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player1287670

Bought the game, worried about 4 player game

21 posts in this topic

What's up everyone, I recently bought the game and will probably be playing a 4 player match since my group is made of, well, 4 people!!

 

I'm worried that the game will be unbalanced and may drive my friends away from the game at the first play, so I really want to make it a great experience for everyone.

I wouldn't like to remove many castles from the board, I don't like this idea.

The variant that seems to work fine is changing Greyjoy for Tyrell, and maybe removing the 2 islands ( which I find acceptable ).

And adding Tides of Battle cards to neutral castles, that good?

 

Is this a good balance? Won't Tyrell have easy access to many castles on the South?

Thanks!

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In my experience, the biggest flaw of this game lies in the complexity of its rules.
Around me, few people immediately hooked to the game.

Instead, for many of them the complexity of the rules did not allow them to have fun, during their first game.

 

So, my advice, try the game first.

Do not apply any change before that.

Because, you may add complexity and, in my humble opinion, it would be against your goal. complice

 

 

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DarkLoic said:

So, my advice, try the game first.

Do not apply any change before that.

Because, you may add complexity and, in my humble opinion, it would be against your goal. complice

 

That's why he's asking on here, so he can hear from experienced players what kind of variants make it run smoother & more balanced.

I'm in the same boat - we log in here and read all sorts of complaining about how the 4-player game is totally unbalanced. In my experience, new players of any game are typically going to be turned off if one player wins easily (Baratheon?) or if one player simply has no chance (Lannister?). They don't have fun and then don't return, so you don't get the chance to apply changes later as per your advice. Pretty simple really.

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dulcamara said:

That's why he's asking on here, so he can hear from experienced players what kind of variants make it run smoother & more balanced.

Sorry, it seems that I have not been clear enough.

What I mean is : Do not worry about balance at all.

IMHO, the most important aspects in this game are strategy and tactics and a great part of the fun comes from betraying your allies at the right time.

But, in my experience new players are often not at ease with this aspect of the game.

They have difficulties, at first, to think in terms of alliances and betrayals instead of their own House against all others.

 

For example, in a 4-players game, despite their powerful House's cards, Greyjoy can't fight both Lannister AND Stark at the same time, especially if these two Houses both unite against them.

But, an alliance with the Baratheon can give them breath, in that case.

Else, the Greyjoy can unite with the Lannister OR the Stark against the other House…

 

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Thanks for the answers guys, but the main question is still here,

 

does the change I proposed solve the main issues?

Making it more enjoyable…

 

Thanks

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Careful swapping Greyjoy for Tyrell - as the Lanisters then have all the rich areas in the middle. It can be done, but make sure Lanister don't just win by spreading out! But it may be quicker! :) Thus letting them get hooked!

When I do 4 player games, I use the 1st ed map (printed from boardgamegeek) to overlay the 2nd ed map - it only affects the bottom part and means there are a lot less areas for the south to help win (less castles, resources etc and less water so the others can get around the map quicker!). For four players it means there is little point to go south and so the fight is on in the middle.

I've also been told to let people try the game and explain rules as needed - rather than an hours lecture at the start which no one remembers!

 

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Our 4 player game was pretty good.  Only played 2 times.

What we did though was shut down the Lannisters for the second game, (used THE PYKE infinity symbol), and let greyjoy be used in instead.

As this is still early in the playing, and strategy is still being learned, we had a good time with this.

 

 

 

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Obviously not ideal if you have a 4 person playgroup, but I think the three player variant is great for introducing new players, and very little else.  The Starks and Lannisters fight over the Neck, the Baratheons and Starks fight over the Vale, and the Baratheons and Lannisters fight over the Riverlands.  Everyone's at each others throats, nobody really has a huge advantage, and it will demonstrate all the mechanics of the game in an effective way.  Then a 4 player game, but using mostly 3 player markers (IE Dorne and most of the Reach are innacessible) can be played to introduce them to a bit more of the politicking that can make the game so incredible.

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I am a big fan of the HBO show. So I bought the game and we just finished playing it with four players. Luckily the instruction video helped a lot and we had one experienced friend with us who knew his way around in the game. My conclusion is: TERRIBLE GAME! … The mechanics are nice, but starting as house Lanister and getting crushed by Baratheon and Greyjoy in the first two rounds of the game beyond any chance of recovery. Since the game involves very little amount of random elements, this result basically always happens. At least that is what my friend reported, who had played the game with four players more often. Seems like once people have understood this dynamic Greyjoy&Baratheon go most of the time for eliminating Lanister, long before the game ends. So … what a terrible game … I honestly can not invite three frineds over again, knowing that the one of us, who plays Lanister loses by default. That is not the basis for a fun gaming night. So I will NEVER play this game again, that box goes to ebay. Done.

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4-player fix:

Swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Tyrell Fortress, shut-off Pyke

 

5-player fix: swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Pyke

 

I haven't played a lot, but I've played with these non-standard set-ups and I thought they solved the balance issues.

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I am a big fan of the HBO show. So I bought the game and we just finished playing it with four players. Luckily the instruction video helped a lot and we had one experienced friend with us who knew his way around in the game. My conclusion is: TERRIBLE GAME! … The mechanics are nice, but starting as house Lanister and getting crushed by Baratheon and Greyjoy in the first two rounds of the game beyond any chance of recovery. Since the game involves very little amount of random elements, this result basically always happens. At least that is what my friend reported, who had played the game with four players more often. Seems like once people have understood this dynamic Greyjoy&Baratheon go most of the time for eliminating Lanister, long before the game ends. So … what a terrible game … I honestly can not invite three frineds over again, knowing that the one of us, who plays Lanister loses by default. That is not the basis for a fun gaming night. So I will NEVER play this game again, that box goes to ebay. Done.

You need to try to make alliances or expand faster to the south while creating a better defense. You have a few turns before Baratheon can reach you. Or attack them first, try to wipe out greyjoy. What is the Stark army doing while the Lannisters are getting double teamed?

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Greyjoy and Baratheon are surly the most nasty houses. I always win 4 player games when im Baratheon, and I come first or second as Greyjoy(always loosing to baratheon).
But you just gotta parley good, Stark, Greyjoy and Lannister could all gang up on Baratheon at the start of the game. Greyjoy got no shot at winning as easy as Baratheon. You just gotta agree to let stark out of their nest and down the vale.
I think it's balanced, although Stark got a big disadvantage.

buy the Feast for crows expansion. I can't wait to try it out.

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I think the take-away message is that nobody plays this game well the first time you play it. It is hard to get players hooked on it because the strategy is so complex that you have to learn it from experience. From what I've read on these forums, most beginners who play Greyjoy make the mistake of crushing Lannister early because they can, and then come to regret it when Baratheon takes over the south unopposed. Unless you've seen it happen, you don't understand at the beginning of the game that crushing Lannister is a bad move. Most beginning Lannister players don't seem to understand that they should push south instead of pursuing the seemingly low-hanging fruit of the riverlands. That move just gives Greyjoy more reason to crush them.

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I totally agree. All the people who think it's set in stone which house wins or what moves conquer every time, don't factor in that every game is played by different individuals who have their own priorities in the game, or ideas on how the book/show/story should turn out. Baratheon wins a lot in our group, but only when Greyjoy and Lannister get angry at each other for encroaching. Stark almost never wins but we've also not tried teaming Stark and Greyjoy. Sometimes our games go too fast due to players' revenge schemes from previous games not working, etc.

 

Game balance cannot be seen in one game. It takes many games and understanding to see the larger picture. I personally love the game and have fun no matter which house I'm randomly playing.

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4-player fix:

Swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Tyrell Fortress, shut-off Pyke

 

5-player fix: swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Pyke

 

I haven't played a lot, but I've played with these non-standard set-ups and I thought they solved the balance issues.

Did that 1000 times... Works as a charm...

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4-player fix:

Swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Tyrell Fortress, shut-off Pyke

 

5-player fix: swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Pyke

 

I haven't played a lot, but I've played with these non-standard set-ups and I thought they solved the balance issues.

 

Using these non standard set-ups, the neutral forces are still used or they are removed and you only block Highgarden and Pyke?

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I dont see the balance being an issue, Play many games and allways rotate players between house's RANDOMLY. So as to help prevent pre-game greivance's becoming mid game issues. In our games its not players V players issues its pick on Lannister issues which screws our games up.

LEARN FROM YOUR PREVIOUS GAMES and bite the bullet, This game is not Risk you MUST keep players alive in order to keep other players in check.Another point is all players must be playing properly all the way to the end, No Giving up cause you cant win sh!te.

We all want to kill Lannister, get over it sometimes you gotta support your allies. The bigger % of our games have been lost, not won. Which is why I think people get upset with this game quickly, its easyer to lose by inatention, own mistakes or not playing the diplomacy with some wisdom, than it is to win. 

Its a magic game when you get it right. 

Edited by Rossi

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4-player fix:

Swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Tyrell Fortress, shut-off Pyke

 

5-player fix: swap Greyjoy for Martell, shut-off Pyke

 

I haven't played these variants a lot, but I've played with these non-standard set-ups and I thought they solved the balance issues.

 

Using these non standard set-ups, the neutral forces are still used or they are removed and you only block Highgarden and Pyke?

 

If I remember, in the 5p Variant (NO GJ), we placed a 4 strength neutral force token in Seaguard (and of course Pyke is "Unassailable"), in the 4p Variant, the Tyrell areas had all their normal neutral force tokens, with Highgarden and Pyke "Unassailable."

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We came up with a solution (my group) with inbalance in 4-5 players game. 

 

As a rule, we often play with 4 or 5 players (can t find the 6th player) becouse lot of new players quit from this game.

 

To the point:

 

Option A) 4-player game, switch greyjoy for tyrell, cut off martell lands (4 territories in dorne), Pyke, Storm s end and place neutral forces tokens on Prince s pass and Boneway (3 strenght each).

 

or Option B) 4-player game, use Greyjoy (don t use Tyrell) and cut off same areas as mentioned above (don t cut off Pyke XD), leave Highgarden as neutral force army (Greyjoy and Lannister will fight over it, Baratheon possibly) and leave neutral Prince s pass and Boneway.

 

Both of these Options works.

 

In 5 player game - also 2 options:

 

Option A) Use all houses except Martell and cut off Martell lands + Storm s end, leave neutral forces in Prince s pass and Boneway.

 

Option B) Use all houses except Greyjoy and only area that needs to be cut off is Pyke.

 

That s it, have fun. :)

Edited by Yossarian00

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