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Subject: Expansion excellent in 3-way rss

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mike tauman

New Jersey
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My playgroup is just 3 people and we have played about 30-35 games by now. A variant in the expansion rules is instead of drafting, just play with ONE of every violet building, instead of 2 each of 12 violet buildings under the drafting rule.

For a 3-way game this is by far the best experience we have had.

The biggest problem in 3 way was if 2 players adopt similar strategies the 3rd player is left out in the cold. Even with the expansion if 2 players are going more as "shippers" and you are going "builder" or vice versa, you still probably will not win. However, what this variation does is it prevents 2 people from getting the same buildings or same combinations.

When we played without the expansion, if both my opponents got the Factory, my game was pretty much over. At least one of them would get a Harbor and the other might get a Wharf (in rare circumstances someone got 1 of each) and they would play off of each other, craft, captain, craft, captain, and they made so many friggin points there was nothing I could do to keep up.

Last night we had a game where my g/f went the factory/harbor route, and my dad went the aqueduct, heavy indigo, specialty factory route. They were both shippers but they each had different goals - the factory owner makes a variety of goods, 1 at a time. The specialty factory owner goes for a lot of the same good. To that end, at certain times each of them was afraid to craft b/c if the other one would captain they might get locked out or give up too many points. This enabled me to stay in the game even without being a shipper.

The games have been very well balanced without anyone getting really blown out so far so that is pretty good. Last night we each won a game of the 3 we played and every one came down to the wire, the winner winning by 1-3 points at best.

For those with 3-person playgroups you should definitely consider this option.
 
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Chris Hawks
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We should definitely try this. Even with the building drafting, we've gotten into a bit of a rut about which buildings we play with.

I wonder how this would work with 4...
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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Salt-Man Z wrote:
We should definitely try this. Even with the building drafting, we've gotten into a bit of a rut about which buildings we play with.

I wonder how this would work with 4...


We actually have never done the drafting in our group.

To learn the expansion buildings, we played with only the new buildings, all 12 of them (and 3 of the old large buildings).

After a round of that (3 games) we tried the 1-of-each building, figuring we would do a round of that and then try drafting. We enjoyed that variant so much we just never got around to drafting. Drafting adds more time to the setup also, and I can totally envision what you are saying - there are so many buildings that none of us ever take we would never draft them anyway, so why bother?

And the best part about the 1-building variation is that when you see someone is going for a combo, it is very easy to block them - just buy that key building they need right before they do and you can tank their entire strategy.
 
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Rooster Robinson
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I have just started to play the new PC game. I've never played with the expansion buildings until now and I love the "RANDOM" option the computer gives you. You never know what buildings your gonna get at the start of the game.

Works well I think.

But I'll have to try it with one of every building.
I assume you use the default number of factory buildings?

~VONROO
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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VonRoo wrote:
I have just started to play the new PC game. I've never played with the expansion buildings until now and I love the "RANDOM" option the computer gives you. You never know what buildings your gonna get at the start of the game.

Works well I think.

But I'll have to try it with one of every building.
I assume you use the default number of factory buildings?

~VONROO


Yes we use one of every violet building, and ALL of the production buildings (not factory buildings which there are now two of). One problem with 3-way is that everyone can produce everything, coffee and tobacco... one of the things I like about playing 5-way (which I have only done on the PC Game) is that sometimes you get locked out of a particular building. Sometimes I grab the aqueduct but a turn later all the Large Indigo Plants are gone! Sometimes even in the mid-game I grab a coffee and later find that the 3 Coffee Roasters are gone too.

The PC Game is nice. I am winning at like an 85% clip so I wish the AI was better but I still enjoy it. Actually 1 game last night I got killed by the AI I tried something different and wound up with just 22 points hehe.

And the Random is all I play now. Definitely the best variation for the PC Game.
 
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Rooster Robinson
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Definitely like the "Random" feature on the PC version. It would be easy enough to pick out of a hat when you play the real thing with friends. That's what I would recommend at least after you've had a good chance to play with every new building at least once.

Missed a few chances to play with real humans this weekend but will hopefully get to soon.

As far as the AI goes on the PC game... I found that I was creaming them when I play with a few Professionals and Amatuers, then would squeak by against all Pros, but have recently been getting my butt kicked for some reason or another as I "test" new stragies. So its working for me.

~VONROO
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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Its at the point now that I am a little surprised when I win by just a few points, and absolutely shocked when I lose (lost 58-57 the other day in a game I was sure I was going to win).

And I am by no means an expert. I win my fair share at home but in my 3-way playgroup I win about a third of the time now. 3-way isn't the greatest game though and I think the reason I lose a lot there is because I get a nice combo of buildings (factory-harbor, or warehouse/spec factory/union hall) and then my g/f and my dad team up against me (never taking craftsman or captain and both trying to end game asap with colonists or building). In a 5-way game even though there are prospectors in the game for the most part the actual useful roles are taken more than 3 per round, so there is overall more production, more shipping, more everything. I am not saying that teaming against me is a BAD thing, because in any game you are supposed to go after the leader, and if any player establishes a combo or a lead you have to play your turns differently to try to thwart his plans. The PC AI does not seem to do that. In 5-way though its hard because there will be 2-3 guys focused on shipping as well so what can they do? Never take craftsman again? Then they can't win either!

We had my friend over the other day and played 4-way for the first time and I won both games, one easily and one was fairly close. Still it seemed more competitive than the AI.

Have to find some people online and play against humans one day.
 
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