View Full Version : Is time on your side?

29-11-2007, 09:46

I have had the displeasure of playing in tournaments with a strict time per game. Usually 90 min for a 1500pt game.

Now as a nid player I get mad when guys procrastinate and take forever debating which of my monsterous creatures or horde units they should shoot at.

This happens in turns 1-3, therafter I am in close combat but guess what! By then the time has run out for the game, and the tournament invigilator wants scores.

As a close combat army I am taking loses for the first half of the game...with a good chance of making it up in the second half. Why should I get short changed when facing shooty opponents?

My main proposal (which they are taking under advisement) is to use chess clocks for each game..giving both players 45 min in total. The time ticks down on the player whose turn it is, then switches to the other guy fir his turn. If your time runs out...your opponnent wins automatically with full points.

What do you think of this?
Do you have similar issues at tourneys?
What other ways can you ensure that time is failry distributed?

29-11-2007, 09:53
90 minutes? At my club this would get you to turn two (we have too many munchkins who can't make decisions). We tend to have 120-150 minutes per game (and some go to 180+) at our tourneys, last time I checked.
It all depends on the TOs and their expectations.

29-11-2007, 09:57
Ok, Regardless of what time your tourney allows overall, how do you ensure the time is fairly split between both players?

Especially when one is shooty and the other is clawy.

Brother Loki
29-11-2007, 10:02
The chess clock idea is a good one actually. I tend to take quite a long time over turns, and having that as a constant reminder might hurry me along a bit.

29-11-2007, 10:26
If time is a factor and you have a certain amount to complete a game then each player should be given half of it. I agree with the clock idea and I have suggested as much in my club. Otherwise close combat armies suffer a considerable handicap before even the game starts (it has happened to me with my Nids and it certainly is unfair :mad:).

29-11-2007, 10:31
Ok, Regardless of what time your tourney allows overall, how do you ensure the time is fairly split between both players?

Especially when one is shooty and the other is clawy.

You are saying the nid player should get more than 50%?

Doesnt seem to be what the thread starter is aiming at or asking for.

29-11-2007, 10:33
Horde armies ave tis problem alot due to movement and shooting phases. Learn to play faster

29-11-2007, 10:37
The problem is that a horde army's opponent can use the slow speed of the horde to their advantage by purposefully playing slowly - they will get proportionately more done, and prevent the horde army from doing anything effective.

Basically, by pure dint of size, a horde army might take 1.5X longer than a small force to accomplish the same phase of the game, so if your army takes a shorter amount of time to use, you can inflate that artificially so that your opponent just runs out of time.

Just another reason I don't like tournaments.


29-11-2007, 10:46
The first time I went to a GT my first opponent had only played 4 games previously and took 45 minutes to set up, in my oppinion that is taking the pi** in a 2 hour game:mad:. When you're trying to be sporting and be a nice guy it's hard to hurry people up but you really just need to give them a polite nudge to hurry them on. If they appear to be doing it deliberatly just go get one of the refs, as that kind of behaviour is simply not on.

29-11-2007, 10:53
I like the chess timer idea, i have a couple of opponents who do take forever with their turns!

But as someone who plays a very close combat orientated army when you have a time limit and your playing against, say, guard, and it takes your opponent over half an hour to set up his troops and then if he does decide to move them, then shoot with all the squads etc it can take a long time, i'm not anti hoard but sometimes it's nessecary to realise in a time limit situation that speed is valued.

It reminds me of playing blood bowl the other week in our local tournament, it was a 4min time limit a turn (as in the rule book) i was playing against an old friend and fellow experienced player. By the time we finished no one else was even half way through their first half.

29-11-2007, 11:28
90 mins into 6 turns = 15 mins per turn
so half that = 7.5 mins per player turn
make it 7 mins to allow for delays

not a lot of time by any means but if you both know before you start that you have 7mins only to do all your moving/shooting/assault, and then the round is over regardless of where you got to, this should keep the pace up.

and while the player whose turn it is is declaring shooting and prepping their dice rolls, the other player can help keep it fast by getting their own dice ready etc.

In the real world this speed isn't likely to be kept up due to tricky assaults etc (unless you both keep strict on the limit) but it should at least help keep the rounds speedy and you'll get most of the game done in the time limit. And then neither of you is disadvantaged.

29-11-2007, 12:34
THe only place I can think of where a 7min turn would cause problems is where you get teh big mullti-initiative Close Combats, where each players ends up having to roll for 3 or 4 different groupings of attacks. (Say, a GK Grand Master, leading Terminators, who'be been joined in combat by an Inquisitor with Combat Servitors)

The 45min overall might work, or even make it 35 minutes overall and it "pauses" when dealing with assaults.

Agrip. Varenus Denter
29-11-2007, 13:50
We've used the chess clock on many occasions where I regularly game - it really is quite fun when a couple of experienced players are under pressure. I'd never think to ask a newcomer to do it.

29-11-2007, 16:17
90 minutes if perfectly fine for tournament play. Everyone there SHOULD know what they're doing, and it SHOULD go quickly. Especially after the frist couple of turns when a lot is dead and there is less to do, some turn 5 and 6's only take a minute...

29-11-2007, 17:06
That is a good idea. I would extend it to 1hour for each player in a 1500 point game though. That is about right i find.

29-11-2007, 17:21
I agree that there are some players who intentionally or not, play too slowly. I like the chess timer idea. If nothing else, it will show the judges if one player has been using a disproportionate amount of time for their turns.

Anecdote: I played in the 'Ard Boyz tournament, and in my third game, I played a friend who also knows the rules, his army, and can make tactical decisions. This was a 2500 point, per side, game with a 2.5 hour time limit. The mission was random game length, and we managed to play eight turns before the dice gods decisded we were finished. We even finished our paperwork and packed our armies before time was up. So, there are some players who will play the game.

29-11-2007, 17:31
Actually I think the chess clock thing is a brilliant idea.

max the dog
29-11-2007, 17:57
The chess clock is a great idea but horde armies are going to get hosed. I run a horde and I can run it along pretty fast but even still it just takes time to move all those little gaunts. One of the things I do to speed it up is to measure the movement of 1 model and then grab the rest of the gaunt brood in one blob and then plop them down next to the first model. A few minor adjustments and the entire mass has been moved. I loose any hope of a 2" between model separation but at least it goes quick.
To speed up shooting I just bought more a lot more dice. At least 1 for every shot or attack I'm going to have with the entire army. When my opponent is done doing his thing with my units I'll fill up the cups with dice so when it's their turn to attack/shoot I just tip the cup and count the kills. It's sweet to see the look on an opponents face as I roll 90+ dice in one roll.

The Orange
29-11-2007, 18:06
The chess clock is a pretty good idea, but I prefer ctsteel's idea of just setting a limit for each turn. Trying to watch the clock can be a pain in the butt, and the time you give your self will change quite a lot depending how many turns the players thinks they can get in. And of course their's always the possibility that time will run out in the middle of a game turn leaving one player behind one turn. With a set turn limit, the organizers can simply call off when it's time to change (as well as avoid having to provide clocks for everyone) and keep people on track. And this insures that a full game of 6 turns is played, which should give both shooty and assaulty armies their fair share of time as shooty armies would dominate in the early turns, and assault armies would dominate in the later turns.

29-11-2007, 18:09
A big problem with the Chess clock is that an opponent can cause delays during your turn as well. I've seen players take 5 minutes to distribute and then roll Armor saves for a single unit. Others insist on questioning every LOS and range judgement that you make, further delaying the turn. The chess clock won't save you in cases like these unless you do something extreme like hit the clock every time you speak or are assigned a set of rolls to make.

29-11-2007, 19:02
Delaying is one of the most excrutiating elements of bad sportsmanship, because it's genuinely close to legitimate. If you're playing a horde, there are a few things you can do to speed your movement up, such as mass movement, rolling fleet during movement (with opponents permission, of course), etc.

If you're playing an opponent who is stalling, there is little recourse you have, but there are a few things you can try:

1) a gentle reminder, "hey, we only have an hour left, and it's only turn 2!"
2) a sterner request: "I would appreciate it if you would play a little quicker so we can get a full game in."
3) Telling a judge

Clearly, if you're playing the local favorite son, the judge will probably do nothing, but if you have a legitimate beef, bring it up to your opponent, and failing that, the Judge or TO. If you get no satisfaction, than it's up to you to decide if you want to keep playing in that environment. Never be afraid to give at least a gentel reminder; many players simply aren't aware of what they are doing. Others are aware, but will feign ignorance, so be prepared to call a bluff.

29-11-2007, 22:43
Its something that is hard to remedy outside of politness.

That said I have never faced the issue as on average a 1500pt game (friendly) will take on average 90 mins for me to play.

29-11-2007, 22:48
Just get a cattle prod and a chess clock.

They're being slow rolling armour saves? Cattle prod time!

TBH, I never have any problems with friends as we all want to keep the game up to speed to save time. However, I do see the problems in tournaments and I don' think that there is a better solution than the chess clock. Though, it is really unfair to slow down games on purpose IMO because then the result is not so much the players' tactics but the choice of army they have...

29-11-2007, 22:53
I've seen people put several models on 1 large base to make horde armies faster. (I'm sure a lot of you have seen the grot army pictures going around)

It does bend the rules but it can save you a ton of time.

30-11-2007, 11:14
Time is usually more an issue in tournaments than friendly games. One of the biggest delays IMO is the initial depoyment and discussion (or argument) over what terrain types there are.

Besides the chess clock I would like to see terrain being pre-labelled so it doesn't have to be agreed upon each time a new set of players has a game...eg: difficult, area, height 3 forest, height 3 hills...etc.

Have these details on a printed legend next to the table, to cut out the possible disagreements.

Also at the end of tourney games to have a limited 5 min to add up victory points as some guys I know can make a half hour of even that.

I am not the fastest with the rules or the dice but overall I think games can be reduced in time by about 25% without sacrificing the enjoyment factor.

Part of my long term plan with encouraging shorter games is to build up to a marathon gaming tourney (10x 1500pt games in 18 hours) that leaves 3 hours for lunch and short breaks between each game. This would be followed by an after-party and prize giving.