$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 75.38

5,137 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
32.4% of Goal | 28 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
20 Posts

Mechs vs. Minions» Forums » General

Subject: Would this game work without the sand timer? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Bridge
United States
Roanoke
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I know its sacrilege to even ask, but my family CANNOT STAND time-limited turn games. We have played several and cannot find even one that we like. It just stresses us all out too much, and gives zero sense of fun.

With that said, should we definitely not get this game because of that mechanic, or is the game still playable without a time limit for getting the cards you want? I know it might not be "realistic" to have that amount of time to decide, but I'm wondering about fun factor. Would it mess up the difficulty? Would it dramatically increase the playtime by adding an "AP" component? (Anything more than 2 hours is a no-go also.)

Thanks for your help.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Francisco Delgado
msg tools
I'd say it's your game you can play without it if you really don't want it but still want to do the programming aspect. I figure without the timer it can lead to serious analysis paralysis. You'd sit there trying to figure the optimal turn every turn. The sand timer gets around this by making the combat feel fast and hectic as minions over run your little gang of yordles. I plan on playing with the sand timer. Let me know how you enjoy it without!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil Fry
United States
Toledo
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
My father (circa 1945). He navigated B-24's (5thAF 22ndBG) in the Pacific Theater.
mbmbmbmbmb
IIRC, the timer is only used during the card drafting portion of the turn.

I, like the OP, tend to veer away from games with timed turns. However, I don't think this will be that bad.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Giovanni Intini
Italy
Milano
Milano
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If everyone is fast enough for everyone else's liking you don't really need the timer.

It's there for those who like the extra adrenaline of the passing time and to generally protect everyone's enjoyment
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank The Tank
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If you watch Rahdo's review he said they he didn't use the timer for the first couple of turns so they could get everything down but afterwards, he really liked what it did with having to make quick decisions and preventing someone quarterbacking the game play.

When(if) I manage to get my hand on this, I feel I will do the same for the first couple of turns as well until everyone gets a hang of the cards.

Does it worth without it? Sure. But you can see why it was added. Just play whatever way is best for your group.


Rahdo's Review and his final thoughts (I think the final thoughts is where he talks about the timer IIRC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI-jvyto8DI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zop-zGGZjIg
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Espinoza
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
If this was a real-time game with a time limit I would advice not to get it given your group taste.

But judging by some of the live plays online I think that most of the time the sand timer will not even be an issue. Adding to it the fact that it is only used when deciding which cards to take and that it cuts on the alpha-gamer issue (that could really ruin a coop) I say that you are safe using the timer in this game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Prashant Saraswat
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
designer
I don't know if this will assuage your concerns regarding the timer, but in playtesting we found that it rarely, if ever, became a factor during the drafts. It's really more of a reminder than anything; once you get a decent feel for the cards, drafting tends to go fairly quickly. When we didn't implement the timer however, we found players would fall into the habit of scrutinizing every possible combination before selecting a card and this brought the pacing and energy level of the game down.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the timer is really just a way to mitigate the alpha gamer problem in that one player doesn't have the time to look at and tell others what to do. If you don't have that problem, by all means drop the timer.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frederick Ernst
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmb
It's completely playable without the sand timer, but we found it to be a less optimal play experience. As others have mentioned, it's just used during the drafting phase, so once everyone has their cards they are free to take whatever time they need to program or scrap as they see fit. Before we adopted it, we had a lot of teams that felt they needed to evaluate every possible option and the game really dragged.

YMMV, it's your game, ultimately. House rule it away if that's what you prefer.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marty Connell
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
At first I was concerned with AP during the drafting portion of the game until the timer was introduced. Then the drafting went much quicker and created some nice tense moments. It's not needed but does help keep the game moving.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
oystein eker
Norway
Unspecified
sola
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It is not used in tutorial.
If I recall from the the videos, it is introduced in the middle of scenario 1.

And it is used only during drafting.

It could end up with an endless AP and optimal play.

If player A pick up card 1 and place it on spot 1 or 2 or 3....
Then analyze all movement
If player B pick up card 1 and place it on spot 1 or 2.....
Then analyze all movement.

Going through this 4 players x 5 cards x 6 x 6 x 6 x 6 spots, and you will certainly win. But fun?

Guess it was introduced during playtest.

If you find the time too tight, why not flip it for 2 minute card selection?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maxfield Stewart
United States
Pacifica
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I was a fairly frequent playtester and I've played a lot of co-op games. Without the timer there was a powerful tendancy for gamers and arm-chair quarterbacks to review everyone's mech and have debates about which card is best for not just which player, but which slot in that players board.

The timer was a gloriously simple way to focus the game back on each player making decisions. The round when from long term discussions around a myriad of options to simple:

"Ooooh I want that flamespitter it'll make me more awesome!"

Well okay, a bit more thought out than that. But it made decisions much more immediate which in my opinion fits the theme of the game well. This, to me, is a game about trying to make good in the moment decisions in reaction to conditions out of your control.

It also added a nice sense of additional pressure in the co-op. Instead of just win or lose pressure you now had this per round pressure to make reasonably quick decisions.

I don't recall every actually running out of time in my playtests however, it was just there and present enough that we knew we had to make a decision. All of my tests however were always with what I would consider core-board gamers. Your mileage may vary.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
sygyzy
United States
Goleta
CA
flag msg tools
What do you want people to tell you? The timer is there so people aren't spending 10 minutes analyzing every possible combination of programming cards. It's supposed to add a sense of urgency to the game. You say your team doesn't like timed games but you're hoping people are going to tell you it's ok and it's your money and do what you'd like? Of course that's true. But where do you draw the line? Do you also not like it when you lose at games? Let's stop keeping score.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
flag msg tools
CLICK THIS BEAGLE if you're looking for in-depth gameplay video run-throughs! :)
mbmbmbmbmb
I should add, my comments about the timer are largely focused on 2p, since it's the only way i've played. In 2p, the card draft is significantly heavier, as each player gets to take 2 cards, giving you a ton more to cogitate on. With the full 4p player count, and each player only grabbing one card, I suspect the time will largely have no impact on the game, as players can very quickly decide which one card to take...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Willem Monsuwe
Netherlands
flag msg tools
I think the actual question-behind-the-question is this: If you don't use the timer, will the game become too easy?

To which I fervently hope the answer is no. If the timer is what makes the game challenging, then that feels very much like artificial difficulty.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
flag msg tools
CLICK THIS BEAGLE if you're looking for in-depth gameplay video run-throughs! :)
mbmbmbmbmb
reynaert wrote:
I think the actual question-behind-the-question is this: If you don't use the timer, will the game become too easy?

To which I fervently hope the answer is no. If the timer is what makes the game challenging, then that feels very much like artificial difficulty.

IMO it's only in 2p that the timer really makes much of a impact, and 2p is already significantly harder than higher player counts
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marty Connell
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rahdo wrote:
reynaert wrote:
I think the actual question-behind-the-question is this: If you don't use the timer, will the game become too easy?

To which I fervently hope the answer is no. If the timer is what makes the game challenging, then that feels very much like artificial difficulty.

IMO it's only in 2p that the timer really makes much of a impact, and 2p is already significantly harder than higher player counts


This is true, the game really doesn't scale depending on player count. 2P has to deal with as many minions as 4P
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Palmer
Canada
Ayr
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
wolfpackee wrote:
rahdo wrote:
reynaert wrote:
I think the actual question-behind-the-question is this: If you don't use the timer, will the game become too easy?

To which I fervently hope the answer is no. If the timer is what makes the game challenging, then that feels very much like artificial difficulty.

IMO it's only in 2p that the timer really makes much of a impact, and 2p is already significantly harder than higher player counts


This is true, the game really doesn't scale depending on player count. 2P has to deal with as many minions as 4P


In 2p, each player gets 2 cards instead of one each round, so their mechs become more powerful much more quickly.

There are also 16 fewer squares on the board where minions cause damage to mechs.

The idea is that these 2 things offset the fact that there are fewer mechs to deal with those pesky minions.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Ham
Malta
Marsalforn
Gozo, Malta
flag msg tools
CLICK THIS BEAGLE if you're looking for in-depth gameplay video run-throughs! :)
mbmbmbmbmb
Yup, in 2p, mechs lvl up faster, and are easier to keep repaired or reprogram. But OTOH, during the double draft, they only collect half the cards (as a group) as are collected in 4p, so they start out slower. And there's only 2 mechs to accomplish just as many objectives, so they have to do twice the work, with a draft that's twice as complicated (and hence, the timer is more impactful, IMO).

I'm not saying 2p is unwinnable, just that (again, IMO) on the whole it has a higher challenge level
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Jonas

Oakdale
Minnesota
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rahdo wrote:
Yup, in 2p, mechs lvl up faster, and are easier to keep repaired or reprogram. But OTOH, during the double draft, they only collect half the cards (as a group) as are collected in 4p, so they start out slower. And there's only 2 mechs to accomplish just as many objectives, so they have to do twice the work, with a draft that's twice as complicated (and hence, the timer is more impactful, IMO).

I'm not saying 2p is unwinnable, just that (again, IMO) on the whole it has a higher challenge level

I can see that, especially if the scenario is a defense scenario. You only have 2 mechs protecting an area instead of 4.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.