Each week, a question is presented to the various writers of Mighty Meep. This question might be insightful or relevant to the tabletop community… Or not. Sometimes these things are simply unavoidable. We would love to hear your answers as well, either in the comments below or by shooting us an e-mail!
What do you play when you only have two? This week we talk about our favorite two-player games. These are games that are either designed for two players or play well with two players.
Ben: Oh man, I really like 2 player games, I just don’t get much time to play them because I usually have a lot of people at game nights.
Games that can play more but I love with 2 players: Carcassonne, Kingdom Builder, Axis & Allies: Europe/Pacific 1940, Tide of Iron, and Death Angel.
Games that only play with 2 players: Memoir ’44, Confusion, Martinique, Battle Line, Mancala, Marvel: Dice Masters, and Quorridor.
When I play two player games, there are two major types of games that I want to play, long war games or short abstract games.
Jen: My husband and I have a number of two player games that hit our table regularly.
San Juan is one of my favorites (and not just because it’s the card cousin to Puerto Rico) and almost always makes it into our travel bags as well as a staple in board gaming Saturdays.
Hansa, an older game, is great at two players (I don’t know if I can recall playing it with more). You create ports, receive goods and drop them off, all to collect barrels for victory points at the end of the game.
Recently, Keyflower (I recently reviewed it here) and Manhattan Project have been favorites. They’re both multiplayer games with a good 2-player version. Both combine worker placement with light resource management.
If you haven’t tried All Creatures Big and Small, the two-player variant of Agricola, you should. It’s quick (limited to 8 rounds) and a brain burner all at the same time.
Matt: I asked this question not just for our readers but also a bit selfishly for myself. My girlfriend and I play a lot of two-player games since we only have one day a week off together so getting out to play with others has become more difficult of late. We are always looking for good two-player games that for the most part are simple to play and learn.
Lately we’ve been playing a lot Splendor and even though I think it plays best with four it is still very fun with two.
My girlfriend and I like to play the deck building granddaddy Dominion a lot and usually end up playing it online on Goko.com most of the time, even if we are in the same room, to eliminate the constant shuffling.
The tile laying classic Carcassonne is also a lot of fun and scales extremely well from two to six with the strategy changing greatly depending on the number of players.
If we’re looking for a good two-player worker placement game we usually pull out The Manhattan Project or Russian Railroads and if we want a slightly more complex euro we pull out Stefan Feld’s The Castles of Burgundy.
When we feel like a good card game we typically turn to the ultra portable Love Letter which we’ve played more than once at restaurants while waiting for our meals. We also recently got in to both Jaipur and Morels, both of which are set collecting games.
Neal: For me its always been Space Hulk in whatever iteration it comes in. I remember it fondly as one of the first board games I ever played, and how terribly difficult that game could be as the Space Marines. I love how it can easily scale in difficulty based on the missions you choose. The miniatures were also an awesome component that really helped with immersion into the game. Switching between the Tyranid and Space Marines makes for a fun way to spice up the game, and help with strategy from both sides. Now I have to make sure the guy who has it still has it and play some! Honorable mention for me is Ogre because really big gun laden tanks are awesome.