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Subject: 2p Games for Husband/Wife rss

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Hi all,

Been browsing the site for a long time and just joined recently – great site! I have searched and spent several hours reading all of the relevant geeklists and forum posts, but before I pull the trigger on some more games, I thought I’d as for some recommendations.

My wife and I started playing some games 2-3 years ago and played pretty regularly for awhile (Blokus duo, Ticket to Ride, Lost Cities, Stomple).

We now have a 2 year old and a 6 month old, but over the last month we have begun playing games a few nights a week, and we are planning on keeping this pace up. We play maybe an hour or so at a time, and before bed, so the wife is usually exhausted for the day and about ready to check out, so anything to heavy won’t hold her interest.

Here are the games we have and ranked according to my wife (favorite to least favorite)

Jaipur (her favorite, we play this at least 1-2 times per week)
Lost Cities (another favorite of hers…a little boring for me)
Blokus
Ticket to Ride
Stomple
Dominion
Mr. Jack Pocket (only played a few times, just got it this month…I think it is too slow for her)
Hive (too slow and strategic for her I think)
Forbidden Island (our first coop experience….just seemed boring to us both, I think we prefer head to head)

Games already on the way from a recent order:

Court of the Medici
Morels (preordered for April release)
Agricola All Creatures



So, I’m looking to add a few more games, then try to chill out on buying for awhile (we’ll see about that). I’m looking to keep it around $50 or less, which shouldn’t be too difficult.


Games I’m considering:

Love Letter (seems like a fun cheap game for 2, although from what I’ve ready many think the 2p experience is lacking…)
Battle Line (seems like a no brainer addition, a little worried that it will rank under Lost Cities with the wife, which will make it useless to us)
Biblios (not sure about the game for 2p and how quickly it goes…Any thinking game like Hive will collect dust)
Jambo (with Jaipur being the favorite of my wife, and one of my favs as well, I’m wondering if it is too similar?)
Hey That’s My Fish (seems like a cool quick game for 2, similar to Stomple, but with enough differences to maybe warrant a purchase)


Am I missing any that you think would fit into our 30-45 minute per game time constraint that my wife and I would enjoy based on her game preferences listed above?

Thanks for looking!
 
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Brad N
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McFly1955 wrote:
Battle Line (seems like a no brainer addition, a little worried that it will rank under Lost Cities with the wife, which will make it useless to us)

Just a note that Battle Line is a different game than Lost Cities... not really close. I remember when I first saw Battle Line and thought to myself, "that looks a lot like Lost Cities with the different suits of cards and numbers and it's from the same designer." It might look similar, but it plays way different. IMO, Battle Line is the better game by quite a bit. My wife prefers Lost Cities, but we still play both once in a while.
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Bill Kunes
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This has been a popular question no the forums lately. Here are some games I've recommended elsewhere:

Castles of Burgundy
Innovation
Qwirkle
Race for the Galaxy
Rivals for Catan
Saint Petersburg
Trajan

meeple Keep playing...

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David B
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Love Letter is NOT good with 2. Its really only ok with 3. You really need 4 for the deduction/bluffing to really work.


Jambo is great and is NOTHING like Jaipur. Its quite a bit more complex as there is a lot of text on the cards. Your first several games are just getting to know all the cards. Jambo is even better with the expansions if you can find them. Just to put it in perspective: Jaipur is a quick 2 player card game. Jambo feels more like you are playing a full fledged board game, only with cards.

2 other board games that are quick to set up and are card driven that I think you might like:

Thurn and Taxis

and

Saint Petersburg.

Both of these play in under and hour and can be set up in less than 5 minutes. I am currently almost addicted to Saint Petersburg as a 2 player game. I could easily play 3 games back to back to back.
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Witek W
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+1 Castles of Burgundy
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Matthew Roskam
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Welcome to BGG!

You already have a nice collection of excellent 2p games. My wife and I own several of the same games you do, and we enjoy them very much also.

As to what you may be missing;

We really enjoy Citadels for two. The role selection has a neat "If I take this, she'll think I took that" aspect that really shines with just two.

As you already like Ticket to Ride, my wife and I are really loving the Africa map as a great 2 player experience. We own Nordic and Switzerland, which are also good for two, but right now we think Africa is best.

We also really enjoy Seven Dragons , which is sort of like a dominoes game with cards but plays very quickly with some fun strategy to it. This one is especially good for a night when everyone is too tired to get into a real thinky game.

Guillotine is another light little filler that plays quickly but is a lot of fun. The gallows humor is kept light enough by the cartoonish artwork.

As you get further into gaming down the road, you may want to look at Fleet. It has some deeper Euro style strategy but plays quickly and the rules are very straightforward.

Well, hope this is helpful. Welcome again to BGG!







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Rick Koeppen
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McFly1955 wrote:
Morels (preordered for April release)
Agricola All Creatures



Darn, these were the two I was going to suggest. You have good taste!
 
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Jake Lj
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Similar situation (used to play games often, 2 year old now, starting to occasionally play again) but slightly different in that my wife only really played because I wanted to, wasn't her first choice.

Anyway, I just got Lords of Waterdeep for Christmas and it seems to be her new favorite game. Previously we've played pretty light games (Dominion, Bohnanza, 7 Wonders, etc...)
 
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Pri R
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We are in the same boat as you. We have a 2 yr 6mnth old baby and play for hour n so every night before going to sleep. With husband wife n to be able to play with same person everytime I dont like very cut throat games...

We love Agricola.... Which we can complete within an hour after a few games of practise.... Through the ages is another good one but somthing to play on weekends when we dont have 1hr constraint
We then also found that even less complex games like ticket to ride, Carcassonne can be equally fun ...
Dominion is every1s favourite but for us it is just ok game ...not the best
 
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Kamille
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McFly1955 wrote:
... so the wife is usually exhausted for the day and about ready to check out, so anything to heavy won’t hold her interest.
Good point. It´s something we sadly all have to deal with. "The chimney does not smoke by itself." - Old saying

Here are some great games that we enjoy on a regular basis after a busy day. All are extremly smooth an oiled in Gameplay. Work very well with 2 players and if necessary with more.

Kingsburg
Kingdom Builder
Stone Age
Asara

Hive is also a great game but certainly a brainburner. Unfortunately, i must also say that the big Castles of Burgundy are a huge brainburner as well. cry

regards hessi

EDIT: Backgammon whistle
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Thanks for all of the suggestions/advice so far.

I edited the OP to include that we own "Dominion" -- we've only played a couple times, so I forgot about that one.


I really need to look into Castles of Burgundy more and watch a playthrough on youtube or something. I see that game recommended all the time on the similar threads to mine, but I've just not looking into it because from the surface it seems like a deep/confusing game that would not win over the wife.

I'll be looking into that one more, because as I said, that seems to be the most recommended game I've seen lately for this category.
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Graham
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Android Netrunner is the most fun I have had with a two player game, but the learning curve is like running into a brick wall. (The bluff, counter bluff aspect of it is fantastic)

Hey, That's My Fish! Is also really good with 2 players as is the base set of Carcassonne (and both of them are a lot easier than Netrunner to get into)

[Edit, finished a half finished sentence]
 
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Seth DeCato

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my wife is not much of a gamer but she does enjoy a few games with me Carcassonne being one of them and WordSpot.

games I recommend for 2 are:
Galaxy Trucker - build a ship and see if it survives
Can't Stop - press your luck by rolling dice
Jishaku - dexterity game with magnets
Yomi - fast paced card game
Race for the Galaxy - most fun 2 player
Dominion - can be fun but does take strategy for hand management


I also recommend Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie with 2 or more people but the game is going to get more costly than $50.
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Warren Wang
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We are in much the same situation with about an hour to play with the wife after our kids go to sleep. Ironically, it's my wife who prefers the heavier games while I like the somewhat lighter, more thematic games. Given that your wife is tired and "anything heavy won't hold her interest", I would caution somewhat against both Battle Line and Jambo.

Battle Line is much deeper than Jaipur. It's very strategic and it's my wife favorite. I personally find it a tad too dry. However it's simple to teach and may be worth purchasing. I would suggest you try it out if you can.

Jambo hasn't been a big hit with us. We bought both expansions too (on eBay) so we've gotten the full experience. It's similar in theme and really no more difficult than Jambo but there's a ton of text on the cards. As another contributor said, you spend the first several games simply learning all the multitude of cards. One major problem we've found is that with all the variety of cards, it's prone to analysis paralysis. There may be a lapse of several minutes for one player to take their turn. My wife is prone to AP and I find myself starting to flip through a magazine. This gives it a totally different feel than Jaipur which as you know is fast and easy.

One fantastic 2p game which plays in under 45 minutes and is easy to teach is Summoner Wars. Yes, there's text on the cards but you only have to learn about 11 different cards per side. It can be taught in five minutes and it's surprisingly deep. It has tremendous replay value with all the different factions you can buy. The only downside perhaps is the fantasy theme. I was a little worried my wife wouldn't like the theme but she had no problem accepting it.
 
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Ray Greenley
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So this might be filed under 'too heavy', but my wife and I play a lot of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Worth a look.
 
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Jeff Hastings
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If it helps or is interesting to you at all... I play a lot of games with my wife too and I'll link a couple of geeklists I've posted recently:

My Top 113 Games with Mini-Reviews

My Wife's Favorite 93 Games (No reviews, but compares our rankings)


Jambo is nothing like Jaipur, so no concern there.

Court of the Medici is good, but can get very mathy. If you do like it well, I would suggest trying Lords of Scotland by the same designer - which we prefer of the two (though I have both and have enjoyed playing both).

Morels is great and very light. Good choice It is one my wife loves for a quick game that doesn't get too complex when we're tired. (My Mini-Review)

We love Battle Line, but found Lost Cities a little boring... you just never know!

Biblios is good for two and is a fun, quick game. It's nowhere near the thinky-style game of Hive (my wife doesn't like Hive either). Though, we prefer Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game (same designer and sort of a re-implementation of the game where you do dice drafting instead of card drafting). So far, everyone I play with that has tried both has preferred the dice game - though we've all liked both.

Hey, That's My Fish is a fun and quick game to PLAY, but just know going in that it usually takes longer to setup than to play

Love Letter is really fun but can put people off as a two-player game... I love it with 3 or more though. Two player can be fun but does annoy some players since they feel like it's too random/chaotic.

Games I Recommend:

Magnate: This plays like a cross between Battle Line and Settlers of Catan. Resource generation, potential loss of resources if you stack too many, higher probability of payout for using certain numbers are similar to Settlers... while the goal of the game is winning cards in the middle similar to Battle Line. This game can be ordered by getting a Decktet deck and set of tokens from The Game Crafter if you're interested in it. (My Mini-Review)

Aton is a very cool area control game. I tend to write way too much about it in trying to explain it to others, but it's not nearly as daunting as I make it look in my excitement to talk about it. Here's what I said about it in my mini-review though if you're interested: (My Mini-Review)

Scripts & Scribes Dice uses dice drafting and some pretty cool mechanisms that mimic the gameplay of Biblios (same designer). (My Mini-Review

Lords of Waterdeep as others have mentioned can be a great start in worker placement games if that interests you at all. It's simple enough not to cause anxiety in those that dislike complex games, but still gives the feel of playing a more involved game. (My Mini-Review)

Lords of Scotland plays really fast and can be a very cool little game. It's also very cheap and worth a shot regardless of your feelings about Court of the Medici (very different game). (My Mini-Review)

And if you can find it... Vikings is really fun and gives the feeling of depth without being a brain burner. (My Mini-Review)

Glen More is also a cool game for two, though it might be a tad more involved than some of these others. (My Mini-Review)


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Kevin
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You should check out Monopoloy Deal - don't go in with any preconceived notions, because it's a game that has no right being as fun as it is!
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Chris Leigh
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My girlfriend loves tales of arabian nights, and for a fun challenging euro experience we've had great success with Pret a Porter.

Its quite heavy but the fashion theme helped sell it, and the mechanics are thematically logical which aids understanding (I need cloth to make clothes so I'll get my worker there etc.)

 
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Matt Epp
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+1 citadels

+1 Lords of Waterdeep

Thurn and Taxis, for a game that feels similair but is actually quite different than Ticket To Ride.
 
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+1 Summoner Wars. I recommend the Master Set version which comes with 6 factions and a much nicer board. I've never been into games where you really have to learn all the cards to play optimally and pre-build wisely and such. SW is already pre-built and there are not that many cards to learn per faction. The rules are simple as hell too.

Battle Line is great. I'd recommend Haggis over it, I think it works similar parts of the brain but is cheaper and takes up less table space. But Battle Line is a great game.

Castles of Burgundy is an awesome game but may be too much for your wife. Once you get it, gameplay comes easy but trying to teach it to an unwilling opponent..... let's just say it took me 45 minutes.

+1 to Citadels. Great bluffing game.

+1 to Innovation. My favorite cardgame, hands down. If you like to be dick-ish and so does your wife, this game is furious BUT the rules are easy. You can teach it as you play your first game.

Jambo is great. It's like Monopoly Deal but much better, more strategic. Will take about 60 minutes to play.

Rivals for Catan is a great game.... playing the basic game a few times to learn won't overwhelm the wife. Just make sure you know all the rules cold. I recommend watching Tom Vasel's review.

Two more games you might want to look into are Arena: Roma II and Traders of Osaka




 
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bryce kartchner
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Seeland is a great game with a girlfriend or wife. It is lightly competative, which is similar to many of the games you listed. The before-mentioned Kingdom Builder is also lightly competative. Innovation and Glory to Rome are also very fun with two.

 
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Erik Boyko
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Biblios is an excellent, quick two player game. Of the games you are considering, I'd put this at the top for suiting your needs, while also being sufficiently different from what you already have. I can also vouch for Battle Line and Jambo as good couples games.

You should also consider the Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 - India and Switzerland. Both of these maps are much better with two than the base game.

Carcassonne also seems like it would suit you two well. It is about the level of complexity of Ticket to Ride.

Race for the Galaxy is the game my wife and I enjoy playing together most. However, it is a step up in complexity over the other games you have been playing.

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Byron Campbell
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I hadn't heard of Stomple before, so I looked that up. To me, I don't see a lot of similarities between that and Hey, That's My Fish! aside from having to outmaneuver your opponents. I can tell you that my wife loves Hey, That's My Fish!, as do most people I've played it with. Her other most-requested games (usually as an alternative to something I've requested, since she's not really a gamer) are Carcassonne and Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. However, I wouldn't really recommend the latter unless you wanted to start investing in expansions, since the game feels pretty random without the deck building component.
 
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Mitch Willis
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Dragonheart - fast, furious, & fun; easy to teach/learn
Love Letter - while it's better with 3 or 4, it plays just fine with 2
Ingenious - since y'all like Blokus, y'all might want to check this one out (most folks I know that like Blokus, like Ingenious as well, even though they're different); scales very well from 2 to 4 players
Battle Line - while by the same designer, this one is very different from Lost Cities but just as fun (in my opinion, any way)
Lost Cities: The Board Game - the board game version scales well from 2 to 4 but you may feel it's too similar to the card game...

I would've also mentioned Court of the Medici but you'd mentioned it was already on order...think y'all will enjoy that one as well...


 
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Matt Brown
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McFly1955 wrote:
I really need to look into Castles of Burgundy more and watch a playthrough on youtube or something.


CoB Playthrough
 
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