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Subject: First Turn Balance rss

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Tony Hodge
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My group has noticed that whoever is lucky enough to start the game last in turn order gets a huge free bump in advantage. We considered diminishing money in turn order to start the game in order to hedge this (much like some other games like Lords of Waterdeep do).

Is this something anybody else does and how well does it work? Does anybody do anything else to even out the starting turn order advantage in this game?
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Robert Zaleski
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Well the game starts out with a bid, then you reorder. So really who goes last is who picks up the 3 or the 4 power plants, which are equally available to everyone.

You are re-ordering after the first bid on power plant number right?
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Tony Hodge
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You know what, I don't think we are re-ordering again until after the end of the first turn like all the rest of the turns. I must have missed that rule

That makes sense though, thanks!
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Jeff Thornsen
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What specifically is their advantage? That they can buy a high-numbered plant for face value? The deck is stacked such that the highest plant they could possibly buy is the 13 (except maybe in 6-player Benelux if a low wind plant is in the future marker).

The higher numbered plants generally consume more fuel, and will therefore cost more to power, possibly causing you to not afford to build additional cities early in the game.

Also, being the "last" player to build seems like a disadvantage, because you often have to choose between a relatively "open" area of the map (giving the other players room to expand), or wedging near other players in the cheap areas, causing fierce competition for city locations.
 
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Rich Shipley
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I haven't seen much of an advantage since the turn order is re-determined after buying the first power plants.
 
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1603-1714
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soccastar001 wrote:
You know what, I don't think we are re-ordering again until after the end of the first turn like all the rest of the turns. I must have missed that rule

That makes sense though, thanks!

This really is how the game itself balances out the first turn. The player who gets the most expensive (and generally considered best) plant then goes last placing his first power plant and last buying resources, both of which help offset any initial bonuses from getting a better power plant.

I've seen games in which players bid higher amounts for the cheapest plant than than do for "better" plants to get the turn-order advantage.
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Tony Hodge
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Faranim wrote:
What specifically is their advantage? That they can buy a high-numbered plant for face value? The deck is stacked such that the highest plant they could possibly buy is the 13 (except maybe in 6-player Benelux if a low wind plant is in the future marker).

The higher numbered plants generally consume more fuel, and will therefore cost more to power, possibly causing you to not afford to build additional cities early in the game.

Also, being the "last" player to build seems like a disadvantage, because you often have to choose between a relatively "open" area of the map (giving the other players room to expand), or wedging near other players in the cheap areas, causing fierce competition for city locations.


Not only do they get to pick from the remaining plants at minimum value (if they didn't participate in earlier bidding) but they are first to buy resources for the cheapest price, and the last player in turn order is actually first to build into a city so they get the biggest advantage.

More so than the advantage of being last in turn order in the first round (which actually has you going first for many things) is the disadvantage of going first in turn order as by the time you get to buy resources and into cities in a large (5-6 players) game everything is much more expensive and all the good spots are taken.

Again this is somewhat moot because we weren't re-ordering after the bidding stage, we were just drawing for starting turn order and played the first turn like any other, not re-ordering until the beginning of the second turn. That's just how it would be a huge advantage if the way we were playing was correct.
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Jim Rice
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I've always felt that a large portion of the game was judging what position you wanted to be in. Turn order does matter. But while being in last does have advantages its not always the best place to be. The more cities you power the more cash you have and the more options are open. Being the one with the most cash can be more advantageous than going last in the turn order.
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Shane Loader
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Power Grid is very interesting because the player in last place can control things alot.
In the first round it is a tough decision whether to get a plant that powers 2 cities. Or to get the cheapest plant to hoard resources increasing the costs for everyone else and build first.
 
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