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Subject: Does anyone else not like the initial turn order sitch? rss

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Jon G
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So, if you draw the first move, you probably develop for 2 pounds, keeping you at or near the front of the turn order. From the front of the turn order, you get your choice of locations, and can build coal or a port to keep your costs down and stay at the front of the line.

On the other hand, if you start fourth, two of your opponents will develop for 2-4 pounds, and the other will likely build coal, a port, or develop. Unless the fourth player starts with a loan they really don't need (and will be paying interest on for 2-3 turns), they're often stuck going last.

So I was surprised no one has suggested a variant to balance this out... bidding to go first? variable starting money vs turn order? Second canal turn order (only) goes to whoever spent the MOST money in the first round?
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Dave Eisen
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Obvious way to manage this is different starting capital for the different starting positions. Part of me sees benefit to going first, but really. Pretty small. There are enough strong starting moves to go around.
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Tim Schwarz
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I disagree that the turn order mechanic is a problem in the early game.

1P & 2P have shown what they plan on doing by what they develop, while 3P is forced to spend effort to ensure that his L1 coal flips.

As 4P, there are lots of ways to mess with them. Build a L1 coal in Manchester if 3P built in Bury or Oldham. Do a double cottom flip to run out the distance market. Get to W&R or Preston first with cotton to force port builders to go farther to make cotton to flip the ports.

More generally, problems are not over for any of the other players. For the developers, ports need canals and cotton to flip them (I seldom flip another player's ports in the canal period, especially early), Developing IW means fighting with 3P for the limited locations. Developing Coal very early requires a bit of work to get income (there is a lot of developing needed to get to L2 cotton, and not that much money with which to do it). And developing to L2 cotton without a reliable way to get coal to where you can build is no picnic.

Further, playing early in the 2 round just gives more information about what your early plan is. And you need to build the canals, which make more of the board accessible for other players to get coal in and cotton out. Building canals that help others is bad because (1) you seldom get good VPs, (2) you get no direct income, and (3) you save someone else an action because they don't need to waste time connecting places that they want connected.
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Chris Linneman
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There are plenty of good first turn moves. Build cotton with the intention to double ship to distant markets gives a good income boost early. This is probably what I would do if I was fourth in the above scenario and had the right cards for it.
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Stephen
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I agree that starting fourth in Brass is a significant disadvantage with no compensation. In my experience, the first three players will all develop, since the level 1 buildings are weak and rust away at the end of the canal period. Probably the simplest solution would be to give more money to later players; it should be at least 0/2/4/6 since that's how much more a development action would cost. Maybe 0/4/8/12, since early players will probably go early in the second round as well? Or you could let players develop away 0/1/2/3 tiles for free before the first round.
 
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Tim Schwarz
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StephenV wrote:
I agree that starting fourth in Brass is a significant disadvantage with no compensation. In my experience, the first three players will all develop, since the level 1 buildings are weak and rust away at the end of the canal period. Probably the simplest solution would be to give more money to later players; it should be at least 0/2/4/6 since that's how much more a development action would cost. Maybe 0/4/8/12, since early players will probably go early in the second round as well? Or you could let players develop away 0/1/2/3 tiles for free before the first round.


I'll happily take 4th place in a game. Just send me a geekmail and I'll set one up at http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/index.php.

EDIT: Or take a look at this game: http://wargamessoc.union.shef.ac.uk/brass/board.php?GameID=2...
 
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Железный комиссар
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I don't see development as at all necessary to a strong start, so no, it doesn't bother me.
 
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Dan
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A lvl 1 mill in W&R is a good first move if someone has developed ports.

Coal in Blackburn or Manchester is also good, as long as players 1 & 2 can't collude to build in Preston.
 
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Mark Tyler
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StephenV wrote:
I agree that starting fourth in Brass is a significant disadvantage with no compensation. In my experience, the first three players will all develop, since the level 1 buildings are weak and rust away at the end of the canal period.

If the first three players develop, player 4 is in a great position to build the first iron works which will flip immediately and earn some extra cash selling iron to the demand track.

- On turn one build a coal mine in Wigan, Oldham, or another site one link away from an iron works location.
- On turn two, build the link and then the iron works.

If you can't build that first iron works, develop cheaply immediately after someone else builds it.

With a little more experience you will see that going last on the first turn is really not that big a deal after all. I strongly disagree with any suggestion that it requires fixing via an auction or handicap method.
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Dan
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m_r_tyler wrote:
With a little more experience you will see that going last on the first turn is really not that big a deal after all. I strongly disagree with any suggestion that it requires fixing via an auction or handicap method.


For reference here's a game where I started 4th, built iron, never touched a port or mill, and won by a fair margin.

It was said earlier: development in the first turn tips your hand. I'd suggest, under the right circumstances, that you don't need to develop much at all to win. Recognizing what your opponents are doing and finding ways to get VPs elsewhere is a key to winning. In this game I've posted you can see I develop only once in the canal phase. It was a matter of finding an "industry sector" in which my opponents weren't competing with me.
 
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Corin A. Friesen
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IMO, there is no "best opening move" or "best opening move sequence"; you have got to look at your cards. So no, the initial turn order does not bother me.
 
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Matt Davis
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StephenV wrote:
I agree that starting fourth in Brass is a significant disadvantage with no compensation. In my experience, the first three players will all develop, since the level 1 buildings are weak and rust away at the end of the canal period. Probably the simplest solution would be to give more money to later players; it should be at least 0/2/4/6 since that's how much more a development action would cost. Maybe 0/4/8/12, since early players will probably go early in the second round as well? Or you could let players develop away 0/1/2/3 tiles for free before the first round.


I'm slightly inclined to agree that some compensation might be needed, but if fourth seat gets to develop three tiles for free, I would start looking for ways to cheat the turn order randomizer to go fourth every time.
 
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stephen biggs
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Personally I think going last has the advantage on turn-1. You have seen what all the other players have chosen and can react to exploit it.
Turn-2 is the first turn a double-action is possible so that's when you want to go first.
Only if you really wanted to "develop" turn-1 is going first not a liability.
Player-1 turn-1 is only good if the other 3 players won't try to exploit whicher bad option you choose turn-1. Maybe the group I play in is unusual, but if I'm vulnerable to attack first turn, I can expect it to be exploited (and vis-versa)
 
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Jason Gische
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XAos wrote:
Personally I think going last has the advantage on turn-1. You have seen what all the other players have chosen and can react to exploit it.


If you have the right cards, then I totally agree with this. If you don't, then you're kinda screwed.

This is the point that all of the people who have declared that going 4th is not an advantage seem to be conveniently ignoring. If everyone else developed on turn 1 and you have no ability to build coal and/or iron, then you're left with suboptimal starts.

I don't think that going 4th is at all a death knell, but it's a position much more sensitive to a bad draw.
 
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