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Clash of Cultures» Forums » Variants

Subject: Opinions on alternating actions rss

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James Park
United States
Ohio
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This game is coming up in my gaming group soon. One thing I have a real worry about is down time. Long down times between actions kills games for me. And the way this game is set up, I can see downtime increasing exponentially as the game goes on.

Is there a particular reason why players can't alternate actions during a turn rather than taking three in a row? Would this ruin the gameplay if you did it?

I recognize that it will require a little bit more oversight, but I don't think it would be terribly difficult to keep track of.

Opinions?
 
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Jeff Pratt
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Anacortes
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Just admit it already, Small World is not a fantasy wargame...it's a Mancala variant!
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There aren't complex actions in this game. No matter what you do with the three actions, it doesn't take long to execute them. Alternating actions would actually slow the game down, I think. The only AP spots are choosing tech advances and even if that was a single action for your turn, it still would take the same amount of time. The other actions are stuff like move three guys, take a couple resources, or put happy face tokens on the board. These things don't take a long time. Combat also has a couple of steps, but that would be an interactive moment so downtime is a relative non-issue.

TL/DR

No, there is no need for threaded turns in my experience. Play it first, then think about modifying it. (Which is usually the wise thing to do anyway, really.)
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MLeis
Estonia
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The game might still work but it would be considerably different. The main difference would be that players would be unable to set up any attack without the target player immediately reacting. Also, players who trigger the great person event wouldn't be able to get them.
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James Park
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Ohio
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vladdswrath wrote:
There aren't complex actions in this game. No matter what you do with the three actions, it doesn't take long to execute them. Alternating actions would actually slow the game down, I think. The only AP spots are choosing tech advances and even if that was a single action for your turn, it still would take the same amount of time. The other actions are stuff like move three guys, take a couple resources, or put happy face tokens on the board. These things don't take a long time. Combat also has a couple steps, but that would be an interactive moment so downtime is a relative non-issue.

TL/DR

No, there is no need for threaded turns in my experience. Play it first, then think about modifying it. (Which is usually the wise thing to do anyway, really.)


Can I ask what takes the game so long to play, then? Is it just increasing complexity of your choices? Or is it literally how much you're allowed to do over the course of a game?
 
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Jeff Pratt
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Just admit it already, Small World is not a fantasy wargame...it's a Mancala variant!
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Just the scope of it. It is a game about building a civilization from the discovery of farming all the way to the inventions of government and gunpowder. In other words, there are 54 actions, per player, per game. That's 200+ actions in a four-player game. That takes a while, even when they are brisk, after you factor in diplomacy, decision points, upkeep between rounds and even unrelated conversations and distractions.

There honestly is not much downtime, certainly not the boring type, at any rate.
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James Park
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Thank you for the opinion. That does give me some optimism. What were otherwise very good games have been ruined for me because of how bored I got waiting for my actions.
 
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Jonathan Entner
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If players actually plan out their actions while their opponents are doing their's, then things move along faster. But once you get further in, there are some points where the number of options and attempting to optimize your actions does require some thought. We also will take turns in parallel (e.g. simultaneously) when possible, especially early in the game where there isn't much if any interaction. Obviously how well this works depends upon the group you play with.
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Nick Clinite
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hippibashr wrote:
Thank you for the opinion. That does give me some optimism. What were otherwise very good games have been ruined for me because of how bored I got waiting for my actions.


Spend that downtime negotiating with the other players who are not taking their turn.
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