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Subject: Adding RSF spot to 3-p rss

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Alex Chen
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Most of my games are 3-p and while it's very fun, I feel it has definite problems in comparison to 4-p.

1. There isn't enough reed, making cards like the Landing Net brutal, swingy, and unfun.

2. Stone is a bit tight. This isn't too much of a problem but it does make baking pretty bad in general.

3. There isn't enough food. 4-p gets Traveling Players and 2-p gets a ton of animals lying around. 3-p gets nothing in that respect. Also because baking sucks in 3-p, all 3 players tend to try to get Cooking Hearths and the result can be pretty brutal.

4. And this is the big one: the third player in 3-p gets hosed. This is because there are only two good spots on the board in the first round of 3p: Occupation and 3W. After that the options suck: plowing a field and taking 1G are both way worse than 3W and 1 Occupation. Moreover if player 2 decides not to take SP then player 3 is forced to take it. At that point if he doesn't have a free playable minor he is pretty much toast.

My idea, then, is to add in the 4-p Reed Stone Food spot into the 3-player game, replacing the crappy wildcard resource spot that no one ever uses. The idea is that it should help in all 4 respects. It adds reed, stone and food into the game (duh!) and it gives player 3 a decent option to use with his first play, no matter what. It also makes baking a better option, which should add some more variety to the game.

Thoughts?
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Chris Ferejohn
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Seems like a reasonable thing to try. I have always found the 3p wild-card resource thing a little underwhelming. Let us know if it makes 3p more enjoyable for you.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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I've often thought of trying this variant, but never gotten around to it. I'll bring it up with the boys the next time we play threesies. I'm thinking it'll make for a much wilder, higher-scoring game.

For what it's worth, though, we just played two 3-player games tonight, and Player #3 came in second both times. The Landing Net got used both games, to varying effect, though not by #3. I'm thinking I may post both these games soon to see what people here have to say.
 
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sonny sonny
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that takes the challenge out of the game. there is suddenly much more food (assuming that RSF gets taken almost every round which is likely) and there is as much reed and stone as in 4p games!

better idea would be to add +1 food to the "take 1 resource of your choice" action. that improves availability of food, reed and stone without breaking balance.
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Kevin Brown
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I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.
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Matt Shields
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I'm not sure I like adding a spot as strong as RSF, but we have discussed that going last in 3p seems like a major disadvantage for the reasons mentioned.

We were toying with allowing that player to start with 4 food to compensate a little.

We also normally draft occupations and improvement, and we've realized that we need to select the start player and turn order before the draft because it is so critical that player 3 have a free minor improvement that actually does something. If you are drafting and you are player 3, you simply have to take a cheap improvement, like one of the pass to the left cards.
 
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Philip Thomas
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The Farmers of the Moor expansion pretty clearly acknowledges the food problem with 3 players in that it provides extra food for the 3 player game only (And slightly less food for the 2 and 5 player games). The expansion also increases the number of cooking appliances, doubling the number of "cooking hearth type" Major Improvements.

In the absence of the expansion I guess using RSF may be a solution. Maybe you could just make it RF, since I don't think Stone shortage is really an issue in 3-player.
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Alex Chen
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letsdance wrote:
better idea would be to add +1 food to the "take 1 resource of your choice" action. that improves availability of food, reed and stone without breaking balance.


Ah, that is indeed a better idea. I think it would make Landing Net still strong, but much less of a crushing move. However, I don't think such a spot would be good enough for player 3 in comparison to occ or 3W, so I'll also try giving an extra food to player 3 at the start.

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I'll try out this change next time I get the chance to play a 3er.

pilight wrote:
I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.


This is an interesting idea as well, but I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being able to take 2R whenever you wanted.
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Bryann Turner
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vivafringe wrote:
I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.

This is an interesting idea as well, but I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being able to take 2R whenever you wanted.


I bolded the key word, different. You could not take 2R, but I think this is a pretty solid addition instead of RSF or adding a food to the take 1 resource spot. More variable, more useful.

If this still proves difficult for the 3P, then start him with 4f and this spot and you're probably golden.
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Jeff Bridgham
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vivafringe wrote:
pilight wrote:
I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.


This is an interesting idea as well, but I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being able to take 2R whenever you wanted.


That's different resources as in they cannot be the same type of resource. So two reed would not be available all the time.
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Jim Cobb
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vivafringe wrote:

pilight wrote:
I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.


This is an interesting idea as well, but I'm not sure I'd like the idea of being able to take 2R whenever you wanted.


It's two DIFFERENT Resources, so you can't take 2 reed...isn't that correct?

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Alex Chen
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Whoops, thanks for that, you three. Just shows my experience with the Family game, I suppose.

That indeed might actually be better.
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Alex Rockwell
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pilight wrote:
I'd use the Two Different Resources space from the 4p family game rather than the RSF. That will keep the food tight.


I agree.
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sonny sonny
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vivafringe wrote:
However, I don't think such a spot would be good enough for player 3 in comparison to occ or 3W, so I'll also try giving an extra food to player 3 at the start.

you can't really solve the position problem by adding or improving actions because start/second player will always get better actions than the 3rd player. but IMO adding another resource for reed is a different matter anyways.

to reduce the position problem we play the settlers of catan start 1-2-3-3-2-1 (and then again 1-2 if you need more action due to the new expansion).

the new expansion makes everything easier btw :D (we had scores 53-43-39 in our first game and that was without occupations!)
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Benjamin Notrevealing
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I echo the earlier comment about making the "take 1 resource" space (which had been used about once ever) to "take 1 resource & 1 food" - it then gets used quite a bit and provides that little bit extra reed or stone when you need it. The food just makes it that bit more useful.

It's just a minor change and doesn't alter strategies or scores massively, unlike adding RSF which would be too powerful imo, for the reasons already discussed. I like the "two different resources" idea too, though.
 
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Alex Chen
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After a few games, it seems that adding the "Two of any resource" spot is a decent fix. Giving player 3 the 4th food feels largely unnecessary, since the presence of the spot alone gives P3 a decent amount of options already. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

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