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The Quest for El Dorado» Forums » Variants

Subject: Play with 5 Players rss

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Sandro Gia
Switzerland
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I was thinking about a variant with 5 Players:

The fifth player can use a green meeple from another game.
A big problem is the setup, it should be fair for all the 5 Players.
We need well balanced Basecards.
With 5 Players we could start with following 7 Basecards:

1., 2. and 3.Player:
1x Marose, 3x Reisende, 2x Forscher, 1x Kundschafter
The starting handcards: take the Kundschafter and mix the other cards, then draw 2 cards. (they start only with 3 handcards!)

4. and 5. Player:
1x Tausendsassa, 3x Reisende, 3x Forscher
The starting handcards: take the Tausendsassa and mix the other cards, then draw 3 cards.

The market-table has only 4 spaces with the following cards:
3x Entdecker, 3x Fotografin, 3x Schatztruhe, 3x Fernsprechgerät

the 2 free spaces on market-table will not used during the game.

Starting-Position of the fifth player: he can choose one of the 4 Starting positions after the other 4 players made their first turn.

With this setup, we have 1x Reisende, 1x Matrose and 1x Tausendsassa left. I would put them next to the market-table such that the players can buy them in the beginning. But they dont give a free space after buying them (to get access to the rest of the market). the Reisende and the Matrose have no costs.

Another problem is the number of cards in the market with 5 players. Here I have no experience, I hope there are enough cards to buy until the end of the game.

We can also use the Basecards in the market when we play this game with less than 4 players. The basecards have no costs.
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Madeath Mao
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Here is my variant for 5 players -

*Sleeving all cards is required.

1. Print 2 jack-of-all-trades and 1 sailor.

2. Replace 2 explorers and 1 traveler with them. Just put the printed ones in the same sleeves with the ones being replaced, and cover them up.
(By doing so, all cards would still have identical card back. The fairness of card-shuffle is unaffected.)

3. Now you have 15 travelers, 5 sailors, 10 explorers and 5 jack-of-all-trades. Deal them to create five sets of initial decks for 5 players:
3 travelers, 1 sailor, 2 explorers and 1 jack-of-all-trades per player

The reasons for this arrangement -
i. All players would have the same initial decks, as they do in the original game. So the balance is guaranteed.
ii. The max money a player can accumulate is 4 coins, by filtering the cards of the initial deck. Still the same as the original game.
iii. The strength of the initial deck remain the same level as the original one. (all cards are 1, just a little more flexible)
iv. All 86 cards are used, nothing is wasted.

4. The market would have only five slots. Players need to deplete a pile of basic cards (cards with black dots) before buying an advanced card.

5. The additional player would begin his/her turn before the normal 1st player. And his/her starting location is two spaces away from the 1st player, at the boundary of the start tile.
*So the additional player gets the hat, and he/she can use any meeple with proper size. Other players use the regular player figures along with the expedition boards.

I have played this 5-player variant several times, and it works very well. If you love this game and want to play with four friends/families at a time, I sincerely recommend you try this!

Pros:
i. Make a wonderful game support one more player.
ii. More player interaction and more tension - blocking happens more often, and get key spaces first is much more important

Cons:
i. Since there is one more player building his/her deck, the amount of the expedition cards for sale may seem a little insufficient. (We need expansionsdevil!)
*I always play hard/extreme level maps. The market usually has less than 9 cards in the last few rounds. It is not an issue for me, but someone may not like this.
ii. The total game time may increase a little (But it's negligible If all players are familiar with the game).
 
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mister lee
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I played this with 6 players 4 times now.

I had to buy another copy of El Dorado. Thankfully a LGS had a damaged box (very small damage) for a nice discount.

Thoughts:
Works surprisingly well.
It's very tight with lots of blocking. (I made a map with a split and it's a bit longer for catching up)
Need to add 1 of each market card or it's very hard to buy a card you want
It doesn't play that much longer
 
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