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Subject: Thinking about introducing a timer rss

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Ashley Grenon
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I have a game of TI coming up next month. In effort to speed up the game, I'm thinking about bringing out a timer after the first or second round to combat analysis paralysis. Our last game it was pretty bad and really dragged out the game.

What do you think will be a good time limit per player turn?
 
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Scott Lewis
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Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer. And look for ways to mitigate it. Sometimes, having default actions if time runs out can ruin the game just as much as an overly-dragged-out game can.
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Ashley Grenon
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer. And look for ways to mitigate it. Sometimes, having default actions if time runs out can ruin the game just as much as an overly-dragged-out game can.


You know this just reminded another thing that dragged out our game: a player would end their turn but the next player didn't realize it and so the game would be paused for no reason.

Any ideas to prevent this as well? I suppose if the timer was still running that may help. Maybe ringing a bell and the end of your turn?
 
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Scott Lewis
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townsean wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer. And look for ways to mitigate it. Sometimes, having default actions if time runs out can ruin the game just as much as an overly-dragged-out game can.


You know this just reminded another thing that dragged out our game: a player would end their turn but the next player didn't realize it and so the game would be paused for no reason.

Any ideas to prevent this as well? I suppose if the timer was still running that may help. Maybe ringing a bell and the end of your turn?

Have one player be the "whip master", and just be vigilant on letting the next person know its their turn. Probably some kind of rule of stating that during a round, no straying far from the table (and maybe allow for a short break between rounds).

Having someone say "Ok, #2, Jim, it's your turn", and "Jim, you're up after Bob, so start thinking about it" can work wonders. Not the most glamorous job, but it does help a lot!

Of course, if EVERYONE is in the same boat, then it doesn't help much But if even one or two players are on the ball, they can keep the rest in shape.
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Steve Williams
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I can't remember who pointed it out, but another BGG user recommended the DGT Cube game timer. I picked one up, and it's pretty sweet for this purpose. Once you get it set up, it automatically stops and starts a facing's timer when that facing is turned up. Use the cube itself as the "Active Player" marker, passing it off to someone when it's their turn. Have each facing match the player's color.

I had it set to just count up the entire time, so we knew how much of the game was spent by each person. Pausing it when strategy cards were flipped, and for combat.
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Necessary Evil
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This is always true with TI#. Someone usually has to move the game along, be ready to tell the inexperienced guys what happens next and to move them along so no one is waiting between player turns or game phases.

also try and overlap, no reason to wait on someone to build to start the next turn if the 2 players are not anywhere near each other. Same goes for space battles if you are not interested in attack that same space, keep playing.

-M
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Chris Tannhauser
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Here's a +N for having a dedicated Game Master—usually the most experienced person at the table—to verbally expedite the game.

I also recommend having everyone read (or reread) the rules before every play. Myself included.
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Simon Kamber
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer. And look for ways to mitigate it. Sometimes, having default actions if time runs out can ruin the game just as much as an overly-dragged-out game can.


I have yet to try it myself, but I have bern told that just having a timer counting up can speed things up. That could be worth trying before you introduce an actual limit.
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Craig Bowser
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sigmazero13 wrote:
townsean wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer. And look for ways to mitigate it. Sometimes, having default actions if time runs out can ruin the game just as much as an overly-dragged-out game can.


You know this just reminded another thing that dragged out our game: a player would end their turn but the next player didn't realize it and so the game would be paused for no reason.

Any ideas to prevent this as well? I suppose if the timer was still running that may help. Maybe ringing a bell and the end of your turn?

Have one player be the "whip master", and just be vigilant on letting the next person know its their turn. Probably some kind of rule of stating that during a round, no straying far from the table (and maybe allow for a short break between rounds).

Having someone say "Ok, #2, Jim, it's your turn", and "Jim, you're up after Bob, so start thinking about it" can work wonders. Not the most glamorous job, but it does help a lot!

Of course, if EVERYONE is in the same boat, then it doesn't help much But if even one or two players are on the ball, they can keep the rest in shape.



This is what we use the Voice of the Council for (from the Shattered Empire expansion). Whoever gets elected Voice of the Council is in charge of keeping the game moving. If that person is slacking then a new person will likely be elected.
 
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Max Way
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IncrediSteve wrote:
I can't remember who pointed it out, but another BGG user recommended the DGT Cube game timer. I picked one up, and it's pretty sweet for this purpose. Once you get it set up, it automatically stops and starts a facing's timer when that facing is turned up. Use the cube itself as the "Active Player" marker, passing it off to someone when it's their turn. Have each facing match the player's color.

I had it set to just count up the entire time, so we knew how much of the game was spent by each person. Pausing it when strategy cards were flipped, and for combat.


We tried this out a couple of weeks ago, to good effect. It was still a long game, and we needed to be more vigilant on 'timer pauses' at appropriate points. Just having the timer running (and being passed person to person) was a great aid in focusing everyone, however.
 
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Jan Tuijp
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer.


Just shoot the b*stard in the knee. I can practically guarantee you he won't do it again.

 
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Scott Lewis
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Jan Tuijp wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Just make sure everyone knows what the "penalty" is for exceeding the timer.


Just shoot the b*stard in the knee. I can practically guarantee you he won't do it again.


Actually, wouldn't that make it worse? "Quit writhing around on the floor clutching your leg and take your turn, already! Don't make me shoot you again!"
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Derry Salewski
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I'd also encourage people to just take their turns while the last guy is still going, unless it matters, which it probably doesn't half the time.
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