Print-and-play THREE-PLAYER luck-free abstract strategy games
Craig Duncan
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This list contains three player abstract strategy games that you basically already own (provided you have a printer and some playing pieces in different colors).

Games on this list are "luck-free" in the sense of no hidden information, no randomizing elements (e.g. dice, tile draws, initial deals, etc.), and no simultaneous action selection. (I don't mind luck in games, but sometimes I do want to play games without it!) I will allow initial random board set-ups though.

I'm being pretty exact about the criteria for this list, so I haven't allowed public additions to it, but please feel free to suggest games to add in the comments section at the end. The basic idea = luck-free plus EASY to make at home. (I assume it's easy to find different color pieces around a gamer's house. But I am not assuming one owns Icehouse pieces, for instance, so those games are not listed.)
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1. Board Game: Triskelion [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Craig Duncan
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Plays exactly 3 players.

This is a top choice of mine. Innovative and tense.
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2. Board Game: Chromatix [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Plays exactly 3 players.

This is another top choice of mine. It's related to Triskelion in that it shares the win conditions of that game, but the pieces are not fully shared as in Triskelion.

Full disclosure: this is a game of my own design.
 
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3. Board Game: OMEGA [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:8863]
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This plays 2-4 players.

Excellent game (another top choice of mine). Each turn you place one of your stones plus one stone for each of your opponents.

My two opponents and I did find that the game benefits from the inclusion of an anti-king-making rule.
 
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4. Board Game: Yavalath [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:3927]
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Plays 2-3 players.

Extremely easy to learn, great fun, and it was designed by a computer!
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5. Board Game: Squava [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
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2-3 players.

A version of Yavalath played on a square grid. Officially it plays only 2 players on a 5x5 grid, but my fellow opponents and I have found that it plays 3 players well on an 8x8 grid. In fact, with 3 players I prefer this to Yavalath!
 
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6. Board Game: Triad [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
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Plays exactly 3 players.

This is an innovative game in that the turn order is variable.

I enjoyed it, but the variable turn order does mean you can sit out a number of turns in a row and feel a bit like a spectator. Plus it seems like an exclusively tactical game. Because you might end up sitting out a few turns, it is hard to plan ahead and thus there is not a lot of long-range strategy.
 
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7. Board Game: Abalone [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1408]
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Despite the popularity of this, I have not yet tried it. You could print out your own board and use three colors, as here.
 
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8. Board Game: Shoulder to Shoulder [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
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Plays 2-3.

I haven't tried this yet, but I have enormous respect for its designer David Parlett, so I am looking forward to trying this.
 
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9. Board Game: Feed the ducks [Average Rating:7.02 Unranked]
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Plays 2-3.

Not tried yet.
 
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10. Board Game: Crosshairs [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
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Plays 2-4.

I'd love to try this. For a home version you'd need stackable pieces and you'd need to place a mark on the pieces representing planes, to indicate orientation.
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11. Board Game: Yavalade [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
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Plays exactly 3 players.

A Yavalath variation. Not yet tried.
 
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12. Board Game: Momentum [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:8947]
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Plays 2-3 players.

Have not tried yet, but I suspect it may be a bit opaque (for me, at least).
 
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13. Board Game: 9tka [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:8593]
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Plays 2-4 players.

Haven't tried yet.
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14. Board Game: Morro [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Officially, Morro plays only 2 players. However, with a rule tweak that we call "Feedback Morro," my two fellow gamers and I have found that the game plays three players quite well.

The rule tweak for three players is described in this thread:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1376896/morro-three-pla...
 
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15. Board Game: Gute Nachbarn [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:7611]
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Plays 2-4 but said to be best with 3. I haven't tried it yet.
 
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16. Board Game: Iqishiqi [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
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Plays 2-3. I can't believe I forgot this one in my initial list!
 
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17. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
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This is a new game devised by Joao Neto, Bill Taylor, and myself. I think it works very well as a three player game.
 
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18. Board Game: KIKA [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
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I believe this is luck-free, and thus fits the idea of this list.
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19. Board Game: Unlur [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:7679]
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Bill Taylor and Joao Neto and I have come up with a 3 player version of this, which we have been enjoying. Rules described here. (Definitely play the two player game first, however, to get a feel for how Unlur works, before moving on to the three player game.)

It's novel in that the game starts out as "every man for himself," but the final stage is two versus one (i.e. the two players play as a team against the third player).
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