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Setup Pains

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21 Jan 2020 00:01 #306425 by oliverkinne
Setup Pains was created by oliverkinne
There are many examples of games that take a long...

Chits, tokens, player boards, tiles, pieces, cards and all the other components we have come to know and love can sometimes be a bit of a problem: when you need to place dozens upon dozens of them into specific places on the game board or player mat and spend hours shuffling dozens of decks of cards before you can even think about starting the game. Setup is something most of us will want to be quick, so we can get to the fun bit as soon as possible.

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21 Jan 2020 10:00 #306426 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Setup Pains
Another good topic. Games with significant setup time are nearly a dealbreaker in certain gaming situations, the kind where there are other tables with other players. Some of my favorite games have complex setups, so I tend to save those for when I am hosting, and set one of them up before people show up.

There are a few things that can speed the setup and take down. It helps a lot if one or two other players are also familiar with the game and can help setup. Organized storage of components also helps, especially if you label bags or storage slots so other players can help. If there are players who aren't familiar with the game, I hand them decks of cards to shuffle, or give them similar easy tasks.
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21 Jan 2020 10:28 #306431 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Setup Pains
My least favorite setup routine is card deck preparation. By this I mean ensuring the deck has a certain number of this or that, and often removing cards if you don't have the right number of players, etc.

I find it tedious, and it always means a lot of extra shuffling once the decks are prepared.
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21 Jan 2020 11:46 #306435 by engelstein
Replied by engelstein on topic Setup Pains
Good essay! I have started paying particularly close attention to setup time in my designs, and changing mechanisms to avoid fiddly setups. The Expanse and my upcoming 1919 and Pinball game all setup very quickly, and I think that adds to the critically-important first impression.
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21 Jan 2020 11:59 - 21 Jan 2020 12:01 #306437 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Setup Pains
For me, all proportional to time investment in the game. A 1 hour game with setup annoyances is a huge deal compared to an evening game I can prepare ahead of time. I'm pretty tolerant of setup time in general.
Last edit: 21 Jan 2020 12:01 by Gary Sax.
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21 Jan 2020 12:19 #306438 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Setup Pains
Teardown time > setup time by far. At least you can talk about the game and play out hypothetical scenarios while you’re putting everything away.
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21 Jan 2020 14:50 #306451 by WadeMonnig
Replied by WadeMonnig on topic Setup Pains
I love the parks gametrayz insert because they do split the resources for placement on both sides of the table.
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27 Jan 2020 10:15 #306644 by oliverkinne
Replied by oliverkinne on topic Setup Pains
Thank you for all your comments. I'm glad the article chimed with you. It seems that I'm right and a lot of people don't like the setup "phase" of a game.
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27 Jan 2020 16:00 #306668 by jpat
Replied by jpat on topic Setup Pains
I'm probably going to fall on the side of not particularly liking Empires of the Void II anyway, even if you plopped me down after setup and let me wander away after the game is over, but for a roughly two-hour game, a half-hour of setup and maybe 20 min for teardown is nutty. I even more or less know what I'm doing. That's in exchange for the variability the game offers, but right now it's the poster child for me of "not worth it" vis-a-vis setup/teardown.

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