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Slow Player solutions ?

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Hey everyone, I've come with a subject that may concern many casual players right here.

How do you deal with slower people in your gaming circle ? How do you make them understand a 6 hours game is not "fun" ?
Do you have any miracle solutions to bring those games under the 3 hours line ?

What about tournament (being a henchman), how do you make your players play faster ?

Thank you for your answers.

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In tournaments I have the round time limit in the event info and andvice players to play timed games before the event. I call out times and break off games if they hit the limit. 

In casual play you can't really do that but just discussing it in the group and playing with no takebacks, a visible clock, familiar crews etc are all options. It depends on why they are taking that much time. If they take too long figuring out their list you can set up a pool and build lists before you meet, if they take too long considering moves bring a timer or something. If they just don't know their stats maybe they need to play the same list a while to memorise their stuff better.

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In a casual setting it is perfectly fine to tell somebody "Sure, I'll play, but we have to be done in 3 hours because there's other stuff I have to do."

That other stuff could be going home to do laundry, going shopping or just hanging around with the other people who are done at that time.

This is sort of the same as what happens at tournaments: You know you have a set amount of time, so you have to play faster if you want to get the game done. I started playing heaps faster after my first 5 round tournament simply because I suddenly could not spend 5 minutes thinking about every move - and this made me stop doing that.

Ludwig's tips for casual play are very good - constructive and oriented towards teaching somebody to play faster. But there's nothing wrong with telling somebody that you can't spend half the day on one game and you want to be done by a set time.

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At my community, it is very common to see games that take 4 hours, and some times I am guilty of being one of those slow players. If the store is not about to close,  I am fine about doing it, as usually the game feels relaxed, both players enjoy it and they talk about stuff. If we do not have many tables, or we are in a hurry, sometimes if casual, we notice so and players speed up a bit or opt to end their games by turn 4 if it is already defined.

On tournaments, on the other hand, we play with timers. One is for all the games and starts at a certain moment, while also, each player counts his own time with a chess app. We usually give like 15 minutes for deploying and the likes before starting the big timer, so each player can speed up a bit and start playing before it, but he also has his own timer. As it felt a bit complex to do the first times, we adviced like three months before the event about the clocks, so many players started to practice the schemes (that we also announced one month after) and crews with timers to get used to it. Right now, we had not even a single game end with a player running out of time, as each player is famminiar with his crew and selected schemes. On the other hand, on "casual experiences" the game stil takes like YEARS 😁

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Granted our community is tiny, but we generally agree before the game if we're going to play on practice or tournament speed.

Practice speed: We're taking our time, trying out new stuff and carefully considering our moves. We end the game when either player has to, or when the game is over. Takes around 2-5 hours of gaming.

Tournament speed: Game has to be done in 3 hours.

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I think a lot depends on how much of it is the player, and how much the game.

Some people are just slow, and there's not really anything you can do about it (also, some players may have medical or psychological conditions that makes play a little more challenging).  And it becomes more about either accepting the timing realities or not playing with them.  Even things like playing smaller games doesn't generally help that much in such circumstances.

Also, some slow players are sensitive to that status, and may not appreciate even kind-hearted attempts to move things along.

Then there's the game.  Malifaux is an easy enough game to teach.  I find the basic concepts pretty intuitive, the use of suits and flips, action points, all fairly basic.  But, where things become complicated is in the units.  Every model has its own card with its own special abilites, then there are upgrades and the strategies and schemes...  It adds up fast.

Smaller games may help.  25ss, henchmen crews, etc.  If they're new to Malifaux, maybe try to steer them towards the more straight-forward masters.  In my experience, the beaters tend to be easier for new players than support or control types.  Themed crews may be another time saver, because often they have overlap in terms of abilities, so there's a little less to learn. 

Restricting the pool of strategies and schemes may be helpful or, if your local group is really just about killing stuff (and I've encountered more than a few like that), there's nothing wrong with junking them entirely and just doing TDM.  Keeping terrain rules simple is another way to cut down on potential time sinks.

Now, I admit, I'm a player who does find dragging games a little annoying.  I don't play games to save time, so I don't mind lengthy games, but I do tend to find dead time annoying.  So I try to be a good example.  When I host games, I make sure there's plenty of markers, tape measures, rules and errata, etc., so that searching for incidentals doesn't take time. 

When it's not my turn, I try to figure out what I want to do when it will be.  This is one of my major pet peeves.  I understand circumstances change, and so sometimes you need to re-evaluate or spend a little more thought on your turn, but in general I find you can often have a good sense of what you want to do while the other player is acting, so that you can just do it.  This doesn't help so much if your opponent is the slow player, but it does reduce the overall length and it may subtly encourage your companion to speed up.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Lizard_Wizard said:

Granted our community is tiny, but we generally agree before the game if we're going to play on practice or tournament speed.

Practice speed: We're taking our time, trying out new stuff and carefully considering our moves. We end the game when either player has to, or when the game is over. Takes around 2-5 hours of gaming.

Tournament speed: Game has to be done in 3 hours.

tournament speed 3 hours? 2 is the max I have seen for this.

I think if a game took 5 hours I wouldnt play that person again. even on vassal which generally takes longer to play games I havent seen one go past about 2.5 hours.

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On 6/18/2018 at 9:27 AM, katadder said:

tournament speed 3 hours? 2 is the max I have seen for this.

I think if a game took 5 hours I wouldnt play that person again. even on vassal which generally takes longer to play games I havent seen one go past about 2.5 hours.

Huh, really? Maybe my memory is hazy then. I was quite certain (from looking at some tournament timetables) that games were 2.5 - 3 hours per round.

Guess we need to speed up some more then :D

 

EDIT: Had to check, and I am indeed mistaken. 2 hours max, we better start picking up some speed

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You might run into 2h15m (Stockholm?) or 2h30m (ITC?), but yeah strictly gg18 tournaments (and all Finnish ones I've been to I think) are 2h.

It's more than enough to finish a game if you know your models and leave Analysis Paralysis out🙂

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