Game length issues


  • 2020 2018 2017

    i was more trying to be funny it was late at night, but my tongue in cheek advice was more addressed to the “old me” of the college days.

    the eat before thing is from the college days as well of course you have to eat during the game we can barely make it through more than one round before everyone breaks to eat. � �  my poorly articulated point is that everyone should eat before the game and then again hopefully all at the same time

    im also an ex smoker which is why that point is particularly apt for myself

    the shut up thing was inspired from Gencon…during the tourney there was this table of free form RPG players right next to us chanting WHEEL OF FATE! WHEEL OF FATE! WHEEL OF FATE! every five minutes it was obnoxious. � � I wasn’t trying to squelch a good time

    the part about new players, I’ve found that most people find the commitment of time (and learning) offputting about this particular game. �  Its just pretty hard to attract someone that isn’t gung ho about it already


  • 2018 2017 '16

    If you’re inviting new players force them to watch Young Grasshoppers tutorial series on how to play G-40 before they come over to play the game. That should shave off a good hour of explaining who’s at war with who and what are these damn neutral countries all about. They will be itching to SBR your major complexes for a max damage of 20 by the time they get there.  😮


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13

    I host many games and I agree with Maddog and General. We pretty much do the same thing and I do have all the storage around my tables to put away and build pieces.
    Got icp victory magnetic tracker boards and we use poker chips which is so easy for everybody to use. I still love the money but I got bank boxes in the middle of both sides of table for everybody to pay and collect. Buys go on table with chips under the pieces when u buy and when they collect just ask them to see chips. Easier to count from other side of table when you see the color of poker chips.


  • 2019 2017 '16

    Regarding the battle calculator, if you don’t allow it people need to count up odds with a pen and paper going into likely second round outcomes in many cases. That just takes even more time. I guess there just needs to be some sort of reasonableness applied. Maybe you can use the battle calculator when it isn’t your turn?



  • @simon33:

    Regarding the battle calculator, if you don’t allow it people need to count up odds with a pen and paper going into likely second round outcomes in many cases. That just takes even more time. I guess there just needs to be some sort of reasonableness applied. Maybe you can use the battle calculator when it isn’t your turn?

    Precisely our rule, use anything you want when it’s not your turn. On your turn it’s just you and your team’s brains.



  • @Arthur:

    I am not a fan of battle calculators in live play.  It takes away so much of the drama when you look at the results and decide that you have a 93% chance of winning with 12 units left over on average.  It also dramatically slows down gameplay, especially when employed on anything besides the final siege on Moscow.  The 20 minute gaps as people make a series of calculations for the next few rounds in various battles and purchase options takes away so much from the event.  It definitely does not reduce the game length from my experience.

    True although i dont like them i do prefer to keep an excel sheet at hand with the numbers in them.
    Basicaly, number of units, total attack, total defence.
    If you are moving your counting the stacks and see whats there before you make your move, with big stacks just counting takes 5 minutes for each stack. Why do that every turn when you can just write the numbers down. It does not provide anything other then what you could do in your head just provides external memory 🙂

    Say germany has 30 inf 10 art 20 arm, Just because they are stacked close finding out that fact takes some minutes, but this is important because it desides if russia can stand its ground or have to fall back or if it can attack so you count these numbers before combat moves.
    Next Round you dont know the numbers anymore because you did all sorts of battle and you count that stack again. This is just waste of time so i store that in an excel sheet as 30 inf 10 art 20 arm = attack 120 defence 170. You still get some numbers but you get to guess your chances yourself.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    Here’s a little something I do, that I’ve found really helps to shave a few minutes off every turn.
    It might seem simple, but you’d be surprised how much time can be spent digging and returning pieces to their trays, if you don’t have a good system in place…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=35904.msg1411574#msg1411574

    You can see an example image in there at the bottom using 1942.2 but I adopt the same system in G40. Once I started doing this, I never went back. Now I’m a big proponent of grouping by shape, and trusting in color differentiation for easy recognition, rather than the other way round. Hard habit to break, for the OCD sculpt collector, but it works. Even chainsmoking degenerates like me can make the extra effort to be better orgnaized haha.

    Also, like others have mentioned before and elsewhere too, my group separates combat movement, and combat proper with the purchase phase. So the phases like this…
    repair, combat movement, purchase, combat, non com, placement, collect.
    If you want to pick up the pace it’s highly effective for focusing your players. It doesn’t change anything compared to the standard phase order of “purchase, combat movement, combat proper” other than the speed with which your players will make decisions.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    I’ve played hundreds of games, some face to face, a lot on AAA.  Obviously the quickest FtoF was with experts, like Gargantua & his crew in Vancouver, while the slowest FtoF was w/novices. Here’s some of the more important lessons I’ve learned about game time, some of these will be repeats, sorry:

    1. MOST IMPORTANT: Some one should act as taskmaster, making sure players are planning before their turn, make sure players are “done” with combat moves so that you can start rolling, keep track of battles and battle results, do double count of money, etc. That sounds annoying, but it’s really easy to let large amounts of time slip by when a player is “planning” or whatever when really they are just dithering.  The game has to keep good pace with people kept engaged, otherwise the moment there is a break, peoples’ minds start to wander and then they wander and start talking about other stuff, bringing the game to halt.

    2. No battle calculator. That is a huge time suck to plug in all the stats and run numbers etc.  Plus, it really is a violation of the spirit of a FtoF game where there is some expectation of living with the fog of war.

    3. No TV in room.  The moment someone says “let’s turn on the game while we play” you know that’s going to spell disaster.

    4. Don’t Play with newbies. This sounds mean, but playing with newbies will inevitably slow the game down terribly for obvious reasons. Not only do they suck up time trying to understand what to do, they make mistakes and then you have to rewind the game often to make it at least somewhat competitive. The only thing you can do here is trying to help them by talking their turn through with them… this gets a little absurd to the extent you end up playing against yourself with just a warm body as a stand-in for the hypothetical other side.

    5. No beer before noon. A&A isn’t A&A unless there is beer, but once the drinking starts, play does start to suffer, so best at least to try to mitigate it by waiting some. (FtoF games for me usually start at 9am).

    6. Do not use income tracker.  What a waste of time. It rarely is accurate in my experience. Counting the money on the board can be done quickly and accurately, especially if you do a double count, See Taskmaster up above.

    7. Have 2 rolling boxes/areas on the sides of the game.  Having to roll dice far away from the battle and/or move pieces off the board to the far side of the play area is painstaking and subject to accidents.  Making battle-board battles quick and easy will save time.

    8. Set up game night before if can.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Karl7:

    4. Don’t Play with newbies. This sounds mean ……

    Yes it does! Thankfully some of us are happy to give them the experience to warrant your playing attentions Karl 😄

    Nothing to do with wanting to win of course ……


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '12

    @Private:

    @Karl7:

    4. Don’t Play with newbies. This sounds mean ……

    Yes it does! Thankfully some of us are happy to give them the experience to warrant your playing attentions Karl 😄

    Nothing to do with wanting to win of course ……

    ha ha… I play newbies all the time, but there’s no getting around the fact playing newbies makes for a slower game…  :lol:



  • 4. Don’t Play with newbies. This sounds mean, but playing with newbies will inevitably slow the game down terribly for obvious reasons. Not only do they suck up time trying to understand what to do, they make mistakes and then you have to rewind the game often to make it at least somewhat competitive. The only thing you can do here is trying to help them by talking their turn through with them… this gets a little absurd to the extent you end up playing against yourself with just a warm body as a stand-in for the hypothetical other side.

    The best way to handle this is to have multiple newbies on both sides of the table so it balances itself out. And have the more experienced player take allies.
    It does not mather if Germany is a newby as long as UK and Russia are also new to the game. Their mistakes balance themself out.

    And just play the game and plan plenty of time, especialy if you live within 30 minutes of eachother there is no reason why a game cannot be played over the course of 2 days. I used to play with someone that was rather slow, and we started friday evening ( around 19:00 ) and played saturnday and sunday as well the same game.

    We all have to learn the game somehow.


  • 2018 '16

    Have multiple copies of the rule book. We have 4 available.



  • @seancb:

    Have multiple copies of the rule book. We have 4 available.

    Or a laptop and pdf, so you can search the rulebook 🙂


  • 2018 2017 '16

    Siredblood’s card deck would help too because it has some of the more difficult to comprehend or misunderstood rules on the cards as well as each nation’s political situations. Every player would have a sort-of mini rule book in their hands.


  • 2020 2018 2017

    Karl7 and I seem to think alike…

    This post was about what makes the game so LONG.  Many of our suggestions may seem like they aren’t about fun, but the original question was about time.  I’ve played 100s of live games and taught dozens of people how to play various games, and my observations derive from that experience

    “someone should act as taskmaster”  when I said this the reply was don’t touch my stuff lol

    “newbs…”  its fun and fine to try and integrate new players, but it isn’t going to be a brief process.  The game is long and teaching makes it longer.

    “paper money”  I realize that everyone and their dog loves the paper money but I’ve observed that it adds time and adds slop

    “set up beforehand” this is a great idea but its not possible at the game club or at tournaments where the door open time is specified

    “people need to calculate odds with pen and paper” I can look at stacks of pieces and get a good enough idea of this, which is part of why live play with physical pieces is advantageous.    Its part of the skill of the game



  • @Black_Elk:

    Here’s a little something I do, that I’ve found really helps to shave a few minutes off every turn.
    It might seem simple, but you’d be surprised how much time can be spent digging and returning pieces to their trays, if you don’t have a good system in place…

    http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=35904.msg1411574#msg1411574

    You can see an example image in there at the bottom using 1942.2 but I adopt the same system in G40. Once I started doing this, I never went back. Now I’m a big proponent of grouping by shape, and trusting in color differentiation for easy recognition, rather than the other way round. Hard habit to break, for the OCD sculpt collector, but it works. Even chainsmoking degenerates like me can make the extra effort to be better orgnaized haha.

    Also, like others have mentioned before and elsewhere too, my group separates combat movement, and combat proper with the purchase phase. So the phases like this…
    repair, combat movement, purchase, combat, non com, placement, collect.
    If you want to pick up the pace it’s highly effective for focusing your players. It doesn’t change anything compared to the standard phase order of “purchase, combat movement, combat proper” other than the speed with which your players will make decisions.

    interesting, i like the idea of sorting by unit type instead of faction, i may toy around with that in a smaller version to see how it feels before doing it with the G40 units (it’d be a huge pain to re-sort them again after, lol)


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