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Subject: An estimate of game length rss

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Björn “Beorn” Rabenstein
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Our first Italia I session took about 11h (seesion report will be posted here soon). Two of the three players were not even familiar with Britannia-like games in general. And we played pretty relaxed, discussing a lot, taking time for decisions etc.

I was wondering how long a game of Italia will take if everybody knows the game and plays reasonably fast. A game of Britannia takes 3-4h in our group if played that way. So how does Italia compare to Britannia?

Number of land areas: 37 (B) 37 (I) (Oops - just coincidence?
Number of sea areas: 6 (B) 9 (I)
Number of massing areas 0 (B) 5 (I)
Turns: 16 (B) 10 (I)
Total number of army units (excl. leaders, forts, cities, burhs, but including fleets): 200 (B) 213 (I1) 294 (I2)
Number of nations: 17 (B) 14 (I1) 16 (I2)

From these numbers, one would conclude that the game length should not be much different. Italia I should actually be a little bit shorter than Britannia because of the smaller number of game turns. For Italia II, the 50% higher counter number will probably overcompensate.

But rules are more complex for Italia: More unit types, cities for everybody, and first of all: Campaigns! In general, they take much longer than normal major invasions. While Britannia has 9 major invasions, Italia I has only 2 and Italia II has 5. Italia I has 9 campaigns and Italia II has 5.

Adding the experiences from our first session, I would think that Italia I should be possible in 5h with experienced players. Italia II has fewer campaings, but many more units, so I would estimate it takes a little bit longer.
 
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Harmonica
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I'm quite an experienced Britannia player, but it has been a long while ago I've last played it. A couple of weeks ago I've played Italia II - the four player game - with three inexperienced though smart and fast playing guys and it took us 4 hours to complete the first half - 5 turns - of the game. This is pretty similar with Britannia which took us an afternoon and a couple of hours in the evening to play. I have to note that we always play for fun. It's not a race against the clock!

Italia I - the three player game - of course plays a lot quicker.
 
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