8 Player Wingspan

Premium User

I ended up with 8 folks sitting at the table for #Wingspan.  I seriously debated setting up a second table and running two games and then flipping tables.

I read a few folks on BGG had tried 6 players and said the downtime was just too much and this made me nervous.  I wasn't sure if 8 people would feel too crowded and this made me nervous.  I was feeling the trepidation.  I did it anyway.

Some context:

1. I have a 4x6 portable game table.  It's flimsy but does the job and I had plenty of space.

2. I had extra boards from my original Wingspan prior to #Wingspan: Oceania Expansion so only three of us had to use the old boards.

3. All but one player at the table owned Wingspan and only 1 person had never played before and that person had played quite a few other games.

Only having the explain the #Wingspan: European Expansion and Oceania rules adjustments made the decision a little easier.  Everyone picked up on those pretty easily and after that I was just hoping folks wouldn't take forever on their turns.

We started at 12:30 pm and finished at 3:15.  Two hours and 45 minutes wasn't too bad for 8 players and it didn't feel like it took too long between turns.  Folks played pretty fast and the rounds did not feel like they were dragging.  

I wouldn't call it "ideal" but it wasn't bad either.  If you played a pink power bird it was almost a guarantee it would trigger.  Teal power birds were slightly easier to trigger as well and you generally gained a few extra food or eggs from other players' birds each round.  

One downside at a larger table was not really being able to see across the table and know what every player was doing.  I wouldn't say this mattered to anyone there that much but for some players, this could be a challenge.  

I saw one negative comment on a 6 player game about the points taking a long time to calculate. We used a calculator and didn't find this to be an issue.  The nectar took the longest to figure out and that didn't take too long. 

Perhaps the pandemic background influences this but it was rather nice to be able to play a game with 8 people and just enjoy the process.  We all wore masks and no one was eating (to limit taking masks off) and we were in my garage with a propane heater going.  I think everyone felt safe enough and while wearing a mask is a necessary annoyance I provided tissues and water bottles and I think the experience outweighed the discomforts of being outside in the winter and mask-wearing.  

If you've pondered playing with more than 5 players I'd say go for it.  I think it was fun and allowed us to get some use out of the original boards.  We did run out of nectar during the game and had to find a substitute but that wasn't too much trouble either.  

What games have you played that you pushed over the normal player limit?

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Supporter4 months ago

I don't even have 8 friends who would play board games with me. So... yeah. 

But I also can't think of any games that I own that would be fun beyond the suggested limit. 

4 months ago

But you would only need 7!

Premium User4 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. Definitely don't have enough friends for that

4 months ago

Let's see...my friends for playing games: me, myself, and I, and . Not pushing the player limit there!

Premium User4 months ago

You'll get Sarah by extension..I guess that's a good thing? LOL

4 months ago

+1 Yeah! 

4 months ago

Yeah, I feel like sometimes I would prefer games to have narrower suggested player counts as while some games can be played at certain counts, they are usually much less enjoyable at them. I feel like companies understandably want to put a big range down for broader appeal but I would appreciate them narrowing it down sometimes. Or even keep the range but add in a recommended or ideal number: like 'plays 2-6, ideal 3' kind of thing

4 months ago

That's a good idea.

4 months ago

Yeah, the 2p experience often differs vastly from the same game at 4 or sometimes even 3p. 

Supporter4 months ago

Definitely. The publisher needs to sell the game. But an ideal count would be cool. 

4 months ago

I think it's especially true at games that play best with higher player counts, say 5-7. The box will often say 3-7 even though at 3 player the game just doesn't work. I often think that with traitor games, they always work best at 5+ but games often say you can play with 3.

Premium User4 months ago

Wow, yeah I'd never do this, haha. I'd opt for 2 simultaneous 4 player games instead. You could probably even do it with one copy of the game, since there are so many birds.

Supporter4 months ago

Wow, that is amazing that you had an 8 player game of this. I have never heard of anybody playing this 8 player before.

Premium User4 months ago

#pushingthelimits

Supporter4 months ago

I bet the game tagging feature had a fit with your hashtag. 

Premium User4 months ago

This is an interesting thought but not anything I think I'd try to do myself..

Did you play with your usual variants? Specifically the one where you put out 6 birds? I'd imagine you'd have to put out even more with that many players

Premium User4 months ago

I generally pulled back on some house rules as I didn't want there to be too much over-thinking with that many players.  We kept all our food and birds at the start of the game but only used the three birds in the bird tray.  That led to folks using food to reset the tray more often but with so many folks there was often a little extra food to spend.

I also pulled the dice from the base game and we used those to roll for predators.  That way predators were more successful and it prevented having to hand dice around as much.

Premium User4 months ago

I'd imagine there'd be a lot of overthinking with more cards available...didn't think of that when I asked. We just played our first ever 5 player game and I got a new high score! I think I just got lucky with card combos, but it also felt like there was more opportunity for good stuff to happen with more players.

4 months ago

I wonder if you could set it in such a way as to have two people playing simultaneously? Have two sets of birds and food available and half the table takes from each but you still have shared objectives, so are competing with everyone and benefiting off others cards? That might speed things up a bit

Premium User4 months ago

I could see that working if I got another dice tower and set of dice.  If we ever have 8 players again I might play with this idea :)

4 months ago

Yeah, you said most of the players owned the game so I figured you could rustle up two copies, let me know how it goes

4 months ago

We've played the original #Pandemic with 5 before, which is all the regular jobs before they added quarentine specialist and the other one.  That worked just fine. 

But typically if I'm having more than 5 people that all want to play we usually end up doing a party game because everyone wants to play together.  And I secretly wish that we would split up into 2 groups so we could play a different game haha. 

Premium User4 months ago

I'd be very much on your side over defaulting to a party game.  I have #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine and #Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale set aside in case a second game was needed while a smaller group played Wingspan.

4 months ago

Yeah, the people I hang out with are largely too social.  They need to be more focused on the gaming! haha

4 months ago

Yeah, we've done Pandemic at 5, it worked fine but we found it just a lot harder as so many disease cards are drawn between each person's turn. But that is no bad thing once you've got your head around the base game

4 months ago

Yeah once you have some more experienced Pandemic players, 5 is no big deal.  It seems so low stakes after playing #Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 haha

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