Author Topic: Good board game for 2 people?  (Read 13794 times)

daymare

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Good board game for 2 people?
« on: September 13, 2015, 01:25:51 PM »
My husband and I love playing board games, but haven't found many we love playing just the two of us.  Most of the games that CAN play 2 are much less interesting this way.

Some favorites we own and enjoy playing (with groups) are: 7 Wonders, Agricola, Ticket to Ride, Acquire, Risk, Communi, Dominion, Lords of Waterdeep, Power Grid, Citadels, and Hanabi. 

Agricola is the one game we frequently play with the two of us, though my husband thinks it's way better with more people.  I like Dominion with 2, but he finds it boring without more people.  He enjoys playing Summoner Wars and innovation (with two) but I'm not super into either.

Can anyone suggest games that are explicitly for 2 people OR can play more but are still interesting & challenging with two?  The harder/more involved, the better - we're less likely to get bored after playing a few times.

Trifele

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2015, 01:46:40 PM »
Cribbage is good fun for two on a rainy day.  It is about 70% luck and about 30% skill.  I've played a lot of backgammon too; that's about the same -- more luck than skill. 

You don't mention chess, but that is a natural for two, and it is 100% skill/strategy, which may be more what you are looking for. 

I think the mother of all strategy games for two people is Go.  Check it out:
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)   
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 04:01:03 AM by Trifele »

Learner

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2015, 01:56:06 PM »
The Civilization board game can be decent with 2, although it depends on how military-oriented you are.  If one doesn't like that route at all, consider making a house rule to limit its use, that's what my wife and I do.

Check out boardgamegeek.com for tons of options and reviews.  The sad part is that a lot of current board games run for $40+, more like $80+ when you get into the complex games.

A simple niche game for novice gamers or if you only have 20-30 min is Splendor.  Great to get kids started too.

Villanelle

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 01:58:43 PM »
Castle Panic, which is a cooperative game.  Husband and I play with 2 players quite often.  Also, you mentioned Ticket to Ride; you can play that with two. 

If you are interested at all in Castle Panic, I think you can watch a game on Will Wheaton's Table Top Youtube channel to see if you might think it's something you'll like. 

Samsam

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 02:13:33 PM »
backgammon!

JJNL

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 02:18:04 PM »
Settlers of Catan is available in a 2 player version, which I and some of my friends think is quite fun. And there's always chess and checkers, of course :)

sol

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 02:19:09 PM »
We play Scrabble, but I realize that it's not the type of "board game" that most people are talking about.

It is, however, viciously competitive and a good venue for trash-talking your partner.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2015, 02:48:59 PM »
Our faves:

Carcassonne
Splendor
Netrunner
Ticket to Ride
Small World
Race for the Galaxy
Magic: the Gathering

All of those get very regular play just the two of us.

1967mama

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2015, 04:41:54 PM »
We've been playing Yahtzee lately .. fun and even kids can play (well, my 8 year old can for sure play).

Mancala is a neat (ancient) game for 2. Both games are quick to play and easy to learn.

InternationalStache

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2015, 04:53:00 PM »
Master BGG list of games that are best with two, in ranked order - pretty much the definitive list for your question :)

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/48970/item/1165504#item1165504

wordnerd

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 04:59:59 PM »
I feel obligated to my avatar to recommend Scrabble, put my board game interests are more plebeian than yours.

andreamac

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2015, 05:02:02 PM »
I second these:
Carcassonne
Race for the Galaxy
Ticket to Ride

Also like Exploding Kittens, Boss monsters, Tsuro, Lost cities (one of our favorites)

naners

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2015, 05:48:05 PM »
Swish is fun and works well with any number.

courtneythecheg

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2015, 05:58:53 PM »
Pandemic and Netrunner are both fun strategy-type games.  I find Pandemic can be more difficult with only two players and Netrunner is two player only.

inertia

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2015, 06:01:22 PM »
You should check out Village.  My husband and i like to play Seasons as well.  You can try out Seasons for free on boardgamearena.com.  We actually play that game mostly online to avoid set up.

nereo

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2015, 06:23:20 PM »
A few others we play when there's just the two of us:
Domain
Othello
Stratego

all are short (5-15min) strategy games specifically made for two people.

Also like Exploding Kittens...
I almost choked when I read this... then I checked it out and want to order it.  Seems like its in the same vein as Cards Against Humanity.

Spudd

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2015, 07:11:27 PM »
Pandemic and Zombicide are both coop games that are good with 2.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2015, 07:20:49 PM »
Do you like card games?  Cribbage is a great 2-player game, really better than with 3 or 4.

Tigerpine

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2015, 07:25:49 PM »
Two mentions for cribbage!  I love that game!

Another good game is Go.

FLA

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2015, 07:32:41 PM »
We play Scrabble,
It is, however, viciously competitive and a good venue for trash-talking your partner.

my ex-husband seemed to alway beat me in Backgammon but I would wipe the table with him with Scrabble. Played a handful of times, until I got sick of him swiping the game off the table and storming off. Yes, legally he was a grown up, Scrabble-wise he was maybe a 10 yr old with poor sportsmanship. 

I would never pick up the mess he made, he is kinda OCD so he could not stand this and would eventually pick it up, swearing under his breath

sigh, ahh the good old days!

back to OP, DD and I like Rummikub, but may be too boring for you guys.  I'm saving this thread, I want to try some of these games!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 07:36:01 PM by FLA »

Getting there!

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2015, 08:29:19 PM »
Crib, Honeymoon Whist, Backgammon, Othello (Reversi), Yachtze, Mah Jongg, Scrabble

daymare

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2015, 08:45:32 PM »
Quote
Our faves:

Carcassonne
Splendor
Netrunner
Ticket to Ride
Small World
Race for the Galaxy
Magic: the Gathering

TGC: Interesting - We own Carcassone but I've never played played it.  And I only played Race for the Galaxy once (with a larger group), didn't realize it was good with two.  Will have to try playing both games!  I'm super excited that some of the games we already own could be really fun to play just the two of us.

Quote
Do you like card games?  Cribbage is a great 2-player game, really better than with 3 or 4.
Never played, with have to learn the game and try it out. :)

Quote
Master BGG list of games that are best with two, in ranked order - pretty much the definitive list for your question :)
Awesome resource!  I'm sending this to my husband (the whole game collection is really his).  When/if we go to buy another board game, I think it'll be something from this list.  I'm looking exactly for these kinds of games - compex, pure/mostly strategy and not luck.  Agricola is the only game we've found so far that we can play often (with just the two of us) and still find fun, so the list looks in line with our interests.

I really appreciate the suggestions - some of them don't work for us personally, but they're all good suggestions.  We don't play backgammon anymore because of an incident where I was a huge asshole and sore loser a few years ago.  (I also dislike chess, bad associations with an asshole grandfather who was a highly ranked player.)  We also both also generally dislike cooperative games, actually gave away Pandemic.  I dunno, I'm Russian, and some of our games don't even have a winner, they just have the biggest loser (like in Durak).  I'm not satisfied when everyone wins - I need someone to triumph over. ;)

So I guess we are kindof board game snobs.  Buut, I am super excited to try out Carcasonne & Race for the Galaxy.  I tend to be turned off by the space-themed, male-oriented games like RftG, so a good reminder to not let that prejudice get in the way of enjoying a great game.

wtjbatman

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2015, 08:48:43 PM »
Check out some of The Dice Tower videos on YouTube. Tom Vasel (and his people) put out a lot of good content giving reviews and recommendations for board games.

I just watched this one recently: Top 10 Casual Two Player Games

cupcakes4all

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2015, 09:16:02 PM »
Someone mentioned Lost Cities which is a great game. You can probably play it with a standard deck of cards so no additional investment needed.

Jags4186

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2015, 09:28:28 PM »
Try a card game called Court of Medici. You can buy the fancy set or look up the rules and play with regular playing cards.

Spruit

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2015, 04:21:42 AM »
I'm in the same situation; a love for board games, but usually with only us two to play. Have you tried Agricola? Lot's of strategy with that one, and also fun to play with two persons. Downside: a lot of room occupied on the table. I saw they have a version for just two players that's more compact as well.
We also play Ascension quite regularly - a sort of Magic The Gathering lite version ;-)

Jappe

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2015, 05:31:49 AM »
Do you play the agricola for 2 version?

Me and a friend play Lotr LCG (the card game). It's coop against adventures, deck building and in middle earth. There are other games like this but I stick to one, expensive enough ^^ Quite challenging. Problem is that you'll spend quite a bit of money on expansions. (and you have to like the coop part obviously).

I also like el grande with 2 although it's better with more.

Hive is fun with 2. It's a bit chess-like but more abstract. The traveller edition with both expansions can be found for 15$ or so. Great game but my friend prefers coop over heavy-thinking games like this =)

edit: Splendor is nice as well. Quite tactical. Nice game and looks nice
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 06:38:43 AM by Jappe »

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2015, 05:41:52 AM »
San Juan is pretty fun with 2 people.  It is a card game technically.

My favorite game is Puerto Rico, but that requires at least three.

Powergrid can be played with two.

Stratego?  :-)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2015, 05:48:34 AM »
Quote
TGC: Interesting - We own Carcassone but I've never played played it.  And I only played Race for the Galaxy once (with a larger group), didn't realize it was good with two.  Will have to try playing both games!  I'm super excited that some of the games we already own could be really fun to play just the two of us.

Carcassonne is perhaps my #1 favorite. We have a fair number of the expansions but even the base game is a great 30 minute-ish game that scratches your brain but is so easy to set up that we reach for it when we want to play "something".

Race for the Galaxy is good with just two. We had to watch a video tutorial or two to really grok it. Be haven't had the chance to play with more than 2.

MandyM

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2015, 07:46:54 AM »
Another vote for Stratego. I play with my dad. Sometimes we mix it up by doing a blind set up - you set up your board by randomly pulling pieces out of the box. It forces some interesting games.

Sequence is pretty fun with two people as well.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2015, 08:07:41 AM »
If you like some theme in your games, I did an article no too long ago on thematic games for 2.

http://islaythedragon.com/featured/thematic-games-for-two/

neo von retorch

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2015, 08:21:18 AM »
Tokaido (2-5 players)
This is a simple but fun game. With two players, you do exercise a third "neutral" player. This is a traveling game - whoever is last on the trail gets to go next, and with two player, whoever is first controls the neutral players turns. This is useful for strategically blocking your opponents optimal moves ;) While you can see the scoring unravel throughout the game, at the end there are several bonuses awarded which can shake up the results! It's also a quick game - we tend to play it 2-3 times when we play two player.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2015, 08:30:14 AM »
My wife and I enjoy Carcassone. The best thing about it is you can walk away for ten minutes or two days when responsibilities call. Our one-year-old requests her "baby tiles" when she sees us playing. Expansion packs are fun, but it's a different game every time so it's very re-playable even in a base game. Adding more people changes strategy substantially but is very easy, and I wouldn't say it's a worse or better game with two people or a crowd.

I brought it to a family event earlier this month and my 90-year-old grandmother caught on quickly. Obviously she's doing better than most people who were born in 1925, but you get the idea - your startup time won't be huge.

Megma

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2015, 01:17:18 PM »
Sequence! I always play this with my grandma 😀, it's also only about 15-20 bucks there's strategy and some luck, I like it best with 2 or 4people (ie teams of 2), but you can have up to 6.

elaine amj

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2015, 01:21:21 PM »
While not technically a 2 person game, DH and I have been playing Risk...on the computer. We have the board game version, but especially when it is 2 of us, we have loads of fun playing it against the computer. We're usually very competitive against each other...and then once we annihilate the other, we work together to defeat the computer. Love complete world domination!

Lis

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2015, 01:26:58 PM »
Technically a card game, but the Fluxx series is a lot of fun. There are a ton of options, but ZombieFluxx is my favorite. You could play for 5 minutes or you could play for hours.

1967mama

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2015, 01:37:45 PM »
Had a thought on my recommendation of Yahtzee upthread. Here you can print off free Yahtzee scoring sheets:

http://www.memory-improvement-tips.com/yahtzee-score-sheets.html

And then just gather up 5 dice from other games and you're good to go. I would be hesitant to invest in a $15-30 game without knowing if we would even like the game....ask me how I know this <sigh>

catccc

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2015, 01:47:56 PM »
Another vote for carcassone.  It works with two, but it is better with 3.

Lost cities is a good one, too!

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2015, 01:57:07 PM »
I hated Carcassone because I would always get hung out to dry by the farms. Bad spacial concepts.

LOVE Ticket To Ride.

Lost Cities is sort of a hybrid board game/card game that is just for two people. I also really like the card game version of Settlers of Cataan. Due to the aforementioned spacial issues, I don't like the board game as much, but I love the card game.

Easye418

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2015, 02:27:27 PM »
Forget board games for now....

eBay an Xbox 360 or PS3 and buy couch coop games. 

I'm a huge dork compared to my wife, but we still dominated the Gears of War Series/Resident Evil/Killzone/etc.

asiljoy

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2015, 03:06:45 PM »
Following

RidinTheAsama

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2015, 04:58:47 PM »
Settlers of Catan is available in a 2 player version, which I and some of my friends think is quite fun. And there's always chess and checkers, of course :)

I've never tried a specific 2 player version of Settlers of Catan, but my wife and I have the 'regular' version and used to play this with just the 2 of us all the time.  We would make it a game to 12 points instead of to 10 which helped to make it better as a 2-person game.

Valetta

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2015, 06:38:26 PM »
Good thread. We like a lot of the same games as you two and are in the same boat. We need more two player stuff.

So far we mainly play boggle as a two person thing, not a board game though.

cloudsail

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2015, 06:43:54 PM »
Chinese checkers.  Each person can control more than one team.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2015, 07:52:40 PM »
Scattegories, Scrabble and Chess

Nudelkopf

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2015, 11:35:58 PM »
Chinese checkers.  Each person can control more than one team.
Yes!

FiguringItOut

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2015, 09:23:38 AM »
Does anyone have a good discount source for board games?  They are fairly expensive when buying at Amazon/Target/Walmart and I love playing games with my kids.

To add to discussion, we love Rummikub.  It's good for 2 to 4 people.  We've even played with 5, but there is only 4 trays provided in a set, so we improvised. 

DragonSlayer

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2015, 10:41:58 AM »
Does anyone have a good discount source for board games?  They are fairly expensive when buying at Amazon/Target/Walmart and I love playing games with my kids.

To add to discussion, we love Rummikub.  It's good for 2 to 4 people.  We've even played with 5, but there is only 4 trays provided in a set, so we improvised.

My favorite retailers (online) are CoolStuffInc.com, MiniatureMarket.com, BoardGameWarehouse.com and Cardhaus.com. All sell at prices lower than most traditional retailers and have free shipping thresholds. Some have "loyalty" programs where the more you spend, the higher your discount, or you earn points for future purchases. Customer service at all of them is excellent.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2015, 11:23:25 AM »
Does anyone have a good discount source for board games?  They are fairly expensive when buying at Amazon/Target/Walmart and I love playing games with my kids.

To add to discussion, we love Rummikub.  It's good for 2 to 4 people.  We've even played with 5, but there is only 4 trays provided in a set, so we improvised.

My favorite retailers (online) are CoolStuffInc.com, MiniatureMarket.com, BoardGameWarehouse.com and Cardhaus.com. All sell at prices lower than most traditional retailers and have free shipping thresholds. Some have "loyalty" programs where the more you spend, the higher your discount, or you earn points for future purchases. Customer service at all of them is excellent.

Thank you

KittyCat

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Re: Good board game for 2 people?
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2015, 11:23:52 AM »
Two mentions for cribbage!  I love that game!

Another good game is Go.

Yay, Go! In addition to that, I enjoy Scrabble and Yahtzee.