$10.00
Two Player Abstracts Suitable for Tournament Play
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
143 
 Thumb up
7.25
 tip
 Hide
Each November at U-Con Gaming Convention in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, I run a tournament in which contestants play a wide variety of two-player abstract board games. I'm always open to suggestions for games to include in the tournament. I'd like to stay away from the most popular classics (e.g., Checkers, Chess, Go, Oware, Othello, etc.) and focus on lesser-played abstracts (e.g., Chase, Emergo, Lines of Action, Strata 5, etc.) with the idea that winning should depend more upon creative tactics than prior study.

Please feel free to comment or make suggestions for games I should consider for the tournament. Suggested games must be playable with two players, abstract (either no theme, or a superficial theme that doesn't affect game play), have perfect information, turn-based (not real-time, but simultaneous turn-based games might be OK), depend entirely on strategic skill (no random or dexterity elements), and must be able to be learned and played to completion within an hour.

Since its 7th year, my annual tournament has been part of the IAGO World Tour.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: abstract [+] 2-player [+] lunch [+] giftable [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [12] | 
1. Board Game: Malawi [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:7574]
Josh Adelson
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
badge
Who cares where it came from or whether it's correct or not? Certainly not me
mbmbmbmbmb
No idea if enough copies of this are floating around, but it's a great game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Mole Hill [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:5428]
Josh Adelson
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
badge
Who cares where it came from or whether it's correct or not? Certainly not me
mbmbmbmbmb
Another one that may not be readily available--but hey, I can try.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Octi [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2382]
Josh Adelson
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
badge
Who cares where it came from or whether it's correct or not? Certainly not me
mbmbmbmbmb
Now this one you can pick up almost anywhere, which is a good thing.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: ZÈRTZ [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:313]
Josh Adelson
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
badge
Who cares where it came from or whether it's correct or not? Certainly not me
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll let this one entry proxy for all three non-dexterity GIPF games out right now: Zertz, Dvonn, and Gipf. Zertz is my personal favorite, but Gipf is probably better suited to your tournament. Dvonn is a harder game to learn, in my opinion, when you have to perform the setup phase--maybe use pre-assigned boards.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Arimaa [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Josh Adelson
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
Well, I see the otherness of being other is otherwise contraindicated
badge
Who cares where it came from or whether it's correct or not? Certainly not me
mbmbmbmbmb
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Twixt [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1137]
Stefanie Summerer
United States
Hamden
Connecticut
flag msg tools
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Camelot [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2859]
Jeremy Shatka
United States
Sioux City
Iowa
flag msg tools
Camelot is the most well-known name for 2-player abstract. It requires a lot of tactical awareness and creativity, and is very deep for the relatively simple rules. I think this would be the perfect game for your tournament, as it is probably my second favorite abstract next to chess itself.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Quoridor [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:771]
 
Jeremy Shatka
United States
Sioux City
Iowa
flag msg tools
Maybe a bit too mainstream for your tourney, but Quoridor does have some of the simplest rules for an abstract, while at the same time requiring very prophylactic thinking in order to succeed. Also, it's one of the most enjoyable competetive board games 2 people can play.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Hnefatafl [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1953]
Jeremy Shatka
United States
Sioux City
Iowa
flag msg tools
Commonly known as Hnefatafl, this 2-player abstract is probably the most interesting and unique I've ever seen. There are many variations to spice up the game, very simple rules, and a great bit of unique strategy invloved in play. Perfect if you want something uncommon and interesting.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Hex [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1826]
David Bush
United States
Shipman
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Similar to Twixt, but with even simpler rules. There is less variety in tactics, but the strategy can get very dense. Larger boards (13x13 or more) are recommended. No one sells sets these days, but you can make one piecemeal like the one in the photo. Or just print out grids and use small tokens. Add the swap rule and voila! instant tournament.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Icehouse [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1774]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Some of the games played with Icehouse pyramids, especially Martian Chess, Pikemen and Volcano, would be very suitable for abstract tournament play. All three of these are also easy to learn and play fairly quickly. Comments?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Chinese Checkers [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:10967]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Super Chinese Checkers (with long jumps and some rule to prevent impenetrable fortress draws) has been played in my tournament in previous years, and it seems to work well.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:145]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I wish I could find a real copy of this one, because I think it would make a great addition to the tournament. Until I can find it in print, I have to play with a homemade paper set that's prone to get shuffled around. Comments on this one?
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Lines of Action [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1813]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Lines of Action has been played in previous years, and was well received.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Strata 5 [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:7743]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I've thought about including Strata 5, but I fear the learning curve might be too steep, and the games take too long (more than an hour, total, to both learn and play). What do you think?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Chase [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:2453]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Chase is another great abstract game that I've thought about adding to the tournament list, but its steep learning curve and the length of the game (together it could be more than an hour) makes me hesitant to include it. Comments?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Castle Danger [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:6730]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
The game designer suggested I take a look at Castle Danger for possible inclusion. Has anyone played it? Comments on its suitability for tournament play?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Cathedral [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1087]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Cathedral is one that I used to include, but due to lack of interest, did not last year. I would have to acquire another copy in order to include it again. Should I?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Fanorona [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:3910]
 
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I have included Fanarona in the past, and plan to do so again. The rules are easy to learn, and the play is fast and interesting.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Realm [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:6361]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Realm is a wonderful game, but I'm hesitant to include it for the tournament due to the steep learning curve and the time it could take to complete a game. I'd like to hear from anyone about their experiences with any of the games in the Realm set, or the related game system, Sly, both of which I have available.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:760]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Shogi itself is way too long a game for a brief tournament like the one I have planned, but smaller variants such as Nana Shogi or Micro Shogi might work. Nana has been included in previous years with some success. Comments?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Chinese Chess [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:6866]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Gabriel's Chinese Chess has been on the list in previous years, but so far no one has played it in the tournament. Still, I think it's unique and can be learned and played to completion in less than an hour.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: Proton [Average Rating:5.04 Overall Rank:9820]
Clark D. Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Proton has been a tournament mainstay in previous years, both as an event and as a prize. Don't be fooled! It's a hard game in a small, inexpensive package.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Quarto! [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:702]
Chris Porter
United States
Berrien Center
Michigan
flag msg tools
This is a quick little abstract that can really mess with your head due to having to hand your opponent their next piece. A nice little twist.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: Quads [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:4327]
Chris Porter
United States
Berrien Center
Michigan
flag msg tools
I really like this game. Again, it's quick, but it can be a real challenge, especially if you're playing cutthroat. It looks good too; a great coffee table game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [12] | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [12] | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.