Gary’s Top Three 2-Player Games

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The dreaded top 3 list! They are difficult for anyone to write, particularly when the subject is something they are passionate about. I was toying for ages with this one. 2-player games are something of a precise art form. It needs to be engaging enough to keep both players hooked. With more than 2 players you tend to get the banter between the other participants while one person decides what they are going to do. With 2-player games you don’t get that grace. So with a lot of thought, here are my top 3 in reverse order:

3. Cube Quest

This is a perfect little game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In a nutshell, two waring armies made up of cubes are secretly set up on opposite sides of these nifty mouse mat battlefields. Then the generals – you and a friend – take it in turns to flick the warriors (cubes) at each other to try and knock the other player’s king off the table. How are the glorious kings represented you ask? Well…they are just other cubes…with a crown sticker on.

2. X-Wing

Is it a board game or a miniatures game? Well it says miniatures game in the title but it’s made by one of the biggest board game publishers around, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Ether way I don’t care, it’s awesome! Do you want to be looking up one of a hundred possible manoeuvres then cross referencing it with your opponent’s? No, of course not. You want be snapping necks and cashing cheques! X-Wing uses an innovative manoeuvre dial system so your opponent’s move is a secret to you and your’s are to him. They’re then revealed in order of who has the best piloting skill. I highly recommend picking up the core set. It is futile to resist.

1. Netrunner

Yes yes I know it’s a card game but I still think it counts. Netrunner has exceeded all expectations I had. Also published by FFG, it will have you pulling your best poker face all game. It’s an LCG (living card game) not a CCG (collectible card game) like Magic: The Gathering. Which means you won’t be spending lots of money trying to find that illusive rare. You can just find the card you want from the expansion it’s in.

I very much consider this game a combo of risk management and high-powered bluffing. If you read easier than a Beatrix Potter book then it’s time to get practicing, as you’ll have nowhere to hide. One player represents the “runner”, a cyberpunk hacker who wants to show the corporation as the dirty, lying, stealing thugs they are, while taking a few credits for themselves along the way. The other player represents the aforementioned dirty, lying, stealing “corporation”, trying to secretly score “agenda” points.

This, to me, is the best card game on the market and I can’t get enough of it. You can pick up the core set for around ¬£30. Well worth it in my opinion. I have two! I wanted three of each card – I know, I know, WHAT A NERD!

Well that’s my top three 2-player board games, though none of them really uses a board. Oh well they are all awesome anyhow. X-Wing and the Netrunner core game can both be picked up from Element Games.

See ya soon, cockers!

Gary

What are your top three 2-player games?

8 thoughts on “Gary’s Top Three 2-Player Games

  1. Another Fantastic Article. I have a copy of netrunner and it still has the cellophane on it, I really should open it and get playing. I couldn’t agree more with the choice of x wing. I played my first tournament at the weekend after buying the box set only one week before. Now I am totally hooked! The game is so simple to play yet is still so challenging to succeed competitively.
    My top 3:

    3. Star Wars Living Card Game
    2. Blood Bowl Team Manager
    1. X wing

    • Thanks Jan! I do absolutely love X-Wing and completely agree with you. Great mechanics and very cinematic! Just tend to play Netrunner more. I alway love bluffing games as well.

      I haven’t played Blood Bowl Team Manager but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

      Gary.

  2. For me it’s:

    #3: Carcassonne Wheel of Fortune. Not seen it available for quite a while now but it’s Carc specifically for 2 players and it has a little pink piggy in it.

    #2: Netrunner Playing as Runner. So much risk reward and such little info.

    #1: Netrunner Playing as Corp. So reactive but all that godlike knowleadge.

    (Disclaimer: I may have a *slight* netrunner problem.

    • I’ll be popping my Carcassonne cherry this weekend! Never played it before but haven’t heard a bad thing said about it. I love the idea of the pink micro piggy!

      I would have a Netrunner problem if I played it enough but the guy I got into it with lives a while away. I bloody love it!

      Have you played X-Wing?

      Gary

  3. Great article cant wait to start playing net runner! X-wing is great and would make my top three, cube quest is also great fun for a quick 10 minute game. I would go for maIifaux probably as my number 1. I actually cant think of many two player games that are not skirmish based (apart from the obvious card games) seems to be a running theme maybe?

    • I had to make some strict decisions, and with a massive love of tabletop skirmish games, I decided that I would only include games you can play straight out the box.

      Card games do tend to win the 2-player crown. I think you’ll love Netrunner.

      Gary

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