We've played two multiplayer games since these rules came out. I figured I would give my feedback on why we decided to play with certain variants:
Elimination vs. Total Control
This one is pretty simple. We had three players. If we played Elimination, then one of the players has to sit out and twiddle their thumbs for 30 minutes or more as the other two finish the game. So we played Total Control.
Both times we did this, we wound up having a player who lost pretty much all their dudes, and no real comeback mechanic. So they just wound up just playing kingmaker with no real hope of winning themselves. We also noted that Total Control games easily went for 2 hours.
Sequential Play vs. Turnabout
In a three player game, Turnabout just seems unnecessarily complex. In three quarters of our shootouts, it's just between two players so it's indistinguishable from Sequential Play. In the other third, we've never had a situation where the order of the secondary players have mattered. Maybe this makes a bigger deal if you play like 6 players, but for a three player game, I think we will always be using Sequential Play.
By the Book vs. Mind Year Own Business
This one is probably the most a matter of personal preference, but we chose By the Book to give players something to do while a shootout is going on. What we found happened otherwise was that the player would just walk away during the shootout, come back when it was done, and ask what the new state of the board was. With By the Book, they had some involvement.
Our biggest three problems were:
- Some game modes don't keep players involved
- Total Control takes a very long time
- A player who loses all their dudes in Total Control has no comeback mechanic and must play kingmaker to be relevant
There are no easy fixes to these, but some additional variants to address them would be welcome.