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Board games for two players

I was a serious game player (years ago - 80's & 90's) even playtested games for a friend's father who was a game designer at Mayfair Games and explored patenting my own game. I am a serious chess player (roughly Expert level) and was a semi-pro Magic the Gathering player back in the 1990's.

However I haven't played a lot of board games since the 1990's, so I missed out on the whole Settlers of Catan craze and the rise of Eurogames. I own a bunch of the newer classic games - Puerto Rico, Catan (just the base set and the Catan card game), just bought the base set of Dominion but haven't yet played it and have a bunch of others.

What we are looking for are good, fun games my girlfriend and I can play together. She is highly competitive but not quite as serious a game player (in the past at least) as I have been. We've been playing a bunch of various games - but have found ourselves frequently playing Uno for the retro fun but frankly we'd like some better games.

I have played Carcassonne on my iPhone and frankly don't really like it much. Catan I kinda enjoy but don't love the trading aspects. Puerto Rico frankly intimidates me a bit with how intense many people are about the game. I want to play Dominion (though the setup time & hassle seems slightly high - I suspect we'll enjoy it especially with the variability between games).

I'm open to suggestions that cover a range of game styles - but ideally are relatively quick, have some degree of luck/randomness so while skill is important it isn't the only factor (i.e. while I enjoy Chess playing chess with my gf isn't likely to be a lot of fun for her though we may play sometime I've been studying chess since for literally 30+ years). We do tend to like card games - have enjoyed games like Fluxx (in small doses - though more so with larger groups) but are certainly open to non-card game suggestions.

While I might enjoy games with a lot of parts and long play times (I've really enjoyed playing Descent in the past and want to get the new Wizards of Coast D&D board games) when it is just the two of us a game with a lengthy setup time and complex rules is less likely to get played after a long day of work, dinner & household tasks. But a game with nearly no setup time and quick gameplay is far more likely to be played (i.e. hence our falling back on Uno so often)

marked as duplicate by Pat Ludwig Feb 3 '11 at 20:21

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Lost Cities

I bought this game for my wife for Valentine's Day and totally got away with it - she loves it!

It's not to be confused with the Lost Cities boardgame - I'm talking about the 2 player card game. Essentially players are archaeologists setting out to discover the Lost Cities of the title. There are 5 different Lost Cities (each of a different colour), and the deck contains cards from 2-10 in each colour, and three multiplier cards. You can play a card to an "expedition" or discard one to a central pile, and then pick one up from the deck or from a central pile; the problem is, once you play a numeric card to an expedition you can no longer play a multiplier, and you can never play a lower number onto a higher one. At the end you total the value of each expedition, subtract 20, and times by the number of multiplier cards plus one (plus there's a bonus for an impressive 8-cards+ expedition).

Obviously you can lose mad points as well as gain them from starting an expedition you can't follow through with! There's a lot of strategy for a simple game, deciding when you can afford to play, when you can afford to discard, and when you just have to cling onto cards for dear life in your hand! A game takes only 5 minutes, and a match is meant to be best of three games. It's got a colourful theme, attractive (oversized) cards, and quite a lot of depth for a game that's so simple to get started with: it's a real couples game in my opinion.

The only thing I don't like about the game is that there's allegedly a 4 player variant - but to play it you're encouraged to buy a second copy of the base game just so you can add it about 20 duplicate cards to your deck. Yeah, right. This fact is not a problem if you just want a game to play as a couple though, thank goodness!

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