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My wife and I played our first 2-player game the other night, and it worked really well, except I'm not so sure about those blocking markers.

In almost every round of our game, the placement of the blocking markers went like this:

1) Player 1 placed his/her blocking marker on the second hourglass so that if Player 2 wanted to take the first errand, he/she would have to chose the first/weakest hourglass.

OXOOOO


2) Player 2 placed his/her blocking marker on the last hourglass so that Player 1 would not be able to take the most powerful hourglass (or if Player 2 wanted the last hourglass, his/her blocking marker went on the second-last hourglass to block the next most powerful hourglass).

OXOOOX

or

OXOOXO


I can't envision many situations where this would vary, but perhaps this is simply my inexperience?

I appreciate any thoughts!
 
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Steve Duff
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In case anyone else can't remember what the board is:



Can't say I've experienced the same as you, we've blocked in different places. Haven't played much, can't say we're experts or anything.
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Jordan Robbins
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I agree that there is not much variation. I've found that whoever selects last ends up with only 1 choice that that offers 2 errand boys 80%+ of the time (occasionally you'll know your opponent needs 4 actions and that's really the only other one to block imho).

Lately my wife and I have been playing this variant:
Player one block
Player two select plan
Player one select plan

In my opinion this feels more like the multi-player game where the last player is selecting from 4 possible plans instead of only 3.
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Stephen McHale
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Falling Waters
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After playing the normal 2 player rules with the blocking markers a few times, my wife and I decided to just start playing without the blockers.

While we certainly play to win I think we tend to just have fun with this game. We are laughing about who we are taking on the cruise, etc.

Might not be for everyone but it has worked for us.

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Tony Bosca
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Royal Oak
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Eternity, said Frankie Lee with a voice as cold as ice; That's right, said Judas Priest, eternity, though you might call it paradise...
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Yeah I've noticed a little "staleness" with this decision as well. It lead to me obtaining the player order board- which upon further investigation doesn't really help this.

It doesn't ruin the 2P game or anything for me, but it certainly detracts from my opinion of it.
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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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Cambridge
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I really appreciate everyone's feedback!

I've thought about a couple of these options. With no blocking tokens being placed, if the first player wants to ensure placing the first errand boy, he/she would have to take the first/worst spot and the second player could take the last/best spot, leaving quite a spread in the value of the actions. With only 1 player placing a blocking token, I don't see any reason why they would place it anywhere other than the last/best spot to prevent the other player from taking it.

So I'm not convinced yet that there's an alternative better than the original rules.

All that being said, the 2-player game still works very well and (as someone above alluded to), creates just as hilarious a narrative as the multi-player games.
 
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Alan Kwan
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squash wrote:
1) Player 1 placed his/her blocking marker on the second hourglass so that if Player 2 wanted to take the first errand, he/she would have to chose the first/weakest hourglass.

OXOOOO


The problem with this placement is that this allows player 2 to take plan #3 (0C/EE/3A) while blocking plan #1, thus getting the first errand with 3A.

Anyway, for a couple of minor yet subtle variants, please see my thread.
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Miguel Duran
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I think the error here is presupposing that spaces can be de facto declared better or worse than others. Errand boys or actions may be considerably less valuable than card draw, depending on your strategy. Given that I just won a game against my fiancee by virtue of taking the first spot (I needed five companions to ensure that I could use my two events in-hand at max value -- AND, even still, only prevailed because I had the left-most spot because we both went to exactly ZERO that turn), I'm pretty confident that blocking is entirely situational.
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