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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: 6 players vs 7 or 8 rss

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Andrew Williams
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What do most people consider to be the ideal player count? I've played Ti as a 4,5,6, and 7 player game and they've all been very different. Recently I've been pushing for an 8 player game but I'm wondering if more might actually result in less. Is the added time actually worth it or is it just more bloated, less focused and dull?

I realise that it's the players that have the biggest impact on game outcome. My most memorable game ever was with 5p, a number usually considered to be the worst.

We always play with pre-made, asymmetrical maps btw.
 
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Thomas Robb
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IMHO

I really prefer to play with 6 as the ideal number

Allows good interaction between players

Allows some negotiations and compromises between races - often changing alliances many times in one game - excellent table talk

Gets ships and fleets interacting (depending on map size)- or at least closely watching each other - especially with black holes for crossing the galaxy - we always have map completely built ahead of time

Allows greater variety of Action Cards to be played adding more variety and surprise when you least expect it

Politics is better because there are more and varied agendas that players want to protect or put forward - discussion is more interesting as each player attempts to manipulate others to his/her will

We play with the objectives ALL exposed and open to players from the start of the game - this allows for some long term strategy and makes other players watch to see which goals others may be going after

Turns go reasonably quickly most of the time

The last two games we have played took about 12 hours each - not a big deal to us so 7 or 8 players would probably be too many for our group - plus getting 6 players for this game is quite the challenge as they know it's going to be a long haul - but, hey that's what TI3 is all about!

The hardest part for me, isn't large number of players, but remembering what is on all of those cards in my collection!

So, overall, I would play with 5, like 6 the best, and probably would not play with 4 or less OR 7 or 8.






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David Damerell
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8 has the issue that all the Strategy Cards go every turn, which can leave the last player feeling a bit stuffed with no choice whatsoever. 4 and 8, relatedly, mean people can count on the secondary of every SC being possible every time, which rules out some unpleasant surprises. 7 and 8 obviously have the bigger maps diminishing interaction, but if you play with the Gravity Drive that becomes less of an issue. 5 and 7 both have terrible asymmetric setups RAW, but that's fixable and in any case you don't use normal layouts.

I think my main dislike is for small headcounts. 4 or fewer, and I'd rather play something else.
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Jonathan Folkert
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Playing with 4 or 8, we add in the Initiative card (playing with the SE set). That helps a little with the lack of choice.

8 is fine, although I probably prefer 6 as well. If you're using a premade map, you want to make sure that it isn't too big (or has too many planets). My first thought when getting into this game was "Oh man, a huge map is going to be so epic!". However, I've found that the game is much more interesting when you're forced to rub elbows with other players, and compete for scarce resources.
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Jonathan Challis
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I think 6 is probably the best, although 7 & 8 are still very good. Less than 6 I'd prefer to play another game.
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David Damerell
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KirovThug wrote:
8 is fine, although I probably prefer 6 as well. If you're using a premade map, you want to make sure that it isn't too big (or has too many planets). My first thought when getting into this game was "Oh man, a huge map is going to be so epic!". However, I've found that the game is much more interesting when you're forced to rub elbows with other players, and compete for scarce resources.


One of my gripes with the 3-player map is it's actually one of the worst offenders there - it has the most Regular Systems per player of any RAW setup and you're a long way apart. The 4-player map is not great but at least you can shave the edges off (and use 3 Special, 6 Empty, 16 Regular Systems).
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Cedar Rapids
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With the max number of players (8), the game becomes an epic battle but may have a shorter duration of game time since the 8 card and its points come into play every round. 8 players is a blast but the game may go 4-5 hours.
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Jonathan Challis
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GeoffreyB wrote:
With the max number of players (8), the game becomes an epic battle but may have a shorter duration of game time since the 8 card and its points come into play every round. 8 players is a blast but the game may go 4-5 hours.


If you are using Imperial it will come into play every round regardless. Most 8 cards will be played most rounds.
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Scott Lewis
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Just to add my two cents.

I'd mostly want to play this one 5 or 6, preferably 6. I could be talked into playing it with 3 or 4 with the right opponents, but it wouldn't be ideal and I'd probably rather play something else (like Runewars).

I personally will not play it with 7 or 8 again if I can help it. In my experience, the extra players just added more game time without really adding more "fun" to the game. This added game time came in the form of increased downtime (since there are more players) as well as taking longer to move around the board (since you have to use an extra ring).

The one exception to this would be using the Scenario in the Shards of the Empire expansion - I'd play that one 7 because of the nature of the scenario. There would be a little more downtime with the extra player, but the map is basically the same size as a 6-player.

I know a lot of people like the 7th and 8th players - I'm just not one of them.
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Jonathan Challis
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We always use the extra ring, even at 5 or 6 players...
 
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Łukasz S
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Extraa ring for 5 or 6 players is too much space and recourcers..BUT map for 6 players is too little in my opinion. We use 3 x Wormhole Nexus
Its hard biuld fleet and research technologies when we play in standard map. We dont have enough resourcers for that. But in extra ring iss too much
 
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Jonathan Challis
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zedzik88 wrote:
Extraa ring for 5 or 6 players is too much space and recourcers..BUT map for 6 players is too little in my opinion. We use 3 x Wormhole Nexus
Its hard biuld fleet and research technologies when we play in standard map. We dont have enough resourcers for that. But in extra ring iss too much


We like lots of resources, and no forced conflict, so we prefer the extra ring always.
 
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Łukasz S
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Ok but it makes game too easy. you can research techs and built full units every round and you have so much soace that no need interaction with players. objectives are too easy to claim in this variant..it some like euro games.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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They are the same ease for everyone, which then lets people work against them on the table. But yes, it's primarily a euro resource engine game, not a combat game to us.
 
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Lance Harrop
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I've done eight a number of times, and more than eight a few. It can be a kick.

Avoiding downtime is really a question of having experienced players who don't suffer from analysis paralysis.

The thing is, you have to develop your players over time, and weed out those unsuitable for high number of players, at least when you want a big game.

I'm not really sure what I consider an optimal number of players.
 
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Scott Lewis
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Kelanen wrote:
zedzik88 wrote:
Extraa ring for 5 or 6 players is too much space and recourcers..BUT map for 6 players is too little in my opinion. We use 3 x Wormhole Nexus
Its hard biuld fleet and research technologies when we play in standard map. We dont have enough resourcers for that. But in extra ring iss too much


We like lots of resources, and no forced conflict, so we prefer the extra ring always.

Different strokes, I guess

I played one 6-player game with an extra ring, and it was the most boring game I ever played of TI3. Everyone had tons of resources that almost all the plastic was on the board, and there were very few tough "building" decisions to be made.

But I like the low-resource games, so it's just a matter of taste.
 
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possum man
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I agree that 6 is best for all the reasons list above (increased downtime, etc) but there's one more - because the map is so much larger, I don't care what the guy across the galaxy is doing. It makes no difference to me whether he's researching Assault Cannon or building GFs. He's so far away that I'll probably never directly interact with him (or his neighbours).
In a 6-player game, even the guy opposite you can influence your building decisions - you end up interacting with 4 or 5 out of 5 players. In 8 players, you end up interacting with 4 or 5 out of 7 players.
 
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Thomas Robb
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possum man . . .

a player in our games uses the wormholes and comes across the galaxy when you least expect it

he forces you to pay attention

one game, I kind of ignored him as he was on the opposite side of the universe from me, then BOOM - there he was right next door ready for the kill - he wiped out one of my hexes

now when he gets close to a wormhole, players get nervous

if you add plenty of wormholes, and players learn how to use them, then the galaxy becomes a lot smaller!

cool
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Łukasz S
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We always use all 4 wormholes in map 2xA and 2xB, and 3x Wormhole Nexus.
Its perfect map size for 5-6 players.
 
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Jonathan Challis
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Yeah in 6-8p large galaxy all players end up interacting with all players in our games..
 
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possum man
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We use all the standard wormholes in our games - to be fair I've only tried 8-player once or twice, so I'm not speaking from huge experience. Maybe we had unusual galaxy placement, or maybe our groups just play slightly differently.
Either way, the increased downtime is enough for me to not want to play 8-player again.
 
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