Rob Bryan writes: >On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Joseph Peterson <jeepeterson@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: >Hmm, I really must play some second-builder-plays-first games; just >since my last email in this thread I've been re-convincing myself that >it's maybe broken. Or at least that I see a tactic for second builder >I want to play until I see why it isn't crushing. I think it -is- broken; I've still not seen a depiction of 2p1st that isn't flat-out worse than straight turn-taking -- and I suspect that a smart small universe play in 2p1st is broken (which is one thing you can do there that you can't do in regular play -- force a small universe as first player). I'll admit that 2p1st may be interested with a rule that you can't force a small universe -- that way, the first player is actually staking out territory her opponent can't steal (e.g. has a real advantage, not an apparent advantage that's actually a disadvantage) --but I think you need to add that rule to keep it even arginally playable. Re pie -- I'm ok with not building my homeworld in half the games (at least, in a variant), and afaict, there are no broken setups, only auto-lose ones. Setups where both homeworlds are moving inexorably toward doom are auto-win for the choosing player; they choose whichever homeworld is going to toward doom slower, and even if they're tied, the opponent must go first. So like fools mates in 2p1st, you don't do that. Hmm. Probably a better pie rule than my initial one is that one of the starts has a first player marker attached to it, and the second player must choose one. This puts even more weight on the dividing player, but makes the divsive role much clearer -- in my first try, the two starts should be asymetric (slightly), and either: 1. they're too far off and the second player should choose the better one. 2. they're too close and the second player should pass the choice back to the first player, as the person who goes first has an advantage, or 3. they're just right, and the second player is effectively choosing whether to go first or second by passing or taking. But if you drop a first player marker on one, the second player has the same variation of choice, but the asymmetry is much more obvious, and the divider doesn't have tho make a tricky choice, and then make a choice again if things get passed back (one they should already know, as they did the division, but still). -- Joshua Kronengold (mneme@(io.com, labcats.org)) |\ _,,,--,,_ ,) --^-- "Did you know, if you increment enough, you /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;' /\\ get an extra digit?" "I knew," weeps Six. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\ /-\\\ "We knew. But we had forgotten." '---''(_/--' (_/-'