Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

Re: [Icehouse] Binary Homeworlds: Start player house rule and strength of banker opening

  • FromJoshua Kronengold <mneme@xxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 30 Mar 2009 11:43:26 -0500
Don Sheldon writes:
>statistically insignificant.  Trying to fix it with this new house
>rule introduces the lightning attack strategry you mentioned
>(something I've been itching to try out in a normal game but have thus
>far been too scared) and way overcompensates for the slight (if even
>real) advantage of The Banker.

I agree.

>But since your one of the most experienced Homeworlds players out
>there, I think you probably already know all this, so I feel a little
>weird trying to preach it to you.

Heh.  Lack of authority doesn't hold much water when you're right
(iow, if you're right, it doesn't really matter if you don't have the
"right" to argue).

Basically, the first player advantage in Homeworlds consists of:
	1. You make the first real move.
	2. You get to establish a position -- and -because- you get
	the first real move, your opponent may be forced to follow your lead
	(eg, small universe isn't necessarily a great idea when you're going
	 second, as the 2nd player disad is magnified by proximity).

The 2nd player advantage is:
	You get to decide, once the first player has announced their
	homeworld, what game you're -really- playing, picking the best
	homeworld to respond to your opponent's pick.

The proposed house rule gives all three advantages to the 2nd player,
instead of distributing them to both.  The 2nd player now gets the
first real move, gets to decide what game is "really" being played by
picking their homeworld second, -and-, when there really is an opening
that is auto-lose in small universe (or much stronger in SU), gets to
choose said SU and win rather than their opponent getting an option to
take the best of a bad set of alternatives.  As such, I think it's a

I do think that banker is overestimated -- I'm pretty good in either
goldilocks or banker start (I've done the third start, but not often).

I don't see a good way to deal with 1st player advantage in BH -- the
turn-taking nature of the game makes this difficult, and the fact that
the 2nd player gets to pick a countering opening does fix things

One possible houserule to play around with things, though I don't know
that it's necessarily a better solution to 1st player advantage, is
that the first player sets up both homeworlds.  The 2nd player then
	1. Picks a homeworld, and the 1st player makes the first real
	2. Passes, forcing the first player to pick a homeworld.  The
	   2nd player then makes the first real move.

That would certainly be an interesting variant, at least.

       Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\      _,,,--,,_  ,)
--^--   "Did you know, if you increment enough, you   /,`.-'`'   -,  ;-;;'
 /\\    get an extra digit?"  "I knew," weeps Six.    |,4-  ) )-,_ ) /\     
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