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Author Topic: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?  (Read 1280 times)

Offline ChrisBBB

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Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« on: February 15, 2022, 07:36:19 AM »
After some really good recent discussion of the respective merits of long vs short games  - especially on this very forum, in this thread here:
https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=135130.0
- I fell to thinking about how much it matters if a game is left unfinished. My thoughts on the topic are here:
https://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com/2022/02/at-that-point-we-called-it-who-cares-if.html

Online Daeothar

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2022, 08:26:14 AM »
In my experience, games are usually played through to their conclusion, even if we royaly exceed the scheduled timeframe. For instance: a battle we thought would take till 2300h, is only concluded around 0030h. But we just couldn't leave it unconcluded, because the gameplay was just too intense and enjoyable.

Of course there were games that we have called at the end of the planned time, just because one of us (or both) were tired, we just didn't 'feel' the game, or the end result could be seen coming miles away. Usually, we then briefly discuss what-ifs, and because most of the time it will be quite obvious which way the pendulum would be swinging anyway, this results in a still (somewhat) satisfactory conclusion.

Now, I am in the lucky position to leave a game on the table during the week, so we can pick it up the next week, because I have a dedicated game room with table nowadays. The only thing I have to take care of in the meantime is keeping the cat off the table! lol

So yes; even though we're not tournament or pick-up gamers at all, we do prefer to play a game to its conclusion, because usually this means that the game is hard fought and too enjoyable to cut short. And games that are 'ok' (or just not ok!) can be cut short with a bit of hypothesising and analysing at the end. I don't know; it just wouldn't feel satisfactory not to...
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Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2022, 08:58:32 AM »
I find we often end up playing games beyond the finish. By this, I mean that with, for example, Hordes of the Things, we often continue the game beyond the stipulated victory conditions so that we end up with the mopping up of the defeated army and last stands by those that continue to function.

In some cases, we've had games that have ended with the defeated side 'winning' - usually situations where the technical loser has a core of strong troop types left in a good position. For some reason, those games are always particularly enjoyable.

Online Daeothar

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2022, 09:23:40 AM »
Interesting; I have never played a game beyond its planned ending. An industry standard is 6 rounds (mostly based on GW games), with sometimes mutation mechanics in play that can shorten or lengthen a game with a turn. But even then, we never played beyond turn 7 (or 8, in the case of particularly interesting rolling results).

However, what we do often do, is analysing and hypothesising what would have happened beyond the game's conclusion. Sometimes even with speculative dice rolls. All of this is part of the post battle discussion we usually have.

We're usually out of time anyway, but it might be interesting to see what could have happened by continueing play. I recall plenty of battles that were won in the nick of time by one side, but had the game continued, they would have decidedly lost...

Offline robh

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2022, 10:20:18 AM »
I will never play games with tournament style fixed turn limits, preferring either a narrative scenario victory or a time based end using a "moving clock" mechanic.

If not ended that way games are played until we can call a result based on table positions. We won't just stop a game that could still go either way unless we lose players to family or work commitments and that generally only happens if we try and go too big with the forces involved.


Offline Pijlie

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2022, 11:23:56 AM »
It all depends on the scenario we play. I rarely play "pitched battle" style games anymore. So a game lasts until one side has achieved the Victory conditions (or it seems unavoidable he will) that was the purpose for the battle in the first place. It is therefore usually pointless to play on beyond that.

So it takes however long it takes, unless the scenario stipulated a turn-based time limit.

But I did play Hold-until-relieved-for-as-long-as-possible games where the outnumbered defender actually managed to beat off the attacker. One game of Trenton comes to mind where the Prussians  managed to decisively defeat the attacking Americans despite their enormous numerical advantage and were actually expected to escape instead of making their stand  lol.   
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Online Easy E

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2022, 03:54:38 PM »
Only to the extent that it impacts your fun levels. 

After all, the point is to have fun first, and everything else is secondary. 
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Offline Mick_in_Switzerland

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2022, 04:14:07 PM »
I tend to play until a result is clear, which could be long after a rulebook specified number of turns.

I also usually play a game twice with the same opponent - each of us playing one game with each army.
Then if you have two wins it is clearly superior skills, rather than an overpowered scenario.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2022, 04:28:08 PM by Mick_in_Switzerland »

Offline Elbows

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2022, 04:24:58 PM »
I don't play any games currently which have strict turn limits - other than an occasional Battlegroup scenario.  So we tend to play until it's no longer fun, or until the result is rather obvious.

Now, do I support people just quitting randomly in the middle of a game?  No, but ending a game on a handshake because it's just drawing out, is fine.
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Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2022, 04:41:17 PM »
Nope  :D

Offline Polkovnik

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2022, 01:31:44 PM »
Interesting; I have never played a game beyond its planned ending. An industry standard is 6 rounds (mostly based on GW games), with sometimes mutation mechanics in play that can shorten or lengthen a game with a turn. But even then, we never played beyond turn 7 (or 8, in the case of particularly interesting rolling results).

I can't understand why you would play a game to a fixed turn limit. Real battles didn't last for a set period of time. The only way in which a game should end after a certain number of turns if if the turns represent a relatively long period of time, say an hour, and the game ends at nightfall, but this would only really apply to very high level games representing very large battles.

Offline Polkovnik

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2022, 02:24:02 PM »
I find it quite unsatisfactory to have to leave a game unfinished due to time constraints. The way to avoid this is make sure you play a game that you are pretty sure you will be able to play to a conclusion in the time you have. If you only have three hours on a club night - play a game that's going to take around two and a half hours. It's better to finish early and have a chat about it after than to not finish and have to pack away with no clear winner. If you want to play a longer game sometimes, wait until you have more time, or play somewhere you can leave it set up and carry on next time.
Also, games should have clear victory conditions, and if this is not written into the game rules then you should be able to add such rules yourself, maybe specific to the scenario you are playing. For example, in a WW2 platoon level game, it could be - take the village and hold it for two full turns with no enemy in any of the buildings.

Offline ChrisBBB

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2022, 11:18:02 AM »
This has proved to be one of my most popular "Reflections on Wargaming" to date, generating scores of comments. I am grateful to all of you who took the trouble to respond, whether at thoughtful length (like Steve J in his comment at foot of the blog post itself) or with pithy brevity (OSHIROmodels, "Nope!", on LAF). It seems only right that I should in turn summarise all these responses. I have added this summary to the original blog post here:
http://bloodybigbattles.blogspot.com/2022/02/at-that-point-we-called-it-who-cares-if.html

Offline SteveBurt

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2022, 12:13:50 PM »
I can't understand why you would play a game to a fixed turn limit. Real battles didn't last for a set period of time. The only way in which a game should end after a certain number of turns if if the turns represent a relatively long period of time, say an hour, and the game ends at nightfall, but this would only really apply to very high level games representing very large battles.
Or the end of the game represents the arrival of reinforcements for one side, or some other event which means the battle is over. Turn limits do allow the game to complete in a reasonable time; some players will sit happily bombarding for hours and never move anything if there is no time limit.

Offline Pijlie

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Re: Does it matter if we don't finish the game?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2022, 10:58:18 AM »
Turn limits do allow the game to complete in a reasonable time; some players will sit happily bombarding for hours and never move anything if there is no time limit.

So true. I played in a big ACW battle once with three or four players a side and my right wing neighbour had orders to occupy the flank and hold it and litterally did NOTHING ELSE for the entire game, even though no one even fired a cannon shot at him and I had to repulse attack after attack...

 

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