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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Why does it take twice the time? rss

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Adi R
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we've played AGOT 2nd Ed. twice with 6 players so far. each time the game took around 7-8 hours! on the first time it was won before the 10th turn but on the second we had to go through all 10 turns to finish. the winner had 5 castles.
on the first version we could usually finish in 3-4 hours, usually around turn 5-6.

it seems that the most influencing change is the requirement to capture 7 castles in order to win, where it used to be 6.

have you also found this lenghtens the game dramatically?
or do we need to change our game play. we usually start bashing each other from turn 2-3 until someone wins.

i was considering lowering the requirement back to 6, or shortening the game to 6 turns. has anyone tried this?
we really like this game, but if it takes this long, it wont reach the table in regular evenings.
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Michael Ptak
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Ours take about a couple of hours...
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Kyle K
Canada
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impose a time limit on placing orders, marches, house cards, ect. shouldnt take that long then.
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Jarek W
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Our 4 player games usualy take about 2,5 hours, 6 player - 5 hours.
We don't spend much time on disputing how the borders of our kingdoms should look like, we settle with short sentences like "if you support me this time, I let you take this" or "don't go there, that will be my castle". I think that's the main reason our games are quicker than some reported here.
But yesterday we've played for 7 hours a 4 player game of Twilight Imperium
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Georgios P.
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Our last game switched from very quick (5 turns in about 90 minutes) to incredibly slow (5 turns in about 3 hours).

I think a lot of it has to do with playstyle, and your ability to develop a solid strategy. As long as we only had a handful of units on the board, decisions were fairly easy to make. But once the number of units increased, so did the turn length. I think in most cases people were looking at short-term benefits (i.e. thinking on a purely tactical level) and not at long-term goals.

That's why every single change on the game board forced people to rethink their plans. Every turn ate up more and more time, because players were calculating combat strength and attempting to anticipate counter-moves and counter-counter-moves.

I think that if you have a strategy in place, that is more elaborate than "get moar castles!", it is far easier to adapt it to the changing situation on the board. It also puts an emphasis on diplomacy and table-talk, which is always a good thing, I think.
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Per. E
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Our first game this friday (6 players) took around 5 hours with rules being explained and discussed.
It ended with a turn 10 Stark victory holding 6 castles so i guess it is all up to the group you are playing with...
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Adi R
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echephron wrote:
impose a time limit on placing orders, marches, house cards, ect. shouldnt take that long then.


well, we kinda take the diplomacy approach to this game. each order placement phase starts with people going to side rooms to discuss their mutual strategy. with 6 people, this takes 15-20m each time, sometimes even more.
then each battle takes 5-10m becuase we need to review each other cards, take advise from others etc.
overall i like this heavy negotiation style and it used to take much less time before.

i'm still thinking on lowering the target from 7 to 6 so we can enjoy this game more often.
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Radosław Michalak
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rune7 wrote:
echephron wrote:
impose a time limit on placing orders, marches, house cards, ect. shouldnt take that long then.


well, we kinda take the diplomacy approach to this game. each order placement phase starts with people going to side rooms to discuss their mutual strategy. with 6 people, this takes 15-20m each time, sometimes even more.
then each battle takes 5-10m becuase we need to review each other cards, take advise from others etc.
overall i like this heavy negotiation style and it used to take much less time before.

i'm still thinking on lowering the target from 7 to 6 so we can enjoy this game more often.

I suggest to not allow out-of-room discussions.
5-10 minutes per battle Even with 5 new players battles took us 1-5 minutes.
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Mike Smith
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I am a bit puzzled by the common assumption (over this and other games)that faster is better! One of the two hearts of the game is the order placing, but the other is the diplomacy. Why would you wish to reduce the negotiation to a few nudges and hints hastily made in full hearing of all at the table? Why not savour this as a long game?
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Radosław Michalak
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Mantuanwar wrote:
I am a bit puzzled by the common assumption (over this and other games)that faster is better! One of the two hearts of the game is the order placing, but the other is the diplomacy. Why would you wish to reduce the negotiation to a few nudges and hints hastily made in full hearing of all at the table? Why not savour this as a long game?

This is only suggestion to fasten the game if they need this
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Georgios P.
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Mantuanwar wrote:
Why not savour this as a long game?


It's not that I don't savour the length of the game. The problem is that it's not easy to get together 5 other people willing to schedule an entire evening for a 5h+ board game.

If I had more people in my gaming group whose time-tables were flexible enough to regularly accomodate such long games, it would rarely bother me.
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Łukasz 'farmer'
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3 - 4 hours here.
It isn't slow in any matter - it's just right, from our point of view .

yours,
farm
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Michael D'Amico
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Our first game (with 4 new players) took a little over 3 hours with rules explanation. Looking back I feel like we didn't play the game as it was intended to be played, meaning there wasn't a lot of table talk and intrigue. We sort of just played it as if we were all on our own and the Baratheon player had a fairly easy time of winning.

With that said I'm eager to try it again playing the "right" way.

I'm in the camp where "it takes as long as it takes." I'd rather have a fun 5 hour experience than a rushed and watered down 3 hour experience. There are plenty of other great games to play if time is an issue.
 
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Kathlyn Rogers
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The only problem I have with people is that they only think about the strategy they wanna follow when they have to place the order tokens. There's plenty of time to think ahead and make plans during the other phases, and thus save playtime
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Mike Smith
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Of course a 5 hour or longer game does pose problems when trying to draw together 6 people. But a 3 hour game does not - most game evenings last at least that long in my experience. So something else is at work in the mindset of many players.
There seems to be a race mentality in some player's minds - you even see veritable boasting from some people over how quickly their game group can complete a game.
Others crave variety and find it hard to commit themselves mentally to one long game.
If you crave a win a series of short games is perhaps more likely to reward you with one, and will not leave you squirming long in a game you feel you have little chance of winning.
The key question over length seems to me "can it sustain interest over that length of time"? You do need to avoid players with butterfly minds - there is nothing worse than several of them visibly wilting and losing interest, which is then infectious even to those better disposed to the long haul.
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Amin
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Use a timer to speed things up. We use an sandglass timer because it looks cool. Give generous timing to diplomacy negotiations though as that is an important part of the game. But speed up other areas of the game with a timer.

I also posted some more detailed suggestions here (we always had trouble with lengthy game, no matter the edition ):
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/1505655#1505655
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João Martins
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Some people in my group are really prone to analysis paralysis. We played our second game yesterday, with 6 players (only one new, super-fast player). It ended early (one of the players needed to go), with two rounds to go, and 7 hours already played. I guesstimate that the entire game with the two last turns would've taken almost another 2 hours.

A few people in our group are couples, and they can speak in their own languages (we're an international bunch). In this game, the AP guys were Lannister and Greyjoy, so they immediately allied and played as a team, discussing all their moves all the time. It's also common to plan ahead strings of two or even three battles in one round, with all the card-checking, counting and thinking ahead...

I think putting a time limit would make them hate the game though, and I can see why. If you can't really inspect cards and count attack/defense points, you don't know whether you can actually win the battles you're getting yourself into. On the other hand, I don't foresee us actually playing a game to the end anytime soon - which is bad, because the same person won the two games and he's starting to gloat a bit too much for our liking laugh

So, any ideas about what we can do? We are currently thinking of making sure couples are not next to each other, so they can't plan their combined moves all the time. But we'd still have AP from isolated players...
 
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Jim Patching
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I always thought the winning condition for the 1st Edition was 7 castles. I must've been playing it wrong all this time.
 
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Thamor
Finland
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7 Castles in a 5 player game. 6 Castles in a 6 player game. 1st edition, but if 2nd edition makes 6 player games to get 7 castles the game will be really hard.
 
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Lane H
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We've got our game-time down to 3-4 hours, assuming it runs 10 rounds. I think it helps that half the group is made up of smokers, so we don't have a 'diplomacy' phase, we have 'going for a smoke' phase while people are resolving uninteresting orders. Usually holds up resolving the Westeros cards a few minutes, but far less than a dedicated diplomacy phase.

AP guy is checking everybody's cards? To the smoke room! For purely nicotinal reasons, and not to plot the downfall of the other houses, of course. It gives plausible deniability to any alliances.

If there's a clock in the room, maybe get yourself a pen and notepad and time a turn. See who's taking the longest, and why. Don't tell them what you're doing, because that would just be weird and creepy =]

If it's one player, or one phase that's taking much longer than it should, look into why. Maybe you need to print off house card reference sheets for each player, or teach them how to calculate battle strength quicker, or who knows what. 8 hours is much longer than it should take.
 
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Lane H
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Thamor wrote:
7 Castles in a 5 player game. 6 Castles in a 6 player game. 1st edition, but if 2nd edition makes 6 player games to get 7 castles the game will be really hard.


Didn't 2nd edition add more castles than 1st edition?
 
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Eighty the 80th
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while our first games were sordid 6 hours affairs, after about 5-6 games we are now down to 4-5 hours. it depends of course on previous experience and plain comfort with the game mechanics. give it a few more games and you will be rushing along with the rest of us
 
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Theon Greyjoy
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8 hours??? Well, our first 6 player game lasted about 6 hours.Needless to say, people got tired.. After that, we decided to add some time limits. so now we're down to 3-4 hours which I find perfect!
 
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