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how to time a game

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wob
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hi. i am currently working on a light 2 player game based on rugby. it uses dice and scoring/field of play tracks, but no cards or anything else.
very simply each player has a die to roll and a die used to track stamina. the offensive player decides to run, kick or pass. it is basically a push your luck tug of war. and possession of the ball changes often. (i can put up some more detailed rules if needed)
my problem is timing a match.
i dont want an egg timer (good to time a turn but not a match) and i would prefer the timer not to be too random but as possession passes between players so often it would be hard to end it after x turns.
i considered ending after a player gets to n points but that doesn't sit well thematically.
in the present prototype i have a track that advances when a player scores or the ball crosses the center line but this can vary wildly.
any ideas are greatly appreciated.

Tim Edwards
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This is a really interesting

This is a really interesting problem and I hope someone can solve it better than I because I'm going to suggest that breaking theme might be the least bad option. It's unsatisfying in a way but...it involves no extra mess or fuss. I'd be sorely tempted...

let-off studios
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Timer Options

How about when possession of the ball switches to another player, they move a token on a track, then grab the die to make their throw? This seems kind of fiddly, though...

Another option is that a specific result/s on the die can indicate the timer track goes down instead.

Finally, another option is that second die can be thrown along with the first, and its result indicates if the timer goes down and/or by how much.

I Will Never Gr...
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Turn tracks are often used,

Turn tracks are often used, as would be total points. There must be some way to involve your theme in one of these, if only loosely?

If you use a turn track, make sure to add benefits/penalties to reaching certain milestones. This gives players more reason to remember to actually advance the turn track (a common issue).

Tim Edwards
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I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
Turn tracks are often used, as would be total points. There must be some way to involve your theme in one of these, if only loosely?

If you use a turn track, make sure to add benefits/penalties to reaching certain milestones. This gives players more reason to remember to actually advance the turn track (a common issue).

Very, very helpful tip. Thanks!

Theme-wise, maybe something like each teams' mascot is running around the edge of the pitch. When they meet, the game is over? Or something to do with the crowd...a 45 minute (per half) Mexican wave? Or a blimp slowly passing overhead (advertising your next game as a bonus)?

questccg
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Make every MOVE count as "x" time

And make it (I believe) two halves with "y" amount of moves each half. I'm not too familiar with Rugby, but Grid Iron (American Football) makes it that when teams RUN the ball, when they play ends, the clock keeps on ticking. But when you PASS the ball, play ends as soon as the ball touches the ground.

So maybe you could make a PASS like "5 units" and a RUN like "10 units". Basically it takes two times the amount of time to RUN than PASS.

I'm not so sure about KICKING ... so I will leave it out. But you can figure out what works best for a kick while in play.

Again this is JUST an "example". It allows the game to be MORE "flexible" but still yet retain a very "open" kind of feel when playing the game.

Cheers!

Note #1: What this type of mechanic allows is that in the final "minutes" of play... If a player is trailing and it's nearing the end of the game... He will pass the ball more often to try to "stop the clock" and earn more time to execute more plays in order to try to get a score...

Not sure if RUGBY is the same... If it is, this is a very winning mechanic since it "simulates" what really happens out there on the field, so to speak!

Note #2: Personally I feel this is the "closest" you can get to "approximating" the time taken to play the game (or even a half - If that is a thing in Rugby). It's because you're averaging out the TIME taken for a type of play on the field... And then you are saying in a total game there is a FIXED amount of TIME. This allows you to create a multitude of combination of plays which will just about "simulate" playing a real game...

Remember it's still an "approximation"... But never the less... IMHO the closest thing you will get to a real game. Sure some plays take long and others take less time... But that's the beauty of AVERAGES. If it takes on AVERAGE "x" time to make a play... They you can estimate how many of those plays can be made in a half (or an entire game).

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Series of tiles

Could you have a series of tiles that represent the time left? At least some of the tiles would have a small bonus for on side for that turn on them. So players would role the dice and flip a tile and figure out the result. When there are no more tiles then time has expired.

Something somewhat like this:

Start of a quarter:

0 5 10 15

Halfway through:

0 5 10 15

End of a quarter:

0 5 10 15

Maybe you could add a "great play tile" or two to each side that would give a large benefit.

A few months ago we talked about timing in American football game. Maybe you can get so inspiration from that thread: https://www.bgdf.com/blog/timing-plays-and-games%E2%80%99-end-state

wob
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thanks for the input folks. i

thanks for the input folks.
i have decided (temporarily, until play tested) to go with a timer track for each player. your track is advanced each time you lose possession and reset if you score.
the game ends when either a player gets to x points (15 at the moment) or if a player loses possession 5 times without scoring.
i am justifying it thematically (tenuously) by making the game more a "rugby highlights" theme. ie all the big tackles and trys, none of the dull bits.

i found the forum about timing American football very useful. most rugby nations tend to think of A. football as rugby for people who need padding (sorry. cue outcry from football fans). but as it has been explained to me A. football is closer to chess (with the player being pieces the coach can move). this gives A. football the plays that tend to be missing in rugby.

Tim Edwards
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I think your Rugby Highlights

I think your Rugby Highlights idea is a very clever solution. I don't think it's tenuous; I think it's a really original and justifiable treatment of a sports game. Could 'Highlights' even be mentioned in the game's name? It expresses condensed excitement and might appeal to some non-sports fans who could otherwise be put off by what might sound like the prospect of a mammoth sports simulation.

May I consider borrowing the concept of highlights to solve a similar issue for a very different sport?

wob
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thanks tim. yes feel free to

thanks tim. yes feel free to use any of the ideas i post. i enjoy designing games but i doubt they will ever be more than family games at christmas or a PnP.
i wouldn't want someone to take an entire game but other than that its all fair game.

Fri
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Rugby 7's

I think that rugby highlights is a fine theme. You could also possibly try a rugby's sevens theme.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugby_sevens

Please keep in mind that my knowledge of rugby is very limited.

Tim Edwards
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wob wrote:thanks tim. yes

wob wrote:
thanks tim. yes feel free to use any of the ideas i post. i enjoy designing games but i doubt they will ever be more than family games at christmas or a PnP.
i wouldn't want someone to take an entire game but other than that its all fair game.

Cheers wob. Your whole highlights concept opened up a new way of thinking for me and might have released me from the tyranny of my theme. I don't think mechanically much will be very similar - but there's just so much to like about dividing the action into discrete chunks with the thematic justification of 'highlights'.

I owe you one :)

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