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Subject: Best with 3? rss

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We played our first 4-player games of Genial last night and one issue came up.

The guy who won our game, Jae-won, won before the board was even totally full by going to Genial in all the colors. Amazing, yea... But he was helped quite a bit by being constantly able to trade in his last 5 tiles for a fresh set of 6 when he lacked any pieces in his lowest colors.

Now in the English translation of the rules I read here at the Geek, it reads that such an occurence (being able to trade in your 5 files for a new set of 6) "is rarely possible." But the winner of our game did so at least 3 times, another player must have done it twice, and I think I did so once. Rarely possible? Hardly...

In my mind, the problem is that with more players involved, the gameboard is bigger and there are more tiles on the board to match up with for points. This makes it easier to lay your tiles for points while creating a greater pool of points to score from. Throw in the tile-refresh rule and players in a 4-player game will find themselves having an easier time of getting the tiles they need.

Based on the 8 or so games of EG I've played so far, I found the 3-player game to be the most intresting. The 2-player version seemed to be a bit stale as there is little competition for space, while the 4-player game had the potential for problems I outlined above.

I'd like to hear other's comments on the tile-replacemment rule. Does any play without it?

Brian
 
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Joe Gola
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Redding
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I enjoyed the four-player game as much as the three-player, but the four-player game was a partnership game. I'm kind of thinking that partnership is the best way to go with four for two reasons.

First, in the non-partnership game two people will have to lay down next to the starting hexes twice while two will only have to do it once. In the partnership game, both teams have to lay down next to the starting hexes three times.

Second, if you're playing a defensive game, I would think you're a little too far removed from the player who's sitting on your left. You would be able to affect his plays but he wouldn't be able to affect yours. If the player on your left was leaving a lot of points on the board, other people could take advantage of that but the points might have dried up by the time it gets to be your turn.

As for the tile refresh, I like the rule and definitely wouldn't want to play without it. It mitigates the luck, which in this case is a good thing.
 
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Dan Blum
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Wilmington
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First, in the non-partnership game two people will have to lay down next to the starting hexes twice while two will only have to do it once. In the partnership game, both teams have to lay down next to the starting hexes three times.

You're playing incorrectly, I believe. The rules translation here says:

As soon as all players have played one turn, game tiles may be placed anywhere there are two free positions on the game board.

In other words, you do not have to keep playing next to the starting hexes until they're all used up.
 
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Jason Breti
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Yes Dan, you are right. After the first turn, you can put the tiles in any legal open positions. They don't have to touch starting hexes.

At least, that's how I translated it.
 
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Joe Gola
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Thanks for setting me straight!
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Not a great 3 person game in my opinion
Two players working together can freeze the third out of a particular color (and all it takes is one) early on and then that player can find him/herself slogging through the remaining 2/3 of the game with no hope of winning and with nothing much to do but decide which of the other two s/he wants to thwart the most!

Sue
 
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Scott A. Reed
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Re:Best with 3?
Quote:
But he was helped quite a bit by being constantly able to trade in his last 5 tiles for a fresh set of 6 when he lacked any pieces in his lowest colors.

I do not think you are playing this one right; swapping out the rack of tiles should not be advantageous. From your description, it sounds like you were allowing the player to play and then exchange his tiles; the act of swapping out the whole rack constitutes an entire turn, so the player who does get a fresh rack misses out on his opportunity to play, and therefore score, for the turn. It is there to allow a player to get a tile that he can score his lowest color with, since that's the only one that counts in the endgame score, but it still costs a whole turn to do it.
 
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Brad Miller
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Re:Best with 3?
skelebone (#470080),

I don't think so Scott. You play, then swap if you don't have any in your lowest color.
 
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Paul Sauberer
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Re:Best with 3?
Windopaene (#470097),

You're right, Brad. After you play a tile (or tiles) you refill. You either fill up to 6 or you exchange your remaining tiles for 6 new tiles if you have none of your lowest scoring tile(s).
 
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Scott A. Reed
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Yep, upon re-reading the rules and re-examining the original German, I see that a player does get to dump their rack and draw six afresh if they do not have any tiles in their lowest color on their rack after they have finished their plays. This once again speaks to the near-universal principal that I cannot get the rules right to a game on the first try.
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Sean Ahern
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Well, I've played about a dozen games so far, mostly with three or two players, but a couple with four. Both four player games ended at 17 points for the winner and no one else close. The three player games usually end somewhere between 8 and 11 and I don't remember the scores for two players.

I don't think it's so much about the extra space as how far away the starting points are from the edge of the board. In a two player game you have no extra spaces behind the starting space. In a three player game you have 3 extra spaces. In a four player game you have 8. It's just harder to block things off when it can be approached from all sides.

I wonder how a varient would work if the starting hexes moved back while the board expanded? If the four player scores stay high and we don't take to the partnership game, maybe I'll try that.
 
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Travis Bridges
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I don't know....I have played 4-5 4 player games, and our scores were roughly between 12 and 14. I don't think you guys are playing as defensively as you could. This may be a table phenomena. 3 players preceding a fourth can help that fourth player out immensely and allow that player to max out that color easily. Just because these players got points in these colors doesn't make it an alright thing to do. It is also good to end a long line with a 2-symbol tile in order to be the last to score a whole lot of points in a color. Usually 2-3 colors will be maxed out by all players because blocking in all directions is difficult. Early, players are "working together" to max out colors, but for the other 3-4 colors, careful placement should keep player scores down to 12-14 in at least one of them.

Trading in, IMO, is not necessarily a great thing. It should be a last resort. Sometimes, my lowest color is not represented but I refuse to turn in my tiles because my other tiles are so worthy of being placed on the board. Now, if people are playing free-for-all, with no respect to defense, it would seemingly never be disadvantageous to turn in your tiles, because whatever you get, you will be able to play.

I happen to dislike the 4 player game for other reasons, since score is not a factor. Basically, you lack control over situations on the board since there are 3 plays between each of yours. If you are the only one playing defensively, things could be very bad for you. Also, the person who plays first will often get an extra turn. Knizia games sometimes do this. In Through the Desert, it is not a big deal, since the first 2 players are the only ones who have a reduced first turn. However, in T&E, this is sometimes an unfair advantage. In this game, T&E lite, it occurs because all players have to play on an open symbol with their first turn, not just the first or first 2 players. I will never turn down a 4 player game of this, because it is so open and quick, but preferably, 1-3 is best.
 
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Alex Carr
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Nevada
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I have played a ton of four player partnership, some two player and a little three player. I would rate them in that order. Having only two sides greatly enhances the game. Blocking becomes a much better move in a zero-sum game. With three players it is also quite easy for two players to squeeze a color taking the third player right out of the game.

That said, three players has a remarkably different feel and I will certainly play the game with that number. Perhaps we have to rehash our strategy for a multi-sided and that caused the rather uninspiring three player games.
 
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Alan Kwan
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Ingenious » Forums » General
Re: Best with 3?
smithhemb wrote:
Two players working together can freeze the third out of a particular color (and all it takes is one) early on and then that player can find him/herself slogging through the remaining 2/3 of the game with no hope of winning and with nothing much to do but decide which of the other two s/he wants to thwart the most!

If there is still 2/3 of the game left, the blocked player should still have plenty of chance. He just needs to place a piece in the middle of the board (adjacent to nothing). The colored spot is adjacent to 5 empty spaces, but the other players can block only 2 each, so he will usually be able to score at least a point on his next turn.

If you're not aware that this is legal, please check the rules.
 
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