There have been several folks asking if it is possible to play Sherwood Showdown with 3 or 4 if you own two decks, and so we decided to find out.  An impromptu 3 way duel in our dining room suggests that yes, you certainly can, if you don’t mind a bit of awkward sorting at the end (or marking up one of the 2 copies so you can tell the outlaws apart).

What we did was this: Each player takes 1 outlaw deck.  Put one game’s travellers in the centre of the playing area, leaving the other set of travellers and any unused outlaws (in the case of a 3p game) out of the game.  Play as normal, rotating lead around the table, with the following exceptions:

-you may not sell travellers until each player has won at least 1

-any cards which say  to rob your opponent allow you to rob any opponent(s) who also took part in the melee

-the Fair Maiden lures the weakest outlaw of any one opponent of your choice, not the weakest outlaw on the table

Please keep in mind that this is not an extensively tested variant; if you have any suggestions or comments based on playing it in this manner, please post them here or email me, as I’d love to hear how it went for you!


2 Responses to Sherwood Showdown with 3 or 4

  1. [...] worth reading is this discussion on how the game can be adapted for 3 or 4 [...]

  2. Lazlo says:

    I’m really glad to see this come up. As an only child of a pair of bridge players, I’m acutely aware of the pain of having the wrong number of players for a game.

    If everyone keeps their own discard pile, then you shouldn’t need to sort. As a suggestion for an interesting house rule (or heck, maybe even an official multiplayer rule), you could add in a D-4. Every time you do something to “the opponent”, roll. On a 1, the card applies to the player to your left, on 2, to your right, on 3 to the strongest opposing band in play, and on 4 to an opponent of your choice.

    I don’t know what format you have the artwork in, and I have no idea how difficult it would be, but if the two player game sells reasonably well, on your next printing you could do two separate decks, one as is, and one with perhaps purple and yellow backgrounds that could be added to a two-player deck to make it a 2-4 player deck (or, of course, could be played on its own for anyone who prefers the color scheme over the original)

    Just my $.02, thanks!

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