Fischer Clock

Hey guys, I’ve been thinking more and more about the addition of a Fischer clock to Faeria to replace the current clock. I know some people have already mentioned this in the past (e.g. Cappuccino), but I wanted to compile some reasons for it. Also, for anyone who doesn’t know what this is, it’s basically an incremental clock: you have a set amount of time, e.g. 30 mins, and each of your turns winds down your clock only. When you end your turn, your clock is paused. This is of course still compatible with limited turn lengths, though in general I think these should be replaced in the Fischer clock system with a general timeout due to inactivity (say, 5 minutes of inactivity).

Improvements to the game:

  1. Encourages tactical time management over the duration of the game; early turns can be taken quickly and efficiently, leaving more time to think and do math for combat in later turns. This also simultaneously diminishes frustration due to running out of time in later (and possibly game-deciding) turns in which the board state is much more complex. I think this is the strongest reason to implement the Fischer clock.

  2. Reduces incentive to play slowly in early turns (taking up the entire clock), which is less interesting for both spectators and the other player. With the current system, there is no downside or punishment to taking the entire 1:30 in early turns even though this is very often unnecessary and creates a less enjoyable experience for opponents.

  3. Adds an overall limit to the duration of the match, preventing very long standoffs or unnecessarily grindy matches. A time clock per player of 20 minutes, say, guarantees that the game cannot go longer than 40 minutes (this may be especially relevant with grind-encouraging decks such as those based around Aurora’s Dream).

  4. Gives players a better sense of their resources/control (this is somewhat related to reason 1). If players know how much time they have total and how much they can use, as well as the knowledge that on a complex turn they can take their time, this gives players a greater sense of control and less randomness when playing the game.

  5. Helpful for players with laggy connections or who are slower in general. Also helpful for players who are multitasking while playing (which I assume happens quite often), and may need to leave their computer/tablet for a minute or two during a turn, but don’t want to miss a turn or forfeit the match.

I will now consider some possible criticisms of the Fischer clock, and respond accordingly.

Possible criticism

  1. The current system encourages players to think quickly, which is an interesting competitive aspect of Faeria. With a Fischer clock, this is lost since players can take their time to weigh all possible options for each turn.
    Response: The Fischer system certainly changes the way time is competitive in Faeria but doesn’t take it away. Rather, it encourages players to take short, efficient turns in the early turns (when options are limited), in order to save time for later, important turns. It is still valuable to think quickly in this system because you want to use as little of your clock as possible since you may need more time in later turns.
  2. Fischer clock allows players to waste time by letting their turns run very long in order to psychologically manipulate and tire their opponent.
    Response: In general, I think the Fischer clock (while technically allowing this strategy) does not encourage this. Players wasting time on their clock will be punished in later turns when they need to use more time to think, and so this strategy is irrational. In addition, the system can also add a 5 minute inactivity boot to discourage such gamesmanship. A compromise would also be to maintain a turn limit within the Fischer system (e.g., 5 minutes), but I think this is unnecessary and makes the system less intuitive for new players.


An incremental clock in Faeria makes more sense than the current system. It reduces randomness, allows for tactical time management, and doesn’t punish players lagging or multitasking.

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I like the idea, but from my point of view is too “light”. I’m going to explain what I mean.
In Monthly Cup every player has 45 minutes in total to beat any opponent, so 45 minutes to play from 3 matches (3 wins in a row) to 5 (2-2 to play the 5th one). The average time per match is consequentially between 15 minutes and 9 minutes in a competitive environment.

I totally agree with your idea, just I could think about a 15-20 minutes limit (30-40 minutes max length in this case for both players) for ranked matches. So a little softer than tournament :slight_smile:

Hey Tristan and readers. I’ve certainly talked a lot about turn timers :D. I find the current system lackluster. However, I find a few flaws in the system you propose.

  1. If the opponent rage quits, does this mean you have to then wait 5 mins? - Rage quitting/walking away is a issue that is going to become a lot more frustrating with them reaching into banked time.
  2. Let’s imagine a scenario you are against a yrush player and he spends 3 minutes on his first turn, then 4 minutes on his second turn, then 5 minutes on his third turn, then 4 minutes on his 4th turn… He has spent 16 minutes… 16! On just his first 4 turns… that is only half of his time that you are allotting. This could be even worse when yrush players decide to intentionally BM by abusing the time system. Since often the games are decided very early on so he can add salt to players by intentionally taking 10 minutes on first turn. Trust me this is going to be so extremely bad for the game.
  3. Lower skill requirement decks will gain advantage over decks that require calculations each turn. Can you imagine playing a blue deck against a yrush deck and they managed to poke you down to 3 HP then start banking faeria… you have to think of all the lines they can possibly do each turn to find lethal and also plan to get aggressive. Do you want to be in this scenario then lose to time-bank expiring? With current system you have plenty of time each turn, but in a bank system you may actually lose to time sometimes.

Now here is what I’d rather we go into for Faeria:

  • Each player has 45 second turns.
  • When a players turn timer runs out it starts counting down from a time-bank of 3 minutes.
  • You can add time to the time-bank by passing turns early:
  • Your time-bank gains time from whatever was left during your turn minus 10 seconds.
    ie. If you only use 20 seconds during your turn, the time-bank will gain +15 seconds.

Now, this rewards doing fast turns, means you wont have back-to-back prolonged turns early and will still provide the ability to have longer turns during critical thinking turns. In my opinion this is the best system.


I did a survey of peoples opinions on the timer here. More discussion there too.

Personally I’d like anything to make games faster.

I agree with Kappaccino about the issues with rage quitting and being a jerk, and I like his suggested time system - although I’d also like a hard turn limit or a diminishing returns time-banking system where the more time you have the less you add so that you can’t bank more than say 5 minutes (which you can in 6 turns under the suggested system).