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Game Balancing

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008


Joined: 08/11/2008
Game Balancing

I agree, game balancing is tough. I had fits trying to balance my latest game. The first player a slight advantage over the first player, who had a slight advantage over the second player. Each step was slight, but comparing the disparity between the first and fourth was noticable.

One way around it might be to do a Settlers of Catan opening: Players choose an opening position player 1 through player 4, and then do the same in reverse: player 4 through player 1.

Another solution might be to give different opening benefits to players. The Mayfair Games Cosmic Encounter did this with lucre (money). Each player gets an incrementally greater amount of Lucre from the first player.

Puerto Rico gives different stuff to the last two players. Corn plantations are given instead of Indigo plants, which are easier to get started and give an early benefit.

I ended up using the incremental approach in my game. Whatever approach you use, you should be careful that the rules are not too "figgly" and seem like a patch-job. I would recommend avoiding rules that start, "On the first turn play this way, but on turn 2 and after play this way."

Just my 2 cents.
-- Scott S.

Joined: 11/26/2011
Game Balancing

I find that game balance is more often an organic thing and not something you can cook up with pure mathematics.

As Shakespear said, "the play is the thing" (I

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