Turn Order Problems
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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These games (or with certain number of players) have turn order problems, where the random selection of starting position can have a non-trivial advantage or disadvantage in the game. Some of them are so severe that you feel like you are drowning if you are in one of the "bad" seats.
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1. Board Game: La Strada [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2637]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Going early has a big advantage over the people going later.

I had fun the first game, of course I was going second. The second game, I went last and it was just hard to do anything. I came back for the third game determined that there was a way to combat this, and failed miserably. That was enough of this game for my book.

In the articles, people have mentioned that with 4 experienced players, they know how to cut off the first player. I guess I'll never get to the point of being experienced--or playing with experienced players.
 
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2. Board Game: Emerald [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2238]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Going early has a big advantage over those going later in turn order.

I think this is a fun filler, but it seems like if you are going last, you can't move as far and the early treasures are picked clean by the time you get there. So I haven't played it in a long time.
 
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3. Board Game: Saint Petersburg [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:229]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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In a four player game, the player with the aristocrat has an advantage.

Typically, in a four player game, there are 5 or 6 rounds. The person with the aristocrat will have the first choice in at least 2 rounds where the 3rd and 4th from the aristocrat will only have one first choice. The 2nd aristocrat player should try to make the game go 6 rounds to match the 1st aristocrat player. If the first aristocrat player is also the second worker, that becomes a huge advantage.

This is the reason most experienced St. Petersburg players view the 4 player game as a crapshoot.
 
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4. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:15]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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The second player in a 3 player game has a disadvantage.

Back when I was playing many PR games on BSW, I felt that there was some positional problems, so I started recording my games and how often each position won. I never recorded enough to be statistically relevant, but from what I played, there didn't seem to be any skewing in 4 or 5 players, but a big skew in the 3 player game. The second player wins about 20% of the time while the first and third player wins about 40% of the time. I feel that if the initial plantation draw did not include a corn, the second player is at a severe disadvantage.

My suggested fix for this problem is to have the second player start with a corn instead of an indigo. However, this is difficult to do on BSW.
 
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5. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:107]
Jeff W
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Parker
Colorado
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The person going first has an advantage.

The theory is that the flag can be auctioned for 6 or 7, so the first player starts the game with 13 or 14 versus the non-flag winners who start with 10. I agree with this analysis, but I don't know how big of an effect it has in a full game.
 
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6. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1073]
Jeff W
United States
Parker
Colorado
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Egypt has an advantage.

Or that's what one experienced player kept saying in my first game. I was Egypt, this one guy kept telling everyone to attack Egypt. I hated it. It came down to the point that if everyone followed his advice, I would be the kingmaker. Another beginner spared me this by attacking the experienced guy instead of me, thus making me the winner. I was thoroughly disgusted with this that it was my last time playing the game, even though the game had a lot of interesting aspects.
 
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7. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:116]
Dave Eisen
United States
Menlo Park
CA
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Second player in a five-player game gets the advantage of grabbing the last profession card. This is not a small advantage.
 
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8. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1076]
Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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This game often reaches a point where more than one person simultaneously gets the solution; when this happens whoever can get to the chapter house first will take the game.

I find the points gained on revelations do little to prevent this. One more point to note; I have only ever played this game with 5 or 6 players.

This is still a fun game to play by any standards.
 
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9. Board Game: Tic-Tac-Toe [Average Rating:2.61 Overall Rank:15327]
Ray
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
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Don't go second.
 
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10. Board Game: Coda [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2880]
Andrew Swan
Australia
Randwick
NSW
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If you're one of the last to go in this game, you can be almost "dead" by the time your turn comes around .... luckily the game is so short that this isn't a big deal.
 
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11. Board Game: Masquerade [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:5668]
Peter R.
Italy
Bozen
Italy
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This game has no extensive problem, BUT:
If you play this game with 5 people and you are the last player to decide in which order to play you CAN be limited with no choise as all others have taking turn order cards from 1 - 4. So it may happen that you are stick with same last order card. This may happen for a few turns in the game. It has NEVER occured to me for a whole game!
Still I think it qualifies!
 
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12. Board Game: Anno 1503 [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2527]
 
Eric Clark
United States
Holyoke
Massachusetts
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In a four-player game, only the first two players can get island tiles on their first turns. In theory: Well, that's okay, because the third and fourth players will probably each get an extra resource card to compensate. In practice: Big fat hairy deal. In the opening stages of the game, an island tile is way cooler than an extra card. The only way players 3 and 4 can match the advantage the other two have is through the extremely unlikely event of both of them building a shipyard on their first turns.
 
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