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Subject: Opinions on a 3 player game? rss

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Leevi Rantala
Finland
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I'm planning to purchase this for my regular gaming group, which consists of three players. So now I'm looking for your opinions about how the game plays with only three players?
 
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David Debien
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Taken from my review of the game, which you can read in its entirety here:

Number of Players

One of my favorite things about Steel Driver is how the playtime is not affected by the player count. Regardless of player count, Steel Driver is a 90-120 minute game. With experienced players and quick decision making I have seen it play in about 75 minutes from setup to tear down. In many games, doubling the player count will double the playtime, or worse. In Steel Driver, the number of auctions per round and hence the number of train companies to be operated per round does not change. With more players, each player receives fewer investment cubes, which keeps the amount of rail connections to be made during a round fairly static.

All that said, the 3-6 player compatibility does not mean all player counts are created equally. With 3 players, the game is lacking interactivity and each player will average 2 auction wins a round. This makes game play a little loose and is not as tense as the higher player counts. I feel Steel Driver is best with 4 or 5. At these counts, the competition to win more than 1 company a turn becomes a lot more competitive and there is a lot more competition on the board for those strategic links. With 6 players, we have the opposite problem of the 3 player count; each player will win 1 company a turn and this will not always be the case. Losing out on the ability to run a company for one of the game's 5 rounds can be a real drag and long term planning in a 6 player game can be almost impossible.
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Leevi Rantala
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Ok. Thank you for your quick reply. I'm still thinking about it though, since the relaxed atmosphere with three players might be a good thing.

PS. You have written a great review. It gave me a good overview of the general flow of the game.
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David Debien
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leevir wrote:
Ok. Thank you for your quick reply. I'm still thinking about it though, since the relaxed atmosphere with three players might be a good thing.

PS. You have written a great review. It gave me a good overview of the general flow of the game.


Glad it was helpful. I think you are making a good decision. As I tried to state in my review, 3 player SD is less than ideal, but still a great game. You could certainly do worse.

For an auction game that pkays exceptionally well with 3, try Goa, which tends to go in and out of availability for long periods. As it is available at the moment, I highly recommend grabbing a copy while you can.
 
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