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Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization» Forums » General

Subject: why tta is best for THREE players? rss

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ming ming
China
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i am confused about that because in my several tta 3-player experience, when it was three players, one will benefit a lot if the other two civilizations are fighting and war.

i know some guys think 3 is better than 2 as they can "balance" the power of every civilizations and won't end the game so fast once anyone has an advantage to the only opponent.

but i have to say ,i have got much benefit when the other two civilizations have a war and finally i win

so please let me know your opions~ thx
 
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Shawn Fox
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I think people mainly favor 3 over 4 just due to game length.
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Vasilis
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xiaomingdaxia wrote:
i am confused about that because in my several tta 3-player experience, when it was three players, one will benefit a lot if the other two civilizations are fighting and war.

i know some guys think 3 is better than 2 as they can "balance" the power of every civilizations and won't end the game so fast once anyone has an advantage to the only opponent.

but i have to say ,i have got much benefit when the other two civilizations have a war and finally i win

so please let me know your opions~ thx


OK, here goes my opinion on why 3-player is best for this game.

2-player
Positives: It's fast if you are stressed for time and you have total control over what your opponent does. Everything you do affects either you or him and noone else.

Negatives: Not a civ-game anymore. The game already tends to be eurogame-y but has enough civ-game elements to keep it real but when playing with two players, it loses its epic 'create a civilization' feel and becomes a boxing match where two people are antagonizing over who will build the best VP engine. Theme goes out of the window and it's not a civ game anymore, it's a min/max-ing game. This reason alone is why I couldn't care less about 2-player.

4-player
Positives: Many players means more interaction, more trade agreements. Game feels more epic in scope as there will be the 'military' civ, the 'culture' civ, the 'tech' civ and so on.
Wars and aggressions can happen in multiple fronts.

Negatives: Some things are completely out of your control. If a player makes a mistake then others may capitalize on it without you being able to do anything about it.
Game duration is too much for what it offers. Downtime is horrific between rounds.
Player order matters a bit too much for a strategy game.

My major issue with 4-player was game duration and downtime and I always thought that making it last a shorter time would make it equal if not better than 3-player.
Unfortunately, after playing multiple 4-player matches after the iOS app released (which didn't have any game duration/downtime concerns at all), I noticed that the game is a bit unpredictable when playing with 4-players which is nice for when you want to have some fun but not so nice if you are playing to win a strategy game. Some matches felt like the luckiest player won, not the best one...


3-player is simply the best option. It mitigates all the negatives of 2-player/4-player matches I mentioned above without sacrificing anything. It lasts a reasonable time, doesn't have annoying levels of downtime and still feels like a civ game instead of an engine-builder.
Plus it still has trade agreements and ultimately you do feel like you are in control of your fate, that the best player will win even if someone else gets a bit lucky during the game.

As for the 'two players fight and I win' issue, usually this is something that games which use a map have, because you actually have to move to the other guy and the one who just turtles down will win because he doesn't have to bother with army movements etc. In TtA though there is no map, so if one player is fighting the other, he can easily turn around and fight you the next turn. Even if he just bullies the other player because he is the weakest, he still gains Culture out of all these wars/aggressions which may give him the win over the turtling player.

Imagine a game where player A is the military powerhouse, player B is turtling but with a decent military and player C had focused a bit too much on Culture but neglected his military.

If player A continuously attacks and siphons Culture from player C while player B just sits there not bothering anyone, Player A essentially blocks player C from winning AND gets Culture in the process. If this Culture gain is enough he may even win the game and because you are just there turtling you can't do anything about it. You may very well stand there and watch player A get the win while you think that not bothering anyone is the best strategy...

Just my two cents.
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i have also the same feelings !

and yes the problem with 4 you lose "completely" control of what happens and can rarely adapt your strategy with your needs.
 
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ming ming
China
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Thank you so much for your long reply and i have learnt a lot~ i like tta the great game more and more.thank you.
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E_R S
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I've played mostly solitaire, and for solitaire play four player is clearly the best. Downtime isn't an issue, and the fact that there is alot of luck involved in who wins isn't an issue, since if you are playing four players solitaire you shouldn't really care who wins.

So I find the arguments that in competitive play three player is best to be persuasive. But among my gaming friends its generally held that three player games are failures by definition, because either two players will combine against the third, meaning the strongest member of the alliance wins, or they will fight, ensuring the third player wins. What is so different about TtA that you won't get either dynamic?
 
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Jack Liu
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Strong pacts in 3p are too good and the odd man out losing a lot. Also there are additional counts of certain important techs compared to the player count and only 1 Military theory (which is a downside for military players going for WoC)

People tend to rate 3p because it's not 2p and has less downtime than 4. But 4p TTA has the most breathe of options and valid strategies. But it does have more downtime and depends more that people at close skill levels to shine
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Sonny A.
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I love it as a 2-player game because of its intensity. It's much more strategic.

In 3 and 4 player games it oftens end up with some poor guy taking all the punishment, while the other players distance themselves from the poor chap.
 
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Aaron Green
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I don't think the luck factor changes that significantly going from 3 to 4. In 4, you need to follow the strategies of others more closely so you can grab a leader or wonder that others aren't vying for. Card denial is less of a strategy in 4 than in 3.

Also, I totally agree with the pacts. If you're playing a 3 player game and all 3 players are equally matched, a strong pact (like Open Borders Agreement) can severely set back the player who doesn't get it, and that's at least some level of luck, too.

But the depth of strategy and tactical maneuvering is incredible whether it's 3 or 4 players!
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warren maruschak
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I personally think it's best with four players. None of my groups that play experience a lot of downtime in four player games (on average our four player games take 3-3.5 hours to finish, and that includes setup and tear down).
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Riku Koskinen
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esabatine wrote:
But among my gaming friends its generally held that three player games are failures by definition, because either two players will combine against the third, meaning the strongest member of the alliance wins


Apart from pacts - which I do not find game-breaking even if two players have the maximum of two pacts with each other and the third has none at all - there is no way to combine against a single player.

Like said in a response above, ganging up is mostly a feature in games with a map, and/or in games where units actually die when they fight. Neither of this happens in TtA:New Story, now that unit sacrificing is limited to colonizing.

If two players build high military and the third does not, it's not about ganging up. It's because they considered build-up to be the best strategy to put in use in the current situation; this forces the rest of the players to follow suit or risk facing the consequences.

Quote:
or they will fight, ensuring the third player wins. What is so different about TtA that you won't get either dynamic?


What does this even mean? If two strong players fight, nothing happens except wasted political opportunities. I mean who declares a war if he can see that the opponent is able to match strength? That may still be a valid strategy for example to force the opponent to use resources on military and therefore miss the opportunity to build an age III wonder, but that's still effectively scoring culture against this player even if the war ties.

Personally I prefer 3p because 4p doesn't bring much extra to the game, but the downtime increases significantly. I generally am not a fan of boardgame duels, and really don't play them at all apart from games specifically designed for that purpose, e.g. Twilight Struggle. TtA duel is also a very competitive cut-throat style of a game. I wouldn't want to casually play that, but in tournaments for sure, if such tournaments were held near where I live.
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Roxolan
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esabatine wrote:
either two players will combine against the third, meaning the strongest member of the alliance wins, or they will fight, ensuring the third player wins. What is so different about TtA that you won't get either dynamic?
Two things.

One, fighting in TTA mostly doesn't require either side to burn resources. As Padish said, when two players of equal strength attack one another, literally nothing happens.

Maybe someone spends some red cubes, but those are renewable - and by the time wars become an option the attacker usually has too many to use them all efficiently anyway. Maybe someone spends some defense cards, but that's all those cards are good for (ok, and to gain a small colonization bonus), it's not like there's much opportunity cost there. Maybe you need to build some units to defend yourself, but those units are not spent in the fight. They'll help you in all future conflicts (and may earn you rewards).

Two, for most aggressive actions you can take in this game, you do not get to pick your target. You can only usefully raid/war people with much lower military than you, which is almost always just one player (if any). Or you can seed punishing events, but you generally don't have the luxury to only pick cards that punish one player in particular; you're lucky enough if you can guarantee they won't punish you.

The most you can do is to choose not to take advantage of a weakness if the victim would be your buddy. But that's self-sacrificing. Even if you can both agree not to harm each other, I'm not sure that strategy wins against a third player who gets to exploit everyone's weaknesses.

(Actually, this is so prevalent it's arguably a flaw of TTA. Ganging up on the leader is often good for long games, it's a balancing mechanic that prevents excess snowballing. In TTA, people are instead forced to gang up on the underdog, which causes a death spiral.)
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Michael Zhang
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Anyone tried 2v2?
1. Open a 4p game, 1/3 vs 2/4.
2. Pact can't be signed.
3. At the end of the game, add culture points of 1 and 3, vs that of 2 and 4.
4. All other 4p rules applies -- you can attack your ally if your think it is necessary.

I knew some friends played this model on old version. But how about on new version.
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Mark Strik
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I've tried this once, but it was 1/2 vs 3/4. With pacts.

Why do you think those rules are necessary?
 
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