5 Excellent 2-Player Board Games for Couples

Marriage changes a man. For instance, it gives him a dedicated gaming partner who is, more often than not, willing to play a game or two during those quiet weekend afternoons when the two of you have just woken up from a nap. What helps is that we now have a board game table to get us into the mood to sling cards, dice, and a few wails of frustration here and there. At least, that’s my observation 5 months into my married life.

5 months doesn’t give me a whole lot of wisdom to impart, but all the games we’ve played in those 5 months makes me capable enough to provide a list of games that work well for gamer couples. Busy gamer couples, to be exact. Without further ado, here’s the list of games that have managed to hit our table early and often and why they entertain us so:

Hive-Pieces-1Hive
Maybe it’s the fact that my wife is a beetles fan. Not because of fabulous fours singing of yesterday, but because it’s a versatile trooper that is offensive in its annoyance, what with being able to climb on top of the other insects to trap them or act as a conduit to deploy more insects. Playing around with insects has its charms; games consist of pronouncements that the grasshopper will hop all over youuuu or feelings of antsiness next to the queen bee. The myriad troops at your disposal presents possibilities in deployment and positioning giving you a lot to think about strategically. I never seem to have issues getting my wife to play this one until I start winning too much.


PatchworkPatchwork
Now Patchwork is a game that fits remarkably well with couples. It’s you and your gaming partner, putting together a quilt in a way that feels personal, even intimate, resulting in much emotional attachment. Each turn, you choose from 3 pieces of cloth from which to add to your quilt. In the course of making a decision, you need to expend time and precious, precious buttons to make it all stick together. Some pieces will give you more buttons to work with down the line, but time is finite! Use up too much of it and you may find your Patchwork quilt to be wholly holey. Play wisely, however, and a wonderful tapestry is all yours to show off.


IMG_1960Schotten Totten (Battleline)
Despite me muttering under my breath about how much I hate Schotten Totten, I secretly find it to be a delight. This game pits two conflicting Scottish clans (a redundancy if there ever was one) in pitched battle. As Clan Leader, your role is to deploy your clansmen in as judicious a manner as possible so that your troops synergize well and bring victory to your people. The poker-like card set ranking system makes it easy to teach and the level of decision-making makes it a game that my wife and I come back to over and over. For the record, as terrible as I am at Schotten Totten, my enjoyment when I lose comes from seeing my wife’s satisfied grin at the end of each game.


Seven Wonders Duel MLK7 Wonders Duel
7 Wonders Duel takes 7 Wonder’s card drafting gameplay and presents it in a way that adds satisfying tit for tat gaming. The whole concept of resource accumulation in the first two rounds so you can build mega-buildings and guilds in the third round remains. So does the concept of hate-drafting to prevent your opponent from getting the card they need. The twist they add are more paths to winning: you can skate by on not getting enough points if you can use military actions to force your opponent to the brink or accumulating all the science cards you can. Add in some glittering prizes in the form of Progress Tokens to bless your civilization with special powers and the game succeeds in standing apart from its predecessor.


IMG_1959Jaipur
The game takes the concept of set collecting to new lands through its cadre of camel caravans. In it, your goal is to take stuff that’s sitting in the marketplace, adding it to your stash of filthy lucre, and, in a grand, sweeping motion, turn it into a bucketload of points. And did I mention the camels? You can get a whole squad of those magnificent beasts, keeping them around like a car dealer showing off his collection of Maybachs or telling them to sod off into the god-forsaken desert to bring you all these shinies, and then wonder why they don’t bother to come back home to you. But it’s a lot of fun as both players jockey for the goods where the goodest goods fencer comes home the goodest.


Obviously we’re not the types to play Chess or Go, and Twilight Struggle is reserved for only the most hardcore of couples, but we are curious what games are your go-tos for a couples game night. Let us know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “5 Excellent 2-Player Board Games for Couples

  • June 6, 2017 at 5:33 pm
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    Harry potter Hogwarts battle is a great co-op teambuilding game that seems to work best as a two player game. It has 7 games that build on each other correlating the books/movies. I played through the whole game with my wife in 3 nights (she kept wanting to play the next game).

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    • June 8, 2017 at 11:28 pm
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      That sounds like a blast. Does it matter whether your wife is into Harry Potter at all? Mine hasn’t read the books or seen the movies, so I’m curious if that lack of knowledge would be an impediment.

      Thanks for the comment~

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      • June 9, 2017 at 5:16 am
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        The lack of knowledge on the Harry potter lore will not impede play at all, the game just leans heavily on the theme. You play by choosing a character deck each (Harry, Ron, Hermonie, or Neville) which all have the same 8 spell cards and then an item and ally card that relates to that character. Cards you acquire/purchase allow you to gain influence (coins), attacks, hearts (life), or draw cards, with text explicitly stating what they gain. All spell cards have red pictures with symbols correlating the motion to cast the spell, items show a depiction of the item and all other cards have pictures directly from the movies. Each game/level has different locations: three location cards with locations relating to the corresponding book. The villains you are trying to beat compound at each level, adding more in relation to new villains from each book. At higher game/levels you get special abilities that allow you to do more in addition to the cards you play. The abilities are both character specific and some you get to choose from, leaning on the theme that you are learning more as you advance through schooling at Hogwarts. All of this is included in the game so you don’t have to go buy individual desks like a TCG.
        All in all, I found it to be a well designed deck-building game that could have almost any theme replace the HP lore and it still play just as well. It plays most like the Marvel Legendary Deck-Building games (which is also a good co-op game for couples).

  • June 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm
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    Very nice list! We enjoy Hive, Star Conflict, Love Letter and A Game of Thrones 2nd edition LCG.

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    • June 8, 2017 at 11:27 pm
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      Haven’t heard of Star Conflict, but I’ll check it out. I’ve acquired Star Realms pretty recently and I’m interested in seeing how that fares as a deckbuilder. Also, I wasn’t able to hop on board LCGs, since my wife didn’t take to Netrunner.

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