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Subject: Do most people really use the timer rules? rss

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Slyvanian Frog
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I tend to hate artificial elements like turn timers. Particularly when it only applies to one group. I also have a problem in games with lots of dice, that they timer rules are too heavily affected by things outside of the timed player's control. Like how many dice rolls are needed in a turn, and how fast they happen.

Do the timer rules really add to the game? How do you deal with the fact that with some players, 3/4 of a turn's time might be taken up with calculating combat factors and rolling dice?
 
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Jay Little
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I have never used the timer, nor felt it was ever necessary. In a more structured, sportlike GW game like Blood Bowl, I feel that a timer is essential.

Even with new players just learning the rules and getting familiar with the tactics and gameplay, Space Hulk is straightforward enough that it's never been an issue for me -- and I tend to be a very impatient player. If you feel like you're always waiting and your opponent is taking an excessive amount of time, then perhaps a timer is for you. If not, then relish the opportunity to play this great game!
 
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A S
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We've always used the timer rules -- it's part of the mood. The Genestealers are lightning fast and the Marines are always reacting. Naturally, most turns do finish under the clock anyway, but it still adds a lot to the mood to have a timer counting down -- especially when you lose thirty seconds for losing a sergeant!
 
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Slyvanian Frog
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I was talking more about issues with it being necessary for play. I've never had a problem with play speed generally. The timer just seems to be a crude tool when there's die rolling and other activities that need to take place that have nothing to do with the player on the clock.
 
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Michael Becker
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I always play with the timer as well. I agree that it adds to the total atmosphere. The proposed limits in the rulebook seem exactly right. The marine player will almost always get what they need done without going over the limit... but when the do go over life can get bad for them very quickly.

For what it is worth I will always give a new player the benefit of the doubt... but for some reason they always want to play the genestealer side.!!

Is the timer necessary - no, not really. Does it add to the game? In my mind yes.

 
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Roberto Zaghis
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Sesto San Giovanni
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TOO MANY GAMES FOR A SINGLE LIFE.. I'll have to consider undeath...
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We always used the timer, it surely IS part of the game, we never actually had to limit the marine, though, as he always finished his move well in advance. The few times some dice roll or other upkeep activity kept him up, we let him finish without bothering with the timer. It all comes down to the people you're playing with... It's only a game after all.
 
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Jon M
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The timer is not their to make the game quicker, just to reduce the marines thinking time. It means perfect marine play is nigh on impossible. The timer is what takes this game from reasonable to special. I would strongly recommend playing with the timer. The marine player is the one rolling the dice so they can control how long it takes. The genestealer just takes off dead genestealers in their turn. There's nothing like counting down a clock loudly to put a marine player off their thoughts. It really adds to the frantic marine feeling. It also becomes part of the tactics. If the stealer player takes an age over their turn the marine has penty of thinking time. If the stealer goes quickly then before the marine knows it they are back on their timer with no clear plan of what to do.
 
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Jeff Coon
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Jon_1066 wrote:
The timer is not their to make the game quicker, just to reduce the marines thinking time. It means perfect marine play is nigh on impossible. The timer is what takes this game from reasonable to special. I would strongly recommend playing with the timer.


I agree. The timer isn't meant to move the game along or keep it from suffering for analysis paralysis. The timer is there to force the marine player to make decisions as if he were in the heat of battle. It adds to the mood and gives them a real sense of impending doom. If you take that approach to the timer (and explain it to the other players), I think your attitude towards it will change. Rather than being an obstacle to play, it will become a frustratingly-fun game enhancer.
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King of the Dead
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I see the timer as just barely shy of being required.

I think one of the best parts of the timer is when the leaders are killed and you get to tell the marine player that they get thirty less seconds. They don't like that.

Then there is the fun of counting down those last ten seconds....
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Simon Robinson
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Always use it. Not only that, but to bump up the pressure, we like to play simple missions (Like suicide) but only have 30 seconds total!
THAT get's your blood pumping...
 
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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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Always use it, regardless of edition.
 
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Mike Montesa
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Use the timer? Absolutely!! It's an integral part of what makes the game so exciting. As the Marine player, you've got to think fast and on your feet or you're dead, dead, dead! Like others, I've even reduced the amount of time I've got to get my moves done.

When I play the Stealers, I play as if I'm on a timer, and make my moves as quickly as possible - I'm not giving the Marine player a break by taking my time! Pressure, pressure, pressure!

Not use the timer? Heresy!
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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It's all about the theme/mood of the game. The Timer isn't to keep the game moving quickly, it's to put additional stress on the humans.

Genestealers have reactions far faster than the marines, but how can you translate that into game terms? With no timer on the Genestealers turn, they can take as much time as they want to strategize, move, attack, etc. Marines are slower, and thus the timer is the game-mechanic that emphasizes this fact. With the timer, the marine must move as quickly as possible, and therefore can't preplan a strategy as thoroughly as the Genestealer player.

The timer is all about the feel of the game, and it really adds a great element of tension (makes me feel more like the Aliens movie than anything).

Having said that, I rarely use the timer when playing with new players, as it adds a level of complexity I don't want to burden them with while they're learning the new rules. But when I do bring out the timer rule, they love it and never want to play without it.

-shnar
 
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Colin Hunter
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ALways use the timer. Adds a lot to the game rather surprisingly.
Colin
 
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Mark Slater
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My friend and I used the timer. He had a digital watch with a countdown, that, when it reached 20 secs remaining, would chime "Beep-Beep" for 10 secs, then at 10 secs remaining, it would speed up to "BeepBeepBeepBeep" continually until it reached Zero. I can remember many a time during this last panic-ridden 10 secs checking all my marines were moved, facing correctly and on overwatch!!
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