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Hansa Teutonica» Forums » General

Subject: Start player advantage in Hansa Teutonica? rss

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Sheldon Leonard
Australia
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I played four games of Hansa Teutonica in a row last night and every time the start player won. Some of the games were with 5 players, some with 4. There was some discussion after this about giving the start player more of a handicap than he already gets. One suggestion was that the start player starts with 4 cubes, the second player 5, the third player 6 cubes etc. instead of the start player starting with 5 cubes.

Has anyone else found that the start player has an unfair advantage in Hansa Teutonica?
 
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Andrew
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I'm doubtful, because it's been played a lot and there's no consensus that this is the case.

How exactly did the start player convert his or her first move advantage into victory?
 
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Not really- but HT can be thrown off balance if players don't actively seek to maintain an equilibrium. Did other players make sure the start player was hampered, or did they pursue short-term goals?

Edit- Hi Andrew.
 
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quohog the great
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I would think that this should be in the HT forums,

but also playing only once i'm not an expert but it seems as if it may be favored slightly to the first two players in a larger game. but then again i'm no expert.

 
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Sheldon Leonard
Australia
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In most games the start player got offices which scored them lots of victory points before the end of the game. The offices were in different locations in different games but mostly on the routes which grant abilities. The routes to Gottingen were blocked for most of the games by players who left three pieces there. Being start player made it easier to gain 3 actions though in at least one case the start player won with only 3 actions.

I'm sorry I don't know what quohog means by HT forums.
 
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Matthew M
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Moved to Hansa Teutonica forums
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Laurence Parsons
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I played my first 2 games last night (4-player), as player 3 in both cases. In the first game the result (by seat position) was 2,3,1,4; In the second it was 3,1,2,4.
Player 4 may have a disadvantage, but it didn't seem that player 1 had an advantage over 2 & 3. In fact, it looked to me that player 3 had the best position, as he can block the first two players and get the displacement advantages.
 
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James Ludlow
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If anyone at the table has fewer than a dozen plays under his belt, your findings are highly suspect. If you're all in your first few games, then these claims about player order mattering are utterly pointless.

At 35 plays, I'm not prepared to say that any position is at an overall disadvantage. They all play differently, but there are plenty of chances to attack anyone who starts to pull away.

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Andrew
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BorisSamuel wrote:
In most games the start player got offices which scored them lots of victory points before the end of the game. The offices were in different locations in different games but mostly on the routes which grant abilities. The routes to Gottingen were blocked for most of the games by players who left three pieces there.


As I wrote elsewhere (hi Rob!), the standard newbie groupthink is to fight for actions the entire game and make the player who got an action first (likely the first player) win. Perhaps the next level up is to fight for upgrades the entire game and forget to score (except for the player who stuck offices in critical cities).

Hansa Teutonica is sensitive to players helping and hurting each other; it's possible for a newbie blindly pursuing actions/upgrades/whatever without regard to whom it helps to give the game to someone.

From your description it's really not clear that being start player was responsible for having offices at critical places on the map - these should have been shared around more, and it's more likely that letting one player grab all of these was responsible for that player winning.
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Rik Van Horn
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44 plays here and I guarantee, the only thing that gives an advantage is inexperienced or bad players.

It may sound elitist, but I've gotten to where I don't want to play this with anyone but people with many plays under their belts.

I hate this attitude in Puerto Rico, but that game is way more scripted than HT. While PR doesn't give you many options for good play, HT does. But you have to learn to recognize a good number of them.
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stephen biggs
England
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I have only played once so far. But it is obvious that the blocking/displacement mechanism in the game makes the game balence sensitive to poor play by new players.

As does the rule giving a VP to players who control the cities on a on a route you complete.

In either case a new player could end up giving another player more benefit than they are gaining themselves.

That's not to say you should not displace other players counters or that you should not complete routes that give other players VP's. You will need to do both during the game to win. But do so only when the end result is profitable.

As for 1st player advantage, I'd much prefer to go 4th/5th instead of first.
 
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Chris Palmarozzi
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Rokkr wrote:
44 plays here and I guarantee, the only thing that gives an advantage is inexperienced or bad players.

It may sound elitist, but I've gotten to where I don't want to play this with anyone but people with many plays under their belts.

I hate this attitude in Puerto Rico, but that game is way more scripted than HT. While PR doesn't give you many options for good play, HT does. But you have to learn to recognize a good number of them.


There are certainly some "obvious" moves/no-moves for players with 5+ plays. Taking or not taking certain moves can really throw off the balance, especially done repeatedly.

With that said, because there are so many strategies to employ we can safely tell newer players that certain actions are paramount and let them go on their way not getting a lot of points without ruining the game.

Perhaps once I have another 34 plays to match yours I feel different but I feel like one can play relatively poorly without completely skewing the game as long as that person at least keeps up with the "obvious" plays.
 
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Ralph T
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If anything, player 2 has an advantage over player 1. Unless player 1 goes for the bag action (or other suboptimal play) player 2 has as many options open as player 1 plus one extra trader. Player 3 has an advantage as well because he can block both player 1 and 2. Player 4 may have a slight disadvantage because he has the fewest options if player 3 does the blocking.
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