Lee Frank
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My wife and I play games. Mainly Scrabble or "racing" crosswords or Sudoku. But I used to play a lot of other games, miss the variety, and my wife has agreed to try some different types of games.
See thread:
Need help picking 1 or 2 new games for 2013

We just added Ticket to Ride, Dominion, and Forbidden Island so we're going to be "busy" for quite a while, but one of the games we were looking at was the abstract game Qwirkle.

We are both still thinking about Qwirkle -- we wanted to add an "abstract" game. Other than the ubiquitous cards (in our case we play a lot of Pinochle with the kids, and if it's just us, Gin), Chess and Backgammon (don't play either much - usually do Scrabble.) We have two abstract games. Blokus (which is a path/spatial game) and SET (matching), but we don't play either much.

Sally is interested in Qwirkle (similarity to Scrabble), but after all the posts at the above thread and some more looking at the site, I think we need to do more evaluation on what would be the best abstract game to add to our collection.

My initial thought was Qwirkle (because of it's similarity to Scrabble), but many suggested Hive or Ingenious. Other abstracts that came up in the other discussion included: Through the Desert and Tsuro. And if you look at the rankings: Torres, Taluva, Ubongo 3-D, and Hey, That's My Fish! all score highly.

Any thoughts on what are the best abstract games usually for 2 (me and the missus -- older folks), but sometimes 3 or 4 players (our kids, 20 and 30 somethings, or guests)?

We like games where there is strategy, we compete, but don't necessarily "stab each other in the back" or "punch each other in the face." Competing for points, stealing spaces, and blocking (Scrabble) is good. Directly attacking each other (Citadels) is bad.

Looking forward to any help the group can provide.

Thanks!

Lee
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Russ Williams
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Seems like Qwirkle would be right up your alley. It basically has the same mechanisms and tactics as Scrabble, but without the ambiguities/discussions of what is a legal word. And it's good for 2-4.

Through the Desert and Hey That's My Fish are also good for 2 or more but have no randomness or hidden info so they might seem more directly confrontational; though there's no "direct attacking" in the sense of destroying anything the other owns, there's plenty of blocking each other off. TTD has more fiddly setup and scoring.

Blockers! might be worth a look; it often reminds people of Sudoku at first glance. It's for 2-5, but with 2 each player has to play 2 colors, so is rather a different experience than multiplayer.
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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Qwirkle is the right choice, if you want something rather easy to play.

Hive is the much better game if you want to strain your brain, but it´s for 2 players only.

So maybes something inbetween is the right game for you. Not a pure combinatorial brain burner, but still not too flat.
Ingenious would be a game likt this, and not to forget my Topology too.
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David
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Taluva is my favorite game among all genres, but it's hard to find for cheap. If you can find it, snag it.

Qwirkle and Ingenious are both good choices.

My other favorite abstracts (Hive, YINSH, DVONN, TZAAR, The Rose King and ZÈRTZ) are all strictly 2-player.
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I prefer Tridom aka Tri-Ominos instead of Qwirkle. The exact same Core Game but with Tridom you have more options to score Points then with Qwirkle. The only differnce is the colours. I prefer the release from Weico Produkte GmbH cause the materials have much, much better quality then any other releases i´ve seen.

Hive is a great Brainburner for 2 Players. I suggest to get the Hive Pocket cause all expansions are included and its much better to carry.

Torres is one of my favorite abstract games for 3-4 Players. An outsanding Game in my eyes. Always exiting and deep to the Core.

greets hessi
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Lee Frank
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Appreciate all the game ideas, but if people could say "why" they like one particular abstract game or why they like it over another that would be very helpful. Thanks!
 
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Matt Brown
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Dean Adam
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Sorry, re-reading your post you clearly have been reading the ratings etc for games.

I would suggest checking more reviews and trying to get a sense of why people like it there.

Every game has a forum category of reviews. Also you can view all coments for a game, i often read the comments of people who have rated a game i'm intereted in either very high or very low to see what the reasons people dont like it are and whether they matter to me.

There also a couple of very good lists ranking games best, or recommended for 2. I also like the list, what my non gamers think of my games, has some nice observations.

Ps Id also suggest just getting qwirkle. 5 games is way too early yo be angsting about the perfect game, there are so many that are good also, check coolstuff, gamesurplus and boardsandbits amingst others for cheaper prices, my understanding is that amazon is usually pretty pricy relative.



fleefrank22001 wrote:
Appreciate all the game ideas, but if people could say "why" they like one particular abstract game or why they like it over another that would be very helpful. Thanks!


This thread might be relevant:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/914862/what-qualities-do...
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Kendahl Johnson
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Look no further than Carolus Magnus. Great with two, even better with three. Four players becomes a team game which I've never played but looks fun.
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Dean Adam
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Just skimming the abstract rankings and a few stand out for me:

Qwirkles in the top 50, no. 35 I think. A few people have recommended it for you - its easy to pick up, people can relate it to scrable,, its got a few oh no you didn't moments, but doesnt inspire extreme rage. Its a prettysafe choice.

Hey That's My Fish is good, I've played it with kids and adults, it plays pretty quick and for the most part is a hey lets try that again. Its got high screwage potential, and while not a big deal the setup is a slight nuisance (only relative to the play time). Its got the advantage that it can often be picked up pretty cheap.

Through the Desert is great, one of my favourite games but I do feel its very high/tight competition for space and points might be too much for what you're after - I spent a lot of the game trying not to rant and rage at my friends who have just (deliberately screwed me absolutely love it.

Ingenious is recommended on lots of lists, I've had it on my want to play for a while now but haven't tried it myself.
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Dean Adam
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Out of curiousity, why do you feel you need an abstract? Ive got a few, and love them, but brought them for the game, never to 'get an abstract'.
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I really like For the Win; I think it's seriously underrated. It's a 2-player game, but I've played it with a 3-4-player promo expansion, and it scaled very well. I'm uncertain whether this expansion has become widely available by now or not, though.
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Lee Frank
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If you read over this thread.
Need help picking 1 or 2 new games for 2013 You can get a fuller background.

But to sum up: my wife and I play games. Cross-words and Sudoku a lot, Scrabble a moderate amount. Tried Catan and Carcassone, but my wife doesn't like them. I'm trying to find some other games that she'd like, so we can have a bit more variety. She's not nuts about RPGs - playing a character in any genre. And conquering "cardboard territory" doesn't thrill her. So one reason we thought about focusing on the "abstract" territory was that there is no role-playing and "fake" territory.

That said... we are trying a co-op right now Forbidden Island. And we've tried Ticket to Ride and like it. We're going to try Dominion, but I'm not sure how good my odds are with my wife liking that one.
 
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Don Jarmusch

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My wife doesn't play a lot of games, but she will play Lost Cities. Another good one is Battle Line. These are both basically abstract, despite the pasted-on themes, and they are great for two players. Another good abstract that my son enjoys is Arimaa. Check them out here on the Geek.
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Don Jarmusch

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I can't believe I forgot to mention MY two favorite simple abstracts! Quarto and Quoridor. Quarto is only for 2, but Quoridor can be played(and is very different and fun) with 4. I also have to agree with the posts mentioning Torres and Through the Desert.
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Michael Head
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You might consider Pentago. It's quick (only a few minutes per game) and travels well. It's my favorite abstract to play with my wife. It's difficult to stop playing.


However, seeing your Scrabble & crossword liking, I would highly recommend What's My Word? In my opinion, the best two player word game out there... (followed by Word On The Street). It's sort of like Mastermind, but with words (but much more fun than that sounds).
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Dean Adam
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Ummm I made about five posts to that thread, clearly they weren't noteworthy

My comments were meant to be reflecting the context of what you'd said over there.... What have I said that seemed to miss the point?

fleefrank22001 wrote:
Dean Adam
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If you read over this thread.
Need help picking 1 or 2 new games for 2013 You can get a fuller background.

But to sum up: my wife and I play games. Cross-words and Sudoku a lot, Scrabble a moderate amount. Tried Catan and Carcassone, but my wife doesn't like them. I'm trying to find some other games that she'd like, so we can have a bit more variety. She's not nuts about RPGs - playing a character in any genre. And conquering "cardboard territory" doesn't thrill her. So one reason we thought about focusing on the "abstract" territory was that there is no role-playing and "fake" territory.

That said... we are trying a co-op right now Forbidden Island. And we've tried Ticket to Ride and like it. We're going to try Dominion, but I'm not sure how good my odds are with my wife liking that one.
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Kathy Sheets
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Kingdom Builder might be just what you're looking for. It's quite abstract, simple rules, the set up changes with each game so it doesn't get stale, it takes about half an hour for 2p and scales well through the player count. There is more direct interaction with more players but still very fun with just 2.

The only thing I would suggest is to play a few turns each and if one or both of you gets stuck, just start over since first placement is very important. Also, we play with a house rule that if your second draw matches your first, you can redraw until you get a different terrain.

It's a lot of fun and is the game that really pulled my husband head first into the hobby.

And I wanted to say that I have heard many say that Tsuro is no fun with 2.
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William Abbott
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Abalone is great two player abstract game. Also there are some PDFs in the files section which allow up to six players.
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Lee Frank
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Dean Adam
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Other posts were read and appareciated (thumbed up), but did not have any questions in them. Only question you asked was "Out of curiousity, why do you feel you need an abstract?" Tried to answer your question re: why an abstract. Nothing missed the point.
 
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Lee Frank
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Thanks for all the posters and all the comments!
 
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Konrad Gill
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Tigris & Euphrates
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Somebody above suggested Pentago. GREAT suggestion. But you should look at the multiplayer version that handles 2 to 4 players as oppoesd to just 2. Multiplayer Pentago.

You had the idea of Tsuro. Not bad, but I find it dull. A MUCH MUCH better "woven path"game is Indigo.

Kingdom Builder is also an excellent choice for an easy but challenging abstract.


You mentioned Torres. That s perhaps my favorite abstract and is very good. But as a beginner, I think your wife may enjoy Indigo a tad better. Indigo has very few rules and can be learned in 4 minutes.


Finally, one last piece of advice. Don't overload your wife too fast. You could easily turn her off. Enjoy the games you just ordered for a while.
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Shelia Wright
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I have 2 suggestions for you and I LOVE them both!!

YINSH

Black Box

I played these both at work and they are both great mental games. Black box is similiar to mastermind in that one player creates a secret layout for the other to guess as quick as possible. Yinsh has a lot of blocking and back and forth action. I really love them both. I played blackbox so much I had to get black box +.
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Lee Frank
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Thanks again for all the great ideas.

Went to our 2 local game shops.

Games in the running right now are:
What's My Word
Qwirkle
Through the Desert
Hey, that's my fish!
Tsuro
Ubongo or Ubongo 3D

Going through video reviews and trying to find copies to play.
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