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Subject: For your consideration: People short on time rss

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Jason Cheng
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Scenario #1:

Game night is proceeding along dandily until invariably someone announces that he is leaving shortly (anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour), but rather than taking off now he would still like to squeeze in another game. Thus begin the always exciting exercise of picking the right game, but the problem is there are six people (or 5 if you prefer) and now there is a time restriction. We could split up into two games of three's but that will mean two people getting stranded after the person leaves. So all decide that it's best to stay as a big group, but not everyone wants to play yet another filler. 5 minutes slip by with no consensus reached, but instead of bowing out graciously he remains adamant about playing one more game even though he is cutting it closer and closer.


Scenario #2:

All throughout game X that person kept checking his watch and/or cell phone. Being so absorbed by what is happening on the board you thought nothing of it until he announced that he has to leave very soon (or the favorite, he's already late and has to go now). So instead of being able to play to completion, the game has to be aborted unless you can find a suitable replacement (or try to finish it as if you started with one less player than you started with).


Scenario #3 (sort of related):

It's getting late and gamer #5 is debating whether to stay or go. He says depending on what you guys choose he may just take off. Everyone would like him to stick around but his indecisiveness makes it hard to pick out something. Another round of game selection begins, this time it has to play 5 but also good with 4.



Anyway, I'm sure we've all been in these situations before. At what point do you think someone is being a burden by imposing on others to accommodate to him being short on time just so he can play one more game? (even if the game is so inconsequential that it could've been played at any other time) Have you ever thought "man if that person would just head out now so we could have a better selection of (or easier time in choosing) games"?
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James Palmer
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For Scenario #1, I'd say either

a) Find a fast game that really isn't a "filler" (like Race for the Galaxy - half an hour to play, but lots of depth.

b) Find a game that the person can leave part-way through. A game like Arkham Horror, for instance, is pretty easy for people to join in or to leave.

In our group, we'd probably find this to be a good time to do something different, like play the Wii or something, until that person had to go.

For Scenario #2, it sounds like you need to be checking beforehand how long people will be able to stay during the game night, I can't think of any other way to deal with someone like this, except perhaps to ask that in the future they be a little more considerate.

For Scenario #3, I would probably just ask what the person would like to play, and if they can't come up with something, then I would just choose assuming he isn't going to stay.


Hmm, not sure if that is helpful at all, but that's how I would handle the situation.
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Mr. Frothingslosh
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For Scenario #1, I would.., oh just a second. That's my cell phone ringing. Yeah, yeah, OK, nope not doing much here. OK, OK, sure I can make it. Yeah, I can be there in twenty minutes. OK bye.

Something's come up. Gotta go. You guys decide on how to handle the scenario without me.
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Tyler McLaughlin
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In scenario one, that person is a douche bag and it's for this reason that I bring Chainsaw warrior to every game night.

Scenario 2 would go something like this:

Asshole-"Hey Guys, I'm short on time/late/leaving now."

Me- "You're an asshole. I'm going to pay someone to burn your house down with your pets inside."

And as for scenario three, make that guy pick and when he can't, pick up the heaviest thing at the gaming table and suggest that. After he's gone, play whatever you want.

Remember, people who have no consideration for other's time/games/money/feelings are oblivious to the fact that they a doing anything rude most of the time. Tell them now.


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James Palmer
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Well, Tyler, your suggestion is fine, provided that person isn't your friend and you don't care if they ever come back again.


Jason - I think the best thing is to make sure expectations are set for everyone ahead of time. When we have our game nights, if we know what game or games we're going to play, I'll post that in the e-mail to everyone, so they know the schedule for the night and can either come or not come or schedule themselves accordingly. Other game nights are more flexible, and there's an understanding that everyone will be flexible, depending on who's there and what the schedules are, and that often means more fillers, but that's just the way things work - the expectations are set before people arrive, and then nobody gets annoyed.
 
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e.e.goings wrote:
Scenario 2 would go something like this:

Asshole-"Hey Guys, I'm short on time/late/leaving now."

Me- "You're an asshole. I'm going to pay someone to burn your house down with your pets inside."


Well, he's leaving because his house is on fire. This seems reasonable to me.
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Tyler McLaughlin
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Would you want that guy at your game function every night?
 
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James Palmer
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e.e.goings wrote:
Would you want that guy at your game function every night?


It's true, I wouldn't. I guess my issue is that I play with my friends and my friends aren't assholes who would do this kind of thing on purpose, so I cannot relate with that situation. Anyone I play with I would feel comfortable mentioning it to them with the knowledge that they would take the criticism well and try to be more considerate in the future.
 
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This sort of thing is a fact of life. I play games for the enjoyment of the experience, and for the socializing. So if someone has to leave, it's not that big a deal to me. It's hard for me to be too upset with people who do this sort of thing, because I'VE been that person on occasion. I try not to be, but hey, sometimes games take longer to play than anticipated, and if I have other commitments, I may have to bail to make them.

Unfortunately, some gamers lack the proper social skills to know when they're being an imposition, and don't respond well to gentle cues from other people. If someone is making this a habit, and it's becoming an issue for other people, the best thing to do is address is directly.

Oh, and for situation #1, you totally need a copy of 6 nimmt!, or one of its many iterations.
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J C Lawrence
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Felkor wrote:
Well, Tyler, your suggestion is fine, provided that person isn't your friend and you don't care if they ever come back again.


If they behave as you've described then I don't care if they come back to another game night. The above are variously unsubtle hints that I'd prefer it if they didn't attend another game night until they were ready to appropriately commit.

Quote:
Jason - I think the best thing is to make sure expectations are set for everyone ahead of time.


Exactly. This is a question of expectations.

Quote:
When we have our game nights, if we know what game or games we're going to play, I'll post that in the e-mail to everyone, so they know the schedule for the night and can either come or not come or schedule themselves accordingly. Other game nights are more flexible, and there's an understanding that everyone will be flexible, depending on who's there and what the schedules are, and that often means more fillers, but that's just the way things work - the expectations are set before people arrive, and then nobody gets annoyed.


We don't pre-plan, Instead players make quite clear what their constraints are. I have to leave at 22:00, or My daughter may call from hospital, in which case I'll have to run immediately, or I'm really tired and am probably only good for about an hour, etc. The group then jiggers, splits and forms around that. Sometimes it works smoothly and sometimes it simply doesn't work and the oddly constrained player is cut out as everyone else plays something that doesn't fit with their constraint. In the daughter example above this is actually expected and that player will actually lead in with, I'm mostly here just to watch and kibbitz as my daughter...

We're there to play games. If you can play, great. If you can't, get out of the way while we do. We're willing to accommodate, a little, but only so long as the games aren't sacrificed.
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J C Lawrence
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Verkisto wrote:
This sort of thing is a fact of life. I play games for the enjoyment of the experience, and for the socializing. So if someone has to leave, it's not that big a deal to me. It's hard for me to be too upset with people who do this sort of thing, because I'VE been that person on occasion. I try not to be, but hey, sometimes games take longer to play than anticipated, and if I have other commitments, I may have to bail to make them.


PlayerA: We're going to play XYZ!

PlayerB: I'd like to play that! How long does that take?

PlayerA: The box says two hours. I've only played once before and we wrapped in about two and a half hours.

PlayerB: Ahh, I have to leave at 22:00. That gives us exactly two and a half hours. Is everyone Okay if I join?

PlayerA: Sure!

PlayerC: Nahh, sorry. I really want to finish this one and and it could easily run over with all new players.

PlayerB: Oh Okay, that makes sense. I'll just watch and learn the rules for next time then!
 
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Tony Chen
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Personally, I like 2 player games as good as any other. In scenario one, I'd be comfortable playing a quick abstract with him: Hey That's My Fish, Hive, Through the Desert, Pylos, Gomoku, Othello, etc. Then I can go watch the others finish their game, and do some scouting report heheheh. So Bob likes to skip the investor phase in Imperial eh? I'll learn not to invest in his countries when I play with him next time! So Susie likes to win with Russia? Keep an eye on that move next game! I can learn all their weaknesses, while they have no clue on mine! Heheheh. I am not just being polite when I offer to sit out on the game, heheheh. I know all of your favorite countries, but you don't know mine! (It's Italy by the way.)
 
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clearclaw wrote:
PlayerA: We're going to play XYZ!

PlayerB: I'd like to play that! How long does that take?

PlayerA: The box says two hours. I've only played once before and we wrapped in about two and a half hours.

PlayerB: Ahh, I have to leave at 22:00. That gives us exactly two and a half hours. Is everyone Okay if I join?

PlayerA: Sure!

PlayerC: Nahh, sorry. I really want to finish this one and and it could easily run over with all new players.

PlayerB: Oh Okay, that makes sense. I'll just watch and learn the rules for next time then!


Is there a player D? If not, why not choose a shorter game that can accommodate all players?

Also, I've been in more than one game where the box says 60 minutes, but the game took nearly three hours. Some time constraints simply can't be anticipated.
 
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Jason Leveille
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For Scenario #1, I think that the group should break into two three-player games that take 30-45 minutes. I have purchased a bunch of decent three-player games for this exact purpose. Ra, Bridges of Shangri-La, Industria, and San Marco all come to mind here.

For Scenario #2, this is annoying, but if it's a one-time thing (or very rare), no big deal. Life happens, and there are some things that are more important than games, but not many. cool If this is a constant occurrence, someone needs to talk with the guy and let him know that he needs to be upfront about what his time constraints are. Sitting down to play a game is generally a commitment to play until the end, and the point of playing is to be present with the people you're playing with, not the people you're going to see later. If the guy continues to do this even after being spoken to, I'd try avoid playing with him like the plague.

For Scenario #3, I'd ask what they would play that would keep them there. If they can't come up with something quick, then find something that you'd play with out them, and say, "We're going to play this, and it plays only 4. Are you sure there isn't some 5-player you'd like to play?" If they still don't select something, then bust out the four-player and play that, as they're not that motivated to get one more in.

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J C Lawrence
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Verkisto wrote:
Is there a player D?


Maybe, maybe not. The same pattern works either way.

Quote:
If not, why not choose a shorter game that can accommodate all players?


Often they will in fact choose something more inclusive, but just as often they'll stick with the original XYZ because they want to play that and not something else. If you want to play consistently, then don't impose arbitrary boundaries.

Quote:
Also, I've been in more than one game where the box says 60 minutes, but the game took nearly three hours. Some time constraints simply can't be anticipated.


Right, but the players can (and should) announce their constraints up front as part of the lead-in to the game session if they aren't the defaults.

PlayerA (at the start of the game session): Guys, I have to head out at 17:00 -- dinner with the in-laws. That gives me 4 hours so we should be able to get plenty done!

Everyone: Okay.

PlayerB: Let's play QRS!

PlayerA: How long is it?

PlayerB: The box says an hour but none of us have played before.

PlayerA: I'm willing!

PlayersXYZ: Let's do it!

...17:00 approaches and they're still struggling through the first game of QRS...

PlayerA: Sorry guys but I'm going to have to leave soon. I can't miss dinner or she'll kill me!

OtherPlayers: That sucks but we understand. You warned us before we started and we all accepted the risk!
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Alan Kaiser
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Zalasta wrote:
Scenario #1:

Game night is proceeding along dandily until invariably someone announces that he is leaving shortly (anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour), but rather than taking off now he would still like to squeeze in another game. Thus begin the always exciting exercise of picking the right game, but the problem is there are six people (or 5 if you prefer) and now there is a time restriction. We could split up into two games of three's but that will mean two people getting stranded after the person leaves. So all decide that it's best to stay as a big group, but not everyone wants to play yet another filler. 5 minutes slip by with no consensus reached, but instead of bowing out graciously he remains adamant about playing one more game even though he is cutting it closer and closer.


The solution here is to split into two groups of three. One group of three plays a quick game. The player leaves and there are still a group of three and a group of two. The two players can play a game for two that will end when the three players finish up their game and then your back with a group of five.
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