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Subject: Optimal number of players? rss

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Mikko Saari
Finland
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Is there an optimal number of players for 18VA? Are there perhaps some problems with a particular player amount?
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Takashi Ishida
Japan
Abiko
Chiba Prefecture
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Last week, I have played this game with my friends first time with 3 members.
I feel 3 were very comfortable numbers.
On the other hand, I feel 4 might be very difficult. This impression comes from the fact that,
1 : This map is filled with many cities. And most of them can contain only 2 tokens in each.
2 : This game contains more than enough amount of tokens.
This results in that longer railroad is cut by token blockade in this game. And the situation is harder with increased number of players.

I'd like to say "4 might be difficult" and this doesn't mean "4 is boring". It strongly depends the person's favorite. If you'd like to play harder game, 4 might be very good. But, I don't like it.
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Mikko Saari
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I played the game with four, and it was good. Though - we were all newbies and so our game wasn't that cutthroat.
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Bill Byrd
United States
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Illinois
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18VA scales far better than any other 18xx game I have played. One of the reasons 18VA is my favorite game is that it plays equally well with 3, 4 or 5.

The initial private company auction in 18VA is superior to all others (my group has started using this method in other xx titles) and it creates different starting tension depending on the number of players. So, I would say that the game is different depending on the number of players, but still very well balanced and extremely satisfying.

For comparison, I prefer not to play 1856 or 1870 with 3, and I prefer not to play 18GA or 18AL with 5. 18VA fits perfectly in the gap between the 2 hour games and the 5 hour games and will easily handle 3, 4, or 5 players.
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