Multi-player (Q3) - Win conditions

To win a multiplayer game, do you have to beat the highest Influence on the table?

If the answer is yes, what happens to you if one of your opponents meets the win condition (control > influence) against you, but not against everyone else? Are you “knocked out”?

If you are knocked out, do you pack up all the cards you own? And if so, what happens to dudes that were at deeds you owned?

In short, is there a terminology to describe the difference in expected game length between “whole pot” and “knockout”?

(Aside: It’s not my fault multi-player is a veritable Pandora’s Box…)

I don’t think it’s official, because multiplayer, but there are two played versions.

a) Individual victory checks where players who would lose to any other player are knocked out, removing their cards from the game and town.

b) Total victory checks where players must beat all other players to win.

a) is shorter and usually bloody.

b) is a brutal grind.

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These are the OFFICIAL multiplayer win conditions (p. 31 official AEG rulebook):

If you want to play a shorter multiplayer variant, a player wins if, at Sundown, that player has more control points than any other player’s in influence (rather than each other player’s influence)

That said, TOs and casual players are free to utilize either of the above win conditions (Knockout vs. Whole Pot).

Common Sense and Theme - Buildings remain, Dudes/attached goods leave (even 0 upkeep get some basic rations/sourdough biscuits), but Totems are basically structures, they remain. Ol’ Howard still haunts whatever building he attached to :stuck_out_tongue:

→ The next rulebook update may well include an updated multiplayer section, as well as possible support for other formats (e.g. Derringer, Double Barrel, etc.)

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Yeah I should probably read the rulebook - sorry.

That said, it looks as though the “Knockout” concept is a house rule - including what happens to dudes occupying deeds that are owned by a player who gets KO’d.


We play a lot of multiplayer here in Portland (it was my favorite way to play back in the old days of Classic Doomtown). We have used the following modifications to speed things up and balance it out for almost 2 years now:

  1. To win, you only need to beat the lowest player’s influence. There is no knockout rule, the game simply ends. This variant is listed in the Core rulebook PDF under “Rustlin’ Up Some Help” on page 32. Sometimes this means a multiplayer game can end on day 1, but that’s fine. Multiplayer tends to run longer so anything that shortens it up is a good thing in my book.

  2. For lowball, the winner receives 2 GR, the next lowest hand breaks even (receives 1 GR) and the remaining hands get nothing. This keeps multiplayer lowball more in line with the standard head-to-head format. Otherwise, if you consistently win lowball in multiplayer you can quickly amass a large stash of GR and dominate the game.

I can attest that both of these variants improve the multiplayer experience over the standard rules. Highly recommended.


What if there was a standard lexicon for how multi-player is run. Because while Heads Up (two player) is not only pretty fairly covered by the rules but also makes for a good timing window for a game, multi-player is less certain. So far I am hearing:

Win Condition
Whole Pot = Win condition is set at beating the highest influence
Bad Beat (?) = Win condition is set at beating the lowest influence
Knock Out = Lose condition is individual - losers cards leave the table

Split Ante = Ante is divided between best two hands (Yipe’s variant)

Those are the big ones I can think of so far.

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Always played multiplayer with the same lowball pot splitting rule as @Yipe, and played with a ‘victory points’ system - you’d get a victory point at Sundown for each player your control exceeds the influence of. Victory points needed for a win is equal to number of players -1.


Following because very curious to see preferred method of play, we’re definitely up for trying different options at this year’s Hogkillin Time event.

Last year it went really long (still fun, but long), so one or more of these variations would be a good thing. Although I’m not sure I can get into town by the time it starts this year on wednesday, but I will at least stop by to say hi.

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For those of you who play Multi-player Knockout:

  1. When a player is KO’d, what happens to their cards? Stay or packed up? Just deeds?
  2. If you’ve played multiple ways (cards stay vs cards are packed up vs just deeds), which do you prefer? Why?
  3. If a deed is packed up, what exactly happens to the dudes that were there? Do you prefer this? Why?


This is super elegant because it meets “beat lowest” and “beat highest” in the middle.

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Thank you for considering Multiplayer Knockout as an alternative multiplayer format: after much discussion:
Removing an eliminated player’s cards (including deeds) occurs LAST as the very end of Sundown.
This occurs AFTER unbooting cards.
Dudes thus ‘sent home booted’ by an end of turn deed removal can NOT use abilities that require booting.
They CAN use non-booting abilities and traits.