lee freeman
United States
florence
South Carolina
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I've had this game over a year and just got the chance a few weeks ago to get it on the table. I've played it 6-7 times, all two player except for the last game we just played -- there were 4 of us. Fantastic game.

BEFORE we even began, I decided that there was NO way that we wanted to play this with regular rules for 4 players. And I REALLY wanted to play this with 4.

My main two concerns for this:
1. Downtime (could be horrendous)
2. Ganging up

Now, I know that there is a ganging up rule in the rulebook -- but I generally don't like games where there is even a remote chance of this -- and this issue is a big problem in most multiplayer war games. I don't like to bring that element into my games -- because then things can get political and there could be possible king making opportunities -- I just don't like it.

So, here is what I proposed to our group.

Two teams. Ganging up problem solved.
My partner and I take simultaneous actions. We both have the option to play political cards at the beginnig of our turns, but we cannot play an aggression card on the same opponent during the same turn.

We openly decide on what cards we want from the card row. As SOON as we finish taking cards, our opponents take their actions while we are producing and handling other end of turn actions.

Pacts are removed from all decks.

All four of us keep our own separate scores. Events pertaining to strongest or weakest civilizations are resolved per normal rules.

If a WAR is declared against a player, his partner MAY sacrifice units on his behalf to bolster his military strength.

After each teams' turn, the first TWO cards are removed from the card row (essentially after 4 of us have taken turns, 4 cards are removed, much like the regular 4 player game).

You must play aggression cards BEFORE you play event cards -- and when you are colonizing a new territory, both you and your partner may contribute units towards the colony, but only ONE of you gets the card's permanent bonus. The card's immediate bonus may be shared.

Each team totals their culture points at the end of the game to determine the team winner.

So there it is. FOUR player TTA with TWO player downtime. No ganging up. No politics. No kingmaking.

I realize that many people enjoy competing individually and they enjoy politics and pacts in their games, but if these things aren't absolutely necessary for you, I encourage you to try this varaint. It worked like a champ for us -- really, really well. Very seamless -- little downtime. And it was great fun having a partner and discussing our agendas and strengths and weaknesses.

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David Lara
Spain
Alcobendas
Madrid
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Wow!! That sounds like a great idea!!

Many many discussions have come up about the excesive playtime in 4 players games so this looks very reasonable. And it algo gives a different flavour to the game!

I'll give it a try for sure! Thanks for the idea!!
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Joe
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I'd definitely be interested in giving this a try sometime!
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Sheldon Morris
Canada
Fergus
Ontario
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This seems like it may work really well. I'd love to give this idea a try sometime. Thanks for sharing it.
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David Lara
Spain
Alcobendas
Madrid
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I forgot to ask you: although I agree the downtime must be less, didn't you have any extra time for having the teams discussing about what cards to draw and/or political action to play??
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Sheldon Morris
Canada
Fergus
Ontario
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cartesius wrote:
I forgot to ask you: although I agree the downtime must be less, didn't you have any extra time for having the teams discussing about what cards to draw and/or political action to play??

That just made me want to try it all the more!
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Johan Sporre
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Sounds like a great idea! Although my group haven't yet played a full-game 4-player TtA I can see it working.

How open were you in discussions about military cards you had in hand? Up to the teams themselves I guess?
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lee freeman
United States
florence
South Carolina
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We did discuss what cards we wanted from the card row. Things like, "Do you need this card or can I take it?" Or..."we can't let them have this card."

We did show each other our political cards and mutually agreed on which ones would be best for us to play.

To say that we had 2 players downtime may be SLIGHTLY inaccurate. There was some teammate discussion as I mentioned above, so it's probably more accurate to say that downtime was a little more than a straight two player game but significantly less than a 3-4 player game.
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Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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Get another copy and play two 2-player games?
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lee freeman
United States
florence
South Carolina
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That was actually my first thought. I also wanted to create a way to link the games to increase interaction among all 4 players, but I ultimately decided on one game.

By the way, we play that you must play aggression cards BEFORE you play event cards. And when you are colonizing a new territory, both you and your partner may contribute units towards the colony, but only ONE of you gets the card and its bonuses.
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Alex P
France
La Plaine St-Denis
Ile-de-France
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leefreeman wrote:

Each team totals their culture points at the end of the game to determine the team winner.


Just wondering if this doesn't end up creating games with really weird civs. Since many bonuses stack, wouldn't the teams have an interest in making one team member the powerhouse, all military machine and the other a culture point-cranking engine?

My solution: The lowest score of any player in a team is the team score.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
United States
KEW GARDENS
New York
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Jesse Custer wrote:
leefreeman wrote:

Each team totals their culture points at the end of the game to determine the team winner.


Just wondering if this doesn't end up creating games with really weird civs. Since many bonuses stack, wouldn't the teams have an interest in making one team member the powerhouse, all military machine and the other a culture point-cranking engine?

My Knizia's solution: The lowest score of any player in a team is the team score.


Fixed that for you.
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Chris Holm
United States
Rio Rancho
New Mexico
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Jesse Custer wrote:
Knizia's solution: The lowest score of any player in a team is the team score.


Or perhaps this: Multiply (instead of add) the two scores of a team together. Highest result wins.
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