Two Player Games (part 2)

Three’s Company

Sometimes, I really think that boardgame designers have a better understanding of human nature than anyone else. Take Catan, for example. You are a group of bedraggled settlers, just arrived on an uninhabited island and desperately in need of food and shelter. You want not only to survive but to build a new Utopia – a place that others will some day look to and say “This, truly, is civilization!” And how do players go about enacting this magnificent vision? By faffing around for ages doing very little apart from occasionally robbing each other, and eventually getting so bored that trying to compress four sheep until they turn into a brick seems like a good way to pass the time…

In the spirit of this classic boardgame, this week’s post will focus on the ill-conceived, unsuitable and generally ridiculous end of two-player gaming. Which games really don’t work without at least three players? (more…)


The 18xx games are a genre all to themselves.  Essentially they are heavy train games, which involve you buying and selling shares in train companies and then running those companies to make as much money as you can.

There are literally dozens of different 18xx games.  The reason they are called 18xx is because they all take place in the 1800s and each one is named after a different year (and place potentially).  Yesterday, I spent the day (yes, they’re long!) playing 1846: The Race for the Midwest and had a great time.

If you’re happy playing longer games and you like economic games, there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy the 18xx series.  Let me tell you about them…