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Subject: Three player game flopped... some ideas and some questions rss

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So I got a chance to play this 3 player yesterday for the first time. After hearing so many good things about it I was looking forward to it, but no one really enjoyed it. Maybe it was just a victim of too much hype. Some of the issues that I recall were:

- The setup for the three player game w/ everyone selecting two cities and going in complete turn order means two people had their cities grouped nicely together and the third person ended up w/ their cities on the opposite sides of the board (as did the mercs who ended up w/ London and Constantinople before we picked cities). We were thinking a better way of doing this would be Catan like (1->3 the 3->1), although in that situation the first player would likely end up w/ their cities being split. Has anyone tried playing it w/o multiple cities from the start?

- I thought the merc army was kind of interesting but the other two players weren't really into it. Just seemed to be an artificial way for the front runner to beat up on people and then go in and clean up w/ their own troops later to take over things. Either that or it just kept getting shuffled around to various locations as people tried to move it away from their cities/territories. I was thinking maybe a better way of doing the mercs was to have the person w/ the least crowns get control of them. This way even within the same player round potentially control could change from the first card to the second.

- BTW speaking of crowns, what's the point of the physical crown tokens? Since it is easy enough to see who controls which cities, the crown cards count for themselves and the tracker on the side of the board shows who is in what position w/ what total... we couldn't figure out the point of the crown pieces. Just extra bling was our guess???

- Another thing that made no sense... what's the point of Portugal? It doesn't have a city, it is not connected to anything else, number of territories don't count for anything (unless we missed something) so it seems to serve no purpose in the game.

The final complaint, and unfortunately there is no work around for this one, was the cards themselves. They just seemed to be too limiting compared to what you can do w/ other games of this type. I know it is a system that has been used before in other games, so maybe it is just those types of games aren't good for this group, but I have to say we spent more time puzzling over what cards to play than "playing" the game itself. I know the card play is part of the game, but it felt it was hard to build a coherent strategy given the waiting until after all card play for combat to happen, the limited actions of the cards themselves and on top of that the unknown movement of the mercs.

Bottom line is I don't think I would be opposed to playing it again, especially in light of maybe trying some of the variants above. I think it is going to be a hard sell for the people I was playing w/ yesterday though to get it back to the table.
 
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mortego
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I see this as an awesome opportunity for you to come up with a variant or house rules for a 3 player game, the one suggested didn't seem to have a lot of thought put into it, imo.

As for the physical crowns, I suppose there is no need for them much like the armies could just be colored cubes with symbols for the unit type, this would allow the players to use their imagination to make them whatever they want or the board being a map when it could just be colored sections of random shapes. Aesthetics could be an argument for the crowns but whatever floats people's boats I suppose.

I have to give a lot of credit to Hasbro who, in my mind, is a faceless corporation that doesn't give designers or artists credit for their work on games, for putting out this & Risk: Star Wars Edition, not too shabby I say.

The hype? Oh yes, but the hype wasn't in context to other hobby board games or War Games, it was hype because who would believe that Hasbro came out with a decent game that BGG types would even give it a second look.

Chances are you & your friends are ultimately not going to like this game and that's okay because there are hundreds of other games better than this one. For me? I love it.......why? IDK, I just do. I'm no Grognard or ASL fan so maybe that's why it's cool to me, because I don't know any better.

laugh

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Chris Schenck
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If you can round up another player, you should try this at the intended 4-player count. I've heard good things about the mercenary system with 2 and 3 players, but it seems like it was an afterthought for a game that was intended for 4 players.
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Bill Koff
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We enjoyed using the Empires variant for less than 4 players.
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Looks interesting. I'll see if I can talk them into it next time. Just to double check though, no one plays the 4th army right? It is just meant as an occupying force to hold that territory until someone takes it.
 
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Bill Koff
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fh13 wrote:
Looks interesting. I'll see if I can talk them into it next time. Just to double check though, no one plays the 4th army right? It is just meant as an occupying force to hold that territory until someone takes it.

Right. There are a few other wrinkles though.
 
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spindoc wrote:
fh13 wrote:
Looks interesting. I'll see if I can talk them into it next time. Just to double check though, no one plays the 4th army right? It is just meant as an occupying force to hold that territory until someone takes it.

Right. There are a few other wrinkles though.


Like what? Or is that buried in another thread around here someplace?

Thx
 
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Andrew Prizzi
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1. The physical crown pieces are to help you remember the rule for gaining income when taking a city (and they look cool.) If you take over an UNOCCUPIED city, you put a crown on it and gain silver coins equal to the value of the city. If you take over an occupied city in a battle, there is already a crown there so you don't get any money. If you control a city and lose all of your men there (from a siege weapon attack for example), you take the crown off of the place and put it back in the box.

2. Portugal. Number of territories does matter for taxation purposes. Each non-city territory that is connected by a good supply line to the city you tax contributes 1 silver coin in tax money.

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prizziap wrote:
1. The physical crown pieces are to help you remember the rule for gaining income when taking a city (and they look cool.) If you take over an UNOCCUPIED city, you put a crown on it and gain silver coins equal to the value of the city. If you take over an occupied city in a battle, there is already a crown there so you don't get any money. If you control a city and lose all of your men there (from a siege weapon attack for example), you take the crown off of the place and put it back in the box.

2. Portugal. Number of territories does matter for taxation purposes. Each non-city territory that is connected by a good supply line to the city you tax contributes 1 silver coin in tax money.



Thanks for pointing out the crown use. Guess I missed that in the rules, if it was in there.

Also, we did miss the rule about extra territories counting for tax purposes. We just counted the connected cities.
 
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Brian Jones
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spindoc wrote:


Agree with this, I think this is an excellent variant that beats the hell out of the 2-3 player rules in the box.
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Phil Hatfield
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Weird. Our first game was a 3 player game, and we thought the Mercenary army was a quite interesting aspect of the game. There was a lot of money spent on gaining control of the Mercenary army and using it.

We just got done playing a full 4 player game, and the 4 player game was MUCH more enjoyable and fun. Everyone is invested in your army in a 4 player game. But the 3 player definitely wasn't a flop in our first game. It was interesting, and played quite differently from so many other games that include an NPC player. We felt it worked for what it was. Without a 4th, and not including mercenaries, a simply "dumb" NPC player wouldn't be interesting at all in my opinion.

But, do what works for your game group.
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