Games with "Multiple Identical Item" Auctions
Stefan Alexander
Canada
Waterloo
ON
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I've been really interested in (real-life) multiple-item auctions lately. The bidding strategies can be quite complicated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auction

So I'd like to see if there are any games that incorporate a true multiple-item auction. There are many games that auction multiple items, but most of the time you're bidding on the entire set, and one bidder takes everything. I'm thinking of auctions with the following rules:

1) Multiple, identical (or nearly identical) items are being auctioned. The items should be similar enough that you don't really care which item you end up with. For example, you could bid on two "bags of assorted grain", but you can't bid on "bag #1" and "bag #6".
2) Players can choose how many items they want to bid on (from 0, up to the number of items being auctioned).
3) The goods are distributed according to the highest bids, so they could be distributed among multiple people, or all to one person.

So, Taj Mahal would come very close, but would not meet criteria #1. In Taj Mahal, it's really several (single) auctions happening in parallel. And you're bidding on specific items.

If you find a game that meets this criteria, please add it to the list, along with the specifics of the auction (such as all winners pay their bids, or all winners pay the lowest winning bid, or all winners pay the highest losing bid).

I'm not aware of any games like this.
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1. Board Game: Outpost [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1539]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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In Outpost, a set of Upgrades equal in number to the number of players is available for auction each turn. There are 13 different types of Upgrade, and the Upgrades to be auctioned are chosen via a random process (with the more costly Upgrades not available till later in the game.) Thus, it's common to see two or more of the same Upgrade available.

The auction process is sequential, with the player whose turn it is choosing which item will be auctioned next. The auction is a standard "around the table until all but one player has passed" affair.

If several idential Upgrades are available, you must decide whether to keep bidding for the Upgrade currently being auctioned or wait and try to get a later copy more cheaply. It feels a lot like eBay...
 
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2. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:411]
United States
Boise
Idaho
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In this new auction and building game from Avalon Hill there is such a mechanism. It can happen two ways. In a 5 player game the basic slot machine addition has two for sale every round. Meaning two players can end up with identical slot machine additions.

There is also a good chance that the specialty additions may well come up in a manner where two identical additions such as Fancy Restaurant may be up for bid at the same time.

You are certainly correct that this mechanism adds some real depth and very subtle strategy to the process. Especially since once you have been outbid on an addition you are free to bid elsewhere or take and action other than bidding.
 
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