When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears, they are faint from want of food. If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst.

If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted. 

If birds gather on any spot, it is unoccupied. Clamor by night betokens nervousness.

–Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter IX: The Army on the March, [29-30].

Marathon wargaming sessions and tournaments can be fun, but they’re also exhausting. I’m not a fan of either on a regular basis. Give me game which lasts around 3 or 4 hours and I’m happy. Any longer and it’s hard to concentrate. I’ve already discussed the effects of blood sugar.

As a general rule, you should take a 15 minute break for every 2 hours of game play, a 30 minute break for every 4 hours of game play.

Get up. Get a drink. Eat a snack. Stretch.

Some wargamers get all gung-ho about their endurance. I’ve learned the hard way how not taking breaks can make wargaming miserable.

Next on The Art of Wargaming:

Wargamers are Like Feudal Princes.