warrior knights is one of my favorite games. I would recommend to play it with at least 4 players and play it with 15 influence tokens for each player.
if you have the crown & glory expansion we play it with ten influence, till the king is crowned. Normally a game in our round last about 5-6 hours, but is never boring. More players don't make the game last much longer because the most timeconsuming part is the assembly.
Just got back from a 4 player WK game. We used 10 influence per player. The game lasted about 4 hours and it was the core game only. It lasted for 4 turns with 3 being tied with 11 influence each and the last person with 10. I won because I had more cities than the two others I was tied with.
I've mostly played it with crown&glory expansion, but I enjoyed this round as well. Though this is the first time we all felt that it ended when it just started to get good. It might have to do with all our 4 expeditions being lost throughout the game, leaving most of us broke early on and losing forces from wages underway. As someone mentioned before, it has alot to do with how you play the game. You can make haste and try taking out the other players, but in most cases that would be bold and maybe unwise. I think it's all about keeping a terror balance between the players.
But in the end the game isn't about conquering all your other players. If you want to win, you need to think strategic and get as many neutral cities as possible. And if you're low on influence and one of your enemies are doing too well. Just take over his city. But assembly, the fate deck, wages, lost expeditions and even the random event deck is enough to sabotage your plans in this game.
I will definitely play with more influence next time though.
If you want the best, Bauhaus! -Old Bauhaus proverb.
I've only played a few games so far, but I've really enjoyed every one so far. For beginners, 10 Influence per player makes for a short game that ends just about the right time: people have learned the rules, explored some strategies, and are full of ideas for the next game. With more experienced players, I'd suggest 15 or even 20 Influence per player (I have not tried the "King" variant yet). Our short games have all been 3-4 turns, not really enough time I think to use all the goodies that are there. Our last game was 3 turns, and only two of each triggered phase. I think 5 to 7 turns would really make a different game.
I do think that the length of Warrior Knights is greatly effected by group play style. I think that more aggressive play, for example, attacking Strongholds and seiging player cities, would reduce the consumption of influence per turn, and make the game last longer, and probably tighter. I will try to initiate more aggressive play next time and see what happens ("I'm attacking you as an experiment, nothing personal mind you...") It may well be that 10 Influence per player was chosen with more aggressive play in mind.