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I’ve wrangled (and probably mangled) the statistics a bit:

Let’s look at expected game length without sudden death or crowning Conan first:

– Each age has 4 adventures, with each adventure taking an average of 3.8 adventure tokens to complete (adventure cards: 10×3, 15×4, 4×5), for a total of 15.2 tokens per age (let’s say 15).
– Each round (assuming a static Conan player) one token gets removed when it is the Conan player’s turn.
– Among the other players’ 3 turns on average one Conan & Court die result will be available (2 in 6 chance of rolling it on the dice).
– That means on average 2 tokens will be taken each round, for a total of 7.5 rounds per age, or 22.5 per game, if it goes all the way to the end of the 3rd age.

Now let’s see how Conan gains experience. This is more difficult.

– Let’s ignore xp for killing spies. This was very uncommon to happen in our games and in fact we forgot about it often.
– The Conan player cannot play story cards on his turn.
– The other three players each have 2 cards available to play as story cards. On average each card can be played if Conan is on 6.27 provinces of the 33 on the board, or a 19% chance (I listed all provinces shown on story cards with how many neighboring provinces they have). This is a very rough approximation because it doesn’t take into account that Conan will be in the center of the board (where more regions are adjacent to each other) more often than on the edges. But it should be a good lower boundary estimate.
– That means each player has a chance of 65% of not being able to play a story card: (100-19) x (100-19) = 65,61. Inversely, a 35% chance to play one. Correct me if my probability math is off here, I haven’t done this in a long time. Also I don’t see how normally a player would NOT want to play a story card if he can.
– Again, on average that means that very roughly one story card will be played per round.
– A story card gives 2 xp on average (10×3, 10×2, 10×1), so without spies Conan gains 2 xp per round.
– The Conan track has 36 spaces, i.e. it only takes 18 rounds for Conan to reach the maximum (he starts on space 1).

So, 22.5 rounds expected game length versus 18 rounds to sudden death by Conan xp.

No wonder we are running into these, especially if you take into spies into account and that I think my estimate of a chance to play a Conan card is on the low side. But I am surprised no one else seems to experience this.

Can anyone spot a major error in my math or assumptions? A mistake in the rules as we play them?

I do have a couple fixes in mind, but don’t want to clog this post even further. Might post them later.