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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Is it 2 hours for 2 players? rss

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Jeremy Moritz
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Is the playtime still 2 hours even for only 2 players? Is it even longer for 3 or 4 players?
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Jack Francisco
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One of the funny things about this game is that the planet takes about the same amount of actions to terraform, just with more players, each player contributes less. My 2p games usually take 2.5-3 hours.
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Michael Vannoy
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2 player games usually last about 1.5 to 2 hrs for us. My wife is always ready on her turn. She develops strategy super fast. I usually have to take a couple minutes to figure out my moves at the beginning of the round.
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Brodie
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90-120 minutes for the two of us.
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David Mcgamin

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Ah the great TM playtime debate. This game's playtime is incredibly variable. A lot depends on each players familiarity with the cards, general AP and how aggressively the end game is pursued.

If you are brand new at the game and love to try and play optimally your first time through and you drag out the terraforming in favor of earning more VPs, then yes you will have a long 2+ hour game.

If you make reasonably quick decisions and focus on terraforming, especially in the late game, your game could easily be under 90 min.
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Andrew Lund

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DC680 wrote:
Ah the great TM playtime debate. This game's playtime is incredibly variable. A lot depends on each players familiarity with the cards, general AP and how aggressively the end game is pursued.

If you are brand new at the game and love to try and play optimally your first time through and you drag out the terraforming in favor of earning more VPs, then yes you will have a long 2+ hour game.

If you make reasonably quick decisions and focus on terraforming, especially in the late game, your game could easily be under 90 min.


Same, games between myself and another experienced TM player would take less than 90 min.
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Michael Korson
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I played this recently 2p with my wife and it took 3 hours (but it was also our first play).

We played it with 4 players on the weekend and it only took 2 hours that time.
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Steve
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jeremymoritz wrote:
Is the playtime still 2 hours even for only 2 players? Is it even longer for 3 or 4 players?
2 hours is achievable, but less likely if you use the draft variant.
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Mavis
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For us two player games with drafting take 1.5-2 hours to play. Play time drops considerably with experience.
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Eric Greaves
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As always, depends on how fast each player is. My wife and I take 3 hours, while with my other friends we take 2 hours.
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Bryan Thunkd
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senorcoo wrote:
One of the funny things about this game is that the planet takes about the same amount of actions to terraform, just with more players, each player contributes less.
With more players you have multiple economies feeding money into the system. So for example, with two players you'll have roughly 40 money coming in the second round, whereas with five players you'll have roughly 100 money coming in the second round. Which means that Terraforming steps happen faster with more players... as in you'll terraform the planet quicker (in fewer generations) than you will with fewer players. Time-wise this is offset by the fact that more players means more people taking turns, thinking, dithering, etc.

However, the fact that in the two player game, there'll be more generations (generally) tends to encourage players to play a "long" game and invest in building engines and long-term strategies, like accumulating animals/microbes on blue cards. So players tend to put less emphasis on rushing the game and pushing terraforming, whereas in multiplayer games, players know it won't run as long so they're more likely to grab terraforming points instead of investing in long-term strategies, and as there's only so many terraforming points to go around there's a bit of a race for them too.

So while nothing is hard and fast and it all depends on how people play, I feel like two player games might go a bit longer.
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Peter Bakija
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jeremymoritz wrote:
Is the playtime still 2 hours even for only 2 players?


Yes. 2 hours for a 2 player game is totally reasonable.

Quote:
Is it even longer for 3 or 4 players?


It shouldn't be, no. With 3 or 4 players, the game is going to be shorter, in terms of generations. A 2 player game is likely to go 12-14 generations. A 3-4 player game is likely to go about 10 generations. A 5 player game is likely to go about 8-9 generations.

If people are slow in general and/or not paying attention to actually winning the game, then it might take longer. But 2 hours is completely reasonable for most games of TM, assuming everyone already knows how to play and aren't wildly slow or overly analytical. I played a 5 player game the other night that was unusually long at 3 hours, but that was including teaching a new guy how to play, and he took longer than everyone else as all the cards were brand new to him. Which was reasonable. But most 2-5 player games I play (which is a lot of them) are about 2 hours long. Sometimes 1.5 hours when we are on top of things.
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AJ Cooper
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Playtime varies strongly with variables such as player experience, innate player speed, and player styles/metagame tendencies, but not very much with number of players.

I find that 1.75-2 hours is normal for experienced players who are not naturally slow and who work on the game end conditions. Most groups seem to lack one of these criteria though, so I think that getting under 2 hours will be a minority result. More common will be 2.5 up to 5+ with very slow beginners.
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David Mcgamin

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Talmanes wrote:
More common will be 2.5 up to 5+ with very slow beginners.


I think the game would cease to be fun long before the 5 hour mark. I sincerely hope this doesn't actually happen to many people.
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Peter Bakija
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DC680 wrote:

I think the game would cease to be fun long before the 5 hour mark. I sincerely hope this doesn't actually happen to many people.


Yeah, I can't really imagine that happening. The longest game of TM I ever played was about 3.5 hours, including teaching the game to 4 new players, and then playing a 5 player game with 4 completely brand new players who had no idea how the game worked. And even then, the actual play of the game was probably less than 3 hours.

TM. Games generally take about 2 hours. Including drafting. And expansion rules. Even with 5 people.
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AJ Cooper
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bakija wrote:
DC680 wrote:

I think the game would cease to be fun long before the 5 hour mark. I sincerely hope this doesn't actually happen to many people.


Yeah, I can't really imagine that happening. The longest game of TM I ever played was about 3.5 hours, including teaching the game to 4 new players, and then playing a 5 player game with 4 completely brand new players who had no idea how the game worked. And even then, the actual play of the game was probably less than 3 hours.

TM. Games generally take about 2 hours. Including drafting. And expansion rules. Even with 5 people.

You don't have to imagine. You can find their threads about it in these forums.

I have had games with slow beginners go 4+ hours a couple of times. And that is with pushing them along. And they seemed to enjoy it the whole time! I have not personally experienced 5 hours but it won't surprise me if it happens. It sounds like your beginners were not naturally slow players - lucky you.
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Richard Young
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Thunkd wrote:
senorcoo wrote:
One of the funny things about this game is that the planet takes about the same amount of actions to terraform, just with more players, each player contributes less.
With more players you have multiple economies feeding money into the system. So for example, with two players you'll have roughly 40 money coming in the second round, whereas with five players you'll have roughly 100 money coming in the second round. Which means that Terraforming steps happen faster with more players... as in you'll terraform the planet quicker (in fewer generations) than you will with fewer players. Time-wise this is offset by the fact that more players means more people taking turns, thinking, dithering, etc.

However, the fact that in the two player game, there'll be more generations (generally) tends to encourage players to play a "long" game and invest in building engines and long-term strategies, like accumulating animals/microbes on blue cards. So players tend to put less emphasis on rushing the game and pushing terraforming, whereas in multiplayer games, players know it won't run as long so they're more likely to grab terraforming points instead of investing in long-term strategies, and as there's only so many terraforming points to go around there's a bit of a race for them too.

So while nothing is hard and fast and it all depends on how people play, I feel like two player games might go a bit longer.
Absolutely our experience but drafting can be a mitigating factor. I see no point in a two player draft - we often use a modified multi-player draft (version of left/keep/right, so we are actually only drafting every other turn) and it adds to the overall time of the session. In the end though, we notice two player games going consistently longer than with more players.
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daniel balik
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I have played 7 two player games with average game time 87.17 minutes
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Mathias N
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Well, I've played TM almost 30 games so far. My avarage playing time without setup and put the whole stuff back in the box after playing is about 75 minutes for solo, 150 min for a 3p and 225 min for a 4p. Never played as a 2p before. I have to admit, that we have one chess playing person in my 4p games, who takes a certain time to plan and overthink his moves ahead. And not to neglect, we play the draft variant, which takes a longer time than the basic game in principle.

There are so many factors which have influence on the total playing time, so the data giving above is rough appraisal.
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Greg Hartlein
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Zoiks. Took me and my friend about 4.5 hours. blush


And that's why I've come here to BGG, to see if I missed something in the rules about a special set up for two-player games. But I guess not. Guess we're just slow.
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