Thursday, 23 February 2012

playing faster

I noticed a tweet the other day that got me wondering about game length.  Why does it take so long to play a game of Malifaux?  Or, does it take that long to play, really?
My games take hours, start at nine, stop at midnight and we may not be finished.  Why is that?
Surely a game with so few figures can't take that long?  We used to get a 1000-1500 point warhammer game done in the same space of time, so why so long?

(c) Wyrd Miniatures
Well, as per usual with this type of question I believe there are a number of factors.

Firstly I don't think everyone takes this long.  At tournaments there's a set time span and many people are perfectly capable of, and used to, playing to shorter time scales.

So, if it is possible to play more quickly, what can we do to speed things up?  Here are some ideas, they may or may not work for you.

Learn the rules.  Rules queries can take an age to sort out, if you know the rules you'll get fewer queries.  You may not eliminate them but you will reduce them.

Learn the rules. Learn the rules for your crew, as well as you know the core rules, better even.  Study the card on every model, if it interacts or changes core rules do your research on how this will affect the normal resolution of that rule.  If there's anything particularly gnarly I'd suggest you let your opponent know prior to starting, there's nothing will de-rail the progress of a game quite like coming up with some nasty rule mid-game that wrecks our opponents game and seems to contradict what he was expecting.

Learn the rules.  If you can, learn the rules for your opponents crew too.  This won't always be possible but regular reading of the rules books should give at least a passing idea of what your opponents crew can do.

Set a time limit on rules queries, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, whatever works for you, if you haven't found it by then, flip for it and resolve it later, you really don't want to spend 10, 15 or even 20 minutes searching for an answer to a question mid-game.  But make a note so you don't forget to look it up later.

Make sure you know the set-up and game turn sequence off by heart.  What happens next? is a massive slower of games.

Make decisions quicker.  I like to take my time with each and every figure, even if it's obvious what to do, but agonising over each decision will sloooww down a game so much.  Be thinking about what to do whilst your opponent moves, when he's done then.. snap, make that decision, make the move, take the shot.  I believe you can train yourself to do this.  Knowing your crew well will help here, make sure you don't miss anything.  If you have to read every crew members card each turn whilst you decide which action you want to take.. you will have a slow game.

Plan ahead.  Think of the game prior to playing.  If you know which crew you want to take have a general plan, an idea of what you want to do with that crew.  Yes, strategies, schemes and an unkown until you play opposing crew may require a change, but a basic idea of what order your crew members need to go in and what they need to do will help making those decisions.

Play more.  Easiest and simplest answer is that the more you play the less any of these issues will be a problem.  Play as often as you can and you will learn the rules, you will know the turn sequence and you will make decisions faster.

To take it back to WarHammer (sorry), the reason those games took less time was we'd been playing for more years than Malifaux has existed, even though it changed every 4 or 5 years it was still pretty much the same game, so after each change there was a period where games took longer, it didn't last long and we'd be back up to speed again.  Read your books & cards more often, play more often, have a game plan and don't get stuck on rules queries and I think you'll soon be playing faster.

Hope this was of some interest or even help.  Do you have any ideas for speeding up games?  If so, please comment below and let me know.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Blog post - formating lost


just a quickie.  Hope you all enjoyed the twitter coverage of the UK's first ranking Malifaux tournament of the year.  Check out #mfauxice for details, and if you don't have a twitter account yet.. why not?  Lots of good Malifaux coverage there.

Meanwhile, apologies for the look of the blog right now.  I was messing around with the template when I lost everything.  Luckily I'd saved the layout before hand.  Unfortunately I hadn't.  All that had been saved was the layout. All formatting, colours and fonts was lost.  Great, what use is that feature google?

Anyway, finding a job and moving house are more important right now, but once achieved I will try and find a better colour set again.  Bear with me meanwhile.

Many thanks.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

slow down - a blog announcement

(c) Wyrd Miniatures
Just a quick post.

Just as I get up a head of steam, start posting regularly and decide to move my Malifaux posts to their own separate blog & even start a dedicated twitter account (@MFauxBlog).. I loose my job.

As I'm sure you understand finding work is more important than Malifaux right now, especially as we're about to move house as well in a months time.

Just as soon as I can I'll spend some time modeling and playing and posting, but until then I'm afraid there wont be much in the way of new content.

So, why not head over to Wyrd and enjoy their new look forum.