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Subject: Area Control Games for 5/6 Players rss

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Ian Kissell
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I own Blood Rage, which works great as an area control game for 3-4 players. I'm waffling on getting the 5th player expansion, and am wondering what other area control/dudes on a map games play well with 5-6 (especially six). I know most people are going to say Scythe, but I am looking for other options. Here are a few things I would love:

1. Three hours or less, but 120-150 minutes would be the sweet spot.
2. Although I like the way combat works in Forbidden Stars, I find it a little slow if you have more than two players. I think I prefer good old dice combat at the end of the day, but whatever it is, I just don't want it to be tedious. Whatever it is, I don't want deterministic combat.
3. I prefer historical themes if possible.
4. Would be great if it played at 4 well as well.

Here are some of the major titles I have played, and 1-2 things I liked and disliked about each for reference. Feel free to still suggest one of these if you want:
TI3: Too long for what I am looking for. I could take or leave the trade agreements. Love the multiple types of ships and drafting the strategies.
Kemet: I don't like being able to take the same strategy two games in a row, which is possible since nothing changes in the initial setup. Power system is cool, and I like the game escalates quickly.
Chaos in the Old World: Not sure how I like the completely asymetric sides. I would play again, but am not itching to play.
Exodus: Proxima Centauri: Best tech tree. Ship customization is cool, although I think I like Eclipse's better. Didn't really dig the WMD, and the action selection felt a little clunky at times, but I only played once, and at 2 players.
Game of Thrones: I wish this one scaled, but it is basically only a 6 player game. I like the combat system, the orders, and the mustering. Slightly more Diplomacy than I care about.
Forbidden Stars: Only plays to 4 anyways. I love how the gamestate is constantly changing, and the game setup forces you to not just go after one person. I like a lot about the combat, but it can be slow.
 
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Julien K
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What about Mare Nostrum: Empires ? It should be in stores this year and the expansion allows to play up to 6, hence I believe it checks all your checkboxes. It's not 100% area control though, but close enough.
 
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Galen Iliev
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6 is hard...

Maybe Dominant Species.
SmallWorld with expansion board. But its too light for what you are describing, even though I like the game very much.

Good Area control for 4+ is kind of hard to find.

I very much Recommend Kemet. Your strategy concern is invalid for me, since even the player order makes forces you to adopt different one on the go. Although I do think the expansion 4th pyramid help a lot here.
But it somewhat takes away the crowded "oh someone is going to take that before me" element.
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Chris in Kansai
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This is a card-driven game that plays 2 to 6 in 90 to 120 minutes or so.

The setting is the Spanish Civil War, and the players control factions on the Republican or Nationalist side. There's also an expansion with extra cards which add flavour to each faction.
 
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Chris in Kansai
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Cyclades: Titans



Or this.
 
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Johannes Hihn
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Rex: Final Days of an Empire maybe? From what I have heard this game gets better with every player you add (up to its max of 6)
 
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Rex: Final Days of an Empire is best with 6. Asymmetric. Plays faster than most other treachery/alliance games. Combat is via simultaneous reveal of points bid on a wheel with card interactions on top.

Quartermaster General is again best with 6. Historical theme. Only minus for you is that combat is...deterministic: play a card, remove a unit. I know, not your bag, but it speeds up play which lets you get to the crazy card based strategies so I'm throwing it out there.

Another great game that almost meets your criteria is Clockwork Wars, but even with the Sentience expansion it only gets to 5 players.

So there is only one game I can think of that is a ridiculously fun non-deterministic dice chucker that plays great with 6:Cthulhu Wars. You need to get a couple extra factions and the price tag is a bit steep, but you will get many, many plays out of this monstrosity. goo
 
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J M
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Someone here on BGG has made map overlays for 4-5 player Game of Thrones games, in order to balance the map for those player counts. That might be an option. The expansion, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) – A Feast for Crows changes the game for four players.
 
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Matt Gustafson
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Struggle of Empires
 
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Ian Kissell
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jujulautre wrote:
What about Mare Nostrum: Empires ? It should be in stores this year and the expansion allows to play up to 6, hence I believe it checks all your checkboxes. It's not 100% area control though, but close enough.


I demoed MN:E last year, and while I think it has some interesting aspects, I found it overall forgetable. I sold my kickstarter pledge.
 
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Ian Kissell
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zippystar wrote:
6 is hard...

Maybe Dominant Species.
SmallWorld with expansion board. But its too light for what you are describing, even though I like the game very much.

Good Area control for 4+ is kind of hard to find.

I very much Recommend Kemet. Your strategy concern is invalid for me, since even the player order makes forces you to adopt different one on the go. Although I do think the expansion 4th pyramid help a lot here.
But it somewhat takes away the crowded "oh someone is going to take that before me" element.


6 Player Dominant Species just takes too long in my book. Smallworld is a generally boring game, as I find most deterministic combat games boring.

I don't think the concern is invalid at all. Lots of people go for the exact same power tiles every time they play Kemet, and since there is nothing in the setup that varies between games besides turn order, there is nohing to stop you from doing so. I much prefer modular boards or games that somehow have a variable setup that forces you to adapt to the individual game.
 
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Ian Kissell
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gamesgocrazy wrote:


Is it possible to play this in around 3 hours? I was under the impression it was more in the 4-5 hour category.
 
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Marina SC
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Take a look at Tammany Hall, a very aggressive area-control game Plays up to 5 (4 should still be okay, unfortunately does not go to 6), has a historical theme, should play in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it. "Combat" is done via blind bidding.
 
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Ian Kissell
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Mashpotassium wrote:
Take a look at Tammany Hall, a very aggressive area-control game Plays up to 5 (4 should still be okay, unfortunately does not go to 6), has a historical theme, should play in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it. "Combat" is done via blind bidding.


I appreciate the creative solution, but by area control, I am looking for a combat oriented game, not an area majority game like El Grande or Tammany Hall (TH is really not area control, since you can coexist in the same region).

 
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Matt Brown
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KissellMissile wrote:
Mashpotassium wrote:
Take a look at Tammany Hall, a very aggressive area-control game Plays up to 5 (4 should still be okay, unfortunately does not go to 6), has a historical theme, should play in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it. "Combat" is done via blind bidding.


I appreciate the creative solution, but by area control, I am looking for a combat oriented game, not an area majority game like El Grande or Tammany Hall (TH is really not area control, since you can coexist in the same region).



The previously mentioned Quartermaster General is likely your best bet. 6-player combat oriented game within a sane time frame is difficult to do.
 
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Marina SC
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KissellMissile wrote:
Mashpotassium wrote:
Take a look at Tammany Hall, a very aggressive area-control game Plays up to 5 (4 should still be okay, unfortunately does not go to 6), has a historical theme, should play in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it. "Combat" is done via blind bidding.


I appreciate the creative solution, but by area control, I am looking for a combat oriented game, not an area majority game like El Grande or Tammany Hall (TH is really not area control, since you can coexist in the same region).


Aha, I see, I tend to refer to both kinds as "area control" since only one actually retains control of it (the other players are booted out when "combat" occurs)... technically, it seems the same as Blood Rage, where you can co-exist in the same region until plundering happens
 
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Ian Kissell
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matthean wrote:
KissellMissile wrote:
Mashpotassium wrote:
Take a look at Tammany Hall, a very aggressive area-control game Plays up to 5 (4 should still be okay, unfortunately does not go to 6), has a historical theme, should play in about 2 hours once you get the hang of it. "Combat" is done via blind bidding.


I appreciate the creative solution, but by area control, I am looking for a combat oriented game, not an area majority game like El Grande or Tammany Hall (TH is really not area control, since you can coexist in the same region).



The previously mentioned Quartermaster General is likely your best bet. 6-player combat oriented game within a sane time frame is difficult to do.


I really like Quartermaster General, and I agree that it is a great game at 6, it has one big flw though: it only really plays 6 or 2, which is what keeps me from buying it. It also doesn't really have enough freedom of choice for what I am specifically looking for here. It is a really great 90 minute WW2 simulation though, which is hard to find.
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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Seven Sisters

As good as any area control game with 5 or 6 players.

Variable board setup can be utilized, as well.

Edit: Ooops, not the style you are looking for. But, it is a very good area control for up to six and plays well from 3-6 players.

 
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Mitch Willis
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I would've recommended Empires: Age of Discovery as it fits in your time range, scales very well from 3 to 6, and has a historical theme...however, it has deterministic combat...

You might try 1812: The Invasion of Canada as it scales up to 5...it's cousin, 1775: Rebellion, is also good but it only scales to 4...



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Ian Kissell
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otha62 wrote:
I would've recommended Empires: Age of Discovery as it fits in your time range, scales very well from 3 to 6, and has a historical theme...however, it has deterministic combat...

You might try 1812: The Invasion of Canada as it scales up to 5...it's cousin, 1775: Rebellion, is also good but it only scales to 4...


I love 1775. The only reason it did not make my list is I was hoping to find something that played 5 and 6 (although I might settle for just 5). I like 1775 better than 1812.

Again, I find Area majority games like Empires to be a different category. I'm looking for more of a combat game than a worker placement where one spot is "combat."
 
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