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Subject: Hard time finding the right fit... rss

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Eric Jome
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I have the good fortune of playing in a regular group every other Wednesday. We always have 6 to 8 players. Last night, we had 7. It took us quite a while to figure out what to play despite having huge game collections and 20+ years each of serious gaming experience. We settled on Citadels, but afterward it felt a bit underwhelming... it's too chaotic to feel like you earned your victory instead of falling into it.

I need help to find a game for 6 to 8 players. This game should have very short player turns to keep things moving. It should play in approximately 2 to 3 hours with very little chance of going more than that. It should offer interesting decisions and strategic play - that means it cannot be dominated by luck or lack of control. Yet, we don't want zero randomness either - enough to give someone a chance to come from behind or move up the ladder, but not enough to make the strategic play irrelevant. It should not have player elimination - people would be force to sit in the corner waiting for the game to finish.

Some previous failures/near misses;

Diplomacy - Ruined by player elimination, much too long, no effective way to move up the ladder, requires exactly seven - but great strategic play

Citadels - good play time, good player turn length, scales across 6 to 8, but too much randomness

Bohnanza - good play time, good player turn length, not very interesting strategically... dull theme, too

Age of Steam - good mechanically and strategically, but doesn't scale up to the right number of players; there are many great games in this category

Struggle of Empires - reasonable play time, good strategy, but complexity is high, and certain players feel there is no chance to come from behind ... and they just stubbornly refuse to give it a fair chance

I would think that Struggle of Empires would be a nearly perfect match, but certain players have exercised a permanent and vehement veto. So, something a bit lighter and a bit less complex might bring them around.

So many great games cannot accomodate the number of players! That is the primary difficulty. Achieve the play of El Grande, Puerto Rico, or Amun-Re with more players. And before you mention it - yes, we could break down into two groups and play two games, but we often end up missing the social interaction of the larger group and cannot time game starts and ends in a way that lets us mix things up. If you can't suggest a game for everyone though, suggest a pair or two pair of games that are very likely to finish in exactly the same amount of time - without being two copies of the same game.

Best of luck and thanks for the help - and if your suggestion is a hit, I'll throw you a few golds.

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in the 6 or more catagoty there are pretty slim pickings for serious games. It's hard to make something that keeps everyone engaged at the same time... but here goes:

History of the World is a great game, fun to play, quick to take your turns, and you get to roll some dice when the acting player attacks you at least. Sure, lots of people will moan about luck, but it stops some of the hard feelings. Must play with hidden VP's though!

Gunslinger would really require a little bit of commitment adn patience to learn, but once you're past the learning it opens up a whole world of fun. It is nearly a RPG, and surviving Dudes can be experienced with new skills. Hamblen design, so it it has all the colorful but complex details you'd expect.

On the lighter side Shadows over Camelot handles up to 7 I think and there's that bonus knight you can find too.

Another school of though is the many build-your-own games like Federation Commander: Klingon Border or Silent Death where players pick sides and buy an army.

Good Luck have fun!
 
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You know, there are so many great games for 3, 4, and 5 players, far more than there are for 7 or 8. Why not break into two separate groups and play some of those games?
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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And before you mention it - yes, we could break down into two groups and play two games, but we often end up missing the social interaction of the larger group and cannot time game starts and ends in a way that lets us mix things up.
 
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Sorry; glossed right over that the first time through.

Not to derail the thread, but that always confuses me. We regularly break into two (or three!) different groups when we get together to play games, and no one feels left out or neglected. Maybe we're unique in that way....
 
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Doug Ratz
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Quote:
I need help to find a game for 6 to 8 players. This game should have very short player turns to keep things moving. It should play in approximately 2 to 3 hours with very little chance of going more than that.


I have been looking at this same category for games. Here are the ones I am looking at:

Arkham Horror
Diamant
Conquest of the Empire
Shadows over Camelot
Railways of the World

I haven't had a chance to see or play these games, although I've read the reviews here. I did read the rules online for Conquest of the Empire, and it looked promising. I'd be interested to hear your choice(s) and impressions of the game(s) you do pick.
 
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Henrik Lantz
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Take a look at this page from Bruno Faidutti's site:
http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=listes&id=28

He has plenty of suggestions, hope you will find something. Good luck!
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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If you can stand a little chaos (which is different than randomness), howz about some RoboRally?
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Antonio Chavez
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Saboteur is amazing with 7-8 players, and extremely social. Just make sure you play it right --that is, several different rounds, accumulating individual gold and going for the win. It's not really a team game.

There are some Nexus Ops variants floating on that game's forums, to play up to 8 using 2 sets. Maybe you can check that possibility out.

Gunslinger is awesome and would easily fit 7-8. The learning curve is a bit steep tough; you'll probably require a full "training game" for everyone to get it. But it would be worth it.

Formula De; up to 8 players and very short turns.

Also, how about some dexterity? Pitchcar and Bausack would both, I think, accomodate 8. (But get the Sac Noir edition of Bausack; more pieces would be better for more players).




 
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With groups that size, I haven't found anything much more fun than tournament style poker. Tournament style is nice because you don't have to play for money if you don't want to.

The only drawback is player elimination. And, of course, it's not a eurogame.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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There is nothing good for 8 players. Sorry. You could play 6 Nimmt! all night I guess. 8 players either has lots of downtime, lots of chaos, or both.

What if there were some amazing game, where you could have all 8 players play the same game, but at two tables, and players could periodically switch between tables during the game, and bring their player state to the other game, delivering an integrated dynamic social experience??? There is such a game! It is Fische Fluppen Frikadellen.

Now, it will take a bit of effort and $$$ to import two copies, but for someone with a group that's adamant that you all play a non-filler with 8 players, it might be worth it.
 
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Henrik Lantz
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There is of course also Duel of Ages Set 1: Worldspanner. This game pits two teams against each other, and within the teams the players have one or more characters each. So it is partly cooperative and might not be what you want. Good game though.
 
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Guy Riessen
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Verkisto wrote:
Sorry; glossed right over that the first time through.

Not to derail the thread, but that always confuses me. We regularly break into two (or three!) different groups when we get together to play games, and no one feels left out or neglected. Maybe we're unique in that way....


We also regularly break into 2 smaller groups. We find the games for 7 or 8 or more players are simply unsatisfying as they always add too much chaos between turns and/or simply too much waiting between moves. We generally go up to 5 players before splitting at 6 into 2, 3 player games. For experienced gamers, I just don't think such a beast exists to engage that many players in an involving, strategic contest. Each player needs to have more control than would be possible when there are 7 player-turns between each of their plays.

Now, that said, here's a game to try out: there are 3 (A,B,C) different versions of the board which can all be played simultaneously
Fische Fluppen Frikadellen
and here's a session report of a ten player game, using two boards
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/140131
and here's an explanation of how it works in summary from the Tao of Gaming review:
the "multiple game" system which allows up to 15 to play. EAch table sets up and plays separately, but the fetishes are split so that each table only has one type (in a 3 table game). Each player can also move from board to board, via "The Harbor" Space, and simply picks up all his accumulated stuff, wanders over to the next board, and sits down last in the current player order. Really chaotic, but a clever idea.

I personally haven't played the massively multiplayer version, only the one board version, but it sounds interesting. It wasn't a huge hit amongst the hard-core gamers, but it was enjoyable enough to see play again, just not all the time.
 
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David Helms
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Bang! with the Dodge City expansion will play 8. There is randomness in the card draw.
Junta will play 7, but you might have to play the shortened game to get it in under 3 hours especially if you have players that like to coup every round.
Fearsome Floors will play 7.
 
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Thomas Taylor
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I would recommend Attack+Expansion . Attack takes a beating around here, but I really think if you use the expansion rules & board (which is quite huge/impressive) the game is really quite fun and interesting.

Other games I'd recommend:
Formula De
Nuclear War/Escalation
Werewolf
Twilight Imperium w/ Expansion
Roborally
Junta
 
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Eric Jome
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Verkisto wrote:
Sorry; glossed right over that the first time through.

Not to derail the thread, but that always confuses me. We regularly break into two (or three!) different groups when we get together to play games, and no one feels left out or neglected. Maybe we're unique in that way....


We do too. This is the most common thing for us to do. For example, a group of 3 on Tower of Babel and a group of 4 on Puerto Rico. Then, a regrouping of 3 on Trias and a group of 4 on Alhambra. There's a problem though - you don't get to mix it up if they don't finish at the same time.

Can you suggest games that are very likely to finish at the same time?

If 3 people play one game and 4 people play the other, it would be nice for us to switch up the groups and play 2 more games with different groupings. To do this, though, we need to be sure the games finish in approximately the same amount of time (or in a predictable amount of time, preferably short).
 
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Jonathan Takagi
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cosine wrote:
Age of Steam - good mechanically and strategically, but doesn't scale up to the right number of players; there are many great games in this category


Why not just pick up the new Netherlands map? It handles up to 7 players and it has been reported that it plays well with that many players. I haven't tried it myself, but I look forward to doing so.
 
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Glenn Russell
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Here are a couple I can think of for that number of players.

Werewolf (also known as mafia). This isn't a board game, and its nothing like any of the one's you've tried out, but its fun with at least 7 players.

Twilight Imperium. However, for more than 6 players, you have to get the expansion, which will play up to 8.
 
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Eric Jome
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dr glaze et al wrote:
in the 6 or more catagoty there are pretty slim pickings for serious games. It's hard to make something that keeps everyone engaged at the same time... but here goes:

History of the World is a great game, fun to play, quick to take your turns, and you get to roll some dice when the acting player attacks you at least. Sure, lots of people will moan about luck, but it stops some of the hard feelings. Must play with hidden VP's though!

Gunslinger would really require a little bit of commitment adn patience to learn, but once you're past the learning it opens up a whole world of fun. It is nearly a RPG, and surviving Dudes can be experienced with new skills. Hamblen design, so it it has all the colorful but complex details you'd expect.

On the lighter side Shadows over Camelot handles up to 7 I think and there's that bonus knight you can find too.

Another school of though is the many build-your-own games like Federation Commander: Klingon Border or Silent Death where players pick sides and buy an army.

Good Luck have fun!


If only we could convince that brother of yours to play Struggle of Empires, herr Doktor.

They've played History of the World, but the consensus is that it takes much too long. We need to come in reliably under 3 hours... and just over 2 would be better.

We've done some Silent Death Astrosmash and Formula De over the years as well to scratch the big game itch... thanks for the suggestions, I'll check em out.

Hope to see you and yours out here again soon.
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Eric Jome
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dratz wrote:
I have been looking at this same category for games. Here are the ones I am looking at:

Arkham Horror
Diamant
Conquest of the Empire
Shadows over Camelot
Railways of the World


We've played Arkham Horror a lot, but you cannot always play a cooperative game. I've introduced them to Diamant, but it is too light - we did have a lot of fun though. The other three we've not tried... I'll be checking those out, I think.
 
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Eric Jome
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blindspot wrote:
If you can stand a little chaos (which is different than randomness), howz about some RoboRally?


Good choice. We've played this on occasion. We've played the old version a lot and, because I am a sadist, I like to pick boards that reduce robots to component atoms and programers to raving madmen in short order. Recently, I had a chance to play the new version and I liked it a good deal more... the race was shorter and more fair and interactive.

I'll remind everyone of this one. It's a really good idea. Thank you.
 
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Eric Jome
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Mr.Baggins wrote:
Also, how about some dexterity?


We've played Pitchcar. Reluctantly. I confess to being a terrible dexterity game snob - I'm in a counselling program to overcome my affliction. For now, though, I just can't seem to get myself and others to take this genre seriously.

Perhaps if we had a good deal more to drink first...
 
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wmshub wrote:
With groups that size, I haven't found anything much more fun than tournament style poker. Tournament style is nice because you don't have to play for money if you don't want to.

The only drawback is player elimination. And, of course, it's not a eurogame.


Our card game of choice is usually Schafkopf and it plays up to seven fairly well. Several people are devoted poker fans, although I myself don't find the game very interesting or fun.

Not a eurogame? That's not really important to us. Everyone would be just as happy with Arkham Horror as they would be with Diamant, frex.
 
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TurfMaster

Pricey though.

Also, 2 or more sets of Wings of War can play 6-8, or more.

There are a lot of good 6 player games, it's 7 and 8 that get tricky.
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cosine wrote:
Verkisto wrote:
Sorry; glossed right over that the first time through.

Not to derail the thread, but that always confuses me. We regularly break into two (or three!) different groups when we get together to play games, and no one feels left out or neglected. Maybe we're unique in that way....


We do too. This is the most common thing for us to do. For example, a group of 3 on Tower of Babel and a group of 4 on Puerto Rico. Then, a regrouping of 3 on Trias and a group of 4 on Alhambra. There's a problem though - you don't get to mix it up if they don't finish at the same time.

Can you suggest games that are very likely to finish at the same time?


What we tend to do is play games that have a relative equal length, and then if there's time to spare between one game ending and the other one, we'll pull out a short card game to fill in the time until the end of the other game (Geschenkt and Fairy Tale are good choices). We also usually start the evening with shorter games, since it's inevitable that once we start on a four-player game, a fifth player will show up and we'll have to reset.

There are also times when we don't mix up the players as much, but I can't see that anyone minds when that happens.
 
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