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Star Trek: Ascendancy» Forums » Variants

Subject: Using two copies of the game for 6 player, potential issues? rss

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Michael Goodwin
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Hi a mate of mine and myself each just got a copy of the game.Our gaming group is a fairly solid 6 players each time. We know there's two expansions coming out eventually to bump the game to 5 players, however were looking at putting two copies temporarily together to get to a 6 player game. Apart from having to paint the control nodes, and ships different colours is there any glaring issues to look out for?
 
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Jo Bartok
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Downtime.
Nuff said.
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Michael Goodwin
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I was thinking more from a rules clash, game dynamics point of view, is there things there should only ever be one of. Would you add in all the components, and planets from the second set or only say 2/3 of them etc.

Down time and long games doesn't worry us, we regularly play 6+ Player Firefly with all expansions.
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Nick Szegedi
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Let us know how it goes! (Only real problem I see, besides downtime, multiples of same planets and two copies of Bad Themed Hazards during exploration... also you probably need to know what factions' ships belong to who seeing the same ship types for 2 of the Each Faction players... in other words, might need to somehow mark ships from the same Factions but different players playing them...! Other than that, could be done, I guess!
 
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John Godwin
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holywolfman wrote:
Let us know how it goes! (Only real problem I see, besides downtime, multiples of same planets and two copies of Bad Themed Hazards during exploration... also you probably need to know what factions' ships belong to who seeing the same ship types for 2 of the Each Faction players... in other words, might need to somehow mark ships from the same Factions but different players playing them...! Other than that, could be done, I guess!



Instead of marking or painting you can just flip all ships of one faction upsidedown and put the nodes on thier side. As long as no one compulsively fixes them, it works fine.
 
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Chris Schenck
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I assume you're asking about mechanical issues, but I really can't emphasize this enough:

ionas wrote:
Downtime.
Nuff said.


It's going to be brutal. You're looking at a 4-5 hour marathon if everyone already knows the game. New players (which I assume most of you will be) could seriously add a couple of hours onto that, collectively. If y'all are up for that, fantastic! Just make sure everyone is aware going into it.

Other than that advice, I'm excited to hear how this turns out. Take photos! Please post a session report!
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Jon Snow
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Well, you could make it a team game. I mention this because that' s how you can play Star Trek Fleet Captains --which never officially expanded beyond four different factions. So it could represent 2 players/forces of each race, automatically allied to each other, but using different home systems.

You might need a few extra rules, but its a robust design which could be easily modified.
 
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Maldus Alver

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ionas wrote:
Downtime.
Nuff said.

The same could be said after the 3rd expansion.

Mainly I would say the big problems is the current board size unless you don't care if you have duplicate planets and systems. It could work, it would just be weird to have two federations or two romulans. But as far as rules and mechanics I don't see more players breaking the game, howeverfor two players it still won't work.
 
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James J

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cbs42 wrote:

It's going to be brutal. You're looking at a 4-5 hour marathon if everyone already knows the game.


4-5 hours is "brutal"? I wonder if people are often playing games with people they just don't like? Most of my gaming sessions are easily 6 hours, and that is sometimes just one long game we are all learning. I have played with people who found a fast 4-player Splendor game to have too much downtime, so they stared at their phones every chance they got. I make a point not to play with those people ever again.
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Jon Snow
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Many younger people think this is too long. Hoewever, STA is short for a 4X game!
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Darrell Hanning
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Obviously, some will never voluntarily play games lasting more than 2-3 hours.

And some will never voluntarily go into the deep end of the pool.

Who am I to try to convince such people how much they're missing, by omitting half or more of the total experience by doing so?
 
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Jon Snow
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GF9 was very clear about what kind of game this is, and I'm sorry for anyone who spent this kind of money without knowing what they were getting. Then again, that's true in general, and if you know about bgg, you really have no excuse!
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Chris Schenck
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japester1 wrote:
4-5 hours is "brutal"?

You missed my main point. The downtime is going to be brutal. In a 6-player game of ST:A, you're going to make your move, then wait for a half hour to do it again. That's if the other players can each take their turns in 5 minutes or so, which is an optimistic estimate assuming everyone else has played before.

In different epic games like TI3 or Forbidden Stars, you make micro-moves so the flow keeps coming back around to you at a faster pace. With ST:A, the turns are bulked together in monolithic silos. Although the total playtime is the same, the constant engagement of micro-move designs make them feel much more involved for everyone.

My secondary point of my post was to just make sure everyone is aware of this in advance. I would jump at the chance to play 6-player ST:A. I rank the game very high in my collection. As long as everyone knows it'll be a half hour between their turns, it should be a fun experience for everyone. But it only takes one or two disengaged players to ruin the experience for everyone. When I win because my two closest neighbors spent more time on their phones than playing the game, that's no fun for anyone. Set the expectation in advance, and it should avoid this problem. The OP was looking for advice regarding a large player count, and I think this is the most important advice to set the stage for a successful game night.
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Andrew Russell
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Can I suggest maybe do two three-player-games instead?
 
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Mattias Elfström
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japester1 wrote:
cbs42 wrote:

It's going to be brutal. You're looking at a 4-5 hour marathon if everyone already knows the game.


4-5 hours is "brutal"? I wonder if people are often playing games with people they just don't like? Most of my gaming sessions are easily 6 hours, and that is sometimes just one long game we are all learning. I have played with people who found a fast 4-player Splendor game to have too much downtime, so they stared at their phones every chance they got. I make a point not to play with those people ever again.

A 4-5 hour game is a short game to me. Shorter than that and it is a filler.

Real games take a day or have to be played over several sessions.

Downtime is in the eye of the beholder. When it is not your turn in a serious game you should be following the moves of the adversaries and planning your next turn.

Fiddling with your phone during other players turns is simply not acceptable (and not very smart if you are in a competitive game).

I look forward to playing this game with six or more players. I don't think I will bother until at least two expansions are available.

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James J

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cbs42 wrote:
japester1 wrote:
4-5 hours is "brutal"?

You missed my main point. The downtime is going to be brutal.


Thanks for clarifying. I can see your point. But even with that focus (longer chunks of downtime as opposed to micro-moves), I'm more in line with Mattias here.

Mattias wrote:

Downtime is in the eye of the beholder. When it is not your turn in a serious game you should be following the moves of the adversaries and planning your next turn.


Yup. I enjoy talking (and cajoling and wheedling and taunting and teasing and...) with the other players during their turns. Particularly in a game like ST:A that requires teamwork and shifting alliances to counter the randomness. I don't need to be actively doing something with my pieces to feel engaged. (Another example: I taught Blood rage to a large group that I'd never met at PAX South last year--I think it went at least 5 hours, and most of that time was spent ragging on each other and laughing when it wasn't our turns. LOL)

But I get that not everybody will feel that way. Everyone has different expectations when gaming. So I agree that it is an excellent point to make, so nobody feels let down when they actually try ST:A.

I know this isn't an option for many, but I littered the table with Trek toys and ships, so we all had something to fiddle with during our turns. I'm such a dork that I actually have diecasts of the exact 3 models of ships in the core box, so each player got one to put near their console.
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Marc Bennett
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japester1 wrote:

Yup. I enjoy talking (and cajoling and wheedling and taunting and teasing and...) with the other players during their turns. Particularly in a game like ST:A that requires teamwork and shifting alliances to counter the randomness. I don't need to be actively doing something with my pieces to feel engaged. (Another example: I taught Blood rage to a large group that I'd never met at PAX South last year--I think it went at least 5 hours, and most of that time was spent ragging on each other and laughing when it wasn't our turns. LOL)

totally agree
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Mattias Elfström
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Klaxas wrote:
japester1 wrote:

Yup. I enjoy talking (and cajoling and wheedling and taunting and teasing and...) with the other players during their turns. Particularly in a game like ST:A that requires teamwork and shifting alliances to counter the randomness. I don't need to be actively doing something with my pieces to feel engaged. (Another example: I taught Blood rage to a large group that I'd never met at PAX South last year--I think it went at least 5 hours, and most of that time was spent ragging on each other and laughing when it wasn't our turns. LOL)

totally agree

This is what makes multi player games fun and why many Euros fall flat.
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James J

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Mattias wrote:

This is what makes multi player games fun and why many Euros fall flat.


For some, sure. Funny story. My wife, who is super-competitive IRL, doesn't like to play games. I could never get her into video games. And I have to drag her to the table for board games. She tended to resist anything complex. But as time went on, I found her gravitating towards Euros, even heavy ones. So complexity wasn't the problem. I only recently figured out why--she doesn't like conflict during play. LOL. So she is all about multiplayer solitaire. Or games with very light interaction. So I will never ask her to play ST:A.
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Paint yellow striping on the 2nd set and count the duplicate faction as Mirror Universe factions.


Players with the most facial hair are assigned to the Mirror Universe faction first, this rule is not optional.
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Lou Lessing
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Seems like it'd basically work, although as other people have noted, this game will be very very slow with six players. If you're okay with that, all you should have to do is paint the ships and do something about the planets from the second set.

You will want to double the size of the planet stack with 6 players -- the expansions each add 10 planet disks. I'm asssuming that number includes their homeworld. If that's the case, it perfectly mirrors the core set, which has 30 worlds total, 3 of which are homeworlds. So you want 9 explorable worlds per player.

Unfortunately, a ton of duplicate planets makes no sense and will make reading the map and talking about it (already not the easiest) really irritating. I recommend modifying the second set of planets to have unique names -- fortunately Star Trek has plenty of names to choose from.
http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Planets
 
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Dave Summers
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I don't see the problem with duplicate planets. And I'm pretty sure I've never got through more than half the exploration cards so you wouldn't need both decks. I really liked the suggestion of teams, two people as a mega-Federation working together and so forth. You could house rule some team rules, like free exchange of tokens or both contributing culture to Ascendancy tokens so you need 10 in total. Maybe scrap the need for painting and just say either 'commander' can order any ships on his turn? Maybe throw in the mystery turn order rules? Could be a lot of fun.
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Lou Lessing
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Duplicate planets are just sort of a pain in the ass. They don't break anything mechanically, they just make it hard to talk about the board. You can't easily call planets by name if there's more than one planet with the same name. Also it's unthematic, doesn't make much sense to have two of every planet. It won't ruin anything but I think it's worth fixing.

You definitely don't need to shuffle the exploration decks together. There's plenty of cards, and if you did run out you could just shuffle the discard.
 
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Daniel Hooten
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Klaxas wrote:
japester1 wrote:

Yup. I enjoy talking (and cajoling and wheedling and taunting and teasing and...) with the other players during their turns. Particularly in a game like ST:A that requires teamwork and shifting alliances to counter the randomness. I don't need to be actively doing something with my pieces to feel engaged.

totally agree


seconded. I just got done playing a 6 hour game (3 players) and can honestly say there was virtually zero downtime. When its wasn't "your" turn, players were either planning their next moves, or more importantly cajoling/threatening/bargaining/etc. other players always while in the character of their races.. (( FED to Klingons: I'll give you a 3 trade agreement to stop sending military advisers to assist the Romulans.. ))

In my opinion, STA is just as much, if not more about playing the players as it is about game mechanics. This is an aspect I find to be way to much ignored. If you aren't seeing shifting alliances, and trade agreements flying back and forth at least once every 2 turns or so, then you just aren't playing the game to its fullest.



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