Games That Use a Dummy Player Mechanic
Michael F
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I did a search for a list like this, but couldn't find anything, so I decided to make my own

Love it or hate it, the dummy player mechanic seems to be used a lot in games to balance things out for a lower number of people playing. My goal with this list is to compile as many games as possible that use this mechanic. This is mostly for my benefit, as I tend to really hate games that use dummy players, but maybe there are a few out there worth trying.

So if you want to add something to the list, mention how the dummy player works, and whether or not you think it is an effective mechanic to the game.
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1. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.13 Overall Rank:18]
Michael F
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Let's start off with a positive addition

The dummy player in this game helps to put a time limit on how long you can take during your turns. I feel that the dummy player in this game works extremely well, and even after getting Volkaire in the expansion, I still prefer using the dummy player rules included in the base game.
 
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2. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:180]
Michael F
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The dummy players in this game are mainly just there to limit the amount of open spots you can place your workers. This is done randomly instead of having set locations blocked off for 2 or 3 player games.

I personally don't care for the dummy player(s) in this game, because it feels very tedious to keep track of them on top of everything else you're doing. And I don't like the fact that there must always be a simulated amount of 4 players playing (Either 4 human players, 3 human and 1 dummy, or 2 human and 2 dummy). I know some people don't have problems with this, but I didn't care for it at all.
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3. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Michael F
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The dummy player in this game is only used when there are two players playing. What will happen is, when you buy a tile, you have a choice of taking it or giving it to the dummy player. Why would you give it to the dummy player? Well, scoring isn't quite as cut and dry in this game, and the addition of the dummy player can cause point awards to be split between the dummy player and someone else, as well as other ways of manipulating how points are awarded.

I really enjoy the dummy player mechanic in this one, even though I've played 2 player games without it and have had just as much fun. 3 players has always been the magic number of players with this game for me, and I think that's why I enjoy this mechanic so much.
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4. Board Game: Fresco [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:249] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Kevin Garnica
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West Covina
California
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5. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:358]
Kevin Garnica
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6. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:490]
Kevin Garnica
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7. Board Game: Glen More [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:256]
Kevin Garnica
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While I don't know how much help I can be because the previous entries I've never tried with 2P (and so, I can't comment on the "dummy player" experience), I can say that with Glen More, the general consensus is that it works very well.

Strangely enough - for a game that plays from 2-5 players - the dummy player is needed for games with 2 AND 3 players...

All you do is roll a die and simply remove the tile that lies at that space from the game. That's it.
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8. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:41]
Julius Andrikonis
Lithuania
Vilnius
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This game uses a dummy player, if played by two players. The third player is controlled by two playing players interchangeably. Of course, the actions, that can be taken by dummy player are limited, but at the end he counts as a normal player.

My experience? Well, I played this mode twice. It is certainly playable, but controlling two players at a time is sometimes quite annoying. The game is definitely much better if you manage to find the third player to eliminate the dummy. It seems, that the majority of BGG agrees on that.
 
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9. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:37]
Max Nelson
Canada
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10. Board Game: Power Grid: The Robots [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.16 Unranked]
Andy Foulke
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Bethel Park
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The robot is a dummy player, but configurable with many personality combos so you get a different dummy each time.
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11. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:324] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Rob Steward
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Meridian
Idaho
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For 2P, this one changes up the planning phase to have 2 blocking moves in addition to two regular moves. I'd call this a variant rather than a dummy.
 
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12. Board Game: Vanuatu [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:643]
Rob Steward
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There's an official 2P variant which some would call a dummy, but like Last Will, it's really more of an extra move... a blocking move.

EDIT: And I was very surprised at how well it worked.
 
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13. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108]
Rob Steward
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Whether you call it a dummy or just a variant, this one barely works at all with only two.
 
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14. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:296]
Rob Steward
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A weird dummy in this one, for sure. Sort of like 7 Wonders, the dummy here alters the game fundamentally.
 
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15. Board Game: Pergamon [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:963]
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The 2-player dummy player mechanism in Pergamon resembles the one in Glen More: It's there to put pressure on the players when bidding for research funds, and to remove excavation finds, i.e. to remove options for the players. It works very well, although not as smoothly as the mechanism in Glen More.
 
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16. Board Game: Alba Longa [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4420]
Matt Wolfe
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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The 2-player game uses a dummy city, mainly for attacking if I remember correctly. I didn't think it worked very well.
 
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17. Board Game: Rum & Pirates [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1926]
Matt Wolfe
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Raleigh
North Carolina
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Uses a dummy player for the round bonuses. It works OK, neither being bad nor good. It's the purgatory of dummy players.
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18. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:400]
Matt Wolfe
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Raleigh
North Carolina
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Uses a "ghost ship" that moves based on it's position relative to the other ships. A little frustrating sometimes and I wouldn't play this game with only 2.
 
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19. Board Game: Catan: Traders & Barbarians [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
Steve Kennedy

New Hampshire
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This may be a bit borderline, but the 2-player variant introduced in this expansion requires you to build parallel items with an alternate color (i.e., you build a road, the dummy gets a road).

It makes this a little easier to play with 2 and we certainly played it for a while, though we tend to prefer to hold off on Catan until we get at least a 3rd player.
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20. Board Game: Louis XIV [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:526]
David
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DURHAM
North Carolina
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For the 2 player game in this area majority/set collection game, the dummy player places 2 influence where the king is (the most desirable spot) and then 3 other locations by card draw.

Its advantage is that it is low maintenance and having 2 influence where Louis is each time is very appropriate. The random draw of cards sometimes throws up influence in places where it is unexpected or just not in the way at all, which lessens its impact and so you can be a bit hosed if the spot you were going for is unexpectedly occupied, but you do see where the dummy goes before you start placing your own influence.

Overall, a positive example of a dummy player making a game playable for two.
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