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Viktory II» Forums » Variants

Subject: Player starting order advantage rss

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Mike Betzel
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Madison
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I've played a few games of Viktory II now and I've noticed a small problem with player/turn order. It seems like if turn order goes either clockwise or counterclockwise around the board you tend to get a "pinwheel" effect where you tend to attack the person who follows you in turn order. It's easy for the whole board to basically keep shifting around in one direction and the player before you has the advantage of most likely attacking first and always putting the player after them on the defensive.

My solution is this: stagger player order and give later-turn players a starting advantage.

First use your favorite method to determine turn order. Player one picks whatever corner they want and start with a town as usual. Next player must pick an alternating starting location (per the rules for your number of players... see example below) that is non-adjacent to the previous player if possible. Keep doing this so long as there are non-adjacent starting positions; these players always start with a town.

When a player is forced to start in a position that is adjacent to another starting position they get to start with a city and the extra unit you'd typically gain from it based on terrain. This starting city only has the same line-of-sight as a town though, meaning later players will not get to reveal any more tiles than the earlier players, they just get the extra unit.

Take a six player game for example and imagine the corners of a hex numbered 1 through 6 clockwise. Player One picks corner 1 and puts up his/her town. Player Two can pick either corner 3 or 5, so they pick 5 and start with a town. Player Three is left with corner 3 and starts with a town. Player Four can pick from corners 2, 4 and 6; they pick corner 4 and start with a city. Player Five can pick corner 2 or 6 and starts with a city and Player Six gets whatever corner Player Five left and starts with a city.

I've done a little bit of playtesting with this method and it seems to work well. Later players tend to end up on the defensive so this allows these players to better defend early on and be on equal footing with their opponents at the start of their turn. Staggering the player starting positions also means that you won't be attacking the person immediately following you in turn order.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or have had a chance to try it out! My only note is that I've only tried this with even number of players; I'm not entirely sure how well this works with an odd number of players. I think it'll still work okay but I'll need to do some testing.
 
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David Bohnenberger
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Deliverator wrote:
Player Two can pick either corner 3 or 5, so they pick 5 and start with a town.


I'm not sure I understand. Why couldn't Player Two pick "corner 4"?
 
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Kurt La Botz
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I don't understand Pinwheel effect yes sometimes it works that way but I just think youv'e gotten yourself into that type of strategy. The advantage the first player has is the first play of every round he can see what everybody else has done and should adjust his play to combat the player who is the biggest threat and not just go right or left or for that matter straight ahead. I have found that you can alter the starting player for each round by rolling dice and yes player six has had back to back moves.
 
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Raindog
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Our house rule is that all players roll a die to choose which player goes first every turn. It is a little bit time consuming, but it is more fair. That way any player could go first, second, third etc., and it will vary every turn. Then it doesn`t matter who you sit next to.
 
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Mike Betzel
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Dweeb wrote:
Deliverator wrote:
Player Two can pick either corner 3 or 5, so they pick 5 and start with a town.


I'm not sure I understand. Why couldn't Player Two pick "corner 4"?


The idea is to evenly space the players out. If Player Two picked corner 4 then the remaining players start adjacent to other players. I wanted to have an even number of town/city players to keep things relatively balanced; which is why I'm not entirely sure if it'll work with an odd number of players. Looking back I guess I didn't quite explain that correctly but my example gets across the effect I'm going for.

Rolling initiative every round is always an option. Sometimes that can be tough to track (especially with six people) although it certainly fixes the turn order issue. Also, adding even more randomness to the game isn't something all players will enjoy, so this might be an alternative for people that don't want to add even more luck into the game. Initiative certainly works though.

I was trying to come up with a relatively simple solution that only needs to be dealt with once at the start of the game. Similar to how other games give players later in the turn order a starting advantage (later players start with more gold, more resources, etc.). Once the game gets rolling you tend to forget about who was "first" because momentum shifts and the "first" player is whoever is on the offensive. The idea was to try and prevent later players from being almost guaranteed to be on the defensive.
 
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