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Subject: Balancing issues? rss

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Johan Papadopoulos
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I play Ra - The Dice game a lot and I like the fact that the second player starts with +1 score, the third +2 and the fourth +3. This is due to some reasons and one of them is that the fourth player will likely play 1 turn less than some of the others.

I sense that this thing happens on Keltis also. The starting point allocation shouldn't be like Ra - Dice? The starting player has chance to play 1 full turn more, he can rush to get a diamond... And I think the +1 would be enough for every player, starting from the second.

What do you think?
 
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Yegor Sadoshenko
Ukraine
Dniepropetrovsk
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Haven't played Ra, so can't compare. But I don't see the need for +1 score in Keltis. There are 5 pathways, so if you can't get ahead on one, you could, probably, on the other. It's the cards that decide the game here.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
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SoRCon 8 27 Feb - 1 Mar 2015 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk Essex Games 27 Jul '15
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Sutured wrote:
I play Ra - The Dice game a lot and I like the fact that the second player starts with +1 score, the third +2 and the fourth +3. This is due to some reasons and one of them is that the fourth player will likely play 1 turn less than some of the others.


Those numbers are actually at their best with 4 players. Assume a turn is worth 4 points (I'll come back to that). Then assuming a random finish player (which is a reasonable assumption) then the extra turns relative to the last player are, on average, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 and 0. Or 3, 2, 1, 0 points. Which is what is done. Given that there is randomness in the game (it is, after all, a dice game) that's appropriate. Let's put it this way, on those assumptions I don't have a preferred position.

You may note that the balancing is less good with 2 or 3 players. With 2 players it would be better to give the second player 2 points. But simplicity of a single rule beat that out. With 3 players the best simple handicaps would be 0, 1.5, 3 assuming a 4.5 point average turn, but half points are messy.

As for the value of a turn, if you play the game and keep track of your turns and scores you'll come back saying "that's too high". But you have to consider for example what is the value of your first civilization? It's not 0, it's actually 5 as it spares you from -5. To work out the true value of a game to assess handicaps you need to assess civilizations nor as scoring -5 to 15 but 0 to 20, and similarly for pharaohs. This incidentally is also how to assess whether the four areas are comparable in value. As for the 4 figure, results were above 4 when we tested, but that wasn't final rules. Changes will have reduced scores a bit, so 4 is probably not a bad value, close enough to use to base a handicap on. Reiner probably has numbers in his files.
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