Playing two games at once
Murray C
Canada
Vancouver
British Colombia
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Some consider it rude, but I have a few players in my group who are unabashedly slow. While suffering from analysis paralysis in games with lots of downtime, I sometimes pull out a different game to play on the side with my neighbour(s).

As long as the sidegame participants continue to play in the main event in the same timely manner that they going at before, no one seems to mind that there are two games running at once. In fact, most of the time, the other players are thankful that they have something else to watch and keep them entertain and the slower players are happy to be left unfettered while they make up their minds.

Share your stories and ideas below! List either a game with lots of downtime or one that is good to fill in that gaptime. Please write Game with Downtime or Downtime Filler at the start of your addition to prevent confusion as people skim the list.
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1. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
Murray C
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Vancouver
British Colombia
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Game with Downtime

Seeing how every little bit of cash counts in this game, it is easy to understand that every player faces monumental decisions every turn. However, the more confident and clear-headed player is often able to plan out their strategies well ahead and often during another player's turn. As such, they tend to be out of the mix and bored if the game lags due to an undecisive player.

This is definitely a game that can stand a few side activities.
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2. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:204]
Murray C
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Downtime Filler

Hive is a great downtime filler. It takes very little room and a game can usually be completed within a few turns of the main event. Since it is a two player game, you can grab whoever else is bored for a quick game and then the winner of that game can take on more challengers as the main event continues.
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3. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:420] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
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Game with Downtime & Downtime Filler

Depending on your opponent and your own playing speed, you may be able to play several games at once!
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4. Board Game: Fury of Dracula (second edition) [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:403]
Murray C
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Game with Downtime

As the hunters discuss their strategy, the Dracula player can get pretty bored, especially since their own turn typically takes about 10 seconds to complete.
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5. Board Game: Tantrix [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2180]
Murray C
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Downtime Filler

I couldn't think of a better solitaire game, but Tantrix's puzzles are not that bad. As a plus, it doesn't require much room.
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:17]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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One of the more recent times when I played Agricola, another player arrived around half way through the game. Not expecting more players, we broke out Race for the Galaxy, and played whenever I wasn't occupied. We finished three games before Agricola was done...
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7. Board Game: Volcano [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2866]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Game with Downtime

Multiplayer Volcano can have quite a bit of downtime between turns. On your turn, you have to locate a move that gives you the maximum benefit, then you have to figure out a way to maneuver the caps so that you can make the move. Then you have to double-check that it doesn't set up your opponent(s) for an even better move. With several people before your next move, the wait can be excessive.
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8. Board Game: Treehouse [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:5503]
Jeff Wolfe
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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Downtime Filler

The solution, of course, it to pull out another pyramid game. Treehouse is very tactical with decisions that are usually pretty straightforward. I've used it several times to fill the dead space between turns of Volcano. I've also used it to fill downtime when playing other games during a session of Andy vs. Everybody.

I have noticed that not everyone has the knack for making Treehouse the secondary game, to be ignored when it's your turn in the primary game.
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9. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:429]
D L
Malaysia
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This one works. Especially with large groups of people.
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10. Board Game: Pitch [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4085]
Benjamin Parker
United States
Manchester
Connecticut
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Moderate amount of downtime...

Imagine playing with with this with Egyptian Ratscrew (which I have done on more than one occasion! )

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/15712
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11. Board Game: Blackbeard [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2403]
David Heldt
United States
Harper Woods
Michigan
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Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
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The AH version was notorious for long periods of downtime--
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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:126] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Nathan Woll
United States
Warsaw
Virginia
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I tend to read a book or play another game while playing this game. In fact for the first 30 turns or so, I don't even need to be at the table for my turn. All I need is for someone to draw two cards for me since this is what I do for the first 30 turns or so. But non-gamers tend to think a lot and take a long time with their turns in this game.
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