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Subject: The Slow Player and How To Deal With Them rss

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Corey Francis
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Recently the problem of the slow player has grown far more serious than it had been before due to the increase of another two players (Making a grand total of 6) and due to this it has drawn out some games even further than it needs to be.

For a few examples, in CCG's such as Magic I've had to deal with his inane ramblings of 'Should I do this? Or maybe this instead?' to the point where he's looked over every card in hand near 10 times over, drawing out the starting turn and every subsequent turn his side by about 5 minutes.

Another is more recent with the newer people added when we decided to sit down to a game of RISK and while the set up went mostly smoothly to begin with, come reinforcing the starting provinces we would sit for a few minutes with him once more trying to decide.

It seems to me that they don't pay attention until it's their turn, the only thing I could imagine causing this but I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem with any players before/currently and have suggestions on how to deal with it as the stale use of 'Hurry up' has grown beyond dull and almost meaningless now when directed at him.
 
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Just get an hourglass timer, and let everyone know it will be enforced equally for all.

Possibly let people get a couple of tokens they can turn in for longer turns, you do occasionally have that one turn that is critical and requires more thinking.
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Carl Garber
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I have learned that nothing can be done to speed up players. People think at their own speed. I thought simpler games might be the answer but all that happened was I would get bored as they took over a minute each turn(in TTR). I have found more complex games have helped as at least it gives me something to think about as they are taking their turn. The pacing is different. The slow players take the bulk of it, but when it comes to your turn you should have things mostly figured out and so you can do your turn quite quickly(obviously this works better for the games that lean towards multi-player solitaire where the game state doesn't change too dramatically).

My only other suggestion would be to break the "no cell phones at the table" rule and play some games on your smart phone...
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It's hard to make a sound recommendation without understanding your relationship to the person, and the social atmosphere of your group. Most people I play with respond well to being kidded about it, knowing that I'll accept a kidding back when I take too long. But if it's really destroying your game nights, consider an "intervention" -- tell the guy that you do want to play with him, but you're going to have to stop if he doesn't take his problem seriously. If he cares about your feelings, he'll take that to heart and work on it. If he doesn't care about your feelings, then who needs him around, anyway?
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Sean Boyll
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Does he win? Hard to argue the methods if they work. devil

More plays of the same games and talking through your turns while you are doing it. These two things help the slower players learn how to to do things faster and pay more attention outside of their turns. Especially if you say you are making a choice because of something you saw another player do on their turn.

I know that I can sometimes be the a slower player. I can be indecisive on choosing similarly effective, yet diverging choices and I get forgetful of specific details sometimes and end up rereading the same info. (I swear that my short-term memory has started to go to shit already.) But the more we have been able to play, I'm not the slowest in our group, the faster we have all gotten.

Timers can help but they can also hurt. Sometimes people under pressure will have a harder time making choices. There are some games that come with a slow player marker. You could try using one when players are taking too long. jovial Pier pressure?
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I found that an air horn can be very effective.
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skipsizemore wrote:
It's hard to make a sound recommendation without understanding your relationship to the person, and the social atmosphere of your group. Most people I play with respond well to being kidded about it, knowing that I'll accept a kidding back when I take too long. But if it's really destroying your game nights, consider an "intervention" -- tell the guy that you do want to play with him, but you're going to have to stop if he doesn't take his problem seriously. If he cares about your feelings, he'll take that to heart and work on it. If he doesn't care about your feelings, then who needs him around, anyway?


I'm the slow guy in John's group. I have a problem.
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I've dealt with this as it too became a severe issue for us. A regular player who hardly ever wins but always takes the longest turns. I know he is planning moves, sometimes even out to the Nth degree but his strategies rarely (never) work and occasionally he even gets angered when they fail. It once took and hour and a half for a three player game of Dominion as he read and reread each and every card each and every turn. After some frustration I soon learned that rushing him was certainly not the answer as that would lead to him making more "mistakes" which were then someone else's "fault". Being the one responsible for bringing most of the games I determined through some deduction and some trial and error what games he seemed more comfortable with and with which he could make speedier choices. This worked for a while but after some months became tedious as it severely restricted what we were playing. Slowly we began integrating some new games that I and other group members acquired. After a few frustrated tries he began to decide to skip any days we were playing something new or too different but continues to swing by and see what's on and then play if we have one of his favorites going. Overall I think it's been fairly win win but it did take a fair bit of time and patience to accomplish without anyone being hurt. The clincher was when most people showed real interest in trying out the new games and left him the odd man out resisting. Hopefully this may give you some ideas!

Cheers
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Corey Francis
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Quote:
Does he win? Hard to argue the methods if they work.


He wins most CCG games being that he spend a lot of time (And money) building decks up but for quick clarification, each turn is essentially the same with the same deck each game. Though if it isn't something you have to pre-construct then losing is in his forseeable future.


Quote:
I know that I can sometimes be the a slower player. I can be indecisive on choosing similarly effective, yet diverging choices and I get forgetful of specific details sometimes and end up rereading the same info.


I don't mind that kind of thing to some extent and when it was just the four of us it made things a bit easier cause it wasn't as full on the board or in the room. The other problem is he's easily distracted when people are talking so if you want things done on his turn it ends up having to completely kill conversations and then pick them back up again which turned into those really awkward moments. I think the timer might be a good idea for certain games so I may have to give it a try.
 
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David Debien
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SPBTooL wrote:
Does he win? Hard to argue the methods if they work. devil


I disagree here, completely. I am of the camp that I would rather lose two games than win at one. An AP player who increases playtime considerably but wins more than his fair share needs to hurry the F up. On the flipside, an AP player who never seems to win gets my sympathy and I will be more prone to let them take their time and maybe even talk it out with them.
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Brandon Camp
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casualgod wrote:
.....On the flipside, an AP player who never seems to win gets my sympathy and I will be more prone to let them take their time and maybe even talk it out with them.


Not to list any names... right? K.... Kyl... *cough*whistle
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Dagonium wrote:
Recently the problem of the slow player has grown far more serious than it had been before due to the increase of another two players (Making a grand total of 6) and due to this it has drawn out some games even further than it needs to be.

For a few examples, in CCG's such as Magic I've had to deal with his inane ramblings of 'Should I do this? Or maybe this instead?' to the point where he's looked over every card in hand near 10 times over, drawing out the starting turn and every subsequent turn his side by about 5 minutes.

Another is more recent with the newer people added when we decided to sit down to a game of RISK and while the set up went mostly smoothly to begin with, come reinforcing the starting provinces we would sit for a few minutes with him once more trying to decide.

It seems to me that they don't pay attention until it's their turn, the only thing I could imagine causing this but I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem with any players before/currently and have suggestions on how to deal with it as the stale use of 'Hurry up' has grown beyond dull and almost meaningless now when directed at him.


Have you tried to sit down and gently tell him what you've said here?
 
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Corey Francis
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I haven't been upfront outside of on his turn with him mulling around telling him to hurry up with the others. Perhaps I should do and see how it works out but considering a list of other problems we've tried to sort out with him I figure it may be to no avail.
 
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Kevin Brown
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You must learn patience. The race is not to the swift. Slow and Steady wins the race.

Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness...
 
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Bronwyn B
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pilight wrote:
You must learn patience. The race is not to the swift. Slow and Steady wins the race.

Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness...


Actually that is not accurate. The hare was so full of himself that he laid down to take a nap, thus being beaten by the tortoise. The hare did not lose by speed, but by being a total idiot. (After all, no one wins marathons by being a tortoise, sorry.)
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Yeah, we all know them. The slow thinkers. Occasionally I AM one of them. But I tend to think that this happens only in new games, and not very often.

What I do not get is people who start to think once it is their turn. Granted, there are games where so much changes that you have to start planning all over again on your turn, and merely adjusting strategy just doesn't do it. But I' not talking about those games.
...I' talking about games where planning ahead and thinking while it's the other players' turn is very possible. What do those people do during these turns? I just don't understand it...

That said, there is different variations of slow. A guy who would read and reread his cards when it is his turn for, say, ten minutes, while a usual turn takes less than a minute, would seriously tax my patience. Which in the long run I would lose.

At our gaming meet, we have a totally insecure strategy gamer. At least that is how it looks to me. He LOVES to try out new things, and not the easy ones. Complexity does not shock him, at all. There are usually several games starting at the same time, and he is never to shy to decide for the new, the complex, the involved strategy game.
But there are some games where, on his turn, he just starts to discuss every available option that he has, and enlists everyone's help to find the best possible move. The game stalls until he thinks he has found it (and if you don't help, it's even longer), and only then moves on.
The thing is, it happens in some games, but not in others. And there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. I mean, in Automobile, of all games. Clear, quick, playable in less than 90 minutes...

I don't know. I haven't found a solution that is acceptable to handle this. Or any other game where a player (or players) drags it out. I get impatient. I tell them to speed up. I start hassling if it takes too long. It's not polite, but then, I can't help myself either...
 
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Mike Geller
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Tut_613 wrote:
Just get an hourglass timer, and let everyone know it will be enforced equally for all.


Just out of curiosity, what is the enforcement mechanism? Does he lose his turn (that's not always fair to the other players)? Is he removed from the game? Do you take a random move for him? I'm wondering how you handle it and whether that's been satisfactory.
 
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Michael Carter
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Dumon wrote:


What I do not get is people who start to think once it is their turn. Granted, there are games where so much changes that you have to start planning all over again on your turn, and merely adjusting strategy just doesn't do it. But I' not talking about those games.
...I' talking about games where planning ahead and thinking while it's the other players' turn is very possible. What do those people do during these turns? I just don't understand it...





They have fun socializing with the group and watching everyone's turn.
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When dealing with the slow player, it's best to sit back and think about what you're going to do. Take a while to come up with the best solution you can think of. Think of several more solutions, and play through the possible outcomes in your mind. Will it go well? Is it really the best solution? Perhaps you should take some more time to think up some additional ideas, and also, poll all your friends for ideas. It's very important that you not move too quickly, or you might make a mistake and ruin a friendship or worse, your score.

We don't have any slow players in our group, anyway.

Once you've come up with several possible solutions, make sure to keep evaluating them back and forth and don't make a decision. You might make the wrong decision. Wait and maybe it will become clear. Move to do one and then hesitate.

I think if you follow these steps, the problems will just iron themselves out.
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mlcarter815 wrote:
They have fun socializing with the group and watching everyone's turn.


Okay. If that means silently looking at the board, or the other players, or whatnot, well, then I am the poster boy for social ineptitude. Because that is what they do.

On the other hand, if they were to get up and walk around to chat to others, or would distract other players by loudly talking about this and that during game (yeah, we play a bit more intense than just beer in hand and chatting), than I would chide them on being rude and, well, distracting. But that is another kettle of fish, and does not belong here. New thread, if interested...
 
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Dumon wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
They have fun socializing with the group and watching everyone's turn.


Okay. If that means silently looking at the board, or the other players, or whatnot, well, then I am the poster boy for social ineptitude. Because that is what they do.

On the other hand, if they were to get up and walk around to chat to others, or would distract other players by loudly talking about this and that during game (yeah, we play a bit more intense than just beer in hand and chatting), than I would chide them on being rude and, well, distracting. But that is another kettle of fish, and does not belong here. New thread, if interested...


You guys take your gaming that seriously? Sure, we play to win, but the whole time we are joking around with each other. It would be a really long four or five hours without socializing.
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Dumon wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
They have fun socializing with the group and watching everyone's turn.


Okay. If that means silently looking at the board, or the other players, or whatnot, well, then I am the poster boy for social ineptitude. Because that is what they do.

On the other hand, if they were to get up and walk around to chat to others, or would distract other players by loudly talking about this and that during game (yeah, we play a bit more intense than just beer in hand and chatting), than I would chide them on being rude and, well, distracting. But that is another kettle of fish, and does not belong here. New thread, if interested...


You guys take your gaming that seriously? Sure, we play to win, but the whole time we are joking around with each other. It would be a really long four or five hours without socializing.


There's a time for jokes, and there's a time for solid play. Both really make a game night good. Waiting for that guy to take his turn, because you know his decision is important, he knows the decision is important (well, for the game) and you're quivering in anticipation... good time to quietly reflect. Before the game, while there's nothing big going on, etc., after the game, great times to joke around.
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mlcarter815 wrote:
You guys take your gaming that seriously? Sure, we play to win, but the whole time we are joking around with each other. It would be a really long four or five hours without socializing.


I might have exaggerated a bit. Of course, we do not sit around the table quietly, in intense silence. But then, there is nothing wrong with that. Oh, and I was not talking about the comfy home game night with friends. That is a different kettle of fish entirely. Although there is not really someone in my circle of closer friends that is one of the really slow players (coincidentally, not intentionally)...
...nah, there are two local gaming meets, basically free-for-all (games AND people). Thats where we take gaming a bit more serious, I'd say, as we are all only there for gaming, and half of the people there we either would not count among the close friends, or (at least I) would not consider inviting to home game night. We are there for playing games only, not really for meeting people. Wow, that sounded antisocial. But I guess you get the gist...

That said, I am always the one that states:
"If we meet for game night, it is to play games, with talking and socializing on the side. If we meet for socializing, its talking, with maybe a bit of gaming on the side. Priorities."
And I am quite miffed if, at a game meet, we play for less than 3/4 of the time (estimation, of course, and not consecutively).

[Edit]
We are getting way off topic here. Maybe relocate this subject to another thread? Otherwise that is just highjacking it...
 
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I like to mock them.

It doesn't change their behavior, and generally just makes them angry. But I find it makes me feel better than sitting there stewing. It's best when you can get others to join in the mockery.

"Oh is it Naren's turn again? Anybody feel like a quick side game of Twilight Imperium while we wait?"

Or I just try not to play with people like that. My time is precious to me, I prefer to invest it in people who place a similar value on theirs.

"Dammit Ernie, those were 15 minutes that I'd saved up by taking the elevator instead of the stairs for the past week. And you just wasted them deciding on a move that's going to give Mark the win. So now you are still in last place, I lost the game and I'm uselessly fatter than I should be."

Some people will recommend patience. Do not listen to them. They are secret envoys of the Turtle People sent to destroy our fun.
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