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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » General

Subject: Realistic Play time? rss

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Micah Jones
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I've been searching the forums but I"m not finding anything about the play time or game length. Any thoughts on realistic play times? New players vs. experienced, etc?
 
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Brian
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TexJones wrote:
I've been searching the forums but I"m not finding anything about the play time or game length. Any thoughts on realistic play times? New players vs. experienced, etc?
Each mission is different and lists a play time. The estimates are reasonable for an experienced group that doesn't debate every decision, but it is easy to take two to five times as long if you discuss everything and/or have less experienced players.

Setup and takedown are also not included and can take a while depending on your packaging.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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I agree with Brian. The listed play times are reasonable for experienced, decisive players. But anything that slows down the play time can slow it down quite a bit. I typically play for 2.5-3h per game, but have always been teaching new players.
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Rosen Crantz
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My games of two people, playing three survivors each, typically take about double the play time the scenarios estimate. I wouldn't say we are gaming pros, but we do play board games every couple of weeks or so.
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Mark Blasco

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After a number of plays, with and without the kickstarter stuff, and a lot of plays of the original, I'll say that the time to play varies a LOT. Some missions you will breeze through in an hour, and then you'll play the same mission with the same characters and have to fight tooth and nail for 3 hours to barely make it out alive. The ones where you need to collect the food items is completely random, because if the cards are at the bottom of the search deck, you'll have to spend forever getting through every single card. Considering you can only search once on your turn, this can go on for 3+ hours.

Experience helps to keep things moving along, but count on it being a long game no matter what, unless you're playing the easiest scenarios. It's rare that I find it to take less than 2 hours.
 
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Micah Jones
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I appreciate all the feedback. I've been wanting to get my hands on this but sounds like the play time means I'll never get anyone in my family to play it with me. Bummer. Guess I'll stick to playing it at cons.
 
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Eric Christensen
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On average for me, even the sessions where everything seems to go smoothly and myself and my gf are decisive, it still takes a couple of hours. Our two most recent scenarios have ended after 3 hours and it was in defeat. I love the game, but it's a serious time sink. We will usually not commit to a scenario if we know we don't have 3 hours before we need to reclaim the gaming space. The good news is that the time really flies quickly when we play.
 
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Tyrell Wood
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We generally run over on the play time but that is because we over analyze everything we do. If we did not do that I can see us hitting the recommended play time suggested in the scenarios very easily.
 
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Mark Blasco

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I will also say that sometimes I play solo, so there is no discussion, and that's the only time that it hits the play time listed in the manual. Even there, there is a lot of swing as to how long each scenario takes.
 
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Geoff ...
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Unfortunately you cannot really predict the play time. A 90 minute mission can turn into 3 hours Owing to spawns / dice rolls / equipment draws.

Great game but the variability is a negative for us, making for a risky proposition when we're looking for 2hr game... that might turn into 4.
 
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Eric Nolan
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If you think the play time may be too long there is one trick you can do to speed things up.

Have everyone start with the weapons their figures are holding. I've done this multiple times in modern and I assume it works just as well in ZBP. This reduces the amount of searching that people want to do and increases their ability to clear zombies.

You may also want to start with everyone at yellow. This is partly to offset the fact that there will be too few zombies at blue for the weaponry the players have, but mostly because everyone having an extra action will speed things up.

This probably makes things easier, although not as much as you might think if you are comparing to groups who very carefully stay in blue as long as they can while maximising their searching and building clearing. It will certainly make things faster, probably cutting out the first 30 minutes where people are trying to gear up more than kill things.
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Brian
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Hivemind wrote:
If you think the play time may be too long there is one trick you can do to speed things up.

Have everyone start with the weapons their figures are holding. I've done this multiple times in modern and I assume it works just as well in ZBP.


It doesn't, mainly because weapons have a MUCH lower visual variance in ZBP... My guy is holding a sword, is the that a short sword, a sword, a great sword, b-sword, quicksilver sword, flaming sword...

Also none of the characters are holding the 'good' items (no flaming swords) while in classic people hold chainsaws and Molotovs in their figure.

Also all spells look the same... And the casters actually hold wands and staves, while none of the items are actually wands or staves.
 
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Eric Nolan
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Oh well. Shame really since I find searching for weapons to be very boring.

It is interesting though. Now that you have pointed it out I can see the problems. It is true that the modern weapons are very distinctive, you can tell this guy has a 44 magnum, that one has a pair of uzis and she has a chainsaw and a sawn-off shotgun in her apron. It is certainly going to be hard to tell the difference between the various swords and crossbows, but it seems odd not to have equipment cards for the wands and staves.
 
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James J

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One thing to keep in mind is that not every long game session is created equal. A long Z:BP game is a breezy affair. It's never a brain-burner.

I taught this to experienced gamers at PAX South, and those games were pretty dang long (4+ hours), but that included full rules explanations plus a lot of "Cool! Can we do that? How about this?!" LOL. Gamers tend to get the "sandboxy" feel and like to experiment. The only time I lost it was during a session with a relative of mine (just the two of us, 3 survivors each). He could make decisions fast enough, but when he spawned zeds he insisted on placing each. one. individually. Oh my god. When you get into red spawns that can take ages. I had to reach past him and grab handfuls of figures to slam on the table.

But that brings to mind my suggestion for keeping the time down (and the players engaged)--give everyone a job. I need to re-do it now, but my core box insert broke down and allowed players to fill roles like wrangling zombies, noise token placement/clean-up, card draws, etc. That way the active player could focus on having fun while everyone else took care of the upkeep.
 
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yoann arrouet
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My experience :
I played the quest 5 alone, it was said 120min.

I was alone, so no dispute, chat or anything. I had been very lucky, got blue and green at first 2 objectives, I thought "Wow, it was really fast". I think I finished it the shortest way and it took me... 120 minutes !

So yes, time written is "AT LEAST" xxx minutes.
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