Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Recommendations

Subject: Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Age of Steam....What's next? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Todd Jarvis
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm asking for recommendations for our next purchase. Here is a run-down of what we like and why we like it. If you could help us out by responding to the ideas I already have or add your own recommendations, I would be very appreciative.
The games are for my wife and I primarily, so games with a 2-player variant would be nice,but not requisite.

Age of Steam - Currently our favorite. It is the fact that you can see your plan coming to fruition. The strategy is high and luck minimal. My wife really likes how it meets reality (no minimum income, you get what you have earned).

Power Grid - another favorite, but strategy is limited to 2 turns because of the randomness and frequncy of plant turnaround. These cons are minimized by the shear enjoyment of the game and the decisions involved with each turn. We like the auction element and the changing rules as the game evolves (steps).

Puerto Rico - I love this game, but she is indiferent. I like the amount of choices you given by the roles and buildings.

Ra - My wife doesn't like this one much at all. I'm able to talk her into it, but she dosen't like it when someone undercuts a lot by invoking Ra "too early".

Ticket to Ride Europe - too light, so it doesn't hit the table much, but the gratification you get from seeing you routes grow and then seeing your score increase is energizing.

In short, we like a challenge and she likes logical choices and outcomes to those choices.

Here are a few ideas I have (some of these I don't know a lot about, some are hard to get a hold of, and some are not released yet):

Princes of Florence
1856
Taj Mahal
El Grande
Java
Antiquity
Caylus (she doesn't like the idea of building a castle for someone else)
Löwenherz
Traders of Genoa, The
Game of Thrones, A (is this strickly combat?)
Hacienda
Mesopotamia
Chinatown
Goa
Torres

Thanks again for your suggestions!laugh

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Jarvis
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What makes Java so awsome (from what I've read, I was hoping to hear this)? Is the theme strong, is it the decisions, etc.

Same for Goa.

Thanks for the help.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jesper A
Denmark
Frederikshavn
na
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have you considered Antike? It has combat but no luck and multiple ways to victory. If you compare it to A Game Of Thrones i thik Antike would be a better choice for you. AGoT needs 5 players to work well.

In the Shadow of the Emperor
Tikal
Samurai
Hansa
Reef Encounter

All of the above works (more or less) for two players and are great games.

Check Ingenious out too. I didn't think i would like it, but i like it so much i'm willing to ignore the fact that it's an abstract game

It's light, but it has more depth than it looks like the first couple of times you play it. Some say it has a "luck of the draw" factor, but im my 7 games i have only lost once (my first game). Either i am very lucky or..... well it must be luck
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Aldridge
United States
Moore
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Princes of Florence - This game could probably be varied to play with two... but it wouldn't be nearly as good. In fact, I would say that there is a significant difference between the 4 and 5 player games (in which I heavily favor 5 players)

Taj Mahal - Similar to Princes of Florence. Also, this game is OOP (out of print), but Rio Games will be releasing a reprint in May. You can wait at least until then to make a decision.

El Grande - Similar to Princes of Florence. This game is OOP as well, and Rio will be reprinting it in April. You can wait at least until then eh?

Traders of Genoa, The - I dont think this game is very good with any less than the max. If the maximum number is playing, then there is a lot of tension with regards to someone being left out of a deal and the decision to cut across a street makes a larger impact. Not nearly as fun or involved without the max. Not to mention, there would just be a lot less deal making. This one is a real snoozer with 3, I can't imagine it with 2.

Chinatown - This game is a bit similar to Traders of Genoa. Its a bit hard to find and copies of this run pretty high on ebay. In my opinion, since you still have a nice, small collection, you can get more mileage for your money by spending elsewhere for now.

Torres - Nice little abstract. This is an engaging game, although as far as abstracts go, I would probably suggest Yinsh or Ingenious first.

I think you're terribly amiss not considering Tigris and Euphrates. I'm hoping its just an accident! The game plays great with two players. There is a little luck, but once you understand the game, you understand the ways to circumvent the luck of the draw. T&E scales well with all numbers of players and it's really just a lot of fun.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Bailey
United States
Broomfield
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
GO ROCKIES!!!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rather then ask for advice for what to buy and getting 15 different opinions, why not just read up on the games you're thinking about? There's plenty of opinions and reviews and ratings that should help you out. Look at games you like, then look at high ratings for that same game. Then look at what the people like that also like your favorites.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eddy Bee
United States
Marin County
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 2 cents...

Mesopotamia and Torres are excellent 2-player strategy games, and are among my favorites. However both are very abstract. Mesopotamia has the stronger theme of the two, but it is still quite abstract.

Princes of Florence, Taj Mahal, and Lowenherz are great for 3+ players. PoF and Lowenherz both involve bidding, so if your wife has an aversion to bidding games (like Ra) you might want to think twice. But keep in mind that Ra is all about bidding and nothing else, but these games only include bidding as a minor component of the overall game.

Bidding is a large component of Goa. It's an okay game, but there are many better choices on your list.

Traders of Genoa and Chinatown are excellent games, but involve negotiation and are therefore best played with 4 or 5 players. You really have to like haggling and bartering to appreciate these games.

Depending on how you play it, A Game of Thrones can also involve lots of negotiation. There are folks who play it completely without any discussion, but I can't imagine playing it that way. Anyway, this game really requires 4+ players to shine, and no, it's not all about combat, but combat is a significant component of game play.

A lot of people love El Grande, but I think it's completely over-hyped, boring, repetitive, and devoid of any real strategic content. Clearly I'm biased shake, so you might want to seek opnions from others about this one.

Based on the descriptions of what you and your wife like, here are some other games you might want to research:

Samurai (2-4)
Carcassonne: The Castle (2)
Pueblo (2-4)
Tikal (2-4)
San Marco (2-4)
Stephenson's Rocket (2-4)
St. Petersburg (2-4)
Bridges of Shangri-La (2-4)
Attika (2-4)

Good luck!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P B
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It looks like you are both into heavier games. I am on the same quest - feel free to check my profile of games that I rank high. For two, I recommend JAVA and TORRES.

If you like more theme, go with JAVA.

This is the very best.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean McCarthy
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I unquestionably recommend Caylus. If I had to choose three games to be predictors for someone's opinion of Caylus, I would choose Puerto Rico, Power Grid, and Age of Steam. It fits so freaking well I didn't even look at the other games you were thinking of on your list.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mario Aguila
Chile
Puerto Montt
Chile
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nobody recommend Through the desert?
So, considering your taste and games with 2 players as good as with more players, my recommendations are:
-Through the desert http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/503
-In the shadow of emperor http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/13780
-Maharaja...wonderful for 2 http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9440
-Havoc (card game very good for 2) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/19363
-Caylus. I agree with this http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/18602
-San Juan http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/8217
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Pressley
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
If your wife is frustrated by early Ra's, then she probably will tear out her hair when her plans fall apart due to the potentially chaotic nature of negotiation games like In The Shadow Of The Emperor and Traders Of Genoa. I love those two games, but sometimes the person next to you randomly decides to make a deal with the person across the board simply 'because' and you're screwed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian A
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Kimball Bent wrote:
If you like more theme, go with JAVA.


Hilarious.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mario Aguila
Chile
Puerto Montt
Chile
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pauljackson wrote:
If your wife is frustrated by early Ra's, then she probably will tear out her hair when her plans fall apart due to the potentially chaotic nature of negotiation games like In The Shadow Of The Emperor... I love those two games, but sometimes the person next to you randomly decides to make a deal with the person across the board simply 'because' and you're screwed.

With 2 players this problem doesn't exist (there isn't any negotiation and the game plays very good.
And if you think the Emperor has too much power, you could implement a variant: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/66307
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jbrier
United States
Aventura
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Your wife seems to be the type of person that enjoys more strategic games where one can carry a plan out to fruition rather than a more tactical game where versatility and adjustment are major virtues.

Princes of Florence is one of the quintessential strategic games in the sense described above. Unfortunately, it only plays well with 4 or 5, and doesn't accomodate 2 altogether. I think this is something you should consider picking up down the line as a guaranteed hit with your wife that you can also use to introduce friends to more involved euro games as it is relatively easy to assimilate for a heavier game.

GOA has strong similarities to Princes of Florence and it scales from 2 to 4 players, which better fits your bill. It has some balance issues that have turned some people off to it after repeated plays, but overall it is a very fun systems game where you have plenty of options and different strategic routes to pursue, without being as tactical as Puerto Rico so it should appeal to your wife. Unfortunately it is currently unavailable at online retailers but the reprint is due sooner than later. Thus another game you should look into purchasing a couple months down the line.

Caylus IS very similar to Puerto Rico in many ways, so it could make a less than phenomenal impression with your wife, but otherwise this is the perfect game for you. It plays GREAT with 2 as it does with more, is very engaging in terms of options and different strategic approaches you can take, has an added level of interaction that Puerto Rico lacks (more accentuated with more players), and it is just overall one of the best heavy euros out there. Once again another game that is currently unavailable, but I think this will hit shelves again in a month or less.

It isn't clear whether your wife would take to Taj Mahal. This actually isn't an unusual phenomenon- Taj Mahal has a reputation for being a "love it or hate it" type of game. While it is a very strategic game a la Princes of Florence, the auctions are much more confrontational and the stakes are very high - if two people engage in battle over an item one of them will have spent alot of resources to get nothing. Taj Mahal gets compared to poker because of its high stakes, elements of bluffing, and the fact that it is the willingness of other players to escalate which will always be the main obstacle to your success. I personally love this game and think it is that much better because it is a little shorter than other meaty euros, but this is certainly not a game for everybody and to boot it is presently OOP.

I think a game that might work for you that IS available right now is Reef Encounter. It is (like some of the above) very strategic, so it should appeal to your wife, and it plays well with 2 as with 3 or 4. It also has very pretty components, and the only drawback I can think of is the slightly difficult to explain rules, but this shouldn't be a problem considering the games you and your wife are already playing.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luca Iennaco
Italy
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
Goa, Torres and Caylus works very well with 2 (and 3 and 4 as well!).
El Grande, Princes of Florence and Traders of Genoa shine with 5 (and become worse with less players; I love them all, but I wouldn't play any of them with only 2).
You've a lot of excellent games in your list. Have fun!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Condoroussis
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Goa is really good at two, but it seems to be hard to find these days. Caylus is awesome, never played two, but at 3 and 5 it is really good. El Grande is not that good at two, neither is Princes of Florence and I do not see how Traders of Genoa could be good at two.

My vote: Goa if you can find it and are often two players. Otherwise, Caylus is my current favorite game.

Pezpimp
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Chamberlain
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For 2 players, please go with Goa first before Caylus. Goa is a fantastic game that plays great with 2-4.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hawks
United States
Apple Valley
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've gotta cast my vote with Goa. I've never played it with 2, but the 3- and 4-player games have been great. We play 4 players in less than 2.5 hours, and it always feels like considerably less. We used to consider it one of our group's heaviest games, but after a few games of Caylus, Goa feels almost relaxing by comparison.

Unfortunately, it's hard to come by, being currently out of print, but copies pop up on eBay on occasion. (Search Toys & Hobbies for "goa -'uld" -- the "-'uld" will weed out all the Stargate stuff.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Russell
United States
Clarkston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you decide on 18XX, I prefer 1870 and 1830 for two player games. I actually like 1870 better that 1856 in general, but that is certainly more of a judgement call.

If you want to keep the two player option open and stick to your list, I'd rank them:1856
Goa - works great 2-4. Although most of my 2-plyr was with a rule "variant" (we misread rules) that allowed first bidder to bid other than 0 for an opening bid.
Caylus - only one 2-plyr, but that or four seem to work the best.
Mesopotamia - only played this one once (4-player), but I think it would work well with two.

I wouldn't recommnd the following two player, but here's my order of preference:

Traders of Genoa - probably the best game on your list, if your group likes negotiating.
Taj Mahal - another gem
Chinatown - ok negotiation game, but I've only played twice.
Löwenherz - I prefer Domanine, but if you will play regularly, Lowenherz is probably better. This one didn't have legs for me. I liked my first couple games, but it doesn't come out much anymore. (New group of gamers, too, which could have more effect than repeated plays.)
El Grande - Not sure why this one is as popular as it is.
Java - Might be ok without an AP player.

I haven't tried these, yet.
Game of Thrones, A (is this strickly combat?)
Hacienda
Torres
Antiquity
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Hey...That Tickles....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I like to second Mario's recomendation of "Majaraja".
An excellent game for two and scales remarkably well for more.
My wife and I have played a dozen games of this and enjoy each one as much as the first.
A highly underrated classic in the making.

McGuit

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J. David Koch
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Hey...That Tickles....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah, pardon the spelling problems: the game is "Maharaja".
Wish they had spelling check available...hehe.

McGuit
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Tolin
United States
Beaumont
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Good gods, go with Torres. You don't have an Action Point game yet, and it's the best of the lot in that category (sez me ).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Gische
United States
San Carlos
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Princes of Florence - Great game, although you really want 5 players. 4 is acceptable. Very strategic.

1856 - 18xx in general is likely a system that will hit your sweet spot. 1856 is not the first one to play, however. 1830 (OOP) or 1825 are easier to learn. I haven't played any of them with 2 players, though, and am not sure it will work. One exception is 1825 Unit 3, which is actually designed for 2 players.

Taj Mahal - Much more tactical game than strategic, imho. The auctions can be brutal.

El Grande - The top of the area-majority games. Best with 5, ok with 4, wouldn't play with less.

Löwenherz - Not my favorite, and I love the games you love.

Game of Thrones, A (is this strickly combat?) - It's more diplomacy than combat. It's very good for what it is, but it definitely has a wargame feel to it in the direct conflict.

Goa - Great game, scales well to 2. This will go over well with you.

Torres - The most abstract of the action point games. I like it but it's dry.

Haven't played these:

Java
Antiquity - I wish I could find this one.
Caylus (she doesn't like the idea of building a castle for someone else)
Traders of Genoa, The
Hacienda
Mesopotamia
Chinatown

Others:

Tigris and Euphrates - Great game, scales to 2. You can try it out here on BGG.

Maharaja - Great game, no idea how well it will play with less than 4.

Reef Encounter - I am really impressed with this design. You can try it out on spielbyweb.

Good luck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.