Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Catan» Forums » General

Subject: Any tips for moving the game along? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Patrick
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Btȝ patrem nrum, Benedictum
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A lot of our friends like playing this one (not really my favorite, but happy to oblige), but it always seems to take 90 min. or so. I'd like it more if game time was closer to 45-60 min., which I've heard is doable (with 4p even?), but can't see how to bring the length down that much. Reducing VP requirements seems arbitrary, but it's the best thing I can come up with now.

Any suggestions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
90 minutes sounds about right to me. You could play to fewer VPs to shorten it but 10 VPs seems to me ideal. I just don't think playing this game in hal the time is relistic.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john ford
United States
Lancaster
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For a couple years at WBC, we started each game by placing first a settlement then a city. Players collected only one of each resource touching that city at the outset (as if it were a settlement), then proceeded with the game and treating cities as cities. Seemed to help a little.

Another idea had us placing a third road before the dice were first rolled. Worth trying in your group anyway. Good luck.
4 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
galad2003 wrote:
If the issue is people are taking to long on their turns you could agree to time limits, like 5 minute limit on placing a settlement and 3 minutes per player turn. We had a guy who would stare at the board for 20 minutes trying to to decide where to place his settlements.


I would definitely stab that guy in the face. Or at least ridicule his for taking 20 minutes to place his settlements.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Raithyn
United States
Richmond
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Counter-intuitively enough, our games are shorter when we play with more than four. The inter-turn rules added by the 5-6 player extension help a lot with that and the extra tiles relieve some of the pressure to compete for good spots during the first few turns.

To keep the extra builds moving quickly we say that someone must "loudly announce" they are building before the next player picks up the dice and rolls them. Otherwise you lose your chance and we just keep going round.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly Bass
United States
Venice
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This variant speeds it up:
Poverty is No Shame (Armut ist keine Schande), by Brigitte & Wolfgang Ditt, translated by Jeff Paull

A variant for those who think that everyone else’s numbers always come up. Suitable for Basic Game and Seafarers. Required: 30 Red Chips.

Play is as in the Basic/Seafarer’s Game with the following additions:

If a player doesn’t receive a Raw Material card during the Raw Material Phase, he gets a Red Chip. If a 7 is rolled, all players get a Red Chip.

The Red Chips can be used to name the Raw Material pay-off number, instead of actually rolling the dice. At the start of his turn, a player pays the number of Red Chips equivalent to his Victory Point total (This includes Biggest Knight Army, Longest Trade Route, and Victory Point Chips. It does not include hidden Victory Point cards.) The player then names the pay-off number and all players receive Raw Materials based on the named number. If any player doesn’t receive a Raw Material Card, he gets a Red Chip.

Variant: Allow the Red Chips to be traded for Raw Material Cards.

Link: The Poverty is No Shame variant

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Horm
United States
Renton
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me, the biggest time-taker-upper was handing out resource cards, and the trading phase. Having everybody pick up their own resource cards sped things up (as opposed to looking at the numbers and handing out the cards one-by-one).

With trading, we make it very clear what we have, and what we want. Well I do at least. For some reason people like to say "Sheep for Brick" at lot, and time gets wasted on who is actually giving what. So now I say "I want Sheep. Who wants to give me Sheep." And if nobody has what I want, then I quickly pass the dice.
2 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Any gains from more trading opportunities in a 4p game are far outweighed in a 3p game's having more area to build (the map doesn't scale to 3p vs. 4p), thus you get more resources, can build faster, have less need to trade (any trading adds more time to the game).

I'd also consider the "welfare variant", which I another poster I believe refers it to as "poverty is no shame".

In some tournaments I've seen, even non-tourney games, someone has a large digital stop watch which shows how long the game's gone on. It shouldn't be needed, but it really does hit home to see the game's already taken say, 45 minutes, but you're really not even halfway through. I guess this is a subtle reminder to keep the game moving.


Also go after the "time killers". When trading, each turn shouldn't have a 2 minute trading session. You shouldn't always need to offer every combination of sheep + wood + ore for every combo of someone else's wheat, sheep, and brick.


byrdalumnus wrote:
For a couple years at WBC, we started each game by placing first a settlement then a city. Players collected only one of each resource touching that city at the outset (as if it were a settlement), then proceeded with the game and treating cities as cities. Seemed to help a little.

Another idea had us placing a third road before the dice were first rolled. Worth trying in your group anyway. Good luck.
Oh, so they DO use this? I played this game on Sea3d, and that's where I first heard of this option. They called it "Tournament Setting Rules", which for the longest time was ironic since, no tournaments I've heard of actually used it.

Here, 1st building is a settlement + 1 road, 2nd building is a city (you still get only 1 per adjacent tile as a windfall/initial bonus though) + a road coming from that city. Then you immediately place a 3rd road from either building. Purists say this ruins the game, but anything that speeds up the game is almost always welcomed by me. There does make not building any (more) cities a more viable path, thus, potentially making the game even shorter, as:
2 = city
5 = sett x 5
2 = LR
1 = just one 'lucky' VP from dev deck


davidhorm wrote:
With trading, we make it very clear what we have, and what we want. Well I do at least. For some reason people like to say "Sheep for Brick" at lot, and time gets wasted on who is actually giving what. So now I say "I want Sheep. Who wants to give me Sheep." And if nobody has what I want, then I quickly pass the dice.
Later in the game though, some groups have become very mum about what they have, as if you name everything you've got, the Monopoly player has perfect info to swipe all of your cards.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Woodward
New Zealand
Hamilton
flag msg tools
badge
Move to the Frenzy
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I always do the 2 things that have already been mentioned:

1. The Tournament Setup, which has been mentioned. A settlement and a road, a city and a road, then a third road. You get 1 resource card for every hex adjacent to your starting settlement and city (not 2 for the city). Plus everyone gets dealt a development card (to help balance out the strategies).

2. The Welfare Variant, which had been mentioned.
1 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Btȝ patrem nrum, Benedictum
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all of the tips, folks, I've been reading them as they come in. I think we'll try the inter-turn rules--everyone build at end of turn, etc.--to start and see how that works. The tournament setup sounds like a great option, too, although I'm not sure I want to jump to that in right away.

I also looked (briefly) at the 5-6p expansion, but I'm not sure I want to throw $20 more at this game that I enjoy (but isn't my favorite), esp. because it adds the possibility of even more players (and more time).

I really don't care for the welfare variant (we've used it for 2p and it just doesn't work well for us).

To make people responsible for their own resources would be helpful, too.

Thanks, again, for all of the input.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C A
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Used to play this regularly within a lunch hour. The trick is apparently to have someone who knows the game expertly hand out all the resources as soon as the dice are rolled. We never used any variants and always had 4 players.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Gough
United Kingdom
Colchester
Essex
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Four experienced players can finish a game in an hour around 80% of the time in my experience. But they have to be playing quickly - not wasting time asking for trades that no-one will do. For example players need to be tracking cards so they don't ask for wood when there is no wood in the game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Han Shot First wrote:
Four experienced players can finish a game in an hour around 80% of the time in my experience. But they have to be playing quickly - not wasting time asking for trades that no-one will do. For example players need to be tracking cards so they don't ask for wood when there is no wood in the game.
Problem is, sometimes you forget. I've actually managed to get such a resource because I forgot that that someone did a 3:1 trade before. I was able to make it worth his while to get that resource, which helped me out a lot. However, that was most certainly the exception than the norm. Others can be helpful in just flat out saying "we have no ___ to trade" to imply they either have it or don't have it, but it's not changing hands.

Also, since this game was also aimed at gateway gamers and casual gamers, they're unlikely to bother with keeping track of stuff, or be able to do this.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max DuBoff
United States
New Brunswick
New Jersey
flag msg tools
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
badge
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
WBC may've used that at one point, but it hasn't used thatvariabt in years. It currently uses the normal rules.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.