The State of Games, Episode 8 – The One About Not Playing With Yourself

The State of Games, Episode 8 is open and ready for business! Don’t worry, the title doesn’t mean what you think it means. Or maybe it does? We have no idea what goes on inside those crazy minds of yours. But you can find out what goes on inside our crazy minds – just take a listen to our mad ramblings!

A more comprehensive list of games we love for 2 players

Mr. Jack









Twilight Struggle

Roll Through the Ages

Through the Ages

The Dice Hate Me anniversary giveaway sponsored by Eagle/Gryphon games!

Dice Hate Me is about to celebrate its anniversary on June 1st, and we want to share the love with all of you! As mentioned on the podcast, Eagle/Gryphon Games has graciously offered up Through the Ages for one lucky Dice Hate Me fan. Here are the details:

We want pictures. Fun and creative pictures. Game-related pictures! Get whimsical, get crazy, surprise us! We’ll pick our five favorite pictures and then randomly draw a winner which will be announced in a special anniversary post on June 1st.

You can send your pictures to or post the pictures to the wall on theย Dice Hate Me Facebook page. Just as we mentioned on the podcast, pictures posted to Facebook might get bonus points. Unofficially, of course. The deadline for picture submissions is 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, May 29. So get out there and get snapping!

Because Through the Ages is such a massive game, and shipping costs overseas would be prohibitively expensive, this giveaway is only available to those in the US and Canada. But we love our international audience! Since we can’t ship a game to you, we can do the next best thing: give you money to buy a game in your home country! That’s right, we’ll also pick an international winner and they’ll receive a $30 give certificate to the online game store of their choice!

We’d like to thank Eagle/Gryphon Games for their generosity. If you’d like to thank them, as well, follow them on Twitter. They like to give away free stuff quite a bit, and you’ll be connecting to a great company that supports board games and the people that love them.

Also, don’t forget that for a limited time, get 20% off any new order from Eagle Games through their website (free shipping if over $30). Just write “Dice Hate Me” in the comments/notes section of the order when you submit it (this offer is not valid with other discounts).

Like what you hear? Subscribe to the State of Games podcast RSS feed!

Related posts:

  1. The State of Games, Episode 7 – The One Rated PG-13
  2. The State of Games, Episode 4 – The One About the 7 Deadly Sins
  3. The State of Games, Episode 6 – The One About Alf
  4. The State of Games, Episode 2 – The One About Naked People
  5. The State of Games, Episode 1 – The One About the Chinese
11 Responses to “The State of Games, Episode 8 – The One About Not Playing With Yourself”
  1. Wolfie says:

    I kind of enjoy Smallworld with 2 players. Maybe that’s because it’s one of the few games I can actually get my wife to play when it’s just us. There’s definitely less stepping-on-each-others-toes, but then, maybe that’s okay – instead of attacking each other all the time we’re just focusing on how utilize the races creatively.

    I also think “multiplayer solitaire” is an overused term. Many games deemed “multiplayer solitaire,” while lacking in direct player interaction, still require you to pay attention to what the other players are doing in order to determine how best to move forward, or what strategy to choose, or when to make your move for the final blow.

    For example, Dominion (while often not really that extremely interactive, has a lot more than just 1 card that messes with the other players. Especially with expansions) is essentially a race, with all players drawing from a limited pool of cards leading to endgame. If you don’t watch carefully what the other players are doing, you might end up going for the big points too late. You can’t always directly affect what happens to the others, but you still have to pay attention to what they’re doing.

  2. tomg says:

    Nice show guys. I enjoyed the discussion of multiplayer solitaire. I think Monkey’s definition was spot on. Thanks for putting it so well. I don’t particularly care for multiplayer solitaire games. I game mainly for the social aspect and the ‘competition’ (though I’m not much competition). I agree with Monkey on Small World. I like the game but need to play it with adult gamers. I found the discussion of 2 player games useful. There are many mentioned that I need to play formost – Twilight Struggle, Mr. Jack. Airships sounds fun. I need to play that. I have some suggestions for 2 player games. Hive – an excellent brain burning themed abstract. This is one of the best abstracts out there in my opinion. As for abstracts, check out the Gipf series too. Very good games. Memoir ’44 is high on my 2 player list. I second your mention of Survive. Sleeping Queens from Gamewright is a fun, quick game that supports 2 players well. Once again thanks for mentioning Alien Frontiers and keep us posted on when the next printing is in pre-order.
    Go Forth And Game,

  3. FarmerLenny says:

    This was my first time listening to the State of Games. Thanks for putting together a great podcast!

    I take issue, however, with Dominion being called multiplayer solitaire. I agree with Wolfie–while the interaction is not always direct (the attack cards), it does require watching what the other players buy. For example, Wolfie and I played a game last night that was a little intense and involved multiple strategy switches. (He bought a thief, which made me move away from the money strategy I had planned on and toward a coins-on-cards strategy.) The tension of the game is evident even when other players are not directly influencing your moves. At least, that’s my opinion, and that’s how my friends and I play. (I’m sure it can become multiplayer solitaire once you become an expert–thankfully, I am nowhere near that level. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Thanks again for the podcast!

  4. Jonathan says:

    I thought it was surprising that you considered Agricola an example of multiplayer solitaire but NOT Gates of Loyang. In fact, I didn’t realize that “MS” was a term that had been bandied about since Dominion (though I can see how that could be the case) and the first time it occurred to me, on my own, was after playing a two-player game of Loyang with my wife. Don’t get me wrongโ€”I enjoyed it, but I felt that there was less you could do to directly influence the other player, depending on helper cards you had.

    But in Agricola, on the other hand, each of your moves has a direct influence on the other players. Sure, you each have your own playing mat, but that’s like saying Citadels is MS because you each build your own citadels instead of in a central pool. In Agricola, every single move you take prevents all the other players from taking that same action that round, and in a game where there are never enough rounds to do all the things you do, taking a strategic spot can change the outcome of the game.

    On the subject of Dominion, I think you can prevent it from being MS by using a lot more attack cards, which definitely changes the feel of the game, but it does tend more toward MS than, say Thunderstone or especially Nightfall.

  5. I agree with Monkey. I don’t get Small World at all. Just sayin’. Nice show, guys!

  6. dicehateme says:

    Philip – Thanks for stopping by and listening to the podcast – even if you don’t like SmallWorld! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. dicehateme says:

    Wolfie – Thanks for listening. I, too, am getting tired of seeing the phrase “multiplayer solitaire” crop up all the time. I believe Monkey and I both agree that almost any game can have interaction if played with intent. We had to bring up Dominion since that’s where the phrase gained momentum. However, that said, it’s still a very low-interaction game, unless you factor in the more aggressive expansions.

    Tom – Thanks! As we talked about on Tuesday, you, Monkey and I are pretty much the same kind of gamers – we just like our social interaction when we’re sitting at the table. I’m glad you brought up Hive – I need to pick that up for me and Monkey to play. Such a good abstract game, and I’m not normally a fan of abstracts.

    Lenny – Thanks for stopping by! We’re glad you finally got a chance to listen, and please come back and chime in. ๐Ÿ™‚ We knew that many Dominion fans would disagree with us when we talked about multiplayer solitaire, but it has lead the pack in that somewhat-recent definition of the term. I will agree that Dominion’s interactivity level is highly dependent on the card mix. You have to admit, though, that there are certain card combinations that would result in almost no interaction other than watching out for dwindling victory points.

  8. dicehateme says:

    Jonathan – I threw Agricola in there because it has been argued about it being MPS by more than a few gamers. I consider it a low-interaction game simply because you’re limited in what you can do against an opponent. Denial of resources is just about it, unless you’re playing with a certain deck and get the right cards. In two-player Gates, you’re interacting with your opponent constantly – looking at what they need when drafting cards so that you don’t put a winning card into their hands, and utilizing helpers to give you the upper hand or to steal markets from opponents. It just feels more interactive, at least to us. But everyone games differently! As for Dominion, I agree that the interaction level can be ramped up with the mix of cards, and not every game needs to involve attacks – it just generally makes things more fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Lee says:

    That Seinfeld clip was the perfect intro for the podcast given its title. Very clever.

    I enjoyed the selection of 2-player games you suggested. I’d recommend Traders of Carthage as another good interactive game that scales well for two. Now I’m interested in playing Survive based on your review since it sounds as though I could cajole my family members into playing that one with me.

    Keep up the good work, you two!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] anniversary on June 1st, and we want to share the love with all of you! As mentioned on the last The State of Games podcast, Gryphon&Eagle Games has graciously offered up Through the Ages for one lucky Dice Hate Me fan. […]

  2. […] speaking of Top Fives, in the last State of Games podcast, Monkey238 and I announced a very generous anniversary giveaway from Gryphon & Eagle Games […]

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