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Good light intro games?

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Remus West
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Good light intro games?

Post by Remus West » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:36 am

I want to get my wife into gaming with me. Unfortunately the only 2 player games I own are games like Mageknight that require too many fiddly bits to get her interested in learning them right away. Any good light two player games out there? I was thinking Lost Cities maybe and other games similar but she doesn't like math ( :shock: ) so I'm not sure if she would enjoy that either.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:40 am

Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Remus West » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:46 am

Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
Does TtR work with 2?
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Smoove_B » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:55 am

I always suggest Dominion. It absolutely plays well with two people and scales up nicely to 3 or 4 (if that ever becomes an option). Depending on how you set up the decks the game can play very differently. Some hands will feel like a race for points, others times you will be actively trying to sabotage each other. It seems complicated but you always just follow the card instructions and with two people you can absolutely hammer out a few hands rather quickly. There's a reason non-collectable deck building games became so popular - Dominion started the craze. The good thing too is that the manual comes with various "themes" and they tell you which decks to select in order to have a specific type of game. After a while you can create your own combinations or use the randomizer deck to create unique themes.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:00 am

Luck to you!

I can't speak for your wife but anecdotally my experience with getting SOs to get into gaming when they aren't into gaming because they want to share an interest doesn't work so well.

OtOH, playing games with your daughter might pull her in.

I, personally, suggest stepping away from gaming as you think of it but rather look parlour games. If she hates math then you don't get to start with cribbage which is sad. So maybe Mancala and Gin type games are good launching point. I don't know if you had family games as kid or not. If so, think back to then. To the days Milles Born and Yahtzee and Uno and Rook and the like. These more traditional games are as much social as they are competitive.

Also, I have a number of two player games I could loan you to see if there is interest. Not knowing your wife's interests, I can't make speculation as to what might jive.
Last edited by LordMortis on Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by wonderpug » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:05 am

Yeah, my wife really took to Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. She really liked Waterdeep as well, even with just the two of us.

If you go with Ticket to Ride the Nordic Countries or India variants work better for 2 players than the regular USA map, but you'll still have fun with the USA version if you think she'll like the game more with more familiar landmarks.

I haven't played Patchwork but that's supposed to be a great husband/wife game.

Flashpoint might be a good one. It has fewer fiddly bits than Pandemic, the firefighter theme is easy to connect with, and it's easy to tweak the difficulty level to suit your needs. Being coop can really help as well, since you don't have to worry about how she might feel if she loses to you, and she might really like the teamwork aspect.

Takenoko works fine with two and has a cute theme that might appeal to her.

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is more of a choose-your-own adventure than a board game, but that's another fun one to work together on. Completely ignore the scoring aspect and just focus on trying to solve the mystery as you see fit at your own pace.

Tokaido works fine with two and its theme and artwork can help you sell the game to her.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:17 am

Ticket to Ride (a non-US version, preferably).

7 Wonders Duel is a great two-player only game that isn't too difficult to pick up.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by AWS260 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:29 am

Tales of the Arabian Nights, if she likes stories.

Forbidden Island is a great intro to co-op gaming.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:38 am

Remus West wrote:
Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
Does TtR work with 2?
Works well enough to start a fight when my wife boxed me out of the KC-STL-Little Rock-OKC routes for no other reason that she knew that I needed them.

With fewer than four people you don't use the 2nd route on the doubles. Each route is one user only.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by hepcat » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:52 am

AWS260 wrote:Tales of the Arabian Nights, if she likes stories.

Forbidden Island is a great intro to co-op gaming.
This. You can manage the rules for Arabian Nights so all she needs to do is react to the stories, and read you yours when you point to the paragraph.

Can I also add Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective? It's the perfect couples game, in my opinion. Sit down with your significant other and suss out a mystery together over the course of an evening and a bottle of wine. Or, in my case, sit down with a sock puppet you've made to look like a young Rose McGowan and a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by wonderpug » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:11 am

hepcat wrote:Can I also add Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective? It's the perfect couples game, in my opinion. Sit down with your significant other and suss out a mystery together over the course of an evening and a bottle of wine. Or, in my case, sit down with a sock puppet you've made to look like a young Rose McGowan and a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:14 am

If you're more taunting and combative, Letters from Whitechapel works. The mechanics are very light, and it's all about deductive reasoning vs. smirking taunts.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by hepcat » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:17 am

wonderpug wrote:
hepcat wrote:Can I also add Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective? It's the perfect couples game, in my opinion. Sit down with your significant other and suss out a mystery together over the course of an evening and a bottle of wine. Or, in my case, sit down with a sock puppet you've made to look like a young Rose McGowan and a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
Image
Don't be sad, my friend. I can send you instructions on creating your own puppet, and MD can be found in almost any grocery story or gas station in the United States.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by coopasonic » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:41 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Works well enough to start a fight when my wife boxed me out of the KC-STL-Little Rock-OKC routes for no other reason that she knew that I needed them.
I am not aware of any co-op version of Ticket to Ride. Excellent play on her part (based on the limited information available).
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by wonderpug » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:47 am

hepcat wrote:
wonderpug wrote:
hepcat wrote:Can I also add Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective? It's the perfect couples game, in my opinion. Sit down with your significant other and suss out a mystery together over the course of an evening and a bottle of wine. Or, in my case, sit down with a sock puppet you've made to look like a young Rose McGowan and a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
Image
Don't be sad, my friend. I can send you instructions on creating your own puppet, and MD can be found in almost any grocery story or gas station in the United States.
My single tear is from you ignoring me recommending Sherlock earlier. :P

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:44 am

Morels is a superb two-player game with a theme that works exceptionally well for couples, as it's surprisingly evocative of taking a pleasant stroll through the woods with a delicious picnic:
Amazon.com wrote:Image

The woods are old-growth, dappled with sunlight. Delicious mushrooms beckon from every grove and hollow. Morels may be the most sought-after in these woods, but there are many tasty and valuable varieties awaiting the savvy collector. Bring a basket if you think it's your lucky day. Forage at night and you will be all alone when you stumble upon a bonanza. If you're hungry, put a pan on the fire and bask in the aroma of chanterelles as you saute them in butter. Feeling mercantile? Sell porcini to local aficionados for information that will help you find what you seek deep in the forest.
BTW, it used to include some nifty handcrafted components (wooden foraging sticks and miniature metal frying pans) that definitely added to the bucolic charm of the game. Fortunately, it's easy to recreate the handcrafted foraging sticks with a Dremel tool and a bag of wooden golf tees, and the miniature frying pans can be purchased separately on Amazon.

Another excellent couples two-player game I'd thoroughly recommend is Jaipur:
Amazon.com wrote:Enlarge Image

Product Description
Jaipur is a fast-paced card game blending tactics risk and luck for two seasoned traders. When its your turn you can either take or sell cards. If you take cards you have to choose between taking all the camels taking 1 card from the market or swapping 2 to 5 cards between the market and your cards. If you sell cards you get to sell only one type of good per turn and you get as many chips from that good as you sold cards. The chips values decrease as the game progresses so youd better hurry But on the other hand you get increasingly high rewards for selling 3 4 or 5 cards of the same good at a time so youd better wait You cant sell camels but theyre paramount for trading and theyre also worth a little something at the end of the round enough sometimes to secure the win so you have to use them smartly. Jaipur is a fast-paced card game a blend of tactics risk and luck.Features. Players - 2.. Playing Time - 30 minutes.. Ages - 12 .. Jaipur is a fast-paced card game a blend of tactics risk and luck.. Item Weight - 2.12 lbs.Contains. 55 merchandises and camel cards. 38 merchandises tokens. 1 camel token. 18 bonus tokens. 3 Seal of excellence. Item Weight - 2.12 lbs.

From the Manufacturer
My kingdom for a camel. Work hard, earn more than your opponent and become the official merchant of the Maharaja. At the beginning of the game, three camel cards and two merchandise cards are on the table between the players, who already have five cards in hand. On your turn, you can take some cards or sell some. Each time that you take cards, you can take one or more, however if you decide to take more, then you will have to trade in the same amount of cards from your hand that you take. If you decide to take all camel cards, then they can be used later to trade. You can sell all the merchandise that you want, as long as they are all the same type. For each sale, you will receive tokens with various point values. At the end of the game, the player who has the majority of the camels also wins points.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:48 am

Isgrimnur wrote:
Remus West wrote:
Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
Does TtR work with 2?
Works well enough to start a fight when my wife boxed me out of the KC-STL-Little Rock-OKC routes for no other reason that she knew that I needed them.
I thought I liked your wife already, but this entertains me greatly.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:51 am

She is pretty awesome.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Pyperkub » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:01 pm

Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
How is Catan with 3?

I'd love to get Mrs. Kub and her Mom to try it...
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:17 pm

Pyperkub wrote:
Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
How is Catan with 3?

I'd love to get Mrs. Kub and her Mom to try it...
Catan is OK with three but 4 is where it hits it stride. With three the competition can devolved into two players in a pissing match or two players kicking the cripple. That dynamic fades in 4 players. I can't see playing Catan as a 2 player.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Daveman » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:30 pm

Few ideas not mentioned so far:

Samurai (FFG recently republished this) - 2-4 players and it scales well for any player count thanks to a modular board.
Agricola All Creatures Big and Small - Slightly lighter 2 player only version of Agricola.
Lord of the Rings The Confrontation

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:57 pm

Hanabi is another great intro co-op game that plays well with two, and better yet, is cheap as chips:
Image

Hanabi; named for the Japanese word for "fireworks," is a challenging cooperative card game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks display. Trouble is, it's dark out, so you can't really see what you are working with. Each player holds their cards so that only the other players can see them. They must give each other vital information and remember all the information received. Then use the information to choose which cards to play. Helping each other play the right cards at the right time is the key to creating an unforgettable show and avoid being booed by the audience.
It won the 2013 Spiel des Jahres, and plays with 2 to 5 players. The unique 'hidden-hands' mechanic makes for a really clever deduction game, and clue-giving becomes a fascinating exercise in subtlely effective communication. Rules are simple and easy to understand, and being a co-op game, it couldn't be much easier for teaching newbs.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:22 am

Love Letter. About as light as it gets but fun. Adventure Time variant is good.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:28 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:Love Letter. About as light as it gets but fun.
Love Letter isn't great with two players, IMO. It's ok with three, but is really meant for four.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:26 am

Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:Love Letter. About as light as it gets but fun.
Love Letter isn't great with two players, IMO. It's ok with three, but is really meant for four.
I like it with two. Completely changes the dynamic and some cards are very different. Different game but still enjoyable.

You have to remember to do the start face up discard (3 cards iirc?) +1 reserve too. Have had several games require the reserve.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Chrisoc13 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:56 am

Most of these have already been said but ticket to ride (Nordic countries is best for two I think, although the us anniversary edition is beautiful), carcassonne, and I actually find lords of water deep works really well with two.

My wife loves small world. It scale better than any game I own.

And of course there is pandemic (especially pandemic legacy) that my wife is in love with. And it has the cooperative element. We played through with two and it was fantastic.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Montag » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:26 pm

Jaipur is a good 2 player game.
Splendor is a great 2, 3, or 4 player game. It changes dramatically with the number of players.
Star Realms is a fun two player and cheap.
Carcassone - The Castle is made for two players

edit - some more:
The Hive
Hera and Zeus
words

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Archinerd » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:41 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:Love Letter. About as light as it gets but fun.
Love Letter isn't great with two players, IMO. It's ok with three, but is really meant for four.
I like it with two. Completely changes the dynamic and some cards are very different. Different game but still enjoyable.

You have to remember to do the start face up discard (3 cards iirc?) +1 reserve too. Have had several games require the reserve.
I like it with 2 also, because as you say some cards are play very differently.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Chrisoc13 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:24 pm

Archinerd wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:Love Letter. About as light as it gets but fun.
Love Letter isn't great with two players, IMO. It's ok with three, but is really meant for four.
I like it with two. Completely changes the dynamic and some cards are very different. Different game but still enjoyable.

You have to remember to do the start face up discard (3 cards iirc?) +1 reserve too. Have had several games require the reserve.
I like it with 2 also, because as you say some cards are play very differently.
Interesting. I really enjoy Love Letter, but I've never played it 2 players. I just assumed it wouldn't be good. I'll give it a try. My wife loves it BTW.

If you are interested in a game that is very much like Love letter but with a different theme, and a few expansions, try Lost Legacy. There are at least 4 different decks you can play with and can mix and match as you want as well, or play them all combined. It's a twist that is very similar to Love Letter.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by LordMortis » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:20 pm

Montag wrote:Splendor is a great 2, 3, or 4 player game. It changes dramatically with the number of players.
I've never tried Splendor as a two player. Only four player. I really enjoyed it and have meant to pick it up. I always see multiple copies at the rare occasion I get out for gaming events. if it truly plays well as a two player game then, bonus. I could see that being a good gateway game.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:29 pm

I've stated here before that I'm not a huge fan of Splendor, but I actually found that I enjoyed it most as two player game. Unlike in a three or four person game, you can actually base at least part of your strategy on preventing your opponent from picking up the cards they need. It adds another layer to the game and, IMO of course, makes it more strategic than the three or four person games.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Defiant » Sun Jul 03, 2016 1:30 pm

Zarathud wrote:Carcassone and Ticket to Ride. They're massively popular for good reasons. Catan and Waterdeep really need 3.
Waterdeep works with 2, in my experience, but I'm not sure it's a great intro. I'd probably wait until someones comfortable with some lighter games before introducing them to Waterdeep.

IIRC, Hive is a good 2 player game.

There's also Le Phantom of the Opera (or something like that) where one person plays the phantom, and the other person tries to deduce which character is the phantom using deduction.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Grundbegriff » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:39 pm

Castle Panic is easy and works well for 2, and since it's cooperative, that's 2-against-the-game.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by kganey » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:24 pm

Lost Cities was certainly the gateway for my last SO. She was definitely not a math person, but the math in Lost Cities isn't that bad. I felt comfortable playing the game with 8 year olds, which matches BGG's age recommendation.

From Lost Cities, we made the jump to Dominion. She was sort of overwhelmed by the idea of Dominion at first, but took to it quickly and eventually bought all the expansions.

Over time we built to Ticket to Ride and Small World, which both became favorites.

Eventually, she fell in love with Castles of Burgundy and the transformation to true gamer was complete. :D

One game that wasn't mentioned above is Mystery Rummy. It bridges from familiar game mechanics to a themed game. Really helped because she loved the dark Victorian setting of Jack the Ripper.

We tried cooperative games, but those were largely too complicated/discouraging. Turns out, losing to an absent game designer is worse than losing to a present partner. You get all the dissatisfaction of losing without any of its privileges.

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Moliere » Tue May 01, 2018 6:02 pm

Montag wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:26 pm
Splendor is a great 2, 3, or 4 player game. It changes dramatically with the number of players.
Played this game 5 times over the last couple of days with 2 different groups of people. Three of the games were with 4 people and two of the games were with 3 people. Every single time the person who went first won the game. We rotated the person who played first so it was never the same person. And yet that first person to play won every time. Is there a way to overcome that advantage?
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Skinypupy » Tue May 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Mrs. Skinypupy pretty actively avoids games, but I've gotten her to play Sushi Go with Little B and I a few times now. She seems to really enjoy it.

Dragonwood has also become a big hit, and is super easy.
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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by Harkonis » Tue May 01, 2018 7:07 pm

Dice Throne is simple and easy to learn but fun.
I loved DP too! :P - ChesspieceFace

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Re: Good light intro games?

Post by hepcat » Tue May 01, 2018 10:17 pm

I love Dice Throne. I picked it up as an impulse buy and ended up playing it quite a bit. An excellent, excellent game.
I beat a camel to death with a monkey. Can I do that?
-Mr Bismarck

You have to whack a few rabbits before you are ready to punch a camel.
-Coopasonic

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