The forums moved on March 1, 2021. Please read this page for more information.

5-6 player expansion

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
morph147
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: Jan 22, 2015
5-6 player expansion

So haven't gotten money yet to back kickstarter so I figured I would just ask here. Saw the faq about buying a second game to have 5-6 players. Was wondering how difficult it would be just to make a 5-6 person expansion kinda like settlers of catan does and what would be needed to make this feasible? If this is added to the kickstarter I could see this as something I am willing to spend extra money for. 


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

Azqa
Azqa's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Playtester
Joined: Mar 11, 2014

Before they added that to the FAQ, I'd sent in a question about the possibility of stretch goals or future expansions possibly allowing for more than 4 players.  This was the response:

Currently, there are no plans to introduce that for this Kickstarter, as increasing this game beyond four involves a lot more than just a few rules changes. If we way overfund, there exists a small chance that a 5-6 player expansion may make it in, but that is definitely just a chance.

Based on the responses I think a future expansion in a separate Kickstarter is probably more likely to happen than something in this one, but we'll see :)

morph147
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 days ago
Joined: Jan 22, 2015

True azqa, but I guess my point was I have seen kickstarter said in the past do a mix of free and paid add-ones. Would the paid-on be feasible in this case. So if you want it you pay the extra 10-20 bucks to get it. If you don't then you don't. 


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

grysqrl
grysqrl's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
ModeratorPlaytester
Joined: Sep 05, 2013

I don't know how much testing Eric has done with 5+ player games, but there could be gameplay concerns beyond just providing the additional components that you would need. Personally, I feel like it could work well, but it might also slow the game down a ton. There's already a lot of potential threats to pay attention to and a lot of cooperation opportunities the spirits need to discuss; I wonder if adding 1-2 more boards and spirits might up the complexity level to where it isn't as fun for most groups.

Arcanist Lupus
Arcanist Lupus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Bolster AlliesInspiring Presence
Joined: Dec 06, 2013

In one of the comments he described average game length time, which scales linearly and fairly dramatically with the number of players. So a five or six player game will be longer and more complex than a regular game.

But some groups would probably embrace the challenge.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Eric R
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Game DesignerPlaytester
Joined: Sep 28, 2014

The game was designed from the get-go to support up to 6, but testing revealed that having 5+ players is bad for a player's first couple games, because their brain is still having to actively think about the contents of each and every land to parse what's there. With 5 or 6 boards, it just becomes visually overwhelming. (4 leans towards that, but seems to be on the OK side of acceptable. I feel like 3 may be optimal for learning games.)

Once players can read the board more easily, playing 5-6 is fine. (Exactly how many games it takes to get to that point depends on the player.) The coordination time/complexity doesn't scale up as badly as you might think, because the island gets so big you have more geographical separation - you're usually not coordinating with any more players than you would in 4p, with the occasional exception of "Target a Spirit" Powers. (The separation is kind of neat, actually; suddenly a new color of Presence crops up in this problem area that you and someone else have been struggling over, and you're like "Oh, hey! Visitor from far away! Welcome to the neighborhood; can you give us a hand?")

But for early plays, having too many players can make for a terrible, overly-drawn-out experience.

One could in theory print the game with "1-6 players" on the box followed by huge warnings in the rules to the effect of "never play with more than 4 until everyone feels well-acquainted with the game", but I'd expect a certain amount of justified annoyance at the perceived bait-and-switch - particularly because there are (deliberately) only 4 spirits appropriate for a teaching game.

But that's all moot, because of the other issue: components. Going to 6p would require half again as many Cities, Towns, Explorers, Blight, Dahan, and Presence pieces, not to mention two additional island boards and more Fear/Energy tokens. I have to assume that would balloon the cost of the game.

It also creates problems with the Power decks being too small relative to the playgroup - if everyone takes "Gain a Power" on a given turn, you can search through 24 cards in either Power deck, which allows for a sort of highly targeted digging that isn't intended to be a part of the game. ("So next turn, someone will take Reaching Grasp...") You could also in theory run out of Minor Powers by late-game, though practically speaking that's not likely.

But some groups would probably embrace the challenge.

Oh, certainly. There are some groups which prefer 4-6p. I'd love to support them in that, but I think it'll have to wait for a 5-6p expansion sometime in the future; in the meantime, there's always the "combine two sets" option for the groups which feel super-strongly about it.

arenson9
arenson9's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 4 weeks ago
ModeratorPlaytester
Joined: Aug 08, 2011

Different people enjoy different things, of course, but for me, even after half a dozen plays of the game or more, I still am not really to the point of enjoying four person games. The mental effort of keeping track of everything that's going on is too much. I'm probably okay with three player games now, but really my sweet spot is probably still two player games. In fact, my recommendation for teaching this game would be two player games and maybe even a one player game with someone simply guiding the player. 

 

NOW, if everyone at the table is comfortable with an attitude of 'WELL, I don't really know how this stuff is going to interact with the rest of you, but I'm going to do my own things over here in this corner', I can certainly play in four, five, six player games, but I'm betting our results aren't going to be so great.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

phantaskippy
phantaskippy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Playtester
Joined: Jan 26, 2013

Talk about thematic.

I always loved Kipling's short story The Bridge Builders, having the spirits not working together well is exactly how it should be.

I mean why would a lightning spirit care if some wierdo had plans for those trees, I mean other than being perfect things to knock over and set on fire?