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Eldritch Horror» Forums » General

Subject: Is it true more players = game less fun? rss

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Gloum Kupaa
New Caledonia
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Hello,

I keep reading, despite the fact the game can be played by 8 players, it's generally a bad idea to have too many players. What is the sweet spot?

Thank you have a good day!
 
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Matthew Peckham
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I've played the game once with six, and a seventh joining halfway through, and the downtime was unbearable. You also felt really disconnected from the adventure, as so many encounters would happen that you kinda switched off and waited for your turn again.

I would say four is the sweet spot. Not too much downtime, but enough investigators on the board to not feel helpless (and be able to do a bit of everything). With less, you focus less on combat and the artifcacts, and just try and rush through the mysteries before you lose.
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Kostas K.
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Personally I find it best with 4 players, controlling 1 investigator each. I believe it is also very enjoyable with 2 players controlling 2 investigators each, or even solo with 4 investigators. I don't like it that much with 5+ players.

In the profile page of each game, under the number of supported players, there is a poll where many users (hundreds in cases of popular games like Eldritch Horror) vote for their prefered player count, so that you can see what the general consensus is, and not just the opinions of a few individuals.
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M.C.Crispy
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Gloum wrote:
Hello,

I keep reading, despite the fact the game can be played by 8 players, it's generally a bad idea to have too many players. What is the sweet spot?

Thank you have a good day!
Have you looked at the game's main page? There's a "Community: Best With" section just below the official player count. Trouble is, this is badly distorted by the bell curve of game group player count. Nevertheless, the consensus is always "4" (though I regularly play with 5 or 6 and have no issues with these group sizes)
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Gordon Watson
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Banstead
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kostool13 wrote:
.....I believe it is also very enjoyable with 2 players controlling 2 investigators each.....

This was certainly the best way we found to play Arkham Horror. Eldritch is a little more forgiving and it plays fine with up to 4 - beyond that downtime and consequent lack of engagement kick in badly.
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Ron
Austria
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I also like it best with 2 players, each controlling 2 investigators.
3 (1 investigator each) is ok'ish, 4 (1 investigator each) is fine if everybody stays involved and the game flows.

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Gloum Kupaa
New Caledonia
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Oups did not think about the "best" section.

Thank you very much for your answers, I guess i'm glad my group is 4 players usually!
 
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Thomas Aigner
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In my opinion it's best played with 2 to 4 Investigators (1-4 players) but I would like to try a 3 player 6 investigator game too in the near future, just to have more different things to do and more options
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James C
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I love it with 3-4, but would enjoy it with more as well.
 
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Norman Hills
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We typically play with 4-6 people, great fun, no real issues with downtime
 
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M.C.Crispy
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I don't understand the "downtime = less engagement" statements. What are people doing during their off turn in a co-op: grabbing their smartphones? If they are then the problem is not with the number of players, but with the players themselves (and not necessarily those with the smartphone addiction). Co-op games really shouldn't be subject to disengagement, because players should be focussed on what's going on (Encounters, tactics, story arc, laughing themselves silly at the misfortune of others, providing "advice and guidance" to their team, etc.) really, there's no excuse for disengaging in a game like this - even with 8 players.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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mccrispy wrote:
I don't understand the "downtime = less engagement" statements. What are people doing during their off turn in a co-op: grabbing their smartphones? If they are then the problem is not with the number of players, but with the players themselves (and not necessarily those with the smartphone addiction). Co-op games really shouldn't be subject to disengagement, because players should be focussed on what's going on (Encounters, tactics, story arc, laughing themselves silly at the misfortune of others, providing "advice and guidance" to their team, etc.) really, there's no excuse for disengaging in a game like this - even with 8 players.


I absolutely agree, but some groups simply aren't going to be like that. A group that's really into roleplaying and D&D might be fine, but a more casual gaming group might be likely to be more in the Monopoly/Risk mindset of "I play during my turn, then pass for someone else do do a thing", rather than "We're all on an adventure together."
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Jack
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I prefer it with 2p with 1 investigator each. Very hard, but a fun descent into madness. I saw a game of Arkham played with 6p a few years ago. They should be wrapping up right about now.
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M.C.Crispy
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
I don't understand the "downtime = less engagement" statements. What are people doing during their off turn in a co-op: grabbing their smartphones? If they are then the problem is not with the number of players, but with the players themselves (and not necessarily those with the smartphone addiction). Co-op games really shouldn't be subject to disengagement, because players should be focussed on what's going on (Encounters, tactics, story arc, laughing themselves silly at the misfortune of others, providing "advice and guidance" to their team, etc.) really, there's no excuse for disengaging in a game like this - even with 8 players.


I absolutely agree, but some groups simply aren't going to be like that. A group that's really into roleplaying and D&D might be fine, but a more casual gaming group might be likely to be more in the Monopoly/Risk mindset of "I play during my turn, then pass for someone else do do a thing", rather than "We're all on an adventure together."
I'm not saying that it's easy to achieve the required level of focus. In fact, I see it as my job at the table; making sure folk are involved, bringing them back in if they seem to drift and generally trying to keep the pace of the game up.

I play in two main groups: one where I am the game host, the other where I am not. When I am the game host I can get a 5-6 player game of EH done in under 4 hours. When I am not the game host a 5-player game regularly takes 6+ hours. (There are only two people in common between the two groups: me and my son)

senorcoo wrote:
I prefer it with 2p with 1 investigator each. Very hard, but a fun descent into madness. I saw a game of Arkham played with 6p a few years ago. They should be wrapping up right about now.
Arkham Horror is no different in this respect. My game times are comparable for the two games and player counts.
 
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Kenneth H
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Two or four is the classic sweet spot, as others have mentioned. Five or six players works well enough. I have a soft spot for five-player games, as there are a lot of options for cooperation and the odd player count gives it an extra layer of difficulty (assuming standard player count cards).

Seven or eight players, though, and the game really loses steam. Even with engaged players, you're looking at a 5+ hour affair. I think the game does a good job of keeping players active (everybody gets actions, then everybody gets an encounter, for instance), but the many different phases really add up to eat up the clock. I enjoy long games, but it really starts to overstay its welcome. I recommend the game for 2-6 investigators.
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mortego
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New Kensington
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Sweet Spot: 4 Investigators played by any number of players; 1, 2, 3 or 4.
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Ioannis Raptis
Greece
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I was thinking that the sweet spot is 4. This until I played with 6. Now the sweet spot is 5, because you know, I lose all the time!
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Jan Probst
Germany
Kiel
Schleswig Holstein
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8 *investigators* is awesome. 8 meat bodies crowding the table, yeah maybe not.
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Thomas with Subtrendy
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See, I dislike 2 because I feel like there still just aren't enough investigators out to really justify certain strategies, like the Expedition space. I feel like with 4 or more, you really have more freedom in what you can do.
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Kenneth H
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Subtrendy Gaming wrote:
See, I dislike 2 because I feel like there still just aren't enough investigators out to really justify certain strategies, like the Expedition space. I feel like with 4 or more, you really have more freedom in what you can do.


That's fair. You really don't have time to do much other than rush the mysteries. However, there's still complexity and interest in how to do that, and the game plays very quickly. It's a different and worthwhile experience, especially to see how gameplay differs between low and high player counts, and how that affects your tactical decisions.
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Jim Lederer
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Farmington Hills
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Also with 8 players you will see more repeat encounters if you only have the base game which is off-putting in a story-based game.
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Larry L
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Stockton
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I like 4-6 players best. 8 just was a bit too much.
 
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Jim
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Our experience, with 'most fun' as a measure:

Four investigators played by 2 players, starting out (i.e. still leaning the game, or very casual play). Amazing.

3 to 4 players is super fun for all sorts of different reasons and fine speed wise; but knowing/interest in the game is a must or you are in for a very long slog and a tendency toward 'lets just get this done' near the end - particularly if things aren't going so well!

Haven't had much experience with +4 players where we have finished.

Just a great game solo as well.
 
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Gloum wrote:
Hello,

I keep reading, despite the fact the game can be played by 8 players, it's generally a bad idea to have too many players. What is the sweet spot?

Thank you have a good day!


It's only a bad idea if you have players that get bored easily or find themselves not caring about the game when it's not "their turn".

I have a group that is always active during the game and cares what is going on even when it's not their turn. We play 7 players all the time, no problem.

But if you play with people that'd rather be on their phones than listening to someone else read their Encounter card, then you might want to stick to a lower player count just to make sure the game keeps moving fast enough.
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