Inquisition of the Week: Boardgaming Length

Greetings all, I have returned from the Gathering of Friends. It seems that in my absence that Bartoneus saw fit to throw my avatar in a royal rumble. The people have spoken: they believe I could hold my own against an Umber Hulk riding a Bulette, even when fighting like a girl. I believe that my use of the Monkey Attack and Loopin’ Louie-trained dexterity would give me the edge needed.

Obviously, just coming back from the Gathering, I’ve got boardgames on my mind. Given several discussions lately of board game length, I thought I’d ask:


And when answering, if you could also say what kind of games that you like to play, that would help too. My feeling is that wargamers who only play a few different games have a much higher tolerance for game length than someone who wants to play a lot of light, quick card games. But I’m sure there’s plenty of gray area in between, especially for those of you who primarily play the “classics.”

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, the Geek's Dream Girl.


  1. I tend to like the medium weighty games that are simple but offer a wide variety of interesting decisions. Many wargames, especially the long ones, suffer from rich getting richer/poor getting poorer and it’s no fun to be losing for long periods of time. Though the goal of a game may be to have fun, a game does not function if players know they cannot win, and leads to all sorts of non-fun situations. If I play a shorter to medium game, there’s less investment, less time to be losing, and I can pull out another game to play right afterwards.

  2. Could you perhaps add an option that says any length is fine? I don’t care about how long a game takes to play as much as I care about how much I like playing. I’ll play a game anywhere from one second to forever, if I enjoy playing it enough.

  3. Nope. Gotta pick a preferred game length. I too will play a variety of game lengths (depending on circumstances) but gotta pick your favorite amount of time for a game to take.

  4. The 1-4 hour range is perfect for me, I like to have a game that allows for some serious planning, but not drag on forever.

    Although, I am a sucker for a rousing game of Game of Thrones.

  5. I actually prefer 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Longer than that tends to be too long. Less than that often leaves me just wanting more.

    I settled on 20 minutes to 1 hour, because it was more comprehensive for my preferences.

  6. Nope! I abstain.

  7. I put in for 1-4 hours, but i’d say 1-2.5 is a better range for me. Anything over 2.5 is dead to me (more or less). Anything under 45 mins (in board game form) just doesn’t do it for me.

  8. joshx0rfz says:

    I think there was some cheating going on in the poll last week…

  9. Original Sultan says:

    I echo Tami’s thoughts. About 45 minutes to 90 minutes is a good length for a board game. I do enjoy the occasional 30 minute game, and also the occasional 2 to 3 hour game, but for me the sweet spot is definately 45 to 90 minutes. In that vein, I voted for 20 minutes to 1 hour, but the 1-4 hour option would be (nearly) equally valid for my preferences.

  10. I love the epic games…any time I can feel me bum go numb just as I’ve finished passing Go for the hundredth time, I feel accomplished…among my favorites are D&D (of course), monopoly and risk…

    Just so long as there’s a good supply of food and significantly larger supply of drink nearby, I could go for days…


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