Thursday, July 1, 2010

2.19: Game Room Rules - Rule #7

Jackie got me Dominion for Father's Week.  A friend played this when it was in its late prototype stage, and spoke positively of it, and since its release I've heard a vast number of positive comments, though the game does seem polarizing--people either like it a lot or not at all.  I really like this game, despite the fact that I can't win a game when my wife plays.  

Until last night!  Ha, take that, Jackie! 

Rule #1:  Have fun.
Rule #2:  Let your opponent(s) have fun.
Rule #3:  Play appropriately.
Rule #4:  Remember, it's just a game.
Rule #5: Take care of my crap/other people's crap.
Rule #6:  D.B.A.  Don't be an Ass.

Rule #7:  Take your turn, already!

"If I go here, I get 5 points.  But if I go here, I get 3 wheat and 3 points.  Or I could go here and get 8 points, but Danny will be able to get 9 points off of this..."

One of the greatest attributes of modern gaming can be its downfall:  Choice.  Many traditional games give players few if any choices--I'd guess that most have less than 2 choices on a normal turn (barring some special instances), and those with more are very simple choices.  In the modern boardgame you may have dozens of choices, and repercussions of those choices may lend weight to each, and may limit or provide further choices in the future.  And therein lies the problem.

Some players have the need to analyze every possibility, every nuance of every turn such that it is unbearable.  There is an "average playtime" listed on the box of most games.  This is usually a good representation of how long the game should take, and includes the bit of time the designers/testers think a player needs to plan and execute a turn.

"Man, Lucio, you're an ass.  Why are you giving someone a hard time about taking a little extra time on their turn?  It is their turn, after all."  One, shut up.  Two, it may be their turn, but everyone is playing, so everyone has to wait for that person.  Three, I'm not talking about a couple extra minutes; I'm talking ten minutes, 15 minutes, or more.  Recently some of my family were playing a game where one of my sisters took 30 minutes for one turn--and the game is supposed to be 60-90 minutes long.  And before anyone gets funny, no, it's not a 2 or 3 turn game. 

I'm not saying I've never taken longer than I should for a turn--sometimes in a pivotal point in the game I need to take a little longer, especially when I'm doing damage control after someone screwed me.  I also give the same courtesy, recognizing that some opponents may need a little extra time; recognize also that some games may not be as intuitive to some people, and they may need some leniency with the length of all of their turns.  However, there has to be a limit. 

Be reasonable, people.  At some point realize that you may not have used all your Calculus and Trig to get the best possible permutation for your turn, but within a reasonable time you've noticed a few bad, decent, and good choices.  Just take your turn, already!

There won't be many more of these--I think I'll max out at 10 rules, though at present I can't think of more than one.  I realize I haven't actually reviewed a game in some time, so next week I'll probably take a break from the rules and review a game.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.

Image borrowed from, taken by user Icefyst.


  1. This is a good one. I think that a lot of gamers who live by your first 6 rules often break this one.

  2. JD, good to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.