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Start Player
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Start Player

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Ages Play Time Players
6+ 0-2 minutes 2 or more

Designer(s): Ted Alspach

Publisher(s): Z-Man Games, Asmodee North America

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Product Description

How many minutes are wasted determining who goes first in a game? Well, no more wasting time with this handy-dandy accessory. Just flip over a card which asks things like: who is the tallest, who was most recently sick, who has the most tattoos, etc. and the person who "wins" gets to be the start player (ties are broken by the arrows). Start Player makes choosing a start player fun and easy.

Art by Ted Alspach from his internationally known webcomic Board2Pieces.

Product Information


  • 54 cards
  • 1 wood pawn

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 1 review

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No more fighting over who goes first
January 13, 2009

I think it was almost 2 years ago when I first heard of Start Player. It started out as a semi-collectible game, which I was somewhat skeptical about, but then Z-Man games got their hands on it and have gone the non-collectible route. It seemed like something that I would really enjoy, especially without having to worry about the collectible aspect, because I often got annoyed with games not giving clear guidelines to determine the start player or games where the same person was always going first. Now I have a copy, and here’s what I think:

What do you get with Start Player? In the box is a deck of 54 cards and 1 big Start Player pawn.

How does Start Player work? This is basically the most obvious game in the world. Before playing another game, where you need to determine the start player, someone grabs a card from this deck. Each card tells you who the start player should be. In the case of a tie, or a disagreement on who the best fits the criteria, the card has an arrow on it and the person it is most closely pointing to is the start player.

What does Blott think of Start Player? I really enjoy this simple solution for determining who will go first in our games. I have played many games where I will go first as the youngest player every single time. Or we will play games that require a die roll, and there are always too many ties. It’s just fun to read one of these cards and have a little chat before the game starts about who has the biggest ears, or who has the coolest cell phone. There is a really good variety in the cards, which makes it easy to grab 5 or 6 cards in one game night and it still remains fresh. If I were to make one complaint about the game it would be that some of the cards are filled with those same start player rules that annoy me in the games it’s trying to help with (oldest, youngest, person who owns the game, etc.)

Who will enjoy Start Player? Anyone who is looking for a simple way to determine the start player might enjoy this game. In many games being the first player is a big advantage or disadvantage, and so this game is a way to lighten up that decision-making process. However if you take your gaming very seriously, you might not appreciate the humor and silliness that this game will inject into your game day.

Any parting comments about Start Player? The start player marker that comes with this game should probably be mentioned as well. It is a very large white wooden piece that is much more functional than the start player marker that comes in several games, and we have swapped out some of those for this one instead. Also of note is the fact that on each card there is a small comic with the characters from Ted Alspach’s “Board 2 Pieces” comic strip ( The characters make goofy little jokes about the subject of that particular card. This adds a little something extra to each card, and usually succeeds in making me chuckle. All around, this is a great game accessory that I’ll probably be using for years to come.

Other Resources for Start Player:

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