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Subject: Who's on first? rss

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Andrew Davidson
United Kingdom
London
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The first thing I look for in a Eurogame is the rule that decides who starts the game. In Eclipse, it's "Give the Starting Player Marker to the player who has spent the least time on planet Terra, in the Sol system." I suppose that this means the youngest player but someone who has spent a lot of time in the air might have scope to argue.

This rule will be troublesome for several reasons:

1. Some players don't like such rules because they seem silly. Myself, I dislike deviating from the printed rules and so this means that you start the game by having an argument.

2. Some people may not wish to reveal their age for personal reasons. If you are playing in a club or tournament then it may be awkward to verify players' claims.

3. Having the youngest player go first may seem to be fair if it's a family group and going first is an advantage. But, in this game, the choice of races is taken in reverse order: "If you decide to play with the alien species, players choose the species they play with. Beginning with the player on the right side of the starting player and moving counterclockwise, each player chooses a species and places the starting hex." The choice of races seems quite important and the youngest player might cry if they don't get their choice.

4. If you're usually playing with a same group of players then it's not good to have a rule which gives the same result every time. I like Z-Man's Start Player game because it gives good variety but that's not always available.

So, we need a better official rule that isn't just the boring method of rolling a dice. Here's some ideas which try to preserve the theme:

* Pick a newspaper and look at the horoscopes for each players' star sign. Using the first sentence of each, rank them in alphabetical order and the first goes first. If you'd rather take longer, then you can debate which horoscope most suggests taking the initiative.

* Play Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock until there is only one unbeaten player.

* Spin the start player pawn, like spin-the-bottle.

* Ask a bystander to pick the player who most looks like an alien. Players are allowed to pull faces.

* A planet such as Mars is decided by consensus. Each player takes a dreadnought and positions it on the table. Then, using an app such as Google Sky Map, determine which dreadnought is pointing most closely to the planet at that time.

* Use the force. Place the start player pawn in the middle of the table. Each player drops or tosses a pop cube onto the table while their eyes are closed. The one which lands closest to the pawn is the start player.

-- Andrew

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Markus
Finland
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Uusimaa
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Seriously? I've been thinking of getting a nice spinner (metal would be ace) to solve my starting player woes for all games.
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Gunther Schmidl
Austria
Linz
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Start Player.

Also available as an iOS app.
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Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
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Pick the player sitting in the southernmost seat. They're the one closest to the nearest star outside our solar system.
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Jonathan Ramundi
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Cornwall
Ontario
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In my eyes, rules like that are generally meant to hint at who should go first if they are the less experienced player at the table (regardless of age), but are more often than not taken as a joke. In their place, I always opt for random starting player selection.

In the case of Eclipse, with the available components, I would say the best choice is to have everyone roll 2 dice, or to simply have someone blindly pluck a population cube from a hand or something.

Those are my choices anyway, I don't have anything more creative.
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Aki Järvi-Eskola
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I've always thaught that Start Player rules were a place for game designers or game rules writers to crack a harmless little joke. Take a look at the Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game's Start Player rule for example: (From memory) "The player with the longest beard goes first." Not many women would be able to start the game, or even wish to run for Start Player, when playing with unshaven men. Strict interpretation of the rule would then imply that the game or the designer is sexist beyond measure, but when observed in a broader scope, it is obvious that the rule is referencing a stereotypical "village storyteller", an older man who has a long beard to stroke when contemplating the next twist in the story he is unfolding in front of his audience. This Start Player rule is worth a chuckle or two, but disregarded quickly to give everyone a chance to be the Start Player.
Even though Eclipse's Start Player rule is the time old "youngest goes first", it is represented in a tongue in a cheek manner, which should give some people a nice little riddle to solve. ("What does it mean by 'Terra'? Have you been to other planets, Laika? Didn't think so. Hmm... Wait a minute!")
I agree that younger people don't necessarily require the handicap of going first to be competitive.
Andrew Davidson wrote:

So, we need a better official rule that isn't just the boring method of rolling a dice.
...
* Play Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock until there is only one unbeaten player.

Both are simple randomizing methods which don't necessarily terminate
Andrew Davidson wrote:

* Ask a bystander to pick the player who most looks like an alien. Players are allowed to pull faces.

Now that is an funny sounding way to determine the Start Player! Fun, how every player has to gauge how bad they want to be the starting player. Shame, it requires a judge, though, and that might raise some really awkward moments.

On the record: I'm a fan of "rules as written", but I don't consider Start Player rules to be rules, as they broaden the game's frame of reference out of the scope of the playing situation, and into the personal lives of each participant. (But still I wish that more games had funny Start Player rules)

Off-topic thread-wise: I have no idea what the actual content of this thread has to do with Eclipse. We are talking about Start Player rules!

EDIT: Ninja'd by four people. A new record!
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Andy Andersen
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My wife and I roll a D20 to determine the first player in every game we play.
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance; the same description may be applied to the best, most elegant and both intellec
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Off the top of my head:
Himalaya - wisest player
Small World - pointiest ears
BasketBoss - tallest player
Le Havre - lives closest to water

Also:
The Many Odd and Mundane Ways to Determine Start Player
Don't Play With That Guy! (Odd 'Player Start' Requirements)
Okay, so...Who's going first? - Interesting Start Player Rules (Please Add!)
Start player for a lifetime!
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Henry Allen
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Astatula
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I always like to convert some random part from the game in question into a first player selector.

Sometimes it is just dice rolling. For Eclipse, I'd spin a space ship and whoever it ends up pointing at is the first player. I always favor the spinner option if there is a part that is suitable to serve as the spinner.
 
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Brain Less
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Gatineau
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Seriously. There is only one good way to determine start player.

Crocodile Dentist
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Charlie Theel
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St. Louis
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Sol is the name of the starting system in Master of Orion 2. So, you could interpret it as whoever has spent the least amount of time playing MoO2.

I'm surprised there's a thread on this though. We're gamers, randomizing an outcome should not be an issue we have to struggle with.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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In response to the topic of this thread, all I can say is,

Wow.

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Jon Quinn
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Does "on the planet terra" refer to at least one foot being in contact with the planet itself? for game purposes , would time spent on a plane, on a ladder, in the air over a trampoline, and so forth, count as being on the planet terra? Joe's opinion is that at least one foot has to be on the planet. I think being anywhere in the atmosphere would suffice. Chris goes by the "5 second rule".
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Viktor Karlsson Mantel
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just play "ready steady shoot" its rock paper scissors but for unlimited numbers of people.

the goal is to be last man standing.

The choices you can make is, fire in the air, shoot ur self or shoot another person.

if you shoot in the air nothing happens,

if you shoot another player he will die,

And if you shoot urself u die. UNLESS, someone else shoot at u, then he die and you live. If multiple people shoots at you when doing this, yhey all die, and u live.

Proceed to there is only one left.
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David
Switzerland
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Grand Nagus wrote:
Would you have bought a book called "Suggestions of Acquisition"? Just doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

The only important thing about game rules is that everyone at the table plays by the same ones. What they are is for you to decide.

We usually roll dice.
 
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Cast Ll'tor
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The only way...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=roshambo


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Volker S.
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kreikkaturkulainen wrote:
Le Havre - lives closest to water


Which in German also means "cries very easily"...
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Steven Tan
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Tolchock wrote:
just play "ready steady shoot" its rock paper scissors but for unlimited numbers of people.

the goal is to be last man standing.

The choices you can make is, fire in the air, shoot ur self or shoot another person.

if you shoot in the air nothing happens,

if you shoot another player he will die,

And if you shoot urself u die. UNLESS, someone else shoot at u, then he die and you live. If multiple people shoots at you when doing this, yhey all die, and u live.

Proceed to there is only one left.


What if the last 2 players shoot each other? Or themselves?
 
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Jeremy Diachuk
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Then you start over again with everyone!
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Eetu Immonen
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I'm a fan of clearclaw's start player method: Picking start player randomly, fairly, and without props
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Mikko M
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What is second and who is first, I don't know third.
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