C H
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I'm looking for my next game and these two are still high on the list though one glaring issue is game length. Our group(s) aim to play games that can be completed within 1.5-3 hours. Now I know neither of these games will come close to the 1.5 but I've been fairly successful with getting my players to play Le Havre (though I think the shortened version was more well liked). I feel I can push the 3 hour limit slightly and get away with it.

I'm also thinking about descent but only having 9 monster types seems a bit thin to me but that's a totally different discussion.
 
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The Chaz
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You need to ask yourself:
Do I want to spend 4 hours looking up rules (MK), or would I rather spend 4 hours waiting for people to make a decision (DS)?
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Thomas
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I think the sweet spot for Mage Knight Board Game is 1-2 players, 3 max. And only if everyone knows the rules well. Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) seems like a better contender and don't forget there are expansions, otherwise what about Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game?
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Mike Geller
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I think the sweet spot for Mage Knight Board Game is 1-2 players, 3 max.


I agree. To put a finer point on it, to me extra players do not improve the game experience at all. I like it best as a solo game.
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Jonathan Challis
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Dominant Species is a fantastic game, one of my favourites, but to be honest it's too long for you.

With experienced players and really brisk play you *might* get it down to 1hr per player, but there's no way my group would ever be that fast.

You can look at spending at least twice that to start with though, and it will need brisk play, focussed players and regular play to speed up to the level where it might just be acceptable to you guys. And even then probably on the 3 player.

I love the game to bits, but if the full game of Le Havre is a problem timewise, I think this probably isn't for you.
 
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Tom Keaten
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I personally find DS to be the better game overall, but The Chaz is right on people taking a good while to choose their actions, specifically when they're new.

Though I don't have enough games played to say this for certain, I feel like MK will take longer to play for a longer period of time, whereas DS, once people really know how the turn setup works, tends to shorten a bit.
 
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prashant Maheshwari
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I've tried getting people of play DS many times , but the internal scoring , the end scoring really really bogs down the game length.

After about 5 plays , I myself don't bring it down to table cause I know it's too long.
 
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C H
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So what's the closest I can get to a game like dominant species (not theme but mechanics) that will play in 3 hours?
 
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Mike Geller
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ch82 wrote:
So what's the closest I can get to a game like dominant species (not theme but mechanics) that will play in 3 hours?


Well, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think The New Science has a similar feel. It has the same Age of Empires 3 worker placement track as DS, and a similar jockeying for position on the main board. Some people find the theme and art bland, but for history or science geeks it works well.
 
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I also might add that the group tends to play through arkham horror quite efficiently if that helps. Yes I know that it sounds like I'm asking for validation. These games sound like some of the best games out there so I want them. It's just getting people to play. I should probably just bite the bullet and buy them. They will get played eventually I'm sure.
 
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James Deignan
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ch82 wrote:
I'm looking for my next game and these two are still high on the list though one glaring issue is game length. Our group(s) aim to play games that can be completed within 1.5-3 hours. Now I know neither of these games will come close to the 1.5 but I've been fairly successful with getting my players to play Le Havre (though I think the shortened version was more well liked). I feel I can push the 3 hour limit slightly and get away with it.

I'm also thinking about descent but only having 9 monster types seems a bit thin to me but that's a totally different discussion.


If you're looking at 3-4 players, Dominant Species will work fine if you can get them back to the table after the first and possibly second marathon sessions. The first couple of games take a long time -- probably in the 4-4.5 hour range for four new players. As you become familiar with the system, a 3 hour playtime is a legitimate expectation in a 4 player game, and probably even shorter than that.

Mage Knight, on the other hand, I think would be a loser for your group. As the scenarios increase in complexity and you become more familiar with what you should be doing, if anything I think the play time would increase rather than decrease. However, it should be noted that I play MK only solo, so I have only the information offered by others and my own extrapolations to offer here.
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Kalain
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This.

The Chaz wrote:
You need to ask yourself:
Do I want to spend 4 hours looking up rules (MK), or would I rather spend 4 hours waiting for people to make a decision (DS)?
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Glenn D
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Shmello50 wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I think the sweet spot for Mage Knight Board Game is 1-2 players, 3 max.


I agree. To put a finer point on it, to me extra players do not improve the game experience at all. I like it best as a solo game.


I agree with this 100%. I could not fathom playing MK with 4 players, but it is one of my favorite to play solo or with one other player... Playing it with 4 people would be equivalent to playing Arkham Horror with 6 people.
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Chris Miller
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I've played DS three times now, each time 6 players and at least 3 new each time. The average play time is 3.5 hours. Now this is actual play time, not including setup and teaching.. setup isn't much but teaching is 30 minutes easily for new players.

It has a reputation for being a long game but I haven't seen that. It will be highly dependent on your players however, anyone prone to AP might break down and cry over DS because the options and how they weave together can be extreme. If you have players that can take no more than a minute to think and then play the best option at that point rather than calculating EVERY option EVERY time 3 hours is easily possible.
 
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