for the Galaxy

Probably not a pick due to not being as good with just 2 players:
9. 7 Wonders

Probably not a pick due to game length:
10. Agricola
11. Power Grid
12. Arkham Horror
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James
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"Need help picking one or two games?"

No-brainer. Definitely pick two.

Kidding. It really depends on what kinds of games interest you as the options here are definitely very different. Puerto Rico and Ticket to Ride are classics, but of the choices you've listed, I'd make the strongest case for Race for the Galaxy. It definitely fits your time frame and player count. Though you'll hear warnings about how off putting learning the iconography is, my decidedly non-gamer wife had no trouble at all when I printed off a helpful player aid from this site. It offers considerable depth for a pretty smooth gameplay once you're over the hump in learning the game.

As an added bonus, you can try the game out by downloading the excellent app from this thread. It helped me learn the game and sold me on buying it after a few plays. It is free but you'll be moved to donate after seeing what a great job the creator, Keldon Jones, did with it.


You are correct in excluding items 9 - 12 owing to player count or time frame, I believe. Good luck and have fun!
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Jack Dowden
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Ticket to Ride - has at least one board specifically designed for two players and lots of my casual gamer friends like it

Dominion - plays well enough with two and good with three

Pandemic - good co-op...not sure how much fun it would be with two. I'd probably opt for Forbidden Island. Less expensive and plays better with two.

Puerto Rico - You're traveling into Euros here. Settlers and Carcassonne are good games but light. You're starting to move in the right direction here. A solid choice.

Small World - nice game but lots of conflict - plays better with more players.

Race for the Galaxy - good enough with two...not my favorite but might fit your games

7 Wonders - not good at all with two or three - more is better (IMHO)

Agricola - there is a two-player specific version out now

Power Grid - great game - a classic - but won't play with two

Arkham Horror - can't recommend with two.


Your best picks IMHO based on what you like:
Dominion - nice game for two
Puerto Rico - Good intro to Euro games
Ticket to Ride - but get the Switzerland expansion designed for 2
Forbidden Island over Pandemic

Good luck
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COLOSSUS
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I would have to say go with Puerto Rico. It's one of my favorites. It may be considered a little bit more 'hard core' than the games you mentioned but my wife and daughter enjoy playing it and they are not gamers by any means.

Ticket to Ride and Small World are good. They are easier type games. They would be my tie for second.
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Moe45673
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Reconsider Agricola. It's currently one of the best games I own and everyone I've played it with, regardless of their interest in gaming, get addicted to it. I was even once in a situation where my non-gaming wife all but forced me to play it with her.

With 2 players can play in an hour easy and with 3 players, if you keep the AP down, can be played near that time frame too.

If you're only buying 1 game all year, Agricola is a great choice.
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David B
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If Ticket to Ride intrigues you, you might want to look at

Airlines Europe.

Its by the same designer, but it has a bit more meat to it while still easily teachable to the casual crowd. Much better game IMO.


But, if its Ticket to Ride you really want, Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries is specifically designed for 2 to 3 players.

For straight up route building, I prefer Thurn and Taxis to Ticket to Ride. That said, I would much rather play Airlines Europe than eith of the above. Joel Eddy, of Drive Thru Reviews, proclaimed Airlines Europe the best gateway game he has ever played...bar none. I agree with him
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Chris Korfmann
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Of those listed that I have played:

Ticket to Ride - A great game pleasing to most. Can be played very fast if everyone knows what they are doing. Not great with 2 people though.

Pandemic - Fine with two people. You can each play two roles and that is helpful as long as you can keep the order straight.

Qwirkle - Fun if you enjoy abstracts.

Small World - OK a time or two, I find it to be a dumbed down version of Risk, but the different faction combos are interesting at least.

Power Grid - Not a short game, but can be played faster if everyone knows what they are doing. Could be fun with two.
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Jonathan Warren
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pfctsqr wrote:
If Ticket to Ride intrigues you, you might want to look at

Airlines Europe.

Its by the same designer, but it has a bit more meat to it while still easily teachable to the casual crowd. Much better game IMO.

That's a +1 from me too.
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Michael Perez
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Welcome to the hobby.
From the short list of games, it sounds like you are new to gaming. Because of that I'd recommend to stick with gateway games until you are ready to take a bigger plunge. There's alot of terrific games out there, but it is easy to jump into the deep end too soon and get overwhelmed and turned off to a fantastic game.
There's a lot of different mechanics that make the games unique. Enjoy the adventure.

Here's the order I'd recommend:
First grouping
1. Ticket to Ride (classic gateway, < 5 minutes to learn, would recommend getting the 1910 expansion, gives you bigger cards and more routes)

2nd grouping
2. Dominion
3. Pandemic (challenging co-op)
7. Citadels

3rd grouping
4. Puerto Rico (great game, good for when you are ready for a big step up)
6. Small World (medium step up)

May want to re-think
5. Qwirkle (< 5 minutes to learn, its a nice game, good as a quick filler but I think it is a bit too light weight)
8. Race for the Galaxy (a lot of iconography on the cards which can make the first games slow, most people start with San Juan and then graduate up to this one, San Juan is the little brother of Puerto Rico, there is a pc version that you can try first to see if you like it or not)

Good luck
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Tiamat
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I don't think I would pick Citadels for 2-3 players.
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Kathleen Nugent
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MajikJack wrote:
Power Grid - great game - a classic - but won't play with two


Power Grid plays fine with just 2 players. And think about it this way: with just two players, no game takes very long. It's usually the addition of more players that makes a game's time expand.

Both Dominion and Race for the Galaxy are games using only cards. If you want a variety and are going to buy two games, I'd choose one of those and then make the second game a board game or something different from cards. But Dominion and Race for the Galaxy are COMPLETELY different from each other in all ways except their cards. Just my opinion, but I think you'd prefer Dominion.

Qwirkle is fun, but it's light. Anyone can learn to play it, so if you need a game to play with your grandmother, Qwirkle would be it.

I'm another gamer who prefers Thurn and Taxis to any version of Ticket to Ride.
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Sean P
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I've played most of the games you have on your list and I like Citadels, Arkham and 7 Wonders the most. But Citadels and 7 Wonders play better with more people.

I think Arkham plays fine with 2, but it is a long game. If you're interested in that that theme with a cooperative aspect, you could also consider A Touch of Evil and Witch of Salem.
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Bob McFadden
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Ticket to Ride is a classic, and as mentioned I believe that Ticket to ride SwitI is a 2-player game. You cannot go wrong with this selection.

I personally think that there are better "deck-building" games available now than Dominion ...

I am not sure how Pandemic plays with 2-players but they are planning a re-release of it and if you decide to go for it, I would hold out for the new release as it is rumoured to provide 2 new roles. I am not a fan of Pandemic myself and also find that there are now better co-operative games available such as Flash Point: Fire Rescue.

I personally would not invest in new copy of Puerto Rico as there are also better worker placement games available now but I would still recommend San Juan as a light and fun game, which is an hour or less and plays well with 2 or 3 players.

Qwirkle is a wonderful game, and would be like scrabble in a number of ways. I think it is shorter than 1 hour though.

I love Small World but i think it is also more than an hour on average.

I also love Citadels - It is always fun but I have never played it as a 2-player game and I am not sure how much fun it would be with 2 or 3 players.

I am not a fan of Race for the Galaxy myself but it does have a huge fan base ... I would strongly recommend that you checkout Core Worlds though which i have played as a 2-player game. It has a fixed game length (10 turns) and is much more enjoyable for me than Race for the Galaxy.

At the risk of making your list longer rather than shorter, I think you should also look into:

Seasons, Kingdom Builder, Glen More and Fealty ... all of which I have played with 2 or 3 players and they are all less than or around an hour.

I would also discourage you from the 3 you mentioned are too long for that very reason although I enjoy all 3 of them.

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All of the games your considering are really good! I've owned or at least played most of them.

Dominion works great with 2-3 players and is one of my favorite games. However the base game on its own can get boring after a couple dozen plays. If you like it enough to play it a few dozens times there are a wealth of expansions available though.

Pandemic is a great example of what a co-op should be. It works just fine with 2 players, and I think it's a good game to add to any collection.

Puerto Rico is amazing and the 2 player variant works well. It's less cutthroat with 2-3 players though, so if you want the full gambit of indirect screwage, you might look elsewhere. '

I actually like 7 wonders with 2-3 players. With 2-3 there's only 1 copy of every card and you end up receiving each hand at least 2 times. Because of that you have to pay a lot more attention to what cards your opponents are likely to grab, which I like.

Race for the Galaxy works really well with 2 players, but is pretty hard to learn. Out of all of the choices though I think this one has the best replay value on its own and works well with 2-3 players.
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Joe Salamone
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I guess I'm in the minority, but I enjoy 7 WONDERS as a 2-player game. It is one of the games that my wife and I play most frequently, close behind DOMINION (and various expansions), which was our most-played game of 2012.
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Lee Frank
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Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Lee Frank
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It looks like, given the aforementioned criteria and all the suggestions, the new short list is:
1. Ticket to Ride (or Airlines Europe, Thurn and Taxis, TtR Switzerland,or TtR Nordic Cultures)
2. Dominion
3. Pandemic (or Forbidden Island Or Flash Point: Fire Rescue)
4. Race for the Galaxy (or Core Worlds)
5. San Juan (or Puerto Rico)
Special thanks for those who suggested Tsuro, Munchkin, and all the other games.
 
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Shane Larsen
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Just to clear the air here: Citadels plays incredibly well with 2 and 3 players. I only recommend against it with a high player count as it gets too long. With two players, it's one of the best game-of-wits games available--maybe the best, IMO.

Those of you who "don't think" it would play well with a small play count, but haven't tried it, should definitely try it. It will surprise you.
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Moe45673
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thedacker wrote:
Just to clear the air here: Citadels plays incredibly well with 2 and 3 players. I only recommend against it with a high player count as it gets too long. With two players, it's one of the best game-of-wits games available--maybe the best, IMO.

Those of you who "don't think" it would play well with a small play count, but haven't tried it, should definitely try it. It will surprise you.


Once again, I can +1 a thedacker comment. Citadels with 2 is not a party game but a game of wits. With 4+, it shifts to the filler/party mode
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Jonathan Harrison
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thedacker wrote:
Just to clear the air here: Citadels plays incredibly well with 2 and 3 players. I only recommend against it with a high player count as it gets too long. With two players, it's one of the best game-of-wits games available--maybe the best, IMO.

Those of you who "don't think" it would play well with a small play count, but haven't tried it, should definitely try it. It will surprise you.

Shane is absolutely right. I second everything he says about 2- and 3-player Citadels.

What's more, I prefer to play 3-player Citadels using the 2-player rules and, instead of 8 role cards, the following 12 role cards:

1.0__Assassin (or Witch)
2.0__Thief
2.5__Tax Collector
3.0__Magician (or Wizard)
4.0__King
5.0__Bishop (or Abbot)
6.0__Merchant
6.5__Alchemist
7.0__Architect
7.5__Navigator
8.0__Warlord (or Diplomat)
9.0__Artist

The 3 starred (#.5) role cards from the expansion don't conflict with the 8 base cards; nor does card 9. It's a perfect setup if you want what my gaming group wants: a way of playing Citadels 3-player using the 2-player rules.

This is my group's preferred way of playing Citadels; there's a consensus among us that it brings the best of the 2- and 3-player together: 2-player rules with 3-player guessing.

Best of all, Citadels is very inexpensive to buy. They priced this one right, and I don't know that I've ever seen it unavailable.
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Cory Hoover
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Get Jaipur! Awesome two player game! Only lasts half an hour, but it's so fun I play it over and over. I got several non-gamer friends hooked on it.
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Seth Brown
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I've played everything on your list except Qwirkle.

For 2 players, Dominion and Race for the Galaxy would be my suggestions. Both fit all your criteria. Race takes a few games to learn the iconography, but then will work great.

Puerto Rico is a little longer than what you're looking for, and TtR, Pandemic, Small World, and Citadels all suffer when played 2p.



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Lee Frank
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Ok! I'll keep Citadels on the list!

So it looks like, given the aforementioned criteria and all the suggestions, including the new ones (lotta 2-player Citadel fans out there.)

The new short list is:
1. Ticket to Ride (or Airlines Europe, Thurn and Taxis, TtR Switzerland,or TtR Nordic Cultures)
2. Dominion
3. Pandemic (or Forbidden Island Or Flash Point: Fire Rescue)
4. Citadels
5. Race for the Galaxy (or Core Worlds)
6. San Juan (or Puerto Rico)
Special thanks for those who suggested Tsuro, Forbidden Island, Jaipur, Munchkin, and all the other games.

FWIW: I am an "old" Old School gamer (40+ years old). Played D&D in grade-school. Played Euchre and sat at the "chess geek" table in High School. Enjoyed "Broadsides" and "Dark Tower". Was a member of my college Science Fiction club and played a lot of Wiz War and Talismin. One of my faves that I never could find enough players for was Mayfair's Sanctuary.

My wife likes games, Scrabble, Sudoku, and NY Times Crosswords are her favorites. She played a lot of Risk in college. She'll play pinochle, gin, or gin-rummy. I've introduced her to Catan (she's OK with it, but will pick Scrabble over it everytime.) She wasn't crazy about Carcassonne.

Normally it's just us. Sometimes one of Sally's daughters. Sometimes another adult friend or couple. But usually just us, or 1 or 2 others. A game that is good with 2 and better with 3 or 4 is better for us than a game that is lousy with 2 and great with 3 or 4.

We're older, so games that don't last as long or can be finished in one session are better for us. That said, too easy or too "lack of strategy" isn't good either. We tried Banagrams, and it is OK, but both of us still prefer a drawn out Scrabble match.
 
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Lee Frank
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Given the above:

Any other final thoughts or suggestions?

Anyone feel strongly over:
1. Ticket to Ride vs. Airlines Europe vs. Thurn and Taxis vs. TtR Switzerland vs. TtR Nordic Cultures
2. Dominion vs. Race for the Galaxy (cards only)
Kathleen Nugent
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recommended just picking either Dominion or Race for the Galaxy because they are both "cards only" games, and then picking one other.
Bob McFadden
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suggested Core Worlds instead of RftG. Thoughts?
3. Pandemic vs. Forbidden Island vs. Flash Point: Fire Rescue
4. Citadels
5. San Juan vs. Puerto Rico
 
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Jon Elliott
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My choice for 1 hour or less, good with 2 or 3, based on your favs and list would be;


1. Pandemic - My gateway co-op! Great game and great inroduction into the world of co-op, which I originally thought I would hate. My wife even plays this with me. I believe it plays great with any number, even two.

2. Small World - IMO this is an underated game, and plays well with any number. I enjoy two & three player!

3. Ticket to Ride - Very light and easy to play, but I have a great time playing everytime it comes to the table. I like Ticket with at least three however.

Not my top 3 from your list, but based off of your requirements and prefrences these came to mind.
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