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My Little Pony: Collectible Card Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Play vs Draw - Always play first rss

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Viking Erik

New Jersey
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This seems to be a surprising oversight in the game rules. Playing first is strictly better than playing second. Even if you want the seventh card, you're always better off going first, paying one of your actions to draw, and you're still one action ahead of if you had chosen to play second.

Feels like they took the play-or-draw rule verbatim from Magic without really thinking it through. I've seen some suggestions for a house rule to balance that out, either the first player gets only one AT on the first turn or the second player gets 3 on his first turn. Anyone have thoughts in this area?
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Viktor H
Sweden
Stockholm
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I think you are on to something. Not sure wich way I would want it though, I think the only one AT for the first player is the easiest.
 
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Jeremiah Wood
United States
Georgia
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You are correct at the onset of the game.
It doesn't balance out until the 3rd turn.
The first player to go usually Scores First, netting 2 Score Points: one for the Problem and 1 for the Bonus.
This makes the chart jump to 3 Action Points a Turn, which will first be gained (normally) by the Drawing Player.

Another point to consider is that Decks can be configured for playing on the Draw. White and Pink can use Rising Star and Lucky Streak to play a Troublemaker and Immediately reveal it, negating the Player 1's typical First Score.

While there are M:tG Decks that play very comfortably on the Draw, many players prefer to always play first in that game as well.
 
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Viking Erik

New Jersey
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Toleezu wrote:
Another point to consider is that Decks can be configured for playing on the Draw. White and Pink can use Rising Star and Lucky Streak to play a Troublemaker and Immediately reveal it, negating the Player 1's typical First Score.


No, choosing to be on the draw is still wrong here. The premise is that you want to play and flip a TM before your opponent's second turn, with 7 cards in hand to maximize your chance of having the relevant cards.

You still want to go first! You can just pass that turn entirely, and you will have 4 action tokens (AT) and 7 cards in hand before your opponent's turn 2. Or you can spend one AT for one card, and you have 3 AT and 8 cards before your opponent's turn 2. Either is strictly superior to the 2 AT and 7 cards in hand you would have by going second.

There is no constructable scenario where going second is better, because the pay-to-draw rule can always convert an action from going first into the extra card. Even if you want the opponent to make the first move (which some decks do), go first and think of it as an extra free turn 0 and bank the actions or cards for later.
 
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Jeremiah Wood
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Oh, now that's not fair, Erik.

All I did was provide a Strategy to help Decks on the Draw stop the initial push by the First Player to Score.
Don't go construing it as a clear example of how being on the Draw is superior.

Remember, you asked if and how it balances out, not whether or not there is an advantage to going First.
Going First give you the initiative to meet Play Requirements and Score Points!
Going Second gives you an additional Card for no Cost, which can help assemble 2 Card synergies while Action Points are still at a lower limit.

I plainly said it doesn't even out until turn 3, which should be right after the first Scoring of the game.
 
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Viking Erik

New Jersey
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Ok, yeah, sorry about that. I ran off arguing against something you weren't saying.

Whether it evens out on turn 3 is an interesting question. Yes, the first player will usually score on his turn two - but is it even correct to do so? Remember he can always bank his actions for later - should he wait until he won't be giving the opponent an extra action by scoring? I suspect the right answer is "sometimes", depending on the possibilities of the mane characters flipping and the status of troublemakers. (Like, don't score if the extra action will let the opponent reply and win a faceoff with his Twilight.)
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Jeremiah Wood
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It's definitely a tactical Choice, but it's really an interesting one.

Do I bank points and try to buck the curve by letting my opponent score first, but does this negate the advantage of going first?

It probably changes based on if Player 1 has Troublemakers, and if flipping the Mane Personality is possible.
Player 1 Yellow Parasprite hands are rough.

I've found that the game actually does a good job of balancing out, even if not quickly.

Last night I was losing 11 to 2, but was able to rally 15 to 14.
Sure I had to burn 5 AP drawing cards, but Ahuitzotl + Rising Star gets there when my opponent was banking on a single Problem! Bwahahahahahahaha.
 
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