Chris J Davis
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Hi all,

We're looking for a game where each player not only has a different objective to achieve, but has vastly different ways of achieving those objectives.

So for example, four players could each represent different factions - one military, one religious, one political and one economic. The military player would have armies who would conquor regions as in a regular war game. The religious player wouldn't have armies at all, but would instead attempt to convert individual units to their side. The political player wouldn't be concerned with individual units but would instead convert whole regions through political influence. And the economic player would be most concerned of the flow of currency in the game.

Of course it's also quite important that even though these methods and objectives are quite disparate, that they still overlap a lot and affect each other in quite prominent yet subtle ways. Maybe the religious player can convert troops in the military player's armies to become more peaceful or even form their own army (which would follow different rules of engagement than the military player's armies - only for crusades, for instance). The political player may be able to influence the movements of the armies/missionaries of the military/religious players based on treaties and pacts and such. The economic player has more control over the flow of money in the game, which obviously would impact all the other factions.

Does any game like this exist? It doesn't have to be based on the real world - a sci-fi or fantasy theme would be fine. And the different factions could be anything, not just the ones I've stated here. And bear in mind that we don't want anything where the players are all basically the same but with slightly different abilities to differentiate them (i.e, "variable player powers") - we want it so that each player is almost playing by an entirely different ruleset, or at least that the variable player powers are SO strong that each faction truly does play completely differently.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Cheers!
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Brandon Pennington
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The only one that comes to mind and it doesn't exactly meet your requirements is Friedrich in which all factions/nations involved have very different ways of winning the game but they all effect each other. It is a freaking great game as well and is very balanced. Heck, the Swedish won the last game we played
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Matt Musselman
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Antiquity is the first which comes to mind for me, but at the current street prices you have to break the bank to track down a copy.

I think these kinds of games aren't common because I'm sure they're a nightmare to balance and playtest. And even if they are well balanced, they probably still lose a lot of popularity from people who insist that they're uneven (just to make themselves feel better when losing, at the game's expense).

If you're feeling lenient about the criteria, there are several games which are sort of in this vein:
- Mr. Jack
- BANG!
- Dracula (although the differences in play actions are barely more than thematic in this case -- granted, the action cards are a bit different)

And all those "everybody against the bad guy" sort of games like:
- Scotland Yard
- Fury of Dracula (second edition)
- Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
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Dale Quimpo
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War of the Ring is the first thing that comes to my mind when people talk about asymmetry in win conditions and methods. Playing FP or SA is vastly different from each other, and the strategies for each are very different.

The upcoming Chaos in the Old World by FFG sounds exactly what you are looking for. The 4 gods of chaos do different things. Check it out.
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Frank Hussey
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The original Illuminati is the closest I can think of. It has both variable powers and variable win conditions for the different players.
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Dan Rosart
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Does it have to be a 4 player game? NetRunner is an out of print CCG for two players. The Runner wins by revealing the Corporation's nefarious schemes, or by running the Corporation's deck (R&D) out of cards. The Corporation wins by enacting their nefarious schemes, or by killing the Runner.
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bleached_lizard wrote:
So for example, four players could each represent different factions - one military, one religious, one political and one economic. The military player would have armies who would conquor regions as in a regular war game. The religious player wouldn't have armies at all, but would instead attempt to convert individual units to their side. The political player wouldn't be concerned with individual units but would instead convert whole regions through political influence. And the economic player would be most concerned of the flow of currency in the game.

Of course it's also quite important that even though these methods and objectives are quite disparate, that they still overlap a lot and affect each other in quite prominent yet subtle ways.


It sounds like you're describing Here I Stand.
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Bill Eldard
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Brazen Hussey wrote:
The original Illuminati is the closest I can think of. It has both variable powers and variable win conditions for the different players.


Good call! It fits the description very well.

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Rob Herman
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The Legend of the Five Rings CCG features three winning conditions: Military, Honor, and Enlightenment. (Four if you count Dishonor) Most decks will focus on one (depending on the faction's strengths) although a few keep another around as a secondary threat if the main goal looks like it might not go so well.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Here are a few more for consideration:

Garibaldi: The Escape
The Creature That Ate Sheboygan
Asteroid
Stomp!
Doom: The Boardgame
The Legend of Robin Hood
Pentantastar
Search & Destroy
They've Invaded Pleasantville
Wabbit Wampage
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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You might check this GeekList:
Asymmetry plus Limited Intelligence
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J.L. Robert
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Try to find a copy of Castle of Magic. I think it's a fine game that should fit your needs.
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Russ Williams
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Many wargames fall into this category. Some lighter wargames:

2 de Mayo = 2-player with Spanish and French forces having quite different movement rules and goals.

Ogre = classic SF tank wargame - one player has a bunch of different infantry and normal tanks - the other player has a single unit (the supertank "Ogre") with many weapons that get damaged one by one until the whole Ogre is dead.

Web and Starship = Long out of print 3-player SF space game, each race has different abilities, earth is caught in the middle between 2 warring alien races.

And of course the longer Friedrich, already mentioned.

There are some traditional asymmetric abstract games, e.g. Cows and Leopards.

There are various crime/mystery games where one player is trying to avoid getting caught. The already-mentioned Mr. Jack and Scotland Yard are modern classics, and also the lesser known Clue: The Great Museum Caper is cool.

In a sense, any semi-coop game with traitors could be viewed as meeting your goal, e.g. Saboteur, Battlestar Galactica, etc.
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Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648
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Peter Folke
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stronghold
Stronghold might be the one.. But it's not out yet. Can't wait for it!
 
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Rainer Kraft
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Pax Britannica would also fall into this category. Things that are easy with one nation are outright impossible for another.
 
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Christian Link
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I think Junta may be a something you should investigate. Talk about asymetrical, but diplomacy is one of the many hats this game wears.

I feel I may may have gotten the request wrong for the suggestion, but thought it worth mentioning. To follow other suggestions I'll add Dune for its variable player powers, as in Illuminati and Guerilla as it relates to Bang!'s hidden player goals.

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Chris J Davis
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Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! Let me just comment on a few of the ones that have been suggested that I know of/have played already so you can get a better idea of what I'm after...

Here I Stand I think was the game that got me and my gaming group talking about this subject, so I think that one probably comes pretty close.

From the geeklist that was posted, I think another very strong candidate would be Dune. Although the basic rules for each player are the same, the individual player powers are so prominent in gameplay that it really is like each player is playing a different game.

Other strong candidates that have been suggested would be Antiquity and Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 (the latter being another game that was mentioned in our gaming group's discussions last night).

Chaos in the Old World certainly looks very interesting. But we'll have to wait and see once the rulebook is released if it really matches these criteria.

Some of the games mentioned that are almost there but not quite:

War of the Ring (First Edition). Although each side has an aspect they need to work on to remain competative in the game (the fellowship's journey for the Free Peoples player, and the hunt for the Shadow player), the primary mechanic of the game - combat - is still the same for both side. Both sides have the same kinds of units, both sides draw the same types of cards, both sides have a political track that operates in the same way.

Twilight Struggle. Again, although the powers on each sides cards are different, the mechanism each side uses are identical and the victory conditions are identical.

Some games that don't really fit at all:

BANG!. Although each player has different objectives, the methods they can go about achieving those objectives are identical.

Mr. Jack. Same again - the game mechanisms on each side are identical (choose role, move characters).

Illuminati. Each player has different objectives and some variable player powers, but they're not pronounced enough to make it feel like you're playing a different game from the other players.

To get an idea of the closest example I can think of, for anyone who has played Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game; in AoC as-is, all players have both armies (for conquoring territories) and emissaries (for and generating income). Now imagine if the game were changed so that one player had only armies and another had only emissaries. Player A would build up big army forces to move slowly through the world and conquor territories. Player B would build just a few emissaries and quickly spread them far and wide to generate income.

Keep the ideas coming! If there's nothing that fits perfectly, maybe I'll just need to invent the game myself!
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Ralph T
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Shadow Hunters does this. Three factions, the neutral faction characters each have different win conditions and different means of achieving it, not simply attacking. For example, obtaining equipment, dying or not dying, or killing a certain numbered player.
 
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Pete Morse
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Try Die Macher.
 
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Chris J Davis
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FASTER wrote:
Try Die Macher.


Everyone should try Die Macher.
 
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Chris J Davis
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By the way, just for information, Chaos in the Old World ended up being pretty much exactly the game I was envisioning! Well done, that man!
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