Top 5 Two Player Games

Back in April on the Roleplaying and Board Game Chat group on Facebook there was a post about having a weekly top five games list based on a theme such as Dungeon Crawls. Obviously I thought this was a great idea for this blog too. I'm not sure if it took off because I don't seem to remember any top five lists on that Facebook group.

Now I'd filed a screen shot of that post away on my iPad for later use. A break open in case of lack of content sort of thing.

I have to admit I've always looked at this sort of content as lazy, and click bait. But I've never denied I'm not a big hypocrite. But what can I bring to this obvious attempt at grabbing views that will make it different and fresh?

So here we are with my first top five. The theme I've chosen for this list is two player games.

So how did I compile my top five? Firstly I downloaded my list of games owned from the bgg website.

Using Numbers on my iPhone I filtered the data on max number of players. I then decided that I would not include any CCG/LCG. I'll use them for the theme of another list sometime. I also discounted any game that plays more players but plays really well as a two player game also. Once again I think that would make a great theme for another list. I better start making a note of these themes to use at a later date. I also discounted games from the list that were still languishing on my pile of shame. I then went through the bg stats apps records of games played to make sure I hadn't missed any that I've played since I started recording game plays at the end of last year that belonged to someone else.

Now with that pruned list of candidates, it was time to whittle it down to a top five. But would I be able to actually rate the games in any sort of order of preference? No. So in no particular order because I can't be decisive, hate making decisions, and it was like trying to choose a favourite child, here is my top five two player games.

  • 7 Wonders Duel – a recent addition to the collection that I love playing, and is just as big a hit with Nath. Card drafting and set collection set in the ancient world. If when I introduced Nath to the game I hadn't been so tired from travelling, we probably would have been up all night playing this. Nath asks me when I visit now if I have the game with me, and if so can we play it.
  • Battlelore/Memoir '44 – I've cheated a little here by including these two “war games lite” together. I love playing both games, they both have the same underlying mechanics being based on the command and colours system developed by Richard Borg. I'd say get both and play both. But in reality chose the theme you like best. Do you like fantasy? Then get Battlelore. Do you prefer the more “modern” setting of World War II? Then get Memoir '44. It really is that simple. Memoir '44 has the better support expansion and scenario wise. But there are some nice expansions for Battlelore, just not as many.
  • Lost Cities – the majority of my games of Lost Cities have been with the app of the game against the same opponent for the last five years. Unlike our Carcassonne games where I get my butt kicked regularly, the advantage lies with me in Lost Cities. Set collection loosely based around the them of exploring for ancient lost civilisations. Some nice decisions to make about when to play cards, what to hold onto etc.
  • Odin's Ravens – a very recent addition to the collection, it can be taught in under five minutes. Which hides it's hidden depth/decisions. Such a simple theme two ravens belonging to Odin racing to the edge of the world and back to be the first to bring Odin the latest news. This also was an instant hit with Nath.
  • Star Realms – a two player deck builder that has a great scifi theme, is fast, in your face. If a number one game had to be chosen on plays alone then this would be number one. It helps that it has an amazing app that has online play. The majority of my playing is via the app. The game is cheap, with everything you need to play in one box. But there are also expansions you can buy that when added in mix things up, either adding new ships and bases, or new mechanics. How good is this game? Nath asked for his own copy for his birthday. It's probably the first thing that hits the table when I visit.

There has been a reason why I've pointed out when Nath loves a game. Nath as regular readers are aware is my son. My 22 year old son, who plays video games all the time (just like his father). So if a boardgame can get him excited and asking to play it, then that game has to be really special. So I use that as an extra measurement for how good a game is. With the games above that I haven't mentioned Nath, it's not because he doesn't like them, it's because I haven't played them with him yet.

Honourable mentions

If this was a top ten these four games would definitely be added to the list and would easily have made the list six months ago if I had done it then before some of the games had been added to the collection.

  • Sun Tzu
  • Hive Pocket
  • Tides of Time
  • Patchwork – has a great app available.

Dishonourable mention

I had to do this, I can't warn people about this enough.

  • Nantucket – the “game” that was created to illustrate the saying “it's not a game”. Read my thoughts on the “not a game” here.

So there that was my first click bait top five list. Was it different enough from other lists? Are there any recommendations for others for me to play?


5 thoughts on “Top 5 Two Player Games

  1. I really love Odins Ravens, 7 Wonders & Patchwork. Memoir ’44 has been on my wish list for a long time. The Kings Rose is a fun two player in my house!

    1. I have just the base memoir ’44 game, the d day campaign maps they did to celebrate the 60th anniversary, the second campaign book and the rather pricey guide to the game. Luckily my friend Jonathan has everything for it, or pretty close to everything. It’s a fun game. I’m going to have to look on bgg for The Kings Rose not heard of that one.

  2. Not clickbaity enough Darren. I expected to have to click Next Page between each game and then try to close a massive advert each time. Good list mate.

    1. Thanks – I’ll have to see if there is a WordPress plugin for that 😉 I also didn’t use a title like “this guy put his nuts in a blender, you won’t believe what happened next”

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