All of the rules translations I've read seem to leave out a piece of crucial information. How does the first turn happen, when no one, yet, has been sent out to look for a job?
They state that there are three main steps in each player's turn: (1) collect income, (2) assign jobs, and (3) send relatives to look for jobs.
So how do you start your first turn? (1) You can't collect income, as your relatives haven't been sent out yet. (2) You can't assign jobs, as no one else has had an opportunity to send out their relatives, yet.
The only thing that I suppose the player could do would be to (3) send out relatives to find work.
So does each player basically play the steps he is able, until everyone has had a turn and sent relatives out to look for a job?
Technically you do step 1 and 2...even though nothing can happen, but the first thing you do at the beginning of the game is jump to step 3 of your description. The last thing you do that the end of the game is step one.
You're right, you have to send people out so they can get jobs; thus it kicks the game off.
Actually, it breaks down like this....
1. Randomly determine who goes first.
2. First turn all players skip phase #1 (collect ducats).
3. First player skips phase #2 (no one has had a chance to apply).
4. First player sends out applicants (as normal).
5. Play continues to the left with each player completing phase #2
if they have any appliants.
6. Once it gets back to the starting player you play as normal... ie
a. collect ducats.
b. resolve applications.
c. send out applicants.
Additionally, in the final round only ducats are collected.
Hope this helps....