My wife has very fond memories of playing Age of Empires on the PC when she was a kid. And well, this comes up quite frequently. I'd talk about a game that involves players leading a unique faction, and she'll ask "is it like Age of Empires?" with a spark of curiosity. I've only played AoE a couple of times so I know the general feeling that she's wanting, but I wanted to ask for help in finding that perfect board game translation!
My "requirements" are:
Well, that's it! Am I asking for too much here? xD......
To give more context, #Root surprisingly went well because she really liked the asymmetry of the factions and the feeling of progression throughout the gameplay. It also helped that there are a lot of euro mechanics that drive the factions, since we tend to play lots of euros. Unfortunately, the faction combinations are limited when you only have the base game and it's just 1v1. I could add in bots to balance things out but I prefer not having to run bots when gaming with my wife. I could also buy the expansions to get our hands on the factions that are ideal for 1v1 play, but it seems like a waste when I know multiplayer sessions will be rare for us.
I could also see #Scythe being a great candidate here, and perhaps the best one for us. I've seen plenty of mentions around various communities that Scythe plays well at 2p, even though it's not the best experience. I also remember looking at #Northgard: Uncharted Lands's Kickstarter and thinking it could be promising. The 4X games that claim accessibility (shorter gameplay) and ones that have deck-building mechanics seemed like they could work well.
Thanks in advance! :)