18 November 2010

Lets talk about time for a second

First, lets review one of our guiding principals. I pulled 6 hours out of the air for a duration, but after a perfectly unscientific but interesting poll on wd3 and some other discussions I have decided to halve that, and set 3 hours for a target. That is not long for a big battle; I am also allowing some slack since 4 hours seems widely acceptable. But it is easier to use up setup, take down and chat time.

The members of a group I had a chance to play Triumph of Will with mentioned that they never got to use some of the interesting features of those rules for rallying troops and bringing them back into action because they only had a pub evening to play the game. I want to avoid that problem.

So, a 12 hour battle in 3 hours of play -- we will have to trip along with an average of 4 times time acceleration. Of course, not every turn will take the same amount of time to resolve, but that average will be have to be kept in focus. Time and motion study time, I guess.


  1. Time and motion. OMG. I was very happy the other night to set up and play Battle for Germany (SPI Folio) historical game in under 3 hours. That is not my memory from university days. If your players are focused, it can be done. Otherwise you do need a ref to move them along. I have found the 4 hour matches work nicely at conventions.

  2. Decision making seems to be the biggest lag (apart from side chat in group games) Egg timers and either time to think while the enemy moves or a joint thinking and writing orders phase help if time pressure is needed.

  3. Having given this more thought. If Mars-La-Tour is the biggest game envisaged, I would aim it at the longest time span that is plausible/feasible. 6 hours with a meal break does not seem unreasonable once every few months and that leaves smaller games easily fitting in 3 hours.

    At very least I would shoot for 4 hours for the big one with smaller games coming in at 1 or 2 hours.


  4. Of course, Mars-La-Tour rolled into Gravelotte-St Privat. In a solid day perhaps one could play a three day campaign?

    I will do some provisional OBs and stand counts over the weekend for several actions; we shall see what we find.

  5. You know, Battle for Germany might be a good idea for a "Sedan" Scenario.