Add an Optional Turn Timer to Lobby Games

  • A lot of players, including me, have reduced the amount of time they spend playing this game due to a lack of a timer. Not having a timer allows stall tactics to work.

  • @taplayerzz To the best of my knowledge, there are no rankings, and tournaments have pretty strict rules against this sort of thing. And in a casual game refusing to continue is equivalent to a resignation in my eyes. Also, if I play any kind of game online, I do it to have fun, not to say "Ha! I won! I'm better than you!", and so I usually just ignore toxic folks.

    The idea is interesting though.

  • Moderators Admin

    @alkexr Yes a lot have talked about having a timer. My personal viewpoint is if ya want to play speed chess play elsewhere 🙂 BUT that being said it would be nice if when they include stats etc a time was shown a bit.

  • Moderators

    @taplayerzz Just to be clear because this could mean a couple different things....

    Are we talking about a turn timer? As in you have X minutes to execute your turn?

    Or are we talking about a time limit on the number of days weeks that can pass between gaming sessions?

  • Moderators Admin

    @hepps time of turn

  • Moderators

    @prastle times up ?

  • Admin

    @taplayerzz It is an interesting idea. Really challenging is what to do to enforce the timer limit? Does the player's turn just end? If it's a complex move and you do not move a few units, it can be game-changing.

    One way to approach this is to make player turns shorter, add things like purchase planners and move planners so both can be planned beforehand and quickly executed.

    Maybe as an idea PU's could be subtracted for every minute over timer, then if +5 minutes the turn is ended. I think the trick is coming up with a fair/reasonable way to enforce a timer that would not be drastically game changing.

  • Moderators Admin

    @lafayette really ya need to ask the players from gto that have wished this for 2 years. i Cant really explain because I have never played there.

  • Moderators

    @prastle This has always been the issue of such a mechanism. While a turn timer would be a nice feature... it gets hugely complicated to figure out what should happen once you have the idea of a timer itself.

    This is another situation where the concept needs to be tailored to and settable for the individual players and the game they are deciding to play, since one fixed setting may not be agreeable for everybody.

    Having given this idea some thought over the years here are a few of my musings...

    1. The allowable time/player/turn itself needs to be settable as part of the "Map Options" set out by the Map Maker in the XML. (Guessing would have to be designed as a Global Game Property). This would probably best be preset to allow X minute intervals where the players can decide and agree on what is a reasonable allowance based on the game being played.

    2. This would then also require to have some sort of penalty system which would then also need to be designed as a settable option for the players. Here is where the major issue comes in. Creating a penalty system is fraught with issues. A PU penalty can be devastating to a game making it relatively unplayable almost immediately. Whatever is done I figure it would require another Global property. One idea that might serve to make this useful without breaking a game is a "Procrastinator Tally", wherein a player incurs a PT point for every minute beyond the allowable window. If that player accumulates 60 points then the opposing player is prompted to decide whether they want to claim a "dishonorable victory" to end the game.

    3. The system would need to take into consideration disconnections, time outs (ie. bathroom breaks, phone calls, wives) and/or saves. No small task as near as I can figure. (purely an uneducated assumption)

    4. Whatever is developed then needs to incorporated into the GUI.

    All things considered, this idea would likely be a massive undertaking and I am curious as to how many players would want/use this feature especially given that we don't have any kind of leader board type ranking system. I think what would end up happening is players who want this would simply be left sitting waiting for games in the lobby since most slow players would not voluntarily play any game with this setting.

    I am curious as to whether it could be done and if so, how it would play out in the "real" world.

  • Moderators


    Some suggestions for timer:

    1. Timer is optional via a menu.

    2. Times the whole player turn. (note may need a new delegates, since delegate placement can vary by map)

    3. Timers are adjustable. eg 5min - 60min. (for live matches)

    4. Timers can be paused if both players engage a pause button. (for live matches)

    5. Timers can be reset if both players engage a reset button. (for live matches)

    6. Casual mode timer that only has audible and visual notifications on expiration.

    7. Tournament mode timer that has an audible and visual warning notification and then ends the players turn on expiration.

    8. As penalties go. Players should decide if there is a penalty before game starts. PU is a good idea, either via edit or engine supported. And optional.

  • Moderators


    GTO timers were timed by phases and they were adjustable. I think they were 30sec - 300sec.

    But timing by phase blows imo. Since some phases just require a lot more time. Especially a CM and NCM which involve a lot of transports, amphibious landings, and logistics. (We are all aware of cumbersome transport interface.)

  • Moderators

    @general_zod How did the timer take battles into consideration? Was it ignored? Since one player nation could have 1 or 2 attacks to resolve while another could have many? And in such situations the responsiveness of both/multiple players is a factor.

    Seems to me you would only need a timer for: Combat moves, Non Combat moves, Purchase, and Placement phases. Ignoring any all other game phases.

  • Moderators Admin

    @general_zod to clarify I could care less about a timer truthfully. I just know it is something that has often been requested. I like your ideas bro.

  • Admin

    So I'm open to this idea but would want to have a pretty solid understanding of how it worked at GTO and if that is what folks want or if they want something slightly different.

  • Moderators


    It's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure the timer wasn't timing the actual combat phase.

  • Moderators

    Yes, hopefully some GTO players respond with their opinions. Or perhaps even a poll would be helpfull?

  • Thx for replies. When AA was released for PC by Milton Bradley around '97 or '98, it had a timer. I see no reason why TripleA can't have this feature also. It would be optional just like the PC version. But for more experienced players, it would make the game more fun. It will also keep players from stalling for saves that they might never finish.

  • Also, the timer is just for moves and not actual combat.

  • Moderators

    Hi All - a good topic indeed. I played for years at GTO. I can give a little detail which may be helpful:

    • the timer was optional & both players had to agree to it and the time therein.
    • it did have a range, but I don't remember the parameters, but we had a choice therein.
    • when the timer ran out of time, the turn was over -- full stop.
    • it did start flashing when you approached under 30 seconds, I recall.

    It was indeed a very popular mechanism at GTO because players did want to enforce a regular turn speed from their opponents, and the binary nature of the timer (turn over) was very harsh, but very effective; similar comparison to speed chess and same concept.

    As it was optional, one could opt in or opt out. Hope this helps. Cheers.

  • Moderators


    The purchase planner and move planner sounds intriguing . How would they work?

    @lafayette said in Please add a timer to this game:

    One way to approach this is to make player turns shorter, add things like purchase planners and move planners so both can be planned beforehand and quickly executed.

Log in to reply