It's wintertime, and thoughts turn towards gaming (or at least mine do). While most of my gaming these days revolves around games suitable for playing with a four-year old, I've also been thinking a bit about my current (if sporadic) D&D and Gamma World games. As my players know, I've been a bit unhappy with my games for a while now, though I haven't exactly been able to put my finger on why I've been unhappy. My most common complaint sums up as "the combats are too long", but thinking it over, I don't think that's quite right. It isn't that the combats are too long in an objective sense -- it's that the combats are too long by the metics I want to apply to role-playing game combats.