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Subject: 4 player game: broken? rss

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Moe45673
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I've played Troyes on BGA quite a few times. I've never won as it's difficult to see how everything ties together when you can't hold the components in your hand and the sense of "don't AP" is strong

However, I do see how it all ties together and is a brilliant game. I've been considering this, but I've heard the 4 player game is broken, as start player will always win. Yea or nay?

For those of you who think 4 player is broken, will the purple dice in Ladies of Troyes fix this problem?

Having said that, I don't expect to play this as a 4 player game very often..... would be more a game to play with the wife
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Four players is my favorite way to play this one, and I haven't seen any correlation with first player winning. Both times I've won when playing with 4, I did not go first, and I've lost at least one game where I did.

2 of the players get to go first twice, and the other 2 only go first once (but will go first once the level three cards come out before the other two get to go first again). But I think there's just too many options and too many dice for the player going first to have any advantage locked down. They may get to a card first, but there are plenty of other cards to go after. And having first stab at dice doesn't mean much unless they have the money to buy them.

Maybe we aren't experienced enough yet to see whether first player has any advantage, but I've played 8 games so far, and it hasn't been a factor in our games.
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Ben
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Does BGA keep stats? Based on my < 10 in-person plays, I don't think the start player had any advantage at all. Seems so obviously imcorrect, on fact, that I really want to see the evidence.
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Jon Ben
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I agree with the others but my opinion should be down weighted significantly due to lack of experience.

Not to derail the thread but DoomTurtle your name and avatar had me laughing, hence the tip, cheers!
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JonBen wrote:
I agree with the others but my opinion should be down weighted significantly due to lack of experience.

Not to derail the thread but DoomTurtle your name and avatar had me laughing, hence the tip, cheers!


Thanks!
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Danny
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Moe45673 wrote:
However, I do see how it all ties together and is a brilliant game. I've been considering this, but I've heard the 4 player game is broken, as start player will always win. Yea or nay?


Nay. I haven't had this problem. I could see it maybe being an issue if you're playing with three other people who really know what they're doing, but in my experience so far the winner is not always the starting player.
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Shane Larsen
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Keep playing, Moe. Many players think this after a few plays, I've found it to be a myth. The fourth player just needs to think more timing and preparation for his rounds rounds as 2nd and 1st in turn order. The fourth player also gets first crack at level 3 cards--so be ready for them. devil

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thedacker wrote:
Keep playing, Moe. Many players think this after a few plays, I've found it to be a myth. The fourth player just needs to think more timing and preparation for his rounds rounds as 2nd and 1st in turn order. The fourth player also gets first crack at level 3 cards--so be ready for them. devil



Actually third player gets first crack, but fourth payer is right behind, and player three can't take them all.
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Shane Larsen
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DoomTurtle wrote:
thedacker wrote:
Keep playing, Moe. Many players think this after a few plays, I've found it to be a myth. The fourth player just needs to think more timing and preparation for his rounds rounds as 2nd and 1st in turn order. The fourth player also gets first crack at level 3 cards--so be ready for them. devil



Actually third player gets first crack, but fourth payer is right behind, and player three can't take them all.


You're right. I guess what I meant was fourth player sees the third level cards, and has one round to prepare and stomp on the most inviting card(s). In terms of third level cards, I like being in fourth spot more than third spot.
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Daniel Corban
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Moe45673 wrote:
I've been considering this, but I've heard the 4 player game is broken, as start player will always win. Yea or nay?

For those of you who think 4 player is broken, will the purple dice in Ladies of Troyes fix this problem?

After my first play, I had feelings that the turn order was grossly imbalanced. After playing a few more times, I now feel there is no problem.

I prefer the game with four players. The two-player game is fairly boring. Three players is fine.
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Daniel Corban
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louper wrote:
I also don't see a reason why they would've included it if there wasn't an advantage for the first player - if it ain't broke, don't fix it, etc.

Here is one reason: to placate the whiners.

But seriously, there are a lot of variants created strictly to please a subset of gamers and not out of good design or balance.
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Железный комиссар
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Turn order is not an issue in Troyes.

Is that an echo? laugh

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EXTRA AVOCADO! Sonderegger
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Not to derail, but why aren't you guys playing Macao?
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Nate S
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My immediate reaction to the OP is "W H A T ? ? ? Who on earth said that and why are you listening to them?"

Turn order advantage might worry somebody who had read the rulebook but literally never played a 4p game. The only way somebody could imagine a big 1st player advantage having actually played is if they got stomped by a much superior player who just happened to be in the first seat. Nobody with any significant playcount could perceive that the game has a "broken" level of turn order advantage, and with many, many 4p games under my belt I can say I perceive no significant seating advantages at all.


edit: Haven't played with the expansion yet. The base game is exquisitely balanced on pretty much every axis, including turn order.
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Moe45673
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Thanks all! I have a friend who owns the game, he's selling it and told me this. I won't tell him he's mistaken and will get it from him
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Chris Linneman
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While there is an obvious advantage to going first in a round (I get to buy the best group of dice!) this is pretty much counteracted in the first round by not having enough money to do so. Furthermore, the start player will have less dice by virtue of having fought the marauders AND he is more likely to have put his dice in the best spot (red building), further reducing his income. I actually don't like being start player because of these reasons. There is something to be said for being second (you get to go first in the second and final rounds), but I have not noticed any correlation between seating position and win percentage in my games. I'd say other random elements in the game have a much bigger influence on its outcome, not to mention the obvious advantage of playing well. If you are able to get a good deal on this game, you should absolutely go for it.
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Nate S
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There are 2-3 major effects that counterbalance what one might naively imagine would be a 1st player advantage:

1. First player has to fight more black dice over the course of the game.
2. 3rd and 4th player get the highly significant advantage of having the first and second actions after revealing the final activity cards.
3ish. 3rd and 4th player arguably have a notable advantage during initial meeple placement in the principal buildings.


All in all, each seat has its own advantages:

-First player gets to act first or second most often.
-Third player gets first action in round 3 (probably the most high-value action of the game).
-Fourth player probably has the most advantageous seat for initial meeple placement, and gets the second action of round 3 and the first of round 4 (probably the 2nd and 3rd most high-value actions of the game).
-Second seat offers a balance of the advantages and disadvantages of the other seats.
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Alain Orban
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ghorsche wrote:
There are 2-3 major effects that counterbalance what one might naively imagine would be a 1st player advantage:

1. First player has to fight more black dice over the course of the game.
2. 3rd and 4th player get the highly significant advantage of having the first and second actions after revealing the final activity cards.
3ish. 3rd and 4th player arguably have a notable advantage during initial meeple placement in the principal buildings.


All in all, each seat has its own advantages:

-First player gets to act first or second most often.
-Third player gets first action in round 3 (probably the most high-value action of the game).
-Fourth player probably has the most advantageous seat for initial meeple placement, and gets the second action of round 3 and the first of round 4 (probably the 2nd and 3rd most high-value actions of the game).
-Second seat offers a balance of the advantages and disadvantages of the other seats.

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Alain Orban
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louper wrote:
Also, worth noting that the Ladies of Troyes expansion's rules list a "Tournament Variant" for 3- and 4-player games. At the end of the next-to-last round, the start player passes the start player card to his right (instead of his left) and the last round is played counterclockwise.

(Of course, you can't do that on BGA.)

I see no reason why this wouldn't work with plain old Troyes, w/o the expansion. I also don't see a reason why they would've included it if there wasn't an advantage for the first player - if it ain't broke, don't fix it, etc.


Where do you see that the tournament variant is ther to counterbalance the advantage for the first player ? you are making that conclusion only because you think there is an advantage.

This tournament variant can be played with the basic Troyes game and/or with the expansion and you can use it at home (it's not necessary to be in tournament )

We, the designers (with Seb and Xavier), think that all the positions in the game round have to be played differently and you have to adapt your behaviour to that.
For instance, when I know that I will be first player, I want to be sure to fight enough black dice at once (in such a way that i don't have to spend more than 1 die for the events)and I do my best to get at least 1 or 2 red dice.
If i'm fourth in the game order, I don't really care of that and maybe I will go an fight an event the round before to be sure that i wil have no black die to counter.

Have fun and decide the way you want it to be played, the most important is to have fun !!!
alain,



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Charlie Theel
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I've played 30 or so games (half online, half in person) and haven not noticed this. The Black Dice counteract the turn order to some degree.
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Alain Orban
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the tournament variant has been done so no one have good excuses if he looses in a tournament. Some people don't like asymetry in the games and moreover in tournaments.People now feel then like everybody has the same chances because when you had your turn order, everybody has the same value: the first player has 1+4+3+2+1+4=15, the second = 2+1+4+3+2+3=15, the third = 3+2+1+4+3+2= 15, the fourth=4+3+2+1+4+1= 15.


As I've already explained, the turn order is counterbalanced by the black dice and there are so many things to take into account during the game that the tournament variant is not necessary.


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Moe45673
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Well, I finally picked up the game on Sunday (aforementioned friend was out of town for a month). Stoked to own it and can't wait for it to see the light of day!

Clearly Mr. Orbain and company didn't just rush this game out and were thorough in their development. It's also great news that this game is somewhat newb friendly, as sticking a newb in 2nd or 3rd turn order is easier to see victory opportunities, as opposed to 4th which evidently requires more experience
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Shane Larsen
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Have fun! It's one of my favorites.
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