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Subject: starting player advantage? -> 74% wins rss

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Wim Leenaerts
Belgium
Beerse
Antwerp
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I've played this game 19 times now and the starting player has won in 74% of our games. Players were equally experienced and starting player has rotated of course.
Has anyone else noticed a starting player advantage?
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Toni Nummela
Finland
Turku
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I have 16 plays logged and the start player has won only 37% of them. Of course 16 plays is not enough to say anything definite but I haven't really noticed any significant advantage for either player.
 
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James C
United States
Great Falls
Virginia
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While I don't record such information, I certainly haven't felt this to be the case in my 50+ games. Of course, feelings aren't better than stats.
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Contig the fallen
United States
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This has a .032 chance of happening if the game is fair, but also realize that if 30 players played the same number of games, it's very likely one will get this result.

In groups where this is a problem, one player could simply start with more buttons (for example by bidding on who could bid on who goes first).
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Chris Funk
United States
Springfield
Ohio
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I think it more depends on the tiles available. Which, if you're crafty *ba-doom tish*, you can pass and change the course of the game quite a bit if there's patches you know the other player wants of patches you need that are just out of your three-patch range that turn. I hate passing, but you can use it really strategically some times. Makes that statistic change dramatically.
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James C
United States
Great Falls
Virginia
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Played twice tonight, my wife won both games, when she went first and when I went first. It could be that I suck though (also lost two games of San Juan.)
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Brandon H
United States
Orion Township
Michigan
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I've noticed a possible SECOND player advantage. A lot of very close games where the second player always wins. Probably anecdotal, but that's what I've seen.

My usual opponent suggests it might be because the second player sometimes can get two pieces on the first turn; the first player can never do that.
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J Ginsbu
United States
New York
New York
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CSerpent wrote:
I've noticed a possible SECOND player advantage. A lot of very close games where the second player always wins. Probably anecdotal, but that's what I've seen.

My usual opponent suggests it might be because the second player sometimes can get two pieces on the first turn; the first player can never do that.


Yes, I've noticed this too and had been wondering about how real it is. Even if not getting two pieces, sometimes the second player can get a cheap piece and then pass to pick up a few more buttons, setting up better for the subsequent turn.

Really, though, I think this just an example case of the general advantage gained by being able to take multiple turns in a row; while it is sometimes possible to play carefully so as to bring this about, other times it's just determined by the order of the pieces (and previous actions of the other player). I don't think this tends to be more advantageous early in the game than late, but it's certainly very obviously advantageous at the outset!
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Will Dearden
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There is a subtle second player advantage in some cases. Let's say the first three patches stink, the fourth one is really good, and then the next three after that stink. So the first player passes, then the second player passes, and this goes back and forth. So who wins this stalemate? The second player wins because the one square patches are placed on the time track such that the second player would get all of them and win by ten points. So, the second player always has advantage in a passing stalemate at the beginning, which is quite common.
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Tomek Giela
Poland
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I have played 4 times in a row recently (not much statistics - I know). However, in all cases starting player won. I began to wonder if there is something to it.
 
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Rebecca Carpenter
United States
Seattle
Washington
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I have about 400 games played on the app, with 70 losses in ranked matches. While I don't have data on how often I was first player, I highly doubt that it was enough to significantly impact my win/loss ratio.

When matched against equally skilled opponents, gameplay is so tight that I sometimes notice one player has an advantage no matter how much juking is done. That is just as often second player as first.

 
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