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Salim Khoury
United States
Houston
TX
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It seems the voting community is split with most voters not recommending 3p games but only by a few votes. I'd love to hear pros & cons before buying as it is significantly more difficult to round up 4 players for a game of this scale...the game box does list it as a 3-6 player game right?
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Scott Randolph
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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This is not a very "in depth" reply, but, 3p TI3 just isn't very fun. The trade, politics, warfare are meant for multiple factions (IMHO). Everything will always be 2v1, politics, trade, warfare, etc. I've played twice with 3p; once with two really skilled, really experienced players, very mature players...and it was actually OK, it wasn't a bad game at all....BUT...you need very shrewd, very unemotional, non-grudgebearing, extremely strategically flexible players to make 3p TI3 even somewhat fun. Even 4p isn't that great, TI3 really shines with 5p on a 3 Ring map, 6p on 3 Rings, or, even better, 7p and a 4 Ring map. The multiple factions and multiple competing interests are what really makes the game.
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Ron Hunt
United States
Layton
Utah
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I should preface this comment by disclosing that I am an enormous fan of TI3 and will play it with any amount of people. Having said that, my experience is that a three player game is just as enjoyable as the 4, 5, 6, etc player games. They all have their own "flavor" for lack of a better word.

Pros:
You are playing TI3... (see fanboi disclosure)
The fewer players = shorter play time to finish the game (usually)

Cons:
The strategy cards tend to loose some of their strategic value since you will be drawing two at each strategy phase as opposed to just one. To be honest, this may not be a con for some people.
You loose out a little in the political arena with fewer players. It is still there, but the impact tends to be diminished a little.

That has been my experience with it, in any event. All that being said, if you think you will enjoy the game, get it. Personally I have just as much fun playing it with three as I do with more.

I would echo what SFRR said about the depth of the game. The elements that make this such a great game are still there in the three player game, but they deepen with more people playing. Like many games, the strategy you employ in a three player game will not, most likely, be the same strategies you employ in a game with 6 players, but the pure enjoyment of the game is there, for me at least, regardless of the number of opponents I have.
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Sean D.
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
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Oh, you certainly can play it with 3 players. It just that in all the 3 player games I have been in have been it turns into 2 v 1, or if 2 fight each other a fair bit, then 1 stays out and builds up and kills the weakened other players. If you are OK with that aspect then it should be fine. You can always try making a slightly larger map to give players more room, but I have found that the smaller maps that force conflict over limited resources to be more fun and actually speed up the game. There are some political aspects that are simply not as fun in a smaller game, as shifting alliances or blocks of players make the voting more interesting. That's my 2 coppers in a nutshell.
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Dan Cunningham
United States
Milford
Ohio
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I've enjoyed TI3 with three players. Yes, there is a little less depth and less grand epic-ness, but it is still a fun game and experience with the added benifit of being a shorter game.

Dan
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Santi Velasco
Spain
San Juan de Aznalfarache
Seville
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Mechanically the game plays more or less the same, but the metagame is a bit lacking because, as others have said, alliances tend to be self-evident (2 vs leader). But hey, to quote Woody Allen "as empty experiences go, this is one of the best!"
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Fedor Syagin
United States
New York
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Salimo wrote:
It seems the voting community is split with most voters not recommending 3p games but only by a few votes. I'd love to hear pros & cons before buying as it is significantly more difficult to round up 4 players for a game of this scale...the game box does list it as a 3-6 player game right?

My favorite formats in TI3 would be 6pl - absolute best,
4 players and 3 players second place, followed by 8 players.

Preface - you need well balanced group to play with 3 or 4 players.
Mixing new player with experienced in that format - really bad idea.
So if you planning to play with close friends and you all have about same experience and general strength in this sort of games = should be fun.

I would have to agree on some comments above - about strategy cards etc.
It is tie for me between 4 and 3 players - because I consider fun game where everyone get 2 strategy cards each round. I prefer 4 player map - but there are never strategy card that is not picked and that is sort of bad thing. 3 Player leave 2 cards out and that's great strategy wise - but map is not that great imho. It's not bad - it's just not as threatening as on 4 and 6 players. (Probably you don't want to to be as threatening in 3 players anyway.)

Would I prefer playing 3 player games all the time - not really. But surprisingly I would prefer it to 5 and 7 players. (seems strange, but the way maps for those are build are not my thing.) Obviously you can play with different maps (tons of them online) and can do other things to fix stuff.

Wow this is getting too long. Again if you have good people to play you might like 3 players. It is indeed not for everyone, but I liked it so far.
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Salim Khoury
United States
Houston
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Do any of the expansions improve the 3 player game by chance?
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Jan Probst
Germany
Kiel
Schleswig Holstein
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Played lots of 3p TI early on.

Its still TI, its still enjoyable, but the distances involved makes it a bit parallel solitairy at times. Using alternate map setups may help with that; ring 2 homeworlds (put terrain towards Rex) is something we did a good bit, or maybe scenario maps from Shattered Ascension (didnt really do that much myself).

Overall, good for getting practice at the game in general as well as new factions. Once one has that practice, I usually find other games that do 3P a bit better preferable.
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Magic Octopus
Finland
Tampere
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"...that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the the field of battle - victorious."
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In a 3-player, there is usually no reason why 2 players should not gang up on 1 and take his planets. Now, I've played a couple of good 3-player games, but felt that their success relied on someone being lenient on the 3rd player and not attacking when they were at their weakest.

Also, the RAW 3-player map is useless- too many resources, distances are too long. You're much better off creating a map with 2 rings. There's a good preset map with Shattered Ascension.
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Jared Bgaming
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Maryland
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While I have only played 1 three player and 1 four player game so far. I cansay there is a noticeable.

It's mainly in the tension felt. 3 player felt more laid back and going withthe motions. 4 player was more enjoyable as you have more people competing against each other.

With the 3 player game I played I wasn't really worried too much about the other players as I was in the 4 player game
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Salim Khoury
United States
Houston
TX
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Give Grace, Always.
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Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
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Alright, we played and it went ok...net, net, I'm in the not so great with 3 camp. Thanks for all the council.

Eclipse 3p any day. TI3 3p, likely never again.
 
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