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Subject: 5-Player Die Aufsteiger rss

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Joe Cappello
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We played a 5-player game of Die Aufsteiger. During the game, my buddy, Jeff, commented that he was at a disadvantage because he was playing purple. Purple is the color that is exactly opposite gray on the blocks. Gray is the neutral color that any other color piece may move up to and occupy. Jeff reasoned that on the tall blocks and the half-height blocks, every other player has more options for placing their color while purple has fewer.

Any math wizzes out there who can give me a constructive confirmation regarding this? There are sufficient images for the game to figure it out. Each block has a consistent color construction. The regular cube blocks are easy for me to understand. However, I am having trouble visualizing the exact reasons why he concludes that this game is better played with four players rather than five.

Thanks!

 
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Daniel Danzer
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As can be seen here, the 1/2 blocks are twelve, each four with light blue/dark blue, red/yellow and grey/purple on the "large sides.

The double-cube blocks are nine, each three with each pair of colours on the "small sides".

You can move ANY cube, that is fre. All colours have the same amount and sizes of spaces. Probably, purple will appear "bottomside" more often, because other players turn grey on top - but so what? Since the vertical sides are of no advantage - I think your friend is wrong ...
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Chakroun Karim
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he's right : when you're anything but purple you can choose between two different shapes and heights, because your color maybe on the long side of the rectangle, and grey on the small side. but when you're purple, your color is always on the same shape and at the same height as grey.
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Daniel Danzer
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carthaginian wrote:
he's right : when you're anything but purple you can choose between two different shapes and heights, because your color maybe on the long side of the rectangle, and grey on the small side. but when you're purple, your color is always on the same shape and at the same height as grey.


But there are rectangles which are grey/purple, too.
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Joe Cappello
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This is why I'm having trouble getting this issued wired in my head, Duchamp. I can see that there are fewer choices for purple but I'm having trouble articulating the reasons why. I'm guessing there's some sort of probability chart that proves this.

Certainly, at the start of the game this appears to be less of an issue. However, as the tower gets higher, there are fewer blocks available to move for placement - there are fewer permutations that the purple player has available with the irregular blocks.
 
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Chakroun Karim
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duchamp wrote:
carthaginian wrote:
he's right : when you're anything but purple you can choose between two different shapes and heights, because your color maybe on the long side of the rectangle, and grey on the small side. but when you're purple, your color is always on the same shape and at the same height as grey.


But there are rectangles which are grey/purple, too.


Look at the half-height cubes : if I'm yellow, each individual half-height cube allows for two heights : if yellow is on the large, low side, I still can use the smaller, higher grey side; if yellow is on the smaller, higher side, I still can use the large, low grey side. Look at purple now : purple opposite to grey, so individually, each half-height cube only gives me one possibility (regarding height). when the cubes are stacked, the half-height cubes are scarce, so automatically, I have less choice. We played 5p once, and we noticed that problem.

Now maybe the fact that grey is the color everyone likes helps the purple player, so maybe in the end it's compensated but there's a nagging feeling of unfairness when playing...

I love the game, though.
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Daniel Danzer
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GOT IT. - thumbsup

So, what to do?

Maybe, in the beginning, stacking up, all players have to turn either grey or purple on top?

Or something like that ...
 
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Joe Cappello
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carthaginian wrote:


I love the game, though.


Agreed. This is probably one of my favorites. Its appearance belies its play - akin to Bausack in that most folks unfamiliar with either game presume they are similar to Jenga. However, both games draw a crowd when I have them on the table and, invariably, everyone watching wants to try them.
 
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Joe Cappello
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duchamp wrote:
GOT IT. - thumbsup

So, what to do?

Maybe, in the beginning, stacking up, all players have to turn either grey or purple on top?

Or something like that ...


Easy enough to just play it as a four-player. Folks who want to be hot-shots can take purple as a handicap.
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Mark Salzwedel
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Disclaimers: I've never played the game, but I've studied the components and rules.

The other four players will often want the blocks grey side up, keeping purple side down a lot. But all players will want to change the color of grey blocks they're leaving afterward to keep others from catching up with them. And purple will probably have no worse trouble changing the color of a block they're about to move onto to purple. No player will do any better at setting up two moves ahead.
 
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Mark Salzwedel
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I've now played the game with 2, 4, and 5 players a few times.

It is true that the purple player has fewer options, as pointed out above. When choosing a non-cubical block, non-purple players have a 2:3 chance to use gray if their color isn't on the face they need; purple players are stuck with their color and gray on the same-shape face.

This is somewhat less important because of the number of the smallest blocks (12) and the tendency to start using cubes more often when you get higher up.

It is also partially offset earlier in the game because the purple player will often find the blocks he or she needs accessible, because other players use them for the gray side. Later in the game, this turns into a disadvantage, because players are more likely to occupy the gray blocks.

I feel like purple's disadvantage is small enough that it shouldn't keep them from winning. When I've played, we set up the blocks and then pass out the colors randomly. If someone gets purple in a 5-player game, we make sure they don't get it in the next game. In games of fewer than 5 players, we don't use purple.
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Mark Salzwedel
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I just played a 5-player game as the purple climber, and I could have won if I hadn't been generous. You can also help offset things by letting the purple player go first.
 
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