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Subject: Sycthe 2player - is starting sometimes a DIS-advantage? rss

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Carsten Neumann
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I enjoyed a great game of 2p-Scythe yesterday night. My Russians lost 93-93 coins, 12-12 meeples, 12-16 power versus the damn Nordics - even though I love them if can play them on myn own. BUT:

I had player mat #1 (2-2-4) and he played mat #5 (2-4-7). That's a huge disadvantage!
I think everything is really well balanced for 4/5 players. 3 players are still okay as well.
But 2p can be really hard for the starting player. Especially the combinations mat 1-4, 1-5 or 2-5 or not balanced.
I know that only 24% of games have these 3 combinations - but they are too hard for the starting player.

What do you think. Do you have house rules?


PS: I'm not sure whether "rules" is the correct forum. So please shift the topic if you want/have to.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Let me get this straight. Your game came so close with a 1-5 mat combination that you had to go to the second tier tiebreaker to determine a winner? And that indicates a "huge disadvantage"?

I am not sure we are using these words in the same way

Seems to me like your game could not have been any closer. Isn't that a sign of a very well balanced game? How does that indicate a disadvantage of any kind, let alone a huge one?
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Simo Ahava
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Let me get this straight. Your game came so close with a 1-5 mat combination that you had to go to the second tier tiebreaker to determine a winner? And that indicates a "huge disadvantage"?

I am not sure we are using these words in the same way

Seems to me like your game could not have been any closer. Isn't that a sign of a very well balanced game? How does that indicate a disadvantage of any kind, let alone a huge one?

I had the exact same thought

I've never found starting resources to correlate with end game prowess. Yes, they might steer you towards certain combos in the beginning, but faction/player mat combination is much more impactful than starting resources (though still not impactful enough to put you on rails).
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Carsten Neumann
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You are ... not completely wrong. It was close, yes!

But it is quite annoying and tough to always have to follow that more popular guy. So the advantage is gone and turned into a disadvantage.

So just remove my score and just reply to the 2nd part of question, please
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
Let me get this straight. Your game came so close with a 1-5 mat combination that you had to go to the second tier tiebreaker to determine a winner? And that indicates a "huge disadvantage"?

I am not sure we are using these words in the same way

Seems to me like your game could not have been any closer. Isn't that a sign of a very well balanced game? How does that indicate a disadvantage of any kind, let alone a huge one?

Led me to this thought...


No house rules here. I haven't noticed any balance issues and your example just backs that up.
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Carsten Neumann
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ok, if people start using memes "against" me - my cause is lost cry
good night and thanks
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Chris Laudermilk
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Not intended in a mean way, but with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Really, having to go to the second tiebreaker kind of indicates how balanced that game was. Even if it felt harder, the end result was a very, very close game.

I've played many 2p sessions. Some were blowouts, some were close. In every case it really was due to how the player played the game, not to the play order or the nearly incidental differences in starting resources.
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Carsten Neumann
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"tongue planted in cheek" - that's new for me.

Hey, I can even improve my English here at BGG. Nice ;-)
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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horstderadler wrote:

So just remove my score and just reply to the 2nd part of question, please


First of all, after 25 plays of Scythe myself, with player counts from 1-5, I have found the game to be very balanced regardless of the distribution of mats (and your scores only add to the evidence of this). This has been discussed a lot on the boards. The designer has pointed out that the starting mats have very little influence on the final scores. They extensively playtested the game and the stats do not show an imbalance between the mats.

Secondly, the fact that you both scored so high (93 points), is a sign that you were both playing very inefficiently. Once you are good at the game it will end much sooner than that. Even playing with as few as two players if they are both good at the game, in my experience, has rarely led to scores above 70.
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Tommi Elonen
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I can see the point the original poster is making. Without the quite large resource difference between player mats #1 and #5 the player #1 would have clearly won.

In some post there was a suggestion that only select the starting board on random and then hand out the rest of the boards to other players in order. For example, if board #2 was randomly selected, then the 2:nd player would get board #3. For two players, the board #5 would not be available in the random selection, that way if board #4 is selected then the board #5 goes to player 2 and there won't come a situation where #5 is randomly selected and player 2 would get board #1.
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Simo Ahava
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Telmonen wrote:
I can see the point the original poster is making. Without the quite large resource difference between player mats #1 and #5 the player #1 would have clearly won.

How would the advantage of a couple coins and some popularity in the beginning of the game translate to "clearly winning" some 20 turns later? I don't see any suggestion of this in the OP. Just speculation whether or not there is a "huge disadvantage" between player mats. I also think that the consensus of the majority of responses in this thread, shared by players with dozens of plays under their belt, is that no such considerable, victory-defining imbalance exists.
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Carsten Neumann
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I think that the term "clearly winning" refers to the outcome of this specific game. Remove some coins from player 2 and it's not longer 93-93, but 93-90.

I would also remove the word "huge" from the OP now.

We did not see a score of 93-93 as a sign of ineffective playing. But I'll think about it. Maybe we enjoyed producing and moving too much ;-)

And - "Not intended in a mean way, but with tongue firmly planted in cheek." - one more comment: experience of n=5 players is clearly not a sufficient number for statistics ;-)

I will play more games - of course I will play more games of this great game! And then I'll see if up to 2 pop. + 3 coins is(n't) too much of an advantage for the 2nd player.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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horstderadler wrote:
Remove some coins from player 2 and it's not longer 93-93, but 93-90.


You cannot seriously assert that this kind of direct correlation is applicable? There are so many factors involved in reaching the end score that to suggest this is how it works is a bit disingenuous.
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Carsten Neumann
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
horstderadler wrote:
Remove some coins from player 2 and it's not longer 93-93, but 93-90.


You cannot seriously assert that this kind of direct correlation is applicable? There are so many factors involved in reaching the end score that to suggest this is how it works is a bit disingenuous.


Hey RUB. I supposed (!) that this is what Elmo meant by a "clear winning." You forgot to quote the first phrase ;-) Of course you can't deduct it that easily.

I'm offline now for the week-end and wish you all a great week-end - with or without a game (or more) of Scythe. Thanks for the discussion and see/read you soon for the next topic
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Eric Hogue
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horstderadler wrote:
I know that only 24% of games have these 3 combinations - but they are too hard for the starting player.


I think the reason mats 4 and 5 have more resources is, in part, because they are just a little harder to score effectively with, and not only because of player order.
 
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Colin Houghton
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Can anyone suggest a relatively balanced set of player mats and factions for my first two player game?

Thanks
 
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fortheloveofdice
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Chou4555 wrote:
Can anyone suggest a relatively balanced set of player mats and factions for my first two player game?

Thanks

If you read through a few of these threads you'll find a common thread - the players who have played a lot of games (myself included) seem to feel they are quite balanced. So just pick two randomly. Or I'd say pick one which appeals since it will be a learning game.

Different people will pick up on different strategies more quickly, but it isn't a balance issue - it just takes time to get better at the game and figure out how to play various combinations.

Go dive in, and I hope you both enjoy it!
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Colin Houghton
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Many thanks for that! Here we go- woo hoo!
 
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