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I've got it down pretty well, I can set up missions super quick.  I have all the tiles sorted out in bags, numbered 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc...or labeled with the name of that expansion,  I cover up everything about the mission with extra campaign books i;m not currently using so you can only see the numbered tiles the mission needs, and I have the rebels grab those while I grab the deployment cards, tokens, and miniatures (which I keep secret), then I put the puzzle together real quick and put everything in place.  

Honestly I'm so wizard at setting up the map at this point I can assemble the entire puzzle waaaaay before the heroes are done buying their stuff and spending their exp.  all in all from the end of the last mission, to the start of the next one, it takes us about 15-20 minutes, which is fast as I understand it.   But this still seems like a long time to me.  Especially putting together the puzzle.  Also the puzzle pieces are the biggest part of the game really, in terms of space.  Maybe the miniatures take up more but the tiles are definitely second.  

I made this interesting stand with a slot in it out of OSB, some screws, and a cut up 2x4 that basically lets my monitor lay flat horizontally.  I have a pretty big computer screen, it's a 72 inch (3x3 feet) big enough to display most of the IA maps on it, then it's just a matter of comfortable placing the thing sideways, and putting miniatures and doors and tokens on it and stuff.  It only cost like 100bucks, and would habe only been 150 retail. I wonder how much a dedicated screen would cost that projected a board.  I'm a little worred about damage it.  Sometimes when I press hard on it I see these ti-die ripples that look like they hurt my moniter's soul.  The heavy figs like the rancor might really mess it up so I haven't actually played on it either (because also there's usually beer and stuff haha).  Maybe I'll like wrap the entire thing in plastic rab, or find some big clear rubber slab to place over my moniter to displace rancor figure weight and protect from any spillage.  

I feel like though IF you made a 3x3 flat screen that didn't have a traditional stand, was just meant to lay flat, and had really thick rubbery plastic'ish clear coating or something, and then all it did was project various boardgames, probably wouldn't cost much.  IT would probably cost less than a regular computer moniter of the same size would cost, since, basically "holding pictures of stuff to display is an easier and cheaper technology than receiving an input of data to display is.  I imagine that's the expensive part of a cpu moniter.   I mean a 72 inch moniter costs like 300 dollars, and Skirmish players buy individual maps printed out and ready to go for like 30 dollars each.  I'm sure many Skirmish players will buy or have bought 10 of the maps already.  So if I am as serious about campaign as Skirmish people are about Skirmish, perhaps I'll try to buy a cpu moniter just for this so I can stop lugging around all the tiles all the times.  

 

Anyway are there any strategies anyone else has conceived to make setup and cleanup between mission quicker?   I have literally everything sorted into little baggies each heroes even has their own little baggy.  Soon I may build a giant cabinet for the game but that will be in a while.  I don't think a cabinet or new holder will really improve setup time for me right now so I want to wait on building one.

 

 

 

 

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When we were doing our first campaign earlier this year, I tried to devise different solutions to speed up the process as quickly as possible. The larger benefit being that we wanted to dive in to the next mission to continue the story, and also knowing that our time together would be brief as we all have busy lives and live across of various distances.

Organization, like most things in life, is absolutely essential for quick set-up. Like you, I have Map Tiles divided into bags based on their numbering, which allows the stage to be set rather quickly. The biggest challenge becomes giving the Rebel Players all the tools that they had previously (despite me having written everything down, you still get the odd questioning of tools that they thought they had but were not reflected in the record). I have finally been able to devise a spreadsheet file (Google Sheets) that clearly lays out the character and each of his/her skills and equipment. The spreadsheet is easy to read, and adding new content to it is simple, mitigating any further questions. Because the Imperial Player needs to set up the mission alone, I try to have the Rebels manage their characters so that everyone has what they need, and we can just jump in with a minimum of fuss.

 

What takes up the most time for us, though, is trying to set up the next map while everyone else is spending XP and buying items. Because you're trying to multitask, it slows everything down as you are trying to answer questions, set up the board, and get you're own stuff in order. With the first campaign now behind us, I suspect future campaigns will clip along at a faster rate.

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I always separate out the required tiles the night before the mission, as that is usually the most time consuming part for me. I still make sure to bring all my tiles though, more than once have we been missing a tiny 1x2 tile that is used multiple times. 

I also let my Rebels perform their upgrades as soon the mission finishes while I pack up and then let me know their choices in the days after, so they're not feeling rushed to decide. Most people think that is the most fun part of campaign anyway so they are eager to upgrade asap but like to weigh all their options.

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Syncing up map setup time with Rebel upgrade time is a good idea. They have significantly more choices (especially with 4 heroes and 4 players) than the Imperial player. Picking class deck upgrades and Agenda cards is pretty straight forward.  With the left over time you can be building the map while they debate between weapons and items.

If you’re playing 2 missions in a session, sequence it so that you can have the side mission chosen before adjourning from the previous session. That means the Imperial Player can pull the appropriate tiles for the side mission and next story mission before everyone convenes.  That doesn’t work for every campaign, but it can significantly cut down on wasted time. 

Alternaively, if your group plays 2-3 missions per session you can always use the time between missions to eat, drink, and debrief, an essential part of any good game day. 

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2 hours ago, bdgolish said:

Syncing up map setup time with Rebel upgrade time is a good idea. They have significantly more choices (especially with 4 heroes and 4 players) than the Imperial player. Picking class deck upgrades and Agenda cards is pretty straight forward.  With the left over time you can be building the map while they debate between weapons and items.

If you’re playing 2 missions in a session, sequence it so that you can have the side mission chosen before adjourning from the previous session. That means the Imperial Player can pull the appropriate tiles for the side mission and next story mission before everyone convenes.  That doesn’t work for every campaign, but it can significantly cut down on wasted time. 

Alternaively, if your group plays 2-3 missions per session you can always use the time between missions to eat, drink, and debrief, an essential part of any good game day. 

Exactly, usually I can have the map set-up and ready to start before the rebels have finished their upgrade phase, always and definitely if I had the Rebels search for the tiles for me with a covered up game component that's only showing the necessary map tiles, and even if I search for the tiles myself, the rebels will have only been done for like 30 seconds by the time I'm finished assembling the map and getting all the tokens and miniatures.   But that said we're still talking several minutes, sometimes rarely if I put a dang tile in the wrong bag as long possibly 9 minutes...and as an American who craves instant satisfaction, that's why I'm toying with trying to make an IA screen board.

Also, I have each Hero in a baggie with their side quest card, quest reward, and all of their class cards, starting weapons, and miniatures.  I make the Heroes make the record of what they have, how many credits they have, and how much exp and what abilities they've bought and what rewards and quests they've won, and then I just check it over with them.  Sometimes there's minor confusion like they think they can keep the stuff in the crates like grenades or something mission to mission until they have like the whole supply deck by the finale lol

Yeah we usually order a pizza and wings and bring beer and everyone just sort of chows and sips when it's not their turn.  The most I think we've ever gotten was 4 missions in, and we were replacing a DnD session that was planned (I had brought IA and just had it in my car) when three of our regular seven DnD players didn't show for the gamig night, and the DM had prepared a pretty specific module for the characters, he asked me if I brought IA.  I checked my car, there it is.  Now we don't get together for DnD often mind you it's like once every six months cause life is soooooo busy so when we do, we game from like 12am-7am, and hope and pray for the day off after it or just suffer through a shift like a boss the next day.  

But that was not the most efficienct IA gaming ever.  ONly two of us were familiar with the game (which was seriously a HUUUUUGE help having experienced playing this with ALL new people like three or four times in the past and then once with a single player who had a few missions under his belt to help teach the new players, it's a massive difference explaining the rules to everyone I can't emphasize how much it helped)  After that, the DM and I got a secondary gaming group together consisting of me, him, one of the the players from the DnD group and two new players and we got an IA group going and we could probably get through 4 missions in 4 hours now instead of 7 hours.   But this group was dedicated to gaming often, just not for a long time.  Often we would play 2-3 missions, but usually only one of a long campaign, one person would have to leave, then we would play one-two missions of a mini campaign on Heroic.  

actually playing isn't the longest part.  It's discussing the strategy of what the Rebels should do, how the Imperials would probably react, etc.  It's really a marvelous tactical experience 

 

 

 

Edited by aRandomBoardGamingDude

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If anyone is interested, I attached a spreadsheet from our current campaign that I created to help keep track of everyone's items and skills. I have found it especially useful ahead of time, as I can refer to it as I'm preparing the next mission. Once I know what I'm getting and planning for, I set aside the tiles, cards, and tokens that will be needed for the mission and place them in their own bag. It works out great because everything is consolidated together.

Core Log, Winter 2018.xlsx

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On 11/20/2017 at 11:24 PM, aRandomBoardGamingDude said:

Anyway are there any strategies anyone else has conceived to make setup and cleanup between mission quicker?   I have literally everything sorted into little baggies each heroes even has their own little baggy.  Soon I may build a giant cabinet for the game but that will be in a while.  I don't think a cabinet or new holder will really improve setup time for me right now so I want to wait on building one.

 

 

 

 

I know this is a super old post, but I do basically the same thing. Instead of sorting tiles into baggies by number, I do it by expansion (though I do Descent by number).  Also, any smaller tile (2x2 and smaller) gets put into a smaller sub-bag, that goes into the larger expansion bag.

 

I've got three sewing boxes for figures, one for each faction. One plano for tokens.  Big figures go in one of those plastic clothes drawers.

Image result for plastic clothes drawer\

 

 

Everything else goes into the Core, usually. 

 

The only exception is that I've kept Heart of the Empire's box to serve as a Campaign Box (I've done something similar with Descent).  Everything that might be used during a campaign mission goes into my Campaign Box: Current hero sheets/figs/skills, all condition/item/companion cards, doors, deployment cards, Imperial class cards, chosen side mission deck,  chosen agenda deck, and the token plano.  Then, in the core box, I keep all unused hero stuff, unchosen missions, unchosen Imperial items, skirmish stuff, etc.

 

That way, the Campaign Box is an easy to access, stripped down Go Bag for missions, basically. 

 

My process for mission setup is usually to set up the map itself (with tokens), retrieve Imperial deployment cards (including open groups), use deployment cards for reference in retrieving figures (reserved and open groups go under the core box lid to hide them), set up player areas, and finally set out condition cards and the token plano.  I generally distribute some health/strain tokens on the first hero's turn, or whenever the first attack takes place.  I also start music during the intro sequence.

Between everything, I can usually get a mission set completely up in about 5-7 minutes. 

 

 

Edited by subtrendy2

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