First to 12

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First to 12 is a that shows how gameplay easily can become pointless once one has found the dominant strategy.

Main Gameplay Design Patterns

Predictable Winner, Turn-Based Games


First to 12 is a two-player game. The winning condition is to be the player that makes a common score reach 12 first. Each player's turn consist of raising the common score (which starts at zero) by one or two points.

The game has an easy dominant strategy for the second player: regardless of the first player's move, raise to 3 with one's first move, then raise to 6, 9, and 12 with subsequent moves. These moves are always possible given that the preceding moves have been made.

Other Noteworthy Aspects