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Subject: strategy games balanced for 3 players rss

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gabriel steinman
United States
new york
new york
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i'm looking for strategy games that play well with three players.

we've enjoyed playing civilization: the board game but the three player game often results in the usual king maker scenario, or the more annoying double team effect; though i usually win anyway

my friends and i are males in our mid-late twenties so no fruity kids games. I don't want them to be turned off by a game that is overly complex either. friend 1 is can cope with complex games but friend 2 can not; he took one look at a fully set up board of axis and allies and chickened out.

friend 2 is the main challenge here. me and friend 1 are total strategy game nerds but friend 2 prefers action and console games. every time we come over he tries to throw on call of duty or some such nonsense. i want something thats easy to learn and not overly intimidating. i would like a game that keeps players involved even if their losing and never puts victory too far out of reach and allows for players to make a comeback. this is very important since friend 2 has a tendency to get frustrated and quit.

friend 1 is less of a challenge but can be fussy about aesthetics and has a strong preference for modular boards. i also like modular games but i don't see that as a value in and of itself, of prime concern is having a game with fun and engaging mechanics that allows for diverse and varied strategies.

here are some games to be excluded from the list:

any completely card driven game


cyclades

i have this and really like it but friend 2 doesn't like/understand the bidding mechanic


settlers of catan

i find this game boring


carcassonne

again, i find this game boring


maria

this one really hurts me to exclude because i think i would like it alot but i'm sure its too complex/intimidating for friend 2. i did pick up washington's war for me and friend 1 to satisfy our war gaming fix



let me end this overly long post by making a few things clear. firstly, please don't take my dislike of catan and carcassonne as a general dislike for eurogames, i do like them. i don't really dislike either of those games per se, but i wouldn't buy them. im open to any game of any genre that is well balanced for 3 players and is reasonably easy to learn. thanks in advance for your recommendations and thanks for reading!
 
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Alex Bove
United States
East Lansdowne
Pennsylvania
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You don't say if you like (or even prefer) abstracts, but a couple of games that spring to mind are Taluva and Hey, That's My Fish!. Both are modular, and both scale well with 3 players.
 
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Wade Nelson
United States
Golden Valley
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How do you feel about cooperative games? Pandemic is a fantastic game, especially with the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion. The rules aren't difficult, and if someone quits mid-game you can still attempt to recover and complete the game.
 
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Nat Li
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Definitely stone age. I have never played a strategy board game that has it's fantastical scaling. It's that good. Very simPle play, but strategy, resource mgmt, some luck, and blocking each other are all there.
 
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Nat Li
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In fact, it's very very good with 2. Perhaps even when the second friend is not cooperative, you can stilled get the game on with 2.
 
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Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
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The End of the Triumvirate is specifically designed for 3p and contains map-based combat.
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gabriel steinman
United States
new york
new york
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and here i thought that i was being too specific! lol. i'm not exactly sure i know what you mean by abstract. would catan be considered as such?

thanks for the recommendations but if i showed up with a game with penguins they'll laugh me out of the building. taluva looks fun but seems a bit too close to catan for my liking.
 
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Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
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It sure looks like you prefer games which have battle. War games and the like.

This is in fact kind of tricky with 3 as there is a very real problem of Player A sitting back and watching Players B and C attack each other and winning because of it.

There are some games you might enjoy with 3, either because they have solved this problem or by expanding the range from games with battles to games which have a lot of conflict.

Some ideas:

Nexus Ops
Tigris & Euphrates
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (probably too complex)
Small World
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Thomas Lang
Germany
Gaißach
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wadenels wrote:
How do you feel about cooperative games? Pandemic is a fantastic game puzzle, especially with the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion. The rules aren't difficult, and if someone quits mid-game puzzle you can still attempt to recover and complete the game.


FTFY
 
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Hype Buster
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Hum what about 7 wonders? It's best with 3 players, fast, easy.
 
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