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Old June 21st, 2018, 09:27 PM
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aramis aramis is offline
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Originally Posted by McPerth View Post
My guess is that it's not wargame that has changed. Its the whorld at large.
No, even the wargames on offer have changed.

Let's take one of the Hardcore "Modern" wargames...

Hammer of the Scots. About 50 units, each with 3 or 4 damage steps, on a 1/2" thick 1.25" square counter. About 40 board spaces. Plays in 2-6 hours to completion, depending a lot on player speed. I've personally had games completed in 3 hours.

Compare it to a much older game for the same war (name of which I forget; I only saw it played, and that was over 22 years ago; I think it might be Robert the Bruce from 1978; it looks like what I remember - 240 counters)... it had a full 108 counter sheet for each side, and a hex map, with about 30x40 (~1200 hexes) of which around 800 were valid. I've been told it plays out in 6-12 hours. (It's sister game, Kingmaker, I never saw completed in less than 4.5 hours)

Why do we see this? Because, largely, the pace of life is somewhat faster - that is, people tend to do more, and thus have less time for games.

Original SFB was intended for a 2-hour simple duel timeframe (evidence: Tournament rules time limit)
Federation Commander aims for a 1 hour time for the same battle.
A small fleet battle in SFB was a 3-5 hour event for 2, or 2-5 for 1 player per ship.
In FC, it aims for 1-2 hours, by using simplified ships (half the boxes, including half the weapons).
Big time saver? reduced math and no Energy Allocation Phase (IIRC, your speed gives you a set pile of power which is spent at time of use).

Original Car Wars was intended for 0.5 to 15+ hours prep, and 2-6 hours playtime, maybe 1 hour for a simple road duel.
Modern is aiming for 15 min prep and 30 min playtime.
Osprey's Gaslands is pretty much 15 min prep, and 1 hour playtime (double for newbs or Analysis Paralysis types)

Even RPG's... it used to be that the default session time was assumed to be 4-5 hours. Now, many newer games presume a 2 hour session. I won't even drive to game for less than 3 hours.

Many of the economic engine type games have faster modern equivalents...

There are exceptions. The 18XX line is still, typically, 4-6 hours per play. Twilight Imperium is an 8-14 hour monstrosity.

But, in general, what's getting played most is shorter, and thus what's being bought most is shorter, and thus what designers are designing is intended for shorter plays.

Even D&D. The typical DDAL module is written for 3 hours. A typical AD&D 2E module was intended for at least 6-8 hours, often 12-18 hours. (And that's before things like G1-2-3, which is 3× 1-5 hour adventures in one book, or D1-2, which can be as little as 2 hours, or as much as 30 hours, depending upon exact mix of PC's and their strategies.) The current big D&D Hardcover modules are assumed to be roughly 30-80 hours of play, again depending upon approach. I had one group finish Hoard in about 30 hours of play; another took 70 or so - 20 sessions at DDAL (7-10pm), and we often ran 10-15 over, and started up to 15 minutes early because the table was full already.

3 hour sessions suck, BTW. I'm running 3.5 hour sessions twice a week in public space. I'm running a 5 hour session a week via VOIP , as well - that group (love the bunch of them, nutty as they are) takes about twice as long over VOIP as my local FTF groups, and when they were my FTF DDAL game, they took about 1.5× what I was able to do down here...

Now, that group back in Alaska? They game 3+ nights a week. Fridays at G's, some thursdays at the store, Saturdays at G's, and Sundays they meet at G's and VOIP me in to GM. Except when G hits a deadline. (He's a published freelance author now, for a major game company. If he wants, he can tell you himself.)
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