Pricing Systems
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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Inspired by the Auction Systems list, I thought that it would be interesting to track methods by which players sell goods to the game. These systems generally let players set differing prices and the lower offers are rewarded. How many games have interesting ways of doing this?
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1. Board Game: Fantasy Business [Average Rating:5.53 Overall Rank:12429]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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After price-fixing negotiations players secretly set unit prices for each type of good that they have (all units from a player will sell at the same price). When prices are revealed, everyone but the highest-priced seller for each good sell at the chosen price. Sellers with the lowest unit prices earn a bonus of two crowns per unit.
 
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2. Board Game: Business Strategy [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8526]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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This game has multiple-unit sealed bid auctions. A card is revealed showing the number of available manufatured units desired and a maximum price. Players secretly mark up to two price/quantity pairs. (Just one in the `Family' version.) Units are sold in order of increasing price in the requested quantities.

The `Corporate' version of the rules adds a dollar auction variant to the sale of manufactured goods. Players secretly commit advertising money. The total over all players increases the demand for the good. The advertiser who spends the most receives an extra $300 per unit sold (assuming that this person sells any units, of course). For reference, it takes $1000 to sell an extra unit and at most four can be added ($7000 in a non-linear scale).
 
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3. Board Game: Auto Market [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
European Union
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This game is a relative of Business Strategy. I am not ashgamed to say that I played BS a lot, far before designing Automarket. While the raw materials are bought by contracts instead than by auction (but you bid to buy the contract you want more), then you decide where to sell your cars: in Europe, America or Asia. Final price depends on the demand/offer, so on the places decided by all. Besides, the price of raw materials and of sold cars are in ECUs, dollars or yens respectively and the exchange rate among the three currencies depends on their use by the players.
 
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4. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:227]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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This game has four rounds of auctions, each followed by an art sale. The auction ends when someone reveals a fifth painting by any of the five artists. The artist that ends the round gets a $30K token; the ones with the second- and third-most sales get $20K and $10K tokens. Only paintings by these three artists are worth anything this round. Paintings for these three artists sell for the sum of the tokens that have been put on them during the game. All paintings are sold/discarded at the end of the round.
 
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5. Board Game: Queen's Necklace [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1698]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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There are four types of precious gems. During the game players manipulate four fashion markers indicating +0, +10, +20 and +30 for prices. During the three merchant phases each player secretly selects some number of gems of each type to sell. Additional rarity markers are added so that the rarest gem gets +30 and the most common +0. The combination of markers determine the selling price. Everyone loses their gems and only the player selling the most of each particular gem receives payment.
 
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6. Board Game: Die Fugger [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2731]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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There are five types of goods with prices between 1 and 9. Each round of the game ends when there are five goods of any type face up on the table. The three goods that are most represented on the table move up in price according to the number that are present, but go to 1 if their price exceeds 9. The other goods go down by 1 in price (minimum 1). Some cards have royal seals on them and are worth double if there are at most three of that good on the table. Prices crashing from oversupply and the royal seals (for premium goods, say) make sense, but what is modeled by the normal price changes? The rules may imply that control over the supply of a commodity allows price-setting.
 
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7. Board Game: Merchants of the Middle Ages [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1517]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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There are two pricing mechanisms at work in this game. Players use dials with two hands to select up to two goods to increase in price by one step (or one good by two steps). If the price exceeds the maximum then the price wraps around -- the market has crashed. Each city pays a bonus on goods that it does not produce, and that bonus increases over time until a wagon arrives and resets it to its minimum value.
 
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8. Board Game: Fische Fluppen Frikadellen [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2028]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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Each good can be bought or sold at particular shops (and may be tradable for another good); I don't believe that you can have a shop that normally buys and sells the same good. The selling price is marked on a chart. The buying price at a shop depends on how many of the good are present. Each present good drops the buying price one line below the selling price. Selling goods causes the price to drop. When it isn't possible to produce more of a good (all tokens are in shops or owned by players) then the selling price rises. Other factors fiddle the selling price over time, too.
 
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9. Board Game: Parts Unknown [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:7074]
Michael Van Biesbrouck
Canada
St Catharines
Ontario
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Players have various body parts for sale on shelves. Each part is represented by a card with four possible prices on it. There are four categories of parts (brains, extremities, leftovers and gizmos), each of which has a side of the board. There are at least two different types of parts in each category (i.e. legs and arms for extremities). When Victor lands on a square for a part category he creates demand according to the space that he lands on (modified by the current surplus or shortage for that category). The going rate for each type of part is the lowest price showing for it on the board (say $8 for legs and $10 for arms). No item can sell for more than its going rate. The cheapest type sells first, then the next until the demand is less than one or all parts at the going rate have been sold. This leaves a surplus or shortage for the next time that Victor lands in that category (a large shortage or surplus will be exchanged for villagers, affecting demand later).

Another way to sell goods is to put them face down in your parts unknown pile. These are always purchased (twice per traversal of the board) for half the going rate (half of the lowest possible rate if none of that item are currently for sale). This can have a significant effect on demand.
 
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