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Subject: $100 to spend on 2player games rss

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Jeff James
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So tonight i was playing Qwirkle with my wife and 5 year old. As 5 year olds are prone to do she gave up halfway through and the wife says to me we need better two player games for us. So I say yeah we should but thought "sweet Jesus my prayers have come true! She finally has asked for some meatier games!
So the restrictions are it has to be very good 2player game can play more but needs to be best with two. The games will be for me and my wife to play together so I don't want too cut-throat type of games. We are pretty competitive so too much conflict would be bad. Right now the order is The Castles of Burgundy, Jaipur, and Escape: the curse of the temple. To give you a window into what I'm thinking. Some of the other games I thought of with reason why they wouldn't work(I think):
Dominion- looked too "nerdy" for the wife
7wonders- doesn't look interesting
Agricola- too heavy for us

Give me a reason change my order
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jane doe
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It is just me and my husband most of the time so I can tell you what works well in our house.

Arkham Horror - Excellent game that we leave set up for days. Our kids leave the pieces alone but love coming and seeing what monsters we are facing!
Agricola - This game is tough going for us. I can see the appeal and really love the thought and process of the game but there is no fun in it. It is a slug fest.
Clash of Cultures - Excellent game. Although competitive occasionally my husband and I start with the house rule of no military. This way it is just wits and advances that see the winner. Most times though we allow military.
Descent: Journeys in the Dark - We like this game. We have set it up so that we are both heros and play the overlord together. We both believe we are honest enough to play fairly and he still usually kicks our butts!
Race for the Galaxy OMG. I think I would like this game if my brain could just get around it. We have sat down 4 or 5 times and tried to play but with us both being tired we usually get 15 minutes in and give up!
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Homesteaders - great worker placement, lighter than Agricola, wild west themed

Alhambra - wonderful tile laying game
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Hive is great 2 player game that should be in every collection. Especially the non expensive Hive Pocket Version for taking anywhere to play and with all the expansions already included.

Kingsburg is a suggestion i guess your wife and you would really enjoy to play. Mine do with pleasure and also do i. It´s a great and very innovative Game with Dice as worker placement, a good ammount of strategy, lots of replayability and variety wich can be further increased with the expansion included. It plays very well with 2 and every Number of players. Also your kid will be able to play if you teaching the game with patience. A good choice for next step after Qwirkle. In my opinion this Game offers a perfect balance between luck, strategy, building, placing, thinking, planing. A very unique, special and diversified game out there in the world of boardgames.

The Castles of Burgundy should stay in your order. It´s a very great Game for 2 but consider that it takes long to play can sometimes be a little bit dry and exhausting with many possibilities to pay attention at. A Stefan Feld Game down to the Core. He´s a Master of possibilities. His Trajan goes a step further. I didnt played Jaipur so i cannot give an advice. Escape isn´t a game to play very often. It plays in a couple of minutes and repeats itself. Not a game i like cause the replayability i want isn´t guaranteed. Agricola is a good game but in my opinion it´s very fiddly, very long, exhausting and more like a solitaire puzzle than a game. My suggestion is to go step by step after Qwirkle and dont get just for ratings sake something extremely heavy like Agricola, Arkham Horror, Decent or other Games that i guess your wife will possibly dont like to play.

greets Hessi
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William Abbott
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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small is not as heavy as its big brother, but still great fun and can get quite tight at the end.

Quarto as well as a great game, it looks great on the coffee table.

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Jeff Meunier
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jacevy wrote:
Agricola ... It is a slug fest.

Agreed. It's a wonderful game, if only it weren't so... stressful.

+1 Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small. It's a highly focused derivative of Agricola that has a much higher fun factor. We play that one almost every day since I bought it a few weeks ago. Get the More Buildings expansion to go with it. I made my own tiles and it adds a lot of variability and replayability.

Shameless plug: See the files section in Agricola: ACBaS for a PDF I made for DIY blank tiles.
 
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Chris Grandy
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I have to respectfully disagree with Murray...King of Tokyo isn't a fun game with only 2-players.

Some games that have worked well for me 2-player are...

Stone Age - A "simpler" agricola; scales great.
Castles of Burgundy - Again, scales great for two.
Carcasonne - Excellent two player game.
Lost Cities or Battle Line - Two card games with very similar mechanics. I prefer Battle Line, but the misses LOVES Lost Cities (Not to be sexist, but I think all "non-gamer" girls new to gaming love Lost Cities).
Pandemic - Excellent two player co-op game.
Glen More - Uses a dummy player, but still a solid 2-player game.
Ticket to Ride: Europe - Ticket to Ride is a must for any game collection, Euro adds stations, so little to no blocking of routes; meets your non-cut throat requirement.
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age - Dice driven "civ-lite" game. Plays great with two players.
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Jeff616 wrote:
I don't want too cut-throat type of games. We are pretty competitive so too much conflict would be bad.


Well, even if you said so, check out Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. It works very well with 2 people, very well with 3 people and very well with 4 people. A game takes about an hour, and we have always had a blast when we have played. If you like Terry Pratchett, the more reason to take a look.

And it is really the denizens of Ankh-Morpork (or runaway magic) that is doing bad things, not the other player(s).. :-)
 
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Pandemic

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Tim Connolly
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I am also in a very similar place to you, being a family of 3 (although soon to be 4) with a three year old. We recently made the jump into board gaming as a hobby and it sounds like we've got similar tastes and concerns (we really hate games that involve being out to screw each other over), so he's what we've really enjoyed so far :

Pandemic - Great to be able to work together against the game, highly satisfying to win together.
Flash Point: Fire Rescue - Also co-op and our son LOVES the little firefighters and wants to be involved. I think he'll grow to love this one quickly as well.
Lords of Waterdeep - Works very well with 2 players, competitive but very little 'fighting'. Theme is fun but not overwhelming. We LOVE this one.
The Castles of Burgundy - Similar to Waterdeep, simple and fun to play together, bit long in the setup though. But mechanics make you make some interesting choices.
Ticket to Ride - Doesn't work super great as a two player game, little too easy for both people to get all of their routes done. But it shines as a 'family' game for us, since our son can collect/count cards and buy trains (even if he doesn't have a route). He LOVES this game and begs to play it daily.
Dominion - The theme is actually really light and after 1 or two plays is hardly noticeable. Thing that is really great about it is that you can tailor the game to your likes, if you don't want to attack each other, just don't include those cards in your game, done.
Suburbia - Just got this one recently, so still learning it, but we've had a good time with it so far. Pretty simple to learn, with lots of replayability. Only problem we've had with it were the secret goals swinging the game too much.

I would not vote for :

King of Tokyo - My son loves it, but as a two player game it's very, VERY dry. Especially if you don't like head to head attacking (as whoever gets Tokyo will just stay there and collect the points and win).
Agricola - Heavy, heavy, heavy. Tried to graduate from Waterdeep to this and I think we're both happier with a bit simpler less aggressive version of worker placement.

Enjoy the jump into gaming, it's been wonderful for us!
 
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Manary Corte
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Ghost Stories - An excellent cooperative game. Works just great with two.

Trajan - A Stefan Feld Game, just like The Castles of Burgundy, but deeper and better, IMHO.

Ticket to Ride: Europe with Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 expansion to play with the Big Cities. Makes the game very suitable for 2 players. Another option is getting the Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland, because the Swiss map is great with 2-3 players.

Seasons - An awesome game from 2012 which plays very well - and better - with 2.

Agents of SMERSH - Very fun coop game. It have became one of my favourites to play with few players, and it plays very well with 2 too.

On the heavier side, Mage Knight Board Game. It is one of my favourites of all time, and it doesn't take really a long time to play with 2. The downtime is not an issue as well and there are cooperative scenarios. This is a gem worth trying.
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Jeff James
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I love the discworld books will have to look closer at it.
 
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Manary Corte
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Take a look at the following thread about playing Agents of SMERSH with the wife:

Agents of SMERSH - my wife's favorite game
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Jeff616 wrote:
Give me a reason change my order

Your order is fine.

I think Jaipur is a great choice. Light, but interesting. I prefer it over Lost Cities, although LC is good too.

The Castles of Burgundy uses dice in a clever way, and the only cutthroat aspect is grabbing a tile someone else wanted, so it should work that way. It seemed overwhelming at first, with too many options, but once you get into it that sort of goes away. It ran longer than I wanted it to, but hopefully with more plays it would move faster...but I think it could inspire some AP (analysis paralysis). It felt somewhat abstract, but if you like Qwirkle that shouldn't be a problem.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a fun, chaotic, potentially stressful (in a good way) co-op. It wouldn't be my first co-op choice, but if the real-time dice rolling really appeals to you, it does that very well.

I don't see any reason to try to change your mind on Dominion, 7 Wonders, or Agricola. They're all good games, but probably not for you right now. Dominion would be my first choice for you, of those three.

Ticket to Ride is a classic family game, but I much prefer Africana in that niche, and it works well with 2p.

For co-ops that are meatier than Escape, Pandemic and Flash Point: Fire Rescue are both solid choices, depending on which theme appeals to you more. Or Forbidden Island if you want to go lighter and with an adventure theme.
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Trevor Kindree
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I'll throw another voice in here:

Castles of Burgundy - fantastic game at 2, 3, and 4 player. Not too cutthroat, good variety in strategy. If you have individual baggies for the different tile types (I'm annoyed it didn't come with them), setup goes much faster (everybody gets a couple baggies to put out).

Agricola: All Creatures Big And Small - Avoid the big brother if you're only playing with 2, this is a fantastic game (or a gateway to the bigger game). Again, recommend the expansion.

Pandemic- I haven't played Escape, something's been preventing me. if you're looking at Pandemic, hold off for the remake(unless you hate the art of it). The "It's the future!" look of it actually helps some people get into it more, less thought about it being "now" and our current state of affairs

Dominion- The theme is there, but it's not important and goes away after a short while. It can be very friendly (Intrigue, Prosperity, Cornucopia), or extremely hostile (Dark Ages, Seaside).

Take a quick look at Rivals For Catan, Hive Pocket, and possibly Seasons. RfC is a fantastic 2 player only, HP is another 2P only (and you can make house rules for simple child-friendly games...). Seasons has gone over spectacularly well as a 2p game with my GF, not too cut throat, the theme is done well, but if she's not interested in the fantasy aspect that could be a problem.
 
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Matt Brown
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muzmoz wrote:
King of TokyoGreat for two. Even better because the three of us love this one (with a couple of small tweaks to scoring)


Needs tweaks to be decent with 2 and in a land of great two player games, I would much rather play something else.

I'll add to the chorus for The Castles of Burgundy. Suburbia is also worth checking out.
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Armand
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Don't change your order!

You've got Jaipur for when it's been a long day, CoB is going to make a true gamer of your wife, and Escape is going to be a ton of fun for the whole fam.

But put Stone Age at the top of your wishlist, for the reasons given above and because it's the sneaky/fun-est way to teach multiplication tables and short division you will ever sneak up on your daughter with.

If she ends up actually liking math for $35... that could greenlight a lot more game purchases...whistle
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Andy Leber
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Someone mentioned earlier Lost Cities (2p only). I think it's excellent if you like something close to traditional card games (play a card/draw a card). Lost Cities: the Boardgame (2-4p) is also excellent with 2.

(You only need one or the other, most likely)

I'd also throw a vote for something co-op like Pandemic or Forbidden Island. (with the latter being the lighter of the two.)
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I'll agree that King of Tokyo isn't the greatest with 2 players. also, 7 Wonders is a great game, but doesn't work super great with anything less than 4 players, IMO.

And now for a few recommendations:
Carcassonne is easy to learn, and scales well from 2 to 5 players. With just 2 players, I might caution you that it can get pretty cut-throat.

Sentinels of the Multiverse plays great with just 2; you each get to play 2 heroes! It's a great co-op, so not much worry about competitiveness in this one. Be sure to go for the Enhanced Edition.

 
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Rich Charters
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Jeff616 wrote:
So tonight i was playing Qwirkle with my wife and 5 year old. As 5 year olds are prone to do she gave up halfway through and the wife says to me we need better two player games for us. So I say yeah we should but thought "sweet Jesus my prayers have come true! She finally has asked for some meatier games!
So the restrictions are it has to be very good 2player game can play more but needs to be best with two. The games will be for me and my wife to play together so I don't want too cut-throat type of games. We are pretty competitive so too much conflict would be bad. Right now the order is The Castles of Burgundy, Jaipur, and Escape: the curse of the temple. To give you a window into what I'm thinking. Some of the other games I thought of with reason why they wouldn't work(I think):
Dominion- looked too "nerdy" for the wife
7wonders- doesn't look interesting
Agricola- too heavy for us

Give me a reason change my order
I like your order. Castles of Burgundy is a fun game. Jaipur is a great/quick card game. I've never tried Escape so I can't help you there.

I would recommend Agricola. I haven't played it 2P, but to me it's the best board game yet designed. It provides a feeling of despair and urgency when you realize that you can't get everything done that you want, and then a feeling of joy when you are able to accomplish something. I don't think it's overly heavy. It's just a good worker placement game. To make it lighter, play the family game. the real complexity comes from the cards. What we do is pass out 3 occupation cards, and 3 improvement cards to each player before the game starts. You read all 6 cards and decide which occupation and which improvement you want to keep. This way you get a taste for the cards, but it doesn't slow down the game. This helps to graduatlly get to know the cards, which are the strongest part of the game, IMO.

Castles of Burgundy theme seemed a little pasted on to me. When I play Agricola, I feel like I'm building a farm. When I play Castles of Burgundy, I feel like I'm rolling dice to collect tiles that I then place on another board.....I don't get the satisfaction of building an estate. I would recommend Agricola over Castles of Burgundy. However, I'm not trying to dis Castles. I'm very glad that I own the game. I would recommend you get both....eventually.

+1 Ticket to Ride - it's such an easy and relatively quick game. But it's also just plain fun! Your 5 year old will be able to handle TTR soon. I should know.....our "new-born" is now a sophomore in college!! (and all in the blink of an eye!). Until your 5-year-old grows into it, you and your wife can enjoy the game 2P. Also, it's a great game to introduce to friends. The rules are so simple, you don't even have to explain them before you play. Just start the game and they'll pick it up instantly. I'd recommend the 1910 expansion as well (to get the larger cards...and a few other perks)

Jaipur - good 2P choice. Basically a card game with a few chits for goods/camels. Great art that enhances the theme. Setup is a little fiddly, but not bad. Great insert to hold all the components. Small enough to be taken with you.

My family didn't like 7 Wonders that much although I hope to get it to the table again (we've only played it 2 or so times). I think it's best for larger groups.

You might want to look at Dominion again. It's fast and fun. Lots of variety for the family gamer. The base game can keep you going for a while.....then there are expansions if you get into it. the base game has been enough to scratch the deck-building itch for us. When I play with my 2 teenagers, there is no downtime. It's just non-stop play and non-stop fun. I would recommend Dominion.

Enjoy!
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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I've found that The Hanging Gardens is an excellent game that is best with two but plays up to 4.

Thurn and Taxis, Two by Two, Urbania, Alea Iacta Est (with a variant that makes the 2-player game great) and Archaeology: The Card Game are others that fit your criteria.

Good luck!
 
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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Something meatier but not agricola-like heavy...., take a look at Troyes and Trajan

Also +1 for The Castles of Burgundy.

On the lighter side, check out Thebes, it's a great family game and is excellent even with 2 players.

Damien
 
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Chad
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I would look at Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation - nice chess/stratego-like with a nice bluffing element - plays quick.

Others to consider:

6 nimmt! - or one of its variations. Plays well from 2 to 10.

Blokus Duo - nice quick play - good for spacially aware folks

FITS - Tetris in a board game - my wife and I have played many times.
 
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I think LotR: Confrontation, Hive, and King of Tokyo fail the "too much conflict would be bad" criterion in the OP.
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Jeff James
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We already have Flashpoint. We also have ticket to ride on the iPad. We are looking for something different then what we have. I'm sure it would of helped if I had updated my games owned. The more I look the more I think Dominion might be something we would like.
 
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