I am disappointed that I could not play in these last few games, but as I was watching a video of one of them you mentioned a problem with
this format. The idea was that the expansive strategy would have too much of an advantage over the aggressive strategy, as it would take too long for an aggressive deck to win, paving the way for the expansive deck.
Perhaps this could be a solution: to win a 3+ player game, you would not have to concor all other home planets, or at least be the last player standing with an unconcored home, but rather simply take at lest one home planet. This way, the direct strategy would have a chance against expansive in terms of speed. In addition, this would also solve the problem of A fighting B while C builds a giant army. Then, when A or B wins their fight, C crushes them. With this rule change, C would have to try to do something proactive, otherwise they would lose when A beat B or vice versa.
Furthermore, this could discourage two players from teaming against the third player, because if your teammate makes the final blow, they will
win. I am not sure if this would work this way; players still might team. But if it does, this could fix three problems in one.
I am not sure how well this would go in a 6 player game, but perhaps that will require testing.
It's almost impossible to perfectly balance the aggressive and expansive strategies while taking into account galaxies of different shapes, sizes and a different number of players.
A triangular galaxy will generally favor expansive strategies because the distances (to travel with an aggressive strategy) between all the home planets are big compared to the number of spaces (to conquer with an expansive strategy). In fact, if you take one ship with speed 1 and go around conquering first one home planet, then the other in straight lines, by the time you do that you would have visited 9 spaces, + your home planet that's 10. Assuming you have all of them under your control, you're one away to winning the game with the expansive strategy anyway. On the other hand, an aggressive deck has the advantage in bigger galaxies with smaller distances between players (for example 5 players on a 37-space galaxy)
Aside from that, the two strategies are much more balanced than it may seem in bigger galaxies thanks to the rule that in multiplayer games if you gain control of someone's home planet, you gain control of all of that player's resource, all of their spaces, units, and structures. Which means that even if some of your ships and units were destroyed during battles, the rewards you get by beating a player is usually much greater than your losses. This rule encourages players to battle, which in turn encourages more aggressive decks alongside the expansive decks. It's still more likely for players to win the game by controlling a majority of spaces in the galaxy, but with this rule, they can achieve it with aggressive cards much easier, which is what matters. This also encourages, like you said, third parties to try and get the kill, which is a positive because it creates interesting situations and again, it encourages interaction between players.
In your example, if A and B are fighting, and C is building an army, A and B should join forces for the time being and focus their efforts on trying to take down C, you don't need to change any rules to solve the situation. If A and B continue to fight, that means that they're just bad players.
Teaming up in multiplayer is inevitable and should be embraced. At the end of the day, each player wants to win, so all alliances are temporary, and other players may change allegiances, forge new alliances or attack their "teammates" in the back, that all leads to great player interactions and makes the game more fun.
If we were to implement your rule, that would mean a few things:
1) In an aggressive deck, it's best to focus on only one opponent and ignore everyone else, which detracts from interaction with the other players
2) In 5 and 6 player games the aggressive player will focus on his neighbors, and won't need to cross the galaxy
3) The game ends before the other players have "lost", they may have even never been attacked or done much at all before the game is over
4) It actually makes the direct strategy much stronger than the expansive in 5 and 6 player galaxies, because it needs to travel only 4 spaces, compared to the expansive deck conquering 31 spaces.
I actually considered this rule when designing the multiplayer rules, but I later found the rule that we're currently using, which works better. Still, thanks for your imput, I hope to see you this Sunday! =D
Keep it up!
The administrator has disabled public write access.