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Subject: Round 1 Turn order disadvantage rss

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T Jesper Edmark
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After one play through of My PnP version the players all had the same concern - turn order round one, more specifically the disadvantage of going third or later. If player one and two decide to hire first round the other player(s) most likely can't do the same due to the increase in cost. They ofc will have more resources to spend round one, but we still felt it to be a disadvantage.

Also, as in any worker placement game, player one have more options due to going first - something most games compensate for. What is the reasoning behind this not being the case in Ground Floor?

 
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Jeff Kayati
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I would imagine it's the fact that you can go the entire game never hiring an employee and still be competitive. Getting a new employee the first turn isn't necessarily the best play. Add in the sheer number of options on the board and you shouldn't need any compensation for turn order.
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Cameron Chien
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Generally if you have only played a fairly complex game ONCE, you should play one or two more times before declaring anything a "problem".

Cameron
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T Jesper Edmark
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If you read my question again you will find I never used the word "problem", but instead used the word "concern". In my experience with the english language these words do not carry the same meaning. Am I wrong in this?

I raised the question because turn order advantage is something that needs to be adressed when creating any game that has a competitive nature. Either it is deemed no problem or some sort of compensation has to be put in place. As you said I do not have the experience to know which category this game belongs in, but it was still a concern that was voiced after the session.
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Kelly Krieble
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Played the game once.

Went 3rd out of 4 players.

Didn't hire someone.

Won the game.

So there.

(BUT, at the time I still wished I had hired someone.)



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Jeff Kayati
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I neglected to mention one other thing that helps to mitigate turn order relevance. That's the usage of individual player boards versus the main boards.

Turn order is important for taking actions on the main board, but irrelevent to each player's board. This can be important if the starting player(s) don't have the resources needed to take actions on the main board at the start of the turn. Timing is really key in Ground Floor.

I believe you can be last in turn order the entire game and still be competitive. This is especially true when all the other players are spending resources heavily to compete for popularity.

Having played the game a few times, I can say that I feel the issues your raised are really non-issues. More game play will reveal that to you I'm certain.
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T Jesper Edmark
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I hope you are correct and I am sure David has reasoned about it, I just don't want to end up resorting to house rules for the game to become balanced (which has happened to other games).
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Mordachai wrote:
I hope you are correct and I am sure David has reasoned about it, I just don't want to end up resorting to house rules for the game to become balanced (which has happened to other games).

If you hire an employee on the first turn, you must also spend 2 (out of your 4) time units training that new employee (or else you have wasted money and info for nothing) - and then the following turn you will receive $3 less income as well.

Having not hired an employee, I can afford to purchase a TI - perhaps a hiring discount, or some extra Info income, or an additional Time Marker.

Alternatively, I will have enough Time markers to visit both the Consulting Firm (maybe twice) and Factory, as well as the Outlets to restock my Supply cheaply.

I guarantee you that being unable to hire on the first turn due to turn order is not an unbalanced disadvantage. If you're preference is to hire and you are unable to because of turn order, well I cannot help you there!
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Cameron Chien
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Mordachai wrote:
If you read my question again you will find I never used the word "problem", but instead used the word "concern". In my experience with the english language these words do not carry the same meaning. Am I wrong in this?

I raised the question because turn order advantage is something that needs to be adressed when creating any game that has a competitive nature. Either it is deemed no problem or some sort of compensation has to be put in place. As you said I do not have the experience to know which category this game belongs in, but it was still a concern that was voiced after the session.

Sorry, I was in a hurry at work. At any rate, the main point I was trying to make was that any concerns, problems, etc after just one play are likely simply due to having played it only once. You agree with me, so there's really nothing further for me to say on the subject.

Cameron
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Tamer Morad

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My game group has played the game a few times now and we have discovered that the first round has had little sway in who wins the game as things can be very volatile as the game progresses.

I do say though in regard to popularity I was able to win our first game (5pple)being last in popularity for 90% of the game that has since changed. As our strategies and understanding have deepen we have discovered that there are keys points in the game (and in your long term strat)when you want/need to be popular to be competitive for the win.

Also you cannot be competitive if you do not hire employee we found the average to be 3. (10 time blocks)
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François Mahieu
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Mordachai wrote:
After one play through of My PnP version the players all had the same concern - turn order round one, more specifically the disadvantage of going third or later. If player one and two decide to hire first round the other player(s) most likely can't do the same due to the increase in cost. They ofc will have more resources to spend round one, but we still felt it to be a disadvantage.

Also, as in any worker placement game, player one have more options due to going first - something most games compensate for. What is the reasoning behind this not being the case in Ground Floor?



We played the game several times and are still concerned about this randomly drawn order at the beginning of the game. Being first clearly is an advantage.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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poifpoif wrote:
Mordachai wrote:
After one play through of My PnP version the players all had the same concern - turn order round one, more specifically the disadvantage of going third or later. If player one and two decide to hire first round the other player(s) most likely can't do the same due to the increase in cost. They ofc will have more resources to spend round one, but we still felt it to be a disadvantage.

Also, as in any worker placement game, player one have more options due to going first - something most games compensate for. What is the reasoning behind this not being the case in Ground Floor?



We played the game several times and are still concerned about this randomly drawn order at the beginning of the game. Being first clearly is an advantage.

See my last post in this thread (3 up from yours).

Hiring comes with it's own balancing factor - it costs a lot of resource and time. It is not an automatic best first move, and as I described before, your options are wide open if you do not hire (cannot because you were late in turn order).
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Ian Kelly
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poifpoif wrote:
We played the game several times and are still concerned about this randomly drawn order at the beginning of the game. Being first clearly is an advantage.


You could auction the turn order, using starting money or VPs as the auction currency, instead of drawing randomly.
 
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Dan Hutch
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I played this for the first time last night as a 3 player, and was drawn last in the turn order.

It felt pretty devastating as I could not hire as cheaply, and was less popular making it harder to sell goods.

I whinged pretty hard... only to win the game pretty convincingly. I think the other players actually made a mistake since they both hired immediately while I did not. I had an extra $3 income for several rounds which turns out to be huge once you understand how tight money can be.

I'd say the big issue is convincing people it might not be a bad thing to be later in turn order.
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foksieloy
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We tried to go for auctioning the turn order, but we soon realized it is worth less to us than even $1.

It is easily defeated by as little as 1 time token.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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foksieloy wrote:
We tried to go for auctioning the turn order, but we soon realized it is worth less to us than even $1.

It is easily defeated by as little as 1 time token.

So... not that big a disadvantage after all?
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foksieloy
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Honestly, no.
The more we play the more we realise that the game is so brilliantly balanced, that any sort of "this is stronger" and "this is weaker" merely comes from you not playing enough games to realise how to properly use a strategy.

The turns when going first is most important are turns 4 and 7, when new floors show up. And you have plenty of time to prepare for that. For the rest of the time you should concern yourself with popularity only if you intend to sell a lot.
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Seth Jaffee
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foksieloy wrote:
Honestly, no.
The more we play the more we realise that the game is so brilliantly balanced, that any sort of "this is stronger" and "this is weaker" merely comes from you not playing enough games to realise how to properly use a strategy.

The turns when going first is most important are turns 4 and 7, when new floors show up. And you have plenty of time to prepare for that. For the rest of the time you should concern yourself with popularity only if you intend to sell a lot.

You are very wise!

We actually did put some thought and work into that kind of thing

- Seth
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Mike G
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In the groups I've played this with, it wasn't the ability to hire right away that made people feel early players had an advantage. It was the ability to grab the empty floors.
 
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foksieloy
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Grabbing empty floors leaves other players the option to grab the consulting and factory/warehouse.

You gained 5 points, the others gained massive momentum. I stopped buying the empty floor, unless I am playing a 2 employee game (then you badly need the network admin / premium product). I win every game without the empty floor, with an average of 60 points.

It is a massive dent in your initial funds, which slows down your acquisition of really powerful level2 floors.
 
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Bob Trezise
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I've 'played' two times, 2/3rd of the way before running out of time. Both times the last player seems to be at a disadvantage due to the inability to hire new employees. I accept that this may be a perception issue, but in many worker placement games it is a clear advantage to have more workers to place than your opponent.

Has anyone considered running the Hire Employees round in reverse order? like Power Grid does with resources & build.

Another thought: Tie the turn position to the random business advantage.
In the last game, the last player got the training room upgrade. Not as valuable when you go last.
 
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foksieloy
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Having more employees is not a clear advantage here. In most games we play the winner has 2 or 4 employees. I won with 1 as well.
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Trevor Schadt
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NickDanger42 wrote:
Another thought: Tie the turn position to the random business advantage.
In the last game, the last player got the training room upgrade. Not as valuable when you go last.
The problem is that turn order doesn't just govern the order in which you hire employees, it governs the order in which you do everything else as well. Is the training room upgrade so much better than the others that they should be relegated to being last in everything? And can you realistically put all 6 upgrades in some "order of awesomeness" that isn't going to wind up with an argument?

Here's my thing: yes, the ability to hire a new worker first is fortunate. The problem that it creates is that it drains your resources (money, information, and the time needed to train the new employee) at a time where they are the scarcest and therefore the most valuable. On your first turn, you have 4T, $9 and 7i. If you hire an employee right out of the gate, you're down to $4 and 2i, and have to dedicate 50% of your time (25% with training room) to training them. That's a serious investment, and it allows the other players who don't hire to have that much more at their disposal in order to start building their engines.
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Chris Berger
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NickDanger42 wrote:
Has anyone considered running the Hire Employees round in reverse order?


Yes, I've considered that, but haven't tried it yet. At least for the first round, it seems to make sense. But maybe for every round. If hiring isn't an advantage, then it shouldn't matter that much, right? (The problem I find with saying that it's not always an advantage to hire is that it is an advantage to have the first choice of whether or not to hire, and it's also an advantage to have first placement in the schedule business phase - giving those advantages to the first player with no compensation to the last player seems off.)

Quote:
Another thought: Tie the turn position to the random business advantage.
In the last game, the last player got the training room upgrade. Not as valuable when you go last.


You'd have to figure out which specialty is better. (Though I find it ironic that Trevor finds going last with the Training Room to be unfair, but going last randomly is not?) Better might be to draft the specialties in reverse order, so the last player gets his choice of which specialty to be (although, if Training Room is indeed the best, it's not going to be as useful to the last player as it would be to the first player...).
 
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Jeff Watts
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Being randomly drawn to go last in the game is substantially worse than going first.

There is no situation where a reasonable player would preference a later position (less popular) at the start. Given a choice the players would always pick the earlier position. Ergo, going later in the sequence is worse than going earlier by any reasonable standard.

Furthermore, not only does the game penalize going later in turn order (with the worst picks), it also provides a substantial penalty for being last in popularity at the "Marketing bonus" stage. At that point, if you are last in popularity you are denied any bonus. So if the player who was the last place random draw at the game start does not increase their popularity on the first turn, they take an additional penalty on top of the worst picks penalty. And at that point they will also go last on the next turn. This means that in addition to having the worst pick position, they are also forced into putting more tokens into the popularity track than other players to counter their starting disadvantage. This is a pernicious situation.

I'm inclined to like the game, but the individuals who defend the disadvantage for going last as unimportant are guilty of mood affiliation not reason.

If you doubt there is a real and tangible penalty for going last, I'd recommend in your next game, offering the first place draw $1 extra to go last instead; if they pass then offer it to the second, etc. I suspect that in most games the randomly drawn last player will still be last, but with an extra $1. If this is the consistent result we've revealed the game preference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revealed_preference
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