Does anyone else think the game should scale better with less players? I agree with rahdo that it seems like the there wont' be enough tension with two players. Would be nice if the board was double sided and had a 2 player side.
More specifically, Rahdo said that tension would be from players squeezing each other out of opportunities rather than a tighter board forcing them to compete for them. As long as your opponent is aggressive, there will be conflict.
Having said that, I can see myself playing this two-player with my spouse, and she definitely isn't one to make aggressive moves in a game. I need to see if building up the various engines will be interesting enough for us playing this as "multiplayer solitaire".
I do like that the game seems rather straightforward, making it a bit easier to see where other players may need to go. I dislike when a good block can be missed simply because the systems are too esoteric.
It's interesting that rahdo's comment is getting taken out of context. As japester1 points out, rahdo stated that competition comes from the other players taking locations that you want, just like in any other worker placement game. However, if you agree to stay out of each other's way, you can build your own little corporate empires.
Maybe it has more to do with the fact that Crisis has a narrative arc as the economy crumbles but sometimes manages to recover. Cooperation may lead to a stronger nation though, and then we might learn a lesson from a board game.
If players are choosing to cooperate (or at least not compete), that provides a certain type of experience, similar to the exploration of solo board gaming. However, it seems odd that those same cooperating players would want a variant where the game tries to force them to compete. Do they want to be friendly or not?
Speaking of the narrative arc of the game, have you seen the Dicey Exploits video? It's pretty funny (he should have a ton of subscribers at this quality level), but it also highlights the tension that rahdo was describing: not just competitive tension but dramatic tension from the way the game unfolds.
Typically, at a non-easy difficulty, the nation's economy tumbles in the first few rounds, and you're not sure if it will survive. If you manage to get your footing, you can slow that freefall and maybe turn it around, sometimes dramatically. If you're actively cooperating, that may take some of the effort out of this task, reducing the emotional payoff.
People certainly play games in different ways and for different reasons. Rahdo seems to enjoy some narrative flair in many of his favorite games. Maybe being so nice was taking some of the drama out of his experience.
Why not try out the game on Vassal with a friend and see how you feel?
At the end of his final thoughts Rahdo suggests what is needed to tighten the game for two players. This could be the basis for house rules for anyone. Or perhaps the rules are not yet final? Other developers have achieved increased success by following Richard's advice.
I wonder why the designer/developer want to make the 2 player game appeal only to cut-throat players and thus ignore a large segment of their potential customers. Care bear Rahdo's videos are extremely popular so it seems obvious to me and that the care bear 2 player segment is large and that these people will decide the game is not for them.
I do not agree that a compelling narrative ark will eliminate this consideration. Many people play to enjoy the tension of making tough decisions and care little about theme.
I would say that there are tough decisions and tension with respect to meeting the financial goals of each round with the tools you have at hand. Isn't that the core of non-competitive gaming? How well can you deal with a difficult situation with the given setup?
The difference is that Crisis actually pressures the players to commit to those decisions or else crash the economy (ending the game). VP total actually matters during the game, not just as a summary at the end. Do you sacrifice a short-term boost by recruiting a talented engineer that you can't fully utilize this turn? Do you have time to set up a production chain to fulfill that export contract you see in the future market?
Simply reducing the number of employee and company card slots raises the variance dramatically. Crucial pieces of infrastructure just may not exist in your play through, taking agency out of the hands of players. It also seems odd that having the game enforce increased competition is the solution proposed for players who explicitly don't want to compete.
The easiest way to decide if the game is for you is to try it out. There's a Vassal module available on the Kickstarter campaign page, and the Tabletopia implementation is forthcoming. Play the game as much as you like, and then you can decide if it's the right fit.
thanks for your interest in the game. I would like to point out that in the hard level, some level of cooperation between the players is neccessary. So cut-throat players will probably lose in that mode. It may seems that two players have more options open, but they have much more difficult goals to achieve. Thus, they too need to cooperate to save Axia. If you have the time, try the vassal version and tell us what you think.
Of course in the easier "modes" the game is more competitive, since Axia is relatively safe.
Last edited Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:39 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
Regardless I still feel the game could benefit from a two player specific board or some way to scale better.
Oh, I'm definitely a fan of more options, especially boards that scale down easily (without having to cover or ignore a ton of spaces due to low player count). And I wouldn't say no to it here. I was just pointing out that Rahdo was only being partially quoted.
As for Care Bears (which I am, when playing with my own spouse), I can enjoy a game where my score is compared to someone else's without having to kill their chances along the way. I just need to make sure that Crisis provides that. Because it is semi-coop, I can see a game where people play really nice for a while to help the overall economy, and then someone massively screws over the other player. It's tougher to have that kind of dramatic turn on a tighter board because you are always competing, but this seems to give the opportunity to turn on other players (like forming a trade agreement, getting the benefits, then attacking that player in other games).
I agree that the game is much more interesting with more players. When we played with 5, some of us didn't even want our 5th manager since sometimes you would be forced to place it somewhere you really didn't want to. Much more tension and much more like reality. When we played with 4 the game was much easier and I will never play on any lever but hard again with fewer player than 5.
When we played with 5, some of us didn't even want our 5th manager since sometimes you would be forced to place it somewhere you really didn't want to.
Surely getting extra money or shady business cards when you don't want to go on any other space would always be an option? Obviously some cards are more helpful than others in certain scenarios but they give you options. I haven't played with 5 but can't imagine not wanting the 5th manager.
Surely getting extra money or shady business cards when you don't want to go on any other space would always be an option? Obviously some cards are more helpful than others in certain scenarios but they give you options.
I have played with both 2 and 5 players, and I agree with the following statements:
* There is little (if any) tension for manager placement in a 2-player game. The temptation to work together for mutual benefit in the first rounds is also higher.
* You always find good places for your 5th manager in a 5-player game. Workers go away quickly, but you can always go for some additional energy exchange or import, or get another influence card, or +4 credits which are always useful for further purchases or for counting money at the end.