News for December 2009
Table for Two 7
A spotlight on some of our best two-player games
News | Published 02 December 2009

With the holidays upon us, dedicated hobby gamers will find abundant opportunities to sit down with family members and friends who don’t often play games. Are you shopping for a spouse or significant other who’s a hobby gamer, and you’d like to know what all the fuss is about? Has he or she has been dropping not-so-subtle hints about FFG’s annual Holiday Sale?

You will likely someday (soon...maybe Christmas morning!) be expected to play what you buy for this person, so tread carefully. After all, you’ll want a game that both of you can enjoy. Here, we’ve assembled some suggestions for the shopper in such a position. Some are on sale, and some aren't... but they're all a great value at any price.

Our first recommendation is currently enjoying a steep discount in the Holiday Sale, so get it while you can! Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation is a two-player board game by Reiner Knizia, a celebrated game designer, in which one player controls the forces of Sauron and the other controls the fellowship as they attempt to destroy the One Ring.

Anyone who might be put off by the heavy fantasy theme of this title can put their mind at ease; what lies beneath that theme is a simple and elegant strategy game that takes only a few minutes to learn. Take a look at a slightly longer description.

Speaking of heavy themes that mask simple games, Cold War: CIA vs. KGB is another title that’s sure to please. In fact, if you can grasp the fundamental rules of Blackjack or 21, you already have the knowledge it takes to win!

In this quick two-player card game, a card is first drawn indicating a target number and a maximum card limit. Taking turns, you and your opponent must draw numbered cards, trying to come as close to the target as possible without going over... but you cannot exceed the maximum card limit in doing so! Add to this a few special powers (like the ability to steal cards check the next draw) and you’ve got a quick strategic experience with a satisfying “gotcha!” element. Check out our staff favorite article for more details, then grab a copy of this stocking stuffer!

Drakon is among our most popular titles, is great for two players, and is also available as part of our Holiday Sale! In Drakon, dungeon-delving heroes race to grab as much loot as possible before a powerful dragon puts an end to their fun. While it can support more than two players, this dragon-themed game scales quite well (pun intended).

The rules to this tile-laying board game are easy to learn: on each turn, you either put down a tile (expanding the map of the dungeon), or you move your figure one space. The catch is that each tile does something a bit different, like warping you to another space, letting you steal a gold piece from an opponent, or even giving you control of the mighty dragon! For more information, you can read our recent staff favorite article on Drakon. Then hurry over to our Holiday Sale page and get your copy!

Finally, veteran and casual gamers alike agree on the excellent design of Ingenious. Although it supports 2-4 players, it scales brilliantly, making an equally compelling experience whether you have one opponent or three.

Combining the simplicity of dominoes with the strategy Reiner Knizia is known for, Ingenious offers players a great way to test their brains. On each turn, players place colored tiles on the hexagonal board, scoring points, blocking opponents’ tile placement, and trying to protect themselves from being blocked by their opponents. This clever abstract board game is marvelously elegant and compulsively replayable. It’s ingeniously simple, and simply ingenious!

But there are many other FFG games that are either designed for two players or scale well, and are light enough to be considered “gateway games.” If you have a recommendation of your own, share it below...

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Comments (7)

Published: 12/3/2009 4:08:58 AM

 @ Muttah, It's down to person choice, I have played both and imo W:I far eclipses Vortex/Maelstrom, but it's each to their own dude. :)

 I would agree with Ingenious here though, great game that. :)

Published: 12/3/2009 3:34:55 AM


THE BEST FFG 2-player game is Vortex / Maelstrom. Please, oh PLEASE bring it back in LCG format, and all the peeps who haven't played it yet will surely realise that WH:I is NOTHING compared to that precious little gem. Apart from that, Minotaur / Scarab Lords are also great, and I would really welcome some sort of expansion :)  

Cornelius Vermuyden
Published: 12/2/2009 9:41:59 PM

I agree with the Ingenious comments. the game is really good 2-player, and can be challenging and fun with more.

Published: 12/2/2009 3:18:52 PM

Drakon is a great game, but weak for 2 players.  It becomes to much of a stalemate unless someone gets a really lucky run or someone else makes a horrible move.  Like playing Chess when both players are down to just their King's and Queen's.

Ingenious on the other hand is Fantastic.

I'd definitely put Wings of War on the list.

Published: 12/2/2009 3:10:51 PM

War of the Ring is the best FFG board game for 2 players in my opinion.

Published: 12/2/2009 2:39:23 PM

Drakon is a lot better with 3+ players than it ever will be with only 2 players.

Published: 12/2/2009 1:55:09 PM

Tying in with the Holiday Sale.  I'd vote for Micro-Mutants Evolution for a quick to learn, fun and scalable game for 2 to 4 players.  Perfect gateway dr, er game.

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