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Subject: More Alliance questions... rss

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Dan Taylor
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Berryville
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Just Another Washed Up Wargamer
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Not sure if this is a strategy question or what, but I'll put it here for now:
I played in a 7 player game on Saturday. It was a lot of fun (and our first game), but a question about alliance play came up.
On the first nexus, 3 players (Guild/Freman/Emperor) allied up. The remaining 4 players allied up out of self preservation.
The next nexus (two turns later) saw a 5 player win when pretty much "anyone but players X and Y" made an alliance and won.
All was well (the win was being laughed off as a "practice game"), but I am concerned that it doesn't appear that there's anything illegal in the rules about what happened. Can you, in fact, have a six player "alliance" in the normal game in which everyone wins? Do other, more experienced players have house rules about how many people can participate in an alliance, or rules about who exactly can ally with who?
 
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Christopher Bodkin
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Snyder
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Dune is a game with lots of house rules. If it wasn't for that I think it would have been much more popular.

Anyway some house rules for alliances are:

1) Limit of two players in an alliance (or limit of three)
2) For every member in the alliance, you must take one more stronghold. (i.e. four strongholds for a two person alliance, 5 for a three person)
3) No alliances.
4) Alliances don't combine strongholds for a win. If a member of an alliance has three strongholds, they win by themselves.

We usually play with #2.
 
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Robert Martin
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There is nothing to prevent big alliances like you describe, but at the same time, who really wants to win a 7 player game as part of a 5 player alliance? You may as well just form a 7 player alliance and call it a draw before the game even begins.

I would never join an alliance of that size. Instead, I'd try to break off a couple people and go for the win with a smaller group. To me it's more a problem with play style than with the game itself.

The variants Nauquan listed (particularly #2) will address the issue you describe if your group tends to form alliances like this, but I'd recommend giving the game a few more tries before changing the rules.
 
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Dan Taylor
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Thanks for your ideas. We had toyed with the idea of in the future limiting the alliances to 2 players, which would seem to fix a lot of complaints.
I mentioned the "bragging rights" concept to my fellow players and they didn't entirely comprehend. (Winning alone in a six player game is a "real win," worthy of being lauded. A co-win is good. A three way win is like first loser...) The local group seems more to think "10% of a win is still better than losing." Darn Euro-cooperative -namby-pamby games have spoiled them... shake
We may try it again, with the idea "winning with 3 isn't a win..."


 
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Brian Newman
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Start tracking Game Points in your group. Promise yearly awards to the person with the most Game Points.

You get 1 Game Point for playing a game plus 1 Game Point per person you beat. So, a sole win in a 7 player game would be worth 7 GP; a 5-way win in a 7 player game would be worth 3 GP.
 
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