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Subject: Your perfect/favorite game and game day length. rss

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Chris Graves
United States
Oregon
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I hear a lot of reviewers mention how they like shorter game lengths and sometimes list a longer play time as a negative aspect of said game. My group very regularly play games that last hours and hours. Sometimes we'll play a three hour game and follow that up with another one of similar length. We usually play around an eight to ten hour session when we get together. I love long games, and I love long gaming sessions. I was curious what your perfect combination is?
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Gary Stephen
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Re: Your perfect/favorite and game day length.
Assuming it's playing games I like, with people I like, I could happily play all day.

As for game length, again assuming the above conditions, I'm happy with long games.

I prefer medium to longer games over short ones, but a few plays of a shorter one can also be something fun to do.
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Kirk
United States
Commerce Twp.
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Re: Your perfect/favorite and game day length.
For many of us, our taste begins to change as we get older and have less time to play. Shorter games begin to take a forefront. It is not so much that I don't like a longer (3+ hours) game but it is often difficult to get enough people to free-up for that extended time.

When it happens though, it can be a lot of fun!
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Aaron Yoder
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Middleton
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Re: Your perfect/favorite and game day length.
Games where the gameplay is largely the same throughout the length and that do not force the player to respond to an ever-changing gamestate will naturally grow tiresome far sooner than games where players are constantly forced to re-evaluate what they're doing. This is my criticism of Alien Frontier, for example.

A payoff in investment is also necessary. Expanding the player's holdings and abilities are a good way to keep the player engaged, making him work for a long-term goal. If a game does not do this--for example, if all you're doing is choosing the actions that best maximize your points--then it had better be short. This is my criticism of 90% of Feld's games.

Game length is irrelevant to me aside from the above factors.
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April W
United States
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Re: Your perfect/favorite and game day length.
My preferred game length is 45 min to 2 hours (except for a filler, which shouldn't last longer than 30 min), but I will play longer games occasionally. If it weren't for life simply being such as it is I would be happy to play longer games more often. I've played games that lasted all day and didn't mind, but as a mom/wife I have only so much energy/attention/time to apply to gaming, unfortunately. If I were to rewind about ten years to when I was a carefree teen things would be very different.
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Chris Graves
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Good point, April. My kids are out of the house, so it's just my wife and I. She plays pool league on Sundays, and I my friends come over and play games all day on Sunday. It really depends on many factors, chief among them: kiddos.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Axis & Allies Europe 1940 combined with Axis & Allies Pacific 1940. Battle for about 16 hours. It has happened before.
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Mad Tiest

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I often only manage to game once a month. So if we play a long game that means I only get to play a single game a month.

To make matters worse, that one game a month can become unfun because: your chances of winning become close to 0 early on; a player has to leave at some point because the game drags on and on; a critical rules mistake is made. So now, instead of betting my precious game time on one play of f.i. Game of Thrones, I'd rather play 2-3 games in an evening. My ideal gaming day would consist of playing a 2-2.5 hr game and 2 or 3 45-90min games.

 
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Jordan S.
United States
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Once upon a time, I used to attend game days with friends that could last upwards of 12+ hours. We'd often meet on a Saturday around lunch time and only quit when everyone was feeling too tired to go on (usually sometime between midnight and 3 am).

These days, when I have a game day, it's more often restricted to about 6 hours or less. So, it usually either results in playing a single "long" game or a handful of "short" games. My friends also have varying tastes, so even if half the group might be up for one of the longer options, if the other half isn't, it just won't get played.

Personally, in the company of good friends, I could easily play all day and I don't so much care about the individual length of a game, so long as everyone's having a good time. If I had to pinpoint the average length of most of my favorite games, 90-120 minutes is about where it's at. A 10-hour game day filled with four 2-hour games (don't forget set-up, tear-down, food and bathroom breaks) would probably be my ideal.
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Chris Mcpherson
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Sarnia
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I will always prefer a shorter game if it can pack the same punch as longer game. Glen more is a good example of this. I do love longer games but like others have said, you don't always have that much time.
 
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RJD
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Quad-Cities
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I can quite happily play a good, interesting game for hours upon hours, all day long. It just means there's more to love!





GeoffreyB wrote:
Axis & Allies Europe 1940 combined with Axis & Allies Pacific 1940. Battle for about 16 hours. It has happened before.


cry Color me supremely jealous. soblue

 
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Keith B
United States
Katy
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My game time expectation are generally based on the genre. If I'm playing a party game, usually 30 minutes or so is a good time length. If it's a Euro, I would expect it to take 2 hours or so. A Euro that takes 30 minutes is quit disappointing in my book. I'm looking at you Ulm.
 
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Osiris Saline
Australia
Red Hill
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As long as I have a few friends into games, and we are playing games we all like/love, then I could play multiple games. At times we've been able to play from midday to 3am!

If a 30 minute game plays well across 30 minutes, ace, if a 4 hour game plays well over 4 hours, just as good.

One thing that may change that is if we are playing in cramped conditions, or if the tablespace is tiny, and this is why I generally play with smaller groups these days as no one I know has a dedicated game space in their homes.

Nothing makes playing games suck more than a combination of warm weather, cramped seating, cards having to be held in your hand due to the footprint, and it being difficult to move around to grab a drink/use the restroom.
 
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ackmondual
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voodoochyl wrote:
I hear a lot of reviewers mention how they like shorter game lengths and sometimes list a longer play time as a negative aspect of said game. My group very regularly play games that last hours and hours. Sometimes we'll play a three hour game and follow that up with another one of similar length. We usually play around an eight to ten hour session when we get together. I love long games, and I love long gaming sessions. I was curious what your perfect combination is?


I can be rather picky about what games I want to play, so it isn't strictly playtime that's the only metric. Some examples...
--Battlestar Galactica, especially with all 3 expansions, is the one game I won't mind if it takes up to 4.5 hours, of which 3.5 hours is a more "average length" for people who've played a few games before, but not considered a 'grueling pace'
--Many party games can be finished in 20 minutes to an hour. However to me, many of them overstay their welcome at the 20 to 30 minute mark. Plus, party games often takes time away from playing the genres I enjoy much more so... strategy, eurogames, co-op, worker placement, DBG, etc.
--I especially loathe playing a 30 minute party game, only to have it followed up by playing that again, followed by another party that's 1 to 2 more hours yuk


I'm jealous that you can get in 8 to 10 hour sessions, as those are the types of game days/nights where you can get in some of the longer stuff. I'd love to have access to those outside of conventions (they're a 5 to 8 hour round trip drive for me, not to mention costs in badges, gas, and lodging)

Some of the groups I've gamed with contain old fogies... once midnight hits on a Sat. night, they drop like flies I miss being able to game all the way into the night, but can't say I blame them, as I'll have to judge for myself when I get to that point. Plus, they're generous in hosting, which isn't something I can do.
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David Janik-Jones
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Waterloo
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5–15 minutes for a great filler game. Something to break out at the beginning of a gaming evening, or between games while you wait for something to finish, or as a brief thing to cleanse the palette. Two hours for an elegant, deep, thinking delightful game—three hours if it's utterly brilliant. But that's about my personal limit for an individual game these days. Even a great bigger game broken over two days of gaming at 3 hours each session leaves me exhausted, bothered, bored, and itching to get the thing done*.

Over a day at a major con or something along those lines I'm happy to do 14 hours of straight gaming of the aforementioned game lengths, with a few small food or bio breaks between plays. (Trying to work out my 37 games played at Origins over the five days (55 hours of gaming, with leaving for home around 3PM Sunday and most of Thursday spent shopping) ... average per game time = 0.67 games/hour.)

*That said, it's taken two 3+ hour sessions to get to turn 8/9 in my first full campaign game of FAB: Sicily, and I have Napoleon's Triumph set up on my table trying to get that wrapped up over a second session.
 
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Michael McKibbin
United States
Clemmons
North Carolina
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Back in my day, a long game was measured in weeks or months, not hours. An 8 hour session in a campaign games of Empires in Arms or War in the East is just a few game turns (i.e. a fraction of the entire game), so a full campaign meant meeting at least once a week for at least 8 hours over the course of months.
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A. Mandible
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Cambridge
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Given the choice between spending 3 hours on one game, or on three fillers and two hour-long games, it's a toss-up. Sometimes I'm in one mood, sometimes I'm in another.

But it's rare that I *definitely* have 3 hours. Someone might get tired, or another person might show up. A game that's short enough to fit into a narrower time slot is a game I can indulge myself by playing more often. And I appreciate that.
 
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April W
United States
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voodoochyl wrote:
Good point, April. My kids are out of the house, so it's just my wife and I. She plays pool league on Sundays, and I my friends come over and play games all day on Sunday. It really depends on many factors, chief among them: kiddos.

Someday we'll be in your shoes and able to game freely again! laugh But that will be a while and in the meantime we have family members who enjoy gaming and have kid-friendly houses for our little one to play while we game, so things work out.
 
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Christian K
United States
Albany
New York
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All day with good people and food(and intoxicants sometimes). Game length is not really a concern, I love gaming and socialization to the point that winning, losing or the game at hand(save for a very select few) doesn't matter as much as spending that time with everyone enjoying gaming and socialization. Assuming I am doing some sort of long marathon I would probably want to switch between long and short games throughout the day.
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Timothy Young
United Kingdom
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I love a good 6 - 10 hour wargame with my wife, really gives you time to get into the game and long term strategy planning.

But sadly this is a once a quarter thing, on a free Sunday. We work every other day between us and have lots of other Sunday hobbies which compete for time.

For a games night after work, I like a nice 1-2 hour feature game, with a sub-30 minute game to open and maybe another 30-45 minute game to close.
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Jordan Ackerman
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North Hollywood
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Long games are the best, but I can't do more than 6-8 hours of gaming in one day.

Every 3 hours, I prefer a 30 minute break.
 
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Kyle
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I like a nice long game that feels like it has arc to it. The 2 hours and less euros are over before they start pretty much, no real sense of accomplishment and building as they score right when the long games are starting to get interesting.
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Daniel B
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I prefer 3-4.5 hour sessions depending on the day. so 1 long game or 2-3 shorter ones.
 
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ackmondual
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I've frequented video gaming lounges across several regions. Prices vary depending on specials, promos, and hours purchased at one time, but it's been anywhere from $2.5 to $5 an hour.

I gotta say I wouldn't mind paying something like this for board gaming. Sure, there are cons, but something like this would be more casual and closer. FLGS that don't charge for table space tend to cater or "over-cater" to the $$ makers like CCGs, LCGs, Minis, and RPGs, so they're not really applicable towards normal board games.
 
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Jessica Bennett
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I prefer a mix of longer and shorter games. Anything from a couple quick rounds of Zombie Dice, all the way up to a few hours in Super Dungeon Explore, or Mansions of Madness. I've yet to try an 'all day game' like Twilight Imperium- I think something like that sounds interesting, but it'd have to be a theme I'm really in to, or I'd rather play several smaller games.

The only thing I don't like about longer running games is when you realize you're losing and still have a great deal of game left to play. Kind of takes some of the fun out of it!

We've played up to twelve hours straight before, but usually people end up leaving before we get that long. The Halloween get together we threw the other day only lasted 7 hours. Was hoping for longer, but it was getting dark and people had to bail!
 
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