Nightfall Strategy: Using Diplomacy to Win Games

 

Brian (Left) and Summer (Right) playing a game of
Nightfall against other people
Have you played a game of Risk were the group did not stop the one player who dominated the table? Did you ever trash talk so much in a game of Hearts that someone went out of his or her way to screw you over? Were you ever the first person eliminated from a game of Commander because everyone at the table hates your general?
If these scenarios happen to you then you need to review some basic tips about how to play a game involving multiple opponents. Succeeding at multiplayer games requires a certain set of transferable skills that will help increase your ability to win; furthermore, Nightfall plays best with more than two people, making it a great game to use as an example. As everyone remembers from Survivor, you need to make alliances to survive.
Common Enemy
The easiest way to make friends comes from helping one player take down another player; however, the player that you help gang up on will not forget who you allied with. Try to make sure the opponent you gang up on either does not pose a real threat to you or demonstrates clear signs of pulling ahead of everyone else at the table. When picking on the leader, other players will support your alliance and consider it not as threatening. Always keep an eye on your perceived power level and score because the rest of the table might find you as the common enemy.
Brian (Left) and Summer (Right) discuss how to take
down an opponent’s army of minions
The Little Red Dot
Nobody ever wants to see one of those on their forehead. If you start smashing on everyone at the table, they will all aim their rifles at you. Sometimes you need to avoid a battle to win the war. Staying quiet helps your chances at placing high among a group of people. If you do not show up on their radar, they will not think of attacking you. Do not take an oath of silence, especially when players ask for your help. This could violate the common enemy principle. People who play multiplayer games do not forget who screws them over and who chose not to help. Pick your battles wisely and try to learn which conflicts you can afford to act as Switzerland. Try not to abuse this strategy either. Some people will attack you just for appearing too quiet, as if your opponents sense a storm brewing.
Brian (Left) hopes that Summer (Right) does not notice
his five minions in play
Attention Versus Power Level
Anyone who can master this relationship will succeed in weathering the storm of multiplayer games. You need powerful cards to defeat multiple opponents, but powerful cards could force the table to gang up on you out of fear that you will grow too powerful. In Nightfall, I advise not advertising or developing the best combo at the table. In the first few turns all the players will notice how everyone’s decks will turn out. The group will come to a consensus on which player they believe poses the most dangerous threat and the group will make an extra effort to attack that player. Make sure the cards in your deck can help you survive, help other players when needed, and can deal damage when opportunities present themselves. The increased power level of cards in Nightfall appears to generate a diminishing returns affect depending on how many players you play with.
Brian (Left) reacts with fear as Summer (Right) resolves
an impressive chain that includes three Tag Team Takedowns
Nightfall does not allow players to count how many wounds each player’s deck contains. Unless you can count cards well, you need to guesstimate the approximate score of the players. Most people factor into this guess what they think the scores will look like in future turns. This evaluation hurts players who sprint into first early on in the game. Players who cannot count every single card between four or five players tend to overcompensate attacking or hurting the perceived leader. You can win many games of Nightfall with subpar cards if you stay quiet, help your opponents to build alliances, and seek out less devastating combos.
Brian (Left) celebrates a victory as Summer (Right) sits
confused how her powerful deck received so many wounds
Do you feel diplomacy plays a big part in Nightfall? Do you think the best cards always win or will the best politics prevail? Share your thoughts about how table talk and other outside the game strategies affect the outcomes of multiplayer games.
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information
 
For more information about Nightfall check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of Nightfall? Try the following links.
Amazon: Nightfall.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday.

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