Who Goes First?
Ben Ritter
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Rulebooks fall into one of four categories:
1. They don't say who goes first.
2. They say the first player should be randomly chosen.
3. They say the first player should be chosen based on some irrelevant trait (the youngest player, the player to the dealer's left, etc.).
4. They say the first player should be chosen based on a thematically relevant trait.

This list honors those games in the last category--those that help players get into the spirit of the game even before the first die is rolled.
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1. Board Game: Bargain Hunter [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2099]
Ben Ritter
United States
Santee
California
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"The most recent person to shop at a yard sale deals first."
 
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2. Board Game: Campaign Manager 2008 [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1250]
Ben Ritter
United States
Santee
California
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"The player closes to his 18th birthday (his date of voter eligibility) may go first."
 
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3. Board Game: Chrononauts [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:1975] [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
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All players try to guess the current time. The closest guesser goes first.
 
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:189]
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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The nicest player goes first.
 
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5. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:928]
Dean Bush
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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The player who looks most like the monster goes first
 
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6. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:334] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Ben Ritter
United States
Santee
California
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"The starting player marker goes to the player who paid for something most recently."
 
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7. Board Game: Lemming Mafia [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:3232]
Ben Ritter
United States
Santee
California
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"The player who is the worst swimmer is the starting player."
 
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8. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:73]
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
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The most recently ill player.
 
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9. Board Game: Show Manager [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1053]
Ben Ritter
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"The player who most recently visited a musical is the start player."
 
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10. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:190] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Billy the Hut
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Sit beside the breakfast table Think about your troubles Pour yourself a cup of tea Then think about the bubbles
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The player whose ears are the most pointed.
 
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11. Board Game: Spectral Rails [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4818]
Ben Ritter
United States
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"Give the spirit leader token to the sleepiest player to start the game."
 
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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:92] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Toms Leikums
Latvia
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The player who has visited most foreign countries, goes first.
 
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13. Board Game: Zeus on the Loose [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:4309]
Ben Ritter
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"Zeus on the Loose is played in rounds, starting with the person whose first name is closest to Z."
 
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14. Board Game: Start Player [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2672]
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I think this is more of an honourable mention, especially since its own start player is determined even more arbitrarily than that of the game it's used to decide the start player of.
 
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