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Subject: What's the average game length (# of turns) in your group? rss

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Alexey Stepanov
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Just curious ) We're playing with four players, and I've noticed that the lion's share of our games are rather quick - 4.5 turns on average (meaning that in most cases victory is achieved on the fourth or the fifth turn). For this reason we rarely see the titans or the command level three upgrade cards being purchased (unless there's a runaway leader, in which case they're just showing off, so it's moot anyway

So! How much turns, on average, does your group take to wrap up a game of FS?
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Joshua Schutte
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First few games went 4-6 turns. (3/4 player count)
Last 5 games have gone to turn 8 with a tie or solo winner on the last turn. (3/4 player count)
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Andy Day

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About 6 turns. We don't see much level 3 either. Typically a few level 3 things get bought a move or two before the game ends.
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Gary Masters
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I've played the game multiple times in various groups of 4 people and have never seen a game go longer than 5 rounds.

And I totally agree with you about level 3 units and upgrades - it's very rare that they come into play.
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Poland
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Interesting, for us it is 8, not average, 8 every time.
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Genestealer Patriarch
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Titans and battleships occasionally show up in our 4 player games, but only when there are a lot of hammers about or someone has been capturing cities, rather than building them. I've never seen a level 3 card bought or played. If you have built 3 cities it probably means you have been turtling and are therefore going to lose anyway. Our games are normally over by turn 4-5.

The only game we have had go to 8 turns was a 2 player where we were deadlocked in the middle. A larger board would have provided more ways to sneak around the blockage; in the end my (marine) takeover attempt faltered and the Orks had more materiel to overwhelm me.
 
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Alexey Stepanov
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Okay, so it looks like 4-5 turns per a game is indeed how long it should take. One of the things I really like about FS - it doesn't drag on too long compared to other games of similar weight. Quick and brutal, like a chainsword blow )

Although when we sat down to play the first time, everyone was in the TI/Eclipse mindset. We placed the home systems as far from the center as possible and deployed all the starting units there, then started cautiously advancing. Needless to say, that game took a while (I believe nobody had claimed four objectives by the time the game ended). Our games really picked up the pace since then - now it's a bloodbath from the word go )
 
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Charlie Theel
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Ours always take 6-8.

For those of you ending in 5 turns - do you guys gang up on the leader? We always box in the person close to victory with warp gates and collaborate on keeping the player from winning. This draws the game out but it's how we play most games in this genre.

I imagine 5 turn games are resulting from players not defending objectives strongly enough.
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Genestealer Patriarch
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charlest wrote:
Ours always take 6-8.

For those of you ending in 5 turns - do you guys gang up on the leader? We always box in the person close to victory with warp gates and collaborate on keeping the player from winning. This draws the game out but it's how we play most games in this genre.

I imagine 5 turn games are resulting from players not defending objectives strongly enough.

We do gang up on the leader, which is usually the opportunity for one sneaky git to come from behind and steal 2 objectives whilst everyone's orders are elsewhere. A very satisfying way to win...

Whilst you could put more effort into blocking other players, this tends to be an incidental or last ditch thing. I've found it's generally better to concentrate on grabbing your own objectives. In a 2 player game it amounts to the same thing.
 
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Alexey Stepanov
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charlest wrote:
For those of you ending in 5 turns - do you guys gang up on the leader?


I found the opportunities for that few and far between to be honest. You need to predict the leader's plans (which are, admittedly, often plain to see, but still), move into position in advance, and time your orders just right to realistically hope to interfere with them. This also means that you are damaging your own chances to win. I don't know if this is a common dynamic or not, but people I play with (myself included) are loath to spend their own resources to stop whoever is in the lead. Oh, sure enough, there's lots of "Somebody do something, they are going to win!" thrown around, but nobody is in a hurry to commit their own resorces to throwing wrenches in the leader's plans, uless it is relatively free to do so.

Patriarchxyz wrote:
I've found it's generally better to concentrate on grabbing your own objectives.


That's what we found, too. You can't hold 'em all, and you can't be everywhere at once. Try to throw speedbumps where you can, but look to advancing your own agenda first and foremost.
 
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Joshua Schutte
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modronmarch wrote:
charlest wrote:
For those of you ending in 5 turns - do you guys gang up on the leader?


I found the opportunities for that few and far between to be honest. You need to predict the leader's plans (which are, admittedly, often plain to see, but still), move into position in advance, and time your orders just right to realistically hope to interfere with them. This also means that you are damaging your own chances to win. I don't know if this is a common dynamic or not, but people I play with (myself included) are loath to spend their own resources to stop whoever is in the lead. Oh, sure enough, there's lots of "Somebody do something, they are going to win!" thrown around, but nobody is in a hurry to commit their own resorces to throwing wrenches in the leader's plans, uless it is relatively free to do so.

Patriarchxyz wrote:
I've found it's generally better to concentrate on grabbing your own objectives.


That's what we found, too. You can't hold 'em all, and you can't be everywhere at once. Try to throw speedbumps where you can, but look to advancing your own agenda first and foremost.


At setup are you creating a small attack army and not spreading thin (1 guy/world)? Leaving most of the world's undefended.
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Animate
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Disclaimer: I played more than 20 2-player games and not a single 3 or 4 player game.
On the beginning it was usually 3-4 rounds (with my personal best, being one round win), but these days, with my usual partner getting better and better, games last full 8 rounds almost every time, quite often ending up with draw/planets victory.
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Alexey Stepanov
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Crikrunner wrote:
At setup are you creating a small attack army and not spreading thin (1 guy/world)? Leaving most of the world's undefended.


Yes, that's exactly what we started doing as we played the game more. Usually, no planet outside the home system is unguarded after the deployment has finished. Perhaps I should re-phrase myself: you can't be everywhere at once in force. Sure, that command level zero unit holds the planet and blocks the cultists from teleporting in, but it is unlikely to put up a fight against a determined attacker (though remind me to tell you of that one time when a squad of Space Marine scouts ambushed and destroyed an attacking battlewagon And even if you spend orders and materiel on fortifyng a specific position - that's resources you are not putting towards achieving victory yourself.

Perhaps the dynamic is different in two player games - I've yet to play FS with less than three people - but in a four player free-for-all it's sometimes not so easy to identify the leader. Last game we played, I won with Orks on turn four. I had not yet become a threat by the beginning of turn two (zero objective tokens, seven worlds under control, and 10 materiel income), and by the beginning of turn four, thanks to a number of factors, the chances of stopping me had become very poor. This basically only left a window of opportunity for a single turn to try and frustrate my plans - and no-one was in position to do so.
 
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Benjamin
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In the beginning we had couple of 8 round games as some people turtled massively and just blocked everyone from winning for as long as possible but always coming last.
By now all games end in the first 4-5 turns, long games go to the 6th turn.

We always spread out thin in order to deter people from cheap grabs. You might lose some, but due to warp storms and turn order it's quite easy to hold onto things early. Mostly for the income or for staying close to 4 objectives. Worst thing that can happen is being 2-3 regions away from your last 1-2 objectives while everyone else is close.

I think key things are (both to WIN and to make games quicker):
- Never turtle and build up, only build units you immediately need
- Try to advance at least 1 per round
- Never attack anything that doesn't yield objectives or is on the way to objective (attacking someone's vulnerable base is just wasting tokens and making the 2 players not involved stronger - rather make the other player waste tokens/resources trying to defend without you doing the same to attack)
- UNLESS you otherwise get wiped out in an area of the board and relocating to a random planet keeps you close to ojective

The game really shines with 4; with 2 players I found that there's too much trench warfare and back n forth on a single planet.
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Paul Paella
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Every game I've played, both 2 and 4 player games, have gone the full 8 turns. No one I've played with will spread their initial systems/forces out; they just don't. I'm sure this is causing all our games to go 8 rounds.

I'm curious if 3 and 4 player games would be more exciting and quicker, at least for us, with only 3 objective tokens needed to win. I would imagine this would get players to place their initial tiles and forces differently and move out and about earlier in the game.
 
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J Fraser
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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My games are generally really quick. We've played about 15-20 so far, and at least 2 of them have ended on turn 3 (one of them actually almost ended on turn 2, but the leader got stopped short of their last play). Only one game has gone to turn 8. In 3 player games, we're actually considering adding an extra objective for each player and increasing the win count to 4 just so we can make the games go a bit longer.

Our play-group's meta is extremely aggressive, and we've found that turtling just doesn't work at all. There's usually one or two players that try to turtle, and they quickly fall behind players who split their forces early and concentrate more on taking objectives than defending them. Usually the turtler ends up with a big army and lots of nice, defensible territory, but only 0-1 objectives.

For playgroups that are turtley, I really recommend trying to disrupt the meta by splitting your forces early and trying to take objectives in the first 1-2 turns. The game is really designed for aggression, and that's one of the reasons we've started playing it over Game of Thrones.

Despite the temptation to play conservatively, no one has enough starting units to adequately defend every objective on their starting tiles. It is much easier to take an objective on turn 1 than in later turns when people have established their bastions and factories. If you can predict that your opponents will play defensively and not try to take their objectives in the first turn, there's no reason for you to defend the objectives you're sitting on! Place your tiles and forces aggressively, get up in their face, consider even skipping your first Strategize to get more units out and mobile, and then leave your opponents to try and catch up in the later rounds. As long as you are up on objectives and forcing your opponents into trying to stop you, there is only really one territory you need to defend, and that is a well-positioned factory.

Unless you're Eldar, in which case you really have to find a way to make the game go late. Good luck with that, we haven't had much.
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