The next game I wanted to feature in the 2 player series is Hanamikoji. With its accessible theme (not sci fi or high fantasy) and simple rule set, Hanamikoji is an excellent game to introduce players to more strategic 2 player games.
The goal is to have the majority of influence on the Geisha in the centre row. You gain influence by playing corresponding cards on your side of the play area in front of the Geisha. In order to get cards played you have only 4 actions and you will choose one of these actions per turn.
1. Reserve one card to play at the end of the round.
2. Take two cards out of play
3. Present 3 cards. Your opponent chooses one to play and you play the other two.
4. Present 2 sets of 2 cards.
Your opponent chooses one set and plays it. You play the other set.
This deceptively simple game offers players so much depth in a short game. The real beauty of this game comes in trying to lutthink the opponent rather than in manipulating and understanding the mechanics.
I think anyone looking for a strong game to experience what a 2 player game can offer should check out Hanamikoji.
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