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Subject: First player wins every time? rss

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Sharon Laubach
United States
Altadena
California
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“A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being?” -Carl Sagan
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We've played 4 times now. On the 3rd game, we noticed a pattern that the one who went first seemed to win, so on the 4th game the one who lost the 3rd game went first...and won.

The game-ending condition has varied (sometimes running out of goals, sometimes building 7 buildings). One of us tends to move every worker they have access to; the other strategizes which workers not to move. We have built a different combination & order of buildings each time.

Has anyone else noticed this pattern? Could you suggest strategies for how to break past the first-player advantage?
 
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Nick Shaw
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Plymouth
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I guess just tweaking the starting coins the 1st player has could break past any possible 1st player advantage. Reduce it to 1 coin instead of 2, perhaps, leaving player 2 to start with 3. Or have player 1 start with no coins, but player 2 start with 1 or 2...

I've certainly not noticed that the start player wins all the time (but I've not played it a whole load either, so that's hardly conclusive either). But I think 4 plays isn't enough to extrapolate that the game win is first-player advantaged.

So I'd just suggest to play it some more. If after a number more plays (say at least 16, meaning you've had 20 games, though the more the better, statistically) the start player has won way more than 50% of the games [and you are randomly assigning start player each game to keep any win/lose bias out of it], then I'd say there's something wrong in the balance.
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Sharon Laubach
United States
Altadena
California
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“A blade of grass is a commonplace on Earth; it would be a miracle on Mars. Our descendants on Mars will know the value of a patch of green. And if a blade of grass is priceless, what is the value of a human being?” -Carl Sagan
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Fair enough--we'll give it a go 16 more times (with the game rules as written) and I'll report back with our results.
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Andrew Shafer
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Played once last night and got crushed by the 2nd player, hoping to get a few plays in tonight with my fiancé. But I don't think the first player has much advantage, if any at all.
 
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Alyn Roddis
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Played once, and the second player won.
 
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Garen Evans
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Played a few rounds solitaire, and the second "player" won each time.
 
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Laboratory
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Seattle
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Because of Province's size, we were able to playtest it abnormal amount of times, and we've found that the chances of the first or second player winning are pretty much 50/50. If the first player gets the Mill, if the second player plays well, it's more than possible for them to get the Lender and Camp by the end of turn 2 or 3. The extra coin they start with is really empowering!

-Sam @ Laboratory
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Alex Johns
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laboratory wrote:
Because of Province's size, we were able to playtest it abnormal amount of times, and we've found that the chances of the first or second player winning are pretty much 50/50. If the first player gets the Mill, if the second player plays well, it's more than possible for them to get the Lender and Camp by the end of turn 2 or 3. The extra coin they start with is really empowering!

-Sam @ Laboratory


Agreed with above. I've played 4 times with my wife since receiving it, and and she won three times from both the first and second player perspective. I think it's all about what buildings you buy and what you leave your opponent (or DON'T leave them) with on the resource track.
 
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Carl Kleihege
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I think it is easier for the first player to win until you get the experience to start realizing the strategies present in the game. If you follow the lead of the first player, you tend to not get as many VPs from buildings. You need to grab the initiative in the buildings and be the first to build rather than a Johnny come lately builder who gets no VPs. The other thing is to manage the Meeples better. Don't move a meeple just to move a meeple. If you don't need the extra labor, don't move a meeple that your opponent can also move. This makes it much better for the second player and things will even out as you get more experience in the game.
 
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