David B
United States
Virginia
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In three of the games I have played, a "first to deliver to ____ gets 4 bonus points" was available in the first round and was completed easily. That player, along with the first to deliver a cube, scored six points wen combined with the first to deliver a cube bonus. That player then has a huge income advantage early in the game and hence possesses huge winning odds. I realize that the other players should bid up forcing that player to pay a premium for going first. But the variant we play, even the person going second has to pay half his current bid when he passes. Hence, you are also going to pay a premium just to drive that bid up. I am wondering if anyone else thinks that combination of bonuses in the first round is too powerful? Perhaps a player should only be able to claim one service bonus at a time?
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Luis Olcese
Argentina
Córdoba
Córdoba
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I play using the vanilla rules for bidding, and if "first to deliver to ____ gets 4 bonus points" is available in the first round (or better the two actions card), the winner will need to pay for that, at least $12.000.
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Chris Long
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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It sounds to me like the variant you are using is screwing up the balance of the bidding system. We've never had any problems with the scenario you describe. The person who does that usually had to bid around 14-15 to get it.
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Joe Mach
United States
Lindley
NY - New York
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Many people use the vegas showdown type of bidding, which I prefer. Here is a link on BGG to a pdf bidding board that works great posted by a BGG user.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/43455/railroad-tycoon-turn...
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Steve N
United Kingdom
Macclesfield
Cheshire
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In this situation, vanilla bidding would seem to provide the most satisfactory solution. However, we've had games where two service bounties have come up in the first round, and then vanilla bidding is really unsatisfactory - one player can get the points windfall without paying a penny for the privilege.

Maybe the solution would be to shuffle service bounties back into the deck if they come up at the start?
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Joe Mucchiello
United States
Edison
New Jersey
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ReggieMcFly wrote:
In this situation, vanilla bidding would seem to provide the most satisfactory solution. However, we've had games where two service bounties have come up in the first round, and then vanilla bidding is really unsatisfactory - one player can get the points windfall without paying a penny for the privilege.

No, the vanilla bidding system is never satisfactory. If there are two service bounties in the initial draw, whoever sits next to the first bidder gets an even bigger advantage. Usually there is one good and one pretty good option. If you know who in your group will always try to get the first bid, sitting on his left will win you more games than it should.

Paying 1/2 for 2nd is a dumb system and allows the problem the OP has. Vegas Showdown style bidding is the best way to be fair. It even opens up some strategy in the final turn since you can bid to go LAST. And going last in the final turn can be useful for ensuring you've met and maintain control of the end condition on your baron card.

And after a familiarity sets in, it doesn't really take any longer than the vanilla bidding system. I won't play without it.
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Steve N
United Kingdom
Macclesfield
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Are you agreeing with me, Joe? I think you are, but its kinda hard to tell...
 
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Jack Schneider
United States
Wisconsin
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Joe I took a look at the link higher in the thread which is what I assume you are talking about when you say Vegas style showdown bidding. How is this implemented in say PBF? Do you just say to the administrator how much you bid for a turn position and then if there is a tie the administrator informs the people involved to place a new bid for that spot? Do you bid for more than one position at a time? Forgive me if this seems obvious but I don't believe I've tried anything like this before. But yeah it does seem fairer.
 
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Matthew Murbach
United States
Little Rock
Arkansas
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The turn order rules say that you can only change your bid if someone bids to the right of you. If someone does that, can you move to another turn order position, or only increase your bid on the same position?
 
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Joe Mach
United States
Lindley
NY - New York
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Steve - not sure which Joe you are referring to, but myself I don't like the original/vanilla or half your bid system. The Vegas style seems the most fair and easy and fun.

As far as the other questions from Jack or Matthew we just bid in order based on the previous turn as it is not of critical importance who starts the bidding. As Matthew stated if someone has bid higher than you when your turn comes back around you bid again. You either bid higher than someone else or go to an unclaimed turn position.

As far as PBF you should be able to handle it the same way you did before. If you used the vassal module for pbem I included the bidding board as an extension and I would like to play also if you get a game going.
 
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Henry Allen
United States
Astatula
FLORIDA
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We use the Vegas Showdown style bidding that Joe has mentioned for that first bid only. This is great because if there is just one great option, somebody has to pay for it. If there are two good options, you can make somebody pay for each of them. It really makes the opening feel balanced no matter the draw. If somebody runs away with a good start, there is no luck involved.

For subsequent bids we use the simpler system where, as each person passes they move to the last available turn order slot. So whoever passes first will play last and the final bidder goes first (and is the only one to pay). We do this for the subsequent bids because it feels a bit faster and more streamlined and they are never as critical as that opening bid.
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