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I'm playing the Game of Thrones board game in a group that only has four players. To fix some of the balance problems with the original four-player game, we tried using the Rumble in the South variant suggested by pandorym:

In this variant, Stark and Greyjoy are unplayable and their lands are impassable. The impassable regions thus include: Bay of Ice, Flint's Finger, Ironman's Bay, Seagard, The Mountains of the Moon and The Narrow Sea. This variant is excellent at creating a true 4-way battle with shifting alliances! However I tend to make the win condition only 6 castles instead of 7 to speed up the game.

However, while this description makes it easy to mark off which territories are out of play, it is a little unclear on how neutral forts change. Normally, there are a whole bunch of neutral forts in the southern lands, but the middle of the board ends up being fairly empty and open for rapid conquest.

If all four players are playing in the south, do the southern neutral forts need adjustment as well, or do they still serve a balancing purpose?

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I think they would be as they would for a 6 player game, as the south would have the same number of players in it. They serve a purpose to balance out things out, such as Storms End being very easy for Dorne to take, and so it would be the same in Rumble in the South

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