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Age of Steam» Forums » Variants

Subject: Share Issuance - First Turn Variant rss

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Dan Goodier
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During the first turn of the game, the shares are issued in turn order based on the total of three rolled dice, with the highest roll being the first player. The first auction phase is also based on this random dice roll.

The next time our group gets together to play we may try this variant. Everyone secretly writes down the number of shares they would like issued in the first round. All amounts are revealed at the same time and the player markers are adjusted on the Share track. The player turn order is now initially based on the person who took the least amount of shares as the first player on up to the person who took the most amount of shares becoming the last player in turn order.

The only part i have been unable to figure out is how to break a tie. Example: Two players take no shares and begin the game with only $10 (from the original two shares) then which of them get to take first in player order. At that point maybe all tied players can roll three dice to break ties? Any other thoughts?

Has anyone tried this or anything like it?
 
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Einmal ist keinmal
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Hi Dan,
I haven't played in a while, but isn't $8 ($10 starting, less $2 for end of turn expense) enough to buy 3 track tiles over simple terrain (grass) on the first turn? If so, all players would go for the following strategy:
take NO shares,
in order to become first player,
then take First Build,
and connect two cities (or at least start the track to another city).

So, you'd have to have a tie-breaker for everyone on the first turn.

Edited for clarity.
 
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goodweiser wrote:
Has anyone tried this or anything like it?

I've thought of this, but there's a certain advantage to being the last person to pick your shares, since you can respond to the other players' decisions. If you were to do something like this, though, I wouldn't eliminate the first turn auction for player order. Not only would that remove the issue of ties, as you describe, but it also gives all players a chance to go first based on tactics, not the luck/chaos of a simultaneous reveal.
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Dan Goodier
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Quote:
I've thought of this, but there's a certain advantage to being the last person to pick your shares, since you can respond to the other players' decisions. If you were to do something like this, though, I wouldn't eliminate the first turn auction for player order. Not only would that remove the issue of ties, as you describe, but it also gives all players a chance to go first based on tactics, not the luck/chaos of a simultaneous reveal.


But what i'm trying to do is eliminate the luck of rolling the dice to determine the starting player. I agree that the player who goes last has the advantage, but other than rolling a lesser total than the other players, why should he get that advantage?
 
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J C Lawrence
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There is a small but noticeable advantage to being the 2nd bidder in the first turn of Age of Steam, as the first bidder sets the bar for the rest of the players and the second bidder gets to react to it. The third bidder is at a relative disadvantage due to being the second respondent. In subsequent rounds the advantage (usually? often?) goes to the third bidder, but the argument there is at best marginal and is frequently false.

If you are concerned over turn order advantages for the initial bidding round, conduct a standard Age of Steam-style dollar auction for the bidding order for the first round.
 
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Teacher Fletcher
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clearclaw wrote:
There is a small but noticeable advantage to being the 2nd bidder in the first turn of Age of Steam, as the first bidder sets the bar for the rest of the players and the second bidder gets to react to it. The third bidder is at a relative disadvantage due to being the second respondent. In subsequent rounds the advantage (usually? often?) goes to the third bidder, but the argument there is at best marginal and is frequently false.

If you are concerned over turn order advantages for the initial bidding round, conduct a standard Age of Steam-style dollar auction for the bidding order for the first round.


But what would the order for THAT auction be?
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goodweiser wrote:
But what i'm trying to do is eliminate the luck of rolling the dice to determine the starting player. I agree that the player who goes last has the advantage, but other than rolling a lesser total than the other players, why should he get that advantage?

We don't roll the dice to determine the start player; we drop the player markers in a bag and draw them out one at a time. Of course, this process is just as random, so I don't think that's a solution to your problem.

I don't see the random player order on the first turn as a problem, though. There are certain tactics to take if you go first, second, third, etc., on the first turn, and it forces you to adapt your play to your place in the turn order. There are at least three (possibly five) powerful special actions you can take on the first turn, so it's not like you're completely out of the running in the game if you go last on the first turn.

Of course, you're asking the dude who rates the game a 10, so maybe you're not getting the proper perspective on the issue....
 
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J C Lawrence
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Lawnjob wrote:
But what would the order for THAT auction be?


It doesn't matter. There's enough noise in the process and the value of a single dollar is a small enough fraction that this initial order is no longer significant.
 
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Chuck Parrott
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The advantage the last player has in issuing shares is offset by the fact they go last in initial bidding order. They'll have to pay a higher price to stay in the bidding and have indicators from earlier players how high the bidding might go based on shares taken. First player can be a precarious position but gets to set the tempo, 2nd and 3rd seats have the better initial position IMHO.

If you wanted to make it less random, have players bid victory points for initial seating order ala Puerto Rico. Keep in mind it's a fuzzy value though. The 1st turn player order is a highly subjective value based on the initial board setup. I'm not sure I'd give up even 1 or 2 vp on most board setups to have first crack at shares/bidding.
 
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Karl Rainer
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Independent of whether this is a good idea or not, could I suggest that anyone wanting to announce a variant please PLEASE playtest it before posting here on BGG?
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Dan Goodier
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Quote:
Independent of whether this is a good idea or not, could I suggest that anyone wanting to announce a variant please PLEASE playtest it before posting here on BGG?


So the variant forum is only for play tested variants? I apologize to those i've inconvenienced by posting a potential variant in the Variant forum. However, i would like to thank everyone who posted VALUABLE insight into my question, it's very much appreciated.
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Andrew Rae
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goodweiser wrote:
Quote:
Independent of whether this is a good idea or not, could I suggest that anyone wanting to announce a variant please PLEASE playtest it before posting here on BGG?


So the variant forum is only for play tested variants? I apologize to those i've inconvenienced by posting a potential variant in the Variant forum. However, i would like to thank everyone who posted VALUABLE insight into my question, it's very much appreciated.


Ofcourse its not. You can muse away till your hearts content. This is a wiki afterall, and on this particular wiki there are very few rules. I think you were clear it was untested and you were looking for feedback. Now if you don't try it and report back I may be miffed
 
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Dan Goodier
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citylife wrote:
goodweiser wrote:
Quote:
Independent of whether this is a good idea or not, could I suggest that anyone wanting to announce a variant please PLEASE playtest it before posting here on BGG?


So the variant forum is only for play tested variants? I apologize to those i've inconvenienced by posting a potential variant in the Variant forum. However, i would like to thank everyone who posted VALUABLE insight into my question, it's very much appreciated.


Ofcourse its not. You can muse away till your hearts content. This is a wiki afterall, and on this particular wiki there are very few rules. I think you were clear it was untested and you were looking for feedback. Now if you don't try it and report back I may be miffed


Good news, we are actually going to give it a go tonight, so i'll let you know how it went. BTW - nice avatar. Tough year, but still good results given the players on the court.
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Karl Rainer
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Apologies for sounding overly harsh in my first post.

I guess what I am minorly miffed about (perhaps I should say reduced-gruntled, as disgruntled is too strong?) is that the title of the thread is "Share Issuance - First Turn Variance". Yes I understand that you are looking for guidance and feedback, but you posted a title which does not ask a question. It looks like you are presenting a fait-accompli.

My reaction to the title was overboard and I apologize.

I think it was additionally coloured by my judgment that the opening rules work just fine, and that the proposed solutions would IMO produce only wider disparities where very narrow disparities currently exist. My experience is that there is no correlation between starting position and win percentage, unlike Puerto Rico.

Anyway, post away to your hearts content and I'll keep reading the results.
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Andrew Rae
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krainer wrote:
Apologies for sounding overly harsh in my first post.

I guess what I am minorly miffed about (perhaps I should say reduced-gruntled, as disgruntled is too strong?) is that the title of the thread is "Share Issuance - First Turn Variance". Yes I understand that you are looking for guidance and feedback, but you posted a title which does not ask a question. It looks like you are presenting a fait-accompli.

My reaction to the title was overboard and I apologize.

I think it was additionally coloured by my judgment that the opening rules work just fine, and that the proposed solutions would IMO produce only wider disparities where very narrow disparities currently exist. My experience is that there is no correlation between starting position and win percentage, unlike Puerto Rico.

Anyway, post away to your hearts content and I'll keep reading the results.


You're a good man, I admire your courage and your desire to improve the thread. I too had come to see if this was an improvement. I think I agree theres not a big problem there already, but its worth experiementing with.

I love your avatar.
Peace
 
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"Good news, we are actually going to give it a go tonight, so i'll let you know how it went. BTW - nice avatar. Tough year, but still good results given the players on the court."

I feel much better now that the Magic won game one of the eastern finals. I feel so sorry for KG, playing and winning this year would have been a huge boost for his recognition in years to come. There are a ton of great players that won a single title, but not many that go back to back. How will he be remembered in years to come. I believe he is one of the greats, but he may not acheieve that status in the end. But I digress .. this is probably a little off topic.


 
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J C Lawrence
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citylife wrote:
I think I agree there's not a big problem there already, but its worth experimenting with.


I've played several hundred games of Age of Steam and see no reason at all to change the default handling of the initial auction. Thus my suggestion above attempts, as much as I could, to dissemble by presenting a solution which nets to no effect (any player that bid would be making a clear and obvious mistake).
 
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