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Subject: Insufficient starting order compensation? rss

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LCG 74160
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The first player has two important advantages.

First, he is guaranteed to play at least the same number of turns as the other players. The last player will very likely (3 times out of 4) play one turn less than the first player.

Second, for his first turn, the first player has first choice on the markets. He could grab the only cow of a given color or the only worker of a given type.

The only compensation for this is a bit of money. The last player in a 4 players games will have 3 dollars more but also 3 players before him to grab the interesting opportunities.

Do you think that the money compensation is enough?

In addition, the initial objectives seem to be quite different in terms of difficulty. Having 2 buildings plus a hazard tile seems easy compared to 2 train stations plus a green teepee.

Maybe we should do like in Russian Railroads: the last player gets all 4 initial objectives cards, picks one and passes the 3 remaining to the 3rd player, etc. Up to the first player who will be left with the initial objective card that nobody else wanted.

Do you think this would help compensating the first player advantage?
 
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lcg74160 wrote:

Do you think this would help compensating the first player advantage?


I disagree with your premise that going earlier is advantageous; being able to see where your opponents start is a significant advantage to going later.

I think there's enough interaction and randomness in this game that I'd never bother to consider the balance of the starting positions, but if anything my inclination would be to see going later as an advantage.
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JonGetsGames
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Here's a data point, in last nights 3p game the 3rd player squeaked by with a 4 point victory even though I delivered two more times then they did. When you do so many trips around I think the advantage of one additional action gets lost in the noise, also $1,2, or 3 extra can be a big deal early in the game for getting things going.
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Nick Case
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Mindful that the starting hand of each player will most likely be different, this belief in the 1st player having an unfair advantage, appears to ignore the rule that players may start wherever they wish on the board. To be able to see where everyone else goes and to be able to start in a position to capitalise on this seems to negate any advantage listed. Not forgetting that with only one cowboy, they can't just grab any colour cow from the market and to pay $6 for one low value heffer seems a bit of a lame move.
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Nick Case
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chubber911 wrote:
Really? ..... That guy is gonna help with all future deliveries for the rest of the game.


Really? That guy will only be part of a delivery where it is in the four cards in hand when you deliver to Kansas. In a 4 player game it would be generally around for a third of all deliveries (actually less). If you get more valuable cattle, its probably going to be the least favourite card to have in hand.
 
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David Combs
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
chubber911 wrote:
Really? ..... That guy is gonna help with all future deliveries for the rest of the game.


Really? That guy will only be part of a delivery where it is in the four cards in hand when you deliver to Kansas. In a 4 player game it would be generally around for a third of all deliveries (actually less). If you get more valuable cattle, its probably going to be the least favourite card to have in hand.


Even if you never increase your hand size above 4 cards, the best hand you can have when arriving at KC will be a level 5 purple, a level 4 brown, and 2 different level 3 red/blue/yellow cows. So that first level 3 cow will still be important throughout the game.
If you increase your hand size to 5, then you'd need all 3 colors of level 3 cows for the best hand. And if you increase it to 6, you'd still need one of your starting level 2 cows.
 
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Nick Case
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IF its in your hand. My point being it won't be there for every delivery.
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Nick Case
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Trying your best and succeeding aren't the same. Unless of course you managed to reduce down to four cards.
 
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