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Subject: Quoridor for three players rss

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J. Romano
United States
Denver
Colorado
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I've noticed that on some boxes of Quoridor (and on its BoardGameGeek entry), the number of players that can play ranges from 2 to 4.

However, the rule book I've seen only gives rules for two players as well as additional rules for four players. It mentions nothing about playing with three players.

So can Quoridor be played with three players? I've noticed some mention from BGG users that say they have. I've also noticed that one of the box covers (image id 72178) shows a three-player game in progress:



I'm confused how this is played with three players. Is it played with the four-player rules, which state that each player gets five fences? Or does each player get an extra fence (due to the unused fences that would have been used by the fourth player)?

I'm also curious how the issue of unbalance (where two players face each other, but one of the three faces an empty side) is handled. Are there any extra rules for that?

Even if there are no official rules for playing with three players, I'd still like to know what rules have been used by BGGers (who have successfully played with three players).
 
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Loren P
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I don't think there are any "official" rules for 3-players, and it does make sense. A variant just occurred to me. You could somehow use the middle square as a "base" that had to be touched. Like players would have to go to the middle square and then choose to exit on a starting line other than their own. Or players could go to the middle square and then some method of random selection would determine which starting line they had to exit out of. Or you could have a player go from one starting line to the middle, and touching the square "teleports" him to an opponent's starting position. He then has to go to the middle again, which teleports him to the other player's starting position. First one to touch the middle square for the third time wins. You may have to come up with a few new rules that would prevent placing walls to close to the middle square. Just a thought.
 
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João Sebastião de Oliveira Bueno
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Actually,
once I had three people to play it. I did not think much about it: just gave the third palyer 6 fences, and 7 to each of the others. Gameplay was fairly normal, and neither player seemed to be worse due to the starting positions, or number of fences.

I've played just a few games with 3 players, but I'd say it is just sit down and play.
 
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Martin Petricek
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Tried with 3 player, gave each 6 fences, 2 were put back in the box.
Two players against eachother, third was put on one side starting position.
But it is IMHO unfair to the third player, as when we played, the two opposing players trying to blocking each other usually block the sideways player considerably just as "side effect", usually much worse if any of those two decide to block him on purpose, so the game is a bit unfair to him.

Basically, I think it's not 2-4 players game but 2 OR 4 players game.
 
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Judge Crandall
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I tried this with 3 players the other day and made up the following variant:

The game is set up like a normal 4 player game, with each player getting 5 walls. The 4th "dummy" player is controlled by one of the players, with this role alternating every round. When playing as the dummy, a player has the normal options, moving the pawn or placing a wall.

At first, I thought the dummy's pawn wouldn't really do anything, while the dummy's walls would be in high demand. For most of the game, that was the case. The dummy pawn just shuffled around and the walls were used rather quickly. In the endgame, however, the dummy pawn became more important as one player tried to use it to jump his own pawn and advance more quickly. While this was interesting, no one was able to jump the dummy pawn because the other 2 players use their dummy moves to prevent this. As I see it, the only time a jump can/will happen is if there are 2 players near the dummy pawn and any move will result in one of the players being able to jump, or if the walls restrict any moves to prevent a jump. Ideally, this aspect could be made more prominent.

One player is going towards the dummy, so I thought there would be some sort of advantage/disadvantage in this regard, but that didn't seem to be the case. Both games were quite close, with this player winning the second game by one move. I think the game balances well with 3, judging by how closely both games finished. Everyone was within a few spaces at the end of both games.

I thought these 3 player rules worked fairly well, but it was just something we made up on the spot, without too much time or thought put into it. I'm sure they could be improved. Any comments or suggestions?
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