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Subject: Is it possible to shorten game time? rss

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HB BD
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My husband and I are looking at this game. The theme really interests us, as does the game play.

The biggest road block is the 180 minute playing time. We just don't have that much time to devote to a game right now.

1. Is there a shorter variant?
2. If not, is this a game you could easily do in sessions? Maybe over two days in a row.

Thanks!
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Steven
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The game is definitely playable in multiple sessions (I do this often with a friend when we play online) and it comes with a late war scenario covering the last three turns of the game.
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Jacob Williams
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You can definitely leave it set up and come back. You could play a turn a night. A turn is 6 to 7 action rounds.
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Conor Hickey
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HBBD2011 wrote:
My husband and I are looking at this game. The theme really interests us, as does the game play.

The biggest road block is the 180 minute playing time. We just don't have that much time to devote to a game right now.

1. Is there a shorter variant?
2. If not, is this a game you could easily do in sessions? Maybe over two days in a row.

Thanks!


Once you've played it you probably won't want to shorten it! It can definitely be left set up and come back to, you can check the board state, your hand, and the discard/removed cards piles in 5 minutes, then you'll be good to go.
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Brandon M
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There is a shorter scenario.

The Late War Scenario

This is a separate PDF file from when it was originally release, but since then these rules have been integrated with the Twilight Struggle rulebook.

Also, once you are familiar with the game, I think that the game does speed up. I think two regular opponents can knock out a game in around 120m within 6-7, maybe 10, plays.

This could easily be played over two sessions if you have the space for it and no pets that will mess things up.

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Alex Drazen
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There is a shorter variant in the rule book that plays the Late War only, from turns 8-10. The down side is many cards are removed, and it's tilted heavily in favor of one side (I forget which). The USA must score 20+ to win, including endgame scoring, with any other result being a Soviet victory, but the board is pretty favorable to the USA, if I recall.

I see no reason why you couldn't leave the board set up and play it an hour a day, or perhaps play Early/Mid/Late periods at a rate of one per day. That would take maybe 1 to 1.5 hours a day. You would need to isolate your set if you have pets or children who knock things about; there are a ton of small pieces.

Your first play will take a LONG time, though... 4 or 5 hours, if it goes the distance... as you learn the rules and cards. As people gain experience, it drops to 2-3 hours, but you definitely have to put in time and effort to make that happen.

Edit: ninja'd by someone more brief than myself! Also to clarify Late War Scenario scoring, as I'd erroneously said Soviets need 1+ VP to win that scenario, but they actually only need the USA to never reach 20+.
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Jack Francisco
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It's time well spent regardless of amount of sittings.
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David Millette
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be forewarned that your first plays may well exceed 3 hours until you learn the system. Worth every minute though. Great game.

Lol. I too was also ninja
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PJ Killian
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There is a short scenario that starts during the Late War. I haven't tried it but I imagine someone will be by shortly who has. I probably wouldn't get the game solely to play this scenario to the exclusion of the full game, but it's an option.

You can easily play this game in stages if you're able to leave it set up on the table between sessions. The other alternative would be to jot down/photograph the board position and bag up the cards, keeping the discard pile separate from the draw deck and setting aside the cards already removed from the game. This is a bit more work but hardly impossible. It would be best to do this between turns, for obvious reasons.

Another possibility for a Twilight Struggle-esque game in a shorter playing time would be to track down a reasonably priced copy of the sadly OOP 1960: The Making of the President, which has a common designer and a fair number of shared gameplay elements but takes significantly less time.

EDIT: wow, people jump on TS questions fast!
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HB BD
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WOW! That was incredibly fast! You all are great. Thank you so much.

This was very motivating. It went off our list because of the time issue, but we keep going back to it. I think this will be part of our next order now! Thanks again.
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Jack Francisco
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BGG representin' once again. And take it from someone who isn't very good at this game - discovering it with a good gaming partner is a big part of the fun for me. It's also the mark of a good game when people lose at it and are eager to play it again.
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Tim Earl
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The best way to shorten it is to become really good at it and crush your opponent by Turn 4 or 5. devil
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PJ Killian
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senorcoo wrote:
And take it from someone who isn't very good at this game - discovering it with a good gaming partner is a big part of the fun for me.


QFT, as the kids say.
 
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Chris Geggus
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senorcoo wrote:
BGG representin' once again. And take it from someone who isn't very good at this game - discovering it with a good gaming partner is a big part of the fun for me. It's also the mark of a good game when people lose at it and are eager to play it again.


So true!

I love playing lots of games with many different opponents, but there are a few friends that I only bump into at various cons and I aim deliberately to find time for a game or two of TS with these guys and every game is great. Win or lose I love the experience playing against them all and, yes, I do probably lose more than I win.

And rest assured that this is the only game that I can ever say this about!
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Rob Bell
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cheng wrote:
The best way to shorten it is to become really good at it and crush your opponent by Turn 4 or 5. devil

My wife did this to me on our first game. cry

I think that's the best way of playing a shorter game though.
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Jack Francisco
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And a good way of ensuring that the wife will play again. devil
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Martin Presley
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HBBD2011 wrote:
My husband and I are looking at this game. The theme really interests us, as does the game play.

The biggest road block is the 180 minute playing time. We just don't have that much time to devote to a game right now.

1. Is there a shorter variant?
2. If not, is this a game you could easily do in sessions? Maybe over two days in a row.

Thanks!


1. There is, but I'd skip it over. It's not the variant that sits on BGG's #1 slot.
2. You easily could do sessions if there was a place the game could sit undisturbed. It's still best if you can play all the way through for 2-3 hours, while it's fresh in your mind, but the game has a lot of natural places to take a break.
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Justin Robbins

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The more you play and as you get used to the game, playtime will decrease. It is in general a 2-3 hour game, possibly more on the first play. I have a good friend I frequently play with, and our games usually go for only around 2 hours and sometimes less.

Your questions:
1. The Late War Variant (which I have never tried)
2. This seems like an easily dividable game. You could split it by era or by turn. The turns are a very nice checkpoint system.
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Christopher Yaure
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Edit - The following is incorrect about reviewing the discard pile. Please disregard.

I agree with the consensus above, but want to emphasize one point. Normally you are not permitted to look at the discards (there are a card or two that let you look through the discard deck). You may want to allow youeselves to look through the discards when resuming the game the second day. At a minimum, you will want to be aware of which scoring cards have been played.
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Alex Drazen
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actuaryesquire wrote:
I agree with the consensus above, but want to emphasize one point. Normally you are not permitted to look at the discards (there are a card or two that let you look through the discard deck). You may want to allow youeselves to look through the discards when resuming the game the second day. At a minimum, you will want to be aware of which scoring cards have been played.


Huh? The FAQ states it is allowed for the discard pile to be examined at any time. (Ruling 4.2)
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Michal K
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I my experience, looking at the stats I am doing, the game very rarely makes it to the final scoring (in my case, about 10-15% of all games).

So, while there are late war scenario variants (and many new with online app) I suggest just starting the play in a normal set-up, and you will see how hard it is to get to the end (which means, it will be definitely shorter than 180 min).
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Robert Barnhart
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actuaryesquire wrote:
I agree with the consensus above, but want to emphasize one point. Normally you are not permitted to look at the discards (there are a card or two that let you look through the discard deck). You may want to allow youeselves to look through the discards when resuming the game the second day. At a minimum, you will want to be aware of which scoring cards have been played.


Alex is correct - the discard pile is always open for examination. My suggestion is, when you start, to help each other keep track of scoring cards that are still in the deck. A big problem is that at the beginning of the game, the possible moves are overwhelming. Knowing what scoring cards might be coming up limits the scope of moves to consider because you should generally be playing to get ready for scoring cards that could come up soon.
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Christopher Yaure
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I appreciate the corrections about reviewing the discard pile. What I SHOULD have written was after coming back to the game after an overnight break, you may want to agree to review the DRAW pile (and then reshuffle it).
 
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Lars Morten Kro
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We played our second game in 1,5 hours. Didn't make it out of early war

My guess is that short playtime may happen if opponent do a series of tactical blunders. whistle
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Tim Earl
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lasarus84 wrote:
We played our second game in 1,5 hours. Didn't make it out of early war

My guess is that short playtime may happen if opponent do a series of tactical blunders. whistle


I don't see too many games end in the Early War. For a long stretch, our games were ending on Turn 4 or 5. However, some of my opponents have upped their game and now we're making it into the Late War sometimes.
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