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World of Warcraft: The Boardgame» Forums » General

Subject: Long play time and down-time rss

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Chris J Davis
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Hi guys,

I've recently bought this game and played it twice and absolutely love it. There were just a couple of problems that I was wondering if anyone out there had any solutions for.

Firstly, the game takes *ages* to play - I don't see how it can be expected for a single game to come in at 3 hours, as our game (with six players) took *ten* hours to finish (and even then we didn't bother doing the final PvP battle properly, as it was obvious who was going to win after one round of combat). We had one player who took a little longer than avergae to take each of his turns, but it couldn't *all* be down to him. Is there something we're doing wrong? What is the average time (and the time per faction round) for your games?

Secondly, the down-time for each faction was far too long, and we found that one faction was off browsing the internet, making phone calls or cups of tea or smoking a fag while the other faction took their turn. Is there any way of reducing this? I thought that one idea might be to incorportate "leveling-up" into the character management step (as we found this took a lot of time) and doing that step while the opposing faction are taking their turn. Can anyone see any problems with this idea, or has anyone thought of other ways of reducing player down-time?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts,

Chris.
 
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Eli Smith
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There's a lot of non-board accounting time that can be handled while the other players are taking thier turn, unless there's going to be PvP conflict on that turn a lot of stuff can be taken care of while the opposing faction goes through the motions.

I'm also curious how much time was spent "bringing people back to the game" to start thier turn (after leaving for a smoke break, etc...) all those little distractions add up.

Being intimatley familair with the rules also speeds things up, how often did you have to consult the rulebook (haveing, as you've said, only played it twice)?

It's amazing how much faster a game can be when a bunch of little timesinks get removed.

My friends and I can now play this game in about 3-4 hours, we do a lot of "turn overlap" wherever possible and keep the smoke/snack breaks to a minimum.
 
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J Mathews
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That's been our experience. During the other faction's turn you plan and discuss things, take care of planning the level-ups, look through the merchant deck, etc. We get done within 3 hours, usually, and there isn't much real downtime. Of course we still haven't gotten through all the classes each so there's a lot of planning of level ups. But basically, anything that doesn't have to be done during yuor faction's turn, we do during the other faction's turn.
 
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Mike zebrowski
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Reducing downtime is simple: plan ahead.

The non-active team shouldn't be wandering away from the board. They should be making plans and getting stuff ready to go when it is there turn. Unless a character is taking a challenge action, each action shouldn't take more than 20 seconds to complete.

Challenge actions are a little more complicated to speed up, but there are some tricks:

1) Have a non-involved person handle the monster reference sheet. That way you can ask what the different values are instead of taking the time to look them up yourself.

2)Have a non-involved person place the tokens in the boxes. That way you can just say, "2 red hit, 1 green, 1 blue".

3) When allocating your dice pool, place the dice on the power/talent cards so you know which power gives you dice. It also reduces the time it takes to double check your dice pool.

4 Know your character. Don't read the cards for the first time during a challenge.
 
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Guy Riessen
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First time we played it took 6 hours--but only because we were playing incorrectly and both side were taking a "turn" on each turn, say on turn 11, rather than alternating. Had we been playing with the side alternating correctly, it would have taken half the time...3 hours. We were playing with 6 players, so were maxed on number of people. None of us had played before, we were unfamiliar with what to buy and upgrade to, so had to spend time looking. I don't quite understand how it could possibly take 10 hours.
 
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Crazy Fella
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Lots of good advice here, I don't know that I really have anything to add.

Asking someone uninvolved in the game to do all that work is pretty demanding, but if you do indeed have someone willing to do that then that's pretty cool!

One rule we always threw in (it was an optional one in the back of the rulebook) is the "defeat the overlord" variant. I've seen a lot of complaints that the final PvP is what turned people off to the game. If you play with the variant you just go until one side topples the Overlord. We've never had to use it but always had it there just in case.
 
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Lexingtonian
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I think by "non-involved" Mike means someone whose turn it technically isn't at the moment.
 
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Crazy Fella
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I got in 3 games of this over the weekend, with the longest one only going 4 1/2 hours.

There was a new player in the game for each except the third. One of the guys actually plays the WoW computer game and surprisingly for him it helped a lot, at least in his character building.

I digress. Downtime was minimal because everyone was always planning what they were going to do during the opposing turn. When a mission was completed that quest was put to the side and the other player on the team would draw a new quest while the other player gathered his rewards. If the challenge action was their second action and they had to level too, we would overlap. The player would get his rewards and do his leveling and equipping as the other side started their turn. This made for a smooth quick moving game, the only exception being when events were drawn, but that did not slow things down too much.

So pretty much the longest downtime would be when there was combat, and like I said it never took that long. Players not doing challenges got their turns done very quickly.

The opposing team kept track of tokens during longer combats (like boss and overlord fights). We also did the defeat the Overlord variant instead of the end-game PvP.

I don't claim to be an expert on explaining the game by any means, but I think once you get into it the game is pretty simple to pick up, and it really helped. Both people I introduced it to enjoyed it a lot and one of them isn't even a big WoW fan, but I do think reducing downtime the way we did helped a lot.

My general suggestion would be make sure one person on each team knows the game in order to help things stay on the move, and to overlap things where you can. Like I said challenges took the most time but it wasn't that bad because everything else overlapped whenever possible.

We had a great time and you can probably bet on a (few) session report(s) coming soon.
 
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Peter Marchlewitz
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We played a four player recently. Two newbies, two vets. We took five hours to complete the game. It was very involving and we didn't mind the time it took. That being said...it will only see the table once every couple of months or so due to its length.
Fun game!

 
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Brian Smith
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5 hours seems to be the target time for games with newbies. I can get a 2-vet game down to 2.5-3 hours.

The trick to minimizing downtime is to be doing stuff during other people's go. If your second action is just going to be training or towning, then you do it during the next faction's turn, etc... (assuming that there aren't events/destiny in the future that could impact your choices).
 
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RIK FONTANA
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Hey Chris, Well you have gotten a lot of answers that pretty much reflect the truth about this game. Our group agrees, this is a game that is played differently than most others.

For anyone reading this who has not yet played the game: you have to approach the boardgame somewhat like the online version. If you start questioning "how fast can you get the game in", then it's not for that group. Everybody likes to Win, but in this game, it is really more about the WOW experience. Knowing the rules thoroughly and having a feel for the heroes, the game situation, the levels, etc are so important because then it's much easier to get the motivation to plan and prepare during the opponent's turn.
 
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