Whose turn is it, anyway? A celebration of starting player tokens
Brian MacDonald
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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The starting player token lives a curious double life, which marks it as separate from all other game bits. It has to be unique from all the other components in the game, because there can be only one starting player, by definition. It should also be visually interesting, so it can be easily identified for what it is. However, unlike other components, it serves almost no purpose during the course of a round, other than to say, "Hey, you go first." Once that's done, it can only sit and wait patiently for the next round.

This list shines the spotlight on the often-underappreciated starting player tokens. There are lots more out there, so feel free to add your own.

Update March 2013: It's been a while since anybody touched this list, but some new acquisitions deserved to be added.
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101. Board Game: Tide of Iron [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:361]
Gary Averett
United States
Salt Lake City
Utah
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uh...whose turn is it?
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I spent 100gg for this?!?!
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Tide of Iron uses an M1 Garand token to show who has initiative. Not technically a start player token, but pretty cool IMO. (Since we aren't being picky.)
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102. Board Game: TransAmerica [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:718]
Brian MacDonald
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Transamerica probably isn't a game that really needs a starting player token, and this one is sort of halfhearted. It's the same image that's on the back of the destination cards, but instead drained of any color. It's easily the least interesting card in the game.
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103. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:301]
Max Maloney
United States
Portland
Oregon
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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I really like this painted wood coin. Very nice.
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104. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:48]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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The start player is the one who goes first in this game, period. Thus a card with a "1" is very fitting
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105. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:31]
Guido Gloor
Switzerland
Ostermundigen
Bern
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Technically, this is a turn order marker as well and not really a first player token in any stricter sense; whoever chooses the lowest-numbered strategy card in Twilight Imperium goes first during the round. If somebody does choose the one with the number 1, it's the first-player marker, too - but if nobody does, the ones with number 2 or 3 might be. And the expansion adds variant replacement strategy cards, too. So this entry really is a bit of a stretch
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106. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:17]
Brian MacDonald
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Quite the snazzy token here. It's a shame it's just flat cardboard, though. I wish the game came with a full Mayan headdress that the starting player had to wear.
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107. Board Game: Valdora [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:813]
Jens www.spielefreun.de
Germany
Heinersreuth
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Overtext is really cool. The best 100 GG I've ever spent.
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Well. I'm actually bored with overtext. Why did I give all that GG away?
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This is a solid metal book!



Alas, you have to buy the expansion to get it.

And, to be honest, this book is obviously supposed to justify the relatively huge price for the expansion which consists just of a couple of cards. Expansions like this were given out freely before by the designer.
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108. Board Game: Vanuatu [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:416]
Cole Munro-Chitty
United States
Portland
Oregon
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The large black pawn!
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109. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:276]
Jeff Miller
United States
Ogden
Utah
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The "Dealer" Button is nice, big, and includes a handy Turn Order reference on the back!
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110. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:213]
Adam Alleman
United States
Denver
Colorado
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Only the first Viking gets the ship and everyone gets attacked by the ships devil .
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111. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:76]
Brian MacDonald
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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Don't know much about this game yet, but these two make a cute couple on this otherwise flat starting-player token.
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112. Board Game: Wadi [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4980]
Olav Fakkeldij
Netherlands
Beverwijk
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Every (?) copy of this game has a unique vase as a start player marker.
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113. Board Game: Wealth of Nations [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:766]
Roberto Bueno
Spain
Gijon
Asturias
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Best start player ever!!!!! well, one of the three if you can decide which one to use
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114. Board Game Publisher: White Wind
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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The Back Alley gets no respect.
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I believe that all (or at least most) of the White Wind games used a wooden dragon to denote the current "start player" which, I guess, should really be called the "start round player" since it keeps changing.

Looks a lot like MisterCranky, doesn't it?
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115. Board Game: The Witcher: The Adventure Card Game [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:8172]
Scott Everts
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
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"Nobody gets me. I'm the wind, baby!" - Tom Servo
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"Push the button, Frank!"
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The Witcher card game is based on the popular computer game. It's a cool little game with very nice art rendered from the original computer game models.

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116. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:312]
Brian MacDonald
United States
Downingtown
Pennsylvania
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This token is larger than most of the tiny chits found in this game, which is a plus, but it doesn't really convey the theme well, and its easily overlooked. I forgot this game even had a starting player token until I went through my collection to make this list.
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117. Board Game: Yspahan [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:292]
Gary Sonnenberg
United States
Waukesha
Wisconsin
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The camels naturally get all the glory shots in Yspahan, but the start player marker is the black pawn standing on the white die.
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