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Subject: Multiple players per side, how well does it scale? rss

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J.P. Morgan
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Hi all,

I'm interested in learning how well FDD works with multiple players per side, especially when the total number of players involved is equal or greater than 4. (Greater than 4 is possible, according to DVG) In other words, for situations like 2 vs 2, 3 vs 2, or 3 vs 3.

Since our group typically averages between 4 to 6 people on game night, knowing how well this would fit any of those possible combinations is something that I would have to understand before purchasing the game.

I've seen some threads here indicating how this can be done, but what I'd like to know is how well it actually works in practice.

In other words:

1. How fast paced is it with multiple players on a side? Would there be a lot of downtime per player?

2. How balanced would it be? Does having an odd number of players on one side affect the game balance?

3. Would it better to use multiple copies to accomodate a certain number of players?

4. Would managing the movement of sections between terrain elements become too difficult? Would the table look too confused?

5. How involved is each player in the decision making when there are multiple players on each side? Is there enough to keep the participants actively engaged and interested?

My crowd is a demanding bunch (heck, arent we all?) If, during a game, they sense they're just "going through the motions", that game will never see table time again.

Considering the relative "newness" of the game, I may be asking for too much here. In the meantime, I'm patiently waiting for a session report involving a multiplayer scenario of this kind, but until then, your generous answers will suffice.

Thanks
JPM

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Drake Coker
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I haven't played more than 2-player, but I can describe the structure and inherit limitations.

The game is essentially a two-sided conflict. You can add more players by simply dividing up the forces and playing as two teams. The rules contain a section on how to do this.

There is no inherit limitation on the number of players other than running out of components. The rules claim one copy supports 4 players, which sounds about right to me.

While it would be natural to add players in pairs, there is no need to do so and balance should not appreciably change with something like 3 on 2.

I suspect games might start getting a little unwieldy above four players, but that is only a guess.

Players remain active during enemy turns, so total down time shouldn't be too bad. However, only one player responds to an enemy move at any time, so the team would have to agree on that.

Without direct experience playing multiplayer, I don't think I can add anything more


Edit: as far as "going through the motions"... the game depends both on how you run your move and how you respond to enemy moves. Usually, you have two or three good possibilities you can choose from (or in my case, two or three bad ones). There is very little that is mechanical or scripted: your decisions have a big effect on how the game plays out!

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J.P. Morgan
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Quote:
There is very little that is mechanical or scripted: your decisions have a big effect on how the game plays out!


Thanks for the excellant response Drake.

The fact that there are very few things that are scripted gives a good impression as to how it might play out, with or without multiple players per side. That says something good about the game.

Like you say, the only limitation might be the number of components needed to handle so many players. But someone could always bring another copy, I suppose.




 
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Dan Verssen
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I've played a fair number of 4 player games. You can play with more than 4 out of one box, but each player would probably only command 1 or 2 infantry sections and a vehicle. With more than 4 players, the players also need to stay on top of the game, or down time will start to become an issue.

All that being said...

2 v 2 games are hugely fun. Having a teammate to plan strategy with gives the game a completely different feel. When a coordinated move and shoot plan works out, its a great feeling of team work. When plans fall apart, its a much different feeling.

In one game, my guys had to advance across Open Ground, and his guys were going to provide covering fire in case any one shot at my guys. My guys moved and no one reacted. The other team then moved and my teammate reacted with an ineffective attack. Their second player then mowed down all my guys while I glared at my teammate.
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Christopher
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interesting points...


Side wise related to this topic: has anyone tried this as a 3 player game? How would it work and is it as much fun for both the side that has two players and the side that has just one player?
 
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J.P. Morgan
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Quote:
Having a teammate to plan strategy with gives the game a completely different feel. When a coordinated move and shoot plan works out, its a great feeling of team work. When plans fall apart, its a much different feeling
.

Thanks Dan.

This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. And presumably this feeling of teamwork will carry itself over into games involving more than 4 people. Theres always great satisfaction is seeing a coordinated team effort pay off. After all, thats why we play with teams.

On the flip side, (as in your case) there can even be a certain enjoyment in failure too - it forces you to try harder the next time!

 
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Jorge Arroyo
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I also wonder how the game will play coop vs the solo system. Will have to try it sometime...
 
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