Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Wednesday Night Gaming: Time Gentlemen, Please!

Wednesday Gaming Nights have been rather erratic of late,
 since over at Laurence’s where we have the gaming table his flat is being redecorated, so onwards to a ‘smaller’ game instead just to get together, throw some dice and have a laugh. So we opt for Space Hulk in the kitchen instead! Here are some pictures:

They're coming outta the walls. They're coming outta the goddamn walls!

Brother Hix, meet me at the south lock. We're coming in..

What do you mean, "*They* cut the power"? How could they cut the power, man? They're mindless xenos!

You were always an @sshole, Brother-Librarian Gorman!

A very different game from WH40K indeed. The one thing take makes it a hectic, furious game that definitely puts one under pressure is this:

Pressure! Pushing down on me, pressing down on you, no man ask for...

Limited time puts a definite strain on the tactical decision making. During my go as the Space Marine player in Space Hulk, I was overwhelmed by the meltdown that is “crippled by indecision” (didn’t help I wasn’t very familiar with the many rules one has to remember as a Marine player, as opposed to the perhaps more relaxed style of the Genestealers).

In the end I suppose I (sorta) had fun. But what I really wanted to talk about is this:

In a game of normal WH40K, say 1500-2000 points, how long should a person take to play a turn? How long should a person take to deploy? Etc, etc.

I ask this as recently in some games my group plays, we had started taking a timer to time ourselves, or rather limit the time it takes, to play a turn. We noticed we started playing games at sometimes 2 HOURS A TURN (see this battle report!), sometimes with said player (who shall remain nameless) sometimes agonises for hours over the tactical possibilities over deployment.. And that’s even before deciding if he should hand over Turn 1 to his opponent after winning the roll-off.

Harlequins to the left of me, Slaanesh to the right.. What to do?

Also, bear in mind our ‘long’ game turns encompass not only playing, but the furrowing of brows, arguing over rules queries, checking them up, resolving combat, etc, etc. We’ve had a rule in which as long as combat is initiated before ‘Time’ is up, we’ll carry on (though as an IG player this means a whole lot less to me).

As by my reckoning here in Edinburgh where my group plays, we’ve now got it down to, in a normal game of WH40K from 400, 800, 1000, 1250, 1500 & 2000 points games we play, 20 minutes for deployment, and an average of 1 hour per turn (ranging from quick 45 minutes – 1.5 hours), inclusive the cheery banter, rules-checking, etc.

And prior to that, about 45 minutes to deploy terrain, usually by a third party who does it in 30 minutes then we spend 15 minutes arguing about what should go where for a cooler battle! (or perhaps in the hopes of gaining some sort of advantage later. Heehee)

Often our games the early turns (1-3) take the longest, moving models about, bringing in reinforcements, resolving mass shooting and combat, etc, but in the later turns obviously they get quicker when there are less models on the field.

Sometimes the games don’t finish overnight (because of our schedules we tend to only get Wednesday nights as our gaming nights) so we’ll have to finish them the next week.

What I’d like to ask is:

How long do you guys take to play? And how long is too long?


  1. Snake-Eyes and I have also decided to branch out into board games. Due to time constraints and to the fact that we both have large portions of our army broken down for painting or that need to be re-assembled.

    As for your point on time, often when playing friendly games we lose track of time and are not in that big of a rush. However, during tournaments with timed rounds things become a little more hectic. I have found that if you are going to play in tournaments, it is good to get into the habit of making swift tactical decisions - don't rush, but remember that time is of the essence and plan accordingly.

  2. In the Man-cave we usually but out a 2000 point game in about 2 hours for a standard game; or 2.5-3 hours if we are playtesting something new.

    More than 2.5 hours is too long for a standard game, and 5.5 hours for Apocalypse gaming. We have been gaming for years, and have become very efficient at time management.

  3. *that should say 'bust out'



  4. Hmmm, a 1500-2000pt game takes around 1.5hrs to 2.5hrs. This is dependant on my opponent and the locale.
    If I'm at home it takes longer as we're more relaxed, get food, get distracted etc.
    At the store I'm faster as I'm there to game - save teh chit-chat for after so someone else can use the table.

    I prefer to play fast, even if it means we get some rules wrong (I generally err on the side that gives me the least advantage if it's a grey area in my rules), simply as I hate people hemming and hawing - I make up my mind and do it.

    Probably why I like Space Hulk so much ;)