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Subject: Tikal - How Many Players is Optimal? rss

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Kurt Keckley
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Just found Tikal at an out of the way game shop, Yeah laugh

Anyone have an opinion as to how many players I should have when taking this baby for it's test drive? First impressions are mega-important in my gaming group.

Thanks!
 
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Brad Miller
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If the players aren't "analysis paralysis" type players, then I say 4 is best. If a few of them are of the slower, more ponderous, variety, then go with three. Sometimes three can lead to one player getting a free pass while the others fight it out, but this is not a given. But slow players will doom this great game, and with four, it will feel even longer.
 
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Matthew M
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Depends on the experience you want. Four is a tighter game with more hosage, and higher on downtime. Two has less interesting interaction. Also depends on if you play with the auction variant included in the rules or not.

For a first game I've had success introducing Tikal to groups of 2, 3, and 4 players - all without the auction variant. The auction rules make the game a bit longer, but also offer much better control, however the relative value of the tiles is all but impossible to figure out without having already played at least once.

So, my suggestion is go with any number of players and play without the auctions.

-MMM
 
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Close2nd
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Tikal thrives on player interaction so I would go for three or four, preferably four. As has already been implied there is a pattern to the way the tiles are revealed so gauging relative value in a first game is difficult so go without the auctions - it is meant to be an exploration game after all. Remind the players during the introduction and rule explanation that it is supposed to be a fast game, maybe limited by torrential rains of the wet season or similar. Most of all have fun and enjoy watching the board develop.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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4

Like many games with 3 two people fight and the third wins (its area control after all).

Many people swear by the auction variant but for me this game is long enough and brain burning enough normally. Every time I think about the likely AP from auctioning every single tile I just shudder.
 
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Wilson Tan
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has only played it with 3, it is still as fun and brain burner! one of my top favorities of all time. i recommend starting with 3 and moving on to 4 for a tighter game.
 
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Alberto Buj
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If you want to learn, 2 is acceptable. But i advice you 4 players. Is much more interesting, because your plans can be destroyed with one simple move of other player. Tikal is one of my favourites.
Bye gekeers
 
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bruno faidutti
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Outstanding game with three and four, only good game with two.
 
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Ben .
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'nother vote for 4 here, again - as long as you can keep the pace up.

As others have, I would also recommend playing without the auction rules for speed and simplicity sake until you've played enough games to feel the luck element of the tile draw.
 
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Wilson Tan
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Tikal deserves a much higher rating!
 
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Justin
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i'd say 3 just because of AP risks. i haven't had any problems with game length though.
 
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Play Games - Interact - Have Fun!
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4 is best, 3 is reeeeeelly good, 2 is veeeeeeeery good.

I've found Analysis Paralysis to be more of a player problem than a Tikal problem. I've played Tikal with many different people and never had an issue with it. I do however have a friend I WONT play Tikal with as I'm sure that he would drag the game on and on. It doesn't matter what kind of game he plays, if there is any kind of decision to be made that may include one or more 'good' choices, he always will stop and ponder them until we harass him to hurry up.

Carcassonne. Roborally. Manhattan. Puerto Rico. It doesnt matter. shake
 
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Alan Kaiser
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Quote:
I've found Analysis Paralysis to be more of a player problem than a Tikal problem.


This is exactly the issue. Tikal is the poster child for those who cry analysis paralysis. Yes, Tikal lends itself to analysis paralysis (as do other games with lots going on) but this doesn't happen with all groups of players. It's really a player issue. It bugs me that whenever Tikal comes up in a list or comment the first thing out of someones mouth is that the game has an analysis paralysis problem. It's not the game's fault! Played with the right players there is no problem! Tikal really is a great game and I think that a lot of people pass this one by because of this perceived issue. If you know that the group you normally play with would drag this game out, then by all means ignore it. But if not, then pick it up, it's a real good game.
 
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Jon W
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Quote:
I've found Analysis Paralysis to be more of a player problem than a Tikal problem.

I disagree. The game state in Tikal can be fully calculated at any given moment. If you want to play well, it behooves you to calculate it. Calculating it isn't really difficult; it's just a bunch of tedious addition. Even if you don't want to calculate the whole game state, just figuring out the highest gain for your own activities again requires tedious addition, then re-addition, and so forth. This must be done by each player after every move.

The face-down draw pile does provide uncertainty, and playing really well requires you to know what's left, what's more likely to come, the likely actions of your opponents, etc., but this doesn't change the fact that you have to know where the game is at whenever it's your turn to affect it, and everything you need for that is right in front of you. I'm inclined to chalk that up to the game, not the players.
 
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Mario Lanza
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This is my favorite game. I have to concur with Daniel Edwards, 4 is the right number. The contention will run much tighter and 4 balances the game, while 3 can position 2 players against each other with 1 having a much easier, uncontested position. I've played with two and found that the resources seem to get spread too thin. Hands down this is the perfect game with 4. I don't bother with any other number.
 
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Elliott Reynolds
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I too like Tikal as a 3 or 4 person game and think it is designed as such. But the 2 player game with the auctioning of tiles is also quite good - better than most multiplayer games that scale to 2.
 
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Chris Shaffer
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My favorite way to play Tikal is two players with the auction. Two players without the auction is worthless, as the luck of the draw will determine the winner. With the auction, it's a great two-player game.

With three or four, I prefer to play with the auction, but can be convinced to play without it if some players are new to the game.
 
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