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Subject: How long does this game really take? rss

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Mad Tiest

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This game looks very interesting due to the combination of economy and military. Controlling different nations throughout the game also seems really cool.

However, the real playing time seems to deviate quite a bit from the official 120 minutes. In the poll many people voted that the game takes longer than 150 minutes, but how much longer exactly? Is the game playable within 3 hours with 4-5 players who think their decisions through?
 
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Eric Flood
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With rational players, 2ish hours. When n > 1 players play like it's a game of Risk rather than an economic game (those players will *always* lose), it can take 3-5 hours.
 
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Karan R
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3h with 5p without AP by my experience
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J C Lawrence
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It has been a fairly steady 150-180 minutes here.
 
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Joe Gola
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First game might go a little over 3 as players learn their way around, but it will likely come in under that with replay.
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Don Smith
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4 players: 2 hours
6 players: 3 hours

Add an hour for the first few games for everyone.

A fine game which is worth the time invested!
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Don Smith wrote:
4 players: 2 hours
6 players: 3 hours

Add an hour for the first few games for everyone.

A fine game which is worth the time invested!


Agreed. The first few plays will be a bit longer, but we've consistently kept it in the 2.5 - 3 hour range without a problem.
 
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Adrian V.
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We are at 45-60 minutes per player. Our longest play was about 5.5 hours with 5 players due to many negotiations (which was the best experience with this game so far). Experienced players, I may add.
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Mad Tiest

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Thanks a lot for the responses. I agree the game is probably worth the time investment, and 3 hours would be fine. The reports of 3-5hrs and 5.5 hrs are a bit worrying. I like to play more than a single game in a night. Maybe I'll just have to take my chances and hope people will learn not to play to aggressively and prolong the game. Or maybe there are some ways to decrease the game length if need be?
 
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Caleb
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MadTiest wrote:
Thanks a lot for the responses. I agree the game is probably worth the time investment, and 3 hours would be fine. The reports of 3-5hrs and 5.5 hrs are a bit worrying. I like to play more than a single game in a night. Maybe I'll just have to take my chances and hope people will learn not to play to aggressively and prolong the game. Or maybe there are some ways to decrease the game length if need be?



As far as changing the length, if you really wanted to do that the easiest way would probably be to pick a spot lower down on the power track to trigger the end of the game.
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Jeff Collins
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With 5 and 6 players my group can finish between 2 and 2.5 hours. Key is to not get too bogged down in "risk" actvities on the board.
 
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Mad Tiest

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blueatheart wrote:
With rational players, 2ish hours. When n > 1 players play like it's a game of Risk rather than an economic game (those players will *always* lose), it can take 3-5 hours.

Several of you have said that playing the game as if it is risk prolongs the game and does not help you win. Is it common for players to do this? If attacking too much doesn't help you win, is the military part still important? I was hoping this game has a good mix of aspects, and not only economy.
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Jeff Collins
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My experience is that military is important, but it is not a war game. Its a means to an end, which is gaining territories to tax the nation you are controlling. The taxation increases the power of the nation, which makes it more attractive for other players to buy into, because the higher the power the higher the payout at the end of the game. The winner is not the player who won the most wars, but the one who managed to buy bonds into the nations that pay out the most at the end of the game. "Risk-like" activities prolong the game because they do not move the game forward, which is what taxation does (increases the power of the nation), which is the game's timer. If you are looking for a war game, this may not be it. But it is a great game, that will see opportunistic battles that can swing the game unexpectedly.
 
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Mad Tiest

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j41c wrote:
My experience is that military is important, but it is not a war game. Its a means to an end, which is gaining territories to tax the nation you are controlling. The taxation increases the power of the nation, which makes it more attractive for other players to buy into, because the higher the power the higher the payout at the end of the game. The winner is not the player who won the most wars, but the one who managed to buy bonds into the nations that pay out the most at the end of the game. "Risk-like" activities prolong the game because they do not move the game forward, which is what taxation does (increases the power of the nation), which is the game's timer. If you are looking for a war game, this may not be it. But it is a great game, that will see opportunistic battles that can swing the game unexpectedly.

That does sound interesting. However, I wonder about the 'enexpectedly' element. I had a look at the rules and it seems that all information other than how much money everyone has is public. Battle are also entirely deterministic and do no include card play or dice. So how surprising can the game be? I'm guessing some surprises can still come when player A chooses to attack C instead of B, or spend his money to gain control of another players nation?
 
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Karan R
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It is a perfect information game, even the money everyone has can be remembered
If everyone does the same thing, the game will play out in the same way
But then, who but the winner hopes everyone plays the same way
 
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Jeff Collins
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In my experiences, the surprises are not only when you control A and attack C instead of B, but controlling A, then taking control of B to attack C. Another interesting thing is that early in the game you may control nation A, but by midgame you are attacking nation A because you no longer have a controlling interest in it and those who have more interest in it will gain more than you. Wait until you start building up a nation to attack nation B only to have someone else take control of your nation, strip it of all its money, or attack nation C or D instead of what you were thinking. That is when it gets interesting...at least it is for our group.
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Edward B.
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MadTiest wrote:
This game looks very interesting due to the combination of economy and military. Controlling different nations throughout the game also seems really cool.

However, the real playing time seems to deviate quite a bit from the official 120 minutes. In the poll many people voted that the game takes longer than 150 minutes, but how much longer exactly? Is the game playable within 3 hours with 4-5 players who think their decisions through?


My first few games with 3-4 players took around 4-5 hours.

Now I usually get through a game in about 3 hours or so. I can't see finishing a game in two hours, but I usually take my time. Not to the point of analysis paralysis, but I'm not trying to beat the clock, either.
 
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Samuel Hinz
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4 players played this last night for the first time and it took 4 hours.
 
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