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Scythe» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Balancing player mats rss

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Kkouet Kkouet
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Hi,

i just need some clarify about the player mat.
It's can be a post in rules section but i think we can have a strategic issue with this post.

The rules for player Mats:
It's random and the rules said :

The player with the lowest number in the label on their Player Mat will go first. Play proceeds clockwise from there.

Please note :
DESIGNER’S NOTE: The higher-numbered Player Mats offer
slightly more lucrative starting track positions than the others, as those players are more likely to have 1 fewer turn by the end of the game than the player who goes first.


The note is pretty true at a 2 - 3 players.
But with 4-5 players, the mat (number 2) and (number 3) is pretty behind because at 5 players the mat (number 1) has 80% to be in game. So when you got the number 2, you can be the last player, so you will probably play 1 fewer turn without compensation.

And if you are in this case, someone will probably have the mat (number 4 or 5) and will play second, so this player will have a pretty big edge over you.

The consequence :
You are 2 or 3 coin behind, 1 popularity and you probably will play 1 fewer turn. I want to say that you are 2 actions behind before beginning the game. I will try the make some stats to evaluate how many points is 1 action.

Am i right ? or i miss understanding some rules ?

Maybe should i play with a variant, that the second player got the resources from the mat number 2, the third with the 3, ...
Thx.

 
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Jason Brown
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There are variants to deal with the perceived imbalance, but hundreds of playtests showed the advantage was statistically insignificant.

FWIW, I've won and lost with every player board and have not noticed a significant difference between them.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Here's how I explain it on the FAQ:

"The starting resources on the player mats are staggered based on two factors (both of which have a very minor impact on the game): One, player order. Two, the playtest data for each individual mat (which shifted around in terms of numerical order during playtesting). So even if the #5 mat is in the second position in clockwise order, part of the balance of that mat’s starting resources is that the #5 player mat appeared to be ever so slightly weaker than the others during the blind playtest process.

Overall, though, the impact on the game is very, very small. If you find it’s more fun for you to deal out the mats clockwise by number, it will not break the game."

http://stonemaiergames.com/games/scythe/faq-scythe/
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Brandon Zappala
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jameystegmaier wrote:
Here's how I explain it on the FAQ:

"The starting resources on the player mats are staggered based on two factors (both of which have a very minor impact on the game): One, player order. Two, the playtest data for each individual mat (which shifted around in terms of numerical order during playtesting). So even if the #5 mat is in the second position in clockwise order, part of the balance of that mat’s starting resources is that the #5 player mat appeared to be ever so slightly weaker than the others during the blind playtest process.

Overall, though, the impact on the game is very, very small. If you find it’s more fun for you to deal out the mats clockwise by number, it will not break the game."

http://stonemaiergames.com/games/scythe/faq-scythe/


That is one of the great things about this game. You can either "play by the book" or choose/draft/assign player boards and factions if all players agree to it.

I understand the spirit/intention of the way it is written in the rule book: It is the most "simple" way to play the game. The game has a lot of rules (which is a good thing in my opinion), so doing a random start is one less thing to deal with when starting your first games. If you decide to do something different after your play group has gotten a bunch of plays under its belt, then mix it up and see how it pans out!

I also like another poster's suggestion of letting new players play red or white. Red lifts some of the restrictions on actions (though hopefully they don't get TOO used to it ), and white has a very simple "feels good" special ability, you just have to stress to that player the importance of white escaping their home peninsula.
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Scott Riley
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Pinckney
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After about 30 plays, my group has a 'king of the hill' variant for choosing/assigning player boards:

whoever was the winner from last game has their faction and player board chosen for them by the rest of the players. The idea is to give them a challenging combination i.e. whatever everyone thinks is the hardest combination to play. (Usually DOES NOT include Red, Yellow, or Patriotic...) Then the other players choose their boards randomly, though we allow mulligans for cases where some players really really do not like certain factions since everyone has pretty much played all the boards and combos.

the 'king of the hill' gets what is supposed to be a very challenging combination of faction and player mat, but it has led to some surprising games where despite the 'challenging' combination given to the reigning champion, the king of the hill has sometimes remained on top of the hill! Victory is always good but it is even more delicious when it comes from a situation where everyone thought you were surely going to lose anyway. Plus this is fun for experienced players because it makes for a more challenging game for the current champion, kind of like a handicap

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Brandon Zappala
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Florida
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Skiz wrote:
After about 30 plays, my group has a 'king of the hill' variant for choosing/assigning player boards:

whoever was the winner from last game has their faction and player board chosen for them by the rest of the players. The idea is to give them a challenging combination i.e. whatever everyone thinks is the hardest combination to play. (Usually DOES NOT include Red, Yellow, or Patriotic...)


That seems weird, in a king of the hill situation I would just straight throw the leader black + patriotic or mechanical.
The worst combinations.
Black is around one million turns from Produce-Enlisting into a star.
 
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