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Subject: Who Made Me The Boss? [poll] rss

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Blorb Plorbst
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Bloomington
Indiana
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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It was probably me.

I seem to always be the guy who keeps a game moving along.

In Puerto Rico: "That's the round, let's pay the dudes and pass the Governor."

In Imperial: "England, are you doing anything else on your turn? No? Then it's Germany's turn. Who's got Germany?"

In Power Grid: "Green, you're up to auction a plant." [later] "Red, are you buying any resources?" [later] "Yellow, I see you're out of money. Are you done with building connections?" [later] "I guess we should fire and payout now? Unless anyone here knows about an as yet undiscovered phase to this game."

And it's not just with the same group of people -- it's everywhere. At Cons, meetups -- anywhere people gather to play games, I'm the guy who's saying "Blue, your turn."

I'm not nasty about it and I'm not trying to rush people -- I understand having to deliberate about key moves. I've been known to take a very long time to make a move.

There are times when I notice that I'm doing it and worry that others might be getting annoyed and so I stop:

and nothing happens

and nothing's still happening.

People are counting stuff, studying the board, stacking bits, chit chatting.

Someone asks "Whose turn is it?"

"Oh, I think it's mine. Were you done?"

and now my head is about to explode.

So yeah, I do it to myself and I'm fine with it but I want to know if I'm pissing you off. So please indulge me.

Poll: Are you the person who keeps a game running?
Yes
No
Sometimes
      248 answers
Poll created by CrankyPants


Poll: How do you feel about the guy who keeps the game moving?
Thank you for taking the reins and keeping us on track, I'd be lost without you.
Someone's got to do it, might as well be the loudest person.
We never have a problem with game pace and won't be needing your services today.
Simmer down. The game will get done on it's own schedule.
Shut up already! Who made you dictator of boardgames?
      205 answers
Poll created by CrankyPants
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Leo Zappa
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Aliquippa
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I'm the master of ceremonies/the sergeant at arms of the majority of our game sessions, and I don't mind doing it. I like to keep the game moving at a nice brisk pace, as do most of the participants. As I own most of the games that our group plays, and I am probably the loudest person in the group, it does all kind of go together. There might be the occasional grumble about being rushed, but it does not appear to be a problem - everybody keeps showing up, and have for years. It probably helps that most everyone in the group is friends outside of gaming as well.
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Zé Mário
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If I'm in a game where we're all experienced I'll find odd (and possibly annoying) if somebody does this.

If this isn't the case (the majority of my plays), a guidance such as this is normal.

So, if necessary, this is ok. And if no one is being rude, of course.
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Gary Heidenreich
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I do it sometimes but many a time others take care of it. I'm thankful as sometimes I float off on a tangent (it has been known to happen).

If someone does it, that is cool. Good to keep things moving some.
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Kirk Thomas
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I've never really thought about it before, though I have noticed a couple of times at Cons where somebody took a dominant position of calling out next turns / moves. Mainly in games where somebody had played before and nobody else had.

In most games, somebody is always identifying what is to happen next. In our group, it could be anybody at any given time, but it's not considered rude or pushy to point out who is next. It's just kind of running chatter.

It's interesting, though - in golf, I tell newbies that the two things they HAVE to do is 1) play with pace, and 2) learn the protocol, most importantly, when it's your shot. It would be really annoying to have somebody constantly telling me when it was my shot or, conversely, always having to tell somebody else.
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T. Nomad
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Get a turn indicator, pass it around.
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Leo Zappa
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tommynomad wrote:
Get a turn indicator, pass it around.


That wouldn't help my group. We play a lot of multi-player wargames and AT games, with lots of various phases and sub-phases, and on top of that, our group has a lot of people who tend to go off on tangents and get easily sidetracked. If someone doesn't blow a whistle and push the game along to the next player, we can stay stuck for quite a while, whether looking up a rule, debating a rule, or going off on some tangential conversation about the history behind a certain rule.
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Ted Groth
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tommynomad wrote:
Get a turn indicator, pass it around.
Definitely helps!

Not a cure all though. Many games have a start player for each round, and that rotates throughout the game. Then within each round, there are multiple actions by each player. Using two separate turn indicators might be confusing, and would likely be even more annoying than the occasional verbal nudge.

I'm often the person introducing a game, so I end up running the turns. I sometimes worry that it gets annoying but what can I do?
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Dean Glencross
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Geelong
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tommynomad wrote:
Get a turn indicator, pass it around.

It's hard enough to get that working with games that have them, such as Battlestar Galactica. We even have a semi-ritual to do with it and it still gets left 2 people back frequently.
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Joe G.
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While not 100% true, my saying is:

"If you have to ask who's turn it is, it's probably yours."
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John Farrell
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I have a dream that one day people who agree to play a game will take responsibility for themselves and pay attention. One day.
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Dave Nellis
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I find running a game as tiring as teaching it. That's probably because in the groups I play, there is ALWAYS someone new.
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Abraham Drucker
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Friendless wrote:
I have a dream that one day people who agree to play a game will take responsibility for themselves and pay attention. One day.


Some games this works better than others. I was playing a game of Starcraft recently with a large group. It was always about 15 minutes in between turns, and so I would get distracted in between my turns. There were a couple of times when I asked if it was my turn and it was. I asked the group, as well as the person who went before me to gently nudge and/or tell me when it was my turn. They didn't. I found that to be quite annoying. Sure I could have paid better attention to what was going on, but at the same time it would have been nice if instead of sitting there in silence they would have said something.

I think that these games can move much faster if people say DONE and then say "blue your up" and make sure they heard you. For some games this isn't a problem, but for other games with longer downtime, this simple thing could really make a difference.
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Joe Johnson
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Guilty.

I sincerely hope that my group of social gamers doesn't get too peeved with me, but sometimes I just can't help piping up that "the game" (which is supposed to last ~90 minutes) hasn't made any progress in the past half hour because of the twenty-seven side conversations. That puts the game back on track for another round or two. By the end of the night, the wives (who are the prime culprits for game delay) get mad at the husbands for the game taking longer than ~90 minutes.

There's no escape. Either we get in trouble for politely requesting that the wives pay attention to the game, or we get in trouble for game night going over...
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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Thanks for all the answers! but I fear we've proved nothing other than that we approve of what we're doing.

You'll notice that I posted 2 questions, one about if you're the person who keeps the game going and the other about how you feel about it.

The VAST majority of the people responding say that they are the Boss or sometimes the Boss.

3 people said they were not. Based on this demographic, it's not surprising that most of the respondents are also OK with someone being the Boss.

I suspect the the people who can't focus on a game also can't focus on answering such an awesome and timeless poll as this one.

Or they have a job.

Anyway. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my quest to play games efficiently so as to increase game quantity and overall player satisfaction -- but I'm still not certain that this behavior isn't annoying the hell out of people.
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Len K
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You were expecting something witty?
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ze_stom wrote:

I think that these games can move much faster if people say DONE and then say "blue your up" and make sure they heard you.


You mean there are game groups that DON'T do this?
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