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Subject: 3-player is broken rss

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Dana Olson
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Player 1 puts both donuts on Learn.

Player 2 wants to put both donuts on Prepare, as clearly this is the best possible move - block the other player from doing anything. However, Player 3 doesn't want to be blocked and so they search on BGG and discover that Player 2 can't block him, as your starting card requires only a 2 and a 0 roll is an automatic fail! So you're not supposed to make the best play here. (Is this restriction only for the first turn, or does it always apply to any recipe that has a Prepare or Serve that requires only a 2? Seems odd to force a bad strategy this way... But anyhow.) Player 2 reluctantly agrees to place a single donut on Prepare.

Player 3 tries to Prepare with a single donut.

Player 1 pulls both Learn donuts.

Player 2 puts his 1 donut on Learn.

Player 3 puts his 1 donut on Learn.


Player 1 now can't legally place a donut, nor can he pull a donut.

______________________________________________________________________

What is the solution, then? If Player 2 or Player 3 had succeeded in their Prepare attempts, then they would have to be forced to do a Serve attempt in order to not block Player 1, even if they didn't want to Serve their prepared starting donut... And if this is the case, which player is forced to make this suboptimal sacrificial play, Player 2 or Player 3? And what if both Player 2 and Player 3 fail their Prepare steps by rolling the 0 on the die? (It's happened, I kid you not - I've even rolled a fail like 6 times in a row, one game.)

This sort of blocking happened constantly to us. Since the rules don't address what you do, we wound up just scrapping the game when we got locked up, and started over (so fun). Players have to work hard, purposely making very bad moves, in order to prevent locking up the game like this. This sort of thing seems to only be possible in a 3-player game.

We never successfully finished a proper 3-player game that I can recall. After the first few lock-ups, we flipped to the 4-player sides, and then it's pretty much fine... But is it a misprint? It doesn't seem like it, based on that other thread about the opening moves in a 3p game. And I think if it were a misprint, it would have been mentioned somewhere by now. I am not a fan of house rules whatsoever (quite the opposite, in fact).

Are we doing something wrong?
 
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Ethan Yanyo
United States
Evansville
Wisconsin
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Why did Player 1 pull both donuts from Learn? Surely pulling from Prepare would be the more strategic move, because that's where he will want to play next, and if either Player 2 or 3 (or both) succeeded in their Prepare attempt, they can't go there. Or could Player 1 have placed only one donut on their first turn to have more options on the next turn?

Also, you can pass your turn if you can't or don't want to do anything. It sucks for Player 1, but surely it'll come around and Players 2 and 3 will be blocked from what they want to do throughout the game. It is a competitive game, and you shouldn't feel bad about blocking the other players -- that's just how the game is played.
 
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Dana Olson
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EYanyo wrote:
Why did Player 1 pull both donuts from Learn?


Suppose he pulled from Prepare and both Player 2 and Player 3 failed their Prepares. Same exact outcome. I mentioned it because, simply, it has happened. And it continues to happen later in the game, when players have more recipes out that they want to prepare, but none they need or want to serve. It also happens when players have nothing to prepare, but serve is blocked.

Also, I don't know if my die is messed up or what. It looks fine, but I thought it was weighted or something, as we it seems we roll an abnormally large number of insta-fails.

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Or could Player 1 have placed only one donut on their first turn to have more options on the next turn?


I want more choices, so I place 2 donuts. Yes, I could place 1; that's part of what I said about having to work hard to avoid being blocked.

Quote:
Also, you can pass your turn if you can't or don't want to do anything.


We must've missed that in the rules, then. Thanks! I only remember seeing two options, place donuts or take donuts. I see it now.

Quote:
It is a competitive game, and you shouldn't feel bad about blocking the other players -- that's just how the game is played.


Well, it's certainly true of the 3p game. I don't recall anyone ever being blocked in any of my 2p or 4p games, not even once. There was always something to do. Now I am actually curious if it is even possible at all to completely block someone in a 2p or 4p game. In any case, I don't find the 3p game fun at all as a result. It feels like a very different game than the other player counts because of the constant blocking. I may just stick with the 4p side, or maybe try just using the 4p side of the Learn space, see if that solves it without loosening up the production entirely.
 
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Grail Games
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Hi I have never seen a game dead end, but from your write up it could happen. I wonder if your group would like to play with "prepare" and "serve" on the 4p side? I think that may solve the problem??
Thanks so much for playing - at any player count
David
 
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Dana Olson
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GrailGames wrote:
Hi I have never seen a game dead end, but from your write up it could happen. I wonder if your group would like to play with "prepare" and "serve" on the 4p side? I think that may solve the problem??
Thanks so much for playing - at any player count
David


Yeah, that's typically what we have done after the first few games. We all missed the Pass option on the player aid, and the manual, I guess. In any case, forced passing isn't fun, so we decided to just flip all 4 cards. I am not 100% sure, but I think flipping just Learn might be enough to ensure there's always at least something valid to do. I'd have to try it, and maybe I will next time.

Thanks for the cool little game! I got it the same time as Mint Works and have played it way more.
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Grail Games
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Oh, awesome thank you so much!
 
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Josh E

Naperville
Illinois
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Dana, were you ever able to try this out? My groups tend to use forced passing as a strategic option to block others, so I'm curious if just learn being flipped changes it that much.
 
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Dana Olson
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I haven't, honestly. Haven't played recently, as we mostly have been playing new and heavier games. One of these days!
 
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