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Subject: Deckbuilders that scale well? rss

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Carl Frodge
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I've played a handful of deckbuilders (Dominion, Resident Evil Deck Building Game, Ascension: Rise of Vigil, Eminent Domain, etc.) and something I find to be true with most of them is that the more players there are, the slower the game is.

Eminent Domain is probably the best one I've played in terms of playing with more people, because of the Follow mechanic.

What are some deckbuilders that play well with 5-7 players? Or that have minimal down time with 5-7 players.

 
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Jon David
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I dont believe there are any. With the exception of Eminent Domain, most other deck builders start to deteriorate after 4 players due to downtime between turns. Add a new player in a 4 player game and it becomes almost unbearable.
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J M
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The team games in Star Realms have some players taking their turns simultaneously, though with the added time length of team-mate negotiations. There's less "sitting there doing nothing," though.
 
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James Boardgame
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None suit the higher player counts. Stick to 7 Wonders, The Bucket King or Citadels - ie, any card game you might enjoy that's suited to a high player count - or play a mini tournament of Dominion or whichever deck-builder you prefer.
 
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James Boardgame
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What you're waiting for is a deck-builder with simultaneous turns. Don't think anyone's got one to the market yet!
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Chip Crawford
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DC Deckbuilders have ATTACK: actions, so downtime is lessened every once in a while from that.
 
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H C
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Perhaps a co op deck builder like Legendary or even Paperback to an extent would decrease downtime to an extent. You can also house rule simultaneous turns as well so two players go at a time whichll make it go faster.
 
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Eric Matthews
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Most downtime in a deck-builder is the players not the game. Deckbuilders can be very very fast compared to other games, including even Dominion.

It really depends on what is meant by "scales well". Dominion for example, scales as well as any other game. With just base and intrigue it is 2-6 players and the play time does not double with double the players. Also since the table remains the same (as opposed to ascension style) players SHOULD be able to plan thier moves ahead. Now if players don't plan ahead, you have AP players who don't draw thier cards or shuffle at the end of thier turn, then sure the game will slow down artificially.

The speed of deckbuilders are, more than many games, player dependent when it comes to speed. Playing Dominion even with 6 players, is a different experience with "serious" gamers than casual or new players.

Of course set up time is a different story, and there the ascension style games have it.

The real true answer though is to go digital. Deckbuilders play so much faster on digital media than than in cardboard. If they ever make a true Dominon on digital that goes to 6. or someone gets something like star realms to play 2-6 as they should, then that will be your answer.
 
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Michael F
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I think you're better off splitting up a group of that many people to play different deck builders.

The Cryptozoic ones (DC, LOTR, etc.) work well at 5, but you're going to be hard-pressed to find deck builders that work well with 6 or 7.
 
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Zen
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agentkuo wrote:
I've played a handful of deckbuilders (Dominion, Resident Evil Deck Building Game, Ascension: Rise of Vigil, Eminent Domain, etc.) and something I find to be true with most of them is that the more players there are, the slower the game is.

Eminent Domain is probably the best one I've played in terms of playing with more people, because of the Follow mechanic.

What are some deckbuilders that play well with 5-7 players? Or that have minimal down time with 5-7 players.



Well this game Avant Europa: Liberté does, but it is not quite on the market and available yet. It is in limited release at the moment as it undergoes more beta testing. Games that scale like this take a lot of testing to get exactly right.

I know of others that are also coming soon (yes we game designers do have talks on such things that we have planned) that take the 4+ player scaling issue seriously. But most games are designed to support only 4 or less to keep printing costs lower.

There are certainly some good candidates for 4+ multiple player, but as others mentioned you will need to have your friends learn more detailed mechanics. Not everyone likes learning a game to appreciate the depth of the strategies. Simple deckbuilders like Dominion can be played at blinding speed with experienced players, if that is what your post is asking about.

Deck builders like Dominion and others mentioned in this thread were aimed at a lite audience when they first showed up on the market. Games with a bit more meat and potential like mine or LOTR all scale well, but five years ago the market was not there like it is now. Even the Catan card game (Rivals) would make a good game for six, but would slow down immensely.

I suspect the market of people that want to play in groups that large is still limited. But gamers tastes are changing, and people want the tactical and strategic depth along with ease of deckbuilding use. Just look at Battlestar Galactica as an example that took many by surprise.

Wait six months and I think you will see more new options to choose from, including mine.





 
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Shadowrift!

But I never played at an high player count. It is supposed to play up to six.

Edit: to clarify this was in response to the posts about simultaneous turns. I thought I had quoted one of those, but I was mistaken, doh!
 
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As someone already said, what you're probably looking for is simultaneous turns (which is easier in other games like tableau-builders where you program actions like Race for the Galaxy or Among the Stars or even lighter like Boss Monster).

Also, you could look for mechanics where players can play on other player turns. For instance, Eminent Domain does that. It might not make the game faster, but being involved at least makes it feel less slow.

Direct conflict deckbuilders may work as well, but they don't always scale very well. Something like Puzzle Strike could work, as it is simple. Again, the point being getting involved when it's not your actual turn.

(One thing I've found with deckbuilders is until every player knows the card text, it takes a lot of time to read the cards and process which one you want or what to play. This is why a game like Smash Up falls flat very often.)

You could also carve your group up and do 1on1 matches against each other, using something like Marvel Dice Masters (like Puzzle Strike, it's not really a deck of cards you're building, but rather a set of objects you pull from a bag and play). Star Realms would work as well.
 
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Jeremy Scranton
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Another possibility would be Nightfall. There is at least lesser downtime because everyone gets to do something on other player's turn due to the Chain mechanic. It would still add to the overall play time as you increase players.
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Louis-Courtney Jones
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I disagree with others re Eminent Domain, I find it awful with more than 3 players, 2 or 3 is perfect for that one. DC with the Crisis expansion is not horrendous but deck builders as a whole I find go downhill the more players there are.
 
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