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Subject: Is this game balanced with 3 players? rss

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Mike Heil
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So, we tried playing 3 players last night and the other two formed an alliance during Tea Ceremony. Which left me with no options. The turn played out and I was utterly blown out.

Its hard to come back from missing out on 5 special actions. The other players went first so they went 3 and 2 times, which meant 3 special actions. Two of which were to build fortresses.. so I playing recruit meant more dudes for them than me. Harvest was better for them as well because they took more territory than I did because they had 5 ally actions. It was very painful and I was never able to get back into contention.

I don't believe this game can actually be played fairly with 3 players. Perhaps a fix is to deny alliances for the first round.

Thoughts?
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Casey Smith
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Betray, Betray, Betray.

They both lose a guy, you gain 2 guys.

edit, I don't know if you were one of these people, but some people think you can't betray if you are not in alliance. That's not true, its actually a better action for you because you wont lose honor.
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Brett Smith
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There are plenty of things you can do to counter these but first you really need to understand the other factions and what they need to be successful. For example if one of them is the turtle clan dont allow them to build any fortresses since that is there strength in the game. And Harvest is the biggest advantage in the game if your the only one getting it a lot times you could of just harvested in provinces with no war that turn cause a lot of people just ignore those provinces.

I won my 3 player game and never made an alliance with anyone the whole game and won by a lot almost 20 points, look into ways of you taking things they need desperately in the game for there faction to be powerful, and finally Betray is your friend use it wisely and often.
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Ray Greenley
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How about leaning on the betrays? Seems like you'd have a good chance to play both of them each round if they were sticking to their alliances.

I think you might also try to convince one of them that the other is winning and allying with you will be better so as not to reinforce their lead. If they won't ally with you anyway... well, not much you can do about that.
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Mike Heil
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SwissQueso wrote:
Betray, Betray, Betray.

They both lose a guy, you gain 2 guys.

edit, I don't know if you were one of these people, but some people think you can't betray if you are not in alliance. That's not true, its actually a better action for you because you wont lose honor.


Fun fact with betray. One of them was Lotus clan so we saw ONE betray the whole game! He kept changing the betrays to whatever he wanted.

So that door was closed. I was Turtle clan! I couldn't get fortresses out. It was just disappointing to have the stars align in that way.
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If one player is getting three mandate actions and you and the other guy are only getting two, I would argue that the better alliance would be you and the guy both getting two, so that the guy with three isn't getting a whopping 5 special actions out of the 7.
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Tilou
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Why didn't you ever betray?
 
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Mike Heil
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DoomTurtle wrote:
If one player is getting three mandate actions and you and the other guy are only getting two, I would argue that the better alliance would be you and the guy both getting two, so that the guy with three isn't getting a whopping 5 special actions out of the 7.


I agree. They didn't want to do that. In the end it gave him the win so why would they change their strat?
 
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Mike Heil
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tilouboy wrote:
Why didn't you ever betray?


They were replaced by Lotus clan. I only managed to grab one when I was first player. And yes, I used it to great success.


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Rome Knows Nothing
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Yes, I think the game is balanced at 3.

I think you just havent played it enough.

I marvel at the amount of people who question if a game is balanced or not after 1 play.
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Francois
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LordZon wrote:
DoomTurtle wrote:
If one player is getting three mandate actions and you and the other guy are only getting two, I would argue that the better alliance would be you and the guy both getting two, so that the guy with three isn't getting a whopping 5 special actions out of the 7.


I agree. They didn't want to do that. In the end it gave him the win so why would they change their strat?


Just my 2 cents but, one thing allies don't win the game together, only one of them will. So, the trailing ally should have changed his strategy.

I think it's not an easy game to master, your group will need a few games to see all the advantages and disadvantages of alliances before you can say the game is imbalanced at 3 or 5 players.
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Zach Rothwell
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Everyone's saying betray betray betray but you really wanna harvest harvest harvest. The enemy alliance will benefit way more form the harvests. (this doesn't work with lotus)
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jeff
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tod22 wrote:
Everyone's saying betray betray betray but you really wanna harvest harvest harvest. The enemy alliance will benefit way more form the harvests. (this doesn't work with lotus)


Yup I agree. If your'e on the short end of the stick on alliances you gotta do a better job of selling yourself for the next tea ceremony. Harvest a bunch of extra money and, bribe, bribe, bribe...

 
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Francois
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Another thing, at first glance, the Lotus Clan may appear to be the one gaining the most from alliances, if that proves the case with your play group, it may be prudent not to ally with them.

A game with Negotiation and shifting alliances can be complicated by personal bias in a group. In my play group, I have a friend who is fiercely loyal but also very vindictive. If you ally with him, he will not break his word but, if you betray him, he'll always try to take you out afterwards even if you are not in the lead. It makes for a challenging game play
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Conan Meriadoc
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AvidHunter wrote:
Yup I agree. If your'e on the short end of the stick on alliances you gotta do a better job of selling yourself for the next tea ceremony. Harvest a bunch of extra money and, bribe, bribe, bribe...


If the other players are both actively trying to win, you shouldn't need to bribe at all. They should both want to ally with you when they see their main foe is now their ally. One of them at least played very poorly.
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Mike Heil
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Dystopian wrote:
AvidHunter wrote:
Yup I agree. If your'e on the short end of the stick on alliances you gotta do a better job of selling yourself for the next tea ceremony. Harvest a bunch of extra money and, bribe, bribe, bribe...


If the other players are both actively trying to win, you shouldn't need to bribe at all. They should both want to ally with you when they see their main foe is now their ally. One of them at least played very poorly.


They did ally with me in subsequent turns.. But I was severely hampered after turn one. It actually only helped them to ally more than me at that point.

This game isn't perfect none is.. but the odd guy out on alliances is at a huge disadvantage. Four player I'm sure the game is fine...
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Francois
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LordZon wrote:
Dystopian wrote:
AvidHunter wrote:
Yup I agree. If your'e on the short end of the stick on alliances you gotta do a better job of selling yourself for the next tea ceremony. Harvest a bunch of extra money and, bribe, bribe, bribe...


If the other players are both actively trying to win, you shouldn't need to bribe at all. They should both want to ally with you when they see their main foe is now their ally. One of them at least played very poorly.


They did ally with me in subsequent turns.. But I was severely hampered after turn one. It actually only helped them to ally more than me at that point.

This game isn't perfect none is.. but the odd guy out on alliances is at a huge disadvantage. Four player I'm sure the game is fine...


Just curious, how many games have you played at odd number of players?
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Michael R

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Warwolf42 wrote:
LordZon wrote:

This game isn't perfect none is.. but the odd guy out on alliances is at a huge disadvantage. Four player I'm sure the game is fine...


Just curious, how many games have you played at odd number of players?


In defense of the OP, plenty of people have mentioned this problem by now and it obviously exists: if you are not allied, but everyone else is, then you are at a disadvantage--no matter how many games you have played. The game is designed such that negotiation is required to balance things out in such situations. Even if you have played the game multiple times, these situations are difficult. For new players, they can be frustrating. I would highly recommend people to play their first game at an even player count. Of course, if everyone in your group likes challenges, then that's fine, too. I am not recommending anything in that case. : P.

Edit: I don't get why people make rude or sarcastic comments on this topic, like the poster below. The OP simply wanted to share and discuss his concern, after his first(?) play. What's wrong with that? Nobody here claims to have mastered the game (or any game at all).
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Mark Iradian
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tricil wrote:
Warwolf42 wrote:
LordZon wrote:

This game isn't perfect none is.. but the odd guy out on alliances is at a huge disadvantage. Four player I'm sure the game is fine...


Just curious, how many games have you played at odd number of players?


In defense of the OP, plenty of people have mentioned this problem by now and it obviously exists: if you are not allied, but everyone else is, then you are at a disadvantage--no matter how many games you have played. The game is designed such that negotiation is required to balance things out in such situations. Even if you have played the game multiple times, these situations will be difficult. For new players, they can be frustrating. I would highly recommend people to play their first game at an even player count.


Because we know games are mastered and played optimally when you are playing it for the first time.
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Eric Matthews
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I do expect being the unallied player for the first season in a 3 player game will be a particular challenge that is different from just about any other set-up scenario.
I do bet there are some strategies that just haven't been discovered yet outside playtesting.
 
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Rick S
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I have only played two games.
The last game I played turtle against koi and dragonfly.
Koi and dragonfly aligned against me for the first and second seasons, and then koi aligned with me for the last season.
I was in the lead for VP the entire game and won by 20 points.

Edit: I believe lotus was the issue. In my opinion their power is a little bit too good. I'm not really into house rules but I think it would be a little bit better if they could pick the mandate they want and then re-shuffle.
 
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Ashley Watkins
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It sounds like you probably didn't negotiate enough. You could offer coin for an alliance. Also after the first season one will surely be ahead of the other. At this point you talk to the player behind about allying together to work against the leader. If 2 players continue to ally for a whole game in a 3 player game, then it would be unbalanced and you should find new friends
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Niall Smyth
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In my second game of this I was unallied for the first turn, because I had played once before (losing terribly ). I won this game. Alliances are nice, but especially in 3P, they aren't a huge deal.
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Jeffrey Nolin
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LordZon wrote:
tilouboy wrote:
Why didn't you ever betray?


They were replaced by Lotus clan. I only managed to grab one when I was first player. And yes, I used it to great success.


Easy fix. Don’t allow Lotus Clan in a 3 player game.
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Nicolas Tremblay
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longagoigo wrote:
LordZon wrote:
tilouboy wrote:
Why didn't you ever betray?


They were replaced by Lotus clan. I only managed to grab one when I was first player. And yes, I used it to great success.


Easy fix. Don’t allow Lotus Clan in a 3 player game.


Easier Fix: Git Gud.
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