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Subject: Interesting discussion after our first play rss

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Mark von Minden
United States
Longmont
Colorado
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Hi all,

I got to play my first game of Impulse with two of my friends this past weekend. I handled teaching the game, and I think I did alright (had gone through the rules a few times, watched some videos, and played a mock game to get comfortable with everything). This one certainly requires some effort to learn/teach. Naturally, since this was everyone's first play, it moved a bit slow at times; I wasn't surprised that it took a little longer for our first game. Ultimately, I think we all enjoyed it.

Afterwards, we got into an interesting discussion about the game. My friends had two different opinions, as follows:

One said he thought the game was "interesting but unnecessarily complex." He felt it was almost too much to keep in his head as combos started to chain together. He suggested that I probably wouldn't play the game very often in the long run.

The other loved the game but said he couldn't imagine how it could be played in under an hour. He was surprised that the game is meant to play quickly. However, he is excited to play it again soon.

I argued that we just needed a few more plays to really get comfortable with the game, but they weren't having it.

As I've been thinking about it more, I feel even more strongly that we would just need to play it more. I suspect that we couldn't see any of the obvious combos yet. Also, we didn't really get confrontational until near the end of our game. Everyone was just hanging around the sector core scoring a point or two each turn while trying to build for something bigger. This seemed suboptimal at best.

Anyway, I just wanted to get some thoughts from more experienced players on this. How many plays did you need to really feel comfortable with the game? Any advice for speeding up the gameplay and reducing any perceived complexity?
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Karl Fast
United States
Minneapolis
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I played the beta version maybe ten times. I found that after a few plays, with two players, it ran about 30 minutes, and no more than 40.

I have played it once with three and it took over an hour, but one player was new and somewhat overwhelmed. I would think that three people who know the game could do this in 45-60 minutes.

In sum, my experience is that 15-20 minutes per player is reasonable, for players who are comfortable with the rules.

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Rhys Hopkins
United Kingdom
Pontypool
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I've played this a few time 2 player and even the teaching game only took an hour.

I find that in games like this where there is potential conflict, during early games people tend to shy away from attacking each other and there are a lot of points to be had in winning battles. The extra points and less ships on the board would speed things up so I think the more confident players get with the game the faster it will get.
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Christian K
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The game rarly takes long.
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David Harding
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
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My first game took an hour but I've played one in 20mins. It really does click after a bit!
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Jason Rupp
United States
Marion
Iowa
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If anything, I'd say the game is too short. Sometimes it's too easy and feels too early in the game that someone can get 20 points. You can easily get a 10-15 point turn.. I almost wonder if it'd be a better game if we played to 30.
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Marc Maier
United States
Darien
Connecticut
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I have played six times with three players, and we have it down to about 45 minutes or so. I'd say 15 mins/player is a good benchmark for folks experienced with the game.

That said, our first three-player game did take over an hour as we fuddled our way through the unfamiliar mechanics, and we are veterans of Chudyk's Glory to Rome and Innovation.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Like Glory to Rome and Innovation, the gameflow and the mechanisms are different enough to everything else out there that the first game is just about learning how things actually work, then it takes a game to start to see just why you'd want them to work. After that, it all starts to click and moves along at a fair pace.
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