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Subject: Do you pay any attention to the "starting player" rules in rulebooks? rss

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Sam Lam I Am
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Many games have these pronouncements in the rulebooks like "Starting player is the player who most recently ate a chocolate truffle" or some such nonsense.

I have always taken these rules to be nothing more than an ongoing inside joke by game companies - they have fun coming up with some whimsical and clever rule that they don't expect anyone to take seriously. I have never paid them any attention and always randomly choose first player using Go First Dice or some other random mechanism.

But then I find myself in tournaments sometimes and we'll sit down around the table and someone will say, "Okay, who most recently visited an island?" I say "ha ha" and ask who has the start player app, and then they start grabbing for the rulebook to show that it is an "official" rule. At that point I usually tug the sleeve of tournament organizer who confirms that start player is randomly chosen.

So anyway - I thought this was an interesting topic. What do you think about starting rules? Are they just an inside joke or should they be taken seriously?

Poll
1. Do you ever use the "Starting Player" rule in rulebooks?
Always
Usually
Sometimes
Never
Bacon
2. Do you prefer to use the "Starting Player" rule in rulebooks?
Always
Usually
Sometimes
Never
Bacon
      560 answers
Poll created by samlamiam
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Giller
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Grand Rapids
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We will usually use the rule 1 or 2 times especially to harass the oldest player, if that is the rule, but the usually we use the start player app.
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Bryan
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Hellertown
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I play solo most of the time, so the most handsome player goes first. When I'm playing with my daughter I just let her have first play every time.
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Gunther Schmidl
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Linz
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If I, or multiple people, know a game and some don't, I try to arrange it such that the new players get to watch a turn or two.
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Jeff K
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Garner
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I predict that the true answer, as always, is :

bacon
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Xookliba wrote:
I predict that the true answer, as always, is :

bacon


Not just two pieces. 42 pieces.
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Tony C
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Good point on new players.
Sometimes new players will say, "You go first, so we can see a turn or two". I'm fine with that.
But apart from that, I like to use the rules' start player rule. I like the little inside joke or game-relevance - pointiest ears, traveled the farthest, last inside a cathedral. Even youngest/oldest player I'm fine with, but if someone doesn't want to tell their age, that's fine.
Only ones I don't like are the ones that are entirely a joke and can't be realistically fulfilled at all.
Sometimes someone will whip out their app, so I'm not going to fight it.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Generally I will,use it the first time, just so it is "fair" who goes first in our first game.

After that usually no.
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maf man
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well in a game where it doesn't matter who goes first those rules are actually faster than whipping out a phone and leading up an app. In one group of friends we always use that rule, it seems to work out well.
My family is fond of rolling dice so we tend to use the highest roller goes first rule
In my for frequent groups it tends to be loser chooses who goes first.
all of those are usually trumped by experienced players go first as gunther mentioned.
 
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Saint Gryphon
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I did sometimes to both.

Usually the first game of the night we will use the rule (if it isn't something really silly). For each other game the winner of the last gets to go first.
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Sam Lam I Am
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gschmidl wrote:
If I, or multiple people, know a game and some don't, I try to arrange it such that the new players get to watch a turn or two.


Yeah, with new players and children I tend to just do whatever I think benefits them the most, but then I'm not following the rulebook, I'm just teaching.
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Larry L
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For games played with children, 'youngest' or 'oldest' is often intended to balance age advantage, so I will take that into account.

Most of the time my group just randomly chooses. Occasionally we follow the odd rule for fun.
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Cris Whetstone
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Most of the time, no. But if I sit down to a table to play someone else's game and they want to use the 'youngest player' rule or whatever, I'm cool with it. It's not worth worrying over either way unless it's some ultra turn order dependent game I'd rather not play anyway.
 
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April W
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I actually use the start player rule most of the time and I get irritated when rule books don't specify who goes first. It's not that hard to roll a die, but it just bugs me.
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Yep, same. I use the rulebook's Go First rule most of the time.
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Mark McGee
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gschmidl wrote:
If I, or multiple people, know a game and some don't, I try to arrange it such that the new players get to watch a turn or two.


This is the same thing I do. The new player goes last, to see a few turns play out before they go.

If no one is new, then i usually follow the silly rule in the rulebook or roll dice to determine first player.
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Corey Hopkins
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Agree with others on "show the newbies a couple of turns".

Otherwise grab a meeple or whatever from everybody, shake 'em up, and drop one. No phone required!

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Daniel B
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first play, then random

(unless it's campaign with rules who start the next chapter)
 
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Cannon Wolf
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For a lot of games I now use the free Chwazi app
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Srdj
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Usually will use it when playing a new game and/or when someone hasn't played a particular game yet. Otherwise we just roll the dice or randomly pick a starting player. Most often nobody really cares who goes first.
 
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Matt Wilkens
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We use the "Roll a d20" method to see who goes first, except in games where there is a built-in way to randomly determine who goes first (ie Kemet, Food Chain Magnate).
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I normally grab a token that denotes a player's color (if possible). I shake them up in my closed hands, separate my hands and tell someone "Pick one to lose". I open the hand they picked, dropping the pieces on the table.

I shake up the remaining pieces as before, separate my hands, each with at least one piece and tell someone "Pick one to win". I open the hand they pick and THAT is start player (unless there are more than one piece in that hand, then I repeat). If very picky players are at the table, I have a person that has already lost make the second pick.

 
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Klaus Brune
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gschmidl wrote:
If I, or multiple people, know a game and some don't, I try to arrange it such that the new players get to watch a turn or two.


Hmmm. Has anyone seen this in a game?

"Whoever has played this game the most times goes first."

Or last. Depending on whether it's an advantage or not.
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Shaun Morris
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Depends.

If it's a game that we're playing for the first time, we usually have the teacher go first.

If it's something we all know we'll generally use the rule unless it's something like "oldest/youngest player goes first". If it's something of that nature, I break out Chwazi.
 
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J C Lawrence
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I use the remainder game described in my profile.
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