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Subject: Length of Game Play rss

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G B
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Hey guys,

I am curious the length of time this game is taking you to play. The box calls for 60 minutes. Is that right in your experience?

My first play was longer, but that was a first play.

My second play was long as well, this time, near to 3 and a half hours. This was a 2P game with 3 commandos.

There may have been some AP, but that game time seemed excessive to me.

Any tips for speeding the game up?
 
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Kain
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60 minutes is a cruel and unreasonable lie. It becomes an even further from the truth the further missions you play. I mean. You might. Might. Get through the first missions in 60. Doubtful you can touch anything in middle with less than 90min.

If you are playing it in 2p then you're already at the fastest possible route. You COUlD try a space hulk type timing mechanic. Like. 2 minutes a turn. Or any other amount you guys can agree on.
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G B
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Well, thanks for the input.

The game is a fun game... but... if this game is going to regularly take 3 hours then we have a problem. I am hoping to do better than that. I hope 1.5 to 2 hours will be the norm.
 
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Gustavo Sanchez
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I've heard other people comment about the length of time for this game. Is there anything in particular that makes it take so long?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Analysis paralysis. Since Adrenaline is such a limited resource, everyone is doing their best to optimize their adrenaline use, which leads to very heavy planning. Not complaining, I *love* the Adrenaline system, but it does lead to lengthier games.

Our games tend to fall in around 2 hours.

-shnar
 
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Dean Dangerous
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My only play (2p) was 1.5 hours or so. It might have been a touch longer if not for overseer error. The commando player was pretty fast on his turns usually, so that's probably most of the difference. I think I, as the overseer, usually took longer than the commandos did.
 
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I will do it again and. Mission 3 map seems huge. We shall see.
 
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K AM
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Hello,

As the Player in the games in question, I disagree with the notion that AP is the problem at all. In fact--I rushed at times, getting through the turns quite quickly, simply because the adrenalin limit was hit. If anything, I was recklessly spending.

The PROBLEM in terms of time (in our games) is that there are so many turns. I have no idea if this is the experience of others, or just due to our play style. Whatever the reason, what happens is that there are just turn after turn of "Spawn, kill, inch forward, repeat."

Almost every turn I'm playing the commandos at maximum movement/adrenalin in a futile attempt to keep moving forward. There are times when I needed to play "cautious advance" and that brings movement to a crawl.

Also--the door passage checks--cool idea, but JEEZE does it kill actions. As do the abundant (even if technically limited) cave ins.

I didn't count, but perhaps I should--how many monsters are put on the board in the course of a game. It is quite a lot--which is fine...except it really makes the game drag. Wiping them off the board really wasn't much of an issues, but it drains actions. The commandos I was playing were pretty much Clone Murder machines, and it still took forever to get through the map.

I got this impression after the first play, and thought "Well, first play" but it was WORSE the second time if anything.

Now take this for what it is worth from only a few plays, but this game feels like it drags. I'm not sure how to avoid this. Besides this--I really like this game, but I definitely felt "when will this game end" syndrome.

Why is the game slow? Because the mechanics in the game MAKE it slow. You can only move so far so fast, and the creatures spawn quite quickly.

Now, is there a way to starve the Overseer of Adrenalin, making it difficult for him to take advantage of the creatures that are on the board? I'm sure there is, but in a Sci-Fi action game...that seems REALLY boring to me.

Thinking about it--MAYBE the speed of our particular games are due to play-style, which we've seen in Descent as well. I'm not sure if it is just what is available, but there are a LOT of "drag you down, slow you down" effects played. If that's what the game is--well, there isn't much to do about it. If there are other choices that just aren't being played, then that's play-style.

But again, for my part--if anything, I'm recklessly charging into things, rather than pondering possibilities.

KAM
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K AM
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Hello,

Just to be clear--I can't claim any degree of expertise on how the game is SUPPOSED to flow, but I do know what happened in our games. In the second scenario, it was basically a square with one of the far corners being the objective, with the commandos starting at the bottom.

I move quickly through the first areas, and then on one of the "side" hallways leading to one of the potential objective rooms, I got stalled. Turn after turn of trying to push forward.

The fact is there were probably a half dozen turns of just cycling through spawning/killing. You can't really leave a lot of enemies on your tail, while opening doors, because the number of clones grows pretty quickly.

The interrupts also don't help the speed of the game at all. I don't dislike them, but if I DO decide to "run" getting a pile of rubble blocking me and draining movement is going to slow the game down.

In my opinion (preference) this adds little to the game, except adding turns. It literally just wasted time. It might be a neat concept, but ends up dragging the pace. Same with the door checks.

I'm not that familiar with what the Overseer can do, so it may be that these are the only options, but essentially draining a turn...well, that adds to the time of play.

A mechanic that just makes you do things slower, because I'm burning more actions isn't interesting--it's just an anchor. It didn't STOP me, or make force me to make different choices--it just added redundant turns.

KAM
 
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Jim Patching
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KAM1138 wrote:

Why is the game slow? Because the mechanics in the game MAKE it slow. You can only move so far so fast, and the creatures spawn quite quickly.

KAM


I got my first game of this in on the weekend and although I enjoyed it, I was a little disappointed at the constant spawning. It had that same sort of 'running through treacle' feeling that Descent V1 often had.

I'm not sure where I got this impression from, but I thought the whole 'where and when' to spawn would be a lot more tactical on the part of the overseer. On the first mission at least, bad guys were spawning most turns.

We got it finished in under 2 hours though, which wasn't bad considering I had to explain how to play it.

One thing that bugged me with this (and it's a problem that seems to crop up in all miniatures based sci-fi games) - a knife is often more effective than the biggest, baddest gun.
 
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K AM
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panzer-attack wrote:

I got my first game of this in on the weekend and although I enjoyed it, I was a little disappointed at the constant spawning. It had that same sort of 'running through treacle' feeling that Descent V1 often had.

I'm not sure where I got this impression from, but I thought the whole 'where and when' to spawn would be a lot more tactical on the part of the overseer. On the first mission at least, bad guys were spawning most turns.

We got it finished in under 2 hours though, which wasn't bad considering I had to explain how to play it.

One thing that bugged me with this (and it's a problem that seems to crop up in all miniatures based sci-fi games) - a knife is often more effective than the biggest, baddest gun.


I should be a bit more...balanced in my statements. It may be possible that there are choices to be made that get around the slowness. But, it seems that the default is this sort of repetitive, dragging thing. I have no idea if it feels that way for the Overseer, but it did for me as the player.

The first game I assumed it was slower, because we were learning, but honestly the basics of the game aren't that complex (even if experience reveals more complexity).

As far as the Knife...my goodness yes. "Knife Work" on the Recon guy is insane vs Clones. The first game I found a 'Shock stick' and that's even better. I think the Recon (at his high move stance) is 3 Red/2 Black for one point of Adrenaline (And the bonus move after attack). Yeah, that's a Clone murder machine.

KAM
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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If the Overseer is spawning every turn, and especially if it was a lot of enemies, it may be that the game isn't playing correctly. Dashboards have a cooldown mechanic, and all spawning Dashboards you have to wait until the cooldown has happened in order to spawn again. The Overseer could spawn a few every turn, or a lot one turn then wait one (or two) turns before spawning again.

For example, in a 4 Commando game, the Clone Reinforcements costs 2 Adrenaline per clone, refreshes by 4 every turn. If the Overseer only spawns 2 clones (costing 4 Adrenaline), then he could spawn every turn. If he spawned 3 or 4, he would only be able to spawn every other turn. 2 clones per turn should do little to stalling the game, let alone make it difficult on the Commandos.

Our games tend to follow a rhythm. Every other turn (or every 3 turns if there are Fear Hunters) the Overseer attacks. The in between turns are very soft and the commandos make lots of headway towards the objective. The reason for this, the Overseer is storing the 10 Adrenaline between turns, plus he's letting his dashboard cool down. Also, he's trying to sync his 'pounding' with opening doors.

Speaking of doors, I love the mechanic of the trapped doors in this game, especially when compared to Descent. There's never an 'interrupt' from the Overseer from playing some random card, it's either trapped or not and it was all handled as part of the setup, allowing the Overseer some initial strategies to work with.

Knife Work, while good, is not unstoppable. It can help 'clear' a room, but tends to make him prone to ranged attack (defense is only 3 with Reckless Advance). So capitalizing with the same-clone-target rule, you can take a Knife Working commando out (I did so on the last PBF game I played, though I used some Fear Hunters

-shnar
 
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Hey, Thanks for the responses.

I am definitely playing the spawning correctly. With 2 spawn actions on the dashboard and then the room cards with 3 minions, I was spawning a lot. Some of the rooms had 6 clones.

I was definitely hoarding for big every other turn actions.

After the first turn, basically the rhythm was:
1) He would move and act.
1) I would spawn, we would fight.
2) He would move and finish the fight.
2) Hoard points.
1) Next, he would move and open a door, we would fight based off of the rooom.
1) I would then spawn again and we would fight.

Absolutely, yes, I was spawning based on what stance the commandos were in, ranged vs melee defense was always a concern. I dropped one dude that way early.

Basically that was the rotation of the game. Additionally, I would accumulate points to do cave in (that seems to pay for itself every time I use it).

Now, when the Fear Hunters popped up, I ran out of points faster so that definitely slowed the spawning. Fear Hunter killed 1 dude and almost got the other before the objective was met by Disco team.

So, I think this is a function of the game map size and the hoards of minis that act for 1.

Once we are in the missions with bigger minions, the spawning should slow down.

Any how, at 2 hours, this is a good/great game. At 3 to 3.5, it feels very draggy. Hopefully we can fix that next time around.
 
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K AM
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Hello,

Well, I guess we will just have to see how this goes, and whether it ends up being a game that works for us.

I really WANT to love this game. The customizable characters and team is a HUGE win for me. I love that, but if OUR play keeps showing a "lag" and I can't figure out a way to play to avoid that, then this is going to be a game that becomes less desirable.

One other thing--I really want to try this with more players, because I think it would be interesting working out tactics as a team, and focusing a bit more on a particular role.

In terms of the Doors--well, I like the idea, but again, it is a factor that in our games has made it feel slow. I'm not sure how to get around that really. Maybe that isn't the problem at all. Maybe MY problem (preference) is that the movement just feels too slow for the size of the board, or maybe the very limited diagonal movement ends up draining things.

I really enjoy the action point (Adrenaline) sort of system where you're making choices on how to utilize your turn. I'm not sure I like there being a penalty for using those resources fully. Actions seem slim to me to begin with, and having X-1 or take a penalty is again, another drag on the pace of the game.

KAM
 
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Henrik Schmidt
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Make sure to use the masker kit and stay close. That's about 3 less adrenaline for the overseer every turn in a 3 commando game.
 
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If by "make sure" you mean he should do that every time, then the game already has major flaws.

Keith, if there weren't that penalty for full adrenaline, then the Clones would never hurt the Commandos. They barely do as it is.
 
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Henrik Schmidt
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ghbell wrote:
If by "make sure" you mean he should do that every time, then the game already has major flaws.

Keith, if there weren't that penalty for full adrenaline, then the Clones would never hurt the Commandos. They barely do as it is.


Of course the game has flaws like unbalanced kits and broken LOS. Some call them major and others can live with them.
 
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Gustavo Sanchez
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LarkinVB wrote:
ghbell wrote:
If by "make sure" you mean he should do that every time, then the game already has major flaws.

Keith, if there weren't that penalty for full adrenaline, then the Clones would never hurt the Commandos. They barely do as it is.


Of course the game has flaws like unbalanced kits and broken LOS. Some call them major and others can live with them.


What's broken about the LOS?
 
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Henrik Schmidt
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nexbot wrote:
LarkinVB wrote:
ghbell wrote:
If by "make sure" you mean he should do that every time, then the game already has major flaws.

Keith, if there weren't that penalty for full adrenaline, then the Clones would never hurt the Commandos. They barely do as it is.


Of course the game has flaws like unbalanced kits and broken LOS. Some call them major and others can live with them.


What's broken about the LOS?


Check the rules section of the forum for various threads on LOS.
 
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LarkinVB wrote:
ghbell wrote:
If by "make sure" you mean he should do that every time, then the game already has major flaws.

Keith, if there weren't that penalty for full adrenaline, then the Clones would never hurt the Commandos. They barely do as it is.


Of course the game has flaws like unbalanced kits and broken LOS. Some call them major and others can live with them.


Right, but you are saying it has to be played the same way every time. If there aren't different viable Commando strategies, then the game is already in decline. I hope that isn't the case.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I have yet to see any broken commando kit combos. Some are more powerful than others, but they haven't broken our games. Plus my group has had a lot of fun just playing with different kits every game.

And LOS, honestly I think the core rules version is perfectly fine. So there's the rare curveball, so what? It's a small price for the simplicity of the system (and a lot better than other LOS systems).

-shnar
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I tend to agree about LOS. When we see a curveball, we simply say common sense rules, and no. Done. That's just us.

As for the Kits/dashboard, we have had fun both games thus far and DISCO has won both, the second SUPER close. So as long as that is the case, then that is good.

To my OP, length of play is the main concern. I will report back when we play, but that may be awhile. I am not sure what our plan is for "next game."
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Jim Patching
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Yeah, the core rules LOS seemed to work ok. I read up on the new FAQ line of sight rules before we played and they just seemed too much of a hassle.
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