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Subject: 3 player Africa messes up 2 player strategy rss

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Mark Ballinger
United States
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My kids have become majorly addicted to Africa. Until this session we stuck to two player games, either me versus my son (9 years old) or me versus my daughter (7). The boy kept beating me and talking about his foolproof strategy, which mainly consisted of not collecting gold and diamonds (owner of the most in each gets 10 points, second place gets 6) and instead building fully surrounded hexes on which to build tents.

So, we played with three players for the first time on Saturday, January 15, 2006. I suggested that William's strategy may not work so well, but didn't press the issue.

William started out in the north. He claimed a few animals and a couple of nomads, which don't score very high at the beginning. He used the first move option, which we call "flying" to jump to what seemed like better places, and used his tents a couple of times in nicely surrounded hexes for 4 or 5 points.

Louisa started out in the west. She grabbed several gold and diamond chips and also grabbed lots of trade goods. Mostly she just flipped chips rather than build tents, which brings a steady income of points.

I started in the east and found few animals, but lots of trade goods. I also found several base camps and built enough tents to assure a majority of gold.

The game progressed steadily and we all passed 50 points before the end. The last base camp chip turned up with about a dozen unexposed chips still on the board. Louisa claimed the three point bonus. We were all pretty evenly grouped on the score track, but the gold and diamonds (16 points for each of Louisa and myself) and the trade goods zoomed us well ahead of William. We finished at 85 points for me, 75 for Louisa and 60 for William.
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