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Marshal Jon

Multiplayer Rules

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Hello all!

I am a fairly new player to the game, having started with the recently released core set, but I love it so far. I'm slowly working on teaching the game to my friends, and one thing I was curious about was running the game in a multiplayer environment. Unlike MtG or similar games, I don't see an easy way to accomplish this. The only thing I thought of was to run the game as simultaneous turns, rotating who is the "first player." Everyone draws, then everyone refreshes, then everyone plays a resource, then every has their operations phase, then the story phase. Everyone competes for all the stories, first to get to three wins.

If anyone has done this or some other way to run a multiplayer Cthulhu game, please offer your esoteric insight.

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The way that we have run multiplayer CoC (no more than 4 players at a time) is everyone plays as normal with their own story decks and three stories. When a player commits to a story, the player to their left gets first dips on opposing them, and it goes round the table till either a player chooses to oppose or no one does. Card and effects can be played by anyone with priority to responses also going round in the same manner.

It is still a little clunky has worked well enough for us. 

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We use one story deck. The playing field is littered with tokens, like a battle field. But they are at story central, which keeps any twitchy tokens from eeking from the sidelines. Three total opponents is a fun way to play - unless one player is slow. You need to keep it moving, but tactics change and it feels like a campaign. Teaming up to knock off the winning threat, and gambling on dumping the problem on the guy to your left are two nice elements. So is betraying that alliance as needs warrant. With the question of who will oppose added to the clockwise rotation of play (versus back and forth) the variation of play is engaging and absorbs the waiting player, who may still have an event up his sleeve.

And you remove yourself from the player to player ego. Instead, after a pitched battle, over vanquished foes and a beat down of multiple factions, the victor stomps around the room as ruler of all mythos.

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Pandafarmer said:

I think a way that may have not been considered is by having sort of a "Two Headed Giant" format.  I think it would lend itself fairly well to COC with minor tweaks.

The fact that you mostly win stories instead of eliminating players means that you'll often form a "two headed giant" automatically already, when one player is getting ahead too much. While 2HG will work, it's actually less interesting than a free-for-all in CoC...

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johnny shoes said:

I've never even met a two headed Giant. And they have their own cthulhu format? How do you mean?

Two-headed giant basically means 2 player coöperative play - Having 2 teams of 2 players compete. In CoC that probably means each player on the team shares succes tokens and won stories, to make it work.

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I will say having spent all weekend demoing the game, it was one of my biggest comments.  "What are the multiplayer rules??"  When I said there were some loose ones online, they almost always came back by saying "I could see it played well in teams."

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Thanks for the thoughts gents! As for the why of it, mainly because I have a gaming group with a bunch of blokes, and it would be easier to teach multiple people at once in the same game, as opposed to multiple smaller games, at least in my opinion. I may or may not be testing out the amalgam of ideas I have on this tomorrow, and will report back on its successes and/or failures.

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Being that this game is now being marketed to a casual game group, it's going to appeal most towards the board gamer types who want to take this to a regular board game event or "night out."  I can see the appeal, and it's why it'll succeed now over when it was a CCG.  While there are plenty of 2-player Board Games that are enjoyed, they simply aren't as played in a larger scale BG event.  I don't see Hive hitting the tables at GenCon dispite it having a large respect in the gaming community.  People LIKE the game.  It's only natural that they want to play it in as many formats as possible to get their buddies into it as well.  If I bring in "hot new board game A" into my game group, it takes the legth of the game play to have everyone experience it and enjoy it.  This you would need to have multiple sets or play it several times in a small window of time so everyone can enjoy it.

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I usually play with 2, sometimes 3 friends of mine serveral diffent games, like (of course) Arkham Horror, Age of Renaissance, Illuminati etc. And it would be a real dealbreaker to say: Well 3 of us is fine, but one of us has to go, because i want to play the LCG. Therefore i  would apreciate well defined Multiplayer-Rules already in the Core set. I would love to see somekind of "Multiplayer"-Box , with an enhanced Playboard (up to 5 players or something) and additional Story/Domain cards and Domain/sucess etc. tokens. but THAT will never happen.

By the way: The official Multiplayer-Rules:

http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=11&esem=4

 

 

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Two Headed Giant or any other team format isn't really needed for CoC, as players team up automatically, but there is one advantage of playing 2HG: Since each team shares succes tokens and won stories, it's not necessary to play with multiple Story cards. And it won't need much changes to the rules.

Just play team A and team B. Then play as normally, but instead of alternating players, you go: A1, B1, A2, B2. Player A1 only draws one card, can't commit the first turn, the rest of the game works as normal. That should be a playable team format.

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An interesting 3-Player-Rule is presented at Boardgamegeek:

"In Glasgow, we play a three player variant with the stories set in a triangle. Each player sits with one corner pointing to them. That player can commit to all stories except the the story opposite his corner: that is all three corner stories and the two edge stories nearest to him.

The turns are played just as in the two player game except during the story phase the active player has a choice of five stories to commit to. Once the active player has commited his opponents can commit. The first opponent clockwise can commit characters to defend any story that was attacked except the story opposite his corner. The second opponent can then commit characters to defend any story the attacking player commited characters to except those that the first defending opponent commited to and the story opposite his corner.

After a player completes his turn, the next player clockwise takes his turn. During a phase, the oppurtunity to play actions passes clockwise from the active player. After all players have had a chance to play a turn in a round, the story triangle is rotated a third of a turn clockwise so that a different corner points to each player. In their first turn, no player may commit to stories and all players draw two cards. To ensure there are enough story cards for the game, the Arkham and Eldricth edition decks are mixed together to form a single 20 card story deck."

This variant is a bit confusing due to the rotation of the board. Also the normal Success token cannot be used, because it is not clear, who won which success-token. But it is possible to alter this variant without rotation. The advantage of this method is, that one story is always "safe" of being attacked/defendet by a certain player, adding a bit more strategy to the game. What do you guys think of this variant?

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