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This dice game version of Arkham Horror is about to be published by Fantasy Flight but a lot of gamers have already picked it up or at least demoed it at GenCon and PAX Prime. I've read a few comments that stated Elder Sign did not play in one hour as advertised, but these comments were rather vague.

Is there a group consensus on how long this game takes to play?

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3 Answers 3

Boardgamesgeek suggests it takes 120 minutes.

I don't know where your "one hour figure" comes from, whether it's written on the box or not, but I'd definitely tend to take the word of the diehard gamers at BGG over the word of the manufacturers, every time!

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120 minutes sounds about right for 4+ players. I suspect that the fastest possible play would be two to three players with good cooperative housekeeping, which might be under an hour.

I've played once with five players (three new), and it took about two hours from box open to completion (Hastur, by elder signs). There was definitely a "too many cooks" effect, especially with new players - we were hardly playing the game ourselves on many turns. Two hours does seem excessive, but that can be how it shakes out.

I have also played twice solo. The first took 90 minutes (Yig) and the second under 60 minutes, including setup from closed box. (I lose about 30 seconds trying to open the box. I might have to start greasing the stupid thing.)

Completion time is affected by other things too:

  • Universal things - Players wandering off, explaining rules to newbies, over-strategizing
  • Protectiveness - Trying hard not to get doom tokens or lose characters may cost you more real-world time than it is worth
  • Big bad drawn - Ask an experienced player for details. This largely depends on elder signs.
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I've played three games now (two games with two players, one solo), they seem to average around 30-45 minutes (the first game took longer, unsurprisingly). Two hours seems excessive.

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