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Subject: Beyond Twilight Struggle: a 4-player experience rss

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Travis Hill
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Dallas
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All of my group has learned and loved and played TS tons now; however, we continue to lament it is two-player. We love the tight-knit decision making, the back and forth seesaw effect of influence and control, and the slight random factor of card draws. We've also fallen in love with the historical aspect, so much so that we're looking to branch out more.

We will have anywhere from 2-4 players, rarely 5, and don't have 5 hours to play at a time.

I'm currently looking into:
1775: Rebellion
Cuba Libre

CL is the forerunner based on solo capability, non-coop play, and theme. Also, the COIN mechanic seems pretty neat. I know 1775 just got the gold, but I'm not sure about it after watching some videos and reading reviews.

Thoughts? Suggestions? We definitely want stone thing historical as opposed to taking all of these thoughts and tossing them into a euro game about harvesting crops, which isn't bad, but we have plenty of those.

Thanks!
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Paul Procyk
Canada
Ottawa (Orléans)
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I would recommend the following:

Sword of Rome the GMT reprint now includes the 5th player expansion, but it is primarily a four player game.

Crown of Roses Four player game on the War of the Roses

Britannia Brilliant four player game on the invasions of England from the Romans to the Normans.

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Michael F
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I haven't played either game, but Virgin Queen and Here I Stand are supposed to have similar feels to TS for more than 2p.
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Scott Gillispie
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Chamblee
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I think you are on the right track with the COINs and the CDGs, I've got Sword of Rome and Successors - pretty sweet. If I understand correctly, HIS and VQ are a level of complexity above the COINs, so you may want to work towards that, find your groups comfort level.

I really want to suggest Kingmaker; if you ever happen to stumble upon an old copy...I've pulled it out my 2nd edition to fiddle with this week, and noticed (for the first time) that they actually suggest a short version - play 15 rounds, and see who's in the lead - should go just a couple of hours. For more recently in print options - Britannia really is a great game, but can run for a while also.
 
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Martin G
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You might want to check out Pax Porfiriana.
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Tom Shields
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Twilight Struggle is my favorite game, and the COIN system is the closest analog and strikes me as exactly what you seek.

Know that Cuba Libre and it's kin have more fluid gameplay, the rise and fall of influence in a given space is more sudden and swingy, so it'll feel much for tactical than TS, as fits it's theme.

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Martin has raised another interesting choice in recommending Pax Profiriana, and though I wouldn't have thought it myself I find myself nodding in agreement. I know you've done your research and come down to a choice between the two specific games you list, but Pax is a great choice. Like Twilight Struggle, there are incredible tensions in Pax & a remarkable player-driven gamestate that delivers an incredibly rich historical narrative to every game. Perhaps even moreso than TS in it's specificity.

Also, Pax will be easier to get underway and back to the table. I find it likely to get more replay, a much more direct feeling of 'climbing the ladder' as you learn the game with your buddies. Cuba Libre is the longer game and takes more of a commitment.

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I haven't played 1775, but own 1812 with it's progenitor game engine. While it's appealing, it doesn't have the quality in concept, complexity, narrative specificity, and gut wrenching drama of a TS or Cuba Libre or Pax. It's a much lighter game and replay is pretty samey, while very pleasant it doesn't rise to the category you describe.

So, I recommend Cuba Libre (or any of the COINs) or Pax. Both are brilliant and fit your inquiry. Both have very many plays in them.


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Travis Hill
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Thanks so much! This is exactly what I wanted. Pax Porfiriana seems pretty neat as well. I'll check out some videos and reviews. This all sounds perfect.
 
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David Gibbs
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My thought was Liberté, a Martin Wallace game about the French revolution for 3-6 players. It is a card-driven game, with cards generally usable a couple different ways, as well as a see-saw of influence type game, plus definitely a historical theme as well.
 
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Johan Pettersson
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Höllviken
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You could also take a look at Founding Fathers. It is a card driven game by the same designer as TS for up to 4 players.
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