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Turn order and Random Elements...

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sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008

I think I made a (very minor) breakthrough the other day on my TV card game (see my journal entry for 8/7 Central), and it had to do with turn order, the random element of the game, and the length of the game.

Initially the turn sequence for each player was "Action#1, Roll Dice, Action#2" [ Come to think of it, it would be cool to just have 3 actions per turn in any order, where exactly one has to be Roll Dice] and the game for 2 players was taking 2 hours or more to play.

The other night I played a 3-player game with 2 friends, and we decided to make it simply "Action#1, Action#2, Dice" which seemed to have a significant impact on the length of the game. The game for 3 players was about the same length as a 2 player game (maybe less), and that included explaining the rules!

I think the reason for this (maybe rather obvious) is that initially players were making 2 decisions with very different motivations for each- namely the random element had not occured yet for the first action, and it had for the second. Therefore the first decision was based on the current board position and whatever probability resides n the die roll, while the for the second action it makes sense to wait for the roll and then re-think a bunch of stuff based on what happened.

This re-thinking or postponement of planning eats up quite a bit of time. Simply putting both actions before the die roll (or after I guess) doesn't change the NUMBER of decisions, but it does cut down on something that goes into the decision making process, such that the time spent thinking goes down significantly.

It really seemed to me that the new turn order felt more like a family game sort of thing. Also, with the die roll being the last thing you do, the next player knows exactly when your turn's over and can begin to play his cards or take his actions right away, confident that nothing more will change.

That's just some insight I came across, perhaps it will help someone, somehow, some day. Perhaps not.

- Seth

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Turn order and Random Elements...

It sounds like part of what this does is move more of each player's decision making to their downtime, always a good way to speed up the game.

Good thinking!

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