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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » General

Subject: Really 60 min? rss

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Nathan Johnson
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Bellevue
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I was thinking of buying---what are average playing times with 4?

Any thought...
 
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Dan Cain
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An hour is about right for medium experienced players. Probably depends on the aliens as some can have game altering affects. But an average for four players, 1 hours sounds good to me.

LA
 
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Mark W
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I'd give it two hours for four newbies, but after a few games, yeah (usually).
 
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Gary Weinfurther
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Two hours? No way. You must be playing wrong.

I rarely play a game longer than 30 to 45 minutes.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I played this for the first time at our game group a few weeks ago. It was a 5 player game where only one person had played it before. The first game, the explanation (about 15-20 min.) took as long as the actual game did. So we played again and that was longer, about 45 min. for the game. So I think the play time is definitely accurate.
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Don Barree
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An hour should be plenty of time unless you get an odd combination of aliens that work against each other. That could potentially drag the game out past an hour.
 
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Piotr Jekel
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I play with my wife, brother, kids and nephew - it usually takes us about an hour. We had 90-minute games as well with aliens that forced others out of their colonies or destroyed foreign bases. And there some were as short as 30 minutes.

60 minutes is a nice average.

 
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Mark W
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elmonty wrote:
Two hours? No way. You must be playing wrong.

I rarely play a game longer than 30 to 45 minutes.

With newbies I said. I know how to play this game - been playing it since '92. I played a five-player game a few weeks ago, three of the players newbies. A fourth base was claimed after about 30 minutes, but we wound up having to end the game early after three or four hours of stalemates. The newbies not playing their powers well and taking too long to decide allies, plus no one wanting to split a win contributed to the length. One of them complained, "I thought you said this was a quick game!" (Sigh...)

So, just thought I'd give fair warning to new players.
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John Bandettini
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It's hard to give exact times because a lot depends on the combination of powers. Some tend to cancel each other out so the game can go a bit longer while another time you may get a combination where one player wins quickly. Once you know what your doing 60 minutes is probably about average.
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Calavera Despierta
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It varies depending on the willingness of your group to negotiate and play up the metagame.

I've played longer games now... one took almost ninety minutes, and was probably the most fun I've had so far with this excellent masterpiece. HOWEVER, we were all role-playing our races to some extent (I was the Chosen and got to pause during each counter to pray to the interstellar gods, as one example) and the negotiation for alliances as well as all the deal-making, etc was rather intense.
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Eric Clason
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I would say the average is around 60 minutes but ... Cosmic Encounter has a much much wider variance in playing time than most eurogames. There is no 'thing' that is guaranteed to run out and force the end of the game. So one game may last 30 minutes and the next 2 hours.

There are many factors that effect the game length, including player behavior.

If players don't ask for offensive allies during the early game (before players get to 3 foreign colonies) the game will take a little longer.

If players refuse to go for joint wins, the game will probably take longer, possibly a lot longer.

An important rule to play correctly is that you may not attack one player's foreign colonies in another player's system. The only time you can attack a foreign colony is when it is in your home system and you draw your own color from the destiny deck. I was once in a game where we mistakenly allowed players to attack any colony (foreign or home) in the system drawn from the destiny deck. We kept attacking foreign colonies of players with 4 foreign colonies and the game lasted for hours.
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Jefferson Krogh
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60 minutes would be a long game for us. I think this edition plays faster because the components clarify the order of play and some of the more confusing rules.
 
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Adam McLean
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I would say that our games, on average, are about 40-45 minutes --- some shorter, some longer.

I guess with new players, that could be a little longer for the first game, but since the mechanics are so simple to learn, after that you should be playing regular games (with a few power arguments here and there).

I would say that the combination of powers (and the hand of cards to some extent) determines more how the timing goes. For example, you could get some rock-paper-scissors type combinations of aliens that might prolong the game, but generally not into the epic 2+ hour range.
 
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Matt Thrower
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NeonPeon wrote:
I'd give it two hours for four newbies, but after a few games, yeah (usually).


Played with five new players (including me) at the weekend. It took 75 minutes, including time for setup and rules explanation.
 
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