Games with Two

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What Will The Future Be Like? - Euphoria Interview

Jason Moslander
United States
Fenton
Missouri
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Originally Posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/05/euphoriainterview.html

Last fall, I had a chance to interview Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games. He told me all about their first game, Viticulture. Well, Viticulture is currently being sent out to Kickstarter backers and Jamey and his partner Alan have started their next project, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia. I was able to sit down with Jamey and discuss his new game (currently on Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jameystegmaier/euphoria-...).

What is the Theme of Euphoria? Euphoria is a dystopian-themed game. It’s not a gloomy dystopia, though—I mean, from our perspective it’s kind of sad, but the workers in the world of Euphoria don’t know they’re in a dystopia. A lot of the references in the game are tongue-in-cheek; for example, each of the markets have contradictory names, like the Plaza of Immortalized Humility. Many of the recruits and ideas in the game pay homage to dystopian literature and movies, but the story of Euphoria stands on its own as well.

What mechanics does it use? I’ll just list the mechanics here and go into detail in later questions: worker-placement, dice allocation, area control, hand management, set collection, engine building, press your luck, resource management, alliances, semi-cooperation, variable setup, and variable player powers.

How does it differ from your other worker placement game, Viticulture? Interesting question. I was definitely going for something very different than Viticulture in terms of theme. Many of the mechanics above aren’t in Viticulture. But I would say that the biggest difference is the flow of the game. In Euphoria, you either place one worker dice on your turn or you retrieve any/all of your worker dice—one or the other, just like in Tzolk’in. There are no rounds, no phases, no seasons, no upkeep—once you start playing, you keep taking turn after turn until someone wins. That removes the need to determine the first player or have a semi-moderator reminding everyone which round they’re in. Viticulture’s theme means that the seasons really are necessary, but I wanted to make Euphoria a game that flowed in a more fluid way.

How does it differ from other dice worker games, such as Alien Frontiers, Kingsburg, and Castles of Burgundy?
I’ve played Alien Frontiers and Kingsburg (and greatly enjoy both of them) but not Castles of Burgundy (I’ve read quite a bit about it, though). The biggest difference between all of them and Euphoria is the way the numbers on the dice are used. I’m not aware of a connection between the numbers on the dice in those games and the themes. But in Euphoria, the numbers on the dice represent the knowledge of each worker. In a dystopia, having workers that know too much is a bad thing, because they might realize they’re in a dystopia and run away. So the collective knowledge of all of your workers must be kept below a certain limit or else you’ll lose a worker. There are many ways to mitigate that, including not adding extra workers beyond your starting 2. Luck barely factors into Euphoria, while I feel like it has a greater impact in those three games. When you roll the dice in Euphoria, the numbers don’t limit you to certain action spaces on the board. Nor are high rolls necessarily better than low rolls, or vice versa. Rather, based on your recruit cards (which give you special powers), you might get a bonus based on the way your worker interacts with another worker. For example, the Euphorians value equal knowledge—they want everyone to be the same as everyone else. So one Euphorian recruit might say that if you place you worker next to a worker of equal knowledge, you get an extra resource. The only real luck factor in the game is that if you roll more than one worker of the same knowledge, you can place both of them on your turn instead of just once. Thus there’s a big incentive to get more workers and increase the chances of rolling doubles (or the coveted triples), but you have to keep an eye on your overall knowledge, lest it gets to high and you lose a worker.

With Viticulture there was a money back guarantee, no questions asked. Will the same be true for Euphoria? Absolutely. We continue to believe that Kickstarter backers put a huge amount of trust in us to deliver on our promises. If we don’t, they can return the game to us within the first month of receiving it, no questions asked.

How many players can play Euphoria and what is the playtime? The version that is launching on Kickstarter plays 2-5. There is a stretch goal that adds a 6th player. It plays 15 minutes per player once you know how to play, almost to the minute.

How well does it play with two players? According to our blind playtesters and from our experience, it plays really well with 2. Setup is exactly the same, but there are a few less spaces for placing ownership tokens (victory points) on the board to make it a tighter game. One of the couples that blind playtested the game must have played it between 10-15 times, and they loved it. They said that the games lasted almost exactly 30 minutes every time.

I saw Euphoria being demoed at Geekway to the West this year, are there plans to the demo the game at any other conventions? Yes! It was great to meet you at Geekway. We’ll also be at Diecon with Viticulture and Euphoria at the end of June, and then at GenCon in August.

What are some of the unique stretch goals and kickstarter exclusives that backers can expect to see? Any surprises you can tell us about? You might remember the Viticulture campaign as a wild ride where I kept releasing new reward levels and stretch goals. A big part of that was that I was learning as I went. Although it was a lot of fun for me and the backers, it was not the wisest approach, especially when it came to accurate pricing. Thus the Euphoria campaign is planned out to the smallest detail. All of the stretch goals are visible on the project page. The only thing I’m keeping a secret are the various things needed to unlock those stretch goals…I have some fun surprises planned there.

Is there any expansions planned for Euphoria, if so, can you tell us anything about them? Honestly, I’m focusing a little more on Viticulture expansion brainstorming right now, as I don’t know how Euphoria will do yet. However, there is an expansion that is a stretch goal on Kickstarter. Again, I planned ahead with this one and extensively tested the expansion as part of the game. That way we know it works.

Where is the best place to get a hold of a copy of the game? The best way to get the best copy of the game is Kickstarter! We would love your support in making this ongoing dream a reality.

If you could only use one word to describe Euphoria what would it be? Apocalicious.

Is there anything else coming down the pipeline that you can tell us about? I’d like to make a card-based strategy game that plays up to 8 players. I have two ideas in that realm that I’m working on. Alan is working on a Prohibition-themed game. And both of us are always thinking about our big-box Viticulture expansion. The sales and ratings of that game will determine if we pursue the expansion pack.

A big thanks to Jamey for taking the time to sit down and interview with us about his new project Euphoria: Building a Better Dystopia. I look forward to hearing more about it, and I can't wait to give it a go. I saw it being demoed at Geekway to the West and it looked pretty sweet. Of course, I am a big fan of worker placement and dice, so this one appeals to me. And I am very excited to hear that it plays well with 2 players, and plays in about 30 minutes with 2 (a big plus for Mrs. GwT). I can't wait to try this one out. Be sure to check out Stonemaier's project (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jameystegmaier/euphoria-...), and while you are waiting you can pick up a copy of Viticulture, which should be available very soon.

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Fri May 17, 2013 11:48 am
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    It's Alive - A Look at the Living Card Game Model

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally Posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/04/its-alive-look-at-living...

    About a year ago, I purchased The Lord of the Rings Card Game. This game is a Living Card Game (LCG). After playing this for a year and purchasing another Living Card Game (Netrunner), I have begun to look a little deeper into this branch of the game family. What is the history of the LCG? What is the purpose? Is it a good system? What are the pros and cons? And what kind of gamers are they best for? I want to explore the LCG genre and hopefully give you a better idea to if it is something you want to invest your gaming dollar into.

    The History
    In 2008, Fantasy Flight Games invented a new branch of games called Living Card Games. The concept has it's origins in the world of Collectible Card Games (CCGs) and Trading Card Games (TCGs). With Living Card games, the concept is that instead of buying packs filled with random cards. You buy a pack and already know what cards it contains. These new packs would be released on a monthly basis and vary in size and content. There would also be a core set that would be released first for each Living Card Game. These would also all have the same cards, and also contain the rule book and any additional pieces needed to play the game. In theory, this makes it so that there are no "rare" cards, and no hunting for that one card you need to complete your set, or the one card needed to make your deck complete.

    Fantasy Flight began this model in 2008 with the 4-playerGame of Thrones Card Game and the 2-player Call of Cthulhu Card Game. Later, they release a Warhammer Invasion, The Lord of the Rings Card Game, Android: Netrunner, and Star Wars the Card Game. One of the first things you will notice about these six games is that they were all existing franchises either in the gaming world or elsewhere. Android: Netrunner benefits from being in the Fantasy Flight Android universe and having it's origins as a CCG from the mid 90s. This seems one of the strategies behind the LCG game, that is uses a theme that people are already familiar with.

    Finally, other publishers have begun to adopt the LCG model, but they do not use the LCG name. Games like Stronghold's Revolver and Plaid Hat Games' Summoner Wars use similar systems to release new packs of cards for their games. Although neither of these is a true LCG (according to Fantasy Flights definition), they both draw of the model that Fantasy Flight has created.

    The Publisher's View
    For Fantasy Flight, this is nothing more than money, money, and more money. You get people to buy a core set of cards for $40. You give them just enough cards to wet their whistles. Then, once they are hooked, they almost can't help themselves and begin buying expansion packs (adventure packs, data packs, etc.). And the price point of $15 a pack makes it seem like an affordable choice to add more cards to your $40 investment. However, before you know it you have bought 6 packs and dropped $90 on a $40 game. And now you have spent $130. And at this point, just when you think you are done buying they release a large expansion with 125+ cards for $30. Now, you have dropped $160 on one game! What just happened? You've been nickel and dimed into investing $150 on a card game. What is wrong with you? Well, now that you are in this deep, you might as well make sure you have the best cards possible. So, you keep buying and buying, and Fantasy Flight is laughing all the way to the bank.


    This is a wonderful model for the publisher if the game takes off. If the game flops, the company has just wasted hundred of man hours in development to make a game that no one is buying and no one is playing. I believe this is part of the reason why Fantasy Flight has been very selective in the games they are making for their LCG series. I also believe that is why you saw a year long delay in the release of the Star Wars LCG. The LCG needs to be a sustainable game as far as theme and game play; they just can't afford a flop, and they have taken precautions to try to avoid this.

    The Gamer's View
    So, how is the LCG from the gamer's perspective? Well, I can tell you that they are not for everyone. First, all but one of them only play with 2 players. So, if 2-player-only games are not your thing, you will want to avoid these. Second, the LCGs and other Fantasy Flight Games that I have played have very long and complex rule books--we're talking 30+ pages. Granted, parts of that are for setup and explaining what an LCG is and the deck building part of the game, but it is still a daunting task. Be ready to read through that thing a couple times and watch a few online tutorials. If you can get past that, you are ready to grab the LCG that has the theme and game play that you enjoy and get your game on.

    Another great thing about the LCGs is that they all play very differently. Lord of the Rings is a Co-op, Netrunner is asymetrical, Game of Thrones plays with up to four players. I love that they are not all just the same game with a different theme pasted on. It makes it possible for their to be more diversity and the possible that you will find the LCG that is right for you.

    Like a Fine Wine
    One thing that I have discovered about Fantasy Flight Games and the LCG series is that you really can't draw conclusions after one game. You really need 3-4 good plays before: one, you have an understanding of what is actually going on, and two, a real feel for the depth of game play and strategy. So, if you have only gotten your LCG out once and didn't care for it or thought it was too complex, I encourage to try try again. Most of the time, I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of a game after one or two plays, but for some reason with the LCGs I need a good 4-5 plays before I really have my bearings and feel that I can enjoy the game.

    The Game Outside the Game
    Since LCGs have their roots in the Collectible Card Game realm, there is some serious gaming going on outside the actual game. Deck construction is a key portion of the LCG design, the ability to create your own custom decks. Now, the LCGs that I have played have come with pre-constructed decks, but they are really made just to get your feet wet. You get a taste of what the game has to offer, but then you have to dive into the world of deck construction to have a deck that is worth anything. For the gamers that have their roots in the same place as the LCG (the CCG world), this is almost second nature to them. Buying new packs and mixing and matching cards to make the best deck possible.

    There are a good number of LCG players who have their roots in the world of board games. Yes, there is cross over between the two genres, but some have never built decks before. This is where the crossover can get hazy. Some board gamers want to be able to buy a game and play it right out of the box (ehem *Mrs. GwT*). No customization, no shuffling through decks and decks of cards. And the cool thing about LCGs is that you can do just that with the core sets. Or you can buy every expansion pack that comes out and customize your game to nth degree.

    So, the question is can you enjoy these games right out of the box? Are they worth the money? Or will you need to invest? Well, from my experience it really depends on what game you are playing. Take Lord of the Rings for example: it is about impossible to beat all the scenarios that come with the core set without extra cards. But in a game like Netrunner, you could be perfectly happy playing with the 7 different decks that come with the base game. In the end, it comes down to how much time and money do you want to invest in your game? And is it worth the investment?

    Final Thoughts
    Personally, I have really enjoyed the LCG model. I think its a great alternative to the CCG model. There is no longer a need to search down those ultra rare cards, and then drop $75 on a single card. There is no need buy booster pack after booster pack with randomness. The LCG takes the randomness out of CCGs. It makes it possible to go to a tournament and win, because everyone has access to the same cards.

    Second, I love that the games come with a core set that is ready to play. This makes entry into the game easy. I do wish that the boxes or box inserts were designed better, so that you could easily fit the game and all the expansions that you have bought without having to do major modifications.

    Finally, the LCG is most definitely not for everyone. These are complex games that take a long time to learn and teach. Some people are going to hate the deck constructing (again, Mrs GwT). Some are going to hate the constant need to buy new cards and see it as a cash cow. And some are going to hate the 30 page rule book. However, others will love the constant release of new cards, the complexity of the game play, and the game outside the game. And for me I think I fall into the second category. I have had my brain thoroughly washed by Fantasy Flight and their clever marketing. And now, I am ready to invest in my Living Card Games.

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    Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:07 pm
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    Top 10 2-Player Card Games - #1

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/03/top-10-2-player-card-gam...

    We have reached the end of our Top 10 journey. Here is a look back at the first 9, and then onto number one.

    10. Yomi
    9. Lost Cities
    8. Citadels
    7. Smash Up
    6. Carnival
    5. Jaipur
    4. Revolver
    3. Morels
    2. Lord of the Rings the Card Game

    #1 Dominion
    Dominion is still in this slot, as our favorite 2-player card game. Yes, this game is great with 3 and I would say 4 as well (although some would beg to differ). However, we love to play this one with just the two of us. And yes, it seems like almost every time we play I destroy Mrs. Games with Two, but she always comes back for more. I believe the reason for this is that half the fun of Dominion is seeing how all the cards interact with one another. It is almost more fun to play a bunch of cards in front of you, than to actually try to score points. One of our friends plays this way all the time. He always loses, but he has a blast doing so. And because of this the game continues to be one of our favorites. It has infinite replay ability with the endless cards and expansions and you can try new strategies out all the time. And I really think that is why we continue to love this game. And even though their are other deck builders out there that have better themes, it seems like nothing beats the original deck builder.

    Snubs
    WHAT! WHY ISN"T (enter your favorite card game here) ON YOUR LIST! Well, there are some notable games missing from our list. First, Battleline by Reiner Knizia. The reason this game isn't on our list is simple, I have yet to play it. I know it is one of the infamous 2-player card games, but just haven't had chance to try it out yet. I am sure that once I get a chance to play this one it will be on our list. Second, Android: Netrunner, I have had a chance to play this one, but it has only been recently and I have yet to make a decision on how I feel about it. I am thinking that it will be in my Top 10 card games soon, and you can see what I think about Netrunner once I do a full review of it in the not so distant future. Finally, Magic: The Gathering. This one is off my list because I am not a CCG (Collectible Card Game) player. I have never played one, and I don't plan to. If someone really wanted to play Magic, I would be glad to indulge them, but it just isn't my style. So with those notable snubs, I am sure that I still left off one of your favorites. So, what is your favorite 2-player card game?

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    Tue Apr 2, 2013 1:17 am
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    Top 10 2-Player Card Games - #2

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally Posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/03/top-10-2-player-card-gam...

    As we look at our last two games, I wanted to give them each their own post, so that you can appreciate them in all their gaming glory. So, be on the lookout for #1 in the coming days....

    #2 Lord of the Rings The Card Game
    This game is also know as The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game (LCG). This has quickly become one of my favorite games. First, the game is dripping with the wonderful LotR theme. Second, it's cooperative play, which is always a plus in our house. Third, the artwork is amazing. It captures the theme, but does it in it's own unique ways. It doesn't try to copy the artwork or the characters from the movies, but actually shys away from the films, to give it a feeling all it's own.

    Before all you Lord of the Ring fanatics go purchasing this game, please be forewarned, this game is not for the faint of heart. The rules and game play for the game are quite complex. You will find this out as soon as you pick up the 30-plus page rule book, numerous tokens, and cards upon cards upon cards. Although most of the games on this list are short, easy games to learn and play, this is not one of them. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing, and I am not trying to scare you away from this game, but the difference is vast.

    Another thing to keep in mind with this game is that it ages like a fine wine. The game grows on you the more you play it. The first time I played I was not in love with the game play. It really took about 3 plays before I really started getting into this game Another great feature is the fact that you can customize this game and then customize it again. The game has a deck building mechanic that allows you to customize the cards that you play with. For many, this is the game within the game; building the perfect deck to defeat the evils of Middle Earth.

    As my love for this game continues to grow, Mrs. Games with Two found the game less than intriguing. She loved the artwork and the Lord of the Rings theme, but the game play just wasn't her thing. I hope to get her to give it another shot, but right now the situation is looking bleak. So for me, this has almost turned into a solo experience for the time. I am searching for that gaming buddy who will be willing to break this out a couple times a month with me, but he hasn't arrived yet. That being said, this is still a wonderful two-player game and has a great amount of depth and replay ability (just be sure you know what you are getting yourself into).

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    Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:30 pm
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    Top 10 2-Player Card Games - #4 & #3

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/03/top-10-2-player-card-gam...

    As I have been going through this list, I believe I may have put a couple games in the wrong positions. #5 Jaipur, should really be in my #4 spot on this list. And number #4 should probably be my number #5. So, keep that in mind when you are reading here, because I know that my #4 game is going to shock some of you. I also tried to sway from the safe picks, sometimes I like to shake it up, and I think #4 is going to be a big shake up.

    4. Revolver
    What? Revolver? Really? Yes. Really. Now, as I said in the intro, this should probably really be number 5, but either way you slice it, it is still in my Top 5 2-player card games. I know that many of you will disagree, but Revolver has been one of our "go to" 2-player card games over the last year or so. First, we love the western theme. It is a theme that has been used, but sparingly. I love that it also has a story line that gives you the feel of being in a Western. The story is classic Western. A gang of thieves robs a bank and kills the sheriff in the process. So a group of men who stand for justice chase them down and kill all the members of the gang. At least, that is their plan.

    The game play is a lot fun, and there is quite a bit of strategy. I know lots of people say you just play what you draw, but I believe there is much more to it than that. It's all about hand management. Can you hold onto that really awesome card until it is time to use it, or will your hand be forced to play it earlier than you really want. Do you want to get ahead early or go for the kill late in the game? The decision making in this game keeps us coming back. And now, with the expansion packs that they have been releasing, the game has a whole new dynamic as you can construct your own decks (Living Card Game Style). This allows for a custom strategy that your opponent may not see coming. Finally, the last reason that I have this game ranked so high, is because Mrs. Games with Two loves it. This is one of the few games that she will suggest to play on a regular basis, and if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me.

    3. Morels
    Morels has a bit of the opposite effect of Revolver. Mrs. Games with Two really doesn't care for this game. I am not 100% sure why, and I don't think she really know either; just, for some reason, she hasn't fallen in love with it. I, on the other hand, really enjoy Morels. The only problem I have found is that none of the people I have played with have fallen in love either.

    Again, the first thing that draws me to this game is the unique theme. Hunting for mushrooms in the woods isn't a theme that many designers go with. However, Two Lantern Games, decided to pull the trigger on this theme and it was a hit. I believe it was one of the stars of GenCon 2012. And that is no easy task considering the amount of publishers and game releases at that convention.


    The game play for Morels is also one that is fun and engaging. The Rummy-style game play along with again having to manage your hand works well for this game. The game's hand limit rules make it difficult to hoard great cards and you may have to score some minor points in order to free up your hand. I find that the decisions in this game are never easy, and when you finally do make a decision you feel that you may have made it a turn or two too soon. I love that about Morels, you are always second guessing your decisions and that is what keeps me coming back. I only wish that I could some others to come back with me.

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    Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:28 am
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    Top 10 2 player card games - #6 & #5

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/03/top-10-2-player-card-gam...

    As we continue our look at great card games for two, you will recognize that the next two entries both come in nice small boxes. This is great because you get a lot of game at a small cost to your wallet and your game shelf.

    10. Yomi
    9. Lost Cities
    8. Citadels
    7. Smash Up

    6. Carnival
    Carnival has some cool things going for it. First, it has a cool theme. Very few people have explored the carnival/theme park genre. Sure, we have Rollar Coaster Tycoon, and a board game adaptation, but that is about it. I love when companies grab themes that haven't been over done. Second, we have cards and dice. This game could really qualify for favorite dice game, or favorite card game. This is a great mix. Most of the time, designers chose either cards or dice, but very few mix the two--especially when a board is just about non-existent (Carnival has a tiny little board). Third, this game is just a lot of fun. You steal and trade cards from your opponents as you try to build all your rides. If you don't like a "Take that!" in your game, you probably won't take well to this one. However, if that is your thing and you enjoy some sweet graphic design, you are going to love Carnival, just as we have.

    5. Jaipur
    Santa Claus brought me this game this past Christmas, and I am glad that (S)he did. This had been on my wishlist for some time, and many a people had asked me how I could be "Games with Two," and not own Jaipur. Well, I now know what they were talking about. This is a solid two-player card game, and it has quickly become a favorite. The simple play with difficult decisions makes it a winner for us. And if you are a fan of trading and hand management, that is what Jaipur is all about. Trading, selling and then trade and sell some more. Glad that this one was added to my collection and I am glad that I was a good little boy, otherwise I would have gotten coal.

    For games numbered four and three we take a look at some hunting and some shooting.

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    Wed Mar 6, 2013 11:46 am
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    Roll Through the Dungeon - Dungeon Roll Interview

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    I recently had an opportunity to sit down with the designer of Dungeon Roll. This is a new dice-rolling game from Tasty Minstrel Games that is currently on Kickstarter, and has already reached it's funding goal. So, you know if you pledge you will get a copy, and probably some awesome stretch goals. What does Chris Darden, the designer, have to say about his game...

    Tell me about Dungeon Roll? is a press your luck dice game for 2-4 players. You represent 1. Tell me about Dungeon Roll? Dungeon Roll is a press your luck dice game for 1-4 players. You represent a hero recruiting adventurers at the local tavern, roll the dice for your party, and delve deeper and deeper into the dungeon for fortune and glory. But watch out for the dragon!

    How many players, how long? 2-4 players is ideal, though you can play solo if you'd like. Should last 15-30 minutes.

    How does it play with two? I think it's ideal with two. There's no downtime at all as one of you controls the adventuring party, and the other controls the dungeon dice. It moves really quickly that way.

    What was inspiration for the theme and mechanics? I saw a call for a press your luck dice game from another publisher. I grabbed some dice and started thinking about how two different pools of dice could interact with one another, and how I could you could press your luck under those circumstances. I looked at what I had, thought it was fun, and brainstormed what themes could work. A dungeon delve was a perfect fit.

    How long have you been working on Dungeon Roll? Since July of 2012. A lot of different versions of the rules have gone by since them, but the core mechanic has remained the same.

    What is the theme of the game? A dungeon crawl. One pool of dice represents the creatures of the dungeon, the other are the hearty adventurers which you command. It's all about defeating creatures and coming back to the village with the treasure.

    How did you get connected with Tasty Minstrel Games? I've had a working relationship with Michael Mindes through running Geekway (http://geekway2west.com) these past five or so years. I've pitched another game to him in the past, and went through a learning process with that title which ultimately wasn't ready. I told him about this game I had been working on for a while, and we agreed to meet at BoardGameGeek Con so I could show it to him. I played it with Michael and Steve Carlson there and they both immediately started talking about how they could package it, and what could make it more exciting. Michael asked for a copy of the prototype to take with him and asked me not to show it around any more. A few weeks later, I signed a contract.


    Did you pitch the game to multiple publishers or was TMG the only one? The company that originally had put the call out for that type of dice game was pitched the game. There was a little back and forth, but ultimately, the interest wasn't there. I also participated in the Designer/Publisher meetup at BoardGameGeek con where a couple of other publishers took a look at it and expressed some interest. Ultimately, Michael's enthusiasm for the game won me over and I was happy to work with TMG.

    When can we expect to see Dungeon Roll at our Friendly Local Game Store? It should be hitting your FLGS shortly after GenCon. It'll be awesome to see a game I made on the shelf at the local store, I can't wait for that.


    Will you be demoing the game at any Cons this summer? If so, which ones? The only con I'm going to be present at before GenCon is Geekway to the West (http://geekway2west.com). I'll be happy to show people the game there.

    Is there any other information you would like to share about the game? Only that I was looking for a press your luck game that was a little deeper than what's currently out there but still easy enough to understand to pick up and play casually. I hope I've accomplished that.

    What is the best way for people to a copy of Dungeon Roll? The best way is to back the Kickstarter going on now: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelmindes/dungeon-ro... . Backing it there will help to fill the box with all kinds of great stuff like more heroes, and a few other surprises. If you decide to wait, then you can pick up the game at GenCon or later at your local store.

    A big thanks to Chris for taking the time to do this interview with us. The game looks great. It helps that I am a sucker for dice games, and that Tasty Minstrel has a great track record for making great games (and Martian Dice is one of our favorites). Best of luck to Chris and TMG on this project, and be sure to show your support by backing it on Kickstarter today.

    - See more at: http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/02/roll-through-dungeon-dun...
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    Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:29 am
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    Top 10 2-Player Card Games - Numers 8 & 7

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/02/top-10-2-player-card-gam...

    Our look at card games that play well with two continues. A quick reminder that these are not exclusively two-player-only games, and our definition of a card game is, "any game where the primary device or mechanic that drives the game is cards." This is a very subjective definition and therefore a game that I might exclude will be on your list.

    8. Citadels
    Citadels has been in my game collection for about a year now, and unfortunately it just hasn't seen the table enough. I have played it a couple times with a larger group, and it plays very well with 5-6 players. I have also found out recently that this is a stellar two-player game. This is a huge plus for me. There are very few games that can support a large group (up to 7) and still play well with 2. Don't get me wrong, the dynamic and playtime are very different when you have varying numbers of players, but that is true in almost every game.

    One of the reasons I love Citadels is that it is easy to learn and it is a fairly quick game. It is also a very social game as you try to figure out what your opponents are thinking. When you are playing with two players this escalates into mind games with one another, especially if you and your opponent don't play nice. Trying to get someone to lose their money or their turn can be defeating, especially in a two-player grudge match.

    Finally, Citadels is a great value. It runs at about $20-25 and it takes up minimal shelf space. Both of these are a plus. It's versatility is another reason it is a good value. There are few games that play in about an hour and can support 2-7 players. There even fewer games that play well with all those player numbers. This is a great game and could probably fit on some list for great games that play with 6 or more or 7 or more players.

    7. Smash Up
    One of the big games coming out of GenCon 2012 was Smash Up. I really have a love hate relationship with this game. I think the game play and theme of this game is great. It has a lot to offer and brings a fairly unique theme and idea together. However, the lack of scoring components and the sticker price ($30 MSRP), hurt this one a little. Once you get yourself four D20s or D12s to keep score and you stop looking at your bank statement you have a solid game.

    The game play for Smash Up is fairly straightforward and the game can play quickly. I do believe the game can tend to drag a bit at times. This is especially true in a four player game with lots of thinkers, and in 2-player games in can turn slow if bases are not scoring quickly. I do love that the game gives you the ability to be as creative as you want to be. What can be better than a Pirate/Alien combo or Dinosaurs and Ninjas? The creativity just shouts "FUN", and the in the end, even with it's flaws this game is just a lot of fun. It is thematic and the cards bring that theme to life. There are not many other card games that have this feel to them. The only other game that comes close for me is King of Tokyo.

    Although Smash Up has is shortcomings, I still love this game. It is a lot of fun, and with a new expansion on the way that gives you a way to keep score as well as new factions, I must say that I am a bit excited.

    See more at www.gameswithtwo.com
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    Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:05 pm
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    An Inside Look at a Local Con - Geekway to the West 2013

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally Posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/02/an-inside-look-at-local-...

    I recently had an opportunity to interview Chris Darden from Geekway to the West (www.geekway2west.com). Geekway is our local gaming convention. And the great thing about it is that is all about games, games, and more games. Chris goes more in depth about what you can expect at the convention.

    What is Geekway to the West?
    Geekway to the West is an annual board game convention held every year in St. Louis, MO. This year will be the ninth time it's been held.
    What events are at the Con?
    We're mainly all about open gaming, but we do have plenty of events that are run mostly by volunteers. One big event we always have is the world famous Geekway trade table. Essentially, everyone who wants to be involved puts games in the event, and registers what they put in. Then one person who submitted a game or bundle is choosen and gets the first pick. Whoever submitted what that person picked goes next and so on down the line. It's always a lot of fun, and I feel like I've traded up nearly every time I've participated.
    Are there any tournaments?
    Yes, Crokinole, Battling Tops, Monkey Madness and Peppino tournaments are con staples. Over the years, we've seen Race for the Galaxy, Tichu, and Combat Commander tournaments as well, just to name a few.
    How many people are you expecting?
    This year, we're expecting somewhere between 500-600.
    Are there any Cons that compare to Geekway?
    The closest experience I can relate our convention to would be BoardGameGeek Con in Dallas, TX. BGG is quite a bit larger, but the feel of open gaming and several fun events makes it feel similar.
    What other attractions are in the area?
    Geekway is held at Westport Plaza, which is a great place to hangout any other time. There are plenty of restaurants around. In fact, once someone is at Geekway, if you stay at the hotel, you can get to anything you want by walking.
    Is this a family-friendly Con?
    Absolutely. We see a lot of families, couples, and older kids at the convention. We do ask that children are accompanied by an adult during the convention, to make sure everyone is having a great con experience. Now, there are late night games of Telestrations and Cards Against Humanity that show up, but the kids are usually in bed by that point.
    Is there a place to buy games at Geekway?
    Absolutely, Miniature Market and Game Nite will both be vending at the convention this year. In addition, there are a few smaller publishers who will be selling games at their booths. We're also right around the corner from Miniature Market's store, and they have a huge showroom full of ding and dint games for cheap. Well worth visiting if you've never been.
    If someone is traveling from out of town what else should they see while in St. Louis?
    Everyone knows St. Louis for the Arch, which is always worth going to. But I would suggest out of town visitors to visit the Saint Louis Zoo, Science Center, City Museum, Art and History Museums, and if you have kids with you, the Magic House is always a great time.
    What are some local restaurants that are most recommended while in St. Louis?
    If you're going to venture out of Westport Plaza for a meal, there are plenty of great places that are close by. Priyaa is probably my favorite Indian place in all of St. Louis, and Serra's Pizza is my favorite St. Louis style pizza. Both are very close to Westport, and I recommend them to anyone. Mexican? Pueblo Nuevo. Burgers? Blueberry Hill. Steak? Citizen Kane's for classy, Tubby's Pub and Grub for working class.
    Is there any giveaways or prizes?
    Tons and tons and tons. The first 400 pre-registrations get a free game from Miniature Market when they pick up their badge. That's on top of all of the giveaways we do every single night. We also do surprise early bird giveaways in the morning, which usually happen when one of us rolls out of bed in the morning. On top of all of that is Play and WIn.
    What is "Play and Win", and how does it work?
    Play and WIn is a special section of our library. Any con attendee can check out any of the games in this section and when they're done playing the game, you fill out a card with every person's name that played the game and turn it in when you return the game. On Sunday, we give every single one of those games away to somebody who played the game over the course of the con. These games come from our great sponsors, and we also supplement Play and Win with our own funds to make sure the latest and greatest games are there.
    What can people get at Geekway that they cannot get at other Cons?
    Play and Win is the big one, but I've seen that is slowly spreading around to other conventions, which is something I'm happy to see. You get to come and experience one of the great gaming cities in the US. The gaming community here is second to none. The St. Louis Board Game meetup keeps that enthusiasm going for the rest of the year, and Geekway is like a big party for four days to celebrate how great this community is.
    Is there anything else we should know about the Con?
    Only that you'll have a great time. We've grown and grown over the years, but we've always committed to put as much into the convention as what we get out of it. We really do spend the majority of the money on reserving the space, building the library, and giveaways.

    A big thanks to Chris for taking the time to interview with us. You can register for the Con at www.geekway2west.com

    See more at www.gameswithtwo.com
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    Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:05 pm
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    Top 10 Card Games with Two - Honorable Mentions, 10 & 9

    Jason Moslander
    United States
    Fenton
    Missouri
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    Originally posted at http://www.gameswithtwo.com/2013/02/top-10-card-games-with-t...

    Top 10 Card Games with Two - Honorable Mentions, 10 & 9
    The 2-player-only genre of games seems to focus in on card games. This is for a couple of reasons. One, they are cheap to make, and second the publisher doesn't have a huge investment that only appeals to a small part of the market. The good thing for those of us who love 2-player games is that there are lots of 2-player card games, and if you expand that to any card game that plays with two then you have an even larger pool. So, we have decided to do a Top 10 list on some of our favorite card games that play with two. These are not just 2-player-only games, but any card game that can work well with two players. For the sake of argument, we are going to define a card game as, "any game where the primary device or mechanic that drives the game is cards." So, with that let's getting rolling:

    Honorable Mentions
    Summoner Wars, St. Petersburg, Race for the Galaxy, and Rivals for Catan

    to be fair all of these games are great, and I would play any of them any time. Saint Petersburg is one of the more underrated games out there. Summoner Wars is a beautiful game, but just not my cup of tea most of the time, however, I would play it whenever anyone chooses it. Race for the Galaxy just doesn't get to the table enough, even though it is a good game. And Rivals is a great way to play Catan with 2.

    Number Ten - Yomi
    Yomi is one of the best 2-player games that I have played. The mind games that ensue are great. The game uses a paper, rock, scissor mechanic that keeps players guessing. The only problem that I've found with the game is that an experienced player has a big advantage over a novice. They know the cards in their deck and their opponents deck. This is a big advantage in this game. The only other problem is the cost, this one runs about $100. Both of these things keep the game at #10. If you are planning on playing this against the same person it is a good game, but if you plan on playing against the same person and you are evenly matched then maybe one to consider.

    Number Nine - Lost Cities
    Lost Cities is one of the go to 2-player games for most gamers. This especially true for husband/wife boyfriend/girlfriend combos. We enjoy this one because it is quick and easy. It's great to play during the week, when you want to play a game, but only have a few minutes. But, if you do decide to pick up Lost Cities be sure you have a calculator or a Rain Man, because the end game scoring can be a bear. Other than that, solid card game, and you always wish you had just one more turn. Lost Cities is a solid buy for me, and I don't think it will be leaving my collection anytime soon. Although their are some cards games that have surpasses Lost Cities it has stood the test of time, and continues to be a favorite among couples.


    See more at www.gameswithtwo.com
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    Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:32 am
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