Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In for the Long Haul

Hi, y'all! Randy here. Today's topic is about games that take a loooooonnnggg tiiiiiime to play. I've included five below. Maybe it reflects that I didn't write our post on cooperative games a couple days ago, but it just so happens that all but one of the games below are either team or cooperative games. Why? I dunno. That was just how I was feeling. Anyway, check them out... my top five long games:

5. Arkham Horror
Arkham Horror

The game Arkham Horror is based on the Cthulhu Mythos of writer H.P. Lovecraft. It is a world where Things Man Was Not Meant To Know(tm) exists, where slumbering gods, alien and unsympathetic to humanity, may wake at any moment to make the Earth a charnel house. But, of course, a few heroes stumble through and manage to keep the cultists and horrors from beyond at bay. The game is cooperative, and it does a great job of keeping you on your toes. You are tasked with keeping the public unaware and closing portals into the realms beyond, from which these horrors continually pour through. Its length (expect three hours) means it doesn't come off the shelves often, but I like it.

4. Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica is a great cooperative game that employs a traitor mechanic. The game starts with each player picking a character, and then drawing a loyalty card that specifies whether or not they are a Cylon, which is kept secret. The ship is travelling to a habitable planet to colonize, and the humans win when they get there. When a challenge arises, it is coded with a color and everyone contributes a card face down, with cards of the appropriate color contributing to the effort, and those of opposing colors detracting from the effort and sabotaging the Humans' efforts. Halfawy through the game, another loyalty card is distributed (representing 'sleeper' Cylons, if a Cylon card is received by someone who previously not a Cylon). I've only played twice, but it is a fun game, and clocks in around 2-3 hours.

3. Duel of Ages

Duel of Ages Worldspanner
An interesting game that only sees play very occasionally is Duel of Ages (DoA). The premise of DoA is that champions from different ages, worlds and cultures come together to fight in an arena assembled of pieces of disparate worlds. You could have a wild west area next to an office park next to an alien wasteland. It is a team game, with each team controlling the same number of characters (though possibly with players controlling more than one character). The teams' members will try to coordinate to explore labyrinths, invade the other team's base, attack other teams and (with expansions) do other challenges. With 360 genre-spanning characters and loot, it can be a blast. I can't think of another game where you could play a samurai riding a BMX with a Spanish Cannon in tow.

2. Through the Ages.

Through the Ages 2nd Edition By Eagle Games

Through the Ages is an excellent civilization-building game by Vlaada Chvatil (Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert). The game comes in a deceptively smallish box, but is densely packed with high-quality components. It takes around 3-4 hours to play, putting it the longer end of the board game spectrum for us. I feel it does a great job of simulating the passage of time periods. Be prepared to move around a large number of tiny, tiny wooden disks that represent workers and resources. I love this game!

1. Roleplaying Games

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook Star Wars Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, Saga Edition D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game: A D&D Genre Setting (4th Edition D&D)

Aaaahhh.... the classic "I've-just-spent-way-too-much-time-gaming!" game... or rather, genre. Roleplaying Games, immersive as they are, can easily span to eight hours or more. They somehow don't seem as long as the games above, but that mainly reflects the social, free-form nature of them. My current favorite is Pathfinder (successor to Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5), though recently I have enjoyed the new Gamma World 4th Edition and Star wars Saga Edition. If you haven't played a pen-and-paper roleplaying game, I highly recommend trying one. Chances are, you know a geek who plays. I unfortunately haven't had the chance to play regularly in quite a while, but this is one of my favorite pastimes.

What are your favorite long games? Or what gaming experiences that have lasted a long time have you enjoyed? Let us know! And after that, why not pop over to Cool Factor 5 and see what he has to say about his favorite long gaming experiences!


  1. Well of course D&D and all its off-shoots - but I havent played RP games in years . Lately, I have been known to log on to an MMO (lotRO)early in the morning and find myself strung out, hungry and smelling really bad at midnight and wondering "what happened to the day"

    but i try to avoid this because it makes my wife grab aggro.

    I sometimes play a game that you guys gave me - history of the world - it takes 2 hours just to set up the board and sort the pieces - and another 2 to 4 hours to play the thing - its always pretty epic.

  2. 2-3 hours a long game? grow a pair and play some Twilight Imperium

  3. I own Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, and I have played it many times. I like the game, but I do not like teaching it. With players that have all played a couple of times, it's an excellent game. But it seems every time that we would play it, there's always someone new. Figuring in the teaching, that a pretty serious hit to the fun vs. time spent ratio. So it hasn't came off the shelf in quite a while. Additionally, as a parent I must consider that time spent gaming is not time spent with my kids. So spending four hours walking someone through TI3 and away from my kids doesn't really do it for me.

  4. I love TI3, more than Randy or any of our other friends we've played it with. That's the problem really, no one else loves it enough to make it worth the time spent. It certainly is a LOOOONG game, but not one Randy would list among his favorites :) Maybe I should make my own list of favorite long games!

  5. Just found this site through BGG. Bookmarked and I'll keep reading!

    I personally tried to bring out Battlestar Galactica one night with my family and friends. The first problem was that we only had about an hour and a half to play. Second problem was it was a learning game that none of us had played before.

    Needless to say we stopped about 1/4 of the way into the game because everyone else was not having any fun. Now it is almost impossible to get them to pull the game out again. I hate it because the game is a really good one and I don't have anyone else to play with. So, it collects dust on the shelf in hopes of being played again.