I just picked up this game and the expansions because it looks like it will fit our group very well.
We have a weekly session that usually has attendance between 12-20. I thought this might fit well because it seems to be flexible on number of players and time frames, depending on which scenario you use.
I am wondering if anyone could provide a list that gives the normal time each of the World Cups take as well as how many players each one does best with and also the maximum number of players each could play reasonably.
I'd really like to head in knowing which might be able to take 12 or 16 players, which we might be able to involve everyone in, and which are better when played with fewer players so we can use them when we break into separate tables.
Would it be best to try and ease the group into the games via smaller Cups and then try to play through a longer, larger Cup with everyone participating? What are the chances of someone having their first exposure to a large Cup and getting turned off?
I can just say that 1958, 1962, 1966 are perfect for 4 players and last for about one hour.
I think 1950 is going to be great for 3 players. 1930 is an option for 3 players. These 2 World Cups could be played with 4 players but the ones I mentioned above are so much better. 1930 lasts just under one hour. 1950 will probably play in about one hour.
1934 and 1938 are probably best used in special occasions. If you don't have too much time (30-45 minutes). They are probably really good for learning the game too. One way to choose between the two is to keep an even number of teams per player: 4 players - 1934, 3 or 5 players - 1938. I think I will be playing 1934 a whole lot more. I think the random draw of 1938 detracts from the strategic component of the game.
I never played with 5+ number of players. With 5 I would probably try 1958-1966 but with 6 I think you have to play at least 1986-1990.
... and if you are looking for bigger numbers then the 2002 and 2006 games can take up to 16. One experience of a 16 player game during playtesting was how manic it all got. You have far fewer turns per player, but with only two teams you only need to concentrate on their matches. It can become a big party game where it provides great spectator sport, even if you have been eliminated. However, I think 8 is optimum for 2002 and 2006 - 4 teams each, all players should get at least one team through to the next round.