Board Games Like Age of Empires
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:
- Under 3 hours of gameplay. I'd typically say under 2 hours but that tends to be rare in games of this genre. So if the epic experience is totally worth that extra hour, then I'd be down! But still, it really would be great if there's a game that captures the feel of AoE and under 2 hours
- Should feel like it was made for 2 players. I'd avoid games that play decently at 2p but make you feel like you're just playing the inferior version
- Should include a board. I've learned that I don't like civilization/city building games that are completely represented by cards only. Feels way too abstract
- Should have decent amount of player interaction. My wife doesn't like games that make you feel like you're just parallel playing. Direct player conflict is okay too
- In terms of BGG's complexity rating, I'd look for something that's between 2.5 and 3.8
- Ideally not too fiddly
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! :)