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The U.S. Civil War» Forums » General

Subject: Playing the game with 3-4 players rss

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Devin McCane
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Has anyone ever tried to play this game with 3 or 4 players, 4 players preferably, where one player controls the eastern theater and a second player controls TM and West Theaters, on both sides. Deciding how many action points each player gets could easily be determined by dividing up the dice differential difference between players (i.e. 3 dice differential roll, 2 action points go to east theater, 1 to west). I haven't had the opportunity to see if this is feasible but I'm trying to get a game together with some friends to test it out.
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Phil C
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I think a more fitting and thematic way, and certainly more balanced for gameplay, would be to instead of dividing APs equally, allow the generals on the same side to negotiate/debate where the APs should be spent. "I need 2 APs here to push forward here", "But I need to shore up this front", etc...

To avoid drawn out discussions or players falling out, the final call can rotate between generals each turn. Let's say Player A is Union East, Player B Union West & TM, then turn 1 Player A gets the final AP distribution call, turn 2 Player B gets the final AP distribution call, and so on.
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Devin McCane
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Yea I had thought of just leaving it completely up to debate which would simulate the squabbles between generals, but figured distributing the APs up with odd numbers going to the East (same as Confederate reinforcement distribution) would alleviate that headache, and you could always allow players to discuss and offer more APs to one side than the default amount. Alternating between generals might work, but the timing of who gets control on what action phase could be detrimental though depending on how events are unfolding. Either way, I really think this game can be played with 4 players. One of my friends vehemently disagrees and thinks the West/TM player would not have as much to do, which I disagree with based on how my regular playthroughs have gone.
 
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Dave Langdon
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I think a split of TM+West...versus East. Onto Richmond nicely decides priority for Union. Then default a spare action initially to whoever controls Grant, Lee or Jackson etc.

 
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Grant Linneberg
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I don't think you'd want to default to the extra going to the east. Once the campaign for the Mississippi gets going, the east can become an afterthought for a bit. Similarly, Lee can break through in the east and need all the APs there. I think it would dull the game down to always split the APs. Often you need to use all your APs in a single theater in order to break through.

dm1985 wrote:
Yea I had thought of just leaving it completely up to debate which would simulate the squabbles between generals, but figured distributing the APs up with odd numbers going to the East (same as Confederate reinforcement distribution) would alleviate that headache, and you could always allow players to discuss and offer more APs to one side than the default amount. Alternating between generals might work, but the timing of who gets control on what action phase could be detrimental though depending on how events are unfolding. Either way, I really think this game can be played with 4 players. One of my friends vehemently disagrees and thinks the West/TM player would not have as much to do, which I disagree with based on how my regular playthroughs have gone.
 
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Ken
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Personally, were I to try this I would want to come up with some system that sortof captured the actual mess that was the command structure of both sides for a good part of the war. For the CSA, this would probably be as easy as having each player write down their orders using all of the AP allocated, then going down each of their lists with a 50/50 chance of either player's order being selected for execution. If AP are left, eliminate orders that are no longer affordable and repeat. If no orders are left, train. That sort of captures the fact that the CSA really had horrid chains of command without any real central control, and often left generals within a theater confused as to who was actually in command of whom.

I'd have to think about how to structure the Union because their chain of command was horribly messy in different ways. You'd almost want to favor orders that were for forces within X hexes of D.C., then orders that attacked an objective, then orders that initiated combat early in the war. Somewhere around 1863, you'd want that to shift towards fighting larger CSA formations.

That would inject an additional chaos factor, but one that could actually add to the game.
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Devin McCane
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perfalbion wrote:
Personally, were I to try this I would want to come up with some system that sortof captured the actual mess that was the command structure of both sides for a good part of the war. For the CSA, this would probably be as easy as having each player write down their orders using all of the AP allocated, then going down each of their lists with a 50/50 chance of either player's order being selected for execution. If AP are left, eliminate orders that are no longer affordable and repeat. If no orders are left, train. That sort of captures the fact that the CSA really had horrid chains of command without any real central control, and often left generals within a theater confused as to who was actually in command of whom.

I'd have to think about how to structure the Union because their chain of command was horribly messy in different ways. You'd almost want to favor orders that were for forces within X hexes of D.C., then orders that attacked an objective, then orders that initiated combat early in the war. Somewhere around 1863, you'd want that to shift towards fighting larger CSA formations.

That would inject an additional chaos factor, but one that could actually add to the game.


I don't know how you would capture all of that in added gameplay mechanics and I think it would slow down gameplay in a game that already takes a really long time to play as is. It almost sounds like you could do a simple die roll on both sides for each AP, but that seems a bit too simplistic and abstract.
 
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Devin McCane
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sushidog wrote:
I don't think you'd want to default to the extra going to the east. Once the campaign for the Mississippi gets going, the east can become an afterthought for a bit. Similarly, Lee can break through in the east and need all the APs there. I think it would dull the game down to always split the APs. Often you need to use all your APs in a single theater in order to break through.

dm1985 wrote:
Yea I had thought of just leaving it completely up to debate which would simulate the squabbles between generals, but figured distributing the APs up with odd numbers going to the East (same as Confederate reinforcement distribution) would alleviate that headache, and you could always allow players to discuss and offer more APs to one side than the default amount. Alternating between generals might work, but the timing of who gets control on what action phase could be detrimental though depending on how events are unfolding. Either way, I really think this game can be played with 4 players. One of my friends vehemently disagrees and thinks the West/TM player would not have as much to do, which I disagree with based on how my regular playthroughs have gone.


I'm just basing the east getting preference on the basis that the Eastern Theater is historically viewed as the higher priority on both sides. Another option is that the two players decide amongst each other which theater will receive the extra AP in odd differential dice rolls.
 
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Ken
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dm1985 wrote:
I don't know how you would capture all of that in added gameplay mechanics and I think it would slow down gameplay in a game that already takes a really long time to play as is. It almost sounds like you could do a simple die roll on both sides for each AP, but that seems a bit too simplistic and abstract.


Well, it's all a matter of perspective, right? I think this is a pretty short game, myself. But then I would dive right back into Empires in Arms in a heartbeat if I could.

You could definitely do something simpler. Just cut for cards, competitive roll-off, division based on a formula. I was just thinking that if you were trying to do multiplayer, that'd be an interesting option.
 
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Devin McCane
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perfalbion wrote:
dm1985 wrote:
I don't know how you would capture all of that in added gameplay mechanics and I think it would slow down gameplay in a game that already takes a really long time to play as is. It almost sounds like you could do a simple die roll on both sides for each AP, but that seems a bit too simplistic and abstract.


Well, it's all a matter of perspective, right? I think this is a pretty short game, myself. But then I would dive right back into Empires in Arms in a heartbeat if I could.

You could definitely do something simpler. Just cut for cards, competitive roll-off, division based on a formula. I was just thinking that if you were trying to do multiplayer, that'd be an interesting option.


Not to change the subject of my thread but you think it's a short game? It takes usually an hour to 1 1/2 hours per turn every time I play it with someone.
 
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Ken
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dm1985 wrote:
Not to change the subject of my thread but you think it's a short game? It takes usually an hour to 1 1/2 hours per turn every time I play it with someone.


That sounds long per turn to me. I think my games are usually in the 20-40 minutes per turn. But I like long games - 6+ hours doesn't phase me at all and the game I linked to has a campaign game that runs 300+.

Part of this may be my play experience with this particular game. I haven't seen one get out of 1863 yet, and two ended in 1862.
 
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Devin McCane
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perfalbion wrote:
dm1985 wrote:
Not to change the subject of my thread but you think it's a short game? It takes usually an hour to 1 1/2 hours per turn every time I play it with someone.


That sounds long per turn to me. I think my games are usually in the 20-40 minutes per turn. But I like long games - 6+ hours doesn't phase me at all and the game I linked to has a campaign game that runs 300+.

Part of this may be my play experience with this particular game. I haven't seen one get out of 1863 yet, and two ended in 1862.


I can usually get turns down to about 40 min in my solo plays, but the two times I've played the game with another player, each turn lasted about an hour. We typically got through about 4-5 turns (always starting in 1861) in a 6 hour play session.
 
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Frank Morehouse
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Yes, we played with 4 players
2 per side
Split between the east and the west
We had a great time
 
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Chris Kolenda
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Thanks! I just posted this same question. I am glad to hear the four player game worked.
 
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