Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy anniversary to my wife!

Today marks my 9-year wedding anniversary, and my wife continues to be the woman of my dreams. "The Queen" is my nickname for her, and she is still my royal treasure after 9 easy years of marriage bliss. In honor of my dear wife, I'm going to highlight her favorite games today. So, if you're interested in wife games, you might want to pay attention!

My wife's top pick:

Race for the Galaxy

Image by kilroy_locke at BGG

My wife's favorite game mechanics seem to be:
  • hand management
  • set collection
  • card drafting
She also likes colored groups of things, cards, and low-conflict (multiplayer solitaire).

Almost all of these features are present in Race for the Galaxy in some measure, but especially hand management. My wife really likes being able to control the constantly changing hand of cards, and then using those cards to control her tableau (play area) for maximum benefit. I agree that these features make RftG an outstanding game, and it still holds slot #2 on my personal top 10 list. This is one of the few games that my wife and I enjoy equally. My only complaint about this game is that a lucky set of early card draws can set you up for the win. There are killer combos, and it rocks to be the person who draws them.

Somehow, my wife almost always gets lots of Alien combos, and frequently has military power to boost her Alien strategy. It's uncanny. I probably win about 1 out of 7 or 8 plays.

My wife's other favorites:

Wyatt Earp

Image by Geosmores at BGG

This game has hand management, set collection, and colored groups, which explains why my wife picks Wyatt Earp so often when it's her turn to choose the game.

We always cringe when one of us finally plays the Hideout card instead of just discarding it. The feared Hideout card is the one attack in the game that really hurts. Fortunately, it doesn't get played very often, unless it's a desperate situation.

We both like the Western theme to the game. My wife is always willing to play this one.

Thurn and Taxis

Image by swiftcorp at BGG

I think my wife really likes that there is no way to directly attack others in Thurn and Taxis. I agree with her - I typically prefer games where you can safely work on your own position without worrying about being targeted.

This game has colors, cards, and a unique mechanic for building postal routes. It's very simple to learn and play. All these features, I think, make this one of my wife's top picks.

Lost Cities

Image by Araneuz at BGG

Lost Cities is an example of a game I am glad to not play, but which my wife loves. You can see why - cards, colored sets, and a bit of hand management as you decide what to hold, play, and discard. Also, you're mostly just building your own position, even though it is easy to manipulate each other's options. I see this game as just another Reiner Knizia numbers game. The theme is cool, but doesn't factor into gameplay in any way. I think my wife likes the simplicity of designs like this. If you're looking for wife games, you've probably heard about this one. As much as I don't like this game, I actually would recommend it as a wife game because so many wives are reported to like it.


Image by Martin Ralya at BGG

Just look at the picture above. It's a deck of cards in 4 colors and a bunch of tiles in six colors. You manage a hand of money cards, you pay for colored tiles, and you build your own nice little city. My wife has chosen this game many times. We find that it works best with two players, which is great since most of our plays are at home, with just the two of us. We actually haven't played this one for a while. I'm sure my wife will want to pull it out again once she's played a few more games of RftG. If you're looking for a good 2P game to play with your spouse, you might want to give Alhambra some attention.

Thanks for reading, as always. Happy anniversary, my Queen!

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