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Subject: Is the average TS game really so long? rss

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Mattia Ravasi
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Hi everyone ! I just got my brand new copy of Twilight Struggle and I just can't wait to try it

I have heard lots about this game but I know little about its mechanics, and I bought it mostly out of fascination with its theme. What I see so far makes me think that the game won't disappoint me; my only doubt is that, though the manual says this is a "quick-playing game," the box says the average game lasts 180 minutes, 3 hours (!).

Is that an accurate average? I reckon I'll be a bit creaky during the first games, but does the game really last that long every time? I mostly play with my girlfriend and it might take me a while to convince her to invest three hours or more into a single game ^^

Thanks for the help - I know it's a bit of a dumb and generic question! Cheers everybody
 
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Eric Devir
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I'm not a super experienced player but my few plays have gone between 4 and 5 hours each. I'm sure that decreases a bit as familiarity with cards grows.

Your first few plays will see you absolutely agonize over the endless stream of brutal choices you are constantly faced with--and that can eat significant clock.

That said, every brain burning minute is classic.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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Three hours IS quick-playing for a "wargame" (of which I do not consider TS to necessarily be, but I digress).

Yes, three hours among two experienced players for a full 10-turn game is a good estimate, maybe quicker. If playing with experienced players on VASSAL, games can often be completed in under an hour.

However, it should be stated that it takes some time to get used to the game and get competitive at it. This is one game where it is all about knowing the cards, knowing what they do, and which cards are potentially in the deck at all times. Each play will give you a richer experience. The game gets its reputation for a reason.
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Daniel Rüttimann
Switzerland
Luzern
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Ciao Mattia. Yes, three hours are quite realistic for a full game. If you play a learning game it may last even longer (study the cards, devise plans, check the rules from time to time). But it can also be over after 45 minutes if one side reaches 20VP or causes a nuclear war (does not happen very often).

Tell your girlfriend this:
- Sometimes the game is over after one hour, sometimes it takes three hours.
- Let's play the early (and mid) war today and continue tomorrow.
- It's a great game full of tension and tough decisions. So free hours feel more like two.

Have fun playing!
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Mark Stadel
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Players who are less experienced can expect either LONG games (since they are not familiar with the cards or strategies) or short games lasting only a few turns as they may make some mistakes that'll lead to an early loss.

But as you become more experienced, you will play faster ... though you will likely play longer as early wins are harder to do against more knowledgeable players. Our games usually go around 2-2.5 hours.
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Conor Hickey
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2 experienced players can get a ten turn game done in 2 - 2.5 hours, but you can count on 3-4 for your first few. Not all games will run that long though, and the more experienced you get, the more games will get to Final Scoring.
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Fred Finkenbinder
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On the contrary, before players become used to the concept, DEFCON suicide happens very often among new players. Early on it can be overlooked though, as players don't readily understand the concept of "coup on your opponent's turn."
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First Last
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Rocky Mountain House
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First 15 games were probably about two hours and usually ended with a Russian victory before Turn 7. Now we can play a full 10 turns to final scoring in about 90 minutes. Once you get familiar with the cards and the strategies it does get way faster.
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Ivor Bolakov
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If it goes 10 turns, yes. In my experience, that doesn't happen for a while.
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Mattia Ravasi
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I see - thanks everybody for the great and fast answers ! I finished a first reading of the manual and I see how I/we might need one or two games to start grasp what strategies are worth following and what are suicidally stupid ^^

DonDogo wrote:


Tell your girlfriend this:
- Sometimes the game is over after one hour, sometimes it takes three hours.
- Let's play the early (and mid) war today and continue tomorrow.
- It's a great game full of tension and tough decisions. So free hours feel more like two.

Have fun playing!

I quite like these points - especially the second one! Thanks
 
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Mattias Elfström
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I'd say that three hours is a quick game for any game this good. As has been pointed out earlier your first games will probably be much longer or indeed very short.
 
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james newman
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Krokgard wrote:
I see - thanks everybody for the great and fast answers ! I finished a first reading of the manual and I see how I/we might need one or two games to start grasp what strategies are worth following and what are suicidally stupid ^^

DonDogo wrote:


Tell your girlfriend this:
- Sometimes the game is over after one hour, sometimes it takes three hours.
- Let's play the early (and mid) war today and continue tomorrow.
- It's a great game full of tension and tough decisions. So free hours feel more like two.

Have fun playing!

I quite like these points - especially the second one! Thanks

Make sure to line up a backup player in case she doesn't like it. The game is too good to sit on a shelf.
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Haytil Reivesman
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My first few games probably took about 2.5 hours.

Now I know the cards, mechanics, and game real well. I can bang out a game on-line in an hour, if my opponent plays as fast as I do.

If I'm playing face-to-face, where I have to shuffle the cards, roll the physical dice, and find the influence markers - then it takes me about 90 minutes with another experienced player.

This game really doesn't need to be so long. Some people just overdo the analysis paralysis.
 
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Deano License
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One good thing is that whilst the game has a reasonable length as described above; almost all of it will be reading the cards and deciding what to do. The actual rules (which normally look up things usually takes up a large amount of play time on new games) are pretty straight forward and simple with no exceptions. So you'll both be engaged throughout the whole session. Time really does fly when playing it.

My advice is just play it and see what happens. You will probably always have something you want to do, and just enough cards/OPS to ensure you can't do it all. And that's before the other person does something which messes your plans. You'll have a lot of fun!
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Mikkel Ninn
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I play this with my wife after the kids have gone to bed and it usually takes us to or three evening for a game. I guess three hours is a very good bet.

I got it this summer and we have played about six times, so are are not very experienced and still need to look in the rules and discuss the cards regularly.
 
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