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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » General

Subject: Best way to scale down the number of Survivors? rss

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John E
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As I begin to try out the game with more groups I have noticed a preference among some to play with one survivor per player. So in a 4 player game that's 4 survivors instead of 6.

Has anyone had luck scaling the game down? Besides the tutorial scenario all the other scenarios in the main book call for 6 or 6+ survivors. Would using the 'scaling up' rules in reverse be sufficient?

ie: remove 1 spawn point for every 2 fewer survivors (so remove 2 for 2 survivors, remove 1 for 3 or 4 survivors)? And also reducing the threshold for losing when a necromancer escapes by the same number (ie: 5 active spawns needed to lose in a 3 or 4 survivor game)?

If anyone has had good or bad luck with fewer survivors than the scenario calls for please share your experiences! Thanks.
 
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Aaron K
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That seems like it would theoretically work. Please report back if you try it out.
 
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Jack Francisco
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This is one of the few games where I don't mind playing the extra survivors to keep the game at 6 characters.
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Conan Meriadoc
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If you remove spawn zones, you'll run the risk (on some scenarios) to have a whole part of the map empty of zombies, and another unpassable; The survivors may manage to complete some scenarios at the blue/yellow level.

A (probably) better solution would be to leave all spawn points, but throw a die for each every turn; if you roll higher than the number of survivors, don't draw a card there.
 
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Andreas
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We always play with only four heroes. To Balance this out we do not stick to a fixed turn order.
We have done this for original Zombicide and it also works good for BP.
Also this makes the game more intersting as you have more tactical options each turn.
 
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Nick
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leberegel wrote:
We always play with only four heroes. To Balance this out we do not stick to a fixed turn order.
We have done this for original Zombicide and it also works good for BP.
Also this makes the game more intersting as you have more tactical options each turn.


Very nice, I'll test it out next time. Thanks for the suggestion.

Like Conan Meriadoc said, by removing a spawn or 2, you take the risk of unbalancing the whole map. A true scaling of playing with less player would be, technically, to remove 1-2 spawn but also to remove 1-2 map tiles
 
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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I've experimented with this a lot, as we have a 4P group and like playing one character each when possible.

Removing spawn points is a bad idea. What we did was to place every spawn point and randomize one each spawn phase, which we then skip for that phase only. This ensures a good amount of zombies but doesn't let the players rely on parts of the board being safe.

That being said, it doesn't work that well. The scenarios are truly designed for more survivors on the map and fewer survivors means it's more difficult to cover the amount of territory necessary to hit objectives and search for items at a reliable rate.

What this meant for our group is that the game was abnormally hard until we decided to play the way it's written with six survivors, at which point it felt much more balanced.

If your group is very good at the game or doesn't mind losing more often than not, go for a four-survivor variant. My group doesn't respond well to losing a lot (they get frustrated), so it didn't work well for us.
 
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Nick
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kakuuuu wrote:
leberegel wrote:
We always play with only four heroes. To Balance this out we do not stick to a fixed turn order.
We have done this for original Zombicide and it also works good for BP.
Also this makes the game more intersting as you have more tactical options each turn.


Very nice, I'll test it out next time. Thanks for the suggestion.


By reading Max Maloney, I think I should try that variant, but add a little bonus as well, like adding the dog companions from moderncide.
 
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Andreas
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kakuuuu wrote:
kakuuuu wrote:
leberegel wrote:
We always play with only four heroes. To Balance this out we do not stick to a fixed turn order.
We have done this for original Zombicide and it also works good for BP.
Also this makes the game more intersting as you have more tactical options each turn.


Very nice, I'll test it out next time. Thanks for the suggestion.


By reading Max Maloney, I think I should try that variant, but add a little bonus as well, like adding the dog companions from moderncide.


It is a quite strong bonus if f you do not have to adhere to a fixed turn order. Actually in modern Zombicide the Solomode worked exactly like that...
Having said that, with 4 survivors you have less kills/objective points available until everybody reaches the next danger Level (e.g 4x6 vs 6x6 for blue). Here you have to take care a bit more than with 6+ survivors...
 
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T W
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I played a game with 4 survivors, each starting with 1 extra action and it worked reasonably well. That way you start with 16 total actions across all players (versus 18 with the standard 6 players). You could also give everyone an extra health as well.
 
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Andreas
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twood02 wrote:
I played a game with 4 survivors, each starting with 1 extra action and it worked reasonably well. That way you start with 16 total actions across all players (versus 18 with the standard 6 players). You could also give everyone an extra health as well.


One extra Action seems much too strong. Do you get a fifth AP in yellow then?
 
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T W
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leberegel wrote:
twood02 wrote:
I played a game with 4 survivors, each starting with 1 extra action and it worked reasonably well. That way you start with 16 total actions across all players (versus 18 with the standard 6 players). You could also give everyone an extra health as well.


One extra Action seems much too strong. Do you get a fifth AP in yellow then?


Yes, 5 actions in yellow. It does make each survivor stronger, but you still have fewer overall actions and less health than in a six player game. Perhaps more importantly, only having 4 searchers per round instead of 6 actually makes things quite a bit tougher since you are slower to find powerful weapons.

I've only tried it once and I lost...
 
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Thanee
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There are some ideas for scaling the game in my variant thread.

Playing with less than 6 survivors

I like this one best so far, especially since it is pretty simple:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/22916216#22916216

Bye
Thanee
 
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Nick
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Thanee wrote:
There are some ideas for scaling the game in my variant thread.

Playing with less than 6 survivors

I like this one best so far, especially since it is pretty simple:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/22916216#22916216

Bye
Thanee


The problem is : it's very tedious, having to roll x dice per round.

I'd rather have more actions or adding some dog companions as a bonus.
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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YES! We're not alone!

We also here hate to have more than ONE survivor per player! More realistic, less brain storming, more suspense and identification!
But we think that the point is not to change the official 6+ scenarios who are well done for their purpose but to CREATE MORE 2,3 and 4 SURVIVORS SCENARIOS!

We also are very surprised and disappointed that the base BP boxe do not include more of those. So many miniature games with beautiful rules and figures are so poor in scenarios!? Come on: As a game creator it may be the most funny part of the job to create the scenarios! I would have LOVED to do it as a job! LOL I would have created numerous 1,2,3,4,5,6+ scenarios!

Anyway so I already created a good 2 survivors scenario but the point is how to save it correctly? My personnal computer is a Mac and the only website a gentleman recommanded me was so hard to pass the defenses of my computer and I never could understand how to save and find back the created maps!? Maybe I'm too old for that lol!

OK so let's keep on CREATING scenarios for 2,3,4,5 players with a single survivor each and let's SHARE them here or anywhere!

Regards,
GG
 
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Jack Francisco
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The other problem with 1 survivor per player is if the scenario doesn't require everyone to survive, you have player elimination as there is no mechanic to bring another survivor into the game a la Eldritch Horror. And to add such a mechanic breaks the idea of the game, in my opinion.
 
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Guillaume Gleize
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Jack ---> Another realistic thing we love: A real sacrifice of some players (like in role games) or so! We have fun of that!
OK anyway respect for all the preferences but please at least give us single survivor players MORE SCENARIOS!

GG
 
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Andreas
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Interesting, that most groups seem to be focused on having one character per Player, not more and not less.
In our group everyone manages one or two survivor but we generally play/discuss/plan everthing together as agroup. We are not fixed to a single character...
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Aaron K
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leberegel wrote:
Interesting, that most groups seem to be focused on having one character per Player, not more and not less.
In our group everyone manages one or two survivor but we generally play/discuss/plan everthing together as agroup. We are not fixed to a single character...
This is us. We field the proper number of characters for the quest, then divide that among the players. We then decide on actions as a group, with the player making the final call for their character. This is the same for all coop games we play.
 
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