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Subject: Variant to reduce second player advantage rss

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Jerry Chiang
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I've played Battle Line for years, and when I started, I noticed there is a slight first player disadvantage: namely, the first player provides more information to their opponent and reduces their available options by playing card first. I've had games where I found it very annoying that my opponent would simply mirror the location I played, often with a higher card.

Hence, to reduce the first player disadvantage / second player advantage, we play with the following minor variation:

1) First player takes one turn (plays a card, draws a card).
2) Each subsequent player takes two turns in a row (plays a card, draws a card, plays a card, draws a card).

As a result, the battle field tends to be more even, and players take turns "taking the lead" in terms of number of cards played on the field.

If playing with the advanced rule variant (i.e., claiming flags at the start of the turn), we mandate flag claiming has to happen at the start of the first of your two turns (i.e., you cannot play a card, draw a card, then claim a flag, and then play another turn).

I find that this variant has even more balance and is now our go-to format for playing Battle Line.
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Shane Larsen
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I know what you’re talking about with the first-player advantage, but (1) because of the nature of the luck of the draw, it is mitigated over the course of the game, and (2) there are things the first player can to reverse the advantage. Try this:

Play two cards on the same flag early (even if it means sacrificing the flag), and you’ll now be in the position of power.

My wife and I have been playing BL for years also. We’ve never noticed a pattern in winner vs player order.
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Joke Meister
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thedacker wrote:
I know what you’re talking about with the first-player advantage, but (1) because of the nature of the luck of the draw, it is mitigated over the course of the game, and (2) there are things the first player can to reverse the advantage. Try this:

Play two cards on the same flag early (even if it means sacrificing the flag), and you’ll now be in the position of power.

My wife and I have been playing BL for years also. We’ve never noticed a pattern in winner vs player order.


That seems like a bad idea. All player 2 needs to do is match your second card in order to maintain their position of power.
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