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August 19, 2003

Favorite Games - Appendix

This was suggested by a reader... I am going to list the prior entries in the Favorite Games articles and add a note on number of players, with particular attention (boldface) to those that work especially well for two-player play.

I'll even add extra emphasis (!!) on those two player games that I think are paricularly good. Which will be most of them... They are my favorite games, after all.

En Garde - 2 Player only (!!)
Settlers of Catan - 2-4 Players (2-6 with expansion set), best at 4+
Ursuppe - 2-4 Players (2-5 with expansion set), best at 4+
Kill Doctor Lucky - 3-7 (or more), best with lots
Lord of the Rings - 2-5 (2-6 with Sauron set), best 4+
Lord of the Fries - 3-8, plays well at any
Battle Line - 2 Player only (!!)
Munchkin - 3-6, best with lots
Lost Cities - 2 Player Only (!!)
Cosmic Encounter - 2-4 (or more with expansion sets), best 4+
Samurai - 2-4, plays well (but differently!) at all numbers (!!)
Bohnanza - 2-7, best with several
Apples to Apples - 4+, best with lots
Gold Diggers - 2-6, very different (more strategic) game with fewer players
Kingdoms - 2-4, more strategic with fewer players
Dog Eat Dog - 2-6, fighting dogs useless at low number of players
Wiz War - 2-4 (or more, depending on expansions), best with several
Tigris & Euphrates - 2-4, dramatically more strategic at 2 (!!)
Family Business - 2-6, poor at 2, best with 4+
Courtisans of Versailles - 3-6, best with several
Who Stole Ed's Pants - 3-4 (played in teams at 4 for a different game)
Money - 3-5, best with several
Buttonmen - 2 (variants allow for more)
Ra - 3-5, best with several
Abalone - 2 (3-6 with expansions), best (by far) at 2 (!!)
Illuminati - 2-6, best with 4+
Brawl - 2
Galaxy: The Dark Ages - 2-5, best with more
Diceland - 2 (or more with website rules), best at 2 (especially Diceland: Ogre) (!!)
Carcasonne - 2-5 (6 with expansion), much more strategic at 2 or 3
Kahuna - 2 (!!)
Titan - 2-6, best with more
Nuclear War - 2-6, best with more
Ceaser and Cleopatra - 2 (!!)
Formula De - 2+, best at 3+ (in teams) or 5+ (running single cars)
Formula Motor Racing - 3-6, best with lots
Space Hulk - 2 (more in certain scenarios)
Talisman - 2+ (best with several)
Ameoba Wars - 2-6, best with several
Merchant of Venus - 2-6, best with several
Quirks - 3-6, best with several
Kings and Things - 2-4, best at 4
The Awful Green Things From Outer Space - 2 (!!)
Warhammer Quest - 1+ (expect to die lots playing solo), best with 3 or 4 and no GM

Additional Note for 2-player games: Lost Cities, Kahuna, and Caesar & Cleopatra are part of a series of 2-player games published by Kosmos in Germany and released by Rio Grande Games here in the USA. Several of the other games in this series (Odin's Ravens, Balloon Cup, Hera & Zeus, Babel, and Hellas) missed my "favorites" list only because I haven't played them enough to assure myself of my opinion. It's rather hard to go wrong with this series, as the games are reasonably priced (mostly under $20), have high production quality, and are cleverly themed.

Posted by ghoul at August 19, 2003 08:48 AM

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Nothing compares to playing Formula De with 10-12 people. At our monthly gaming group, we did this for almost two years -- one guy used a dime instead of a car, since we ran out of them.

You end up with three bunches of cars -- the leaders, the mid-range, and the real mis-driven cars. In two lap races, this became a real interesting grouping, as it could actually block leaders.

Ever play Mississippi Queen w/the Black Rose expansion? It's clever, and sort of a riverboat Formula De.

Posted by: Scott at August 20, 2003 07:53 AM

I haven't had the good fortune of playing in such a player-flush Formula De game, but I can certainly imagine that it would only improve as you approached that point. The crowded field is really what provides the challenge.

And yes, I have Mississippi Queen and Black Rose... A very fun race game (with nice additional side-requirements via the passengers and the uncertainty of the future riverscape for the lead boat that force you do do something other than just blast forward at full steam) that was just a hair off my "favorites" list. Particularly nice are the clever steamboat play pieces, both for their look and for using the side-wheels to record game statistics.

Posted by: Ghoul at August 20, 2003 10:11 AM

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