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Subject: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting euro rss

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Diane Close
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I’d like to pick a euro that would satisfy my husband and myself, and has good replay value too. I’ve looked at a bunch, and I’m not sure if any meet our needs...

I’m a fan of strategy, which I define as planning ahead one or more paths to success, whereas my husband likes tactical, which he defines as responding to the current situation. We need games that reward strategy (though not too much), yet are still interesting on a turn by turn level. And if you can wrap all that in a great theme, or nice bits, then it’ll be a runaway best seller with us!

One big success with both of us was Dungeon Twister. I loved the strategic, chess-like aspects, and the fact that I could plan my “campaign” several turns ahead of time. My husband liked the length of the board which gave him enough time and space to mount a response to my strategies. He liked that the game changed and forced him to rethink his strategy and think fast. He also used to play D&D, so the theme appealed to him too. Another reason we both liked this game was it required some thinking about probabilities, which adds to the tension and keeps the brain warmed up.

Another success was Betrayal at House on the Hill (which, in a Minnesota inside joke, we like to call “Betrayal at the James Hill House) I love computer adventure games, like the old Zork, and this felt very much like that played out on a board. I also loved the dual nature of the storyline with the strategizing required to complete the mission. Zork was a favorite of my husband’s too, and he loved the exploration aspects of this game, as well as the tactics and quick responses needed for the second half. And we both appreciated the element of luck in this game too. Neither of us like pure luck, but we both find dice can be interesting for their probabilities (rather than their randomness).

In computer games, my husband plays those with squad tactics (Silent Storm), "sneak" shooters (Thief, Splinter Cell) and adventure games (Zork :-). I “play” our budget and word processor as well as some adventure games like the new Agatha Christie one.

A failure with both of us was Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. I did like the chess-like aspects, but am REALLY sick of the LOTR theme (am also sick of Star Wars), and I didn’t like the fact that this game took longer to set up than it did to play. My husband was lukewarm on the theme, and didn’t like the quick “flip-flip” aspect to the battle. To him, there was often little he could react to, just sit there and “take that”. He likes games where there are a number of quick decisions to be made, not just HA! Battle’s over! Next!

Another failure was Through The Desert. I really liked it as an area placement game. My husband hated it (though he did like the pretty camels, ooo shiny... as he said it was boring from a turn-by-turn point of view. There's only a few places to place your camels that are worth anything, and that’s not very interesting. To him, the game was all: “Long chain? Check. Oases covered? Check. Enclosure possible? No. Okay, my turn is done.”

He doesn’t mind planning ahead a little, just not a lot, and he hates when that’s the only option. He loved Odin’s Ravens because it allowed for a little planning ahead, but the face down auxiliary stack gave him an extra chance/decision to make when there was not a good play available, or it could be used to salvage a bad draw.

So we play a lot of the Kosmos 2-player, and some Carcassonne, which we both find relaxing, but we’d like to expand our horizons a bit. Anything that accommodates 2 or more players would be good! We got Memoir ‘44 for Christmas and haven’t it played yet. And I plan to buy Nexus Ops, Samurai, and the Dungeon Twister expansion in my next order.

From what I’ve seen out there, I think that Puerto Rico might be too “one path to success/play these roles in this order” to be popular with us. Does that sound right or am I missing something? What about Reef Encounter? Too similar to playing Through The Desert? As I said, we need games that reward strategy (though not too much), yet are still interesting on a turn by turn level. Do they exist?
 
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George Kinney
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
Sounds like Memoir'44, Samurai and Nexus Ops will go over quite well. And no, Reef Encounter is not like Through The Desert at all.

Some others that are similar in feel to those you mention that my wife and I enjoy are Tikal, Attika, and San Juan.
 
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
Euphrate and Tigris comes to mind. I feel you can either plan ahead or play on a turn to turn basis, but maybe another opinion from more seasoned E&T players would not hurt. I for my part did not like Through the Dessert, but I'm quite comfortable with E&T (in case you need a counter-argument if your husband gives you the "Not another Knizia" robot look)

Ticket to ride might be on the light side, but I love planning all my connections in advance (you have to adjust to changes in the game, of course). Others seem to do well by just seeing what they can get right now, or for the next few turns. I tend to do well in this game, so long-term thinking might give you the edge here
 
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Steve Bennett
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
I'd invite you to look at Maharaja. I think it's a great 2-player game. I think it has about the right mix of short-term and long-term thinking for you. As you add players, the ability to plan long-term decreases, and that is an objection some have raised. I have yet to play it with 4 or 5, but I doubt that would bother me. With just 2 players, it's not really an issue.
 
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P B
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Wow, I would not recommend ANY of the recommendations with the exception of Tigris & Euphrates. If it is Chess-like Strategy and depth, I would recommend that you check out my geeklist:

Quest for HEAVY Euro-games for 2 players (or more)
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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Mary Weisbeck
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
Diane, I think the new Hacienda would fit your needs and although it plays up to 5, it's very good for 2 players.

You might also look at Samurai, Torres, Attika and Memoir '44 (both of which have already been mentioned).
 
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Stan Mamula
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
Verseboy wrote:
I'd invite you to look at Maharaja.

This is the one that first came to mind, but then again, I'm always shouting "Maharaja" from the mountaintops. This game stresses tactical gameplay and the need to modify your plan quickly. One of my all-time favorites. Disclaimer: I have not played this with 2-players. All of my games have been with 4 or 5.
 
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Scott Kelton
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Re: Help me find strategic yet tactical & fun & interesting
pdclose wrote:
What about Reef Encounter? Too similar to playing Through The Desert? As I said, we need games that reward strategy (though not too much), yet are still interesting on a turn by turn level. Do they exist?


I would highly recomend Reef Encounter. It plays very well as a two person game. Offering a great mix of long term strategic thinking and turn to turn reacting to your opponent. I will echo the sentiment that it is nothing like TtD.

Since I got it a couple of weeks ago, I have played it many times with a good friend and we have both enjoyed it immensly.

Plus the game has wooden shrimp, what could make a game better

 
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Houserule Jay
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TIKAL looks like a perfect fit. Very good with 2, 3 best, 4 good too. Great theme, exploring a mayan jungle, finding treasure and uncovering temples with an exploration crew of workers. Very little luck, SOME strategy and LOTS of tactical play. It invloves area influence, set collection and action point movements(similiar to Dungeon Twister) and has an auction variant as well to add some more strategy. Beautiful componets in this game also make it a really great game. My wife and I love both these games.

Puerto Rico is not a one path to Victory game. There are tons of discussions on this site about that if you want more info. This is one of our new favourite games to play. We play just us 2 for now but will be teaching others shortly. This game has both strategy and tactical play and is rated #1 here on this site with good cause. During the game you have strategies but depending on what your opponents are doing you need to adjust or change, hence the tactical part of it. I would also recommend this game, it plays better with more than 2 but lots of people like it with just 2 like us.

San Juan is just like PR only a lighter, faster card version of the game, somewhat stripped down IMO. Tons of people like it and I do too but I'm glad I went the PR route, I prefer the depth and don't mind the set-up time(10 minutes or so)or the longer game. These are the biggest differences. You can download the a PC version from here and try it, play at least 10 times though. I really liked it at first but then got bored finding it more like a race than a strategy game. If you like the concept, but want more, get PR.

One other tip, go here http://www.tigrisgame.com/swing-applet.html and try this game after reading the rules for the Tigris game or you can play here on the Geek, I think this might be too heavy for your husband but it is a great strategy game for sure. Reef Encounter is very similiar to this from what I understand but maybe even more complex, also more theme though.

Samurai will also be good (more tactical though and abstract like), there is a version you can download and try of this as well if you haven't already. There are probably tons more like fit your criteria so don't stop looking!

Good luck and Happy Gaming! Jay
 
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