Having the Time of Your Life (aka How Long Does It Take?)

Many people are wondering how long it takes to play one Planetary Exploration.

UPDATE: 3 hours first planet after Tutorial then 2 1/2 hours for the next planet for me!

I just finished my first planet after the tutorial (playing solo with all four Sections). Even though I had read through the rulebook many times, I still found myself double checking things as I was playing the first few rounds. You might be in that same boat, so the time spent on the first planet likely is not a good basis for estimating the time that other planets will take.  I tried to keep track of my gameplay time after the first round (which took about an hour and a half … but at least half of that time was double-checking things in the rulebook AND trying to read the small Danger Die icons). So here is my times for my first planet after the tutorial:

  • 45 mins Round 1
  • 36 mins Round 2
  • 24 mins Round 3
  • 50 mins Round 4 (yeah, too much thinking)
  • 30 mins Round 5
  • can’t remember if I logged the last round – it went pretty fast

About 3 hours total time or about 35 minutes per round.

Actually that isn’t too bad considering I was looking up things in the rulebook a lot to be sure that I was doing things right. Plus, I do follow along the storyline closely and am enjoying it already, even after this first non-tutorial planet!

7 minutes per Section’s turn might be a good estimate for this planet (likely will be less as the rules become second nature). Remember that there are many logs and each one takes some time to fully enjoy. Also remember that during their turn, each Section needs to coordinate with the other Sections OFTEN. Most dice checks will involve considering how another Section can assist with either a die or a card (or both). And I am VERY glad that I have my dice tray system where each Section has its own small “assist” tray. It is critical to keep the dice separated but at the same time you want to see all the dice together as one large “roll pool” and small Section dice trays does the trick.  Also remember that drawing an Event card at the end of each Section’s turn takes some time (most of them have consequences that need to be taken care of and that might also involve adjusting game play strategies)!

[no photos so no spoilers:) ]

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