Multi-player ST:CCG play (3 or 4 players) is very popular and many people have submitted ideas to us for how best to do it. In this document I list some of the best suggestions we've received.
Please try them out, and let us know what you think! Send comments or suggestions to Q@decipher.com
1) Multi-player games are recommended only for experienced players, because players will sometimes be required to remember who actually placed certain cards on the spaceline (such as Dilemmas). In the standard game, the players lay down the cards always facing them so it is easy to remember, but here that often isn't possible. If you have trouble remembering, several players report that Post-It Pad sheets (by 3M, available in any office supply store, small size) make good markers on cards, and do not damage the cards.
2) The wording on most cards works fine when used for multiplayer play. Some unclear situations can arise when the card refers to "the opponent." If a card refers to one opponent or "the opponent, it affects one opponent, which is selected at the time the card is played and cannot be changed. If the card would affect multiple people (such as Anti-Time Anomaly), it would affect all players.
Cards can also be unclear if they refer to the spaceline, since the "shape" of the spaceline is not a "line" in most of these variations. But again it is usually obvious how to "translate" them to the new spaceline. You may also wish to decide in advance not to use certain cards, such as Q. When other decisions based on the spaceline need to be made (such as which direction the Borg Ship will go), you should determine such situations randomly.
This is the most popular multi-player variation, and works smoothly for 3 or 4 players. It is our current favorite, (although the others below also have their followers).
This variation plays essentially the same way as the 2-player game, using a clever way of doing the spaceline that emulates 2-player while accommodating 3 or 4.
For 3 players, you creat the spaceline using a "Y" shape on the table, looking something like this:
X A X X X X X X X X X X X X C X B X X X X
Each player sits in one of the three "areas" using the spaceline as the boundary between them and the other two players, as shown in this diagram.
Players move their ships along their own side of the two lines of the "Y" that face them. Thus, to Player B's left he shares 6 cards in common with C, and to his right he shares 6 cards in common with A. Player B can move ships back and forth his side of those 12 cards. Player B normally can NOT move to the other line of cards (the boundary between A & C).
Variation: You may choose to disregard that last rule and allow players to move their ships wherever they want.
Variation: Players can move onto the opposing players' shared spaceline with Wormholes or by using Where No One Has Gone Before -- which allows you to go off one end and come on either of the other two ends.
The "plus" option is very similar approach, but with four branches instead of three.
X X A X B X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X C X D X X
This variation is only a start to what you can do. You can arrange missions cards in any fashion. Other popular variants place them in a square or rectangle. Lastly, you can arrange the missions in a random order, so that a totally random pattern develops:
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X