Played: Roll for the Galaxy, Catan, Curio Collector (3 of 3-player games)

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I played 3 games in 3-player group. The games we played were Roll for the Galaxy, Curio Collectors, and Catan.

Overview of 3 games played

Among these games, Curio Collectors was easiest and quickest to play. I like that card game. Roll for the Galaxy was also good, but if I could say one concern, there are too many special powers available in that it is not easy to track errors.

Catan did not fit us, it was unfortunate, because of its negotiation or pirating mechanics. If your gaming buddies are hard-core gamers, it may be much more comfortable, however in general it was really hard to retionalize why I interrupt one player, but not the other. (It is totally dependent on with whom you play games, I think.)

Roll for the Galaxy

As the name of this game describes itself, Roll for the Galaxy is a board game with massive dice-rollings. Although there was still some luck involved how you could play, in Roll for the Galaxy, results from dice were not big concerns, but bluffing and reading hidden purposes of others were more important.

In Roll for the Galaxy, we roll lots of 6-faced dice and each die has different markers. (eg. 2 military actions,  2 explorations , 1 building, 1 settlement etc.) There are several reasons why I think the effects of dice results were minor:

  1. Players can basically choose what we roll in that it means we can control some of dice results by our decisions.
  2. Each player must use 1 die to declare which action he/she would like to perform.
  3. All players can change the results of one die to any action.
  4. There are many ways to change the results of their dice.

Reading rule and explaination

 60 minutes 

None of us had ever played the game. It took 40 minutes to read its rulebook and 20 minutes to explain each other. If you desire to know all effects of cards, please note there are 55 tiles to remember and most tiles are two-sided. It may demand another 1 hour to read them entirely.

Playing time

90 minutes 

I would say the playing time less than 2 hours are pretty quick, for multiplayer games with worker placements & dice-rolling mechanics. This short playing time is accomplished by simultaneous decisions and resolutions.

Interactions among players

As of simultaneous playing games, players had few ways to interact with each other. Since each player secretly declares 1 action to perform and all action declared by any player will be performed. This makes the game interactive enough.

Roll for the Galaxy is not an abstract game, still most information is open except for initial dice results. However, I did not have any chance to keep track all players' decisions, dice, and tiles. There were simply too many factors to guess other players' decisions. It also made it not easy to find errors in decision boards, since there are many abilities to change the results of any dice.

Curio Collectors

Curio Collectors is a card game for 3 to 6 players. Players' roles are antique collectors who have ambitions to own rare items, not common ones, so that all antiques has their thresholds. Once the number of one kind of a player reaches the threshold, antiques are not rare items anymore and turn into common items, worse than worthless, negative scores, for that player. Other collectors would still be happy with these items.

Reading rule & teaching

20 minutes 

I took 10 minutes to understand the rule of Curio Collectors, and another 10 minutes to explain the rule to others. We had never played this game before.

The rule of Curio Collectors is not quite difficult to understand, however, there are several points to help you understand the rule.

  1. The value of every item is different among players, and might turn worthless later.
  2. In the beginning of a round, the starting player takes a pile of face-down cards, and start bidding. The starting player is the player who had the "Boss" card, not determined by the clockwise order.
  3. After each bedding, the player who is responsible to split cards will be passed to the next player, even if the player is already done in that round.
  4. In case the "BOSS" card is discarded, the next responsible player takes it and place the "BOSS" somewhere in the current set of cards.

Language

The game available in the market was intended to be played in Japanese, although most cards also have the descriptions in English.

Most texts on cards do not mean anything to play the game (eg. the name of items), except for "First" & "Second". "First (甲)" always refers a card set located on the left side, and "Second (乙)" on the right side. 

Playing time

35 minutes

Playing time is short enough. If we had more players it should be much longer because many conflicts should occur.

Catan (previously the Settlers of Catan)

Catan is one of the most notable & popular games, and the epoch making game in the recent history of gaming.

Since Catan is so popular in the world, many board games after Catan were somewhat inspired by Catan, in that these recent games had some improvement over the legacy.

Unfortunately, we felt Catan did not fit us, because a player who went behind in the beginning could never have a chance to catch up, and a game lasted 1 hour. If everything goes fine or if we utilize a special house-rule to prohibit initial interruption & bias of dice results, our feelings might be different, however there are many games we can enjoy without any tweaks.

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