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I introduced the Chwazi app (android linked, iTunes available) to my weekly gaming group, and now we all use it almost exclusively.
We like it because it's simple, and we don't have to refer to the rule book or some other arbitrary method to determine start player. Like, Smallworld is whoever has the pointiest ears. What?
In games that do not stipulate who goes first our group uses Chwazi (Google Play link, there is a version for iPhone though). Everyone puts their finger on the screen and it randomly selects one.
Our group does that too. We use Chwazi to see who gets to choose next, then after that session the remaining players use Chwazi again. Keep repeating until everyone chose a game and start over. Every once in a while we'll decide that for that round, we have to choose a game from another player's shelf.
If someone has to sit out a week, no worries we keep them in the drawing for the next week by using someone's spare finger.
It cuts down on a lot of "what do you want to play? I don't know, what do YOU want to play?" It's also added a lot of variety to the games we play, since we're not worried about getting a group consensus on what to choose.
We're also not having to wait until the last minute at game night to find out what we are playing, so we all have time to read up on the rules ahead of time if we so choose (we play a lot of heavy games, so it's advised in our group to do your homework first). It also dramatically speeds up play time and cuts down on rule gaffes.
Typically, unless the rules have a specific method that isn't arbitrary, we will use Chwazi to decide who goes first.
I play a lot of board games, card games, drinking games and this is a super cool app that determines first player based on the number of different fingers touching the screen. It's totally random and RIGHT THERE too, so no one can say that the first player was picked unfairly.
They look neat, but I'm going to stick to Chawzi, because I've yet to encounter anyone who's not instantly enamoured when I pull it up.
The best way is with Chwazi: iOS, Andriod
Its super fun, kind of a game in itself. Also, it's free. It works by everyone sticking a finger on the screen. The app thinks for a second, vibrates, and then zooms a bright color in on one finger. It can also randomly assign teams, select multiple from a group, etc. The screen shots don't do it justice. Seriously, download this app.
Edit: Clarified what the app does.
We replace any rule of a game that has some weird method of choosing the first player with Chwazi. Every one of my gaming friends loves Chwazi.
We just use the Chwazi app. I don't know why, but people get just as "competitive" about finger placement as they do in the actual game.
I always use Chwazi on iOS to randomly select a starting player. Everyone puts a finger on the screen and it selects one. It's for Android as well, but I haven't used that version.
Chwazi Finger Chooser by Cesar Barscevicius
I use this android app
Everyone places a finger on the screen, and it randomly picks one.
Or you can do groups. Everyone puts their finger on the screen and it will pick X groups (quick setting on the top of the screen). Or it will pick X fingers.
(Basically, an app where everyone touches the screen then the app randomly picks one of the people touching the screen. That player goes first).
Seconded. Best way for sure - when I remember to use it.
Links for the lazy... Android & iOS
I know that there are game specific ones, like ScytheKick for Scythe, but I don't know of any generic ones. Closest I get is using Chwazi to determine who picks first or in what teams if need be.
lol I dont know what that game is but you can use Chwazi here or here to pretty much simulate what you wanted to happen.
Haha I know the feeling, man. I end up making different, affordable combos, assigning each combo to a different finger of mine. Then I use Chwazi finger chooser to figure out which combo I'm getting.
It's a complicated process but I'll admit I get really bored sometimes :-)
Came here to make sure that the top comment was about Chwazi (Android) / Chwazi (iOS). Granted, sometimes it takes like up to 1.5 seconds to load on someone's phone, but this is still great to keep in the back pocket for those 'no technology' situations.
Might I suggest Chwazi?
Besides being great at deciding first player and randomly creating teams, it can also decide who has to sit out a game. If you set it to 4 fingers, and 6 people put their finger on the screen, it will choose the 4 that get to play.
The other two can either watch, help admin, or play a game on the side. Then for the next scenario or game night, depending on how you do you, just have the original 4 players use Chwazi to select who has to sit out of the next session.
Great for boardgames or random pairings. Everyone places a finger on your screen and it will either select a single person or it will match multiple people into groups. Super simple, but if you're trying to figure out who goes first for something, who drew the "short straw", or trying to make random pairings, it's invaluable!
My husband actually ran some CCG tournaments for awhile, and this is what he used for the first round and to figure out who had bye rounds.
I just planned one for this Thursday! It went like this, "Hey, want to come over for a game night?"
As far as what game to play, I am fine with people bringing their own or not bringing anything. To decide between games we'll either vote, or randomly chose using Chwazi.
Because we only have one table, I avoid the breaking-into-groups problem by not inviting more than 6 at a time. If one couple says they can't make it, I'll invite two more people. And so on.
chwazi is useful for choosing someone to do something.
Everybody touches the screen with a finger and different colored dots appear underneath. After a few seconds with no fingers being added/removed it selects one finger at random and only their dot remains.
It can also select multiple people or divide people into groups/teams. I mostly use it for boardgame nights as a quick and easy way to decide who goes first in games that leave it as an arbitrary selection.
I prefer to call it "counter-clockwise". But, to answer your question, I always follow the rules, unless it has me choose a starting player by any means other than Chwazi.
I have this on my phone and havent used dice rolls or any other way to determine starting player in any board game since I downloaded it.
I can "roll" a spindown so that with great accuracy I can hit the top 5 numbers and I dont trust anyone who insist on using a specific die to roll.
Here is an app that will do this in a very creative way without having to type everyones names in and fiddling about. Simply put your fingers on the device and it will pick an order for you.
Chwazi Finger Chooser
android link = [link]
So, if you like trick taking games play this game. We call it Presidents and Assholes but I guess naming doesn't matter.
Deal out the deck of cards.
Decide who goes first with Chwazi (This step not required but makes randomly choosing a first person easier).
First person lays a card or cards down. The next person has to play a card higher than the one previously played. Suits don't matter. You only play single cards or pairs but I guess runs wouldn't be too bad to add to the rules either. If you can't play then you take a drink. If a pair was played you must match the pair with a pair higher.
First person who goes out is President. At any time he can instruct any person to drink. The next person can make anyone other than the president drink. It's like that until the last person. The last person is called the Asshole.
The Asshole shuffles and deals the next hand. While dealing he can make any rule and the rule applies while he is shuffling and dealing the cards.
Before the round starts the President makes a rule that applies to the current round.
Repeat until bored or drunk.
Last time we played at a friend's birthday. There were ten or twelve of us so we used two decks. My wife was a straight up asshole to the guy by making a rule that said anytime anyone drank he had to take a drink also. He was drinking rum and went through a full 20 oz solo cup by the end of the round.
Chwazi has changed everything for me in setting up traditional games. It's an app where each participant places one finger on the screen of the device, and depending on the setting, it has a few different uses:
1) Highlight single fingers (default) - Useful for deciding who should go first in a game.
2) Highlight multiple fingers (set from 2 - 5) - Useful for a game where you need more than one person selected and groups are not of equal size. For example, a 6 player game where two players play against the other four, Chwazi can select two players at random.
3) Highlight groups (set from 2 - 5) - Separates each finger into a group, with the number of groups equal to the setting you chose. It will attempt to keep the groups even, but will adjust as needed; for example, in 3 group mode with 8 players, it will make 2 groups of three and 1 group of two.
But the weirdest thing about it is that it's kinda fun just to use. Usually the first time you show it to someone, they'll spend several minutes just playing around with the app itself. There's also times you can use it for things not even gaming related.
If you want a quick way to randomly pick one (or two, all the way up to five people) to go first, or to pay the bill, Chwazi is great for that. It also can group people together. Android only, though.
I've started using <strong>Chwazi</strong> for the same reason.
I never go by that. We just use Chwazi. Everyone puts a finger on the phone and it picks someone for you.
Chwazi: Great for choosing who's it / who goes first in a game / who's on which teams: [link]
Android right here:
This app and Chwazi are the two best things on my phone. Excited to look at the update.
Google Play link for added convenience: [link]
Chwazi the pick a player app - [link]
The Ultimate Werewolf Timer - [link]
A score keeper i haven't used yet - [link]
My old player picker app that I kinda like better - [link]
A sentinels of the multiverse HP tracker that I find awesome - [link]
Ultimate Werewolf's app is great - [link]
Sentinels Randomizer. I love this thing - [link]
Geek App .. it's ok - [link]
Dice Roller. fantastic App. I'll probably pay for no ads one day I think I have to pay to upload custom dice and once I do that I'm all in. - [link]
Chawzi in the Google Play Store
Chwazi anche io!
Shout out for Chwazi! Its a pretty straightforward and great short straw app.
Linkme didn't work, here's the actual link!
There sure is an Android version, and I use it every time we game!
Io per scegliere il primo giocatore uso Chwazi, è la più carina che abbia trovato.
Master Race link: [link]
I never pay much attention to them. I mean, they can be kind of amusing sometimes but I always just use Chwazi.
Hey OP, for future reference, there's an app called Chwazi for Android that you can use to decide who goes first.
Chwazi. Its a free App that can randomly divide people into teams and choose a first player.
Here are the other methods I've read about and why they're not for me:
Is it this one?
Not based on the rules directly, so maybe not what you're looking for, but this app is almost as fun as some games.
Need to decide who starts? Who's part of which team?
Chwazi is there for you :)
We are 4-6 players who meet up weekly. We use Chwazi to decide who gets to choose which game to play.
Chwazi is the best start-player-picker ever. Everyone touches your phone, it picks a finger. Can also separate people into teams.
Scorer has some UI issues, but it's still the best generic score-tracking app I've found. What I really like about it is that you can enter in multiple players' scores, which are kept as a differential, and then when you accept the scores they're added in to each player's running total.
The Renegade Games app brings a solo mode to Clank!, as well as an optional variant for multiplayer. Also has stuff for other games from that publisher, but I can't comment on them.
Road to Legend takes Descent 2nd edition and makes it play a lot like Mansions of Madness 2nd edition, turning it into an entirely cooperative (and even solo!) game. The enemies are controlled by the app.
Legendary Smart Randomizer is a great randomizer for Marvel Legendary that tries to pick heroes with good synergies.
I use Chwazi any time I need to pick who goes first in anything.
Or you Chwazi!
Had to Google it. In case you’re wondering:
Hilariously, “Chwazi” autocorrects to “cheating”.
Only somewhat related, but I love using this app.
I never knew I needed this app (Chwazi) before I saw it now. It's a beautifully made app.
There's a really good phone app that beats the h*ck out of drawing straws.
The spelling of the app name is... unique...