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Subject: Question about the factions *SPOILERS* rss

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Darian Tucker
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I am afraid that title might in and of itself be a spoiler, so if you think it is, tell me and I'll do my best to make it more innocuous.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
So when you open the 30+ troops and a missile pack, you get a whole new set of troops and a new faction added to the game. The new rules mention nothing about now being able to play with 6 players instead of 5. Has the designer or publisher stated whether this is the intent, or is this solely to give up to 5 players more of a choice of factions when selecting at the beginning of the game?

Although I prefer an official statement on whether or not you can now play with more players, I am also willing to open the floor to what others think. Specifically, if you HAVE played with more than 5 players, how did it work? My fear is that the board is already contested enough as it is with 5 players and playing with more will exacerbate the effect of lucky die rolls too much. If not, though, it would be nice to play with 6 (or 7? I haven't opened the *3 missiles in one roll* pack so please DON'T spoil it.) players because then we don't have to leave a couple of people out since the game doesn't support that number. At the same time, we don't want to include everyone but also sully the game because it doesn't work well with that number of players.
 
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mar hawkman
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Re: How many players can play? *SPOILERS*
it's only supposed to be played with 5, but sure why not try it with more?
 
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Darian Tucker
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Re: How many players can play? *SPOILERS*
marhawkman wrote:
it's only supposed to be played with 5, but sure why not try it with more?


That's exactly the question I'm hoping to answer.
 
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mar hawkman
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Re: How many players can play? *SPOILERS*
what i was trying to say is that the best way to answer your question is by experimentation. arrrh
 
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Mychal
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Re: How many players can play? *SPOILERS*
I would stick to 5 at least until you finish game 15. Also, I agree that the title of this thread is iffy. Had I not already opened the pack I would have been quite upset. Since the game clearly states 3-5 players on the box, you raising the question and adding *SPOILERS* to the title practically gives away the fact that there is another race.
 
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Darian Tucker
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Skylar114 wrote:
I would stick to 5 at least until you finish game 15. Also, I agree that the title of this thread is iffy. Had I not already opened the pack I would have been quite upset. Since the game clearly states 3-5 players on the box, you raising the question and adding *SPOILERS* to the title practically gives away the fact that there is another race.


Is that better? It's not going to get me as many views, but I suppose you're right. It was hard to tell how innocuous the title really was because I am trying to write a spoiler-free title that will still get people to click on the thread, yet at the same time not give away spoilers in the title. Unfortunately, I don't think there was really any way to do that and still ask the question that needed to be asked. I thought about just not having the SPOILERS tag in the title, but somehow that seemed worse.

Anyway, thanks for the answer. Out of object curiosity, though, would you mind extrapolating a little it as to why? If it's because of my fear that it would unbalance the board or make the game significantly less fun, then I will try to avoid it.
 
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Rob Daviau
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The game was never tested with more than 5 players. Explore away.
 
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Tor Fromhell
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We have played with 6. We made the necessary adjustment to the "setup" step.
The game played just fine, meaning no worse and no better than with 5 players.
 
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Darian Tucker
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Fringer 11 wrote:
We have played with 6. We made the necessary adjustment to the "setup" step.
The game played just fine, meaning no worse and no better than with 5 players.


Does it make games too short? The only deflating thing about the game so far is that when you play with 5, it's almost too easy to end the game 4 or 5 turns in. Like my last game, I started with 13 troops in one territory, got some incredibly lucky dice rolls, and bulldozed my way through 3 of my enemies' HQs while only losing two troops in the process. An outlier, perhaps, but it seems like all of our games have been like that. Win a couple of small-time battles to draw 2 or 3 territory cards, get 15+ troops, then rampage across half the map.

I mean, I know that's how Risk normally is and all, but in Risk you can tend to counter that by going on your own offensive later in the game. In this version, the first person to be able to do it generally gets the win. It's not patently horrible, I guess, but I wouldn't hesitate to say that the only thing keeping us going at this point is opening new packs and not the gameplay itself. Red Stars are just too easy to acquire. Not to mention that we've only completed our 4th game and we've opened everything except the 9 Minor Cities pack (which will definitely be opened after our next game unless everyone is wiped out by the winner) and the World Capital pack. I'm just extremely worried that the gameplay won't keep us invested in 11 more games of this if we go through the packs too quickly, yet we keep eagerly opening as many as possible because that's where the true fun lies.

So, after that long digression, I guess my point is whether or not the addition of a sixth player makes it even EASIER to take 3 HQs in one turn and win. If so, I'm not too keen on that. I might even limit it to 4 players and encourage them to spread out more so the games aren't over like that *finger snap*.
 
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Rob Daviau
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Not to mention that we've only completed our 4th game and we've opened everything except the 9 Minor Cities pack...


Wow. That's kind of crazy.
 
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Darian Tucker
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RobDaviau wrote:
SparkingConduit wrote:
Not to mention that we've only completed our 4th game and we've opened everything except the 9 Minor Cities pack...


Wow. That's kind of crazy.


I assumed that was sort of an outlier, too. Though we did sort of self-engineer opening several of the packs because we COULD, not because doing so was an advantageous gameplay move.

For example, in our second game we only had 3 players left because two had to bow out after the first game, so we ended up spreading across much more of the map. I was in a position to win, but the person who would go next had won the first game and asked me to wait because he could get 30 troops and we could thus open the next pack. So I waited, which nearly cost me the game. I still won, though.

Then, in our fourth game, which was the first game we could have 3 missiles, we agreed to conspire to use all 3 of them on the same roll just to open the pack. Had we known what would have happened, we probably would have saved it for a more epic combat.

So I think this is part of the allure and the curse of the game. Opening the packs is fun, but when the conditions for doing so are known, it can encourage breaking the spirit of the game just to see what new stuff you are entitled to. This, of course, can be somewhat problematic because then you're not really playing the game for what it is, but for what it could be.

I tend to have the same problem with Xbox 360 achievements. When you play a shooter, for example, you might find yourself having to play in a counterintuitive way just to unlock an achievement, say by running through an entire level without firing a shot. Sometimes these achievements are fun, but sometimes they just seem like silly diversions from the actual gameplay. One might ask what the point is if they are the latter, but to some people, like myself, there is just something supremely satisfying about popping that achievement, even if it adds nothing to the game and can make the game itself feel less fun.

This is sort of the problem I see with the packs. While an awesome idea, their implementation may cause people to behave in strange ways or play the game poorly just to unlock a pack. Although the allure of ding so because it does offer some tangible reward makes sense, it also means that you are not effectively playing the game to reach the win condition, which may not fly in some groups. I see this as a problem, but not one I could find an appropriate fix for. Unlike secret Xbox 360 achievements, where you don't know what to do to unlock them until you already have done so (which I think is good, because it allows you to focus on playing the game the way you like instead of in an arbitrary manner just to get some Gamerscore), I really don't see how you can unlock new stuff in a board game in a similar manner. Maybe you have a scratch off sheet in the rulebook and every time you finish a game you scratch off another column to see if you have already completed an objective for opening a pack? Or make the eligibility apply to future games so at least for the first couple of games people aren't playing poorly on purpose to get more packs opened?

These are just my two cents on the topic of this game's design. I think you have a great idea going, Rob. I just fear that it may sully the spirit of the game for the first few plays.
 
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Sven Typhoon
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From my experiences: (we played 13 games now. Game 6 - 13 with 6 players, everything opened exept "World Capitol" and "Do not open. ever!")

Simply answer: It works well with 6 players!

Players have to learn to defend their HQ's no matter how many players are in the game.
Our early games were over after an hour, later ones up to three hours.
In game no. 13 two HQ's were destroyed and the war lasts 5,5 hours.


I recommend to add the "german bonus cards", simply to get more starting options, cause starting-territories could get a little bit rare in later games, when most of the stickers are applied.


 
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Darian Tucker
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SvenTyphoon wrote:
I recommend to add the "german bonus cards", simply to get more starting options, cause starting-territories could get a little bit rare in later games, when most of the stickers are applied.


That's what seems so intriguing, though. I like the thought of few starting territories because tactics are then emphasized.
 
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mar hawkman
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well... you're never gonna run out unless all the major cities were founded by players who aren't in the game. so I'm not too worried..

But yeah, the German bonus cards rock.
 
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Todd Gardiner
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There are four of each scar and one fallout. There are 15 cities. That's only enough to cover half of the board.

There will always be plenty of starting spaces. It would be fair to wonder if these spaces would be any good, but there will be about 18 spaces left on a fully stickered board. If these spaces are all mysteriously clumped in Europe and Asia, then yes, there might not be enough valid starting spaces if players.

In practice North America and Africa normally have a "clean" territory or two, so there is always going to be room for 4 or 5 players. And it is even more rare to never have a scar on a city, easily freeing up spaces for six or seven players.
 
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Jesse Butler
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We plan on trying a 6 player game sometime. We thought our last game would have 6, but one bailed. Our plan for the German bonus cards is

Spoiler (click to reveal)
to add a "Rogue Nuke" mercenary that gives an extra missile.
 
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Dave C
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deinol wrote:
We plan on trying a 6 player game sometime. We thought our last game would have 6, but one bailed. Our plan for the German bonus cards is

Spoiler (click to reveal)
to add a "Rogue Nuke" mercenary that gives an extra missile.


We have an opportunity for six players two weeks from now. We were thinking about what to do with the draft cards--especially the GBC. You, Sir, have solved our problem. Brilliant.

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