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Subject: Strategic board games for 7+ people rss

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Liam Lewis
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Comfort
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There seems to be plenty of solid games for up to six players. However, my gaming group usually consists or 7-12 people and they don't like to "leave anyone out" and want to "play something we all can play". The selection of games we have for this is fairly small and we're burning them out. Current games are:

Coup: Reformation
The Resistance
The Resistance: Avalon
Bang!
Cash & Guns
Dixit
Plus a bunch of light party games.

While some people in the group are looking for things like Telestrations or Concept, I'd like something with a little more strategic depth. But, with this number of players we run into a couple requirements:
Turns have to be quick, simultaneous, or require everyone's attention. That way nobody is left waiting too long between actions.
Individual player space needs to be small, since we're taking up a lot more of the table.
Needs to be simple to teach since we'd have a mix of experienced and inexperienced players.
Incorporates some luck/randomness so everyone has a chance.

I'd love something like Among the Stars or Machi Koro if they would scale. Ladies & Gentlemen looks like a possibility. Any other suggestions?
 
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Roel van der Hoorn
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7 Wonders can be played with 7, although I'm not sure if it can be played with more. The downtime is very low, because most actions are taken simultaneously.
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Squiz
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I've found myself in the same boat as you recently, games night seems to have jumped from 3-4 people to 10+ people.

RoboRally works really well, supposed to be 8 players, but we have had 10 a few times and used makeshift robots on the board. Simultaneous action selection, small board and very random as you dont know what others will do.

We have also played Two Rooms and a Boom a few times and really enjoyed it. Free print and play too!

I've subscribed to this thread as I would be interested to see what other games are suggested.
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Gordon Berg
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Get two decks of Pit and you'll definitely have simultaneous actions.

Liar's Dice works fairly well at this number and plays quick...you just need to get extra dice.

Wings of Glory gets better when you add more players.

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Matthew Peckham
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Eclipse with the Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients expansion supports up to nine players, and once you're comfortable with the game has a nice mechanic where people opposite each other at the table take their turns simultaneously. Because it's a hex-based map with limited movement options, there's little chance of you running in to the person furthest away from you at the table, so their actions don't affect you too much.

Eclipse is a very good 4X game of space exploration and combat. We've played it with six, and it plays in about two hours without the simultaneous turn mechanic. I wouldn't see it running much longer than that with nine, and simultaneous turns being played.

It's a game with a lot of Euro features: technology upgrades, research management, and discovery, but also with a heavy dose of Ameritrash dice-and-luck-based combat too. Our group, which consists of males and females aged from 14 to 40, all really enjoy it, and it sees a lot of table time.

I wouldn't say it's as heavy as people make out. You have just three resources to manage, and a limited number of actions per turn, with only a handful of choices on what those actions can be. Highly recommended as a non-party game with strategy that's not overly difficult to learn/play.
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Wesley M
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billjlewis wrote:


Aren't these all light party games?

squiz wrote:

RoboRally works really well, supposed to be 8 players, but we have had 10 a few times and used makeshift robots on the board. Simultaneous action selection, small board and very random as you dont know what others will do.


I cannot imagine playing Roborally with 10.. I have played with 6 and it seemed to drag a lot and got myself and seemingly everyone playing fairly irritated.
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Phil Hendrickson
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Honestly, any game of significant strategic depth is probably going to get very bogged down with that many players, even if you can find one that works. Caverna says it goes up to 7 players, but almost everyone who has tried it says they wouldn't play with more than 5.

It may take a little coaxing, but the best solution is to get the group to spread out onto two or three tables with a game at each. We do that at game nights at our house all the time. That way, people who want to play a lighter game like Ticket to Ride or Takenoko gather in the kitchen, while those who want to dig into Terra Mystica or Trajan spread out on the dining room table. Meanwhile, there might be a game of Dominion or Catan set up on a portable table in the living room. It allows people more options to find a game they want to play.

When folks are used to playing Apples to Apples, Headbanz, or other party games with the whole group, it can be hard to convince them that strategy games are best played with only four or five people. But once they enjoy a couple of plays, the stigma of breaking up the group seems to go away.
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Alex Munger
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Camel Up and Panic on Wall Street come to mind. One of the Dixit editions supports up to 12, I believe.
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Tyler
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DrumPhil wrote:
Honestly, any game of significant strategic depth is probably going to get very bogged down with that many players, even if you can find one that works. Caverna says it goes up to 7 players, but almost everyone who has tried it says they wouldn't play with more than 5.

It may take a little coaxing, but the best solution is to get the group to spread out onto two or three tables with a game at each. We do that at game nights at our house all the time. That way, people who want to play a lighter game like Ticket to Ride or Takenoko gather in the kitchen, while those who want to dig into Terra Mystica or Trajan spread out on the dining room table. Meanwhile, there might be a game of Dominion or Catan set up on a portable table in the living room. It allows people more options to find a game they want to play.

When folks are used to playing Apples to Apples, Headbanz, or other party games with the whole group, it can be hard to convince them that strategy games are best played with only four or five people. But once they enjoy a couple of plays, the stigma of breaking up the group seems to go away.


And as a half measure, I've found that it works quite well with some groups to take the approach of starting the night with "one big game" all together. Like coup, resistance, or a party game of some kind, and then splitting up after that onto a couple of tables with different games.

That way everyone has had a chance to play at least some game with everyone else, but you can still get a much greater diversity of titles to the table.
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Ben Rubinstein

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Good luck to you sir!
'want to "play something we all can play".'
'some people want light games'
'others want heavy games'

It's pretty difficult to reconcile all of those in a small group, even harder with 12 people. The only things it seems like you've left out are Mascarade and Blood Bound, both go up to 12, and I like both of them better than Coup or Resistance with big groups. However, they fall into the "party game" category.

Maybe you start out with a big game everyone can play like Blood Bound or Mascarade, which only takes about twenty minutes. Then you split up into groups of 5 or 6, one group playing the heavier games they want to play, and the other one playing the lighter games they want to play.

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Krawhitham B
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billjlewis wrote:
There seems to be plenty of solid games for up to six players. However, my gaming group usually consists or 7-12 people and they don't like to "leave anyone out" and want to "play something we all can play".


I find that even at 6 players it is hard for everyone to all play one game, without playing the same few games. As others have mentioned, strategic games with many players tend to drag on.

Just explain this to your group. Or you could just annoy them one by one until your group gets down to 6.
 
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Brian Jurney
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Caverna: The Cave Farmers can play 7, but I dont know how ideal that would be, probably would make for a LONG game with lots of downtime. figured I would suggest it though, maybe someone has experience playing with 7.
 
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Krawhitham B
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jurney85 wrote:
Caverna: The Cave Farmers can play 7, but I dont know how ideal that would be, probably would make for a LONG game with lots of downtime. figured I would suggest it though, maybe someone has experience playing with 7.


As others have said, I would not play with 7. Too long between turns and the nature of the game means you can't make plans during your downtime.

I would prefer to play it with 3 or 4 people.
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Squiz
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Riddlebox85 wrote:
billjlewis wrote:


Aren't these all light party games?

squiz wrote:

RoboRally works really well, supposed to be 8 players, but we have had 10 a few times and used makeshift robots on the board. Simultaneous action selection, small board and very random as you dont know what others will do.


I cannot imagine playing Roborally with 10.. I have played with 6 and it seemed to drag a lot and got myself and seemingly everyone playing fairly irritated.


We play with one board and only a couple of flags. Tight space means there is lots of crashing about and shooting but the game lasts less than an hour.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Run two games of Diplomacy. That ought to thin out the herd. whistle
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Gabi Games
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Viva Java works well with 7.
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Rob Cramer
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Panic on Wall Street! was mentioned before, but it deserves another mention. Simultaneous negotiation that can play up 11 players. Super fun, pretty quick, and easy to teach. Definitely check it out.
 
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Ashley Grenon
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I recommend Tsuro, but it's more of a filler. Plays up to 8.

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Kerstin
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I think with the right expansions Cosmic Encounter can get pushed to up to 8 players.

Otherwise maybe you could "trick" your group into splitting up with Fische Fluppen Frikadellen. It has a mode where you can basically play 3 parallel games of it but people will eventually have to switch tabels and change around, so it's kind of one big game split on three different tables.
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Byron Grimes
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VivaJava: The Coffee Game, Cosmic Encounter with expansions, Ladies & Gentlemen are likely your best large group games.
FlowerFall does go to 10 players, is simple to play(not to score). The scoring with 10 might take a long time.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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billjlewis wrote:
There seems to be plenty of solid games for up to six players. However, my gaming group usually consists or 7-12 people and they don't like to "leave anyone out" and want to "play something we all can play".

Regrettably, given that attitude and the constraints you listed, you're pretty much hosed. Such games, if they exist at all, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And it can even be argued that such games cannot exist: if you have, say, 10 players, then ideally all of them need to be able to influence any other. This creates a huge amount of interactions which need to be 'played out' one way or the other. This is at sharp odds with light, simultaneous action; and gets even worse when randomness has a say in the matter. So either the interactions don't matter much at all (party game territory) or the playing time skyrockets until it can no longer be called 'a little more strategic'.

What usually happens is that a game 'cheats' and brings down the interaction to only with your immediate neighbours (7 Wonders), or splits up the group into two or three subgroups who each have a common goal so that it's more a matter of deliberation amongst the individuals in a group. Effectively, there's but three people playing, making interaction patterns easy again.

The best course of action is to split up, I'm sorry to say.
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Lane Taylor
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Saboteur Plays 2-12 (thought I wouldn't recommend less than 5). The expansion lets you go to 17!

It is inexpensive, easy, pretty cutthroat at times, and tons of fun. You may need a good size table to play on.

The nice thing about Saboteur is that it plays in rounds, and most points at the end wins, so you can adjust the number of rounds played to set the length.

For a truly epic game:
Civilization: The Expansion Project

This is Civilization/Advanced Civilization, streamlined and made a bit more consistent. With both sides of the continent in play, it will play up to 18. (and you'll need an even bigger table!)
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Julian Clarke
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From memory, Formula D will play up to 10.
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Xiong ie
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Strategic games for that many people is going to take really really long, if there is any games like this. However, a good way to include everybody is to pair people up. Get a very heavy strategy game out and pair people up to discuss and make decisions. It's fun that way too! (unless they are paired up with people they want to beat up)
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