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Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars» Forums » General

Subject: Estimated Play Length based on Playtesting? rss

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Luigi C.
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Sedro Woolley
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I see the play time estimated between 180 to 360 minutes. That is a significant spread, the difference between getting the game to the table and having to make this a whole day or multiple sessions event. Granted, there are always many variables (the teaching of the rules, level of experience of the players, degree of AP, etc.). Having said that, I would like to know the following (all questions assume 4 gamers/players, no bots):
1) How likely is the playtime to fit within 3 hours after the initial hurdle? Are there different scenarios that would make this more likely (but also limit the experience)?
2) How much is the downtime between turns (on average, for non AP prone players, how long would it take for the turn to come back and is there any negotiation that helps fill that gap with interaction)?
This for me is often the breaking point -- when a game starts passing the 5 hours threshold it will be played once in a blue moon and the enjoyment will tend to peter out towards the end due to fatigue. Also, high downtime without negotiation or other interaction tends to reduce the ratio of individual playtime to play length. The game looks phenomenal and I am very excited about it, just trying to get more information first.
 
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Ladson
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Re: Estimated Play Length based on Playtesting
1. The wide spread can be accounted for mostly by the scenario chosen. The full game pushing the 360 minute range.

2. The nice thing about the downtime from a reading the rules is that all players are involved most of the time. The assembly phase is done simultaneously and the theatre phase issues are played round robin which shouldn't take too long.
 
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Francisco Colmenares
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Re: Estimated Play Length based on Playtesting
There is a high level of interaction, since it's basically two sides but four players even battles will involve ALL four of them since each can contribute strategos tokens to the fight.

And you're always paying attention to what every one is doing on the board in the Theatre phase because it will likely impact what you can do when it's your turn to pick an issue to resolve in some theater.

As mentioned above the debate phase is simultaenous. Sure one pair might finish before the other but that's different. It is possible some AP may ensue but that's true of many other games.
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Gordon Blizzard
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Re: Estimated Play Length based on Playtesting
I think for the most part you're only really going to have much downtime if a player is having AP about their decisions. The players don't have huge, long turns while everyone else watches, they make one or two little decisions and then everyone else makes the same decision. The slowing point would be people taking forever to decide on something.
 
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Luigi C.
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Sedro Woolley
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Re: Estimated Play Length based on Playtesting
Thank you for the replies.
As far as playlength, you mentioned the different scenarios, how interesting/replayeable are the shorter scenarios and how likely to fit within 3 hours for people who know the rules? Will it feel as though something is missing by playing the shorter scenarios?
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Mark Herman
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luigicool wrote:
I see the play time estimated between 180 to 360 minutes. That is a significant spread, the difference between getting the game to the table and having to make this a whole day or multiple sessions event. Granted, there are always many variables (the teaching of the rules, level of experience of the players, degree of AP, etc.). Having said that, I would like to know the following (all questions assume 4 gamers/players, no bots):
1) How likely is the playtime to fit within 3 hours after the initial hurdle? Are there different scenarios that would make this more likely (but also limit the experience)?
2) How much is the downtime between turns (on average, for non AP prone players, how long would it take for the turn to come back and is there any negotiation that helps fill that gap with interaction)?
This for me is often the breaking point -- when a game starts passing the 5 hours threshold it will be played once in a blue moon and the enjoyment will tend to peter out towards the end due to fatigue. Also, high downtime without negotiation or other interaction tends to reduce the ratio of individual playtime to play length. The game looks phenomenal and I am very excited about it, just trying to get more information first.


1. The playbook is not yet posted, so as context for my answer; Pericles has 6 one turn, 2 two turn, 2 5 turn, and 1 10 turn scenarios. All of these scenarios as far as I can say from my experience and the playtesters are highly different depending on strategies chosen, who's playing what side, and whether you are using any 'Bots. I doubt that anyone will ever exhaust the replayability of any scenario.

As far as fitting within a 3 hour time window, all of the one turn scenarios easily fit within that window as I am not aware of any playtest that took an hour to complete. I would say that even with beginner's the two turn scenarios of which the Archidamian War is effectively the tournament scenario will always fit within a 3 hour session.

Using the metric of one turn is always equal to or less than an hour, the 5 turn scenarios, since they can end on their third turn if the two sides are at Peace takes at most 5 and in most cases less due to this condition.

The Campaign game is meant to be an epic experience, so not fit for any 3 hour session.

2. The game system effectively has no downtime unless you are taking a break. The Polticial phase is simultaneous play and can be quick or long based on how fast you play. I would say that my average is a card per minute, so an entire political debate is under 10 minutes with no downtime. The Theater placement is sequential where what everyone is doing matters. Again, it should take no more than 20 seconds or so to figure out and place a marker on the map, but again agony of decision time is a personal issue.

Lastly figuring out what happened is also a group affair as players are often placing Strategos in response to enemy actions, etc., so no downtime.

I hope that helps,

Mark
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Luigi C.
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Sedro Woolley
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Thank you for your answer! I have preordered the game Looking forward to it though I will probably never try the epic saga experience.
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