Home Forums General General How Long Should a game Last?

This topic contains 32 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by Paul Paul 2 months ago.

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  • #99193
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    Comments on another thread here got me to wondering about our preferences.

    So, how long should a game last?

    #99194
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    3 to 4 hours.

    #99195
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Until the end! 🙂

    Now for me the end should be achievable in an hour at most. Life being such as it is, 2 hours is probably the most I can set aside and that would include setting up and packing away..

    #99196

    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    3 or 4 hours is as much as Grandpa Zippy can handle these days. It’s been a long time since I could stand a 12-hour gaming marathon. 2 hours is fine, but if we finish in an hour, I usually offer to set back up, switch sides and play the scenario again.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #99197

    Just Jack
    Participant

    For me, I prefer most solo games to be fast and furious, 45-60 minutes, so I can get lots of games in and move the story along, though on occasion I’ve been known to put in a string of 4-6 hour slugfests.

    When playing against an adult or two, I like the game to be right about the three hour mark, with me handling setup before and takedown after, and when playing with my 9 year old boy I prefer about 90 minutes.

    So a variance depending on who I’m playing and what I’m trying to accomplish.

    V/R,

    Jack

    #99204

    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Skirmish games are often over in an hour for me, but this largely depends upon the ruleset. ‘Big’ battles, such as BKCII, Honours of War etc, 2 hours is about the maximum we can stand. This is actual playing time, not including chatting after the game and the set up and take down time.

    #99205
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    As long as the time available.

    At the club, we like to pack up around 9, so an hour and a half, maybe two hours max.

    If we are playing all day, then all day.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #99208
    Blackhat
    Blackhat
    Participant

    3 hours for most games – at Guildford Club we start at 7pm(ish) and like to finish by 10pm to get to the pub for a post-game drink and post-mortem

    Mike

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #99209
    Ruarigh
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Mike’s comment about ‘until the end’ is about right. It should last long enough to fit into the time slot I have available for gaming. That is usually about 2 hours of a weekday evening, but it could be 8 hours if my opponent and I can coordinate our free time fit in a game on a Saturday. Leaving games set up and playing over multiple sessions is sometimes an option for me, so a game could theoretically continue for weeks as long as it keeps my interest.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Ruarigh Ruarigh.

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/
    #99211

    Thomaston
    Participant

    I’d say around 20 minutes since I play solo and I can’t stand my cheating opponent for long. But during the game time dilation takes effect and actual time might be around 40-50 minutes.

    Snarky reply would be until someone gets bored.

    Life's too long.

    #99213

    warwell
    Participant

    I too play solo so I prefer short games of 30 minutes or so.

    But then I often spend another 30 – 60 minutes blogging about it.

    #99214
    norm smith
    norm smith
    Participant

    I have 4 range bands

    up to 45 minutes, generally just a bit of fun and frequently not satisfying

    up to 2.5 hours, my most played slot, especially in evening face to face games, generally this gets the job done in the time allotted and allows for weekday games.

    up to 5 hours, something meatier and needs the space set asside, I might even do this over two sessions. These are infrequent sessions and the game has to be good to motivate me to do this.

    up to 11 hours, I think of these as wargame fests, a sort of weekend of gaming etc. Scope and complexity of the game needs to offer something worthwhile to justfy this kind of gaming time. I would probably get around to one of these 2 – 3 time per year.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #99218
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Mike’s comment about ‘until the end’ is about right.

    So just to follow up on that in case some people thought I was trying to be clever…
    I like the game to be long enough to complete or fail the mission, having to pack up when the scenario is not resolved is not a good thing for me.

    #99222

    Etranger
    Participant

    Around 3-4 hours max, partly because our group is ‘getting on a bit’ & late nights play havoc with some of us. We aim to play roughly 8-12MN. We meet at one of the members, & the table is usually ready to go & doesn’t need to be packed up at the end. Occasionally if it’s getting late we’ll finish and ‘adjudicate’ the result, which is often fairly apparent by then. These are historical games, scenario based & usually ‘bathtubbed’ from a real battle.

    We once managed to fit two games of Mal Wright’s Convoy battles into one night. They usually take the aforementioned 2 t0 3 hours, but the first run (UK-Gibraltar) took only an hour thanks to excellent (for the convoy) dice rolls: no U boats, only one Condor which was promptly shot down & good weather. So we ran it back to the UK, which wasn’t such smooth sailing…

    #99223
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    The usual ideal for me is 2-4 hours, with another 30 minutes max each for set-up and post-game mucking-about. This is assuming a ruleset that I and my potential opponent don’t already know by heart, but have at least read or brushed up on beforehand.

    I like the idea of sampling different rulesets, and with them, different philosophies and attitudes toward what wargaming “should” or can be. As such, I’ll gladly play a game that can be finished in as little as 30 minutes (in which case I’d usually be able to do multiple games in a row). At the other end of the spectrum, I’d probably also enjoy a game that lasts from noon to late-ish evening (with breaks) on a free day that’s been planned in advance, as long as it’s not one of those rulesets where I have to sit passively for 30+ minutes of UGO at a time between instances of IGO.

    I’m prepared to set aside a weekend for a two-day game, as long as another of the participants has the wherewithal to be able to leave the table undisturbed overnight in their care (I certainly don’t), or the game is played on a board small enough that I can carefully put it away on top of a shelf.

    But again, the usual ideal is 2-4 hours.

    #99237
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    Guess it would have made sense to have offered my own thoughts on this in the first post.

    Most of the games that I play last 3-4 hours.  I’m fine with longer games of up to 6-8 hours, but with 3-4 hours round trip drive time for most of my face to face games, those aren’t real common.

    Solo games can vary considerably, especially for campaigns, as unbalanced or very small battles can occur without intent.  So solo games tend to run 1-3 hours, with most being nearer to three.

    Generally, I guess that I expect a game to last 3-5 hours, and have a tendency to avoid games designed to run in under two hours.  In my case, and that of my gaming partners, set -up and break down probably run 1-2 hours each way, and are not included in the gaming time.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by irishserb irishserb.
    #99254

    McKinstry
    Participant

    Most of the time 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

    If we are pre-planning a bigger event/battle then it can be 3.5-5.

    I’ve been a part of longer 8+/- all day mega games and they always seemed to involve too much standing around waiting for someone else to move.

     

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #99273

    greg954
    Participant

    Depends on the game for me. These days probably an hour to hour half skirmish. Longer for more complex needs.

    Gone are the days I used to play marathon campaign games of Pirates of the Spanish Main in 12 hour stints, over an week or two.

    #99275
    deephorse
    deephorse
    Participant

    One of the best games I ever played lasted around six months.  I’d just left university and it was a bad time for graduate employment (the UK in 1978).  So I bought SPI’s ‘War in the East’ (1st edition), and played it solo to a conclusion.  Roughly 12 hours a day, on and off, for six months.  And then I found a job.  If you’re interested the Germans won in the Spring to early Summer of 1942.

    The shortest game I’ve played was just two game turns long.  It was the Battle of the River Plate scenario using Seekrieg 5.  I had command of the Exeter.  On turn 1 you cannot fire because you are giving orders to acquire targets and load guns etc.  But on turn 2, thanks to miraculous die rolling and card drawing, the Admiral Graf Spee was hit by Exeter’s broadside and promptly blew up.  I dislike Seekrieg 5 and so was very glad that the game was over and that we could move on to something else.

    The bulk of my gaming now is around two hours in duration, but I’m quite happy to play all day and even over a full weekend.  Another benefit of being retired.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by deephorse deephorse.

    Wargamers - successfully driving the fun out of wargaming since 1780

    #99292

    Alan Hamilton
    Participant

    For me a game lasts as long as it takes to achieve the objectives (or not!).

    That said the objectives set depends on the opponents.  At our regular Monday games at a friend’s house where a few of us gather and he has a permanent 8×6 table games last from 60 minutes to several Mondays.

    At home where I have a 6×4 table set up at Grandchildren height the game length lasts as long as we are having fun.  With the grandchildren these games last 40 minutes to about 2 hours depending upon the level of action and “small boy success”.

    When you stop having fun stop…

    #99326
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Less than 15 minutes isn’t worth the effort.

    After about 6 months, visitors to your home tend to comment on how slow things are moving.

    #99328
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    As with everything in life, a game needs to last long enough to be satisfying, but not long enough to be tedious.

    It’s a fine balance. Not sure it’s ever been achieved TBH.

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99330
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I dislike Seekrieg 5

     

    Why’s that then?

    118-page rulebook and 90 pages of data tables covering weather, torpedo, radar and aircraft data covering the entire 1880-1945 era. (Foreword by Bill Jurens and Nathan Okun)

    40 pages of game charts printed in color on heavy card stock

    30-page Damage Effects book for truly realistic combat results

     

    …ah!

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99340
    deephorse
    deephorse
    Participant

    I dislike Seekrieg 5

    Why’s that then? 118-page rulebook and 90 pages of data tables covering weather, torpedo, radar and aircraft data covering the entire 1880-1945 era. (Foreword by Bill Jurens and Nathan Okun) 40 pages of game charts printed in color on heavy card stock 30-page Damage Effects book for truly realistic combat results …ah!

     

    I think you summed it up nicely.  If you want to track the progress of a penetrating 15” shell as it cuts through your ship’s armour, the duffel coat & cocoa store, your electricity cables and gives the ship’s cat a tonsilectomy (do cats have tonsils?) then Seekrieg is the game for you.  Unfortunately one of my gaming friends does.  Unfortunately for him I flat out refuse to play it any more.  Fun, what fun?

    Wargamers - successfully driving the fun out of wargaming since 1780

    #99342
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I dislike Seekrieg 5

    Why’s that then? 118-page rulebook and 90 pages of data tables covering weather, torpedo, radar and aircraft data covering the entire 1880-1945 era. (Foreword by Bill Jurens and Nathan Okun) 40 pages of game charts printed in color on heavy card stock 30-page Damage Effects book for truly realistic combat results …ah!

    I think you summed it up nicely. If you want to track the progress of a penetrating 15” shell as it cuts through your ship’s armour, the duffel coat & cocoa store, your electricity cables and gives the ship’s cat a tonsilectomy (do cats have tonsils?) then Seekrieg is the game for you. Unfortunately one of my gaming friends does. Unfortunately for him I flat out refuse to play it any more. Fun, what fun?

     

    It’s a cut ‘n’ paste from the Seekrieg website. I started to lose interest at “90 pages of data tables” 🙂

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99349
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    I suppose at this stage, a confession is in order. In 1976, with my bright shiny HP programmable calculator, I wrote a series of jet age combat rules where instead of having turn radii, climb rates and maximum speeds, I modelled Thrust, Weight, Lift and Drag, and used vector algebra to determine how far a plane moved forward and up/down. Only two people ever understood how to make the rules work, and they were so realistic that planes kept stalling in overly tight turns and over optimistic climbs.

    Fortunately girls intervened before this abomination completely destroyed our wargames group.

    #99351
    Not Connard Sage
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    I suppose at this stage, a confession is in order. In 1976, with my bright shiny HP programmable calculator, I wrote a series of jet age combat rules where instead of having turn radii, climb rates and maximum speeds, I modelled Thrust, Weight, Lift and Drag, and used vector algebra to determine how far a plane moved forward and up/down. Only two people ever understood how to make the rules work, and they were so realistic that planes kept stalling in overly tight turns and over optimistic climbs. Fortunately girls intervened before this abomination completely destroyed our wargames group.

     

    You could have saved yourself the trouble Grizz, this came out the following year. 😉

     

    I bet David Isby had a programmable calculator too.

     

     

     

     

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #99359
    deephorse
    deephorse
    Participant

    I dislike Seekrieg 5

    Why’s that then? 118-page rulebook and 90 pages of data tables covering weather, torpedo, radar and aircraft data covering the entire 1880-1945 era. (Foreword by Bill Jurens and Nathan Okun) 40 pages of game charts printed in color on heavy card stock 30-page Damage Effects book for truly realistic combat results …ah!

    I think you summed it up nicely. If you want to track the progress of a penetrating 15” shell as it cuts through your ship’s armour, the duffel coat & cocoa store, your electricity cables and gives the ship’s cat a tonsilectomy (do cats have tonsils?) then Seekrieg is the game for you. Unfortunately one of my gaming friends does. Unfortunately for him I flat out refuse to play it any more. Fun, what fun?

    It’s a cut ‘n’ paste from the Seekrieg website. I started to lose interest at “90 pages of data tables” 🙂

     

    I know.  It was the words you put before and after it that did it for me.

    And cats do have tonsils, apparently.

    Wargamers - successfully driving the fun out of wargaming since 1780

    #99446
    Shaun Travers
    Shaun Travers
    Participant

    While my blog is full of games taking 30 minutes (ancients) and up to one hour (20mm WW2) they are all solo and I get easily bored with my opponent.  I also tend t play them over a few weeks so even that 30 minutes if often a few 5-10 minutes at the game.  In FTF gaming, i do like games that are longer than an hour – anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours depending on the game.  When it comes to boardgames, all bets are off.  Games that play in less than 90 minutes are good at the moment as I can find time to play them with my children, but I will happily spend 4 hours at a sitting playing a boardgame.  I could (and used to play longer) but no longer have the time 🙁  I am also happy if that 4 hours is part of a longer game so the game itself may take 20 hours and competed in five 4 hour gaming nights.  But not much time for those either!

    #99457

    Chris Pringle
    Participant

    With long games there’s a question of opportunity cost. I occasionally have the luxury of a whole weekend of gaming, but even then I start chafing if one of the games runs to 5 or 6 hours. Would you rather play one game that lasts 12 hours, or three or four games of 3 or 4 hours each? Especially if each of the shorter games can achieve an equivalent aim to the big one? “Let’s refight Waterloo.” OK, great, but wouldn’t it be even better to fight the whole quartet of Ligny, Quatre Bras, Wavre and Waterloo in the same time?

    Hence BBB. We fought a whole 9-battle Franco-Prussian War campaign – covering all the biggest battles of the war – in a 3-day weekend.

    Chris

    Bloody Big BATTLES!

    https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BBB_wargames/info

    http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com/

    #99567
    Harry Faversham
    Harry Faversham
    Participant

    In the good old days we had games every couple of months that started about eleven in the morning. We had a break for tea about five-ish then battled on till half seven, upped stumps and went to the boozer. Massive battles with a couple of thousand figures a side… happy days, don’t think mi’ back and knees could take it these days!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #99606
    Northern Monkey
    Northern Monkey
    Participant

    Most of my games are 2-3hrs, though once a year we manage to get together for the annual big game of 5-6hrs. Some of my solo gaming can go on for months,  GMT’s Holland ’44 recently took up about 50hrs of gaming time over several weeks

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    #99615
    Paul
    Paul
    Participant

    Three hours or so is my max: longer than that and I tend to get a terrible headache.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

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