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"Ideas for multiplayer games with an odd number of players?" Topic

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Wayniac14 Oct 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

Hello, as my small group continues to discuss doing Napoleonics in 2021 I came across this possible issue. There are only 3 of us interested in Naps, with one player collecting Prussia and one definitely collecting France. I have not decided yet what I want to play. We are using Black Powder in 28mm.

This has me thinking about how to approach this sort of situation as it's lopsided with an odd number of players. If I play Frace, then the Prussian player is outnumbered. If I play an allied nation such as perhaps Russia (we are considering the 1813 campaign) then the French player is facing a 2 on 1 situation. Obviously, the simplest solution is to get a fourth player but that is easier said than done :)

How should you best handle games where this is the case? Assuming that none of us want to sit out or act solely as referee/gamemaster for the other two. I have no problem collecting two armies for say one French and one allied, but having an odd number of players is giving me pause in considering how to handle setting up games, especially as we are all just starting into the period and our games will likely be monthly affairs so we may not have the time to play two or more games.

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 10:26 a.m. PST

Our Thursday group will have 2, 3, 4, 5, or, rarely more, 6 players. We never seem to have a problem as most of us collect multiple armies.
Sometime we do a ref, almost always alternating successive weeks.
But we happily do 2 on 1, 2 on 3 or whatever.
I once took on 3 in a Wooden Ships and Iron Men battle. I had a 64 and they all had large frigates. We had a blast.
I have always enjoyed painting up French, then some Prussians, then British and so on. The change of pace and styles give time for studying each army's tacktics and organization.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 11:35 a.m. PST

When playing two on one it's often easiest to set up a 1 on 1 game, and just split one side in to two commands.

Alternatively, a fourth might be easy to find of they just play and don't collect.

that would actually let you collect two smaller armies: one Prussian Ally and one French ally.

RudyNelson14 Oct 2020 11:53 a.m. PST

Best three player board game is the classic Napoleon at Bay.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 12:03 p.m. PST

You could split the Prussians up into two commands – which could make for some interesting games; recently played a SYW game where one player took the Prussians and one had French and the other Austrian – good game

Wayniac14 Oct 2020 12:16 p.m. PST

Hmm.. things to think about certainly. I am really considering Russia or another French force, maybe a Confederation of the Rhine state if any appeal to me which could be interesting because there's the potential to play against either side. I want to do Austria but for 1809 so that is a future project.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

The Bavarians might be a good choice, as they fought against the Prussians until early October 1813 then switched sides and fought the French at Hanau (December 1813) and at Bar-sur-Aube (February 1814). Very attractive uniforms and very distinctive from French and Prussians (lighter blue, helmets vs shakos, etc).

And they'll mesh nicely with your (future) 1809 Austrians.

Wayniac14 Oct 2020 1:25 p.m. PST

Oooh Eumelus that sounds like a really good idea. And I know absolutely nothing about Bavaria, let alone during the Napoleonic Wars (I like Bavarian Kreme Donuts does that count? lol) so it's a good opportunity to read up on it.

Now sadly I don't think there are any Bavarian plastics in 28mm currently (I think Victrix is doing a set though) but still I really like that idea…

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2020 2:41 p.m. PST

Wayne, this strange fixation of 'because I have it I must use it' is lost on me.

I have created and umpired games that totally confuse and confound the players involved, by swapping them from side to side!

If you haven't enough experience with gaming your 'desired' troops, I guess that's reasonable- but in general gaming terms, get out of the straight-jacket and live a little!

Have someone else design the scenario, or pick a battle- any, have another decide what troops can be used, then play Borodino in Spain; Austerlitz in Russia; Waterloo in Southern Italy (aka Naples) or Egypt… just a generic 'besieigers vs fortification' like Corsica (Genl John Moore and Nelson…) etc.

There are a million ways to mix it up and have enjoyable games. If as I suspect you have one who 'knows too much' then you throw in some variables that use symbology, like playing cards- Only advance on a 'club card'; get another unit when a 'heart' is drawn or two if a 'picture' card etc.

Wayniac14 Oct 2020 4:38 p.m. PST

I just like to keep things at least somewhat historical and without being too lopsided since we are only a small group, and historical gaming here is already pretty low since it's a Warhammer dominated area.

But keeping things at least feasible is important to me

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2020 1:21 a.m. PST

Hey don't misunderstand what I'm advocating- ramdom armies or not whatever you model is fine- but you are not married to them and can play around!

So try out different aspects.. do what the ultra-competitive do- design some gimmick armies to fight with ~ like all Guard for instance… or build fortifications or dense areas to assault with 3x the manpower… etc. cheers

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