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Subject: scenarios playtime rss

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Tony Chen
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Which scenarios are playable in 3 hours?
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Just going by the times in the rulebook:

18.1 1940 Scenario, 2 hours
18.2 1941 Scenario, 3-4 hours
18.3 1941-42 Campaign, 6-8 hours
18.4 Crusader, 1-2 hours
18.5 Battleaxe, 2-3 hours
18.6 1942 Scenario, 4-5 hours
18.7 Gazala, 1-2 hours
18.8 Pursuit to Alamein, 2-3 hours

But even for the longer ones, it's possible for a disaster to end the game early.
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George Falconer
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Play the 41'scenario, if you know the rules you should be done in about three hours (it can end very quickly sometimes).
 
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Tony Chen
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Thanks. So which scenarios are more fun? More suitable for first time play?
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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'41 and Crusader are the two I've played the most; I don't know which one is more suitable for first-time play, but they're both fun. They have a much different feel: Crusader starts off both sides with a pile of cards & units eyeball-to-eyeball, and little or no reinforcements, while '41 starts off with only a few Allied units out in the field, and all Axis units in their home base, and both sides more than double in size over the course of the game.

I would lean toward Crusader, just because it's shorter, but I think with Crusader it might be easy for two first-time players to wind up having a battle which sucks in all of their units, reducing the game to a not-so-fun-or-exciting dicefest. If it looks like it's heading that way, make sure you're the one who doesn't throw everything into the battle, and instead drives around & parks on the enemy supply lines behind it.

'41 "develops" more, I think--more moves are spent "getting ready" to fight--but it seems like I've seen quite a few games where the Axis loses this, but both sides see that it would have gone the other way if the Axis player had done one thing a little differently (or drawn one more supply card, ha ha).

'41 is definitely easier for new players to set up... (There are only six units which can be set up freely, as opposed to Crusader's 50.)

I wouldn't recommend Gazala for a first play, since it starts with a special buildup phase. I also wouldn't recommend the '40 scenario, but I don't remember why. (No scary German units, for one thing.)
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Andrew Schoonmaker
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1940 is a reasonable scenario for making sure you have the basic mechanics of the game down pat, but it has a different feel from 1941 (which is the only other scenario I've played). There aren't any Germans, and it is the Allied forces that must win by maneuver and carefully timed strikes. I've read that the Italians are undefeatable if they play conservatively, and perhaps this is true, but I've never seen them win.

1941 only has six units that can be freely deployed, but it's possible to spend rather a lot of time on trying to deploy them "correctly". If possible, try to just pick something that looks reasonable and go with it (I've never managed to do this :-)
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Crusader for me.

Like Krusty just said, remember to keep a cool head and refrain from getting into fights you can't finish gracefully. RitD doesn't have a stacking limit (rightly so because units are regiments and divisions while between each hex is roughly 45 km of empty sand). I have seen newbie games in which some 70% of both forces are invested in one hex.

I like Crusader because it gives you a full appreciation of the games mechanics but is quick.
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