this week we finally got to play Warriors & Traders. Unfortunately we've been only three players. Although we had the feeling that it could be a great game s.th. was missing for this greatness.
We had some ideas to improve the game for us and I would be glad if more experienced players could give some feedback about it.
1. Too much space
With only 3 players we never had any serious conflict. We're thinking to play the next game on a smaller board using western europe without Great Britain with Danmark, Switzerland and Burgundary as starting-areas.
Disclaimer: We had some serious rule-error missing the part that barbarians always can retreat. If you think that our problem came from this error please say so.
2. Trading Routes
With 3 players you only need 3 trading routes. Although I made good use out of the merchant-ability the trading-path looses some charm if you have no use for your 2nd/3rd trading route. One idea is to insert a neutral power to trade with - good enough that you can take some advantage from it but not so good that it is clear better than a trading route to another payer.
Perhaps something like: Trade 1:1 any good but only once per round. (It is more reliable than another player but fails if you want to trade more than one good.) - perhaps you can make the tradibg ratio: 2:1 in round 1-3, 1:1 round 4-7, 1:2 round 8-10 so that you still have an advantage if you max out the trading path and can trade 1:1 anyways.
Alternative idea - the neutral trading route gives 1 free trade good of your choice each round. (perhaps a bit to strong in the first rounds.)
What do you think about the ideas? (as general variant/as learning scenario)
- Last edited Wed Jan 4, 2012 7:04 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Jan 4, 2012 7:02 pm
For point 1, the starting points you are suggesting would provide for a more balanced game. You will have no provinces contested between players (so little incentive to go to war) but the players are still neighbours, so they can influence eachother. Burgundy is between Denmark and Switzerland but they compensate for this somehow by getting to be the first to move.
Here are some other combinations that I played in a 3-player game and I found interesting:
a. England, Ireland, Scotland / no access to the mainland (Calais is not available, Orkney is). This would make for a very aggresive game, as players are all next to eachother in a small space.
b. England, neutral Burgundy, France, neutral Switzerland, Germany. No access to any other countries (ulster is accessible to England, Oldenburg is accessible to Germany). This would make for a less aggresive game as all players have large countries and there are (small) neutral countries between players. Still, the players are able to attack or threaten eachother if they wish to.
c. Germany, Switzerland, France / no access to Great Britain, no access to Denmark (Germany gets Oldenburg). This is an asymetrical scenario, with Switzerland between two large countries. However, the large countries have a strong disincentive in attacking Switzerland, because the one that attacks would be at a disadvantage to the other large country. Switzerland also gets unification much earlier than the other two and so has an advantage for (roughly) the second third of the game - and they can use this advantage to become a well defended trader and have a decent chance at winning.
For point 2, the trade routes.
Unfortunately we did not come across this issue during game devlopment, so I don't have a tested suggestion.
I like your second idea the most (1 free trade good). I would do it in the following way:
If not used, a trade route gives you:
1st traderoute (lvl2) - either 1 product or one weapon
2nd traderoute (lvl4) - 1 product / weapon / food
3rd traderoute (lvl6) - 1 product / weapon / food / gold
If you manage to play in this way, let us know how it went.
Thanks for your answer. I hope we will play W&T again soon and will ask the other players to try this variant.
The v2.1 rules includes a section for a 2 or 3-player variant. It includes restrictions to the play area and slight changes to the Trade Routes.