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"Slowing Down the Game (1)" Topic

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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 4:36 p.m. PST

Trying to think through what--other than players, of course--actually slows down a wargame. Understand, I'm not looking to run down particular rules sets, but I'd like some opinions about mechanisms which tend to drag out games.

My nominations are (1) simultaneous movement, with associated written orders, (2) its cousin the variable length bound, and (3) the sort of C&C systems which slow movement. Mind you, other things annoy me, and I have certainly played and enjoyed simultaneous move games. But I think these three are the big game slower. Other opinions?

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 4:43 p.m. PST

Agree with 1 and 2. By 3, do you mean such things as a limited number of command points which are used to activate units, which usually means some units don't move?

One other thing which slows a game is an overly complicated mechanism for determining an outcome, such as multiple die rolls for combat results (one roll to hit, then a roll for where you hit, then a roll to see what result of hit was, etc.) Not necessarily a bad thing but slows down a game.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 5:04 p.m. PST

In my homebrew set of rules we roll three dice every time no matter what we are trying to do. They are the same four dice. And the information we are looking for is intuitive. So hit location is always 1 at the top, head shot for human, turret for a tank, and 6 is always at the bottom, below the knee for human, track / suspension for a tank. So you don't have different charts for the same concept.
The data on the dice is always intuitive. So I use a 20 sided die in 5% increments. You don't need to do math, add the two dice together to get the hit number for example. Check the chart you need 25% or less, roll the die and it says 25% or a lower number and you hit. Very simple.
I did a time / motion study of my wargames a couple decades ago and cut down on all the little things that take up 2, or 5, or 10 seconds and cut them out, combined them, or made them easier to speed up the game.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 5:07 p.m. PST

Slow is a subjective term.

A slow game is one where they enjoyment you get is too dispersed in time. Enjoyment is related to involvement, which is related to activity.

If I'm taking my turn, I'm at least active, probably involved, and may be enjoying myself. Using this model, the two breakdowns in enjoyment happen when my personal preferences are not being met (losing enjoyment) or my perception of the value of my activity relative to the outcome I desire is low (loss of involvement leading to no enjoyment). The counter to the second is you can have visceral enjoyment of activity (especially physical activity) without involvement.

On someone else's turn, involvement comes from watching the outcomes of their decisions and seeing how it interacts with my future choices. Usually, you have a stronger sense of involvement in your side's turns that aren't yours than you do with an opponent's. Again, enjoyment is the overlay of preferences on that involvement.

Generally, the enjoyment builds (gradually or in spikes) with certain activities and then decays over time when it is not increasing.

Anyway, the more things I have to do on my turn that feel like busy work rather than advancing the cause make the game slow. This slowness is amplified during other peoples' turns since you have a less strong involvement.

The more steps you have between your decision (max involvement) and the outcome of that decision, the more chances you lose involvement or enjoyment.

If I have to do a string of calculations or look-ups after a decision before I move something on the board, I start to loose enjoyment on my turn and find it hard (pointless?) to pay attention to other's turn. A mechanism where I did the same number of steps, but they are split across more actions on my part is more enjoyable.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 6:43 p.m. PST

Buckets of dice.

Count up 19 six siders.

Roll 19 six siders.

Figure out which scored a 5+

Now roll saves or armor or whatever.

Count 11 six siders.

Roll 11 six siders.

See which scored a 4+ to negate a hit.

Much refer: roll 2d6, read chart, move to next comabt.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 7:39 p.m. PST

pvivh43, in the context of slowing down the game, I was thinking of rules which had movement penalties for being a certain distance from the commander, or for having certain commanders, so you're moving as many units on your turn, but it's going to take twice as many turns to reach the objective. Just not moving, or moving fewer units may be irritating but doesn't necessarily slow down the game.

Good point about multiple rolls to determine outcome. I think EC's headed in the same direction.

EC, a good point, but your thumb's on the scale. Some chart games are faster than some bucket of dice games--but the reverse is also true. In, for example, a Mersey game, where it's always either 12 or 6 dice, score a certain number or above and divide by armor class combat can be resolved faster than I can figure out where I am on the chart or even which chart to use in certain other systems, where I'm adding up points for both sides, subtracting terrain penalties, adjusting points for armor or formation and then sliding three columns left for enfilade.

etotheipi, "slow" is NOT a subjective term if the game can't start before 11:00 and must be resolved by 2:00. I very carefully omitted several game mechanics I absolutely hate, but which I reluctantly concluded did not slow down the game. "What makes for a fun game?" would be an interesting question, but less informative.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2022 8:23 p.m. PST

if the game can't start before 11:00 and must be resolved by 2:00.

What is the objective criterion that says the game must be completed by 2:00?

Nothing. You don't have to complete the game in three hours, you want to complete the game in three hours. Even if external reasons cause you to only be able to play those three hours, it is still your subjective desire that the game in "resolved" in that time instead of "half resolved", or whatever.

By your logic, objectively, nearly every novel is too long. I only have half an hour before my exam to read Moby Dick, therefore the book is too long.

Stryderg04 Feb 2022 9:08 p.m. PST

Convention games have set times so that another game can be played on the tables you are using.

pfmodel04 Feb 2022 9:19 p.m. PST

Game system mechanics which bog down a game are;
- Writing anything down on separate pieces of paper
- Needing to remember something from a previous phase in a subsequent phase. This can even be an issue within a phase, such as all elements firing before any element moves within a player turn.
- Movement or combat which has a low probability of a positive effect, but is required to avoid being disadvantaged.
- Cross referencing multiple player aid sheets, or the rules, in order to play the game.
- Low impact, repetitive actions, such as reaction tests for a long list of triggers, or in order to move or conduct fire combat.
- Execution of a decision is high effort, such as very combat fire combat tables which require a lot of calculation and may require more than one CRT.
- Too many elements on the playing area.
- Long lists of modifiers for combat, movement, or a test.

Unregulated simultaneous movement can be an issue, but if its regulated it can flow well. Example, when an element moves with a distance of an enemy element, the enemy can conduct opportunity fire or opportunity charge.

The same goes for variable length bound, which I assume means variable length player turn. This can be executed in a complex manner or a simple manner. Example, high quality troops can conduct a quality test which gives then an additional "action", or low quality troops which need a quality test to perform normally. Other troops, which are the bulk, require no test.

Command and control can also be complex or simple, different command ranges, effects and a requirement to test each player turn for effectiveness of a commander, can all be major issues. However there are simple systems which work, such as a single range and an effect when in range and out of range. A die roll per GT for command points for no more than 3 commanders is also workable.

In all these cases the location of the action in a sequence of play is important. Having a separate air support phase which only involves aircraft movement/combat is optimal. Merging this in with other activities can cause a significant slowdown effects. The same applies with command and control determination, pre-planned indirect fire, rout recovery, army demoralisation, and anything which is not directly related to the movement and combat of your core elements.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2022 9:27 a.m. PST

eto, I am seriously maligned. Or maybe just misunderstood. I never said that the fastest-playing system was necessarily the best, either objectively or subjectively. But if I need, say, a paper-mache bridge for tomorrow's game, it's no good discussing methods which will take three days. And since I do sometimes only have a three-hour window, I need for those times rules which will not leave me still in the deployment phase when I have to put away the troops.

So I have asked my fellow gamers which mechanisms they feel actually slow down the game--not which ones they like or dislike, or which slow down the game but are sometimes worth it, but what things to watch out for when you have limited time. I appreciate their help, and I'll put together a summary for my own future reference. I'd appreciate your help too. Any chance of getting some?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Feb 2022 10:46 a.m. PST

I am seriously maligned.

I'd appreciate your help too. Any chance of getting some?

Got it. I'm the one who is making personal digs at other people.

But if I need, say, a paper-mache bridge for tomorrow's game,

This is a good example of a time constraint. It has nothing to do with rules or mechanisms. And the "need" is a subjective criterion. Which is all I said.

And since I do sometimes only have a three-hour window, I need for those times rules which will not leave me still in the deployment phase when I have to put away the troops.

So, why do you have to get past the deployment phase before time runs out?

Again, this is not an objective criterion. This is a subjective one rooted on a relative enjoyment value of deployment vs engagement(?) phases. If you enjoyed deployment as much as engagement (or whatever the other phases are), a game where you didn't get to engagement wouldn't necessarily be too slow.

And this specific example is not rules, either. It's scenario (like several others above). If you had a scenario that started you 95% of the way through the deployment phase, would the rules still be too slow?

The point is that what you are looking to improve is highly subjective and highly contextual. If you don't provide an explanation of your subjective needs and the context under which, suggestions are fundamentally random.

Convention games have set times so that another game can be played on the tables you are using.

The time constraint (this one, that one, the other one) for play is objective, and external to the rules. But what constitutes a complete game is not objective, and also external to the rules.

For example, I run a WWI Weinnachts football game at conventions. Objective time constraint. External to the rules.

Because I'm often teaching the rules during the session, different sessions have different times when I can stand back and "referee" (really support). So there are different objective speeds of play (the count of events over time) at different times.

Usually, the rules I use are quickly picked up and I can stand back fairly soon. Occasionally, later in the game, a player wants to vet a strategic concept with me as "ref". Every time (except one) when this has happened, both players were engaged in the discussion. The objective speed of the game changed, but the game did not become "slow".

The one time it was too slow, it was only too slow for Mr. I-took-five-minutes-for-my-turn-you've-had-thrity-seconds-take-your-turn-already. Not sure if you know that guy. If you do, you probably believe the problem of game speed has nothing to do with the rules.

Another example:

I have a pirate naval battle game that requires players to use maneuvering board to calculate advance and transfer based on current speed/heading, sailworthiness (affected by damage), wind, and sea state. The path of the ships is then executed along realistic lines with piecewise integration (no math, just breaking one maneuver down into smaller steps.

There are some people who would find this excruciating and slow. The people I play it with do not. They are involved and enjoy the process, so the game does not slow down during the maneuvering board phase.

The game uses written orders. Orders are written simultaneously, so there is no "dead period" where your opponent is writing orders. It is also timed, so you tend to take the whole time to think. Other written orders mechanisms may be slow.

But sometimes both players are done early and you just cut the phase short. Likewise, when ships are far apart, there will be no interesting interactions during the micro phases. So we just execute the whole thing in one slop instead of piecewise and checking things against other ships. We will even to this regionally, such as four ships on the outside slopping a whole turn and the two in close quarters doing the full piecewise movement.

The rules do not actually say "if you are obviously two feet apart, you don't have to measure to see if you are within 12 or 9 inches." or "if you're passing astern of a ship without a stern gun, you don't need to measure for that ship's engagement zone" or a thousand other things.

The rules have lots of steps between decisions. No value added steps are easily breezed through (not skipped – everyone at the table has already "measured" distances and angles in their head with their eye) during play.

Because of these factors, any given game session may have lots of shooting and boarding, lots of cat an mouse maneuver, or any mix in between. These instances run at different objective speeds and reach different points in the scenario when the bell rings. But in terms of play, none are slow.

A game with fewer intense turns may be "faster" than one with a larger number of less exciting ones.

There's simply more to game speed than rules (and the other game artifacts like scenarios, stats, objectives, etc.).

I feel like I've been asked "Advise me on what kind of car I should buy" without being told anything about you as a person and what you will do with the car.

The Last Conformist05 Feb 2022 12:52 p.m. PST

@Extra Crispy:

Relatedly, rolling (possibly buckets repeatedly) first to determine how much damage is inflicted, then rolling again to see how much that impacted morale.

For battle-scale rules, there's probably little reason to differentiate between physical and psychological damage at all. For more zoomed in rules, you can still assign both with a single die roll.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Feb 2022 1:48 p.m. PST


I guess we can add "poorly laid out charts / QRS" to the list. I usually end up making my own charts as many are obsessed with one page, rather than speedy play.

@Conformist: Grande Armee does that. A unit has strength points which are an overall measure of casualties, morale, fatigue etc. When you get to 0 you have broken. So morale tests are rare and combat is fast.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2022 3:10 p.m. PST

A point EC. Remember I am a survivor of the chart-happy 1970's, where figuring out which chart to roll on could be a serious issue.

eto, let me try again. Much of my wargaming involves arriving at a friend's house with troops and terrain at 11:00 AM. Terrain must be set up, battle fought and everything put away prior to 3:00 PM. Elapsed time is not subjective. Neither, for either of us, is a decision. One of us will or will not have achieved a specified victory condition prior to putting the troops away. We do this for between 7 and 18 afternoons fall, winter and early spring, change armies and rules over the summer and try something else. Obviously we could meet our time and decision constraints every time with a basic DBA battle, but neither of us are altogether satisfied with that. So I have to find or devise a different set of rules every year, and I'm using TMP here to scan for booby traps--the rule mechanics which slow down play. EC has a good point about multiple die rolls for combat resolution: rolling once for hits, once for saves and a third time for morale gives you no more decisions points than rolling once and consulting a chart which yields the same result. I suffer from a mild case of chartophobia, but his point is still valid. Can you suggest any mechanisms which you feel tend to slow down resolution without adding interest?

evilgong05 Feb 2022 7:04 p.m. PST

The OP asked for slowing things 'other than the players' but it is the players' and their decision making that absorbs play time.

I tell the story of a game at a mate's place where a non-gaming person called by for some reason, and watched our game for a bit.

Now this visitor was a commercial radio exec in a capital city market, and knew the value of 15 seconds of airtime and how much to charge you for it.

He instinctively knew or quickly observed that it was all the choices of where and when to move the figs that must consume time.

Rolling dice or moving figs does not waste time, this _is_ the game – it's players dithering over moves and options that is dead time.

Which sets up a conundrum – games with a lot of interesting decision points are often the most enjoyable.

To get back to the OP's point – if the rules lend themselves to 'analysis-paralysis' ie players doing complex sums in their head before making a choice you have a system that prompts slow play.

As others have pointed out, multi-step computations and long lists of factors to check, on a QRS or in the book, itself are things that might be streamlined to help speed play.

I like to think that game designers should start by fixing game-time as their first parameter, is this going to be a 1, 2, 3, 4 hour game, and work from there. So things like the number of moving bits, table size, speed of getting to a result / victory can slot into place after this first consideration of game time.

Now back in the real world, game designers have to ask how many figs / units do I realistically expect the players to have and want to play with.

If your games needs 30,000 figs per side it's unlikely to find players, if you're doing waterloo with 4 Brit 15mm figs, 2 allies, 4 Prussians vs 9 French figs it will be an unfulfilling game for many players.

Other people have commented on game mechanisms that don't actually do much to advance a game.

Some systems have a detailed and interactive terrain generating system that allows both players to influence the outcome as the build the battlefield. These can be an interesting part of the interaction between the players as they jockey for tactical advantage.

But they also take time – maybe a quicker system to get to the same end point would be players being dealt say 6 cards from a deck that correspond each to a table 1/4 and have a battle map on them. They play a card each in turns – so you get to the end point of both random and player-influenced terrain with a simple process.

Another time sink are early bounds in a game where forces are too far apart to interact.

I've seen plenty of games where an hour of game time is exhausted, perhaps over multiple turns, as players drive their armies to where they were always going to end up and clash with the enemy.

There are various possible fixes depending on your rule mechanisms – but anything that gets forces to or starts armies at the critical position earlier is a good thing.

Finally, because this post is already getting long, is game end conditions.

How does a game end – timed out games are rarely enjoyable.

If your game is designed for 3 hours, there's nothing wrong with a blundering or unlucky player being defeated in 1.5 hours if there is a victory condition for it and both side have enough decision points to make it feel like something other than a penalty shoot-out.


David F Brown

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2022 7:20 p.m. PST

OP: What time is it?

The rest of us: Well, first you need to make the steel to build a watch case. Then you need to design an attractive watch face. Oh, and you need some springs and jewels for the timekeeping mechanism, and so forth…

UshCha06 Feb 2022 2:52 a.m. PST

OK so what take up most time is sbjective but heres mine.

1) Rules mechanisms that are unweildy, Buckets of die, long check lists, sorting out markers, (TIP bit of card with dry wipe surface far faster than sorting pre printed markers out). Lack of a "March Move" We have oue own but DBM is a good exemplar.
2) Players that have no knowledge of the rules or the tactics of the period. Being a perpetual begginer to me personally shows a lack of interest and typicaly more intested in the figures. Not a good start to a decent game.
3) Players too interested in chatting than playing a major down to a good game and a VERY slow boreing game.
4) Setting the senario to match the players, decision time can and sometimes should be high, too high for the players and it makes a poor game as their thinking time fall into an inability to make a decission slowing the play.
5) Not victtory conditions, we play till the fun is at an end. When one has come to a sensible end, no more fun. Like chess resignation, it is acceptable when it degenerates into a simple mindlss slog. Unique and rare random factors occuring late to me take away from a game not add to it. They can hoever be a plague on speed of play so should be avoided as part of item 1.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2022 7:17 a.m. PST

You're too harsh, pzivh43. I'm getting useful stuff out of this. It's interesting what interpretations are placed on my words, sometimes, though.

evilgong, UshCha, the focus on "other than the players" is because the players are the part I can't change at conventions and won't change in regular friendly play. Of course they're important, but they're outside my control. I want to focus on things I can improve. Fully agree about timed-out games. My concern with game speed is to ensure we can play a turn limit game to a conclusion.

UshCha, I'm half in agreement with 5, but only half. Military commanders have objectives, and this is how success is measured. Ideally game conditions reflect this. But stopping the game once it's obvious which side will achieve its objectives is just good play--and may allow time for a rematch.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2022 8:51 a.m. PST

Fighting to the death. A lot of time can be spent fighting past the point of reason. My rules include tracking casualties and disordered units along with objectives. If one army reaches a certain percentage of loses and damaged units – a percentage based on its number of units, fighting qualities, and historical context, before reaching its objective, the game is over. There are never a set number of turns, but these games go faster and the end seems logical.

Martin Rapier06 Feb 2022 9:20 a.m. PST

In general terms, anything which requires lots of looking things up, long lists of dice modifiers, faffing around with loads of dice, physical manipulation of the figures and associated markers, multiple random steps to get to a combat result (like randomised spotting).

I specific terms, for a time limited multi player convention game: avoid unit at a time activation systems, avoid anything where you can't fit a QRS onto one side of A4, make sure the players have enough equipment (dice, rulers, play sheets), keep it as simple as possible, and avoid anything where you have worry about fiddling around with lots of individual elements. You will get plenty of friction from having lots of players. Ideally playtest your game beforehand to make sure you can get through it in a reasonable time.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2022 5:57 p.m. PST

I didn't say time was subjective. I said the concept of slow was.

Speed is events over time. You've said the only event you care about is completion of at least one victory condition. It's not rules, but this seems to lead to scenarios with continuous victory conditions or larger numbers of discrete ones. For a an ancients game (you reference DBA), we play a number of scenarios where holding different sectors of terrain earn points per turn. We usually use tokens (poker chips) rather than writing it down. Throw a few chips in your bowl at the end of your turn, and count at the end. You have a general idea of how you are doing, but if it is close, you don't really know. Generally you make zones progressively worth more the closer to the opponent's side you are. So if you drive an opponent back, they could still win, but it is not likely. This is a reasonably low overhead mechanism that simulates the PMESII victory of a force. There are tons of other ways to effect a similar mechanism for different scenario types.

Numbers of rolls must be deliberately designed/selected. You seemed to indicate that two rolls for damage is slow but one roll for damage and one for morale isn't. That said, for pure speed, rolling dice tends to be faster than calculating things for most people. In that sense, a mechanism that requires you tp look, count, and roll based on something (simple) you counted tends to be one of the lowest time options. However, the more randomness in a game, the less the players feel in control, so the series of rolls become "tedious" rather than engaging.

Opposed die rolls tend to be faster than charts. Using them effectively requires more pre-work, which is something I think would work in your case. The rules I use (QILS) encode combat capability on to the dice for opposed rolls. It replaces in game time, with outside game design time.

I'm not really a fan of charts. The rules I use don't have them. Well, if you have more than four or five types of terrain on the board, you should really write it down. Which leads to the consideration that most people can handle 3-7 concepts in their head, so if you design your rules for five stats, concepts, values, order types, etc. play can go fast and not require writing a bunch down or looking up things in a reference book.

People's ability to handle multiple concepts is augmented by past familiarity. So, if both players (two in yoru case? seems to be, but not sure) have a common "historical" knowledge of the milieu (including a fictional one), you can leverage that in the design.

Those are design principles, not specific mechanisms. I still assert that any particular mechanism can be "fast" or "slow" depending on the context. If you provide more about the context you want, or tell me where I drew incorrect conclusions about your context, I can provide more specific info.

pfmodel06 Feb 2022 10:58 p.m. PST

Much of my wargaming involves arriving at a friend's house with troops and terrain at 11:00 AM. Terrain must be set up, battle fought and everything put away prior to 3:00 PM.

This is very common, especially if you play at clubs. 4 hours from soup to nuts, as my American comrades would say, is what you need to aim for. The exception is if you have the ability to keep a game setup over several days, or even weeks. In those cases longer games are viable, but are not the norm.
The other critical factor is you need a clear result in that time frame, playing for 3 ½ hours and then, irrespective of the state of the game, calling it quits and packing up without a result is not sustainable or satisfying.

pfmodel06 Feb 2022 11:29 p.m. PST

I am getting the impression what you are looking for is optimal game systems rather than game system aspects which can delay the game. This is a complex topic, I created a series of videos on game systems which cover many of these:

A quick list of optimal game systems rules are as follows;

Sequence of play: All non-core functions are moved to either a pre-phase or post-phase.
- Orders, Communications, command, reinforcement determination, weather determination, supply, unsighted indirect fire, and air support should all be placed in a separate "Pre-Phase". These do not occur every game turn and can be unrelated to the core Movement and combat of your combat forces.
- Victory determination, demoralisation, route recovery, unit recovery, disorder removal can all be placed in a "Post-Phase" for the same reasons as above.
- Keep the sequence of play as simple as possible. Combined movement and Combat, while a good game system, can cause issues if not well designed.

Vertical executing of movement and combat rather than horizontal execution.
- Pick a number of units and ensure they complete everything required in the phase before moving to a new group of units. This is a vertical approach. A horizontal approach is one where, within a single phase you need to go from flank to opposing flank doing something and then coming back to execute the next horizontal function. This is less of an issue when you divide movement and combat, but when using a combined movement and combat phase is very important.

Ability to understand an elements movement and combat characteristics by looking at the element.
- Movement rates and combat values need to be kept as simple as possible. A cheat sheet can be used in some cases, but if the cheat sheet contains too much information you still have an issue.

Minimal number of "Die Throws".
- You can throw a lot of die in a single throw, but throwing a lot of die, one at a time, is boring and physically exhausting. This varies by game system, but an optimal number of "units" per side is 24. A unit can comprise of more than one element. A good game system should never allow a player to throw more than 1/3 this number per player turn, but this does vary. An example of a bad game system is if you have 24 units and need to throw once per unit per game-turn with an optimal length of 12 game-turns, a player is required to throw a dice, or more than one dice, 288 times in a game. This can cause RSI and needs to be avoided.

Game system features which can cause drag on a game. (I have not repeated the ones already listed).
- Routing units should be avoided if possible. Its easier to remove the unit and provide some mechanism to allow them to return if they rally.
- Casualty tracking of a unit or element by the use of a counter, sheet, or writing down the element. IN some cases its unavoidable, but it's a real drag on any game.
- Tracking disorder, disruption, recoil, rout by the use of counters. Once again this may be unavoidable, but is a drag on any game.

Martin Rapier07 Feb 2022 12:48 a.m. PST

Sorry, I'd completely missed that you were playing one on one. 11 to 3 sounds like luxury! For a club night we get down there at 6.45 and are usually done and packed up by 9 (9.30 at the latest).

For a four 1:1 game, then avoid fiddly terrain setups, but knock yourself out as far as interactive turn sequences go. They are only a problem for multi player.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2022 3:42 p.m. PST

Actually, we usually spin the table so 11-3 represents two games, but only one set-up and takedown. But note that a lot of this applies to convention games as well, and I've seen more games than I can count crash and burn because the clock ran out.

UshCha19 Feb 2022 2:25 p.m. PST

In the end its down to the players. Last Monday at the club, 2 games, Myself and friend doing a 1/144 game at 1mm to the meter. British Platoon in defense with two dedicated FV432 Mortar carriers vs the Russians with a full BMP 2 company with weapons section. We played to a suitable finish despite a late start probably 12 bounds which compared to the standard 6" and 12" Feartherstone clone is about 24 bounds..

Before hand set two of our guys up with a very simple game same rules and they got nowhere. How come? We basically got on with it. The other two chatted, discussed tactics and the real world weapons, digressed on models and had a generally good night. They play a social game and care not if they finish if they have had fun and pushed a few models about. So was there game slow? Well I thought so but they knew they were not getting there very fast but enjoying it and had no intention of going faster and curtailing their fun.

So what constitutes a Slow game is by no means a universal. I may think a game is very slow but others may consider it was plenty fast enough. I have seen folk define the ultimate game as having a laugh with mates. That to me is not an ultimate war game, some other game like Dominoes yes. To me the ultimate game is fast, that means not only streamlined fast implementation but players concentrating solely on the task in hand and getting on with it. That is by no means a universal situation. The problem comes if players from the opposite side meet. Then one considers the game far too slow the other too much rushing and no time to chat.

There is no fix for this as its not the rules but the overall goals of the players that are at odds.

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