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Sun, Moon, & Stars» Forums » General

Subject: Broken with two players? rss

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Carl Schnurr
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I just played my first game with my wife, and we agreed two things: 1) We will never play it 2-player again and 2) we want to give it a chance four player.

With two players there are two dummy players, and we found it impossible to make anything happen--it was just too easy to always move things past the one live opponent onto a dummy, resulting in game end after clearing the draw deck twice. We kept on playing for another full draw deck just for fun, with no change.

With four players I'm guessing the decisions will be much more interesting with four.

Has anyone else experienced this? Are we missing something?

Thanks.
 
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Eric Jome
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Slimjack wrote:
Are we missing something?


I think so.

What happens when you insist on not making a pair? You are playing for the Serpent; Serpent will win because no one else does. If you aren't the Serpent, why are you helping them? In particular why aren't you setting up the game state for a timely Serpent Speaks to become the Serpent? Or trying pairs to see if you can understand what your opponent is? Or winning by getting all three when no one is the Serpent?

The game lies largely in identifying the roles and bluffing your opponent into making a mistake. Use Serpent Whispers to set up a win for yourself without being the Serpent or giving two things to the opponent.

And don't forget to read the strategy article

Lastly, SMS is a small game. It has nuances and strategy, but it'll never be Diplomacy or Five Tribes. I think it is more fun with four, but it has a different style in two players.

In any event, thanks for playing.
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Carl Schnurr
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Thanks for the response, Eric. As it was our first game, we didn't realize the game ended the second time through the draw deck and were playing just to achieve our own goals while preventing the other from what they (apparently) wanted. And, no one ever used Serpent Speaks because it didn't seem like that would be any easier/harder to achieve.

Hmmm. With this new info it seems that the 2-player game would devolve to 'prevent the other player from winning, then switch to serpent at the right time' for the win.

I'm not knocking the game, btw. I love the theme and am looking forward to some 4-player action.
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Eric Jome
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Slimjack wrote:
With this new info it seems that the 2-player game would devolve to 'prevent the other player from winning, then switch to serpent at the right time' for the win.


SMS is small, but it often seems to me that it reflects what you bring to it. You can sit down with this strategy in mind, but you may not get the right cards or make the right guesses. What is your backup plan if this doesn't come together?

SMS is really about taking chances. Taking chances without a plan or information does feel random. But I'd encourage you to try answering questions by testing theories with it.

Can you win with Wolf in two player? What might that strategy look like? Is it less dependent on specific cards and specific knowledge? Clearly moving the Moon and/or the Stars to your position is too obvious. What happens though when you start pushing them on your opponent? "Move on" is only one or two places...

Again, SMS is just a little game in the end. I'm glad you like it at least a little.
 
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