I Hate the Bidding mechanic!
Felix Rodriguez
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
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Or.. Bidding games for those that despise them...

Whenever Essen and Nurnberg come around I get a list and descriptions of all games and cull them for a variety of reasons. One of the first of these reasons is bidding mechanics.

You see, I find bidding to be a cheap way to handle play balancing. If you make a bunch of cards and then bid for them, it doesn't matter what the power between them are, bidding will fix the balance. That's a dull way to go about designing a game.

Bidding also makes a game inaccessible to beginners. Its really hard for a first time player to figure out what the correct bid is.

Finally, I just don't find these games to be fun. I'd rather wreck my mind thinking about board position than exactly how much I would pay something over something else.

So can anyone explain to me why I love all these games?
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1. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:137]
Felix Rodriguez
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Pure bidding games are the worst. There's so many that come out every year, all having what basically amounts to a different distribution of the stuff that gets bid on. Oh and of course collecting different types of sets so that what you bid on has a different value for everybody.

Ra is currently one of two games that's both on my Top 10 and my Hot 10 list even so many years after I've bought it.
 
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2. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:126]
Felix Rodriguez
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Money is a fiddly mechanic especially when used in large quantity bidding. Figuring out if X is worth 1300 points or 1200 points is something I don't enjoy doing.

Princes of Florence is currently rated at 9. Given that I have only 6 tens in my 250 or so ratings, and that tells you how much I dislike doing exactly the above.
 
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3. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:116]
Felix Rodriguez
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Well so I have this game right and all of its mechanics are balanced except for this whole slew of random stuff that isn't balanced. Lets auction those! I hate lazy designers.

Goa is one of my favorites and currently 4th on my Hot list.. El Grande is another example of this mechanic - another game on my top 10.
 
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4. Board Game: Evo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:802]
Felix Rodriguez
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What's even worse, auctions in games usually make no thematic sense.

Evo, I bought solely because I like dinosaurs and think I'd enjoy it less if it was about something else. I always get giddy when someone asks to play it at my game nights.
 
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5. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:561]
Felix Rodriguez
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Some designers try and get creative by adding dumb rules to their auctions - such as you can't bid the same amount as another player for something else on the board. So that means I have to pay 5CC for the same quality item as player 1 got for free if there is no substantial difference in the things offered on the table? This is fair?

Which is exactly why Santiago is currently in my hot list and gets better every time I play it.
 
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6. Board Game: Carolus Magnus [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:952]
Felix Rodriguez
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Other designers add bidding to things that shouldn't have it, such as turn order. If a game plays fine without having to bid for something, then why add to the length of it?

Carolvs Magnvs is a bit too luck based to make it to the top of my pile and yet I like it much more than any other non-bidding 3 player area control game.
 
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7. Board Game: Fresh Fish [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2125]
Felix Rodriguez
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The worst of the lot... BLIND bidding. Now you have to figure in psychology when you decide what number to bid on. Why would anyone take bidding and add luck to it? I hate these games!

Fresh Fish, for example, I hate so much I'm going to try and play it as soon as I get home today.
 
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8. Board Game: Palazzo [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1527]
Felix Rodriguez
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And now for the clincher. A game that when it came out, almost all the comments I heard were: Yet another Knizia bidding game. Just what we need! Can't the guy move on to another mechanic?

I mean its not like Palazzo is so far my highest ranked game of 2005 or anything.
 
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