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Subject: 3 player games... rss

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David Smullens
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Santa Barbara
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I made a post quite a while ago on a yahoo groups BGG forum, when the site was down but I can't seem to find it (it had some helpful recommendations too, too bad).

I'm looking for a (belated) christmas gift for my brother, and we have some very specific needs. I unfortunately, don't have any first hand playing experience for most board games, so its hard to tell how a game plays - even with the reviews.

I'm looking for something that I can play with my mother and brother. My mother is not really into 'direct' conflict in the games (having to kill another players troupes or something like that). They're both pretty bright, and would like something with some need for tactics and strategy, but perhaps not so much that if somebody has a little better understanding of the game the others wouldnt have a chance. We usually meet on saturday nights and watch some tv series on DVD as a family night, but it'd be nice to play some board games too sometimes, without it taking up the whole evening for one game. Really not interested in a game where people can get into a losing situation early, and then have to play for the rest of the game with no chance, but then again I dont really want players 'eliminated' either.

I think puerto rico is a great example of a game we liked, but it can take a little longer than we'd like sometimes (we put in all the settlers for a 3 player game, because the game always seemed to end before we were ready with the original rules)


So:
Plays well with 3 people.
Doesn't focus on direct conflict (my mother doesn't like this)
Some tactics/Strategy
Shorter playtime (games shouldnt take much longer than an hour once game is learned)
Game isn't decided in the beginning (with losers having to keep playing)


So far we've tried
End of the triumvirate (bad because of the conflict)
Puerto Rico (Great!, but looking for a shorter option)
1960 (great tactics level - takes too long to play, not 3 player of course)

I mentioned San Juan, brother wasn't interested (not sure why - maybe because it was the same theme)

Any suggestions?



 
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Tim P.
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Stone Age
no conflict but people do get in each others way

Kingsburg
people do not fight each other, but defend against one attack per game year, playing time might be too long

you could always try a co-operative game Pandemic
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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San Juan is a card game that uses the same theme as Puerto Rico. You should definitely check this one out.

Notre Dame may be a bit on the long side (listed at 75 minutes). You can't attack other players directly. Victory points are hidden until the end, so you won't know whether you are way behind.
 
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Eric Knauer
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Heathrow
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Ticket to Ride
China
Thurn and Taxis
Alhambra
Arkadia
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Blue Moon City
Hanging Gardens
Hansa
Masons
Vikings
Yspahan
Oregon
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Craig Liken
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Of the games I have played,the following would fit your criteria:
Stone Age
Thurn and Taxis
Notre Dame
Vikings
Stone Age might be a little lengthy, perhaps up to an hour and a half, but depends on how fast you play. The others are more like an hour, with Vikings shorter than that once you know how to play. In my view Vikings is at its best with three players.

You perhaps should really try Puerto Rico again with the correct number of colonists for 3 players. When you first play, mayor seems to be a popular choice and the colonists tend to run out first. As you get more experienced this will happen less and less, as people use their colonists more efficiently (remember you can move them during the mayor phase - the don't have to stay where they are originally put).
 
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Seth Brown
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Knights of Charlemagne is fast, simple, and perfect for 3 players.
 
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David Smullens
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thanks for all the suggestions everyone, defintely have some good choices from what I've ready on the game pages. I don't have a gaming group here, unfortunately, so no first-hand knowledge/.


liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:


You perhaps should really try Puerto Rico again with the correct number of colonists for 3 players. When you first play, mayor seems to be a popular choice and the colonists tend to run out first. As you get more experienced this will happen less and less, as people use their colonists more efficiently (remember you can move them during the mayor phase - the don't have to stay where they are originally put).


Defintely a good suggestion; Its not really a question of us looking for new enjoymenent of the game we already enjoy though, - we may try the original number of settlers again, but I'm looking for something new to buy him as a gift, giving us a shorter game option rather than a way to play the same game shorter.(and as intended)

With the mayor being used less often, the settlers still are put on the boat causing the game to still have the potential to end just as early. (just would tend to be by the person who would win the game by picking mayor). We (my brother particuliarly) simply enjoy the game with longer play, and we dont play it often, so it may simply be a case of subtler strategies not in play.

 
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