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Subject: Recommended factions for 3 player game? rss

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Ian Noble
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El Dorado Hills
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When going through the rules last night, I noticed there really isn't a balanced way to setup a 3 player game. 2 of the players will be next to 2 inactive factions whereas the 3rd player will be flanked by only 1. I realize with the tunnels the board is more connected than it originally seems. It's just more obvious to new players in a game like Kemet.

So, are there 3 factions that should be used on the first play with 3? I was thinking Red, White & Yellow.
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Lori MacKenzie
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I'd just randomize them. It will be just fine.
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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Randomize.
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The Mirror
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The rivers make it difficult for any faction to skip into neighboring territories early on. Three is actually a pretty great number for this game, and has yet to feel imbalanced for me.

Remember, the way this game is balanced is very multifaceted. For instance, battles are as good a way to get a quick star as any and yet they are inherently inefficient and can reduce stats in both popularity and power. So while homey across the way is focused more on the slower engine-building aspects of the game, the two factions adjacent to one another can be two stars in, but at a disadvantage for endgame scoring multipliers. Then having already attained their two battle stars there is little impetus to do more, they basically stay out of each others' ways and get into the engine building racket in a rush. This is a clumsy example, but basically illustrates the multiple ways that the game is constantly pushing for equilibrium.
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Ian Noble
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mirror33 wrote:
The rivers make it difficult for any faction to skip into neighboring territories early on. Three is actually a pretty great number for this game, and has yet to feel imbalanced for me.

Remember, the way this game is balanced is very multifaceted. For instance, battles are as good a way to get a quick star as any and yet they are inherently inefficient and can reduce stats in both popularity and power. So while homey across the way is focused more on the slower engine-building aspects of the game, the two factions adjacent to one another can be two stars in, but at a disadvantage for endgame scoring multipliers. Then having already attained their two battle stars there is little impetus to do more, they basically stay out of each others' ways and get into the engine building racket in a rush. This is a clumsy example, but basically illustrates the multiple ways that the game is constantly pushing for equilibrium.


Sounds like you have some games under your belt. I guess it'll just be up to me to make sure and explain to the other players that they shouldn't feel disadvantaged if they happen to start next to another faction. Unlike in say, Eclipse.
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John Bruns
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Just played the other night a first three player game and I was the black faction sandwiched in between yellow and white. (Sorry but I don't remember the faction names by heart yet). I thought, "oh well", but went on to win without any issues.

Early on, no one can attack because of rivers. Then you get mechs, which protect you and allow movement. For example, with the black power to move from his mountains to tunnels, it was no issue that the surroundings were a bit crowded.
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Barry Miller
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My experience with multi-faction games thus far, is when it comes to selecting the factions, rulebooks will specify different methods:

- Some rulebooks say specifically to pick randomly
- Some rulebooks say only that it's player's choice
- Some rulebooks convey that it doesn't matter how the factions are selected

So I've observed that when a rulebook specifically says that factions are to be picked randomly, the designer usually has a good reason for that. Typically the reason is to enhance replayability across multiple sessions. It's also typically so that experienced players don't use faction selection as an advantage over less-experienced, etc.

But as there are no "gaming police" in our homes, sometimes I'll choose factions anyway even if the designer intended for random selection. Usually it's only when there's a new player (that I'll purposely pick the weaker faction while giving the stronger to the new player).

I'm not saying that's the case with Scythe as all session reports and comments thus far leave the impression that all factions are very balanced. Still, Jamie must've had a reason for specifying random selection for Scythe, is what I'm getting at.

 
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Ian Noble
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One of the problems with that is that I almost always play with red. And when I don't, inevitably there will be a turn where I start moving the red pieces. Because of that, for games like Scythe, I'm stuck with the same faction. This is probably something I just need to get over.

It would be nice if the "red" faction was able to start at any of the bases, but I realize that would throw off the balance of the River Walk ability.
 
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Jason Brown
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ianoble wrote:
mirror33 wrote:
The rivers make it difficult for any faction to skip into neighboring territories early on. Three is actually a pretty great number for this game, and has yet to feel imbalanced for me.

Remember, the way this game is balanced is very multifaceted. For instance, battles are as good a way to get a quick star as any and yet they are inherently inefficient and can reduce stats in both popularity and power. So while homey across the way is focused more on the slower engine-building aspects of the game, the two factions adjacent to one another can be two stars in, but at a disadvantage for endgame scoring multipliers. Then having already attained their two battle stars there is little impetus to do more, they basically stay out of each others' ways and get into the engine building racket in a rush. This is a clumsy example, but basically illustrates the multiple ways that the game is constantly pushing for equilibrium.


Sounds like you have some games under your belt. I guess it'll just be up to me to make sure and explain to the other players that they shouldn't feel disadvantaged if they happen to start next to another faction. Unlike in say, Eclipse.

Really, because of the way Riverwalk works and the how the mines are layed out, every faction is equidistant to the other.
 
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timbob1907 Tim
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ianoble wrote:
One of the problems with that is that I almost always play with red. And when I don't, inevitably there will be a turn where I start moving the red pieces. Because of that, for games like Scythe, I'm stuck with the same faction. This is probably something I just need to get over.

It would be nice if the "red" faction was able to start at any of the bases, but I realize that would throw off the balance of the River Walk ability.

Yeah I think you just need to practice using other colors. I was concerned about this when I first played Risk Legacy but I was able to get over it. It gives the game some extra depth when you can see the color and know what the piece is capable of.
Also always playing as red would get old quick. They're probably the least exciting faction for me.
 
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fortheloveofdice
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If anyone has concerns I'd say put the two more experienced players (with Scythe, or with games in general) in spots that are closer together. Either of those players will have room to go out away from each other a bit anyway unless you wedge three side by side I suppose.
 
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Craig M
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ianoble wrote:
I was thinking Red, White & Yellow.


I would agree with this, but not because of their location. These factions to me have the easiest faction power to grasp when you first start learning.

Nordic's swim power is simple, but is easy not to take advantage of.
Saxony's power can lead a player into a strategy that could impair their engine and put them behind (by chasing objectives, or trying to fight everyone).

I wouldn't worry about starting location proximity. Just remind them that everyone is the same distance apart and that you'll most likely meet near the middle.
 
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fortheloveofdice
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With some more games under my belt I'm going to emphasize: don't worry about it!

Seriously, it'll be fine. Now go have fun.
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