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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing with more than 6 players rss

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Chainsaw Rabbit
United States
Antioch
California
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I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I parsed through 1,600+ threads and didn't find a similar subject.

I started a monthly Shadows of Brimstone group, and it's been a pretty big hit, with both friends and random game store people showing interest and joining up.

My issue is that in short order, the game's limit of 6 players will not be enough to accommodate everyone who wants to play. I know that every player won't be at every session, but it will be an issue before too much longer. I don't want to have to resort to lottery or something to determine who gets to play in each session. Since I own the game and my wife plays, we would have an unfair advantage over the other players.

Has anyone experimented with more than 6 players? If so, how did you go about it, and how did it work out for you?

My initial idea was to keep with high Threat cards and add elite abilities, much the way the game "levels" with your party. However, that made me think low-initiative characters will get left in the dust, as there won't be enough targets to go around.

My follow-up idea, and the one I think I'll try out, is to act as though they were two separate posses in the game: If I have 7 or 8 players, then whenever we would draw a threat card, we draw a Low Threat card in addition to a High Threat Card, both of which are treated as a single Threat Card for all game purposes (such as Loot). I think this method increases the number of enemies to fight in a way that reflects the posse size without going overboard. I'm a Kickstarter backer with Wave 1.5, so I don't think running out of enemies or frequent duplication will be an issue.

I'm not sure how I'll handle Epic Threats. These are usually scenario bosses; maybe I'll search the Low Threats for a card that would thematically accompany that boss. We shall see.

I know downtime between turns will drag a bit, but I'm not concerned about that. My main concern is getting enemies balanced vs. heroes.

Any experience or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 
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Max Jansson
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Trollhättan
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Epic threat cards are easy, just go with one epic for the first 6 players and one high for the last one or two (as per the rules for 1 or 2 players). As usual add elite abilities if not all models can be placed.
 
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Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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If you have both basic sets, I would play two games at once. You could share the gear and artifacts and mix heroes between groups on different game days.

If you pull a monster that is being used on the other game, skip it and pull another. Better yet, give the monster in the other game an elite ability because they were slow at dispatching them while you draw another.
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Joe Price
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Austin
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As a rough note, each increase in threat deck (low, medium, high, epic) is approximately twice as hard/many models. Since the individual cards aren't balanced, this can swing around, but it's a reasonable approximation.

So if you're finding High too much and Medium too little, grab a Medium plus a low. For 6 players, a High is the normal threat. For 8, grab a High and a Medium.

Just note that more players vastly slows down the time between actions, which is tough for certain types of people. And adding more monsters to the board can quickly slow down time between the players phase entirely. For the last bit, we have one tactical minded person manage all the movement of the monsters and then have everyone deal with their own rolls, with the more dice/numbers minded folks helping out those that find it a bit more difficult.

One last note - in the Allies expansion, they mention capping the number of player-side models (heros + allies) at 8. Really good advice - at a certain point the tiles just don't support the volume of models. If you have ranged add-on monster sets, it keeps it from just being a bulldozer situation, but that also makes the difficulty ramp up very quickly as you have little access to the ranged monsters. (But it is really amusing to watch the dynamite throws killing their "friends" - well, a really painful amusement anyway!)

We used to draw one higher threat level (or a high+medium) for our games. Since adding all of the new monsters, we've gone back to the base threat draw because it is that much more difficult. Certain draws are getting modified for us to even out the difficult, like the void sorcs - very cool and fun, but they really need a swarm of critters to keep them from being a first turn KIA.

Whatever you choose, enjoy!
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David Griffin
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The problem with Brimstone is that the threat level is all over the place. It's partly the fact that the threats in a given deck (say High or Medium) are not all similar in difficulty, at least I think not. The main problem though is just the roll of the dice in Hold Back the Darkness rolls.

You can try to tune the threat up and down, but you can go wrong that way. You have an easy time, so you make it harder, only to roll badly and end up overwhelmed. Or you are overwhelmed so you tune the threat down, only to roll good HBTD rolls and have no problems at all.

I would tune the threat slowly. Try something for a game and if the threat is wrong don't try to correct too much in one go.
 
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Mark Blasco

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Washington
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Are you used to playing 6 player groups already? Does everyone enjoy it? I ask this because in my group, with most games like this, once we get above 4 players, everyone starts to get bored. There is just so much downtime as you wait for everyone else to take their turn.

I'd suggest, if you have the materials to do more than 6 (implying that you've got both core sets and/or other stuff), is to play missions separately at the same time. Split each deck in half, or both groups play from the same pool of cards. This will give everyone about twice as much actual playing gime.

If this doesn't sound good, than drawing from higher level threat decks would work. My concern there is that some of the harder monsters will just decimate starting characters, so if your group is not already experienced with the game, it may cause some people to be unhappy if they are getting killed before getting to do anything.
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