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Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: Beyond recommended number of players? rss

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Tom Li
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Hi guys, I have a quick question about the number of players in this game. Now, I know that the number of players of the base game is 4, with the expansions adding up to 6, but I've also heard that you can play the game up to a larger number, say 8, with just the base game alone. So, who's done this before? Is it fun? What exactly do the expansions add?

Thanks to all those who respond!
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Jordan Booth
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This is an interesting question that I hope Tom can give us some clue to from his playtesting experience.

My first thoughts on the matter center around running through the deck too fast, and not giving each player a fair distribution of cards to encounter.

But more importantly, that the more players you add, the greater the chance that every phase will be called during every round. And since, unlike Puerto Rico, where the phases can come in different orders, in Race it would just become gamesturbation if you could reasonably rely on every phase every round. It would take most of the strategy and fun out of playing.
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ŁṲÎS̈
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You need the expansions to have the extra sets of phase selection cards.
Each expansion so far has added 1 extra set.


I imagine you could just create your own, but you may also be short on VPs, and I'm not sure if there are enough planets and dev cards to go round for a bunch of players without the expansions.


And one more thing, with 8 players the chances of all phases being selected increases quite a bit. This has a very big effect on your strategy.

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ŁṲÎS̈
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Born-of-Ashes wrote:
This is an interesting question that I hope Tom can give us some clue to from his playtesting experience.

My first thoughts on the matter center around running through the deck too fast, and not giving each player a fair distribution of cards to encounter.

But more importantly, that the more players you add, the greater the chance that every phase will be called during every round. And since, unlike Puerto Rico, where the phases can come in different orders, in Race it would just become gamesturbation if you could reasonably rely on every phase every round. It would take most of the strategy and fun out of playing.


jinx!
 
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Eric Taylor
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I would really recommend against it. With so many different players, it becomes quite difficult to pursue a certain type of strategy (specific production worlds, military, trade-based, etc.) because chances are pretty good the cards you'll need that really tie it all together are probably in somebody else's hand and you're never going to see them. So if you want a game where you can count on just about every phase happening and everyone's going to go for whatever seems good in their current hand because they have no prayer of getting the cards they'd like from future draws, go for 8 people. As for me, I'd recommend to games of 4 people each instead - you're likely to find everyone has a lot more fun this way.
 
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One thing that may be difficult with that many players is keeping track of what players have on their tableaus. Are there even tables that big? It really can't be done unless you walk over to get a closer look at what they've built, or have a monitor/camera set up to view what they have. Knowing what others have built and # of cards in hand allows you to make a more informed decision about what action card to choose and what to do during the round, and it gets cumbersome with more players.

More likely all phases will occur, but I've played with 6 players with only the 1st exp (this of course is a variant and not officially in the rules) and also with the 2nd exp. There are times when all 5p or 6p choose the same thing, like a whole bunch of consumes, or only Settle and Produce. Sometimes, you can see this kind of thing coming a mile away. Less than half the # of phases being executed within a given round still occurs more than your typical RftG player thinks.


If you want to play with 8p, you certainly can. It's like playing Ra at 5p vs 3p, Dominion at 6p vs 3p. It's technically still the same game, but can be quite different as well.



As for the expansions, they're not just adding an extra set of action cards. The 1st expansion offers goals, and handful of extra cards (18, not counting the blank ones) that provide a bit more variety and add more to strategies in the base game that weren't as viable. Also offered is a solitaire version of the game using dice. The 2nd expansion offers twice as many non-blank cards as the 1st exp, and these are quite the flair. They offer some even more bonuses, powers , and dramtic changes to the gameplay of which these don't even include takeover powers. Also, more goals are offered as well as expanding the solitaire mode game.


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Serge Levert
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The number of Homeworlds is the limiting factor. You can't play more than 6 with the RvI rules, using both expansions. You'd need to create more start worlds or use duplicates or something.

Edit: actually, you could do 9 players with the base game and TGS, or 12 with RvI added if you don't give each player 2 start worlds to choose from.
 
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B C Z
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If you have 8, I highly recommend playing two tables.

At some point you hit saturation and every phase will fire every turn, which honestly isn't that fun and really curtails the value of windfall worlds.
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Tom Lehmann
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6 player games, with both expansions, work just fine. Most turns have 3-4 phases firing, which makes card flow, "leeching", and game tempo management skills more important.

A double-deck base game could, in theory, accommodate 8 players. The only rules adjustment would be that duplicate worlds and 6-developments are not permitted in a player's tableau (at one time; this is the same rule as for the duplicated non-6 developments in the regular game).

However, the latter was not tested. Try it and let us know how it works!

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Andrew Watson
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byronczimmer wrote:
If you have 8, I highly recommend playing two tables.


Or if you are among those who consider the 2p advanced game the best way to play Race, play four tables, and have an all-play-all league. I'm serious. Well, at least as serious as those who want to play 8-player.
 
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