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Subject: Looking for a shorter Caverna rss

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Chris J
United Kingdom
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Hey folks. I recently played Caverna and loved it, but I'm aware that a 4-5 hour game isn't likely to get played in my house very much. I'd really like something with similar game play and feel, but with a shorter game time. I like the elements of gradually building and growing, gaining new abilities and combos.

Something around 2 hours would be fine. I'm really interested in Harvest, but play time seems to be between 30 and 60 minutes, which is possibly lighter than I'm looking for. Are there any good recommendations somewhere between these two?

(Plus, it would be nice if it supported more 5+ players. I'm looking at Dinosaur Island with interest, but don't know as much about it. Would that suit?)
 
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Joe Martineau
United States
Plano
Texas
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Maybe I'll just stay home and play KDM.
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4-5 hours for Caverna? Yikes. Even a 7 player game should only be 3.5 or so.


If you need 5+ players, you might look at The Pillars of the Earth. You need the expansion to get up 5-6 players, though.
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Chris J
United Kingdom
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RageGoblin wrote:
4-5 hours for Caverna? Yikes. Even a 7 player game should only be 3.5 or so.


If you need 5+ players, you might look at The Pillars of the Earth. You need the expansion to get up 5-6 players, though.


Our game was technically 5.5 hours with 4 players, but that did include teaching the rules to a new player (me) and taking a break to eat a takeaway pizza. There were a couple of players there who like to make a meal of decision making on their turn, which might allow for some of the time, but I don't know about all of it. Plus my wife tends to struggle with quick decision-making in games. I mean for all I know it might take us 2 hrs to play Harvest!
 
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Momo Momo
Canada
British Columbia
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For something around the two hour mark I'd suggest Caverna: The Cave Farmers.

Seriously, if you loved Caverna, keep playing it. It really shouldn't take you that long. The more you play it, the quicker it should get.
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Gabriel Cohn
United States
Santa Cruz
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Agricola. Superior game. less info to process.

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BG.EXE
United States
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I favor Euros, but I like pretty much all games.
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Don't forget to have fun!
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Don’t let players take such long turns! They should be thinking during other players’ turns, including thinking of contingency plans in case their spot gets taken.
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Matt Brown
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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As nearly always, Keyflower. It is not as sandbox like and can be a bit on the mean side, but Keyflower.
 
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Mike Mock
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Agree with others - keep playing Caverna. We play with anywhere from 4 to 6. With 4 it's about 2 hours, with 6 about 3 hours...and this is with a wife with stage 3 AP.

Our very first game with 4 did last 3-hours to learn everything, but everything after that with 4 has been right around 2.

As for suggestions:
Happy Pigs - looks like a kids game, and can be played with kids, but has plenty of depth - takes 75-90 minutes, best with 4 or more.

Viticulture - will have a similar learning curve to Caverna, so plan on 2.5 hours for a first game, but subsequent games are 90 minutes.

Bora Bora - it's as heavy as Caverna, but after first play should play 20-30 minutes faster.

Each of these features an individual player board so you still get that feeling of filling in needs and building something.

 
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Brandyn Treat
United States
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Although it isn't readily available in the US yet Nusfjord is a great alternative to Caverna. It plays in less than an hour (with almost all player counts) and is super streamlined. I ordered mine from Philibert in December and it has quickly become my most played Euro game. It's just crunchy enough for gamers to love the combos, but streamlined enough to teach anyone. It plays just as well and fast with 5 players as well. Plus the 3 different decks of buildings give this game infinite replayability.

If you were to back the current Dinosaur Island Kickstarter you could get that 5 player count and it is a great game. However I can only imagine a 5 player game would not be a short playtime. It does have a short game mode but it really detracts from the experience. However I do love this game, despite the visitors bag....

My last combotastic Euro I'd suggest is Chimera Station. It only goes up to 4 players, but it also has one of the most unique mechanics out there. Instead of just tableau building in front of you, you are also all collectively building up the worker placement board. Plus on top of that you are building up powers on each of your individual workers. It plays in about 90 minutes and is a very satisfying experience IMO.
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