I LOVE Photosynthesis... it's practically the only game I have been playing online for a while.
I find this thread interesting... and though I completely agree that one of the things that makes Photosynthesis so much fun, is that it's a strategy game... but none-the-less... it still somehow manages to feel "relaxing" when playing it. (I think maybe all may feel the same way).
However, I never gave thought to the idea that with 2 players of equal experience, the 2nd player has the advantage... hmmm... So, I looked into it with some games I've played with other skilled players. I chose 6 games that came to the top, and of the 6 games, 5 of 6 were actually won by the FIRST player. All games were played with standard 3 revolutions and light shadow.
Having said that, even though I don't enjoy the dark shadow too much, and I usually opt to play 3 revs, instead of 4, I do agree with you in that both of these modals may mitigate any slightly perceived difference between 1st or 2nd player (which I'm not sure is really there to begin with).
Great hearing from you guys!
P.S. YeS, we all agree that there don't seem to be too many players now days. My thoughts: We had many more players when the game wasn't a Premium game. BGA, this is one of those games where maybe the cost/benefit may result in deciding to make it a non-Premium game again.
Just a thought... to see if we get more players again.