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Subject: Playing time per player rss

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stu ma
Germany
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Hi all,

we had several games now and each was taking 1 h per player. What are your experiences? I see chances to reduce the time to 45 min per player but 30 min seems very optimistic.
Whats your experience?
 
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Markus
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My three two player games have been taking 1 to 1.5 hours.
My two five player games have taken 3 and 2.5 hours.
My one six player game took a little over 3 hours.

So, roughly 30 minutes per player here.
 
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Timo Hohkala
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Depends heavily on the group. I too think that 1h/plyaer is not too farfetched, which can be lowered with experience.

Will my group ever achieve the 30min/player? I don't know. Generally we take bit longer to play pretty much every game.
 
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Jim Richardson

Pennsylvania
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I'd say like 35-40 min / player and that's if they are paying attention. Add chatting and goofing around into the mix and forget it.
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JonGetsGames
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I'm thinking 45m a player is where my group will end up. New players seem to be more like 1h each.
 
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Antti Koskinen
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30 minutes is realistic if everybody knows what to do and does it without severe AP.
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Filip Cam
Belgium
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1h each as well.

I find in almost all games I play that the real playing time is about double what's advertised on the box; for larger games even triple.

The advertised time is probably determined by the game designers and their play testers when they know the game inside out and play it routinely. In every thread about this top there are always forum posters telling they also achieve such short playing times, but I never meet such gamers in real life. I guess it's a matter of playing style where you are all really focussed and don't chat.
 
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Toni Miinalainen
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I can play it pretty quickly now and can probably reach 30-40 min mark but i've had games where some players have taken 1h or more for their turns. I would say that it depends a lot on who you play with (as with most games). I've played one game for 4-5 hours and have also finished some in 2 hours.
 
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Sigma Nil
Norway
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Two-player game with two beginners. Including setup, learning the rules, actual play and teardown, I think we played for about 4 hours. Going through the rules probably took an hour and a half. Another half-hour for setup-and teardown, I guess, so roughly 1 hour per player during the actual game.

When you guys measure your play time, do you include setup and teardown? (In other words, do you measure from the time the box is taken of the shelf to the time the box is back on the shelf again, or from the beginning of turn 1 to the end of turn 9?)
 
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Charlie Chuckle
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I would say 1 hour each player if you are asking. If you don't know the play time, then assuming 1 hour each is safe for new players.

When you get to know the game better, you will know how long it takes (easily 30min/player when playing to have fun, and not to win).
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Antti Autio
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30minutes per player is realistic for experienced players who know tha game well. New players will usually take 45-60 minutes. This is of course if there are no serious AP issues.
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Eirik Johnsbråten
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Our first 4p game took 6 hours. Then again, our group is pretty slow.
 
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Jeff A
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My first game with 4 players took about 7 hours, including about 1 hour explanation (way more than needed) so 6 hrs to play, 4 newbies. I think the first turn took about 1 hour as there were many rule reviews and way too long thinking.
Overall our big problem was one player, his turns probably took about twice as long as the others.

I would say that by the end we had our round time down to 30min with mr slow poke. And we were having to decide on how to fix our errors fairly often.
I think with a group of players with 2-3 games under their belt that the time could be brought down to 10-15 minutes a round.

Big hint, print off some rule books and give them out to your players a week ahead, tell them to read until they understand.
In our game 1 had read the rules well (some misinterpretation) 2 had read them to get the basics, and Mr Slowpoke had not read anything.
 
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Eirik Johnsbråten
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Our rules explanation took 2 hours, as one of the players asked alot of questions. It didn't seen that all the intuitive designs in this game was very intuitive to him...
 
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Todd Snyder
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played two games this today. The first game, 4 player, all new players, I was the only one who had read the rules. Took about 30 minutes to explain, and then just over 3 hours to play. 2nd game, 4 player, 3 of which had played in the first game. Explanation took about 15 minutes, and about 2h45 minutes to play. So I'd say if everyone knew how to play, and everyone was paying attention to when it was their turn, 30 min/player is doable. I'm not sure if 5 or 6 player would add to that due to the fact I would expect more combat between players (I have not played with 5 or 6, so I do not know that for sure).
 
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Evil Bob
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Our first game was a four player game. It took us 30 minutes to go through the rules, and a little over 2 hours to play.

For our second game, we introduced a 5th player. The rules were explained to him while the rest of us set up the game. Again, the game ended up being about 2.5 hours.

I believe that the reason our playing time was about 30 minutes/person was because we were;

1. we were all planning our next moves when it wasn't our turns
2. there wasn't alot of player vs player combat
3. our group is fairly experienced at gaming, as also doesn't suffer from AP
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Chris Miller
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I've played twice now, both times 6 player games. The first game was a first time for everyone and the second was 5 of the same people plus one first timer. I won't count the first game because we stopped in the middle for about 90 minutes to do something else and we never fully finished the game.

The second game took right at 4 hours. The game was setup in advance so setup/teardown time isn't included but I did explain the rules to the new player and give everyone else a refresher. The game took noticeably longer than it needed to, mainly due to some players using aliens instead of Terrans for the first time, and the group is very social so games never move as fast as they could.

I can see 30 minutes per player being a very reasonable expectation after 1 or 2 plays. That would be playing time and not setup/teardown and of course really depends on how quick the group plays as an average. Once you've played twice you have likely seen every technology not just hit the board but also come into play and this will speed things up a lot. We lost a lot of time with people looking across the available techs one by one while making decisions.
 
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Jim Richardson

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Our 5-player game tonight took around 4 1/4 hours I think. Works out to about 50 minutes per player. Note that 2 people in my group were just being talkative goofballs and not paying attention, having loud conversations while I was trying to explain the game, and often leaving the table between their turns. The other 2 were new to the game, but at least tried to concentrate on it. I was as knowledgeable and quick as I could be, but I did have at least 2 decently long AP pauses during the game. Most notably early on when I was surrounded by ancients with few resources coming in, trying to figure how the heck I could get a good chance of beating them (I managed it, just barely.)

One of the new players was losing attention span very quickly after the 2nd hour, frequently playing with her iPhone. She said "we lose attention span when it takes so long." I said "it wouldn't take so long if people had paid attention in the first place." Ugh.

Note that by round 8, 3 people had given up on the game and just wanted it to end ASAP. The 2 hyper ones just passed both times and went to goof off in another room for both rounds. If everyone had actually cared for rounds 8 and 9, it would have probably been 1 hr / player.

I really need some gamers to play with. Most of these people find Carcassonne to be a chore, and Settlers to be almost intolerable. cry
 
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stephen biggs
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I'd agree 30mins per player once they all know the rules.
If your player group has someone with AP problems, don't permit them to draw the new research tiles for the turn.
 
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Don't Panic!
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Not wishing to get all sciencey here, but there are nine rounds, and in a round a player will be taking, on average, 5 actions. This means a total of 45 actions in a game per player, with an additional combat round when required. The combat can be quite lengthy and then involve the additional (but admittedly short) time it takes to draw the rewards. To achieve all of this for 30 minutes a player I feel is unrealistic. My chief gaming buddy and I play pretty quickly, and we are on 45 minutes per player. You can add to this a 14 minute setup (I keep the tiles in order in a tackle box, and I intend on adding dividers to speed this up a little), and a 10 minute put away - we reckon on around 2 hours for 2 players.

However, there are few better ways to spend 2 hours.
 
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Mikko Saari
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Nothing unrealistic at all. Actually, we've played faster than 30 minutes per player — a four-player game in 105 minutes or so (not including setup and cleanup). Most actions can be played in less than a minute.

But of course if everybody takes more than average amount of actions and there's lots of combats, then making 30 minutes per player can be a bit difficult... In any case, the length is usually not a problem.
 
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Chris
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2 players, our 4th game
3 hours+ playtime. surprise
* sometimes looking up rules and FAQ.

I take too long to make decisions sometimes, and am looking at ways to minimize it. modest
Any ideas?
Do you do anything to speed up games?
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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mrmer1in wrote:
2 players, our 4th game
3 hours+ playtime. surprise
* sometimes looking up rules and FAQ.

I take too long to make decisions sometimes, and am looking at ways to minimize it. modest
Any ideas?
Do you do anything to speed up games?


Yes, but 3+ hours for a 2 player game? I think you are un-help-able.
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Trevor Schadt
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mrmer1in wrote:
I take too long to make decisions sometimes, and am looking at ways to minimize it.
Any ideas?
Pay attention to what the other players are doing. Think through your action while it's not your turn, and come up with contingency plans in case the players before you prevent you from doing what you optimally want to do. Don't hinge your entire strategy on something that can be taken away from you (e.g., a tech or a hex placement). Look at your opponents' actions, see where their plans are headed and figure out if there's something you can do that will benefit you while hindering their plans. Become more familiar with the rules (which will come with more plays) so that you spend less time looking things up.

AP will naturally increase in the later rounds, as there are more information points to consider. However, by then your engine should have some kind of momentum which you can use.
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Chris
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ryudoowaru wrote:
mrmer1in wrote:
I take too long to make decisions sometimes, and am looking at ways to minimize it.
Any ideas?
Pay attention to what the other players are doing. Think through your action while it's not your turn, and come up with contingency plans in case the players before you prevent you from doing what you optimally want to do. Don't hinge your entire strategy on something that can be taken away from you (e.g., a tech or a hex placement). Look at your opponents' actions, see where their plans are headed and figure out if there's something you can do that will benefit you while hindering their plans. Become more familiar with the rules (which will come with more plays) so that you spend less time looking things up.

AP will naturally increase in the later rounds, as there are more information points to consider. However, by then your engine should have some kind of momentum which you can use.


Awesome answer, great info. Thanks Trevor
 
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