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GameTalk - Multi-Player Games

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What sorts of wargames work well in a multi-player environment, and which are abject failures?

How have you seen ‘team’ wargames implemented successfully, and compare those with ‘multi-polar’ wargames?

How do you keep the game moving when 3 people might be sitting around waiting for a fourth to do something?

Talk about multi-player wargaming and give us your success stories and your bomb-crater failures.

I'm a HUGE fan of multiplayer games.  Not having people to play anything more difficult than RISK when I was a kid, kind of stunted my growth in the 'pure' war game, i.e. hex and chit, but, I do love to play games against human opponents.  The vast majority of that mp goodness is digital.

Now.  Having been (rightly) accused of being a sore winner AND a sore loser growing up, I am acutely aware of how my play style and demeanor comes across when playing against human opponents.  So much so that I usually don't play as ruthless as I am.  When I play a game, it is to win.  Period.  Playing well and fighting the good fight along the way is important, too, but, winning is the reason I play.  However, that doesn't endear me to my opponents and they are less likely to come play again.  Contrary to my reputation, I try not to agitate my neighbors and declare war.  So, I usually slow play whatever game we are playing and try to set up an overwhelming force of arms so my opponents can see that and decide if it's worth pursuing the game to the end.

Something else I encounter is, the team up.  I talk a good game.  And in the games I play frequently, I have enough experience that I can usually back it up.  The people I play against know that and many times will overtly or covertly, team up against me.  That's ok.  If I can take on the combined might and intelligence of two or more players and STILL eke out a victory, then all the better.

Finally, the thing I encounter MOST in mp games is apathy.  Most times, guys only have an hour or two on the weekend to devote to a game.  And I am fine with that.  It's cool of them to take their precious time and play something we all enjoy.  However, because we tend to play games that take several several sessions, it gets tough after a while to keep every one committed.  People go on cruises, or to Vegas, or banana republics for five or six weeks at a time and then the game is kaput.  Once, I would like to finish a game we start.

As for the issue of 'down time' in a game, it's a double edged sword.  Every game I have mp'd with fellow grogs, I have gained a reputation for taking a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time to take my turn.  It's partly deserved.  I have a clear idea of what I want to do and how to do it and there are just some times that you can't be rushed.  In return, I understand when an opponent takes time to complete their turn.  That part is always forgotten in the, "MD is glacial," chatter.  It would be much better if all involved were in the same room, but, through Teamspeak or the Steam voice chat function, we can chat and laugh and devise plans to our hearts content while someone is taking a turn.  And that is priceless.


Glacial doesn't begin to describe your turn lengths.

As one of those who likes to go to banana republics for 5 or 6 weeks during the time of year when it's cold enough to compete with MD's turn times, I have no problem waiting until everyone is back to continue a game instead of just declaring himself the winner because he doesn't get to be warm. :coolsmiley:

I too like MP games. I play a lot a MP board games: Civilization (the original), Line in the Sand, Diplomacy, Conquest of the Empire, Road Kill Rally, to name a few.
Line in the Sand is a great MP wargame with diplomacy and variable victory conditions. The game mechanics are simple but the player interactions make the game. Each faction gets different victory conditions and they often conflict with what your would be allies are trying to achieve. Great weekend long game.

I just got Fief 1429 from Academy Games KS campaign. Have yet to play it with my group but is should be great... kind of like Diplomacy but set in 15th century France.

Jack Nastyface:
Multi-player board wargames have always been a favorite genre for me.   Although Risk was the first of this lot, I probably spent more time playing multi-player
"every man for himself" skirmish games of Melee, BootHill, Gunslinger and Car Wars.  Then of course in the early mid-80's everything changed with the release of the MB triumvirate Axis and Allies, Shogun, and Conquest of the Empire (and to a lesser extent, Fortress America).  Hours - nay, days - were consumed in what I still consider to be some of the best multi-player gaming to be had.  Now, I know that many hard-core grogs will cry "those aren't real wargames!", and perhaps there is some truth to that, but I saw many excellent examples of innovative generalship that were more poignant in execution because they lead to the defeat of multiple enemies...a rare challenge indeed.

I think there are still some excellent examples of accessibly multi-player wargaming to be had, and many new titles also lend themselves to team play (Wings of / Sails of).  I still haven't played an "in depth" multiplayer game, probably only because I cannot spare the time to neither learn the rules or play what will likely turn into a marathon game experience.  Perhaps one day...

I like playing MP with MD. me chance to catch up on my sleep......


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