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Subject: Relatively quick 3er? rss

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James Caddick
United Kingdom
London
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Last time I asked the BGG community for a recommendation I ended up buying Princes of Florence and I've been very happy with it. So I thought I'd try again. Last time I wanted a game with a mechanic that was different to the colelction that my game group has access to. This time I'd like a game that plays well with three and that is relatively quick. When I say relatively quick, it's probably different to other people's standards. It takes us around 3 hours to finish a game of Power Grid and around 2.5 hours for Agricola! So anything that takes around 1.5-2 hours I would consider quick! I'll give you two lists of games that our group has access to: the first being the games I've played and liked and the second the ones I've played and disliked:

Like

- Agricola
- Power Grid
- Race for the Galaxy
- Tigris & Euphrates
- El Grande
- Puerto Rico
- Princes of Florence
- Ingenious


Dislike

- Palazzo
- Zombies
- Confucious
- Axis & Allies

Game mechanics I like

- Random variability that affects all players (nearly) equally (e.g. the round cards in Agricola). I find this makes for replayability.
- Simple rules>complex game play (e.g. Tigris)
- Auctions
- Worker placement
- Resource management

Game mechanics I dislike

- Asymmetric roles
- Dice!
- Co-operation
 
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Kendahl Johnson
United States
Syracuse
Utah
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Carolus Magnus

This is an awesome three player game that plays in under an hour. I think it fits the bill for the most part. There are specialized dice that determine your resources but I like this aspect of it. Games are different every time and what you get helps shape your changing strategy.
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Richard Morgan
United States
Simi Valley
CA
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How about these?

Age of Empires III
A Castle for All Seasons
Chicago Express
Container
Rise of Empires

I've enjoyed each of these and each one fulfills one or more of your categories.
 
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Pete Lane
United States
Golden Valley
Minnesota
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Vikings, Finca, Kingsburg... all are fun medium/light Euros that can be played quickly without sacrificing quality!
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Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
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The game you are looking for is: Endeavor

1-2 hours max for 3 players
Equal random variability in the initial starting token placements
Resource management (limited)
Worker placement (in buildings)
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Chris Weeks
United States
Clifton Park
New York
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Have you looked at Stone Age
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Adrian Wiecheć
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Chrzanów
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King of Siam is (relatively) quick, not complicated but demanding, and allegedly best with 3 (though I haven't played it in this configuration). In a nuthshell: area control game where the factions are not tied to players. You're trying to make one faction win while at the same time gaining the most influence over that faction.
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Steven
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Stone Age -- Try it even if you don't like dice, since it's a great worker-placement game and the game allows you to mitigate bad dice rolls.

Maybe try Acquire, if you're ok with economic games. Simple rules, random tile draws, and an interesting need to balance between cash in hand and investments on the board.

If you like auctions, I've enjoyed Modern Art with three players. Somebody is sure to mention Biblios, another good (and very quick) auction game, though one that's hard to get nowadays. (The only dice in the game are used to keep track of points.)

Two more suggestions that are quick for 3 players: Blue Moon City and Saint Petersburg. Both have very simple rules that lead to some tough decisions, without being too brain-burning. And both are, in their own ways, resource management games. In Blue Moon City, your cards can be used in multiple ways, and you have to decide when and how to use them in the best situations. In St. Petersburg, you're trying to gain VPs but can only do so by making money, so you have to formulate a strategy balancing the two.

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T. Nomad
Netherlands
Den Bosch
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For three players, my favourites are:
Condottiere
Scripts and Scribes (soon to get wide relase)
Carolus Magnus
Daitou
They (and many others) can be found on these recent lists of great 3P games:
Games That Rock With Three Players
Race Games That Play Well With Three
Spiele für drei Personen / Games for 3 (three) Persons
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Jeff Hinrickson
United States
Brooklyn Park
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justrag wrote:
King of Siam is (relatively) quick, not complicated but demanding, and allegedly best with 3 (though I haven't played it in this configuration). In a nuthshell: area control game where the factions are not tied to players. You're trying to make one faction win while at the same time gaining the most influence over that faction.


First game that came to mind for me.
 
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Hugo Wang
United States
New York
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3rd vote for König von Siam
I like it best with 3 and it is very quick
 
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Jeremiah
United States
Madison
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We have a lot of fun with three player Ra, and has quickly shot into my top 10.

Here's how it looks with your "likes":
TaxpayersMoney wrote:
Game mechanics I like

- Random variability that affects all players (nearly) equally (e.g. the round cards in Agricola). I find this makes for replayability.
- Simple rules>complex game play (e.g. Tigris)
- Auctions
- Worker placement
- Resource management

Random variability = tiles up for auction are drawn from bag.
Simple rules = may be confusing for the first game, but flows extremely well once the rules are understood.
Auction = ummm... this is a classic auction game.

The one thing going against it though (given you wants), is it may be too short. Most of our games go between 45mins and an hour, though we've had some games go a bit longer...
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Железный комиссар
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Indiana
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Vikings

A brilliant three-player game. We play in around ~45 minutes. I'm guessing it will take your group 75. The special tiles "variant" included in the box is really the way to play, but fortunately the "basic game" is also quite good so that's where I recommend starting.
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Eric Knauer
United States
Heathrow
Florida
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Two more worth checking out:

Louis XIV
In the Year of the Dragon
 
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Brad N
United States
Madison
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Chicago Express - I think this one fits your criteria very well. The rules are quite simple while I find it very difficult to wrap my head around the strategy of the game. No randomizing factors, yet the four games of it that I've played have turned out very different.

Vikings - I've only played it once, but I think this one also fits your criteria well. Three players seems to be the sweet spot.

Vegas Showdown - I've played many times and it fits many of your criteria well and some not-so-well. It is a better game with more players though, in my opinion.

(CE=Chicago Express, Vi-Vikings, VS=Vegas Showdown)...

Game mechanics I like

VS - Random variability that affects all players (nearly) equally (e.g. the round cards in Agricola). I find this makes for replayability. (Not sure that this is equal enough since you get random bonuses throughout the game for having the most of something - it's not overwhelming though. And, many of the cards impact everyone in the same way, such as a strike where nobody can purchase slots for a round).
CE - Simple rules>complex game play (e.g. Tigris)
CE, VS - Auctions
Vi - Worker placement
None - Resource management (none of the games I mentioned really have this in the traditional sense though you are certainly managing money and other "things" throughout the game)

Game mechanics I dislike

None - Asymmetric roles
None - Dice!
None - Co-operation (it happens in CE in a clever way where you often have to work with your competition at times in order to win)
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Kilgore Trout
England
Forest Hill
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Nexus Ops

It's a bunfight in outer space
 
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United States
Wurtsboro
NY
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Cuba

Has individual player boards like Agricola and Puerto Rico.

Has auctions (you can choose to bid to buy votes in Parliament).

Random variability in the order the ships come out and the order of the Acts in Parliament.

Everyone has all of the same role cards to choose from (unlike PR, where you all choose from one shared set) - no asymmetric roles here!

No dice, no cooperation.

Great bits.
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Garcian Smith
United States
Northridge
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So what's wrong with Race? Should play very fast.

I recommend a Ticket to Ride for a fast game.

For 2-3, try hard to find Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. If not, go for Ticket to Ride and add in Ticket to Ride: USA 1910.

Plays 45 mins. with 4 the last time I played.
 
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Rob Doupe
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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The End of the Triumvirate

Brisk, balanced, lots of conflict, three different ways to win, thematic. Plays in 60-90 min.
 
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Geoff Hall
United Kingdom
Yate
Bristol
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For a short worker placement game I'd go with either The Pillars of the Earth or Stone Age. My personal preference is The Pillars of the Earth but both are good games.

I'll also second the suggestions of Blue Moon City and Biblios.
 
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James Caddick
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Thanks to everyone for your responses. There are some good suggestions. I'll read up on them here at BGG and let you know what I go for. Initially Stone Age and Saint Petersburg appeal as I think they're both available on BSW.
 
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