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Subject: Varying turn order? rss

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Todd France
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So, this seems to be a recurring theme:
ALGO wrote:
Turn order is a concern for me - the choice of race/power at the beginning is random, and the first player will get the best option every time, since the payment of 1-5 vps is a small price for the best option considering winning scores are over 100pts

The turn order also remains the same throughout - over eight turns the benefit of the last move is reduced, especially since all your opponents will have scored their points before your last move anyway so you cannot impact on their scoring no matter what you do - so you just take the easiest route to victory points rather than bashing your opponents. Shame.

I'm sure it's possible to work out a balancing device, but to do so would be complex - and the variable numbers of turns in different games do not lend themselves to a revolving start player.

It's a minor concern at the moment, but I thought I'd be up front about it.

And I'm wondering if one possible solution would be to have a varying turn order. On the first turn, the last player to pick a race would be the first player to take a turn, and turn order would go backwards to the first to pick being last to play. Then subsequent turns would be played in order from the player with the least to most points.

This would require the re-introduction of open scoring, but might it solve some of the play balance issues? I'm sure someone will say this re-introduces the "bash the leader" "problem", but in my opinion that wasn't so much removed as obfuscated, and in moderation it can be of itself a game balancing element.

So does anyone think this would help to alleviate some concerns, or maybe see a variation that would work better?
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Jan B.
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I won't mess up the turn order until I recognized that the starting player may have a significant advantage. As Small World is very interactive, meaning you can harm someone's plans directly, every obvious advantage will get negated by the opponents.

The advantage to enter the board first could turn out very quick as the opposite because the following players can attack you before you'll attack them.

What made Vinci so great was, that you didn't need always the best race combination to win it. You needed a lot of player diplomacy and subtleness to win. In Small World, even more with hidden scoring, you'll need the subtleness again. Being starting player makes you a target right from the beginning.
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Gláucio Reis
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Disclaimer: I have only read the rules and have not played the game.

I agree there is an advantage in choosing your race first, and if you feel there is also one in playing first, it should make no harm to reverse the race selection order. But I don't see the point in messing with turn order during the game. Since each player scores after his own turn, there aren't actual rounds, just an unbroken sequence of player turns. The rounds are just a convenient way to track the game end.
 
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Zack Stackurski
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I also have only read the rules, but am looking forward to the game being available in the States...

Like others, I'll have to see the starting player consistently winning to change anything... but perhaps simply taking away the first player's starting coins would help? They still might get a nice combo... but its not guaranteed. And even if they do they'll be starting 5 points in the hole and will have to play well to make it up (I've seen some pretty close scores posted).
 
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Anders Olin
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I have played the game and won eventhough I was not the starting player
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Simon Crowe
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If players think the start player has an advantage then they should make that player a priority when deciding who to invade.
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Tomas Hejna
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And what about "passing" the first player each turn to the next player (at the beginnig of a new turn)? I'm thinking about it... maybe I'll test it some time.
 
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Robert Ahearne
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Someone on another thread mentioned the following idea:

Before the first player selects a race, the player who will be choosing last is permitted to re-arrange the first five races (without changing the race/power pairings).

An alternative is: before anyone selects a race, each player, beginning with the player who will play first, re-arranges the first five races.

A rule like this avoids having the first player get a high-powered combination for free (Underworld Giants, Spirit Trolls, etc.)
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Jorg Zoetebier
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elcoderdude wrote:
Someone on another thread mentioned the following idea:

Before the first player selects a race, the player who will be choosing last is permitted to re-arrange the first five races (without changing the race/power pairings).

A rule like this avoids having the first player get a high-powered combination for free (Underworld Giants, Spirit Trolls, etc.)


This is how i would play it though i would let each player other than the start player, starting with the second player move one race/power combination up/down (as many places as they want). So with 4 players, there could be at max 3 movements. This would give the game a fair start, without feeling too "setup.
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