Last Letter Advanatge Word games

5 replies. Last post: 2020-08-14

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Last Letter Advanatge
  • terrance806 at 2020-08-14

    There is a significant advantage in getting the last letter when playing WYPS as it often ensures you get the last move.

    Does anyone have a suggestion about how we could stop this advantage.

  • metzgerism at 2020-08-14

    I'm not too worried about this in WYPS, since player actions dictate when the bag empties. I actively try to run out the bag to take this advantage.

    Turn order is a much bigger deal in OSKI, at least from what I've seen so far.

  • Ed Collins at 2020-08-14

    Yes, in OSKI, it's a large advantage to move second.

    The following article I wrote is probably ten or more years old, but unless the rules were modified or changed, the results would still be true today.

  • metzgerism at 2020-08-14

    It doesn't look like the rules were different than the current ruleset today.

    That “halftime” analysis is probably most meaningful, and not just in how imbalanced it is.

    Player 2's maximum score available is always 1 more than Player 1's, and results in a theoretical advantage of 8 points. Around halftime, that advantage bleeds off, since players are just adding variety to the board (instead of variety and size), but there is a final (16th) move advantage, since p2 doesn't really need to find a big word, just a legal word that matches or overtakes P1's lead.

    Makes me think there should be 2.5-point komi.

  • Ed Collins at 2020-08-14

    I just checked the forum.  It was just less than ten years ago that I posted that OSKI article.  Here's a small discussion we had about it back then.

    And yes, a 2.5 bonus for the player going first is about the general consensus.  (According to what I wrote, I would still choose to go second if it was only two points.)

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