Friday, October 06, 2006

7+ Players

The best board or card games that accomodate seven or more players. (This category did not include party games, as they will have their own category later.)

Just missed the cut:

Also nominated:

For comparison, the top seven games from 2002:

This is the first of many "subjective" categories - rather than providing the Apple Pickers with a list of 7+ player games, they were simply asked to nominate 7 games that they thought were great for 7 or more players. The final voting lists are slightly larger for the subjective categories to allow for the wide variance of answers.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Valerie Putman said...

Oh, no! It can't be!! Bang! made the final list? I loathe this game. Do my fellow pickers really endorse a game where you can be eliminated before you have a turn and the others can play on without you for over an hour? Don't say it doesn't happen--I've seen it too many times.

Valerie Putman

10:08 AM  
Blogger Chris Farrell said...

I knew this was one messed up category when I found myself with a thought process along these lines:

"Well, Civilization is one of my favorite big games, but unfortunately they've bundled Civilization and Advanced Civilization together, and I thoroghly despise Advanced Civilization. I just can't vote for Civ if my vote is going to be construed as support for ACiv as well. So ... let's see, I guess that means I'll vote for ... Take it Easy".

I then realized that any category that was weighing Take it Easy against Civilization and Diplomacy was perhaps not going to be the most informative category ever devised.

To make sense, I really think this needed to be restricted to euros.

The only winner I voted for was Take it Easy. 6 Nimmt! is playable with 7+, but it's just so chaotic at that number I just find it frustrating. You all probably know what I think of Bang! (I rate it a 1 on BGG, and the more players you have, the worse it gets). Pit is of course a classic, but again, it's a game that's not necessarily improved by adding lots of players.

I was surprised Bohnanza didn't make it; I figured it would be a lock, given the sparseness of the category. Also stunned by the absense anywhere of Apples to Apples; I didn't nominate it because I nominated Civilization and Diplomacy (and, honestly, because I might have forgotten), but it seems like a no-brainer in retrospect. Also surprised Fische Fluppen Frikadellen didn't make any kind of a showing anywere. Another grevious omission from any of the lists (in my opinion) is Ole.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Degann said...

Hmmm. We've got seven players. What shall it be? Diplomacy or 6 Nimmt?

But that's okay - all the games are listed, and folks looking for a seven player can just pick whatever matches their needs. For daily consumption, Diamant is probably my game of choice.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous estoote langobarden said...

Pit is one of the games that has been played in my family for longer than I have been alive. I learned the game at an early age and still treasure and revere it. It works great for seven, which is the number of players the Parker Brothers editions accommodated while I was growing up. I'm still a mite suspicious about those consarned newfangled eight-and-nine-player sets.

Pit is an American game, by the way.

Diplomacy is the game I graduated to from Risk in my teenage years, when its simultaneous movement system seemed the ultimate refinement in battles of wits. I played and GMed by mail for years and attended three Diplomacy cons before I ever heard of Settlers of Catan, and I still consider it one of the all-time great designs.

Diplomacy is an American game, by the way.

Robo Rally also entered my lexicon before Settlers of Catan, though only by a few months. Here we had simultaneous selection of planned actions, as in Diplomacy, but with lots more rambunction results in a racing system. We took to the game like ducks to water and haven't gotten tired of it yet. In fact, we just played again last night.

Robo Rally is an American game, by the way.

Those are the three games anywhere on the lists of winners and nominees that I rate a 10.

It would come as a great relief to me if we could stop having it insinuated that we are stuck in a "Eurobias" for "Eurotrash" that is keeping us from properly appreciating American games.

My next favorite is Breaking Away, a game by a British designer which I first saw played at one of the above mentioned Dip cons. We've enjoyed this game of numbers so much and so often that we've started exploring the variations suggested in the rulebook. The "staggered start" has really rocked our world in our last two or three runnings.

Take It Easy is a wonderful design of an elegant numbers game. It's not very exciting, but with a name like that, it doesn't claim to be. It works perfectly for any number of players, can be taught quickly, and is sometimes exactly the thing -- like last week when I needed a sedentary after-dinner game for eleven. The eleven generated enough hilarity with Take It Easy that it was frightening to think what they might have done with Charades.

Take It Easy was designed by Peter Burley, by the way, of whose nationality I could only speculate.

Then we get to the games I have reservations about. Bohnanza is a fine game, but seven is really not its best number. Likewise Formula De, where people get impatient waiting for their turns even in a four-player game. Carabande is a fine idea for a game, but until the sidewalls get higher or our skills improve to the point where we're not constantly sending disks flying off the track, it's not going to be a favorite. Ricochet Robot is a good puzzle but doesn't especially appeal to me as a game. I've tried to find the fun in 6 Nimmt! on several occasions but have never warmed up to it. Bang! I played once and never sought out again, though I'd play it if that's what people wanted. Diamant I played once and would play again only if it were the only game in the room.

Enjoy,
Stven Carlberg

12:51 PM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

Yeah, kind of a wonky category. 7 is such a tough number that it seems you wind up with games that CAN be played with that number, rather than ones that SHOULD be played with seven.

I guess a lot of folks like 6 Nimmt as a light filler with seven, but to me, it's just pure chaos. I'm not as opposed to Bang as Valerie and Chris are, but I certainly feel that it takes too long with seven.

Diamant, Pit, and Take it Easy all play well with 7, but I'm not likely to suggest any of them. Diamant is probably the most likely one to hit the table, as it's a nice little filler, but I kinda feel it's more about guesswork than pushing your luck.

On the other hand, you have two unquestioned classics like Diplomacy and Civ that absolutely play best with seven that don't quite make it. I'm not shocked about this, as both games are very polarizing, I'm just sayin'.

My other picks were Breaking Away, one of the best race games ever which handles seven players pretty well, Struggle of Empires, and Shadows Over Camelot. In each case, though, I'd probably prefer to play these games with fewer than seven players.

Of the seven games I nominated, only four (Dip, Civ, Werewolf, and Ricochet Robot) made the first cut. Pow Wow is probably my top choice for seven players, a very entertaining filler where I actually find the bluffing interesting. I also love Plem Plem as a silly game full of belly laughs. My last choice was How Much for the Camel, which was expressly designed to handle seven players.

I assume that Bohnanza didn't make the Top Five because enough voters agreed with me that it isn't at its best with seven--just too long, with too much down time. It's playable, but I think it's much better with five or four.

To be honest, Fische Fluppen Frikadellen didn't even occur to me. As clever as the multiple board gimmick is, I prefer it with one board and five or less. I'm also not sure this game has had too much staying power.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin_Whitmore said...

To be honest, I don't remember what I nominated for this category. Really, if you want to play a game with 7 or more people, I would generally steer you towards a party game or a parlor game such as Charades. (And why is Werewolf NOT considered a party game?)

If I want to play some sort of strategy game, I'd rather split the group up into two games. But if that were not an option, I'd go for Civilization, if everyone else were up for such a major commitment. On the lighter side Take It Easy, Carabande and Overlord/Memoir are fun. An obscure older game, Saludos Amigos, also works pretty well with 7.

But generally 7 is the point where we agree we should split up into 2 tables of gaming.

9:59 PM  

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