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Subject: Start player rss

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Kerrin Addis
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Does start player ever change?
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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I don't think so. There is compensation for later players at the start of the game.
 
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Thomas Leitner
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kerrinaddis wrote:
Does start player ever change?


Nope. It doesn't seem to matter at all. Having the last turn in the game has its own advantages.
 
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Kerrin Addis
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JonBen wrote:
There is compensation for later players at the start of the game.


I think I missed this, can you please elaborate?
 
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Jon Ben
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kerrinaddis wrote:
JonBen wrote:
There is compensation for later players at the start of the game.


I think I missed this, can you please elaborate?


Sorry, I'm wrong about that. I thought I remembered one but there isn't anything in the rules about that. Too many game rules bouncing around in the noggin post-Essen
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Kerrin Addis
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JonBen wrote:
kerrinaddis wrote:
JonBen wrote:
There is compensation for later players at the start of the game.


I think I missed this, can you please elaborate?


Sorry, I'm wrong about that. I thought I remembered one but there isn't anything in the rules about that. Too many game rules bouncing around in the noggin post-Essen


Ha ha ha, happens to me all the time :-)
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Tobias
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Played it yesterday (4p) and was in the fourth seat. It didn't felt good, honestly. I was always last and sometimes it felt like I couldn't catch up or the best action tokens were already taken etc. Dunno, but I would like it more with a changing start player each round.
 
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Dave Richards
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It does seem strange that the start player never changes. There could be (especially at higher player counts) some competition to place seals in certain city quarters. I would have thought perhaps having second, third, fourth players sequentially one higher on the scoring track at the start of the game might have made sense.
I'm also wondering why players start at 5 points. Is there any way to lose points in this game? And if not, why start at 5 points?
 
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Dan Blum
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Because occupied Danube spaces are skipped, the later players will in general be able to move further on the river early in the game, so they will have first shot at placing in certain districts if they want it.
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Dave Richards
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tool wrote:
Because occupied Danube spaces are skipped, the later players will in general be able to move further on the river early in the game, so they will have first shot at placing in certain districts if they want it.

That makes sense, thanks.
 
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Marc Gilutin
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storkace wrote:

I'm also wondering why players start at 5 points. Is there any way to lose points in this game? And if not, why start at 5 points?

A couple of the Tower Tiles cause a player that round to lose 5 points if they don't do a specific thing.
 
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Harvey Cohen
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LookAtTheBacon wrote:
Played it yesterday (4p) and was in the fourth seat. It didn't felt good, honestly. I was always last and sometimes it felt like I couldn't catch up or the best action tokens were already taken etc. Dunno, but I would like it more with a changing start player each round.


I would love hear suggestions on compensation for later players if player order does not change. Possible leapfrogging of barges does not seem adequate compensation for always getting last picks of tiles and actions. I'd like to see something but don't want to give too much.
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Marc Gilutin
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We've only played it a half dozen times so far but I've yet to see the first player winning more than usual.
 
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Thomas Leitner
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I'm afraid I don't understand what people think is the first player advantage.

Every player has the same number of turns, and every player has the same number of actions available to them every round.

Perhaps I'm missing something?
 
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Jon Ben
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MDJD wrote:
I'm afraid I don't understand what people think is the first player advantage.

Every player has the same number of turns, and every player has the same number of actions available to them every round.

Perhaps I'm missing something?


I only played once months ago so forgive me if this makes no sense.

The first player has more options for actions. This is obviously true for the first few rounds before anyone has done a clearing action. After that it's probably not an issue anymore, but perhaps there is a bias for the later players to clear first. So the first player might retain some advantage here.

The first player always has more options for districts. Since they play first each round they always see the most empty spaces in the districts. This isn't always a huge advantage b/c location on the river matters here as well, but this is an advantage.

I don't know if these effects warrant compensation. As Dan pointed out the river movement advantages the later players so maybe everything works out.
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Tobias
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^This.
Also, if you play with the event tiles, the first player can always react first, so he knows what action tile to grab best. And he is always first, so the game is clearly in favor of the first player.
One of the most known German reviewers and likewise "Spiel des Jahres"-judge Martin Klein noticed this and addressed it in his video review, which unfortunately had no reaction from the designer or publisher whatsoever (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g_YfV8fuiQ). The game feels rushed and unfinished on all ends. Also the two rulebooks are a chore and very unelegant.
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Shadow Rogue
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Has anyone tried a house rule about changing the start player? If so, how does it affect gameplay? Do any balance issues arise?

I'm curious about this, because I have to teach Ulm in a couple of different venues (conventions, game groups, etc.) in the coming weeks, and it's likely we'll be playing with four players for the most part. Since I've only played at two, I'd like to know whether it's worthwhile to simply teach the game with a house rule about changing the start player each round at higher player counts.

Thanks in advance!
 
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