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Ending player advantage on Torres?

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  • flyingsheep
    While playing Torres last week, it occurred to me that the player who goes last has a bit of an advantage. Other players have to decide their actions based on
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2003
      While playing Torres last week, it occurred to me that the player who goes last has a bit of an advantage. Other players have to decide their actions based on a prediction of what the board will look like at the end of the round. The last player, however, has the "last word" on how much each castle will be worth.
      With this in mind, I think the youngest player should select the starting player (rather then be the starting player). Of course, selecting a starting player at random is fine as well. At the end of each round, the player with the lowest score is supposed to begin the next round. In my opinion, this leads to a "rich get richer" sort of thing.
      In summary, I think the player in last place at the end of each round should place the king and then select a player (normally the player to his or her left) to start the next round. What do you think?

      .chip
    • Dave Bernazzani
      ... I ve played a LOT of Torres and tend to agree with you that there is some advantage to going last ... unless you have clever players who are effective at
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 1, 2003
        .chip wrote:

        > While playing Torres last week, it occurred to me that the
        > player who goes last has a bit of an advantage.

        I've played a LOT of Torres and tend to agree with you that there is some
        advantage to going last ... unless you have clever players who are effective
        at taking the top positions and shutting people out of other high spots in a
        castle. With experienced players, I'm not so sure it's that big a deal.
        And the advantage of placing the king and going first in a round (going to
        the person who is in last) is at least as much an advantage, IMO. I've won
        and lost plenty of games of Torres in virtually every seat position. But if
        people don't close out castles or make it hard to scale, certainly going
        last can get you up and into some high scoring positions.

        It's a great game... one that I haven't played nearly enough of in the past
        year (only one play at SSG this year). I'll have to remember to pack it in
        the tote bag in the coming weeks to rectify before too long!

        --
        Dave Bernazzani
        daveber@... (remove NOSPAM to use)
        http://www.unitygames.org (Unity Games - Eastern MA Gaming)
      • flyingsheep
        ... Actually, I ve never thought of Torres as having a lot of AP at the end of the game. Usually there are a few castles (seven or less), and it s easy to
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 1, 2003
          >This is true of any game which has an absolute and predictable end
          >point, especially if the scoring structures are public. Usually it
          >makes for king maker and analysis paralysis problems in the end game.
          >eg Vinci, Torres, Tikal, Acquire with public stocks etc.

          Actually, I've never thought of Torres as having a lot of AP at the end of the game. Usually there are a few castles (seven or less), and it's easy to judge your relative position to other players (height) and relative worth of each castle (base size). With two, this is pretty simple, and don't think it's impossible with four.

          Of course, I'm only talking about getting a rough idea of the impact of your different options. Certainly calculating each player's final score during your last turn is an option (albeit a very tedius one).

          >While large point swings have been
          >common in our games, I've yet to see them as an imbalance issue.
          >... that is unless you are not playing the master/perfect information
          >game.

          I should have indicated that I am not playing the master version. Each player has an identical (randomized) deck of action cards to draw from, paying one AP per card. The contents of each player's hands are not known.

          >> In summary, I think the player in last place at the end of each round
          >> should place the king and then select a player (normally the player to
          >> his or her left) to start the next round. What do you think?
          >
          >This makes more sense if you play the base game with random card draws,
          >or are playing the master game with a group who have a significant
          >imbalance among analytical and reactive players. In that case I could
          >see use in a mechanism that put the strongest players first so that the
          >weaker players have a chance to collude without interference.

          Allowing the player in last place to select the starting player would give that player the option of starting with the strongest player (hopefully weakening the leader's position) or starting with the player on the left (greedily strengthening the trailer's position).

          This won't make a big difference between players of different skill levels, but it should make things more interesting for players on the same level.

          .chip
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