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Subject: In which we all laugh diabolically. Three-player. rss

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Aubrey Miles
United States
Logan
Utah
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Diabolical:
1. having the qualities of a devil; devilish; fiendish; outrageously wicked: a diabolic plot.
2. pertaining to or actuated by a devil.


Attika can bring out the devil in you. The game will be won by the player who had the best plot, and there are plenty of plots to keep track of:
1. Your plot to be the most efficient city-builder.
2. Your plot to link two of the shrines.
3. Your plot to prevent 1 and 2 from happening for another player.
-For every game, all three of these are simultaneous goals, so you're never short on something to be smiling wickedly about.

Anyway, Aubrey (myself), T, and J sat down to play three games total of this game, all of which descended into grudge warfare.

Teaching:

*sigh* I'm pretty much always the one teaching the games, as they're all mine. I'd only played Attika once before, so I reviewed the manual while snacks were being prepared and delivered a rather shaky description of the rules.

Thank goodness Attika is so visual; the components really lend themselves to understanding how the game works. Without them, I don't think my instructions would have been enough.

Anyway, we all came to grips, answered a few questions by consulting the manual and were ready. Overall, I think this would be an easy game to teach if only I had a bit more experience with it.

We Viciously Play:

T and J are good gamers. They get a grasp on rules quickly and always offer up some good competition even on first-time attempts. Thus, we all began playing reasonably, setting up cities with good opportunities for freebie tiles and we all began our not-too-subtle attempts to link shrines at the same time.

Even during the first game, I became worried about the amount of table-talk. Right off the bat, people were discussing everybody else's journeys to connect shrines, and key spots to take in order to spoil another player's city.

Before long, this descended into blatant evil. Shrines would become close to being linked when the two defending players would have a conversation about who should be responsible for stopping it. Obviously, spending your resources to prevent such things will prolong the game, but impair you in such a way that might not make it worth it if you're a moody type.

After a few of these situations, players started setting themselves up so that they didn't have the resources to block, forcing the other guy to make the sacrifice:
"Look... I blocked the last one."
"Oh, really? I wish I could do something, but I don't have enough cards right now."
(I myself am guilty for this as well. sheep )

Needless to say, there was much glaring and backstabbing and even wailing as each and every person's strategy was defiled by brutal interference, often made worse by a discussion between two conspirators beforehand.

T took the first two games, really taking advantage of the way J and I agonized over using our resources to mess with his strategies. If we had been more focused on our own building, it wouldn't have been so easy for him. Also, J probably was storing too many of her tiles early on, leading to a "catch-up" game for her later.

In the final game, I decided to keep my mouth shut more than I had been, and let J and T go at it, ruining each other's cities and attempted shrine links. I feinted a link which they both over-spent to prevent, and then used every last amphora and resource that I had to play a land tile, sneakily crossing over it, resulting in the only "shrine win" of the night.

T and J acted all surprised, insisted that I had pit them against each other in the most diabolical scheme yet, and then pleaded for another game. Alas... I am a student and classes are early, so we retired.

Even though I felt iffy about the table-talk that occured during this session, T and J have nothing but praise and adoration for Attika. They request it virtually every time I see them and I've overheard them singing its praises on campus to their other friends. I guess I'm a bit surprised at how well it went over, considering the back-stabbing and glaring involved.

Questions:

Since this evening, I've read that many people don't find Attika appealing as a three-player game for the reasons I've found above: whoever is forced to block another player is at a disadvantage, and whoever didn't block reaps the rewards. Are there any comments on this? Is it the personalities of the gamers that cause such diabolical behavior, or is it inherent to anything more than two-player?

Also, does anybody have any suggestions about the table-talk? There are plenty of games that are designed to include a lot of wheeling and dealing between players, but I don't see Attika as being one of them. It was more of a "ganging up" sort of feel every time one of those discussions broke out, which doesn't lead to good feelings about the game... despite the fact that my group actually seems to have LOVED the experience.

~Aubrey
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Shellie Rose
United States
Vernon
Connecticut
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We love Attika for exactly the reasons you say other people don't. When you play a three player game you are playing against TWO people. If they work together to block you, it's not ganging up. Even when I am negotiating with one player to block a third, I'm still playing against the person I'm negotiating with. They really shouldn't trust me. We are all "outrageously wicked" when we play.
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