After a discussion with Julian yesterday while engaging in the Bautzen refight, this morning I went in search of World in Flames. Sadly the copy I had has presumably stayed in Canberra (or otherwise lost in transit, storage or something), so it goes. Anyway, in doing some research I came across this post: http://www.sparknotes.com/mindhut/2012/11/06/the-7-longest-board-games-in-existence
2. World in Flames. For those board gamers who aren't satisfied with one map they have to watch, this one has five. I don't know how so many WWII board games of incomprehensible length sprang up in the latter half of the 20th century, or what demographic these games targeted. Somewhere in France there's probably a society of old men who laugh at society while smoking and meeting to play games like World in Flames. Playing time: 100 hours.
All I can say is we never played this in France, never smoked while playing and when we started we weren't old. Playing one night a week for about a year – yep, 100 hours would be right.
But coming in at number 1:
1. The Campaign for North Africa. Prepare to have your mind blown by the fact that people have actually played this game. The map is 10 square feet. The game takes 10 players. The game includes 18,000 counters and a rulebook in three volumes. Each team consists of a Commander-in-Chief, a Logistics Commander, a Rear Area Commander, an Air Commander, and a Frontline Commander. And games have clocked in at 1500 hours, more than 2 months. It's said that no one has actually ever finished the game, which leads us to wonder; how do we know the players didn't just kill themselves after 1500 hours? Playing time: 62 days.
I have this and brought it over from Canberra (what was I thinking?). I actually started to play it with someone who had advertised for an opponent, but after a few sessions we were still doing the set up and never really got into it. I remember the game’s nickname was Lust in the Dust, a true work of love on behalf of the developers and those with an interest in the period.