Trying to decide the best way to tell you about analysis paralysis… just another minute.
Board gaming has amassed a somewhat daunting codex of terminology. Whether jumping into the hobby (or, as I prefer to call it, Bloodsport) can be a bit intimidating. Even vets can be stumped by some of the phrases tossed around.
In our new weekly series, we’re going to explore different tabletop terms so you can be a better informed gamer. Hope you enjoy.
What is… Analysis Paralysis?
Analysis Paralysis (or AP as it’s commonly known) is excessive decision making. A player suffering from AP spends an inordinate amount of time choosing what to do next.
How to Identify if You Have Analysis Paralysis
Do you agonize over what to do in every turn while playing a board game? Do you hear sighs, groans, or yawns around the table when it’s your turn? Does the box says “Plays in 60 minutes” but when you play it takes two hours? Then you may very well suffer from the debilitating disease known as analysis paralysis.
Analysis Paralysis (or AP as it’s commonly known) can affect just about any tabletop gamer. And there is a fine line between strategizing and suffering from AP. Everyone should have the opportunity to consider their next move while playing a game, so when does it actually turn into AP?
Three telltale signs:
- Every one of your turns takes twice as long as everyone else’s.
- You have considered your next move during other people’s turns, and then when it is your turn you re-analyze everything to make sure you are making the “perfect” move.
- Other players seem annoyed or bored during your turns.
The most important thing is to pay attention to how long other people are taking. Heck, you can even use the stopwatch function on your phone to time it. Then time yourself. If you’re taking considerably longer than everyone else, well, you’ve definitely got AP. And you’re being inconsiderate to the other players at the table.
How to Fix Analysis Paralysis
There’s no surefire cure. Some people are just born to over-analyze every move they can make. However, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Admit it. C’mon, just admit it. Still deciding whether or not to admit it? Yeah, you’ve got AP bad.
If you’re serious about trimming down your decision-making time, here are three things you can do.
1. Set a timer for yourself. Yes, this means everyone at the table will know you have an issue with AP, but remember that the first step was to admit you had a problem. Did you think you were admitting it only to yourself?
2. Plan ahead. Dedicate your time during other players’ turns to pick your moves. Yes, moves. You want your “I’m doing this as soon as it’s my turn” move and a backup in case someone invalidates that move.
3. Accept that there is no “perfect” move. The biggest cause of AP is trying to find the optimal move and avoid doing “something stupid.” At some point, though, you just have to roll with it. When you find a good move, accept that it’s good enough.
What board game terms would you like us to examine in the future? Let us know in the comments.