Advice on ensuring a game gets finished in 6 hours

  • Hi all

    So Iv done about 4 games so far. But the last one was amazing. Managed to get 4 other friends round to local games store/hub (dice saloon, Brighton). 3 of which had never played A&A before. How it worked out that everyone was free on same Saturday is miracle if I’m honest.
    Everyone loved it, there was an electric buzz in the air. Tension, excitement, collusion, one of the best gaming experiences of my life.

    However, we were not able to finish the game. By the 6th hour we were on about turn 4 (or maybe 5?), When everyone needed to head off to other commitments. Granted, for 3 of us 5 being first game, we got pretty far through.

    This game is fantastic, but the drawback is the long game time and the practicality of fitting it in with a group of people with busy lives.

    Got me thinking about ways to speed up game.
    2 things I found so far. One is for combat, both defender and attacker can roll at same time, no need to use casualty strip. Just need to make sure there are enough dice for every unit to roll before end of combat round. We each roll our number of dice for each unit category separately, then place the hits next to unit box. At end of rolls, both players remove casualties. Really speeds up combat.
    A box of 30 small dice quite cheap. Me and friend spent a good 30 mins trying to figure out why casualty strip actually needed, only conclusion was lack of dice.

    The other one was each player will need to figure out what they are going to buy by the time Thier turn comes, have all units and money separated.

    Other than these 2, could nt think of any.
    Anyone have any other suggestions?

  • Which edition of the game are your playing? Different editions have different nuances you can use to speed things up. If you’re playing a version with victory cities, the easiest thing to do is just reduce the number of victory cities required to win.

    This has an interesting effect on gameplay because both sides may fight harder for some key points for reasons beyond its IPC value or the enemy units you may destroy, which can be realistic if you look at it as not being willing to let go of certain points for purposes of national morale/propaganda rather than purely military concerns.

    You can also try to build mechanics that will reward players for success. This way, one side’s success can reinforce and fuel future successes which shortens the time between the game tipping in your favor and final victory.

    For the revised edition you could add one national advantage to each country each time it captures a victory city with which it did not start the game.

    For the anniversary edition you could award an additional bonus each time a nation achieves all of its national objectives.

    For 1942 second edition you can add these cards which award bonuses abilities for capturing victory cities:

    If you’re playing 1941 or classic you can say the game ends as soon as the first capital falls, and whichever side captures it wins.

    The good news is that 6 hours is a pretty long time to play 4 rounds, and you can probably chalk that up to being the first time for most of the players. I’d expect to move a little faster each time you play for at least the first few games.

  • @PizzaPete thanks for reply.

    We are playing 1940 2nd edition. It’s a ‘capture and hold Victory cities’ game rules

    Axis need 8 victory cities, Allies need both Rome and Berlin.

    I’m thinking, adding rules that might cause game to end in less turns (as opposed to same amount of turns, but speeding up gamplay), might cause some funky imbalances in regards to USA.
    From what I have seen so far. Before USA enters war, balance is in favour of Axis. Then when they enter it balances out (or perhaps a tad in favour of allies).

    Just assumptions, never tried anything different yet

  • I can’t say I know that version very well. Reducing victory conditions really only applies to games that start with all players in, otherwise, as you say, it will change balance quite a bit!

    That is by far the biggest edition of the game though, so it possible 6 hours is about right for 4 rounds. (Again, don’t play it much so not sure. ) You could try a different edition of the game for a faster play through.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    Hi pondweed Welcome to the site

    YG uses “Victory Tokens”. Idk if that’s quite what you’re looking for or not but might be worth checking out:

    Scroll down a bit and it shows all the Victory conditions.

    Yea I never use the battle board. Never thought it was that hard to just leave the dudes on the board add up what you got and yank em off as they die and having your buy ready to go ahead of time helps, although you may some changes depending on current combat results. Seems you’ve already got that going on.

    You could try searching the site as well. I remember a couple threads where people talk about this at length.

  • '19 '18


    Here are a few other suggestions to add:

    • US and Russia play simultaneously -> For the first several turns there’s little to no interaction between these two nations and you can have both of these players going at once. (later you might have to slow it down if the timing is going to matter, but this could easily save an hour in the first 4 turns)
    • Set up table before players arrive
    • Get hit dice -> Hit dice have only hit symbols and blank faces, no pips, and are organized by color according to unit strength. (e.g. the lowest tier would have a hit symbol on only one side corresponding to @1 units, 2nd tier would have 2 hit symbols for @2 units, etc.) These allow you to roll all units at once.
    • Decide buys before your turn -> Sounds like you’re doing this already.
    • Allow modifying a nation’s purchases until combat moves have been locked in -> If you do have players still trying to decide their buys when their turn arrives, this helps relieve the analysis paralysis of trying to imagine what their combat moves will look like before locking in purchases. They can just set a tentative purchase and get right into moving pieces, then review the purchases at the end once they can see all the moves made.
  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @Tizkit nice idea on the dice 👍

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