Need help picking a tabletop game

The biggest problem I've run into while attempting to play any form of board game is always the same, I only have 1 truly devoted strategy gaming friend. (you may know him as dysplastic) This has pretty much killed 'boardgame night' which I miss o so dearly.

I've been thinking that a perfect way to get back into it would be to play a tabletop miniature wargame; the games tend to be geared towards 2 players and it would also fill that hobby void I've been experiencing since me and wow broke up.
I played some 40K and necromunda as a kid, but frankly, I don't remember much of it except that I was really into painting the miniatures and building terrain.

The problem is that it is an expensive hobby, one that I'm ok with spending on, however, Dysplastic may not. So my question to you all is, what game do you suggest? I'm torn between a smaller scale game (less miniatures = less expensive) and a more elaborate game such as 40K (possibly more fun?)
I've looked at Warhammer 40K, Mordheim and Necromunda but I can't seem to find any other games that pique my interest. any other game suggestions? Any of you played these? Any favorites?

Thanks

Heroscapers.com

Awesome, cheap miniatures game. Looks like it's a bit kiddy, but it's definitely not. I know a bunch of folks here play.

I haven't yet gotten to play my copy, but how about BattleLore? (Or Memoir '44). There's also Heroscape as well if you want a more expandable game.

I have a coworker that is hugely into Heroscape. The way he describes it makes it sound like a streamlined Warhammer where tiles are used instead of sophisticated terrain and it relys on pre-painted plastic figures rather than minis. It's available at ToysRUs for like $40 for the core game & tons of expansions (zombies, Norse warriors, space marines, Marvel comics) are available. Consider it's at a toy store rather than at a typical gaming store might give you a clue as to its difficulty level though my friend plays it religiously every weekend.

At my local gaming store, Flames of War has been a huge hit for people interested in WW2 simulations but not the fantasy/scifi tabletop universes.
http://www.flamesofwar.com/

Also, I have to give a huge shoutout to Munchkin. It's not a tabletop strategy game but for sheer fun, it can't be beat for the price. It's simple enough to teach (and hook) practically anyone. And don't forget about Settlers of Catan as well.

Also, check out the starter set for Confrontation, a little more chrome and setting than Heroscape:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/30991

if you decided to go the Games Workshop route I have a few friends who've had great luck with Ebay. Whole armies, often mostly unpainted, seem to surface at much less than the cost of individually collecting them. It's a major investment in time and listening to the girlfriend ask if I'm going to go play "dollies" with the boys is not exactly fun, but at least she tolerates it. Don't forget Catan, while not exactly a miniatures wargame, you have the chance of sucking in a lot more players. This might translate to more players for your next investment. Oh, Necromunda is probably easier to get your cash-strapped friends into as you could collect a few gangs worth of minis for the price of half a 40k army.

Check out some of Fantasy Flights games. Games like Tide of Iron, Starcraft, and Twilight Imperium have tons on minis to scratch that itch.

I never saw the sense in needing buy all these little miniatures separately in order to play the game I want to play. If I can't get it all in one box at a decent price, I don't want it.

Those who love to paint the minis and love to collect them, I can totally respect that. Just don't expect me to want to play.

LiquidMantis wrote:
I haven't yet gotten to play my copy, but how about BattleLore? (Or Memoir '44). There's also Heroscape as well if you want a more expandable game.

I've played 1 game of BattleLore and a handful of Memoir '44. These are much more my style.

I've played 20 games of Battlelore, and I'd highly recommend it. Lots of variety in game types(traditional or fantasy, scenario or custom deployment), can expand it if you want (but you don't have to), and great amount of fun. I've played one of the scenarios 4 times and each time it was a vastly different experience.

I'd stay away from Catan and Munchkin, because those are great games for more than two people.

LockAndLoad wrote:
Consider it's at a toy store rather than at a typical gaming store might give you a clue as to its difficulty level though my friend plays it religiously every weekend.

I thought the same thing once, too. But there are two sets of rules for the game. The Basic rules for little kids which basically involves moving up to each other and one roll to see who wins. Then there are the Advanced (or is it Master?) rules. That's the real game. The Basic rules are a clever ploy to get the game into big retail stores.

Descent's "meh" to me - and really a better 3-4 player game.

rabbit wrote:
Descent's "meh" to me - and really a better 3-4 player game.

Uh-oh. I was just about to order that with the D&D 4e box set from Pozy.com to get free shipping.

Descent is a fantastic game, especially with the Road to Legend expansion. It is best with 5 players though (one as overlord and four heroes). With Road to Legend, Descent is now one of my favorite games.

BattleLore is great and made for two. If you don't mind going without the plastic, though, I'd recommend Command and Colors: Ancients over BattleLore. It's the same basic combat system but I think that C&C:A results in a more satisfying experience.

Heroscape is a lot of fun. A bit on the simple side but that doesn't take away from the fun factor. For something meatier that's a true miniatures game, check out AT-43. The minis are pre-painted and really gorgeous. I'm not overly familiar with other miniature games so I don't know how it stacks up but I've played AT-43 a couple of times and it's fun if not a little bit complicated.

For non-miniature games, check out Twilight Struggle and 1960: The Making of the President. I haven't played either but have heard nothing but fantastic things about both.

Want something extremely quick and easy? Try Mr. Jack. One player is Jack the Ripper trying to escape the street while the other is the detective trying to find him. The game is incredibly clever and offers up a great challenge, plus it plays quickly. A great game to kick off or end the night with.

If you guys like Lord of the Rings, take a look at War of the Ring. It's a light war game with tons of plastic minis. One person plays the Free People trying to get the ring to Mount Doom while the other plays the bad guys. The rules take a little bit to get used to but once you do you'll have a lot of fun.

Finally, I suggest going over to BoardGameGeek where you'll find a ton of suggestions. Pick "GeekLists" on the search bar and type in "two players"... you'll get a lot of recommendations. Here a good one I found:

Best heavy two player games in your opinion?

Thanks for the tips, guys. Indeed, the less money we have to spend on Miniatures (The microtransactions of the board-game world, which have always gotten a pass among the hardcore for some reason) the better. I'm sure Grad will do his homework and sort through this thread - I'm to busy rushing to beat Okami before July 11th, when I lose my Wii.

Ask your Ouija board.

Yea, I lost my love affair with painting minitures after some dude decided to tell me that one of my units, wasn't wysiwyg enough for his taste. (Ie if I wanted to use it I would have to make it and the parts alone would have cost me over 60 bucks.) I had enough after that

You may want to put out a call here if your looking for more people to game with in Ottawa. I know there are a few goodjers that live there that might be up for some casual board gaming and the like.

rabbit wrote:
Descent's "meh" to me - and really a better 3-4 player game.

I kinda skimmed over the 2-player requirement. You've played Game of Thrones board game, right? Any good for 2 players?

Any post recommending Command and Colors Ancients is negligent without mentioning the stickering involved (although the post recommending is exceedingly right :). 345 blocks that need to be stickered...on both sides.

phragged wrote:
Any post recommending Command and Colors Ancients is negligent without mentioning the stickering involved (although the post recommending is exceedingly right :). 345 blocks that need to be stickered...on both sides.

But that's half the fun

Yeah, there's a lot of stickers, but with a friend you can tear through it. Plus the blocks look pretty cool when they're all set up and marching across the board!

A Game of Thrones is not meant for two players. I'm sure there are some variants but I can't imagine it would work very well. The game is heavily reliant on making and breaking temporary alliances and I just don't see how that would properly play out with two.

I really suggest checking out War of the Ring for an epic two player war game. There are lots of other two player war games: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, Hammer of the Scots, Tide of Iron (which I love), Combat Commander: Europe and many more. Heck, just browse the list of wargames at BoardGameGeek and you'll find plenty to choose from.

Hmm confrontation and heroscape are looking pretty interesting, although I'm sure I'd enjoy the majority of these games, its picking which one to spend $ on that's hard.

Well, thanks so much for all the suggestions, it is definetely giving me lots to browse at work : P

Twilight Struggle is very very very far from a pick-up introductory tabletop game!!! Ditto War of the Ring. Not even in the same universe as the command and colors games (I recommend battlelore) or heroscape.

Gradskull wrote:
Hmm confrontation and heroscape are looking pretty interesting, although I'm sure I'd enjoy the majority of these games, its picking which one to spend $ on that's hard.

Too many games, not enough time!

Check out Battlelore too, lots of add-ons/expansions available. Great system.

rabbit wrote:
Twilight Struggle is very very very far from a pick-up introductory tabletop game!!! Ditto War of the Ring. Not even in the same universe as the command and colors games (I recommend battlelore) or heroscape.

I guess I missed where they were asking for introductory games If you've ever done any amount of gaming before I don't think either War of the Ring or Twilight Struggle would be very hard to pick up. Sure it may take a little bit of time but if you're looking at miniatures anyway I don't think time is really much of a concern!

I still stand by my recommendations. Don't get me wrong, I love Heroscape. I was pointing out that there are plenty of great board games solely designed for two players. Nothing against miniatures (although I've always avoided them;) ), just pointing out alternatives for a former board gamer!

Scaphism wrote:
I think I'm essentially looking for something that we'd be able to enjoy 2 player but that would easily accomodate 4 or 6.
Settlers of Catan
Carcassone
Ticket to Ride
Tigris and Euphrates
Puerto Rico

Repeating what rabbit said earlier in this thread, Catan is not made for two players. I got my wife hooked on the game with the 360 version, and she got two normal versions (regular and travel). We played one game with my 10 year old son, which was great, and started one two player game that we didn't finish. The rules modifications we made to get it to work with just the two of us were working ok, but the adversarial nature of the game came into play so quickly that it felt more like a long, drawn out endgame instead of the balanced gameplay I am used to in Catan.

I haven't played Carcassone with cards, but I imagine the scoring is a nightmare as a board game. It is a good game to play on the 360, that has worked well for me with my son and wife.

Maybe not as "hardcore" board gamer, but Axis and Allies works great with 2-5 players, even though set up takes forever.

Don't start with Tigris and Euphrates. That will probably make some people's heads explode. Fantastic game but it is seriously tough to wrap your head around, especially if you are new to gaming. Puerto Rico is another good game that will probably be tough for people to grasp at first.

I'd start with Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. Two very different games that are pretty easy to teach and don't take too long to play. You might also want to consider the 1910 expansion for Ticket to Ride as it makes the game a little more competitive. Settlers of Catan is good but I think it's actually just a little involved for new gamers and it can take a long time to play; there are many other better intro games out there.

A few other recommendations:

Citadels - I've heard mixed results for two but plenty seem to enjoy it. Outside of two players I think it scales really well but starts to drag with 6 or 7. Really fun card game where you spend a lot of time trying to second guess your opponents.

Kingdoms - One of my personal favorites. Very easy to teach and learn. Again, the theme is pretty much nonexistant but I think it's great fun for two or three; four is a little chaotic but it still works. Plenty of opportunity to mess with the other players and sometimes you just have to make a move and hope it all works out!

Pandemic - Fun cooperative game where everyone is working together to try and beat the system. It actually gets harder with more players (up to four) but it's a lot of fun. Kinda feels more like a puzzle than a game but I like it.

Instead of starting a new thread, I hope no one minds if I threadjack this a little bit.

I've been talking with my girlfriend about starting up a boardgame night for a little while. (Maybe more like me jokingly threatening that I'm going to.) However, I never really got far into the boardgame "scene" .

I think I'm essentially looking for something that we'd be able to enjoy 2 player but that would easily accomodate 4 or 6.

So I'm essentially asking for a gateway game, and probably not a wargame.

I have browsed boardgamegeek in the past and again today, and here's a likely-looking-list from today's browse:

Settlers of Catan
Carcassonne
Ticket to Ride
Tigris and Euphrates
Puerto Rico

I'm hoping you all can help me narrow the list, as I only intend to buy one game to start with. Thanks.

Lost Cities is a very quick, lightweight card game that makes a great reluctant spouse game. As already mentioned Carcassonne is a good intro game as well.

My wife took well to both Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride. Especially Ticket to Ride.

Tikal is another one that works well for 2 and scales for more, and she liked that one fair enough.

Ticket to Ride is my go-to game though when I'm trying to introduce new friends to boardgaming outside of Monopoly and Sorry!

Thank you both all for the very prompt replies, that's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for.

Ideally I hope to have at least four, mabye five or six players, but at this point it's just an idea in my head - there's no set group of people I know will show up, just a number of likely people. So I think getting a game that's good for just two people is a good place to start.

Easy to teach and easy to learn are also big pluses, as I will likely have to explain them and I'm starting with a blank slate of my own. I expect I'll pick up on them quickly, but I've seen people's eyes glaze over when they're given the in-depth explanation of STar Power in Rock Band. With that in mind, the KISS approach seems like a good idea.

I looked at Pandemic and it does look like fun, although I think it might be best to have at least one competitive (head to head) game before getting a co-op game.

*Edit* Even more replies in while I was typing. I am reading up on all of the suggestions, thank you!

Id remove puerto rico. While I love it, the setup is brutal for a game that light, and its really a 4 player game (IMO). I'd replace it with San Juan, an excellent, excellent card game version.