I was looking at the Binary HW PDF at the Looney Labs website and just wanted to make sure I have the first turns right. I'm playing that we decide who's first (coin toss), the winner builds HW first, and also takes the first move. This is the way SuperDuperGames does it. Is this correct? No more "player who chooses the homeworld first moves second"?
Correct. That's because if you let the second player build his homeworld and then immediately
take a turn, he can often win by a "fool's mate" unless the first player chooses her homeworld colors to include red.
Alice chooses a homeworld: b3y1 g3
Bob chooses a homeworld: y2g2 r3 (deliberately adjacent to Alice)
Bob moves: build r1
Alice moves: build g1
Bob moves: move r3 to Alice (oh crap! thinks Alice)
Alice moves: build g1 (since moving away would instantly lose, and changing color doesn't do much)
Bob moves: capture g3 (leaving Alice with g1g1 at home, and Bob with r3g3)
Bob's "fool's mate" doesn't work if Alice happens to choose red as one of her starting colors; but that still cuts out a large swath of the possible starting positions, which is pretty sucky. It's simpler to just mandate that the first player to set up also moves first; then Bob has no incentive to set up deliberately adjacent to Alice, so we get a more satisfyingly large space of possible setups.