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Starting player advantage

26-01-2009 10:56:03
Floriado is one of the games on this site I play more than others.

Currently the stats show 1520 wins for the starting player and 1080 wins for player 2. Beside Comino, which already got a tweak, this is the strongest starting player advantage of all games on this site.

Do you see any possibility (or need) to do something here?
26-01-2009 13:00:08
Floriado could probably benefit from a Komi rule. Not the fixed Komi rule as in Comino (it would have been better if Comino gave 4.5 or 5.5 points to the first player; that prevents draws from happening), but let the first player offer a number of points for going first. Second player can either accept or decline. If the second player accepts, he gets the number of points offered, and the first player moves first. In the second player declines, the first player gets the number of points he offered, and the second player moves first. Again, if the number of offered points would be N + 0.5, with N an non-negative integer, draws no longer can happen (which is good for pyramids).
26-01-2009 17:47:31
Such a solution is in theory good. In practice I don't like it. It makes the first player think long before the game starts moving and the second player too about a very small advantage (if the first player made a logical choice).
Other similar solution is to let the first player place a pawn and let the second player choose to starts with that pawn on that place or let the first player be start player with that pawn.

With fixed number of Komi points it doesn't slow down the game. It is now 58-42% for start player. What is much but I don't want to make a habit of adding Komi points.

When I would design the game 'today' I would have marked two of the 7-cards, for both players one start card. To make that the first move is not the most heavy move in the game. That would make the stats more 50-50% too. It adds luck to the game, but I like unequal starts and just making the best out of that.

Draws I like in games where draws are rare and if it doesn't lead to defensive play.
Lord Al
26-01-2009 18:19:27
It's fine as it is.
27-01-2009 10:25:37
It doesn't really bother me as well as I play Floriado by gut feeling. I will continue playing it anyway. But I like the idea of first player placing the pawn and second player choosing whether to take it.
27-01-2009 12:58:24
In Floriado, placing first might not be such a big advantage as it looks like. You have to take into account all possible things your opponent can do. But if you move second, you already know what your opponent did, and you can take full advantage of that. So I was quite surprised to see there was such a big difference in winning percentage....

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