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Subject: How long should we expect for first play-thru rss

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Rob Deever
United States
Iowa
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Forbidden Stars has been sitting on my shelf for a few months now and my gaming group is excited to give it a try. How long should we realistically expect our first game to last (assuming somebody reads and understands the rules in advance- though would still have to teach the game). We usually play one evening a week after work so I am curious if we would have time to get a game of FS in, or if it would be best to schedule something over a weekend. Thoughts?
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Nick Clinite
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I'd probably recommend not necessarily trying to do a complete run-through on your first try, but an intro game in which players are free to make mistakes and learn the game, and not necessarily with the goal of completing the game. That way the game could be as short as 1 hour, or as long as 8, depending on if the players want to keep going.
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William Chew
United States
Concord Township
Ohio
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4 players using the pre-constructed maps would probably take 6 hours.
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Steve Hope
United States
Woodside
California
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I think William is about right. Takes us 3-4 hours with 3 people usually and we've played a lot. 4 adds a lot of time and being new will of course slow everything down too.
 
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chris thatcher
United Kingdom
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Ive played just once, 3 player. It took 4.5 hours. It was really good and i can see the time coming down but you are still looking at a long game.
 
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Jon Hook
United States
Lenexa
Kansas
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You might consider learning the game with two two-player games running side by side. Other than needing to share dice, there are enough components in the game to try it that way. A two-player game is usually about 2 or 2.5 hours long, and each pair of players can learn how the game flows. Then, you can combine it in your next game as an epic four-player game.
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Steve Paltrineri
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I was in a similar situation and just was able to play this for the first time last weekend. It took us almost exactly 5 hours to finish. I did ask the players to watch some videos about the game ahead of time so they could at least be familiar with the rules, and 2 of them went so far as to download the rule book and read it. So the teaching time was shortened considerably, but still took a little while.

We played with the recommended first game setup, which I think adds to the overall playtime instead of shortening it. That map is perfectly balanced, all four players are fairly equidistant from each other and the objectives are perfectly spread out. This means that you need to spend more time moving around the map, trying to get all your objectives. If you do the "advanced setup", it really doesn't take too much time to go through the process, and it will make the map less balanced. Home tiles will be closer to each other, thus encouraging more conflict and the objective tiles will not be as perfectly spread out. I've heard that this can cut the play time to 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

BTW, everyone in my group loved this game! Over the whole 5 hours, I was never bored. Even when others were involved in combat and I was watching, I was still interested in seeing what they were doing, learning what kind of combat cards they had and how they used them. It also gave me time to review my strategy and plan ahead. The whole thing was a blast and I literally wanted to start a new game as soon as we were finished (but it was 1:30AM no one wanted to play with mecry). Get a game together soon, you won't regret it.
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Rob Deever
United States
Iowa
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Appreciate everyone's comments and insight! We are excited to try it out, but looks like we may be scheduling something for a Friday night or Saturday afternoon.
 
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pyetya
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From my experience:

2 PLAYERS:
new, undisciplined 4.5+ hours
experienced, undisciplined 3.5 hours
experienced, disciplined 2 hours

3 PLAYERS
new, undisciplined 6+ hours
experienced, undisciplined 4-5 hours
experienced, disciplined 3,5 hours

4 PLAYERS - never tried, don't think will try in the near future
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Paul Ferguson
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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It does take quite some time to play as others have noted but, well worth the time. It does play best with 4 or 2 players, 3 is just not quite right .
 
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Loig Roumois
Switzerland
Baden
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I feel that with more experience the game also takes longer. mostly due to analysis paralysis and the fact that all players are constantly trying to avoid mistakes. Which is something you don't care about too much being a reckless rookie.
 
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Samuel Bailey
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Minnesota
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Steve is correct. The premade map makes things too long (who knew that good balance was a problem is this case!), especially for people's first game where they are still figuring things out. Using the advanced setup for your first game is much encouraged. Or use the premade map but only play to 3 objectives instead of 4 to shorten that first game some.
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Arturs Leščinskis
Latvia
Riga
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2-p - played 2 test runs and 2 normal games, it's approximately 2h, once person gets a hold of the mechanics it gets better, keep in mind that this game is very prone to analysis-paralysis, so be warned.

3-p - invited two friends who never played it before, I think it took us something around 4h to get to the middle of the game (round 4-5 iirc). But they were new to this game, had a lot of questions (valid and smart ones), and both sometimes think way too long.

4-p - played it yesterday. it took us 7 hours to play all 8 rounds. But I played with two friends that I played 3-p variant, and a new dude. so there were a lot of questions. But it was still fun in it's own way.

Things that I've noticed:

- there's freaking a lot of things to think about for folks on their first run. So it's been decided to play without upgrades(I know that it's a crucial part of the game, and I highly encouraged that next time we're playing with upgrades as they drastically change the game), but for people it's a bit easier on their first try. It's risky, but all of them said "...just wow. amazing game" afterwards, and agreed to play with upgrades.

There's another group of friends who are really into games, boardgames, and they proved that it's possible to complete big time-consuming games much faster than my other gaming groups, so I can't wait to play with them
 
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K
United States
Oakland
California
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Completely depends on how many rounds the game goes. Obviously there's s hueg difference between a Round 4 win and a Round 8 win.

I'd say the upper limit though is maybe as much as 6-7 hours for 4 new players though if it goes the full 8 rounds (not unlikely)
 
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Sílvio Jesus
Portugal
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Took us around 6-7 hours with 4 players.

 
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