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

Subject: Playing with more than 4, scaling? rss

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Alastair Cornish
United Kingdom
Bromley
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Hi, I bought two base sets and I'm still in the midst of assembling all the figures but I understand you can play with 6 players if you use two sets.

Can anyone explain how this works, if / how the game scales and what I need to do to allow for this?

Thanks
 
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Robert Clark
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Different numbers of players use different threat cards (the cards that determine your enemies). The High threat cards that are used for 5 or 6 players come with both sets.

That said, the game becomes insanely easy with 6 players as they High threats don't add up to the firepower the extra players bring.
 
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Ugo Perillo
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and very slow..
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Robert Clark
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Just learn to say "he's outside smoking, you roll defense for him." It speeds up the game tremendously.
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Derek VDG
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I have only played 6-player once, so keep that in mind. I would agree that although the game scales, it might not scale enough for 6-players. I would suggest with 6 players also consider the Hero Posse level to be +1 as well as the normal drawing of higher Threat cards.

As with any game, not just SOBS, more players = slower turns/more time between turns. So, try to either keep everyone focused, or make sure everyone understands the game speed.
 
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Nathaniel GOUSSET
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You could also use the façt you have 2 sets to run 2 posses of 3 rather than a big 6 one. This will add some compétition
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Mark King
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Hemel Hempstead
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IKerensky wrote:
You could also use the façt you have 2 sets to run 2 posses of 3 rather than a big 6 one. This will add some compétition


I would set both posses on the same mission and add a reward for fastest completion.

SoB (like WHQ before it) does scale 1-6 but 4 is optimal and it gets more out of balance the further away from 4 you get.
 
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Donald Olson
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Actually, I think it scales up pretty well to 6 people once you hit level 3 and higher and start adding in elite abilities for the monsters. Even with 6 players, the elite abilities can make things pretty hairy. Although, I agree that it does slow the game down. If it's too easy, you could always use the hardcore side of the cards.
 
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Alastair Cornish
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Thanks all, how slow are we talking? What play time should I expect?
 
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Josh Osborne
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Some parts scale, some do not. It is fixable though.

A six player party is more likely to have healing (or other utility powers), and still have enough firepower to muscle through combats.

For events any "random hero" event scales decently. The "pick a hero" events don't scale as well as you have a much higher chance of having a hero that is good at whatever the needed stat is, or multiple heroes so you can pick the now with the most grit. The "all heroes" events that do Bad Things unless someone passes obviously scale poorly, the ones that do Bad Things to the failing heroes and extra bad things to the party as a whole scale a little better. The ones that do Bad Things to the party if anyone fails also scale poorly, but since everything else is easier having something that is actually harder is Ok.

When you are ambushed combat scales decently with number of heroes. When you face a normal combat six heroes have a way easier time forming a bottleneck and keeping the monsters away from the low defense heroes (or the badly wounded ones). With some effort they can even keep flyers away in many cases.

On the other hand the monster difficulty is chosen by looking at the HIGHEST level hero (not an average), so having more players increases the chance of disparity and this is one of the few other places you can get a "more is harder" effect.

Overall I like it for more like 4 players, but not as much for 6 (and I find it maybe too hard with only two). However it is pretty easy to decide "game was too easy with 6 folk, how about we generate monsters like we are a level or two past our highest?". Making it easier with two is a little harder (no obvious way to make level 1 or 2 monsters act like level 0 or -1), but you could give out an extra revive, or 2 sidebar items, or whatever seems to make the right amount of hard (I haven't tinkered with this yet, I've decided just to tough out the 2 player games and see if it corrects as we level...and sometimes I'm in the mood for "hard mode"...or really as I'm not playing with the optional permadeath rules, "not-easy mode")
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Purple Paladin

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Some of the "Final Battle" mechanics are just insane. They try to balance most the game on the # of players, but then, you get to a point where they suddenly throw in the hardest group possible, regardless of the # of players, and then it gets silly.

6 players may defeat final battles easily, 1 or 2 players get slaughtered without mercy. I don't know what they were thinking (the dev in charge of final battles only playtested with his 5 friends?).

We play that boss/final battles are +1 level above the group, so you'd only get Epic if you play with 5-6 players. That also means, on the first mission, if your showing 1-2 friend their first game, they draw a Medium Threat in the final room, giving them a chance. Otherwise it's usually 2 deaths; 3 destroyed buildings in town, and 2 more friends that will never play this game again.
 
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Adria D
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Purple Paladin wrote:
Some of the "Final Battle" mechanics are just insane. They try to balance most the game on the # of players, but then, you get to a point where they suddenly throw in the hardest group possible, regardless of the # of players, and then it gets silly.

6 players may defeat final battles easily, 1 or 2 players get slaughtered without mercy. I don't know what they were thinking (the dev in charge of final battles only playtested with his 5 friends?).

We play that boss/final battles are +1 level above the group, so you'd only get Epic if you play with 5-6 players. That also means, on the first mission, if your showing 1-2 friend their first game, they draw a Medium Threat in the final room, giving them a chance. Otherwise it's usually 2 deaths; 3 destroyed buildings in town, and 2 more friends that will never play this game again.

The rules state that 1-2 heroes draw a High Threat for the final fight, not an Epic threat.

That said, from about level 4 or so onward, 2 heroes could probably take on an Epic threat. Our high level posses are taking on higher threats than they should (Med threats for 2 heroes, High threats for 4 heroes). 5-6 heroes could probably use a slightly harder final fight, especially at the higher character levels.


Our biggest problem with 5-6 players is that often the last hero or two in initiative order would have very little, if anything, to do in a fight. Efficient higher initiative heroes can often clear the room first, and that makes things a little boring for the lower initiative heroes.
 
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Robert Clark
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Adria wrote:
That said, from about level 4 or so onward, 2 heroes could probably take on an Epic threat. Our high level posses are taking on higher threats than they should (Med threats for 2 heroes, High threats for 4 heroes). 5-6 heroes could probably use a slightly harder final fight, especially at the higher character levels.

We've been doing 2 player games during the week and 6 players on weekends, and 2 level 5s vs elites are sad for the elites. The outlaw was using grit to re-roll 6s he got for damage so he could get in more hits before killing the big guys to maximize XP. Low threats are a joke for 5 higher level characters. At least next level we get another elite ability since we have done away with the dead level where enemies don't get harder, and added an extra elite.

And as for the last 2 characters having nothing to do, our quickdraw gunfighter has regularly killed an entire high threat by himself before anyone could act. It's funny being able to get a grit/d6 cyb at the end of a fight with a 6 initiative.
 
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mike heim
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tigermuppetcut wrote:
Thanks all, how slow are we talking? What play time should I expect?


In 4 hours of game with 5 players, we only had 4 battles. It was quite a slog and considerably more clunky than with 4 players.
 
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