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Subject: Playing time way off? rss

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Thomas Notmyrealname
Norway
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Hi,

I recently picked this up. I played it first time yesterday with 3 players. We played twice, and each game took about 45 minutes. While we're all seasoned gamers, this is still way off from the estimated playing time. I've heard people say the game can take upwards of two hours, and I can not fathom how that can be true. We put some effort into the master builder-role, but I don't think anyone of us took the time to deeply study each others castles, but we could at a glance graps which pieces were most valuable for each player, and try to place them accordingly. The game was fun and challenging, and I can not imagine that it would be more fun if we spent an extra hour trying to deeply calculate the value of each piece. Does this mach anyone elses experience, or are we simply playing the game wrong somehow?
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Mark L
United Kingdom
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Conservator wrote:
Hi,

I recently picked this up. I played it first time yesterday with 3 players. We played twice, and each game took about 45 minutes. While we're all seasoned gamers, this is still way off from the estimated playing time. I've heard people say the game can take upwards of two hours, and I can not fathom how that can be true. We put some effort into the master builder-role, but I don't think anyone of us took the time to deeply study each others castles, but we could at a glance graps which pieces were most valuable for each player, and try to place them accordingly. The game was fun and challenging, and I can not imagine that it would be more fun if we spent an extra hour trying to deeply calculate the value of each piece. Does this mach anyone elses experience, or are we simply playing the game wrong somehow?

Well, I can't say if you're doing anything wrong of course, but that does seem remarkably fast. I find a 3-player game should take about twice that.

One thing that can affect the length of the game is the number of blue rooms that come out and are completed, because their completion bonus adds tiles on top of the draw pile which of course delays that pile running out.

But the thing that takes the most time is certainly the Master Builder's decision-making, so if you're very quick at that it will speed the game up a lot. Perhaps as you come to understand the game more, you'll find you actually get slower at that, as you analyse things more deeply. It's not just that you don't want an opponent to get a bargain, it's also that if you price things too high they may decide to buy a hallway or other cheap room (or take money) instead of paying a lot for what they really want. And if there's a room you want yourself, you have to try to price it so the others won't buy it, while not costing yourself too much! So judging the prices can be very tricky.


Also, welcome to Boardgamegeek!
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Phoebe Wild
Australia
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Conservator wrote:
Hi,

I recently picked this up. I played it first time yesterday with 3 players. We played twice, and each game took about 45 minutes. While we're all seasoned gamers, this is still way off from the estimated playing time. I've heard people say the game can take upwards of two hours, and I can not fathom how that can be true. We put some effort into the master builder-role, but I don't think anyone of us took the time to deeply study each others castles, but we could at a glance graps which pieces were most valuable for each player, and try to place them accordingly. The game was fun and challenging, and I can not imagine that it would be more fun if we spent an extra hour trying to deeply calculate the value of each piece. Does this mach anyone elses experience, or are we simply playing the game wrong somehow?


I've played this game with lots of different groups, and your play time will definitely vary based on how long everyone takes to make decisions, especially when they're the Master Builder.

In 2-3 player I typically finish a game in about an hour, with 4 player it pushes closer to the 90 minutes in general.
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Mikko Saari
Finland
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It does sound a bit fast, so you may want to take a look through the rules to see if you're missing somethig.

That said, it's definitely not a long game; I can't really see how you could take two hours with it, unless you really take your time with the master builder phase. It's not a long game, if you've set up the room deck correctly; quite the contrary many people seem to feel the game is over too quickly.
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Mark L
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msaari wrote:
That said, it's definitely not a long game; I can't really see how you could take two hours with it, unless you really take your time with the master builder phase.

Well, we typically take close to 2 hours for a 4-player game. Sometimes a bit more. But admittedly, we aren't the fastest players.
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Tim Schmitt
United States
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I haven't risked trying to fit it in the lunch hour, although I think it would go over well. It feels a bit long for that (except maybe two-player with veteran players... of which there are none in the lunch hour game crew).
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John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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That one not so much
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Some people just play quicker than others. If everyone played at my speed, it could be played in under 30 minutes
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