Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Candy Land» Forums » General

Subject: Player 1 advantage rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mark Ramsey
Canada
North Delta
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A friend of mine who is a Math Prof wrote a simulator for Candyland. He actually ran about 100 Billion simulations (not a typo) and found that player one has a 3% advantage. I just thought that this is an interesting tidbit that in no way diminshes the fun my 3-year old and I have playing it. (Though I'm not going to let her go first anymore). whistle
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Of course player one has the advantage. Player 1 is three years old. Bad results are ignored, Player 2's turn is sometimes overlooked, and things are generally handled so that Player 1 has as much fun as possible in the 10 minutes it takes to play the game.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drake Coker
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
badge
This is my tank for Combat Commander
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my household, player 1 won far more often than the 3% edge would indicate. 4-year-old girls have mad skills over their dads in this game cool
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
"Sorry, munchkin, but Daddy is invoking the 'pie rule'."
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
VanMark wrote:
A friend of mine who is a Math Prof wrote a simulator for Candyland. He actually ran about 100 Billion simulations (not a typo) and found that player one has a 3% advantage. I just thought that this is an interesting tidbit that in no way diminshes the fun my 3-year old and I have playing it. (Though I'm not going to let her go first anymore). whistle


I can see that if Player 1 selects the Builder on the first round before the auction. But what if Player 1 selects the Trader, trades two wheats for a wood and a brick, and uses them to build a hotel on Boardwalk?

But if Player 2 is actually a Klingon . . .
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grarrrg Grarrrgowski
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Olvenskol wrote:
4-year-old girls have mad skills over their dads in this game


True dat.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
VanMark wrote:
A friend of mine who is a Math Prof wrote a simulator for Candyland. He actually ran about 100 Billion simulations (not a typo) and found that player one has a 3% advantage.

Baloney.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
P.D. Magnus
United States
Albany
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
VanMark wrote:
He actually ran about 100 Billion simulations (not a typo) and found that player one has a 3% advantage.


No. The truth is that anyone played Candyland 100 Billion times, then they would be at a staggering disadvantage. Player one is stipulated to have done so, so he is at a disadvantage.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you were running a computer on which the simulations took one second each to complete, 100 billion of them would require more than 3,000 years. Not that there would be any point to doing that many.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Hoffman
United States
Cortlandt Manor
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In college, we played this with multi-colored jello shots made from 180 proof vodka.

Player 1 did NOT have an advantage. Frequently, Player 1 did not make it to the end of the game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Ramsey
Canada
North Delta
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sphere wrote:
If you were running a computer on which the simulations took one second each to complete, 100 billion of them would require more than 3,000 years. Not that there would be any point to doing that many.


First of all, thanks for dropping in and calling me a liar. Second of all, I am not the one who ran the simulations. Third, my friend (who is the one who ran the simulations) likes to use board games as examples of math problems in his class, and writes this kind of code as a bit of a hobby as well as an educational tool. (He's a mathematician, for crying out loud - those guys are a bit quirky)

Finally,you might want to check the date - pay specific attention to the year. Computers have advanced quite a bit since you may have last checked. I just did a Google search for "Candy Land" and it returned 498,000 results in 0.14 seconds. Pretty fast huh? Now I realize that my friend does not have access to Google's server farms, but from what I understand, he ran it on his department's servers over a 3-4 day period. Forgive me if the details are a bit on the vague side, but I didn't feel the need to question my friend, whom I don't believe has any reason to lie to me (just like I have no reason to lie to you, a person hiding behind a pseudonym on the internet). The Candy Land simulator was, by my friends account, an extremely simple program to code and run. It's not like there are too many variables. Ultimately it's up to you to believe it or not, but I really don't care that much what you think. At any rate, this forum is meant to be a place where people who like board games can come and talk about that which brings us together - it's totally uncalled for to jump in and start accusing folks of lying.

There, now that's off my chest. Anyways, his theory as I remember it (now this was close to 6 months ago) was that player one has the first opportunity to win (the nature of going first), and though it is small, over a large enough sample of games shows up statistically. It seems to make sense to me and in the end, who really cares? It's just a fun bit of information.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wasn't trying to make you angry, Mark. I just figured you were putting us on. I'm a software engineer, and have a pretty good grasp of computer capabilities, and I framed my response in terms of a single cpu for a reason.

If your math buddy is for real, ask him a question for me: why would he run such a simulation that many times? There is no way the level of accuracy is going to improve in a meaningful way beyond a fraction of that number of runs - a million iterations would be overkill for such a simple scenario. 100 billion sounds downright goofy.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Ramsey
Canada
North Delta
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sphere wrote:
I wasn't trying to make you angry, Mark. I just figured you were putting us on. I'm a software engineer, and have a pretty good grasp of computer capabilities, and I framed my response in terms of a single cpu for a reason.

If your math buddy is for real, ask him a question for me: why would he run such a simulation that many times? There is no way the level of accuracy is going to improve in a meaningful way beyond a fraction of that number of runs - a million iterations would be overkill for such a simple scenario. 100 billion sounds downright goofy.


Thanks for the reply. I'd counter your question with: why not run it that many times if you have access to servers that can do it? I'd imagine that it stemmed from an idea to see how balanced the game is, and as a senior member of the Mathematics department, it was well within his capability to run this simulation for 3-4 days over a long weekend. Why go in on Saturday and stop it when you could just let it run until Tuesday morning? He mentioned something about testing the limits of the random number generator at the same time, I think he wanted to see when it would (or if it would) start to repeat itself. As a geek myself, if I had similar computing resources I'd probably do things like roll a billion D&D characters just to see if you could get one with straight 18's, (or straight 3's) - just for fun, but if anyone in the department asked about it, of course, it's 'for my class'. Anyways, if I came across as defensive, it's because I found the suggestion that I wasn't being truthful offensive. I hope you can understand that. Anyways, I hope that clears the matter up, and we can all be boardgame-loving-friends once again.

Mark
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No problem. I just thought that you were having a joke in the first post, not attempting something malevolent (pulling the legs of fellow gamers - the horror!!!). I'll not respond further about random number generation and the 100 billion iteration business, because I come here to escape from such questions and think about games.

From a gamer's perspective, I'd suggest that a 3% advantage for the first player would be incredibly tough to spot by actual players. I suspect that many games which are seen as extremely well balanced do no better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.