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Subject: A good, monster, 3 hour epic game rss

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Greg H.
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So, I'm looking at my game collection, and about the only thing I really want to add is a sweeping, epic type game. Possible contenders are Through the Ages, Twilight Imperium... or something else?

Likes: I do like my Euros, but I feel like I've got that style covered. Luck is not a bad thing. Interaction between players is ideal. Negotiation is fun.

Dislikes: Unnecessarily complicated rules. "Roll and hope." I don't think I'm genetically opposed to Ameritrash, but I simply do not like Talisman, and I don't imagine I ever will.

The reason that Twilight Imperium seemed attractive to me is that it involves interation and interesting game mechanics other than roll dice to see if you killed the monster.

I've played Warcraft and Starcraft, and I'd be curious how those translated to a board game. Any thoughts? What's your best "sweeping epic" game?
 
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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You can't go wrong with Twilight Imperium, and Starcraft is also great. Warcraft is more of the "roll and hope" variety.

Edit: Let me clarify. World of Warcraft: The Boardgame is more roll and hope. The actual WarCraft: The Board Game is really fun and the gameplay is actually very Euro-like (I mean beyond the wooden bits).
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Hawaka Winada
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"3 hours" and "sweeping epic" are contradictions. 3 hours isn't even a "long" game. Which is more important to you, a 3 hour playtime, or playing a "sweeping epic" which can take much, much longer?
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Jason
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Having both StarCraft: The Board Game and World of Warcraft: The Boardgame I'd say they both translated well.

However, if you're looking for epic-ness and low on luck I'd go with StarCraft: The Board Game, it's expandable and variable with quite a bit of replay value attached. I don't have the expansion, so I can't say what it adds apart from what the box and what others say.

There's not a heck of a lot of negotiation in either game (that I've been able to discover).

Player interaction: Well, Starcraft has that in spades...while Warcraft is more "team oriented" and any direct conflict between the two sides is almost accidental.

Rules: Both are complex, in my opinion, but, the rulesets have a ton of examples and pictures so it makes it easy to learn.

My favourite "sweeping epic" of a game has got to be Starcraft at this point, though.

edit: lost my mind.
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D-Rider wrote:
"3 hours" and "sweeping epic" are contradictions. 3 hours isn't even a "long" game. Which is more important to you, a 3 hour playtime, or playing a "sweeping epic" which can take much, much longer?


From a Euro gamer perspective I disagree..most euro games last 1 hour maybe 2 tops (especially the most popular ones) so I can see how someone calls a 3 hour game a sweeping epic.

On the other hand a wargamer will call 3 hours a nice and short game...and ameritrashers can be on both sides...


Starcraft is pretty well made as is Warcraft: The boardgame I would think you could enjoy those.

(never actually played TI myself)
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Greg H.
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D-Rider wrote:
"3 hours" and "sweeping epic" are contradictions. 3 hours isn't even a "long" game. Which is more important to you, a 3 hour playtime, or playing a "sweeping epic" which can take much, much longer?

I suppose "epic" is relative. Epic to me (having only recently digested my nicely compact Euros.) Is something that lasts 3 to 4 hours. It would be the "game for the night". Anything more than 4 hours... let's call it "uber-epic" and probably beyond the time requirements of my fellow friendly gaming crowd. We can spend a night on a game... but I don't know about a whole day and night on a game.
 
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You never go wrong with Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization if you can overcome the fiddly bits. Medium interaction, epic civ building. After you play this, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Other game that gives the ooze of epic IMHO is Die Macher. Even though it's a lifetime long game, its mechanic still feel fresh (well the pen and paper bidding is a little bit off though), but the overall game is very good. Simple linear systematic gameplay (you should print the play aid to make the game flows). A very solid 5 players German Election game.

If you like economic + auction, you should check Indonesia. Hefty price, but solid gameplay.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Twilight Imperium is way longer than 3 hours. Other than that it sounds like it fits what you are looking for...
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Josh P.
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Middle-Earth Quest might be a good choice.

Would a longish train game be "epic" enough? Something like Steam or an 18XX game?
 
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Greg H.
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joshp wrote:

Would a longish train game be "epic" enough? Something like Steam or an 18XX game?


I actually picked up Steam after getting such positive feedback in a previous post. Haven't played it yet, but I am immensely excited to do so.

All this feedback is wonderful, and it is also urging me to question and better define what I'm really looking for. I guess my experience with Talisman left me jaded with traditional "Ameritrash" games, so I'm looking for the best that this style has to offer. And yet have it playable in 4 hours or less. Two people that I'm gaming with have Descent and Arkham Horror, so those games are covered. Right now, my first inclination is still TI3 or Starcraft, as the stated time frames for those seem to be that approx. 4 hour range. And I like the fact that posters here are suggeting there's enough player interaction to go around.
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cichlidhead wrote:
I guess my experience with Talisman left me jaded with traditional "Ameritrash" games...


I do have to echo your sentiment about Talisman (though what version you played, I don't know). It can be a frustrating game or a lot of fun, I've house ruled my 2nd ed copy to death to make it more enjoyable and force the game forward, but even then that's stymied by the first couple turns of "Oh, look...I drew a dragon (dead)"..."Oh, look...another dragon (dead)"..."Oh, look for variety I drew the chinese dragon (dead)"...

It's very luck dependent (obviously), but it's fun to break out every now and then and play with the kids or when we want a mindless game...
 
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Christian Leonhard
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It's only a 2-player, but it's hard to get much more epic than Twilight Struggle. Also a big, big fan of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, although that stands a good chance of running over your 3 hour limit.
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Hawaka Winada
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cichlidhead wrote:
D-Rider wrote:
"3 hours" and "sweeping epic" are contradictions. 3 hours isn't even a "long" game. Which is more important to you, a 3 hour playtime, or playing a "sweeping epic" which can take much, much longer?

I suppose "epic" is relative. Epic to me (having only recently digested my nicely compact Euros.) Is something that lasts 3 to 4 hours. It would be the "game for the night". Anything more than 4 hours... let's call it "uber-epic" and probably beyond the time requirements of my fellow friendly gaming crowd. We can spend a night on a game... but I don't know about a whole day and night on a game.


OK, sounds like you're looking for a game with a 3-4 hour playtime and a wider scope than the typical Euro. You might be able to complete Struggle of Empires in that time if you play with 5 players or less; our full 7-player games usually take 6+ hours. Imperial can take 3+ hours if you play without the Investor card, it's typically shorter playing with it. And you might be able to complete War of the Ring (First Edition) in 4-hours.

But if you limit yourself to 4 hours you'll miss out on the true "sweeping epic" games such as Civilization, Conquistador, Pax Britannica, 7 Ages, Material World, etc.
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Michael Basil
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Arkham Horror?
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John Culp
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cleonhard wrote:
It's only a 2-player, but it's hard to get much more epic than Twilight Struggle. Also a big, big fan of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, although that stands a good chance of running over your 3 hour limit.


I really think Twilight Struggle is a good bet for you. at its core its a combination Euro-Area control and wargame-card driven game combination. sits right in that 2.5-3 hour range and is really a great deep two player game.
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N.D. Tepe
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If you can get 5-players, Game of Thrones (no expansions necessary).

Rules are no more complicated than your average Euro. Negotiation, bluff, combat.... After the game you will talk about the "coulda-shouldas" for days. If you win, you'll want to play again. If you lose, you'll want VENGEANCE!
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Mitch Willis
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If you're wanting a game that will fit within 3 hours, you might want to check out Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery. It scales very well from 2 to 6 players and, towards the high end of the player spectrum, lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours...
 
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Ryan Dicorato
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cichlidhead wrote:
So, I'm looking at my game collection, and about the only thing I really want to add is a sweeping, epic type game. Possible contenders are Through the Ages, Twilight Imperium... or something else?

Likes: I do like my Euros, but I feel like I've got that style covered. Luck is not a bad thing. Interaction between players is ideal. Negotiation is fun.

Dislikes: Unnecessarily complicated rules. "Roll and hope." I don't think I'm genetically opposed to Ameritrash, but I simply do not like Talisman, and I don't imagine I ever will.

The reason that Twilight Imperium seemed attractive to me is that it involves interation and interesting game mechanics other than roll dice to see if you killed the monster.

I've played Warcraft and Starcraft, and I'd be curious how those translated to a board game. Any thoughts? What's your best "sweeping epic" game?


Not sure what others have said, but I can weigh in on the Twilight Imperium and Starcraft front.

Starcraft isn't really an epic, in my opinion. It's more of an area control game. Control certain points on the map for mineral, gas, or VPs type thing. It does have the whole expend resources to build/upgrade units, which is familiar with the Starcraft computer game, but aside from that I don't think it's an epic. I do love the game and think the combat is perfect. No dice rolling to hope you get that number you need to kill someone. The game translates very well from video to board game. I would recommend this above Twilight Imperium for you and here's why.

Twilight Imperium is an epic game. You said 3 hour game in your title. If you can finish a game of TI3 in 3 hours you're either playing wrong or rushing it somehow. This game averages about 4 - 5 hours. I've heard reports of games getting up to 12 hours. This is more prevalent when no one knows the rules and you're constantly referring to the rulebook.

Aside from that, I think TI3 is a better game than Starcraft. I prefer it because you can literally win a game without conflict. It's been described as more of a galactic game of civilization to me. I think that is a fairly accurate description.

I own both games and have been told numerous times that I need the expansions, so I think I'll say that to you as well. Whatever game you get, get the expansion to go with it.
 
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Brian Franzman
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I second Arkham Horror for an epic game. After all, you DO get to save the world, by fighting off a wicked god. There's travel to other worlds and dimensions as well. The 3-hour time span seems about right, and there is some player interaction with teaming up, trading goods, and planning moves... Though combat is based on the die results, you do get to shift your character traits around a bit to match your strategy. The theme in AH is also very immersive, so if a co-op is your thing, why not give it a shot?
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How about Britannia?
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Combat Commander: Europe -- excellent, relatively easy, card-based wargame. Scenarios last typically from 1 to 3 hours, but are amazing for story-arc style gameplay.

18FL and 1889: History of Shikoku Railways both play in about 4 hours for the first play and 2 to 3 with experience. No luck, serious gamer play.

Planet Steam is starting to become more available, though still expensive. It's great for that 3 hour time slot.

Wellington this is one of the faster Card-Driven-Games I've played, coming in around 3.5 to 4 hours. The CDGs may be exactly what you're looking for because they combine the epic, typically an entire conflict, sweeping story arc, with a more euro-style card-mechanic (multi-use card actions), and a bit luck which is mitigated by adjusting odds to your favor. They tend around 4 to 6 hours in length and usually play 2 to 5. I also recommend at the longer end of the scale, Here I Stand and Sword of Rome.

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Brian Franzman
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Dune? That one should be easy to track down...
 
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Bokrug wrote:
Dune? That one should be easy to track down...

heard through the grapevine ffg has a remake in the pipes...
 
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for that playing time my group plays Senji at the time. tons of negotiations and exchange of family members (hostages) for favours. it is definetly euro, as you cannot win by pure conquest.

and, it is not a wargame, buot negotiation in Shadows over Camelot or Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is fun. traitor!devil


if you want to kill yourselves fast, and play a solo game of Field Commander: Alexander after everyone has deceased by duelling,
then play Intrigue .
tried that "negotiation game" once in my group. after that i feared my girlfriend leaving me, and the couple we played with would split. gulp

did not happen though. luck!
 
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superjosef wrote:
Bokrug wrote:
Dune? That one should be easy to track down...

heard through the grapevine ffg has a remake in the pipes...


I heard that too... in 2007... any day now...
 
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