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Caverna: The Cave Farmers» Forums » Variants

Subject: Analysis Paralysis rss

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Louisville
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So at this point my group has played Caverna about 5 times and we were suffering hard from Analysis Paralysis (AP). As an example, a 4 player game was taking 4-5 hours. So in order to address this, we made some house rules:

1) Friendly Timer: 45 second timer. You have 45 seconds to PLACE your dwarf. Then resolve the action, but this is not timed. 45 second timer is reset for each player and for each dwarf.
(not hard to do, or a lot of work, we all have smart phones with timers; easy)

2) If the timer buzzes, it signals you to make a move. No real consequence, we just agreed it means "move it along." Everyone complied.
**There was discussion if friendly timer didn't work, to skip the dwarf/player if the timer buzzed, and then that player places their skipped dwarf last. Everyone at the table did a nice job respecting the FRIENDLY timer, so we didn't do this. Variant to the variant, however.

3) Expeditions - If you go on an expedition, the next player goes while you resolve the expeditions you are on. It is expected you have this done by the time it gets back to your next turn to place a dwarf. In order to prevent confusion, if two players were on expeditions at the same time, we all stopped and waited for them both to be resolved. This was in order to prevent confusion, not overload the "banker," and ensure everyone was caught up.
** This actually only happened 2 times the entire game, and this was a game where about 12-13 dwarves of this 4 player game had weapons by the end.

4) In between rounds, especially later in the game, we took a few minutes and thought out our respective strategies. Generally this wasn't more then a few minutes. It was also the time to use bathroom, or get a drink. We remained friendly about these intermissions; basically if someone wanted it, we did it. Emphasis is placed on Friendly Rules, after all. It helped slow the rushed pace down a bit and give a chance to breath.

5) The last round, because it was the last round, we suspended the timer rules. This was in order to allow everyone to maximize their final moves to get points. There was some discussion about if we should do this again, mainly because without the timer, we all immediately returned to our AP ways. That last round took about 25 minutes to play out. Maybe next time we will increase the timer instead of eliminating it...



Overall that is it! We finished a 4 player game in 2.5 hours, which was our best time ever! It stayed friendly the entire time, and honestly I felt like we had more interaction because I wasn't sitting there being quiet trying not to interrupt someone else's move. We even have someone in our group who is extremely ADHD and she responded amazingly well to these rules. Everyone reported they had more fun playing this way, and oddly I felt like we all appreciated each others boards/progress more at the end of the game. Also, the scores were consistent to when we played the last times, so no hurt there.

So just some ideas. Anyone have other strategies to prevent/minimize Analysis Paralysis?

Thanks for reading!






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Anrey Wang
United States
Portland
Oregon
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This is such a great idea! In a way, it reminds of how AP is managed in chess or go or other abstracts...

Now only if I could get my hands on an appropriately dwarf-farmer-themed timer...
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Mark Gilborson
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We use a DGT timer clock and it works brilliantly

http://www.amazon.co.uk/DGT-Cube-Worlds-First-Multiplayer/dp...
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Michael Dart
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Melbourne
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Sounds like you did a good job of applying gentle pressure while being careful not to spoil the fun for anyone. Well done. meeple
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