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Samurai: experimental 2-player variant
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:24 pm    Post subject: Strange idea! :-) Reply with quote

I am very sure (at the moment) that this is the solution:

No soldiers (samurai or ronin) should be allowed to be placed at any of the six hexes surrounding Edo.

What do you think?
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Strange idea! :-) Reply with quote

tibelix wrote:
I am very sure (at the moment) that this is the solution:

No soldiers (samurai or ronin) should be allowed to be placed at any of the six hexes surrounding Edo.

What do you think?


personally, i strongly prefer that the problem be fixed in a way that does not modify or add any rules.

my biggest concern is still a fair game though, so i could support a rule change but only if necessary.

let's playtest the 2SHIP variant a while longer. we need a lot more data for the stats to be useful!
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Strange idea! :-) Reply with quote

astroglide wrote:

personally, i strongly prefer that the problem be fixed in a way that does not modify or add any rules.

let's playtest the 2SHIP variant a while longer. we need a lot more data for the stats to be useful!


I strongly agree that we should not be tinkering with the rules themselves, and that we should give the Ship-2 variant some more time before rendering a verdict.

And don't forget random starting hands as an effective, if imperfect, equalizer. A 9% difference between P1 wins and P2 wins with random hands is looking pretty good right now compared to a 46% difference with the Ship-2 variant! :wink:
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those 3 figures in Edo make the game lopsided and the fact that the first player can surely take them. My suggestion would bring astroglide's dream of 52/48.
Can you think of good reasons against it concerning gameplay?

P.S.: I don't wanna do it anyway, just curious about your opinions about my idea.
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you think it would work?
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tibi, I think you may be on to something. Not allowing P1 to place any tiles adjacent to Edo during Round 1 may be the handicap that works.

Your suggestion reminds me of the imbalance with the Milton Bradley classic, Axis & Allies, where, between two equally strong players, P1 almost always wins. But when P1 is not allowed to attack the Caucases during Turn 1, the game becomes very balanced and competitive...

After some more play-testing with the Ship-2 variant, perhaps there should be some experimentation with the "Edo Variant."
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schuyler wrote:
Tibi, I think you may be on to something. Not allowing P1 to place any tiles adjacent to Edo during Round 1 may be the handicap that works.


i think his suggestion is that nobody, not just P1, can place "wildcard" pieces (3/2/2/1/1 samurai or 1 ronin) adjacent to edo. if P1 were simply prohibited from placing anything next to edo, and only the first turn, i think that would only result in P2 having a guarantee on it.

i think the idea is creative and that it attempts to address the concerns about edo in a way that doesn't immediately hand things over to chance. some thought would need to be given to how the issue would play out with hand drafting. without ronin, for example, the thought occurs to me that things might change because there's no threat of early closure. the second person to play into edo would get to see what the first person played, and make a more educated choice assuming their hand permits it. the possibility for a lot of ties seems out there too, and i find that tie conditions tend to increase chance as well as the advantage for whichever player is next in turn order after the third tie. this is where i find that rules changes become complex, and i'm still not certain that edo is the singular reason for P1's advantage. especially after seeing that you win many more games as P1 than P2 while only attacking edo a small percentage of the time!


Last edited by astroglide on Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If P1 is not allowed to place next to Edo then P2 takes it for sure...
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MaBi
Site Admin


Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 973
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroglide wrote:
i think his suggestion is that nobody, not just P1, can place "wildcard" pieces (3/2/2/1/1 samurai or 1 ronin) adjacent to edo.

Hmm... with this rule you risk running into an endgame situation where you can't play (the board is full except edo and you have only samurai tokens in hand). Of course you could say that *in this case* the move is allowed, but fixing the game adding first a rule exception and then an exception to the rule exception is not a good thing.
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Schuyler



Joined: Aug 21, 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what I was thinking is to simply not allow P1 to play next to Edo at all the first turn, and leave it at that. Sure, P2 could then swoop in and take Edo, but P1 would still have the advantage of playing first... I think that this handicap may be worth trying considering the trend with the Ship-2 variant, and no crazy rule changes are attempted (that Herr Knizia would probably frown upon anyway :wink: ).
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Strange idea! :-) Reply with quote

Schuyler wrote:
A 9% difference between P1 wins and P2 wins with random hands is looking pretty good right now compared to...


Schuyler wrote:
I think that this handicap may be worth trying considering the trend with the Ship-2 variant


those stats are an aberration; i posted them only to illustrate how data sucks without a good sample size, but i fear it's being misconstrued.

P2 is now winning more than 40% using the variant, but with less than 50 games played i do not yet consider it meaningful. be patient! :)
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaBi wrote:
Hmm... with this rule you risk running into an endgame situation where you can't play (the board is full except edo and you have only samurai tokens in hand).


If you are not allowed to place samurai tokens next to Edo, would you save them for Edo?
What are the chances for both players to have their last tokens to be "wildcards" with Edo still open to anyone?
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tibelix



Joined: Jan 06, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Budapest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment Shuyler's idea of not allowing P1 to place any token next to Edo in the first turn AND starting with random hands sounds good to me.
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

100 game variant stats update: 49 P1 wins (49%), 48 P2 wins (48%), and 3 ties (3%)

i'm optimistic, but still consider the sample size insufficient for drawing any firm conclusions. your continued playtesting is appreciated!
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astroglide



Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

200 game variant stats update: 93 P1 wins (46.5%), 97 P2 wins (48.5%), and 10 ties (5%)
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