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Subject: 4 Player Game Creeping up to 3 Hours rss

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Nork Sharkfin

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Huge Inis fan here with a gaming group that loves it as well.

Question about 4-player playtimes getting longer and what to do about it.

Our first few games went around 3+ hours. This was due to everyone learning the action cards and not yet appreciating the power of passing or deeds. Everyone had more than enough fun to stay invested though.

Our next games got down to the expected playtime on the box of 60-90 minutes.

Lately however, playtimes have been drifting back upwards to ~3 hours. The games are still exciting but they take up our whole evening. Inis has been the only game we've been playing for the last few game nights. We want to keep playing it but it is just taking too long now.

Anyone have this experience with their group? Is our meta just at a weird place now? Maybe we are still undervaluing deeds?

Some people in our group are suggesting adding a house rule that once a player gets a pretender token, they win on their next turn unless someone else ties them or removes their victory condition(s). Maybe that is worth a try?

Thanks in advance for any advice! laugh
 
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Matt L.
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Undervaluing deeds? I mean those are incredibly dangerous to have.

We had a good game last night that went a little over 2 hours but was full of twists and turns, I would say that playtime would only be an issue if you were playing a rather dull game.

 
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Armand
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Deeds, as you suspected. There's no way it can go to even 2 hrs without someone getting the win condition down to 5, which should end it.
 
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Nork Sharkfin

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LunaWolvesMan wrote:
We had a good game last night that went a little over 2 hours but was full of twists and turns, I would say that playtime would only be an issue if you were playing a rather dull game.



Even at 3 hours our games are still actually a blast! Lots of twists and turns and the winning plays are always very crafty. In our last game, the Bren claimed the pretender token, then intentionally lost a giant clash in the Capital. This turned out to be a ruse because, even though they had no action cards, they re-won leadership of the Capital at the last moment with the Stone of Fal epic tale.

That game went 5 full seasons. One player had 2 deeds and the winner had 1. Maybe we are being greedy in wanting the game to be equally exciting but in a shorter amount of time – but 3-hour games have gotten fatiguing despite being fun.

What I mean by undervaluing deeds: Currently players go for deeds if they have a good hand for it, but rarely are people building their whole drafting strategy around getting a deed at all costs. At least, that's not where our meta is at the moment.
 
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Christian
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If you allow me to chime in, I see a hint here.
We also sometimes experienced 3 hours game, but they went 8 seasons or more! A 5 season game is indeed a rather regular game and takes with my groups and other testers around 75/90 min.
So maybe it's your style of play, I don't know perhaps long discussions during clashes or collegial discussions when a player is about to win?

I hope you have fun though!

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Nork Sharkfin

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Thanks Christian!

I think you answered the exact question I had been trying to word: Are my group's extended playtimes due to a misunderstanding of the game or just my group's pacing?

I am the organizer and rule-teacher for my group so I feel responsible for these kinds of things. I am also the only hobby gamer in our group so game nights are first about spending time with friends and second about the games themselves. Also, we love the peace-brokering, fist-shaking, and threat-making that comes up in negotiations during clashes. All this definitely makes for slower games and the possibility that we are moving at ~5/8 speed is totally believable.

As far as I am concerned, the fact that all my casual board game friends love Inis even with the slower pacing is only more testament to the elegance and enchantment of the game.
I will be more mindful of our pacing for the next game, though; faster games mean more plays and my entire group would embrace that.


Thanks for helping identify the issue!
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Armand
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Oh! Well, if it's going slow because everyone's so into it that's great!

Speaking as someone who plays with some seriously jaded gamers (which may or may not include myself... ok, it definitely does...) engagement is way, way more important than efficiency!

Just relax and enjoy killing your friends.
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Christian
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Let me quote that one!

doctoryes0 wrote:
engagement is way, way more important than efficiency!

Relax, play, chat and have a drink!

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Eddie
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Had our first INIS game with four players. Everybody new to INIS, I only had experience from the Shut Up and Sit Down video/review.

We played from 5 (opening box from shrink at that moment) until... 9? But a) it was so much fun! b) totally first game ever, figuring out the rulebook as we went along... c) we have some APish players figuring out their options... and d) any game with "you're gonna win! we need to stop him!" will keep going... like Cyclades, but I love the pretender mechanism...

Great game! Hang in there!
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Ohbe One
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I have recently addressed my group playing games in general slower than what is posted on boxes. This is mostly due to 1 player who likes to think through every possible move and outcome which can take a really long time in INIS. We played last night and he made a great effort to go faster. There are points in INIS though where things are so tight and tense it can be really hard to formulate your plans.

Our 3 player game took about an hour and 45 mins. That's really good for us I think. So it all depends. Definitely if you are enjoying brokering and negotiating and things, it's going to take longer. But I do think a 5 season game taking 3 hours is a bit long for only 5 seasons. But what is important is that everyone is enjoying themselves. My main concern with speed is that it was resulting in unfinished games because some players might have to leave before we finish so I just want to make sure we complete games so now I have an eye on player turn time.

PS, I love this game so much I feel it's ranking on BGG is severely underrated it. For what it offers in it's simplicity it is so deep and wonderful.
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