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A Game of Thrones (First Edition)» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 4 player game rss

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Amin
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We've had quite a few 4 player games lately (using the expansion cards, units, and ports). We've changed things a bit to make it more fair. We got rid of Pyke, and upgraded Oldtown to a stronghold and crown, and switched Kingswood from a crown to a barrel (the latter two things being done to closely mirror the expansion board).

In our last game, Red still managed to amass a massive fleet, but we ended up with a naval stalemate in the west between green, red, and white.

Red and Yellow began helping each other, so white and green ended up with a north south alliance.

During one of the late bidding preceding a wildling attack, White put all his tokens toward the Iron throne, I managed to retain first fiefdom ranking and the sword with his tie break, and we caused a wildling attack on purpose

Not only were there supply problems in game, a major food shortage for the players caused some trouble, as did the banter that got somewhat out of hand in the end. Next time, we need to order a pizza or have some other food source; as you know, board gaming is such a strenuous physical activity.

What we've learned from quite a few 4 player games:

Be hard on Lannister. They still have access to 5 easy muster locations. They can set up their little untouchable navy of 6 ships in their oceans, and then strike easily at Highgarden or the North for a quick win.

So Lannister must be contained. However, Baratheon also has a lot of neutral territory available just like in 5 player, so they are also dangerous. Tyrell and Stark should have some sort of discussions as they are the weaker powers, although Tyrell has been beefed up a bit with our modifications. This might prompt Lannister and Baratheon to make a deal, but that's ok because they are too far away to help each other, but close enough to hurt each other in the middle. This might be one of those rare times where Stark splitting his fleet on both sides might be a good idea, if he can ensure support from Tyrell's fleet.
 
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Matthew Jensen
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Perry
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My group just played a 4-player game this last Friday and I see things much the same as you do. We didn't beef up Baratheon and Tyrell as you suggested but we did remove Pyke from the game and any residual Greyjoy forces. Still, Lannister was able to take five cities quickly, Baratheon suffered from Supply issues, Tyrell pushed east after coming to terms with the Lions, and Stark (my house) was tasked with hemming in Lannister as much as I could. Lannister ended up winning after punishing Baratheon in to losing Crackenhall and King's Landing. Seeing Lannister's strength, I would suggest the following setup for a four-player:

1) Remove Pyke from the game but retain Greyjoy's Fleet in Ironman's Bay as a neutral force. Add one ship to that force might be an option as well. This doesn't threaten Lannister but does slow them down just a smidge from grabbing Seagard super quickly.

2) Add a barrel to Kingswood. Baratheon is dying without it.

3) Upgrade Oldtown to a Stronghold. I like your idea on this. I'm not sure as far as adding the Crown but that's something to look in to.

Aside from those changes, I do like the four-player game. For Baratheon to survive otherwise almost requires them to go after Sunspear instead of King's Landing on the first/second turn. They need that barrel more than they need the crowns. But that might just be conceding the Riverlands to Lannister.

Anyway... I like your ideas and I'm excited to try them out!

Keep on gaming!
 
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Amin
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Adding a crown as well to Oldtown definitely worked OK in our last game. Tyrel finally was able to generate enough power to stay competitive with the other three players.

We switched the crown on Kingswood to a barrel, we thought having both of those would be overdone, and just having a barrel matches the expansion board.

One thing we thought about doing is moving the sea boundary at Highgarden a bit more north to match the 6 player board ocean boundaries, so Highgarden can no longer be accessed by that long ocean to the North. Haven't tried that yet.

Finally one major change we thought about doing is making victories only occur if you have 7 cities at the end of the turn. That's a major change to the game's objectives and we'ld never do it in a 6 or 5 player game. Some families could probably rarely win if that was changed, and it takes away from the instant win that is one of the stalwart aspects of the game.

However, we've played quite a few 4 player games because we never seem to be able to get more, and we don't have the SOS expansion. We think that this modification might improve the game without hampering any one side unfairly. Another benefit to our frequent gaming is that we play relatively quickly (used to use a timer, now the threat of pulling out the timer is enough), nearing 2 hours last time, so if it went to 10 turns more often, we wouldn't mind as much.
 
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