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Subject: Reason for complicated God Setup rules rss

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Eric C
Canada
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I find the rules for playing with the God Cards surprisingly complicated. It basically boils down to giving one player choice of a god power, while the other player gets to choose who plays first. Why not just deal a God power to each player at random and randomly choose the first player?

I'm wondering if the rules have been designed to mitigate some sort of "first player advantage" by giving the other player the option to choose the best of the two god powers. What's the rationale for this setup? Am I losing something if I deal out the God cards at random?
 
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Francis Rivest
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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I think it's only to have a competitive setup. You can easily play your firsts games at random but you'll eventually find out that some matchups, even with the bans, are unbalanced.

If a player chooses, he has to choose 2 balanced gods since he won't be choosing which one he plays.

I find that a great in-between solution is to choose 4 at random, then the challenger chooses 2 from the 4, then the other player chooses which one he plays and which one the other player plays and so on.
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Niko
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I think Francis got it; The rules don't mitigate a first player advantage, but the advantage of the stronger god in any given matchup (whether that is a objective advantage or merely one that exists only with those two players)

For now I'm a fan of dealing out two random gods, after the game the loser gets to pick between keeping the same gods, switching who gets which god, or dealing new gods.
The game is quick enough that we very rarely only play one game anyways.
 
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Gavan Brown
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The current rules scale to a competitive environment. It also removes the possibility of banned matchups dealt out. For the sake of simplicity we will likely move to something like:

Deal two random god power cards, if either are banned against the other, the dealer redraws another until you have compatible gods.
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Chris C
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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From what I have read from reviews, other owners and through our own experience I think the rules for choosing the gods tend to be pretty loosely applied. We have played a variety of ways of selecting gods, from drafting from a small hand to simply choosing ones that look like fun. I haven't seen any 1st player advantages that were too obvious but we are enjoying it as a quick fun game and still making mistakes and figuring out the gods.
 
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Dapperghast Meowregard
United States
Eagan
Minnesota
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Honestly I think the game kinda naturally avoids first player advantage. Granted if both players play solitaire the first player will win, but the second player gets to place their workers based on the second player and has the ability to... react I guess. Like if the first player builds a block, the second player gets a chance to move onto it first or whatever.

https://youtu.be/lQdLum4b1EY

Personally I've just been using each player is dealt 2 and picks 1, redraw as needed if banned matchups happen.
 
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E Z
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Houston
Texas
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I really like this approach. Reminds me of a story told by my Professor at grad school, who had two sons who always fought over bigger cake slice. So he instituted a rule that the older one cuts the cake, while the younger had the first pick. Since then - after a couple of trial-and-errors - all cake pieces came out perfectly even.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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I designed this part of the rules. If you are the challenger, you can just draw random cards when you select powers. In general, I suggest that you draw a small number of powers and pick something fun from those.

These are the reasons for the setup rules:

* it handles banned match-ups
* you can avoid one-sided match-ups
* you can choose powers to handicap the game according to player skills (overall and the types of powers they are good at)
* should work great in tournament formats (probably with tournament and per-player bans)
* you can play heroes vs gods without putting cards in sleeves with opaque backs
* it works for games with more than two players (if you choose Persephone, Hades and X, have fun playing X...)
* last pick choosing start player fine-tunes the balance
* it supports expansions that give players multiple powers
* only one person needs to read from the rulebook (and probably only for two powers)

Recap of the setup rules, which aren't that complicated:

* I pick enough powers for the players
* Everyone else picks powers before me
* I pick who starts

This may be faster than figuring out which way cardboard goes on the island pedestal.

E Z: Yes, the pie rule was the inspiration for this method. Remember, you may be able to get more cake due to extra cherries on the smaller piece (or get more cherries, if that is your preference).
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Kim Williams
United Kingdom
St Just
Cornwall
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I don't want to spend ages dithering about which gods to use before we start playing - it's a quick game and I want to get right into the action part. I also fear that we'd end up sticking to just a few gods rather than exploring the whole pantheon.

So instead we choose two random Gods (checking the match up isn't banned), and allocate them randomly, but then always play at least two games with those gods, swapping over gods in between games. That way if one god is overpowered each person gets a chance to win with them, so nobody feels hard done by.
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Chris Laudermilk
United States
Orange County
California
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Daravon wrote:
Why not just deal a God power to each player at random and randomly choose the first player?

This is pretty much what I've gone so far. Check if it's a banned combination & re-draw if so; but we are mainly sticking to Simple & sometimes Advanced gods--Golden Fleece is not opened yet.
 
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