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Author Topic: Multiplayer house rules?  (Read 1350 times)

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JThorne

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Multiplayer house rules?
« on: April 15, 2016, 12:27:52 am »
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Does anyone out there play with any special 3P/4P/5P house rules?

In particular, curses. I know that the pile increases so that it will pile out after exactly 10 plays of Witch/etc. However, there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it should increase so that, like the 2P game, each player should be entitled to 5 curses if they split evenly, meaning 4P should be a 20-curse pile, not 30. 5P would be a 25-curse pile, not 40(!) Anyone tried that?

In fact, my playgroup simply doesn't play with cursers at all. They're blacklisted from the randomizer. (Note: Engine still beats BM most of the time! And Feodum/Gardens/Silk Road rushes are definitely still a thing.) But I feel like we're missing an important component of the game. In fact, trashing attacks are also blacklisted, though I keep trying to convince them that Thief isn't good just because they watched KC-Thief completely deplete a couple of players of all their cash that one time. And yeah, trashing attacks can be a little swingy. It's a card game, after all.

Piling out a shorter curse pile is an issue, of course, but absent crazy gaining/gifting like Haggler or Border Village or Messenger, our games rarely pile out; even when a player can do so deliberately, knowing who's ahead is trickier in 4P.

I know a lot of players scoff at 4P. It's a whole different animal. Hermit/Market Square isn't happening. Also, you're probably not going to get 6 Peddlers. And yet, viable engines are still a thing, even if their only point is one reliable Province a turn or Province/Duchy. Sometimes all you need are two or three copies of a few cards and decent trashing. But the curse thing still bugs me.

I do like that the 5P rules specify a 4-pile ending, and more Provinces. Shouldn't they also specify more Colonies? (I've drawn colonies on some of the extra blanks to try it.) And some people play 12 supply piles, which we have also tried and seems to work well.

Some users complain about long downtimes in multiplayer, but everyone in my group plays pretty fast, so even with 4P and 5P and everyone playing engines, the turns are pretty quick. These are all experienced gamers.

Any other suggestions for multiplayer with/without house rules? I'd like to cut down the blacklist, though Possession may just have to stay on it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 02:33:13 am »
+3

In particular, curses. I know that the pile increases so that it will pile out after exactly 10 plays of Witch/etc. However, there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it should increase so that, like the 2P game, each player should be entitled to 5 curses if they split evenly, meaning 4P should be a 20-curse pile, not 30. 5P would be a 25-curse pile, not 40(!) Anyone tried that?
I feel the opposite - there are a reasonable number of Curses in multiplayer, too many in 2-player.

The math I like is to look at, what if everyone but you buys Witch; how many more Curses do you have than them? You are in okay shape in the 5-player game, sunk in the 2-player game.

I do like that the 5P rules specify a 4-pile ending, and more Provinces. Shouldn't they also specify more Colonies? (I've drawn colonies on some of the extra blanks to try it.) And some people play 12 supply piles, which we have also tried and seems to work well.
It never seemed important and there wasn't space without cutting a card.

I do think there's a good argument for going to 16 Provinces with 4 players (and up from there); I didn't because with more players there's more downtime.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 05:37:47 am »
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In particular, curses. I know that the pile increases so that it will pile out after exactly 10 plays of Witch/etc. However, there's a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it should increase so that, like the 2P game, each player should be entitled to 5 curses if they split evenly, meaning 4P should be a 20-curse pile, not 30. 5P would be a 25-curse pile, not 40(!) Anyone tried that?
I feel the opposite - there are a reasonable number of Curses in multiplayer, too many in 2-player.

The math I like is to look at, what if everyone but you buys Witch; how many more Curses do you have than them? You are in okay shape in the 5-player game, sunk in the 2-player game.

First: Why would you reduce it to that scenario? There are four options in a 3P game: Either 0,1,2 or 3 people buy Witch. I agree that Witches being ignored is not very relevant, but the others all are. I would even argue that the Witch mirror is the most important one, because a mirror is the most likely scenario if all players are equally good. I think a good game is in good shape if it's balanced around equal matchups. The number of curses you receive in a mirror is steadily increasing, making multiplayer games with cursers less and less bearable the more players are involved.

Also, you still get 10curses in a 5p game if you are the only one ignoring Witch. Do you think that fairer since everyone get atleast 7 curses? It just makes it miserable for everyone, you would have the same effect with 25 curses in the pile.

Also, I don't agree that a 10-0 split in a two player is bad in 2p, because that only happens when a) a player is significantly worse, which means it doesn't matter or b) someone has a way to deal with curses. Having less curses in a 2p game would just make the weak cursers sad.

I actually argued on reddit sometime the same thing JThorne did here, it being one of only two changed I would make in Dominion

I do like that the 5P rules specify a 4-pile ending, and more Provinces. Shouldn't they also specify more Colonies? (I've drawn colonies on some of the extra blanks to try it.) And some people play 12 supply piles, which we have also tried and seems to work well.
It never seemed important and there wasn't space without cutting a card.

I do think there's a good argument for going to 16 Provinces with 4 players (and up from there); I didn't because with more players there's more downtime.

I think increasing the action supply piles would be more important than more provinces. Obviously that's a nightmare in IRL for several reasons but I could see it being reasonable for online play.
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Mavy2k

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 05:48:00 am »
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Wow that is quite a harsh blacklist. I only play 4p games irl and I try to balance the board a bit regarding attack cards, because it can be too frustating for some players, but then you need at least some interaction between players or we are all playing solitaire. Luckily my group agrees on this.

I agree with Donald that it is much easier to skip Cursers in a 4p game than in a 2p game. You can focus on trashing down and let the other 3 players curse the crap out of each other and while you are getting more curses you can deal much better with them. In most cases it will still be the better option to go for the cursers, but it is not as bad as in a 2p game.

I skipped the cursers a couple of times, just for the fun of it and it worked out surprisingly well. Adventures brings Ratcatcher and Raze to the table, which do an amazing job dealing with junk. A few extra Ratcatchers for example completely counter Torturer.
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Donald X.

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 06:14:56 am »
+5

First: Why would you reduce it to that scenario? There are four options in a 3P game: Either 0,1,2 or 3 people buy Witch. I agree that Witches being ignored is not very relevant, but the others all are. I would even argue that the Witch mirror is the most important one, because a mirror is the most likely scenario if all players are equally good. I think a good game is in good shape if it's balanced around equal matchups. The number of curses you receive in a mirror is steadily increasing, making multiplayer games with cursers less and less bearable the more players are involved.
What I want is to not have to buy Witch; to have it be a reasonable option but not at all mandatory. A decision. Obv. it will vary from game to game and sometimes be the obvious superior move due to the rest of the board. But you know.

In a 5-player game, with the current rules, if the other players buy Witch I do not have to. I like that. Witches are at a better power level in multiplayer. The situation to fix is the two player game. You can't fix that by changing the number of Curses in multiplayer.

The initial idea was to have so many Curses that they would be unlikely to run out (and then balance the cards for that situation); you can only have so many cards though, and only want so much suffering, and no-one (else) needs to experience Witch Golden Decks. So there are fewer Curses, and that makes the card effect vary with the number of players and number of players buying Witch. I tried to balance it around 1 player buying it, but think N-1 buying players would have been better (I have not tried it though). The games I was actually playing were multiplayer and frequently had most players buying Witch; those were the situations I was actually seeing while balancing the card.

Also, you still get 10curses in a 5p game if you are the only one ignoring Witch. Do you think that fairer since everyone get atleast 7 curses? It just makes it miserable for everyone, you would have the same effect with 25 curses in the pile.
I do not find those games to be miserable. I like how different they are. If you find them to be miserable... you can avoid playing with Witches.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2016, 07:05:51 am »
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First: Why would you reduce it to that scenario? There are four options in a 3P game: Either 0,1,2 or 3 people buy Witch. I agree that Witches being ignored is not very relevant, but the others all are. I would even argue that the Witch mirror is the most important one, because a mirror is the most likely scenario if all players are equally good. I think a good game is in good shape if it's balanced around equal matchups. The number of curses you receive in a mirror is steadily increasing, making multiplayer games with cursers less and less bearable the more players are involved.
What I want is to not have to buy Witch; to have it be a reasonable option but not at all mandatory. A decision. Obv. it will vary from game to game and sometimes be the obvious superior move due to the rest of the board. But you know.

In a 5-player game, with the current rules, if the other players buy Witch I do not have to. I like that. Witches are at a better power level in multiplayer. The situation to fix is the two player game. You can't fix that by changing the number of Curses in multiplayer.

What I'm saying is that the amount of curses has no correlation to your (correctly observed) fact. If the amount of curses were halfed or doubled, your scenario wouldn't differ. Only the mirror would.
The initial idea was to have so many Curses that they would be unlikely to run out (and then balance the cards for that situation); you can only have so many cards though, and only want so much suffering, and no-one (else) needs to experience Witch Golden Decks. So there are fewer Curses, and that makes the card effect vary with the number of players and number of players buying Witch. I tried to balance it around 1 player buying it, but think N-1 buying players would have been better (I have not tried it though). The games I was actually playing were multiplayer and frequently had most players buying Witch; those were the situations I was actually seeing while balancing the card.

To me it looks like you balanced it after N-x players, actually. (Atleast the scaling of the amount of curses)

Also, you still get 10curses in a 5p game if you are the only one ignoring Witch. Do you think that fairer since everyone get atleast 7 curses? It just makes it miserable for everyone, you would have the same effect with 25 curses in the pile.
I do not find those games to be miserable. I like how different they are. If you find them to be miserable... you can avoid playing with Witches.
Just to be clear I meant no offense hear. I'm just wondering why you have to take more junk on average in games where you have less deck control overall already. Not to mention that they come with almost twice the speed.
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Seprix

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Re: Multiplayer house rules?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 10:41:06 am »
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There's less of a competitive Dominion game the more players are added.
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