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I’m wondering how long everyone’s typical competitive/close game is taking to play?

I played a fantastic and close game as Dashel vs Tara in flank/corrupted idols. The game ended 4-6 with about 5 Tara models remaining and about 10 from Dashels crew. 

The problem was we play on a weeknight and despite the board being set up prior to arriving as well as schemes strats and crews chosen, the game took over 4 hours. Too long for a regular game session  

We both tried to play quickly and couldn’t think of much we could do to speed it up. Do we need to not play summoners, or get better at killing things...

So, how long are most peoples close games (not really interested in turn 2 blowouts) and any suggestions to speed up games?

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2-3h. 3h is reasonably relaxed pace.

Do you agonise over decisions? Do you have to constantly check cards for rules? Do you have to constantly check the rulebook for rules? How long do you take per activation?

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From my M2E experience I can tell you that playing more aggressive crews speeds up the game quite a lot. During a regular week I try to stick to simple crews with models that I know quite well.

The first game in M3E took more like 5-6 hours (with 35SS), just because we had to look up the rules and cards quite a lot.

So what I plan to do to speed up the game:

- Of course know your models and the basic rules.

- Know the interaction and bubbles of your models/crew.

- From a gaming perspective: Have a plan for each model. Sounds trivial, but really helps to speed up activations.

- Don't be afraid to make tactical mistakes, it is not always possible to find the best solution in a limited time frame. But you will learn from your mistakes and get better with time. It's about having fun playing the game after all :)

 

 

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I find a game takes 2-5 hours.

The biggest determinant is people knowing their crew, their potential triggers, and what they're doing with all their cards. Once you get to that level of experience, most models can complete their activation within 10 seconds to 2 minutes depending on how much combat there is.

The next big factor is a scenario/crew combination that plays fast. Two grindy crews in melee all game is going to take longer than crews maneuvering around each other or crews where lots of models die.

The single biggest thing is decision making though. If the moment you're passed activation you know what model you're activating and what you're doing with it, you're going to have fast games.

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To give an example - I activate my master and use my bonus action and fail it.

I should know instantly if I'm cheating or not. Once I'm experienced enough, I know whether or not Im cheating based on my hand and how badly I need it to go off. 

True, sometimes you're learning the matchup or your opponent does something you've never seen before. Those games are going to be long. But familiar matchups, speed play will get you down to two hours I reckon.

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1 hour ago, Nikodemus said:

2-3h. 3h is reasonably relaxed pace.

Do you agonise over decisions? Do you have to constantly check cards for rules? Do you have to constantly check the rulebook for rules? How long do you take per activation?

Probably maybe 3 activations each turn per player where we’d stop to think for up to a minute (which I guess adds up). Cards are probably checked every activate for a quick check of a stat and we consulted the rulebook maybe 3 time in the game. So o guess there are a few efficiencies 

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In my (extremely limited) experience its not the rules that are the problem, its knowing what your crew is capable of.

 

I've only played Sonnia in my 5 M3E games, but in the most recent one I realised that my activations were over fairly quickly because I knew what each model could do and was able to come up with a plan before the activation and execute it quickly and the only references to cards were to confirm stats.

 

My opponent was playing his first 50ss M3E game so took much longer because he was constantly checking cards to understand options.

 

The core rules weren't a problem because it was very straightforward to say "right, flip a card, add you stat, compare it to a number/suit, was it successful or do you want to cheat?"  But my opponent working out whether he wanted the :ramor :masktrigger was time-consuming.

 

It got quicker as he got burned to death though.

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I think games play out longer without any time constraints because you are more relaxed d talk more.

 

Going  to an opening m3e event with hamelin and never played him in m3e before in our 2.5 hour games we never once didnt finish a round. And that's with me having up to 14 activations a turn

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In competitive play I comfortably finish the vast majority of games with 2.5 hour rounds, with 2hrs being more of a stretch.  When not playing competitively / with a clock three hours is more normal, allowing for more banter and a relaxed pace.

To speed up I'd focus on learning your crew, going with your gut instinct more.  Consider making timed games a more regular thing.  Having a clock on the table can help focus minds on the game time. 

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One oddity of M3e, I’ve seen and heard of far more concessions than I ever did in M2e. Is that a change in acceptable Malifaux behavior across multiple metas, or due to the edition change? They are bringing the average game time far down, when neither side wants to fight on until end of game and see if they managed to defend up until the final scheme scoring timing.

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5 minutes ago, Gnomezilla said:

One oddity of M3e, I’ve seen and heard of far more concessions than I ever did in M2e. Is that a change in acceptable Malifaux behavior across multiple metas, or due to the edition change? They are bringing the average game time far down, when neither side wants to fight on until end of game and see if they managed to defend up until the final scheme scoring timing.

This hasn't been my experience.

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With two experienced players who know both their own crew and their opponent's, I think the 2-3 hours is reasonable.  But one of the issues Malifaux has always had is inexperienced players, or players who just don't know one crew or the other tend to need a lot of time to figure things out.

This is a game where every model has special rules, and a lot of those rules apply even when the model isn't acting.  Some say things like "if a model ends an activation with X :aura" or if a model "takes the Interact action within Y :new-Pulse:" so there are lots of layers to understanding what's going on.  And in casual/learning games, there's often a "oh, then I'd want to do something different" dynamic too.

Of course, there's also the fact that some players are just slower than others.

One thing I think would help is to try and use your opponent's turn as your own planning phase.  I know this isn't always possible, but often times you can figure out what you want to do while it isn't your turn.  I've found this has cut down the analysis time considerably.

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4-5 hours, generally.  Then again, we're not competitive players, some of us take smoke breaks during the game, we all get distracted easily and will watch each others games while player, etc.  Our groups is currently 5 strong with usually 1-2 people not making it to game days and usually another 1-2 showing up to try out Malifaux.  With smoke breaks, beerruns, food breaks, poking in to see what the other tables are doing, someone getting funny videos sent to them, etc. our games tend to drag out longer.

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How often do you know the strats and schemes in advance? Do you make an effort to sort them out ahead of time?

With all other games I've ever played we sort the scenario out when we turn up. I feel like this is going to have to be a habit changed for Malifaux.

I guess that then lends itself to planning how to achieve each goal with which models on advance of the game?

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I think for a game like Malifaux you have to remember to include prep time (choosing schemes, and selecting crew), which may cause the game to be longer than a similar game would be.

 

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4 hours ago, MrPieChee said:

How often do you know the strats and schemes in advance? Do you make an effort to sort them out ahead of time?

With all other games I've ever played we sort the scenario out when we turn up. I feel like this is going to have to be a habit changed for Malifaux.

I guess that then lends itself to planning how to achieve each goal with which models on advance of the game?

Agree with this and is my preferred play style.

Note the preplanning the game realllly favours those who like to form strategies ahead of time.  If we preplan a scenario, I get to spend way more time planning and make much better decisions. Some others in my club make decisions on the fly better and prefer on the spot strategy/scheme generation.

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Thanks for the replies, reassuring that people are saying they’re getting it done in 3 hours.

We had the schemes and strats all set up, maybe it is just knowing our crews better but this was my ~8th game with Dashel.

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1 hour ago, GameSoHard said:

Thanks for the replies, reassuring that people are saying they’re getting it done in 3 hours.

We had the schemes and strats all set up, maybe it is just knowing our crews better but this was my ~8th game with Dashel.

Of course if you're having fun it shouldn't matter that much, but if you do find length is impacting your experience, you might try imposing strict time limits, like chess clocks.  Things will sharpen into focus when you have to act or lose the game.

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Assuming a 2h game, you've got 1h as a player. That's 12 minutes per round. Assuming a stable 8 model crew, that's 90 seconds per activation.

Sure math fudges up a bit if you add in upkeep/start phase admin stuff and whatnot. And models tend to die as game progresses. And who knows what else. But I found it helpful to be mindful of the above math to keep a decent pace early on.

I can't in good conscience take many 2 minute activations when simple math tells me that will result in a half finished game.

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.... and when you have models with Flurry/Rapid Fire abilities and/or Onslaught triggers, or just being Yasanori, there is no way you're getting through all that flipping in 90 seconds.

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A big part of it for me is how aggressive crews ends up being. My time as a tournament Nephilim player so far, rounds have been finished in as little as an hour. If all the slaughter is done by the bottom of turn 2, and I or my opponent just have schemes to run unopposed 3-5, it's a quick game. Familiarity with your crew's tactics is a big part of it, though. If I'm not sure of what exactly a model is capable of, I'll spend more time wondering what to do with it.

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12 hours ago, Jesy Blue said:

.... and when you have models with Flurry/Rapid Fire abilities and/or Onslaught triggers, or just being Yasanori, there is no way you're getting through all that flipping in 90 seconds.

Not every time, but is a doable average.

For every model you double move and bonus action in 15 seconds, that is another model you can take 2 minutes on.

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Another thing that helps is just making decision-making as efficient as possible.

For instance, I often hire models with 'assignments' in mind. As an example, taking Molly in plant explosives and some scheme marker schemes, I might have these assignments:

  • Molly + rabble risers: defend my side of the map/slow down the enemy and disrupt their plans as they try to score points.
  • Philip and the Nanny: find a way to break through to the enemy map for schemes and strats.
  • Crooligans: early on teleport to Philip and the Nanny and drop bombs. Throughout the rest of the game, teleport back and disrupt the enemies plans or place scheme markers to score points for me.
  • Necrotic machine: act as a point for crooligans to teleport to, provide support to Molly's unit.
  • Archie: Plan A is to cross the table and help with Crooligans/Philip and the Nanny. If that's not needed, turn back and support the defense team.

My decisions in games sometimes seem very fast, and it is probably because I have a clear idea of each model's job in the crew. Some are meant to go score points, some deny points, and some go support whoever is finding their job hardest. You can't make a hard plan and expect to stick to it, but have an idea of "if something goes wrong on defense, Necrotic machine, Archie, and Crooligans are my potential tools depending on whether I need healing, beating, or scheming."

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On 8/11/2019 at 4:48 PM, LeperColony said:

Of course if you're having fun it shouldn't matter that much, but if you do find length is impacting your experience, you might try imposing strict time limits, like chess clocks.  Things will sharpen into focus when you have to act or lose the game.

How do you find using the chess clocks? (And how do you do it?) if it’s just per activation then if the other person is deciding to cheat or not on your clock that could be unfair/frustrating. 

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22 minutes ago, GameSoHard said:

How do you find using the chess clocks? (And how do you do it?) if it’s just per activation then if the other person is deciding to cheat or not on your clock that could be unfair/frustrating. 

I personally don't use them because I've found the length manageable for most games, and in those that run long, it's usually a demo or with a new player (or someone trying a new crew).  But I'd expect it's per activation and you just sort of have to proceed under the assumption that it all evens out in the wash.

Also, in casual games you should be able to rely on your opponent not being "that guy" (else why are you playing casually with them), and in tournaments you can ask a judge to intervene.

If I were to use a clock, I'd do what most modern chess tournaments do and employ an increment.  This adds time to the player's clock after they complete their move, generally around 30 seconds.  Increments are interesting mechanics.  They help reward fast play and fore-planning because if you're quick the time loss is greatly reduced and in some circumstances you may even gain time.  It also allows someone on the razor's edge to avoid losing by time if they just commit to really quick decisions.

Finally, in a specifically Malifaux concern, an increment helps reduce the time pressure the player with the larger crew will naturally encounter.  Even that might not be enough though, and it may be more fair to use a timing structure that gives each player X minutes + Y per model in the starting crew.  

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