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Subject: Playtime issue rss

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Måns Bruun
Sweden
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I wonder about what the reall playtime is for Pret a Porté. It seems like a really good game that would suit our gamegroup rather well. But there is the issue of the length. No matter how good a game is it wont hit the table frequently if draging on towards and above 3 hours.
That means games like Le Havre, Caylus, Imperial, Agricola and Powergird (both with 5+ players) wont get played.
Shorter games of basically the same complexity do as Brass, Steam, Hansa Teutonica, Ra, Year of the Dragon, Traders of Genoa, Peruto Rico and so on.

So, since i got my on PaP and really would like to give myself and the group it for x-mas gift I wonder, what are your experiences after a few games (that the first or second get lengthy is of course unavoidable).
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Georgios P.
Germany
Berlin
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Our very first game with four players was really, really long. I think we easily went near 3 hours of playtime. Part of it was getting a feel for the mechanics and dynamics of the game, and part of it was reading up on the details of various cards as they came into play. The following game with 3 players (only one of whom hadn't played before) played much smoother. We wrapped it up in about 2 hours, I think. But I also had sorted out the various tokens ahead of time, which does shave off about 15 minutes of playtime.

It really depends on player type. If you try to focus too much on long-term effects of certain decisions, you will spend a lot of time calculating and reconsidering your actions, easily inflating playing time. If you play a little more tactically/short-term, game length is quite manageable.

I think the recommended 90 minutes on the box is only really true for groups that are experienced with the game. But once you know the ins-and-outs of the game, you can easily wrap things up in about 2 hours.

But the game does require quite a bit of concentration. So much so, that I often feel the last quarter seems to drag a little, just because I am so exhausted from keeping an eye on all the variables and analysing the situation over and over again.
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Måns Bruun
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Thanks Joe, it was pretty much what I hoped to hear . You almost had me convinced this was a game for me with that excellent review you wrote, and by this response you just pushed me over the last edge.

So now I know what will be played in the holliday... mmmm that is always a comfort cool
 
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Kevin Hardwick
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We have played it now several times, with 2, 3,and 4 people. I think with an experienced group you could finish a game in 2 hours--but that is only if everyone involved knows the game well. In practice, we have found it takes closer to three hours to finish. Part of the problem is the wide variety of cards, some of which differ from each other only in fairly subtle ways--so you have to stay on top of the card options. We spent a fair bit of time with one player or another asking "OK--what does *that* card do again?" Another issue we had is that it is that we found it easy to forget or neglect various card abilities, some of which were game changers. A third problem is that the rules are poorly translated and are frustrating ambiguous in too many places. I think these are likely the kinds of problems that would diminish with time--but the consensus in our game group is that this is not a game in which enough of us are interested in committing the time to learn it well. YMMV, obviously--this game has sufficiently interesting innovative features to make it worth checking it out. But for us, ultimately, this is one that goes into the resell category.
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