Jay Volk
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Richfield
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It's Friday, it's Origins 2009 - Mitch and Craig and I are looking forward to a three player game of Neuroshima Hex! A newly mashed copy (components undamaged) had just been delivered to CABS by Zev of ZMAN games, and we are ready to go.

Our choices for our murderous ruffian hordes - Moloch (the red team, that has got to be one of the more evil sounding teams around); Borgo (the blue team, which sounds as if they defected from team Moloch because of creative differences); Hegemony (the yellow team, which is like the teen hooligan team - causes trouble, can't really hurt you); and Outpost (the last hope for humanity). All these wonderful characters gather on a hexagonal field of hexagons for a battle royale.

Mitch chose blue, Craig yellow and I chose green. Moloch, despite being the main force of evil in the game, sat this one out.

We positioned our bases, and then positioned our team members before we started to hack it out. Initially, green looked unstoppable. Any troops connected to my base could fire double - and I had troops that could fire twice AND fire at different stages. We couldn't really figure out if this meant they could fire 3, 4 or 6 times - but they laid down a lot of death in the early going. Blue was fairly accurate but had difficulty keeping men on the board. Yellow couldn't hit anything but they were not really a target either, so they just expanded like a wave.

Because of the abilities of my green army, I was able to jump out to a lead around the midpoint. This is when the game changed. Blue and yellow teamed up on me, and in a turn, I had no men defending my base. For the remainder of the game, I had no ability to place and keep men around my base. I was a sitting duck.

Blue had sustained fewer hits from me, and moved into the lead. With one turn to go, Craig had the ability to play kingmaker and decide who was going to win. Really, by that time, the damage to me was done and Mitch was victorious.

I didn't know anyting about the game going into it. It now appears that Neuroshima Hex is NOT a good game for three people. Play with two or four (in two teams) but not three. The team with the early lead cannot win a three player game.

Overall, predictable but fun (because of who played the game with me). I would probably try this game again in the four player variety. Two and three player versions just wouldn't make it.

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Giles Pritchard
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Shepparton
Victoria
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I play this a lot - and most often with three players. Maybe we take more care to take out the guy 'who is leading as of now' than others, but I have had a blast playing it three player. We try to be mindful of focusing on whoever has the most health each turn. I haven't really seen the game come to a kingmaker situation myself, though I guess I could see it happening. We tend to play reasonably fairly though - if one person has the ability to decide who wins between two other close players, but the play won't affect them, then they won't generally play to kingmake - ie: they will generally let nature take its course without interfering (if play will affect their position though - all is fair game ).

For us, there is no 'early lead will destroy you', because quite honestly - in 99% of games, 'most health' switches regularly and often due to aggressive play and regular use of actions like Move etc to change the balance of play. This is not saying btw that it can't happen!!

4 player is good - especially team play. 2 player is also excellent though - can be a real knife fight 2-player. Obviously I am biased, but this is one of my favourite games! I hope you have a better experience next game!!

Good lcuk and have fun!!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Russ Williams
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Wrocław
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For me, it's a 2-player game.

3- and 4- player just becomes total chaos and diplomacy/whining "Don't attack me, Bob is winning!" and actual skill at the game becomes secondary.

The NH tournaments at Pionek are always 2-player.
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Michal Herda
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2v2 play can be interesting, russ. This way, it's never "someone else's winning, attack him" - you still have two opposing teams.
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Steve Holden
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russ wrote:
For me, it's a 2-player game.

3- and 4- player just becomes total chaos and diplomacy/whining "Don't attack me, Bob is winning!" and actual skill at the game becomes secondary.

Punish whiners with excessive firepower and you should see that problem go away
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Corvallis
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I can't imagine writing off the 3-player version after one play, especially after noting that you weren't sure about some of the rules. Neuroshima Hex has more depth than you'll plumb in a single outing, even if you have the rules down pat.
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Laurence Parsons
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Bristol
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We have a blast with 3-player quite often. The trick (as with most 3-p games) is not to get too far ahead too soon and make yourself the target. Remember, especially with this game, that if you get your best tiles early and scoot ahead, then your worst tiles will appear in the late game whilst your a target. Plan ahead!!!
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David Molnar
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Ridgewood
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l10n0fjudah wrote:
Punish whiners with excessive firepower and you should see that problem go away


?? Attack players who are losing and get fried by the other guy. (And get to listen to the 'whiner' saying "I told you so.") Diplomacy frankly is a problem whether it entails whining or not.
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Steve Holden
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molnar wrote:
?? Attack players who are losing and get fried by the other guy. (And get to listen to the 'whiner' saying "I told you so.") Diplomacy frankly is a problem whether it entails whining or not.

I don't see diplomacy as a problem, i see it as a factor to account for in a three player game. It can be enjoyable to develop new strategies in this environment. I see whining as a problem because it detracts from the enjoyment of the game. I'm sure some day whiners won't bother me, but right now it's kind of irritating.

I admit excessive firepower isn't the right thing to do if you want to win the game, but it is satisfying.
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Russ Williams
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l10n0fjudah wrote:
molnar wrote:
?? Attack players who are losing and get fried by the other guy. (And get to listen to the 'whiner' saying "I told you so.") Diplomacy frankly is a problem whether it entails whining or not.

I don't see diplomacy as a problem, i see it as a factor to account for in a three player game.

It is its own thing, which can be interesting/enjoyable, but has little to do with the particular game or skill in that game's mechanics.

This was really brought home to me after playing some 3-player go. Normally in an even game of go, a significantly stronger player will always win. But in multiplayer go, your go skill has almost nothing to do with the game result. A stronger player can easily get their ass kicked by 2 newbies. That may be interesting as a diplomacy and negotiation and acting etc exercise, but if I'm in the mood for actually exercising my go skill, it's a pretty pointless experience.

Similarly for Neuroshima Hex. In a 2-player game, I feel like the skill of the players have a lot of meaning. (Albeit so does luck of the draw in NH.) In a multiplayer game of NH, I usually end up feeling like the winner had no correlation to NH skill per se.

The proposal to play with teams solves that (the game is back to "2-player" then, it's just that each "player" is a team run by 2 humans), but I usually enjoy individual play more than team play in general (not just in NH). So for me, NH remains a 2-player game.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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Taxers wrote:

...Any troops connected to my base could fire double - and I had troops that could fire twice AND fire at different stages. We couldn't really figure out if this meant they could fire 3, 4 or 6 times...


You may well have worked this one out already, but if you haven't, I thought I'd answer the question. The wording in the rules is this: "every friendly adjacent unit can perform an additional action in the initiative phase that follows its default phase. If a unit has two default actions available, the additional, third action is performed in the phase that follows the other two". Thus, the HQ doesn't double the number of actions; rather it adds one, meaning a unit like the HMG or Mobile Armour with two shots gets three if it is next to the HQ. In the case of the HMG,then, the first shot would be in round 2, the second in round 1 and the last in round 0, assuming there were no modules affecting its initiative.
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Shawn
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Pelham
New Hampshire
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I have played many games of hex and i am not a fan of 3 player free for all.

If i play with 3, its for "points". Start your score at 0; take a point every time you damage an enemy HQ. Play to 20(i think). You can play this variant over at http://online.neuroshima.org/

1v1 is the best, for me. But i really enjoy 2vs2 games as well.(YMMV).
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Stoodster
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Santa Barbara
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Whenever we play with three players we play 2 vs 2 and one player controls both factions for one of the teams. It's worked well for us.
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