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Subject: How advantageous is going first? rss

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R Hart
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As I play more T&E online, I have really grown to love the game with one qualification. It does seem to favor whoever goes first given that in most cases they are likely to have an extra scoring opportunity. Since games often come down to a single point or who has the most black tiles, this tends to be a deciding factor.

Anyone else feel this way or is there another perspective?
 
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Edward
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I agree that the first player tends to have an advantage, both in terms of scoring opportunity and choice of initial location.

Someone here on BGG suggested a slight variant to help reduce the first-player advantage: Allow the first player only one action on his first turn. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like it might work at least somewhat.
 
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David desJardins
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I think the badness of going 4th is more than the goodness of going 1st.

I would be interested in giving the 1st and 2nd players only 1 action on their first turns.

This has been discussed on BGG before, probably more than once.
 
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Edward
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I would be interested in giving the 1st and 2nd players only 1 action on their first turns.

Hmm... interesting. Even in two-player games? Three-player?
 
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Chester
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I think there is a bigger disparity between the 4th player and the other 3, than the 1st. Mainly this is because often when the 4th player gets a first turn, they may have to take a suboptimal position (based on their current hand) because other spots are already taken.

If you can't support an early conflict, and you find it helpful to get your Trader and/or King on the board for their secondary benefits....you may find yourself forced to build in a more susceptible spot (like in between the other 3 players).

I agree that not getting as many actions over the course of the game is an issue, too. Someone conducted an online tourney and used statistics to weight the outcome from each starting position....but I don't remember exactly what the numbers were. It was an intuitive result, though.
 
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Jason -
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I haven't actually tried this, but I've thought on occasion about using the following:

-For a two player game, player one announces his starting spot but doesn't play any tiles/leaders; player two plays his two tiles/leaders as normal on another starting spot; player one on his second turn then gets to play tiles/leaders for the first time and must play them both connected to the declared starting spot; proceed normally thereafter

-For a Three player game, player one announces a starting spot but doesn't play tiles/leaders; player two plays one tile/leader on a dif starting spot; player three plays two tiles/leaders on a dif starting spot; player one on his second turn plays tiles/leader for the first time, which must be connected to the declared starting spot; proceed normally thereafter

I haven't worked out a four player system.
 
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David desJardins
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Spire wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
I would be interested in giving the 1st and 2nd players only 1 action on their first turns.

Hmm... interesting. Even in two-player games? Three-player?


No, only in 4-player games, of course.
 
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Chester
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LetsGoRed wrote:
I haven't actually tried this, but I've thought on occasion about using the following:

-For a two player game, player one announces his starting spot but doesn't play any tiles/leaders; player two plays his two tiles/leaders as normal on another starting spot; player one on his second turn then gets to play tiles/leaders for the first time and must play them both connected to the declared starting spot; proceed normally thereafter

-For a Three player game, player one announces a starting spot but doesn't play tiles/leaders; player two plays one tile/leader on a dif starting spot; player three plays two tiles/leaders on a dif starting spot; player one on his second turn plays tiles/leader for the first time, which must be connected to the declared starting spot; proceed normally thereafter

I haven't worked out a four player system.


Are players constrained to build both starting tiles in the same location?
 
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Fraser
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Yoo Hoo, queue Marshall, I know he has some stats on this for four player games (and yes his stats showed a slight advantage to the first player)
 
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Jason -
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cornjob wrote:

Are players constrained to build both starting tiles in the same location?


I think that it would work without that constraint, so long as the first player played at least one tile adjacent to the starting spot he declared (he can't bluff).

My suggestions are still completely untested.
 
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Jamie Pollock
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Perhaps there's an alternative way to balance the advantage of going first without actually changing the rules too much?

For example, after the order of play has been established, how about for the first turn only, the 4th player plays first, 3rd second, 2nd third and 1st last. Then, after this, the normal order of play resumes for the rest of the game. This would allow the player who's playing 4th to get the best shot at the starting places.
 
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Marshall P.
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Karlsen wrote:
Yoo Hoo, queue Marshall, I know he has some stats on this for four player games (and yes his stats showed a slight advantage to the first player)


Sheesh! Missed my queue by over a year. Better late than never I say.
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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I think that's not the right thread. There is another thread with a bunch of discussion about first player advantage and how to compensate for it.
 
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Matthew M
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That's not the right thread for showing Marshall's stats on W/L records in four player games?

-MMM
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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I think this is the thread I'm thinking of:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91971
 
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Tony Chen
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I think it is very advantageous. Not only do you potentially get an extra scoring opportunity at the endgame, early game you get first pick at leader locations. Also, when conflicts arise, you are better prepared because you may have drawn extra tiles. Or if you built a monument, you can hang on to it for one extra turn before other kingdoms approach you. Even if every player got the same number of turns (game ends on goat's turn), it would still be a significant advantage for the lion. Now if the game ends on the lion's turn, that's just...huge.

A variant could be that the game always end on the goat's turn, so that at least everybody gets the same number of turns.
 
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