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Duel of Ages II» Forums » Variants

Subject: 4 teams rss

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Roger Bordelon
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Ontario
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I'm surprised nobody thought about a third or fourth team. DOA2 is a wonderful battleground for 2 teams. But when you are 4 or 5 players, splitting and spreading the characters within the same team, having to consult your other partners in the same team can be disturbing the competitive minded individualistic players. Why not make it a 4 or 5 team game? There could be a "gang up on the leader" aspect that would add to the experience. There would be alliances (and betrayal).
I thus decided to photocopy 1 white and 1 black base and then customize them by adding a blue and a beige glass paste over the existing base material made of white and black tokens. The #3 team will be white with an added blue glass paste. The #4 team will be black with an added beige glass paste. Each team will have 8 characters, although it seems the ground could become overcrowded. Maybe 6 characters per players? 4?
What would be the other consequences of having 4 teams? Would it be more fun?
 
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Nathaniel GOUSSET
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Or you could just use the 3rd and 4th team tokens from the Master Set ?
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Aaron Bohm
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Appleton
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4 teams might be fun but beware as I suspect 4 teams will exponentially increase the time it takes to play the game.

As is, even if you have 6 people, each side does everything and then the next side goes. This means multiple people can do things simultaneously on a side and, other than confirming plans with one another adding people doesn't add a lot of time to the game.

With 4 teams, each team moves separately. Much slower. Also, it would be nice to see some special rules for multiple teams so that teams do not suffer too much from turn order (IE The team directly to my left always reacts to what I just did).

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Roger Bordelon
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I don't have the master set, yet.
If each team has 4 characters, at 4 players, one team per player, it makes 16 characters, the same as 2 teams of 8. But each brain takes care strictly of its 4 characters, much easier to track and manage. I don't see how it could be slower, then. Also, for introducing the game to my wife and kids, I think 8 characters per team is too many.
Undoubtedly, teams of that size (4) do not have enough icons to have an optimized usage for every item they collect and have big weaknesses concerning adventures or epochs. It creates a lot more constraints, limits choices and forces agonizing decisions. Disadvantaged teams would need to cooperate, ally and exchange with competitors' teams, leading to uneasy relationships on the board. Death and imprisonment becomes even more crippling because the critical mass drops quickly from 4 to 3 characters instead of from 8 to 7. Dying teams might merge with another weak team in order to stand against a winning team. Counting VP might be an issue, when losing teams merge with other losing teams. Summoning hunters and sentinels would be more critical since +1 fighter would increase the critical mass from 4 to 5 (+25%) instead of from 8 to 9 (+12%).
Concerning turn order, distant characters of different teams could as well play their move at the same time, if both players agree. OpFire and distant interactions are not so common I believe. Such simultaneous play would speed up the whole process. It is true that waiting for the next 3 teams to play their turn while you wait for your turn doesn't sound good. But since it is still the same total number of characters (16), it should not make a difference and a team's turn is shorter when you only have 3 or 4 characters in play. So there should be more dynamics because the active player changes faster.

I'm wondering what would be the consequences of having 4 teams of 4 characters only. Did anybody try?
 
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Richard
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I don't think you'll be able to rely on simultaneous movement. It doesn't take long for teams to have characters spread across a map and further there are some weapons with 30+ range

The issue I'd say with so few members on a team is I think teams could be incredibly lopsided. Having a character or two that isn't helpful in a game isn't too big of a deal when you have six other characters but if that's half your team? And then one or two get imprisoned or killed?

And if you increase the number of characters per team, I would predict a very bloody game, having three teams fire and melee on you between a single turn would all but ensure a wiped out team with a bad move.
 
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Roger Bordelon
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I think the whole point of this "4 players each of a team of 4 characters" contraption is to increase the "lopsideness". It creates limits and challenges that only careful play and alliance can tackle.
The number of shots at your team members will be marginally higher since you will have only 4 more potential enemies (a new team of 4) instead of mandatory 4 allies (who were within the same team of 8). It's up to you to avoid making those 4 your enemies. The 8 others are still enemies as before. Strike a deal in the style of "the first to find an item bearing an icon of the other allied team must make a move to meet and deliver the item", or "if you avoid this platter, I'll avoid this one", or "team #3, if team #1 attacks you, me team #2 I'll defend you, sending a character to your location". Of course, that kind of agreement is bound to fail sooner or later, like all diplomatic pacts.
If you don't play too indivualistic, you have a chance.
Ganging up will happen only against the winning team because, against another weak team, this is not optimal.
Teams with only 1 member left should merge with another weak team to form a more viable team, but reducing their collective VP by 3 points.
 
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Bern Harkins
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You can download the Master's Compendium rulebook at

http://www.duelofages.com/Content/Documents/Duel%20of%20Ages...

for lots more options on game methods. A flag capture game might suit your idea better than a labyrinth scenario.

You are certainly wrong about the time per game not increasing as factions are split. Both players on a two person team are, in my experience, pretty continually in action during their turn (except during challenges). Having one of those players sit on their duffs for half a turn will certainly extend the game, and add to downtime.

I'm not sure if your concerns about disrupting competitive spirit are based on experience or speculation, but my experience has been quite the opposite. Having a team mate to conspire with and root for sharpens the sense of competition; our two team games are more intensely partisan than any winner-take-all titles.

You speak of teams being forced to merge by circumstance as acceptable. I recommend just cutting to the chase, and starting with one ally and two enemies; the balance here is very good indeed.

Whatever you decide, let us know how it came out. Happy Worldspanning!
 
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Roger Bordelon
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Thanks for the food for thought.
 
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