There are plenty of great 2-player games out there. And lots of terrific 4- and 5-player games. But poor, lowly 3-player games. They're the forgotten player count. So this Weekly Wonder is this: What's your favorite 3-player game?
Now, that could be a game that's designed specifically for three players--such as Cosmic Eidex. Or it could be a game that's best with exactly three players--such as San Marco. (My friend Drew thinks San Marco is fine with 4 players. He's just wrong.)
You're allowed two games as your favorites. That's mostly because I can't decide between two, myself...
Firestone: First up for me is Samurai. It's a classic area-control game from Reiner Knizia--from a time when he was absolutely cranking out games. First, it's one of the most visually stunning games I own. There's an evocative and beautiful board, and little acrylic glass figurines that round out the visuals. Second, the gameplay is just tense, and wonderful, and full of room for clever play. Unfortunately, it's out of print. But if you see a dusty copy on a shelf somewhere in a game store, SNAG IT!
My second game is another classic Knizia game: Ra. This is a set-collection and auction game set in ancient Egypt, and it's an amazing gaming experience. This one is tense, and cutthroat, with some press-your-luck as you hope a Ra tile doesn't come out and spoil your fun. This one is not out of print, and you should have it in your collection. Unless you hate awesome things.
Jeremiah: This week's wonder is very apropos for me, because I do a majority of my gaming with two other friends, so we play a lot of games in a three-player mode. Some suffer because of it; others are great. It's hard to narrow down to just a few, but I find that I really enjoy deck-builders with 3 players, I've played The DC Comics Deck-Building Game with 2, 4 and 5, and have found that 3 seems to be the sweet spot. Less downtime, but still a decent amount of tension in games that feature a lineup mechanic, which means your coveted card could be gone when it gets back around to your turn. My other choice would be The Lord of the Rings the Card Game. We do often play with four players, and each player has a deck in a single sphere of influence, which is great, and still a challenge but having all four spheres in the game can be somewhat of a cake walk on easier quests. With three players we often don't retool our decks, so we go at it without a sphere of influence, and it really bloodies our noses. We often limp our way through the quests--if we make it at all! It's a ton of fun!
So what's your favorite? Let us know in the comments. And thanks for reading!