You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)
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TOPIC: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

13 Apr 2012 15:54 #122817

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

mikoyan wrote:
My biggest complaint about modern games is that just as things are going swimmingly, the game ends. In Agricola, it seems like as soon as feeding your family ceases to be an issue, the game is over. It seems like you spend the whole game building the infrastructure and you only get to see it in use for 1 or 2 turns. although for some games, I'm glad about that.


This is my one complaint about FFG's Starcraft [now, I've never played it with the expansion, so I don't know what that adds to it]. The half-dozen games I've played all felt like they ended a couple of turns too early. I think it's a very good game, and one I really dig, but it's a bit too...I dunno..."compact"? "taut"? to be truly great.
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13 Apr 2012 16:04 #122818

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

I really have no nostalgia for older games, I just started getting into non-mainstream games in the past few years. That being said, I have a few older games that I really love: Cosmic Encounter, Speed Circuit, The Fury of Dracula, and Imperium. All four are much more than the sum of their parts. Imperium has a long-ish rulebook, but the rules all seem very organic and it's easy to see how every rule in the book contributes to the narrative of the game.

Most of my games are new-ish games, few older than ten years really (although some are newer editions of older games). A lot of them are definitely not much more than the sum of their parts. My FFG titles, as much as I enjoy them, are chock-full of fiddly bits and odd rules exceptions that don't really contribute to the game's narrative. I have a bunch of DOAM games, as I happen to really like that style (even Risk!), but I can't remember any of my plays of any of them as well as I remember how my strategy fell apart in my last Axis and Allies game.

That being said, I also have quite a few newer games that I think are excellent games. They represent a lot of different methods of game style and design. While I agree with Pete's sentiment that nobody has time to screw around any more, I don't know that I'd go far enough to say that game design has been slipping. It has changed, but different doesn't necessarily mean bad. The "old" games I own I bought because there was a ton of information available and I knew they'd satisfy an itch. They're games that are well-regarded decades after they came out. For every great OOP game that makes it look like new games don't measure up there are likely hundreds of other old OOP games that were mostly crap, and I suspect in twenty years time people will still look back at games from 200x and wonder why games from 202x don't measure up.

A good example of a modern game that manages to do a lot with very little is Conquest of Paradise. You can explain the game in ten minutes and then you've got a few hours of lightweight civ building in the South Pacific ahead of you. It isn't as heavy as most civ games, but it doesn't need to be. With the Random Event add-on cards (PnP) I think it's an excellent example of how people are still finding ways to create games with an interesting narrative that don't require a 30-page rulebook, 5-page errata, and a coffin box of parts.
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Last Edit: 13 Apr 2012 16:05 by wadenels.
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13 Apr 2012 17:00 #122826

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

wadenels wrote:

A good example of a modern game that manages to do a lot with very little is Conquest of Paradise. You can explain the game in ten minutes and then you've got a few hours of lightweight civ building in the South Pacific ahead of you. It isn't as heavy as most civ games, but it doesn't need to be. With the Random Event add-on cards (PnP) I think it's an excellent example of how people are still finding ways to create games with an interesting narrative that don't require a 30-page rulebook, 5-page errata, and a coffin box of parts.


On a completely different tangent, I need to get my own copy of that game. It's the only 4x game that really works for me. I don't get the space 4x games. Ancient pacific islanders in canoes not knowing what's on the next island makes sense. Games with civilizations that have the capacity for space travel but don't know what's on three planets over make no sense to me.

Back on topic. I only play hour long games at lunch or with the wife. Any other time, I expect to be immersed for a while. This has always been the case though. From playing rpgs to games workshop minis games, to wargames, etc. On game nights I've always wanted to get in deep.
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Last Edit: 13 Apr 2012 17:04 by Mr. White.
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13 Apr 2012 17:00 #122827

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

I love long games. Diplomacy and Dune are two of my favorites ever. That said, with a baby, I now prefer long-ISH games, i.e. 3 hours, because pretty much my "free time" starts at 9 pm, and I know I'll have to wake up at 7:30 or so. I have no idea when I'm going to get a chance to play Civilization again :-(
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13 Apr 2012 17:05 #122828

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

Jeff - I have a copy that I'd be willing to let go cheap. Hit me up via TM if you're interested.
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13 Apr 2012 17:21 #122831

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

TM sent
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13 Apr 2012 17:34 #122834

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

I'd gladly play longer games everytime my group gets together. Most of them are OK with longer stuff, but a couple tend to lose focus once it gets past 4 hours, which is disappointing to me. I once played a full-on version of Third Reich that lasted for a week. We had to leave the board set up and arrange a schedule so that an observer would always be present. Someone would come in, make their moves, and leave a note for the next guy: "It's your turn."
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13 Apr 2012 18:22 #122850

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

Chapel wrote:
Shoot, that is my forte are DOAM and Civ games. Probably the only part of me that is F:AT. The issue I have with some of the older titles is sometimes they tend to drag on. More of a cyclical drag than because of content. Doing the same thing over and over again with not much gain. Which is why I LOATHE Risk. I need more mechanisms, more ways to destroy my opponents other than make a wall of stuff, then push stuff forward. There are some cool aspects in newer(and I use that term relatively) DOAM kind of games. Wars of the Roses, Olympos, Colonial, Manifest Destiny, Moongha, Imperial. All really cool DOAM/EURO hybrids that all bring really interesting things to the table.

So in answer to you question, I really don't care how LONG a game is, as long as it keeps those hours interesting.


Another reason I wish I never left Texas. I would SO drive 4 hours to chill with you over a game of Imperial while decrying Risk.

AND, for the record, the tangent I was going off on wasn't as much as the games of today are worse, although they are, by and large, it was that the idea that game boxes now have length of play listed on the side speaks volumes about our society at large. And how I look back to the 1977 period where games didn't have lengths on the side, where people had more time to do things.

And not so much because the world has changed, but because priorities have. People would rather spend 2 hours playing a game and then 2 hours surfing the internet or chatrouletting than sitting down with 5 friends and playing one game of singular gravity for 4 hours.
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Last Edit: 13 Apr 2012 18:26 by SuperflyTNT.
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13 Apr 2012 23:39 #122889

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

I don't like long games. It's not because I have a smart phone - I don't. It's not because I'd rather play a video game - I usually don't anymore. It's not because I can't sit still for four hours - I certainly can. I just dislike any feeling that a game is already 'over' and want the game to end once I have that feeling. I hate knowing who is going to win long before it happens, so I tend to stay away from the more deterministic Euros with obvious scoring tracks. I like seeing how a strategy works in one game, and then having the opportunity to try a different way to play the same game. I like playing the same game 4 or 5 times in a row, in both casual and tournament settings... that's not easy to do with 4 hour games.
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14 Apr 2012 00:15 #122892

Re: You Need To Get Your Priorities Straight (Length)

San Il Defanso wrote:
I have a friend of mine who insists that the best games start at 3 hours, and for the most part I agree with him. There's a lovely arc that happens when you play a long game. You aren't just playing some ol' game anymore, you're actually spending a lot of time with good friends.


It's interesting that many sports typically last about 3 hours. The national past time baseball is similar to SuperflyTNT point there is no limit to how long a game will last but 3 hours is typical. Football, Hockey and NBA basketball is all 3 hours. Nobody has a issue about watching 6 hours of Football on Sunday. NASCAR clocks in at closer to 4 hours. 18 holes of golf about 3-4 hours. The top finishers in the Boston Marathon will finish in just over 2 hours but the average time is about 4 hours.

Most people wouldn't think twice about sit down at slot machine, surf the net, watching TV or play video game for 3+ hours but would never think of playing board game 3+ hours.
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