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Subject: Team Play Variant rss

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Edwin Karat
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After experimenting a bit, here is the team play variant I ended up with.

4-players, 2 teams of 2, with everyone sitting between the 2 from the opposing side. Players attack and defend individually, but your final score is the number of wounds each team has collectively.

All of that is intuitive and works out well. Whom to attack becomes an interesting tactical decision but a wound to either player counts the same in terms of points at the end.

The only problem is when you deal with terms like "friendly" and "opposing." In particular, is your teammate "friendly" or "opposing?" If opposing, then cards that wound opposing players hurt your teammate and so are not as useful. If friendly, then cards like "Indigo Six" cannot target your teammate's archive. Still, calling your teammate "friendly" instead of "opposing" generally works better than the other way around. If you want, you can house rule "Indigo Six" to include your teammate as a special case, but with expansions, it will become harder and harder to maintain special cases. Having "Indigo Six" be slightly weaker than it could be isn't all that terrible in practice, since you usually want to steal from your opponents, even if your teammate has access to good cards -- though if your teammate has the only card that can activate your kicker, you're still out of luck.

In short:
* 4 players, sitting A B A B around a table.
* Attack and defend individually as normal
* Wounds are counted for the team as a whole
* Your teammate is "friendly" not "opposing," though different groups may very well have their own house rules on this.
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David Gregg
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It probably needs some additional rule to keep players "spreading the love" evening among opposing players, otherwise the optimal play will be to bash one player into oblivion (making their deck run cruddy) and leave the other player alone (to keep them from getting extra draws).
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Reverend Redd
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How about a true tag-team game? Whichever player has the least wounds wins the game for his entire side... perhaps we'll give that a test at my FLGS tonight.
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David Gregg
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galathonredd wrote:
How about a true tag-team game? Whichever player has the least wounds wins the game for his entire side... perhaps we'll give that a test at my FLGS tonight.

Oh nice, very elegant way to enforce "spreading the love". thumbsup
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Reverend Redd
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Yeah, it wasn't bad. We were still pretty eager to get back to free-for-all, though - it just seemed more fun arguing about who has the least wounds. Only having two teams was like 2-player - a slugfest where you take turns who takes which hit and nothing more. Only, not as short and sweet as 2-player.

Your mileage may vary, so good luck, all.
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Edwin Karat
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galathonredd wrote:
Yeah, it wasn't bad. We were still pretty eager to get back to free-for-all, though - it just seemed more fun arguing about who has the least wounds. Only having two teams was like 2-player - a slugfest where you take turns who takes which hit and nothing more. Only, not as short and sweet as 2-player.

Your mileage may vary, so good luck, all.


The entire point of the team variant is *not* to worry about who has the least number of wounds.

My gaming group considers the argument over who has how many wounds to be a flaw. Others think that 2 player doesn't give enough opportunities to chain cards.

The reason not to slam only one player is tactical, based on the current set of minions in play.
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Blue Jackal
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karat wrote:

The entire point of the team variant is *not* to worry about who has the least number of wounds.


I can see the appeal of that, as well as rewarding the better team with victory. However, I think some of Nightfall's fun comes from trying to protect yourself by playing defensive minions, occasionally making suboptimal plays so you stay under the radar, and trying to get THE PERSON WHO'S RUNNING AWAY WITH THE GAME back in check. Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage is one of my favorite games because I feel tension while playing it, something which Twilight Struggle did not do for me. Similarly, I experience some tension while playing Nightfall as I hope that someone else is the target of the damage dealing player's wrath.
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Christopher Ebert
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This just came into my thoughts while reading over this. What if you slightly changed how Wounds worked, yet didn't change the game too much. Instead of having a stack of wounds, deal out the 10 wounds per player to each player instead (or even increase it to 15 or 20). They keep them in a stack near them but in view of everyone and separate from the other decks. Whenever they get wounded, they take a wound from their stack to put in their discards and they work as normal. To keep from ganging up on one person and leaving the other to defend for himself, when the first teammate falls, the other get's a sort of "Adrenaline" rush or something like that and his wound stack doubles. Therefore if you didn't even touch him, he goes from a stack of 10 to a stack of 20 (The extra taken from the leftover wound cards). So if you whittle them both down, then if say you take out one team member and the other has only 2 left, he'll only get 2 more. The reason for keeping them in view would be to give a sorta RPG element that you can see how "bloodied up" or "weak" one is getting, or you could just keep them hidden off to the side if with a trust system. The determination for someone "dying" would be when they receive a wound, but can't take a card for it.

Another thing I thought of was that instead of the two team members having individual archives, that the two have a team archive. When drafting, they can look at each others' hands to try to coordinate their archive together. (4 archives of course). Then again, that could throw off the balance a bit, and I really have no way of playtesting any of this since I don't have 4 friends to get together to play this.
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Josh Swartz
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This does sound like a fun variant. I think the obvious, simple answer to the problem David mentioned - which I immediately thought of, too when I read your variant - is to simply attack the team. The team can then use their combined force of minions that they manage to have in play to block, and any wounds that would get through will go to whoever decides they want to take them. That would leave it up to each team to decide who can afford to take how many wounds, and when. A skillful team will end up with less wounds if they are careful.
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Anthony Martins
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karat wrote:


My gaming group considers the argument over who has how many wounds to be a flaw.


This is something that bugs me too. But, even if we keep track, it feels somewhat random as to when the game ends. So, if we do manage to keep things even, then it's a constant back and forth and the only measure of who wins is who happens to be on top when the game of hot potato is over.

This is why I really like any kind of team variant, as when there are just two sides this isn't as much of an issue.
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Alexey Andronov
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About team variant - we definetly need clarifications.

* If my ally archives are neutral or friendly, i can freely purchase from them. Is this imbalancing?
* Are my ally minions friendly to me? If so, then creatures like Gregor Dzanic or Kaspar Udian, wont they be overpowered (heal all friendly minions - meaning, both mine and my ally's)
* Am i allowed to send minion against my ally? We had a situation when both opponents have put 2 Kilo's into play, and so, it was better for me to attack my ally and deal 1 wound to him, rather than attack my opponent and receive 2 wounds. But this makes little sense, to be able to attack your ally?
 
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David Gregg
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I didn't create this variant, but will gladly give my 2 toward how I'd answer them

Istrebitel wrote:
* If my ally archives are neutral or friendly, i can freely purchase from them. Is this imbalancing?

You can still only purchase from your own private archives (otherwise both allies could easily end up with the same or very similar deck, which defeats the purpose of having private archives in the first place).

Istrebitel wrote:
* Are my ally minions friendly to me? If so, then creatures like Gregor Dzanic or Kaspar Udian, wont they be overpowered (heal all friendly minions - meaning, both mine and my ally's)

If the card text uses words like "friendly" or "allied" or similar, then yes, it affects your cards and your ally's. It doesn't make the effects overpowered, it just makes them a different power than normal (kinda like how some cards are much more powerful in 2 player vs 4 player).

Istrebitel wrote:
* Am i allowed to send minion against my ally? We had a situation when both opponents have put 2 Kilo's into play, and so, it was better for me to attack my ally and deal 1 wound to him, rather than attack my opponent and receive 2 wounds. But this makes little sense, to be able to attack your ally?

No, you cannot attack your allies.
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Alexey Andronov
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Thanks!

So, in other words, my ally's minions are friendly, but archives are opposing? I mean, i still can use Victor or Kaos to claim from my ally archive?
 
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David Gregg
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Istrebitel wrote:
So, in other words, my ally's minions are friendly, but archives are opposing? I mean, i still can use Victor or Kaos to claim from my ally archive?

Their private archives are "friendly" to you, but you are restricted to claim from your own private archives. Unfortunately this means that the likes of Victor who specifies "opposing" cannot help you claim from them.
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Alexey Andronov
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Hmm, but opponents can claim from them? This looks really bad, since this means basically that opponents can build a deck from both of our archives, while we cant?

I think if you do allow effects that claim from opposing archives in team game, then this rule is severely wrong, and just does not make sense!
 
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David Gregg
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Istrebitel wrote:
Hmm, but opponents can claim from them? This looks really bad, since this means basically that opponents can build a deck from both of our archives, while we cant?

I think if you do allow effects that claim from opposing archives in team game, then this rule is severely wrong, and just does not make sense!

Same can be said for your team though: both of you can claim from them via the same cards. You're welcome to house-rule however you like, but for those that like to "rules-lawyer" it wouldn't make sense to allow a card like Victor who specifies "opposing" to be able to buy from an "ally". The whole theme behind Victor is that he's a spy/double agent type of person who gets behind enemy lines to nab their resources (thus why he only works on opposing archives, you wouldn't sabotage your own buddy).
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Alexey Andronov
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Yes, rule-lawyer based and theme-based i agree 100%.

But on the other hand, it makes absolutely zero sense for not being able to share your archives with your friend. This is flawed both logic-wise (why wouldnt i share valueable resource with my ally if that makes us win) and gameplay-wise (ally cannot use my archives by default and there is no way to help him, but my opponents can and there's no way to counter it)

I argue that as long as there is an ability to claim from opposing archives in game, you should have some way of claiming from your ally's archive, and that must be EASIER to do than claiming from opposing archives.
 
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Alexey Andronov
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We came to a conclusion of allowing two total purchases from ally's archives per game (based on two victors max in starting decks). This seems to be working fine so far!
 
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Christian Guzman
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Has anyone played a bit more in 'team' mode?

We recently managed to get more than two people on the table and there were a few people that got 'upset' (not really upset - just frustrated) that they got singled out.

We tried to explain that Nightfall is a 'ruthless' game and that's how it is meant to be played. But the thought of team play sounds okay for a different set of gameplay.

 
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Anthony Martins
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Guzzer wrote:
Has anyone played a bit more in 'team' mode?

We recently managed to get more than two people on the table and there were a few people that got 'upset' (not really upset - just frustrated) that they got singled out.

We tried to explain that Nightfall is a 'ruthless' game and that's how it is meant to be played. But the thought of team play sounds okay for a different set of gameplay.



If you play with the team-variant where, "The team with the single player with the least damage wins," it helps spread around the hate a bit more.
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