Tim Brauch <RnEeMwOs.pVoEst@tbrauch.cNOoSPAMm> wrote in message news:<Xns94B1B0DB1B331webmastertbrauchcom@188.8.131.52>... > > What would be more interesting is trying to explain to a lay person that > whoever goes first should win, unless they screw it up. That is why > whenever I play, I always go second. If I lose, it was destined.
You mean you don't use the swap rule? It is near universal.
Swap rule: After the first player's initial move, the second player has the option of either responding with his move or swapping sides and taking the initial play as his first turn.
The idea is that the first player needs to make an initial play that leads to a roughly equal game. If the first player makes a very strong move opening move, then the second player will swap sides and start with an advantage. If the first player makes a weak opening move, then the second player won't swap and again will start with an advantage. Without the swap rule, the first player gets a strong advantage simply by opening in the center hex (or one of two central hexes for even sized boards). In practice, the swap rule does a good job of equalizing the game. It also leads to more varied opening play.