|Craig Shackleton Contributor|
|Vic Wertz Chief Technical Officer|
Has anyone played the basic Stonehenge games with more players using these pieces? How did it go? Any problems or unique situations?
I'm running a bunch of demo games at a local con and I want to know how many people I can manage in each round.
We don't believe there should be any problems adding players to the first five games as appropriate, but you'll likely see dynamics shift as you do when you add more players to any game. Whether that's for better or worse will probably be individual preference.
Let us know what you find!
|Mike Selinker Lone Shark Games|
I'm glad you asked this question. This is one of the web articles I've been meaning to write: how to play the five main-set games with 6 or more players.
But to do that, I need to find time to try them out with 6 to 8 players. I haven't run these through their paces, but I can make some guesses.
I think these are probably true:
- The High Druid: I'd split into teams of 2 with 6 or 8 players.
- Magic of Stonehenge: Looks great at 6 to 8, but likely requires lowering the number of apprentices to 5 per player.
- Auction Blocks: Looks fine at 6 to 8. Winning score may need to be lowered to 15.
- Chariots of Stonehenge: Looks fine at 6 to 8, but I'd probably give each player one more crystal to start, and spread the ones on the board to spaces 6, 12, 18, and 24.
- Arthurian Ghost Knights: Looks like it works with 6 if you eliminate Morgan and use black as a player color.
|Chris Lambertz Community & Digital Content Director|
It was nice (from a versatility standpoint) that the 5 trilithon cards in the base game matched up nicely (via a colored dot) with the 5 sets of colored player pieces. I think the Nocturne expansion should have included 2 additional trilithon cards (with a black dot and orange dot respectively). Oh well.
Here are some suggested adjustments and optional rules for The High Druid using the Nocturne expansion pieces. I haven't rigorously tested them yet, though, so it's subject to change. ;)
- 5 players: Each player takes five druid disks and two bars in the color of his or her choice.
- 6 players: Each player takes five druid disks and one bar in the color of his or her choice.
- 8 players: Players form four teams of two players each. Each team member takes three druid disks and one bar of the same color as his or her teammate. Use eight neutral bars to create eight colleges instead of seven, each with a minimum size of two spaces. Each team is dealt one "fetish stone" and one "taboo stone", and both teammates may look at them at any time.
Visible Fetish Stones (optional rule): Deal the "fetish stone" cards face up instead of face down. This gives players more information about their opponents' possible goals, and also avoids the annoyance of having to remember which of your two facedown cards is the "fetish" and which is the "taboo."
Unknown Taboo Stones (optional rule): Deal the "taboo stone" cards at the end of the game instead of the beginning. This increases the likelihood of unpredictable scoring upsets.
Poisoned Chalice (optional rule): On his or her turn, a player may spend one coloured bar to poison the drinking water during the election. Draw and reveal the top card from the deck. The druid disk on that numbered space, if any, is removed from the game. Strategy note: This tactic is becomes more effective as the game progresses. While it can backfire, note that druids standing on the spaces that match known "fetish stones" and "taboo stones" are less likely to die; clever players can use this information to their advantage.
Scoring Track (recommendation): To make vote tallying easier at the end of the game, when a player scores votes from a college, place that player's colored figure onto the outer ring of the board on the number of votes they received. Move the figures around the outer ring as the players' scores increase. When scoring the "fetish stones", simply move a player's figure up two points if they won the votes from the indicated college (i.e. no need to use neutral disks).
Here are suggested rules adjustments for a 7-player game of The High Druid.
- 7 players: Each player takes four druid disks and two bars in the color of his or her choice. Instead of using neutral bars to separate colleges, each player must place one of his or her bars on the board as his or her first turn. During this first round, no bar may be placed closer than two spaces from a previously placed bar. On future turns, a player may use his or her second bar to shift and replace any bar on the board, regardless of color. At the end of the game, neutral disks are not used. Two spaces on the board will remain empty; these are not counted for purposes of winning a college, nor do they provide votes toward the election of the High Druid. (In effect, the empty spots lower the value of their colleges.)
Here are some suggested rules on how to play Magic of Stonehenge using the Nocturne expansion pieces. (Usual disclaimers apply.)
- 6 or 7 players: Each player begins with four apprentices. Players do not begin the game with a disk on a trilithon, as described in the original rules. Trilithons remain in the game box until a player gains the power to raise one; at that point, a trilithon is placed on the board, and the player who raised it places a disk of their color (not one of their apprentices) on top. When the fifth trilithon has been raised, any remaining players who have not yet raised a trilithon are eliminated from the game.
Here are some rules for playing Auction Blocks using the Nocturne expansion pieces. (Usual disclaimers apply.)
- 6 or 7 players: Instead of using the mix of 30 stones suggested in the original rules (six stones in each of the original five colors), use five stones each in six different colors (all except orange); this gives black cards the same opportunities to be "trump" as all the other cards. When placing disks onto the five trilithons, draw randomly from a set of all disk colors except orange. The five trilithons score triple points, instead of double.
- 8 players: As above, except use an orange bar to mark the current stone being auctioned, and use the grey figure as a player marker instead of an auctioneer.
Bid Cancellation (optional rule): If the day and night versions of the same numbered card are used in the same bidding round, the values of both those cards are reduced to zero.
Invisible Trilithons (recommendation): Using the physical trilithons in the game is aesthetically pleasing but makes visibility and access to the other pieces difficult. Instead, simply place the colored disks on the blank spaces on the board where the trilithons would be, and keep the trilithons themselves in the box.
Here are some rules for playing Chariots of Stonehenge using the Nocturne expansion pieces. (Usual disclaimers apply.)
- 6 or 7 players: Players begin the game with five disks ("power crystals") available to them instead of four, and they do not place a disk in a trilithon capstone at the start of the game as described in the original rules. A player who spends a crystal to play a trilithon card must place that power crystal they just spent on top of the blocking trilithon capstone thus built.
Affordable Blocking (optional rule): For each power crystal spent in the blocking stage, a player may place up to two blocking stones instead of just one, and the same card may be used for multiple blocking stone placements. (This optional rule is for those who believe blocking should be a more viable tactic than it currently is).
Here are some rules for playing Arthurian Ghost Knights using the Nocturne expansion pieces. (Usual disclaimers apply.)
- 6 players: Use the black pieces for the sixth player; black cards are played as this player's color (ignore the special rules described for playing black cards). (There is no Morgan Le Fay.)
Invisible Trilithons (recommendation): Using the physical trilithons in the game is aesthetically pleasing but makes visibility and access to the other pieces difficult. Instead, place disks ("guards") on the blank trilithon spaces on the board whenever they would normally be placed on a trilithon, and keep the actual trilithon pieces in the game box.