The challenge of two players

Most games play from two players to four or five players. One of the (many) selling points of 7 Wonders is that it can be played by seven people, but that’s not the norm. And I’m starting to realise that it’s difficult to create a game which works well across a range of players.

I’ve done the play testing for this with both four players and two players. The game is definitely harder with four players. If there are only two of you then your turn comes round again much more quickly, so you can move out of the way of the patrolling guard. A game of four players feels like it moves through the deck of cards more quickly, and sometimes gets left with guards stuck in hangers.

Here’s an attempt to solve that: changing the way that the guards move from hanger to hanger. Previously most of the cards to get rid of a guard moved the piece to another hanger. These cards will send the guards back to the hut. It makes the game slightly less random at in the later stages. This would usually benefit four players rather than two – but in this case it also means that I can increase the number of guards for the two player game, so making that harder. Fingers crossed.

Of course, there’s another complication to the play testing, which is that often my four players games are really only two people, each taking two pieces….which is not quite a good as four independent minds. Play testing a game which works for two, three, and four players is definitely a challenge.

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