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Rolling Stock» Forums » General

Subject: Playing Time ? rss

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Ian Scrivins
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The BGG entry puts the playing time at 4 hours. Is this for the 'training', 'short' or 'full' game? I'm interested in this, but a 4 hour card game isn't going to see much play in my group. The short game would need to be 2 hours or less if I'm going to generate interest.

Could any experienced players comment?
 
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J C Lawrence
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The training game is fairly comfortably about a 2 hours game and has little to recommend it other than being a training game. While timings will vary by group, here the short game is a 3-4 hour game and the full game is 4-5.5 hours. With experienced groups (I'm about 6 games in, most of my opponents are 3+ games in -- so more than that) I'd not be surprised to see those times to fall a bit, perhaps to 3 hours and 4 hours respectively.

FWLIW Rolling Stock is a card game to much the same degree and pattern that Phoenicia is also a card game. It happens to physically consist of cards, but that reflects little of any the game itself.
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Björn “Beorn” Rabenstein
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The 4 hours are for the full game. But that's for 'reasonable' players. You can think a lot in this game, and you can negotiate. As in any game where that's the case, there is no real upper limit for the playing time. If you want a fast game, play with the right people and have some discipline to keep time for thinking and negotiations short.

The problem with beginners is not only that they might need longer to decide about their actions, they will also play less efficient, which increases the number of turns you need. (You play through a deck of companies. The more efficient players are, the faster they get through.) That's the reason why the training game is so important. You can learn the game and its basic(!) strategy in a game that would last less than 90min with experienced players and might take beginners 2-3 hours.

More players increase the playing time somewhat (but not as much as you might expect because many phases run in parallel).

A typical short game takes 12 turns, a typical full game 15 turns (but that might vary a lot, see above). Fast players might be able to need only 10min/turn in a 3-player game, so in that case, a 3-player short game might be doable in 2 hours. But practically, JC is pretty spot on with his estimated playing times.

He is also entirely right about the 'card game' thing. 'Through the ages' is a card game, too. Outpost is a card game. Just because it is a card game, it doesn't mean it's a short game.
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Ian Scrivins
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Ursus Corvus Lapis wrote:
You play through a deck of companies.


If the taste were for a shorter game, would there be mileage in reducing the number of companies in the deck? Or is that like playing 18xx only up to the 5 Trains?
 
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J C Lawrence
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iansc wrote:
Or is that like playing 18xx only up to the 5 Trains?


That's what the game lengths are: they add various colours of companies to the end of the company deck. In truth, the companies in this model (and in fact) are a fairly close equivalent to the trains in 18xx.

Quote:
Or is that like playing 18xx only up to the 5 Trains?


Quite. The training game is like playing 1830 through the 4Ts and ending just before the 5Ts come out. In this model the short game runs to the end of the 6Ts and the full game runs out all the diesels.
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Björn “Beorn” Rabenstein
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iansc wrote:
If the taste were for a shorter game, would there be mileage in reducing the number of companies in the deck?


In case that wasn't obvious from JC's response: That is exactly what happens if you play the "short" or the "training" game.
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