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Subject: Perhaps a different look at First Person Advantage rss

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Anthony Rubbo
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Consider this -- it is perhaps clearer if everyone else's creature-rolling is viewed as part of your own turn.

How much you achieve in points/culls is dictated only by the 4 previous rolls in the game that happened prior to your "scoring". You cannot score in turn 1, so we start with turn 2 (turn 1 is the setup for the scoring in turn 2):

Player 1's 2nd turn: Players 1-4 roll to determine if Player 1 achieves
-- These rolls were what composed the first round of play
Player 2's 2nd turn: Players 1-4 roll to determine if Player 2 achieves
-- These rolled happened, during the first round of play by players 2/3/4, and in the 2nd round of play, by Player 1
Player 3's 2nd turn: Players 1-4 roll to determine if Player 3 achieves
-- These rolled happened, during the first round of play for Players 3/4, and during the 2nd round of play by Players 1 and 2

etc.

This is exactly what happens, it's just that the 4 players' turns are interleaved (a pretty spiffy idea, design-wise!)

If we look, it is clear here that Player 1 has the advantage in having the first attempt to achieve first, and, starting round 3, having on average lower quality adversary dice to affect his roll. Now, note that achieving includes not only scoring, but through culling, both increases your chances and decreases your opponents' chances of achieving in the future (which decreases the chances of your achievement chances decreasing in the future).

This dice quality effect plus first-shot-at-starting-the-double-echo-effect is the heart of the issue, and is especially visible in 2-player, look at the 3rd turn...

3rd turn achieving for player 1 is determined from the 2 previous rolls -- both of which were from an identical pool (with some variation from what was pulled in rd 1 vs round 2).

3rd turn achieving from player two is determined from the 2 previous rolls in the game:

[Player 2s' roll in round 2 (which came from a subset of the pool of 8 Quid / 4 Assts) and Player 1s roll in round 3 (which came from a subset of the pool of 8 Quid / 4 Assts minus any culling, in addition to the two buys from round one).

Yes, there's a lot of luck in Quarriors, and yes, players later in turn order have some reactionary dice-selection advantage, but, these disparities above give player 2 much longer odds to win.

Going back to 4-player, think about the 3rd round of scoring for Player 1 vs Player 4. Player 1 had 2nd-round dice vs three opponents with 2nd-round dice. Player 4, OTOH, had 2nd-round dice vs 3 opponents with 3rd-round dice. Achieving is more difficult, and the snowball effect begins.

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Mark Kwasny
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Personally, I suspect we are far past the possibility of anyone convincing anyone else.

More importantly, there is enough other interaction, choices, creatures, spells, and dice that can disrupt the automatic scoring and the sequential scoring, that the theory is only infallible in the abstract. As far as I can tell, player decisions will have much more impact than player order on who scores first and most. For me, that is all that really matters.
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Todd Warnken
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If you think there is a first player advantage, play multiple games and rotate the starting player.
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Kiren Maelwulf
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As far as I can see to be an issue with the game the first player advantage would need to be large enough that it would universally effect the outcome of every game played. It isn't. If your play group can not get over it and it becomes an issue I would move on, enough of us have not had a problem with it to keep playing without a concern.
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Brian M
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As far as I can see to not be an issue with the game the lack of first player advantage would need to be clear enough that it would universally fail to affect the outcome of every game played. It isn't.
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Brian M
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Mundane wrote:
If you think there is a first player advantage, play multiple games and rotate the starting player.


I'm pretty addicted to Quarriors, and I still think regularly playing four games in a row would wear me out pretty fast.

And that's not even counting the fact that games are simply a lot more fun when you eliminate the first player advantage and have a lot more closer and exciting finishes.
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Kiren Maelwulf
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StormKnight wrote:
As far as I can see to not be an issue with the game the lack of first player advantage would need to be clear enough that it would universally fail to affect the outcome of every game played. It isn't.


I didn't say it isn't an issue for you, just not a universal issue for everyone that plays.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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StormKnight wrote:
As far as I can see to not be an issue with the game the lack of first player advantage would need to be clear enough that it would universally fail to affect the outcome of every game played. It isn't.

So a game that over time works out to 51% / 49% is too unbalanced for you to play? I'd bet that the vast majority of the top 100 games here have at least some imbalance.

Looking at your profile, I see that you've given only two 10s, and one of them is to Shadow Hunters. Is it absolutely balanced?
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Jamie Pollock
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Sphere wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
As far as I can see to not be an issue with the game the lack of first player advantage would need to be clear enough that it would universally fail to affect the outcome of every game played. It isn't.

So a game that over time works out to 51% / 49% is too unbalanced for you to play? I'd bet that the vast majority of the top 100 games here have at least some imbalance.

Looking at your profile, I see that you've given only two 10s, and one of them is to Shadow Hunters. Is it absolutely balanced?


T&E, one the classics here and my favourite game, has a really noticeable and statistically proven turn order imbalance in 4-player. When we run leagues or knockout tourneys here on BGG the scoring modifiers we use are 0.83 for lion, 0.98 for urn, 1.09 for bow and 1.17 for goat. It fixes it pretty well over the course, though personally I think the 4th player is still a little further disadvantaged due to there being only really 3 desirable starting positions.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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I think there can be an advantage if the first player roles well. If he can only buy cards and not monsters then he got a dice and the next guy is more like the starting player. If the starting guy gets 1 monster but it is killed, he is again giving the 2nd guy starting position ( and if that guy does not score and cull repeat in a way ). I usually feel the guy who jumps into the lead can sometimes just run away with it - which can happen in a lot of games. But not enough that I am not enjoying this one. The thing for me is it is all dice so it is very hard to pin down it is a whole lot of randomness and a short game so no worries here. We roll to go first, so if you get lucky on the roll you may get an advantage to start meeple.

I got in 3 games this morning. We try and cull our dice pile down and to we both won games where we where down to 6 dice. But we want to play to 40 points and see if it is better to get some spells and some reroll yellow dice ( which in 2 player games we really seem not to buy anymore ) and actually try and put a little more thought into the long term buying game verses just buy the best monster you can.
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Anthony Rubbo
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I guess I'm looking to understand the design benefit of having a deck-building, rich-get-richer, highly interactive game system (none of these traits being inherently bad), combined with a system where on roughly every other round, the score for one player is based upon draws/rolls sourced from pools significantly disparate in quality.

The likely answer is that if a balanced starting state was not a high priority in the mind of the designers from the game's inception, then any re-balance later in the design process would come at the cost of simplicity, which would be a bad move for a mass-market product.
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John H
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Quote:
....Yes, there's a lot of luck in Quarriors, and yes, players later in turn order have some reactionary dice-selection advantage, but, these disparities above give player 2 much longer odds to win.



Anthony,

I think your above quote under states the significance of both points you mention.

Further, I think it would be fun to have all BGG players here submit data on which player won and how many players there are in each game. Only with a sample size of at least 1,000 games for each of three game sizes, will we truly begin to see a trend.

Let me start based on last night's two games within our group.

3 Player game, Player 2 won
4 Player game, Player 4 won

J
 
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Anthony Rubbo
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There's already such a thread. Doubtful it is getting to 1000. If those who care can agree on a decision system and its parameters, I'm happy to write or assist in writing a simulation program.
 
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Xob Alibob
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Even though it's vaguely touched upon in other threads, in that the first player's turn may be a wash, I'm not sure the right, or enough, questions are being asked here. For example, if it becomes perceived and/or accepted that the first player has some advantage, can players 2-4 collaborate such that player 1 loses more?

When the Quarry contains a Death Incantation and Deathdealer, it's possible for multiple players to have a significant chance of preventing a player from ever winning. As it stands it's quite common in our games, when Deathdealers are present, to allow a player to kill one of your weak creatures to allow that player to steal a powerful creature from another leading player. If player 1 is accepted to have an advantage, then they should become the natural first target of such directed attacks turning an advantage into a disadvantage.

 
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Anthony Rubbo
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It's a fair question for the 3-4 player game -- in many designs with high interaction, politics can serve to outweigh inherent game imbalances. My specific questions / findings have all been directed largely toward the 2-player game.
 
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