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Struggle of Empires» Forums » Variants

Subject: Scaling starting neutral markers with number of players rss

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Mustafa Ünlü
United States
Takoma Park
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Having 10 neutrals show up at the beginning of each war with no regard to the number of players makes the board look very different in a 2-3 player game vs a 5-6 player game. The former board is a vast expanse of neutrals with almost no reason or incentive to fight other players, the latter is a tight, cut-throat environment where going first can be crucial.

How about scaling the number of neutrals with the number of players?

I am thinking about putting out 4 + x counters, where x is the number of players. This way 6 players use the original map, with less players having less number of counters to play with.
 
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Richard Young
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Victoria
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Your point is well taken. The main strength of this game I believe is the bidding process for turn order and alliance structure. That same process breaks down badly when playing with fewer than four players; in fact, I see little point point in playing with two (there are many better two player games out there you should rather be playing), and special rules need to be incorporated when playing with three (and again, I think there are much better three player games available). If you are still bound and determined to play with two or three, maybe one of the special rules could be a scaling of the starting neutrals. As I won't play with that few, I've never given it much thought...choose whatever you think makes sense.

The dynamic of the bidding process, in any game where bidding is a major characteristic, requires a minimum number of bidders for it to work properly. I've suggested four. Can you do it with less? Of course you can, but I maintain it doesn't work nearly as well or as intended. With this game, the ideal number of players is four or more and for some reason I've found that odd numbers seem to bring out the best game experiences. I think the magic numbers for this game are five and seven, with six and four being next (in that order). As stated earlier, I can't recommend the game for fewer than four.

Given four or more players, I don't believe any changes are necessary to the rules regarding neutrals.
 
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