Thank you both for your feedback, I think I’ll leave these alone for now.
But I should do a better job of explaining my worry and a possible solution. My worry is that against puzzles like this, players have a very high chance of guessing correctly. Once you’ve made the first move, every subsequent move is forced. That means more lower rated players get it right and the puzzle’s rating is low for its difficulty. This in turn means getting it wrong is more punishing, loses more points, than most puzzles of the same difficulty.
I know the usual advice is to care about your play and not about your rating, the rating will follow. But the fact of the matter is that people do care about ratings and losing a bunch to a puzzle that is tricky but guessable may be frustrating. And I really don’t want this site to be frustrating. Hence my question.
As for the solution, I’m definitely not going to prevent all puzzles that start with captures, that’s way too large a class of puzzles and variety is clearly important. But there are all kinds of things that make puzzles bad, like too many good moves, or ending too soon, or not ending soon enough, and maybe being too guessable. The generator has gotten better at avoiding the other errors. I could, during puzzle creation, look at the number of legal player moves over the puzzle’s tree and skip creation if that number is less than or equal to 4.
This could be a refinement. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. From the sounds of things I would be doing more harm than good. Thank you both for the feedback. If you or anyone else have any other thoughts, please share them.