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Subject: Dominion Basic with 5 - 6 players? rss

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177ark
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New to Dominion. Any tips or suggestions to playing the basic box with 5 - 6 players? I'm thinking maybe adding the "Garden" cards to the supply section and/or 1 - 2 more sets of Kingdom cards.
Yes, I know there are expansions that do this, but for right now I'm trying to get by on only the basic box.
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Alvin C
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What you basically need to play with 5-6 players is 3 more estates, 3 more provinces and 10 more curses per additional player. You could substitute some of these with the blank cards and/or cards you are not using.

Additionally, the game ends with 4 piles empty instead of 3 (or the province pile).
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177ark
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Thanks!
I'm assuming 3 more duchy too? and does the 3 more estates take into account the 3 estates in each additional players starting deck?
 
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Alvin C
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You only increase the sizes of the Province and Curse decks. The Estates are only for the starting decks (and keeping the estate pile at 12 cards)
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Joseph Wisniewski
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Ajere wrote:
New to Dominion. Any tips or suggestions to playing the basic box with 5 - 6 players? I'm thinking maybe adding the "Garden" cards to the supply section and/or 1 - 2 more sets of Kingdom cards.
Yes, I know there are expansions that do this, but for right now I'm trying to get by on only the basic box.


My suggestion is two 3 person games. You might get away with adding a 5th player, but having 6 might make the wait between turns painfully long for some players.
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Roberta Yang
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geraldkw wrote:
My suggestion is two 3 person games. You might get away with adding a 5th player, but having 6 might make the wait between turns painfully long for some players.

Unfortunately, that requires a second set of basic cards, and the topic creator explicitly just has a single copy of the base set and does not have Intrigue. As boring as five- and six-player games are, proxying a few extra cards for them is a lot more doable than proxying a whole set of basic cards for a second table.
 
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Alvin C
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I should point out that attack cards can be much more vicious since there are more players to play them with 5-6 players. I would advise only putting 1 attack card out in a set or make Moat available.
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Finally, the basic Treasure cards--Copper, Silver, Gold--cannot run out. This may require proxies but usually you can survive if you trash Coppers, Silvers, and Golds into their supply piles.
 
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James Newton
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
Finally, the basic Treasure cards--Copper, Silver, Gold--cannot run out. This may require proxies but usually you can survive if you trash Coppers, Silvers, and Golds into their supply piles.

Erm ... they can run out, so you shouldn't be returning trashed Treasures.

The official 5-6 player expansion using a second game (such as Intrigue) adds more treasures, presumably, so that the likelihood of running out is not increased unnecessarily. The rules do also then allow you to use these extra treasures in 2-4 player games, but the Intrigue rules clearly state (emphasis mine):
Intrigue rules (p2) wrote:
The Treasure cards from Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue can be combined, since these cards are intended to be in abundant enough supply to not run out. (If a type of Treasure card does run out, that becomes an empty pile in the Supply, which can be important for game ending conditions.)

There is a difference between what was intended and what is practical.

And, while I have my Intrigue rule book open, the OP may be interested to see the official rules for playing with more than 4 players ...
Intrigue rules (p7) wrote:
If you own both Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue, you can play with more than 4 players. Our recommendation is to use both sets of Treasure, Victory, and Curse cards in order to play 2 separate games (for example, 7 players can play one 3-player game and one 4-player game). Each group can select their own 10 Kingdom cards from both sets to play with.

The following are rules for a single game accommodating 5 or 6 players. Please note that there will be increased downtime with 5 or 6 players, so this is not recommended for new players.

To set up for 5 or 6 players, combine the Treasure cards from Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue. Use 15 Provinces in the Supply for a 5-player game and 18 Provinces in the Supply for a 6-player game. All other Victory card piles (Estates, Duchies, and Victory Kingdom cards) remain at 12 cards per pile. Use 40 Curse cards for a 5-player game and 50 Curse cards for a 6-player game.

In a 5 or 6 player game, the game ends at the end of any player’s turn when one of two conditions is met: the Supply pile of Province cards is empty OR any 4 Supply piles are empty.

I think that the only thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is the changed ending condition - the game ends when all (15 or 18) Provinces are gained or when 4 (not 3) Supply piles are empty.
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G S

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Before buying any expansions, when we played 5-6 players with only the base set we just used the base treasures and counted the pile as empty when it ran out. Because a four pile ending is necessary, it did not appear to affect the game too much. And because we all knew the treasures could empty we just account for that in our strategies.
 
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Ryan M
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My brother bought Dominion after playing it at my place. I had the basic and Intrigue at the time. He just bought the basic set and still played it with 6 players without even knowing about the newer "rules". He just used what was there and went with 4 piles gone.

You don't really NEED those extra point cards added in, although the already quick games will likely be over sooner and typically be lower scoring. Not ideal, but you can do it ok.
 
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Niclas Matikainen
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We did a 5-player game once when we had a bunch of new players that wanted to try. We played the game exactly as usual, and it worked ok. I didn't know about the 4-pile-to-end rule then, but I assume it would simply improve a 5-player game.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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I don't mean to dispute James but while I understand that it is impossible to have actually unlimited physical cards to prevent the piles from running out, when you are playing a 5-6 player game with only one starter set, you can either proxy an entire new set's worth of basic Treasure cards if you are concerned about exact, official card count or you can just return trashed Coppers (etc) to their piles.

Since the intention was that they not run out, keeping careful track of how many are returned is not necessary. This is actually important because you are starting with 7-14 fewer Coppers in the supply to equip the starting decks of more players than one set was meant to handle. James is correct. My suggestion for playing 5-6 player games with one box stands.

(Thumbs to James, by the way, for the effort he put into tracking down the info for us.)
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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It's one thing to help out someone who has bought the games and expansions and is perhaps unclear on the rules, but quoting the expansion rules verbatim to grant those features to a player who is not purchasing it doesn't seem very cool at all.

More respectful replies should have been limited to conjecture or suggestions on how to play with 5-6 players, not quoting the exact solution the expansion provided.
 
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Jarek D
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lordrahvin wrote:
It's one thing to help out someone who has bought the games and expansions and is perhaps unclear on the rules, but quoting the expansion rules verbatim to grant those features to a player who is not purchasing it doesn't seem very cool at all.

More respectful replies should have been limited to conjecture or suggestions on how to play with 5-6 players, not quoting the exact solution the expansion provided.


Ummm... I beg to differ. The rules for Dominion Intrigue, including the 5-6 player rules, are available to anyone at the Rio Grande website so I don't see any reason why they can't be quoted here.

http://www.riograndegames.com/uploads/Game/Game_306_gameRule...

[Edit: typos]
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Dennison Milenkaya
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He means because the OP isn't playing by those rules either way. He was looking for suggestions that would allow more players without the materials for it. For the most part, he's mostly being told what the official rules are and recommended proxies for missing materials but that doesn't mean this is the best solution.

Dominion is the kind of game which is very precise in its presentation and thus people playing it tend to be very precise with how it is played. Just stroll on over to the Variants section and see nearly every idea shot down by someone suggesting it be played exactly as printed. Or see every card idea evaluated based on what the fans determine the creator might feel.

You could suggest playing the game as-is but to add an eleventh and twelfth kingdom pile to handle a five or six player game but it ain't official so it'd be corrected.
 
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177ark
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lordrahvin wrote:
It's one thing to help out someone who has bought the games and expansions and is perhaps unclear on the rules, but quoting the expansion rules verbatim to grant those features to a player who is not purchasing it doesn't seem very cool at all.

More respectful replies should have been limited to conjecture or suggestions on how to play with 5-6 players, not quoting the exact solution the expansion provided.


Thanks for the concern Brook, but I took no disrespect from James's post. In fact I found it very helpful in understanding what the designers' concerns were with 5 - 6 player game mechanics.
Also, his quotes informed me of the existence of Dominion: Intrigue. Which from what I understand from this site is a different base game that can be played in and of itself and could be combined with my Dominion base game to support up to 8 players?
This might be the perfect solution, as I can suggest someone else in my gaming circle to get it. They could have their own stand alone game and we could combine them to support larger games.
Is there something wrong with this plan?
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Matt N

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Ajere wrote:
Also, his quotes informed me of the existence of Dominion: Intrigue. Which from what I understand from this site is a different base game that can be played in and of itself and could be combined with my Dominion base game to support up to 8 players?
This might be the perfect solution, as I can suggest someone else in my gaming circle to get it. They could have their own stand alone game and we could combine them to support larger games.
Is there something wrong with this plan?


It's a great plan, and it's the single best reason not to buy Intrigue as an expansion when you have the base game (or vice versa). If you're lucky, they'll buy some expansions on their own, or you can give them generous "gifts", or something like that.
 
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Niclas Matikainen
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I don't think Intrigue supports 8-player games, rather there are rules for playing up to 6 players, or two 4-player games.
Though I guess you could try an 8-player game...
Edit: Sounds like a great plan though. I'll try it myself very soon.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Nothing wrong with that at all, Ajere. Certainly that would be my preferred method.

Just to answer your most recent question: the rules for combining classic Dominion and Intrigue accommodate up to six players, which satisfies your earlier need. If you want to play up to eight, simply hold two 4-person games. You'll have all the parts necessary, as you've noted you can play both sets alone, but with a much wider selection of cards by drawing either game from any combination of the sets.

After drawing randomizers for one game, use the remaining randomizer pile to draw cards for the other. You know, provided this is the way in which you select your set-ups.

I prefer two games of three each over one game of six for the more rapidity and strategy. I find that games with six players rarely ever have a single round (from the end of one player's turn to the start of that player's next turn) wherein an attack is not made.

For certain attacks which have no cumulative effect like Militia, this reaches its own balance whether you get into the attacking or not because enough people will. This pretty much means the entire game will be played with three cards out of five for everyone. There is a balance to this, of course, but it also means the game tends to slow down as no-one gets to play out a normal five-card turn. Nothing wrong with it, but I do enjoy more the anticipation and excitement that comes from gritting my teeth and hoping for no Militia on a good hand. With six players, I don't even get my hopes up and this level of excitement dissipates.

The attacks from Intrigue tend to be worse in bulk. Torturer does have a cumulative effect--until the Curses run out, provided enough people decide to accept Curses to discarding and not trying to tough out the early rounds with small hands (0-1 cards), letting others bog down their decks with twice as many Curses or more than their fair share to make a late-game stomping. Swindlers and Saboteurs, in bulk, can cripple everyone's decks. The Minion, however, has no cumulative attack effect and will only hit each player once-per-round unless they are forced to draw out-of-turn by Council Rooms or some such and Minions are ignored if already affected by the discarding of Militia, Torturer, or Bureaucrat. Still, even if only two people choose to use Minions, you can pretty much be assured you'll be hit by them every round so it doesn't take a six-player game to make their effect omnipresent.

Attacks aside, I'm still no fan of a game with too many players. I find that the supply piles run out too quickly, hence the ruling for four emptying to trigger the game's end in lieu of three, but even this means that one of those vital cards that you want two of are going to be found in less quantity in at least two players' decks, guaranteed. Not only, but there is a tendency to buy what can be afforded whether one really needs it or not and since the opening hands offer little variation, some of the cheaper cards just deplete no matter what.

I find that a six-player game is less strategic, as well, because there are five opponents and that means that I must simply focus on what I'm doing and do it well. In a 2-4 player game, I find that my opponents influence my decisions a lot more. If they play Thieves, I go Treasure-less. With too many players, there isn't enough virtual coin to go around. If they play attacks, I go for cards that benefit me and let their fighting harm each other. With too many players, the attacks are too common for me to ignore. If they play for Potion-required cards, I go for the faster win. With too many players, there are only so many doing each that I cannot do the opposite.

That's really what it comes down to: There's too much going on to respond to that with too many players, you really just need to focus on your own stuff and not take into consideration what everyone else is doing--they're doing everything. This removes a huge level of interaction. The most I feel about the influence of having more players is that any strategy can be crippled quickly by the necessary cards for some combo depleting before enough are acquired to really shine.

All that said, six player games can be fun. I stress "can be" because they aren't always. I only enjoy them once in a while to shake things up and test my sprinting muscles but I find that they lack the complexity of a good ~3 player game.

I guess what I'm saying is: Yes, if you have both classic Dominion and Intrigue, you can combine them for games accommodating up to six players or up to eight players with separate games ran simultaneously but from a greater mix of cards.
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Candace Mercer
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+1 to the above. I have never done above 4 and I think I would just hate it. YMMV but this was just after teaching newbies with advanced sets that have debt and events. The downtime was really difficult, esp with AP. I did encourage them to plan out their turns, pointing out that, in general, with the kingdom we were playing nothing much would change in terms of game state.

Two tables are the way to go, and then do it tournament style to add to the fun so you would have an ultimate winner. You could player winner v winner etc, and/or peoples total points for the night, picking the tables by random each game.

I know, does not solve OP ? but throwing it out there for others.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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candio wrote:
+1 to the above. I have never done above 4 and I think I would just hate it. YMMV but this was just after teaching newbies with advanced sets that have debt and events. The downtime was really difficult, esp with AP. I did encourage them to plan out their turns, pointing out that, in general, with the kingdom we were playing nothing much would change in terms of game state.

Two tables are the way to go, and then do it tournament style to add to the fun so you would have an ultimate winner. You could player winner v winner etc, and/or peoples total points for the night, picking the tables by random each game.

I know, does not solve OP ? but throwing it out there for others.


Did you have distaste for the newbies to whom you taught the game? Why else would you teach them Dominion with debt and events? I love Dominion but I am thrilled those sets weren't around when I learned to play, which was right before Intrigue came out.
 
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