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Tikal» Forums » Variants

Subject: Even number of turns rss

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Dan Allbaugh
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Urbandale
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I recently played my third game of Tikal but this was the first time I had played with four players. My previous games involved three and two players. After the third volcano tile was revealed I thought I was in a good position to win the game given my worker placement and limited remaining turns so I was surprised to see that my victory slip away by three points after final scoring. Upon reflection, I believe this had to do with my position at the table more than a miscalculation in my strategy. Let me explain further...

The rules state that the oldest player should go first (which I’ve always found to be dumb, but I digress). I was seated such that I was the third player to take my turn. Having played before, I didn’t believe turn order mattered since the actions of players before or after you cannot significantly impact strategy in such a way that they can in Puerto Rico, for example. I was, as I found out, wrong.

There are 34 tiles in the game which means that in a four player game the first two players get 9 turns and the last two players get 8 turn. The two extra turns that the first two players get are significant and allow them to better position their players in the final scoring round. It is a severe disadvantage to the final two players, and in hindsight, this the reason I lost my first four player game.

In thinking more about this, the same issue arises when playing with only three players as well. The player who begun the game will get 12 turns while the other two are limited to two turns each. The only time the game is balanced, turn-wise, is when playing with two players.

Ideally I would have like to see them make the game with 36 tiles so that everybody would have an equal number regardless of how many people are playing but we got to work with what we’ve got.

I believe that any variant that would allow all players to have an equal number of turns is critical to level the playing field. Either the two final players get to move before the final scoring round begins, or after the 4th player places their eighth tile the final two game tiles should be put randomly on the board and the scoring round begins.
 
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Geeky McGeekface
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I'm not quite sure what went wrong, Dan, but I'm almost certain there are 36 tiles in the game. All the spaces on the board should be filled at game's end. With 36 tiles, each of the players gets the same number of turns whether there are 2, 3, or 4 players. Sounds like your set has a couple of missing tiles.
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The Count
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I agree there should be 36 tiles as well.
It should be 36 Terrain Hexagons:
15 Temple Hexagons
10 Jungle Hexagons
8 Treasure Hexagons
3 Volcano Hexagons
 
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Gláucio Reis
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allbaugh wrote:
The rules state that the oldest player should go first (which I’ve always found to be dumb, but I digress).

I find dumb to follow such a rule. Seriously, does anyone follow these oldest/youngest starting-player rules? I can see the point when playing in family, with children of various ages, as such a rule usually implies there is an advantage in going first/last and tries to offset it. But using it when playing with other gamers?! shake

And yes, as others have said, there are 36 tiles. No need to tweak the game. I would be very surprised if Kramer failed in this basic balance stuff.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I have played a couple of times with a guy who went to Tikal. In those cases, we let him go first, even though he may not have been the oldest player.
 
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Daniel Fish
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Oldest player goes first usually means that it is disadvantageous to go first. In these games, usually we have the most experienced player (ie me) go first.

When I think about Tikal, however, I am struggling to think about why first player is at a disadvantage... aren't they at an advantage? They are guaranteed to have had the most turns at each volcano round, and get the first turn in the final scoring round?
 
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