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Subject: Playing first in Battle Line rss

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Gary Bradley
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Scotland
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I am really enjoying playing this wonderful little game with my GF, but as we get "better" at it, it is starting to look like the player who goes first is at a serious disadvantage in many cases. All the opponent has to do is play to the same flag the first player did, but place a card of a HIGHER denomination. All things beinf considered, this would give the 2nd player a "general advantage" on that flag. Do this on every flag you can, and you build up a whole lot of little advantages just through playing second. Thoughts?
 
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BoB 3K
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I play this a bunch with my Dad and we noticed it too. But, I don't think it's a sure thing. First of all, it only happens if 1st player has lower cards than 2nd player. If you have lead card and you have a 10, play it. Also, we've noticed that as a general game strategy, you can't play as if you're going to win all 9 rows--you're not. You have to sacrafice some (timing when to do this is key). So, if you're 1st player, you can just throw out a 1 to start the game. You still haven't really given up on the row--even a 1-2-3 straight-flush beats 3 10s.
 
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Justin Borges
Canada
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Ontario
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That's interesting, I've never run into this problem. Mind you, I've only played a half-dozen times, but I haven't yet seen this happen. Perhaps more plays will bring it up, though.
 
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Tim K.
United States
Seattle
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I usually dump any low and mismatched cards to start a line in order to bait my opponent. Ditch the dogs and let your opponent take a line or two (you can still stall them), but start the real battle(s) some place else and try to go for the three lines in a row victory
 
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Chad Weiner
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BoB3K wrote:
If you have lead card and you have a 10, play it.


Honestly, I would rather open a flag with a 3-8, the higher the better. If you play a 10 first & your opponent has the 8 or 9, your opponent will know that the best you can do is three of a kind. With a lower card, it lessens the chances that your opponent has the cards you need to build a run and keeps him or her guessing as to what your intentions are.
 
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Hector Irizarry
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I assume you are playing the basic game and not the tactical one.
 
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Joe Stude
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Yeah, opening with 10's or 1's in particular can be risky as they're much easier to isolate than the other numbers. Playing for a series by leading with a 10 or 1 when you don't have either of the other two cards necessary is almost suicide.
 
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John North
United Kingdom
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Perhaps I can help with some science on this one.

In response to a query by a friend of mine about the possibility of an advantage accruing to the non-starting Schotten Totten player, the Administrator at yucata.de said:-

"..... I did a statistical analysis of all played games and found that there is no start player advantage. It is something like 49.88 to 50.12, so the game is really balanced".

There are the best part of 1,000 ST players currently listed at yucata and possibly more who have "been and gone", so the data base used is very large and I therefore find the evidence sufficiently persuasive to be convinced by it.
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