Was just looking at one of the game lists on boardgamegeek.com, which included Dragon Pass. The person who added the game to the list noted that the third player does have it hard in the game. We have discussed this before, but I had a brand new thought about it, so thought I'd repeat (and expand) my comment here.
Yes, the Independents do have it difficult in the 3-player game. However, a good strategist can overcome many of the difficulties, if not all, by making good use of his exotic magical units. Still, I have always felt that adding in a couple more of the smaller independents for the 3rd player would help to balance them out. Several options present themselves:
Give the Tarsh player Cragspider and the trolls Give the Tarsh player Sir Ethilrist
Both the above options might be TOO powerful, given the extreme magical fortitude of both Cragspider and Ethilrist (when you factor in the Pillar of Fire, Hound, and Cloak).
Give the Tarsh player the Tusk Riders (doesn't bulk them up much) Give the Tarsh player the Tusk Riders AND the Sun Dome Temple (a little better)
Another option that only today occurred to me is to give the Tarsh player the Barbarian Horde (which do have historical ties to Tarsh). If you do this, you are taking them away from Sartar, so the Lunar player probably needs to give up something as well. Anybody want to suggest what would be equivalent?
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