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Subject: Bidding for turn order, is it working? rss

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Chris Kogut
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Illinois
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After about six plays, the bidding for turn order has become a bit of an issue. Even with the different groups I've played with, the games have all gone the same way. The first bidder always picks 1, 3, or 5. The second and third player always take the two that are left. This leaves the fourth player to either pay 0 and go last or pay 8 and go first. All players have ultimately come to the conclusion that paying victory points for turn order is almost always not really worth it.

I realize that some situations (newly revealed markets) could make turn order very meaningful, however paying 12 or 18 seems crazy. The payout needs to be very large just for break even.

I don't think we're playing badly, as winning scores usually are in the 130's. I've seen a 154 and a 174 scored as well.

Any thoughts?
 
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Brad McKenzie
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I would imagine the higher numbers are there in case a bidding war were to start on a clearly amazing first play. Otherwise, it seems like good sense to get the position you want for as little as possible.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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If bidding 12 or 18 lets you break even an it prevents someone else from getting points, it may well be worth it. What's more, each game I've seen 1 - 3 times where it's possible to gain 15 - 20 points in a single action (at least for one of the players). My suspicion is that the bidding is supposed to be between $0 and $8 most of the time and only a couple of times each game is $12 used with $18 not necessarily being used every game.
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Dave Eisen
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
If bidding 12 or 18 lets you break even an it prevents someone else from getting points, it may well be worth it. What's more, each game I've seen 1 - 3 times where it's possible to gain 15 - 20 points in a single action (at least for one of the players). My suspicion is that the bidding is supposed to be between $0 and $8 most of the time and only a couple of times each game is $12 used with $18 not necessarily being used every game.


I'm probably not very good, but it looks to me like the game changes so much action by action that it's very hard to judge in advance whether going second will be worth much or not. Going first: that's pretty clear, but the problem there is deciding whether it's worth risking paying a lot and still not going first because someone is willing to outbid you. Maybe once we all get strong enough that I can trust others to not overbid, given their position, I can judge likely outcomes.

I like the idea of something more than turn order just going clockwise, but I'm not sure the auction as implemented works great for me.

 
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Jesse Rasmussen
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Based on the times I've played, and everything you guys are saying, bidding for turn order is working perfectly!

If it was always a no-brainer, you might as well have a set turn order. As it is, players have to make those tough choices (like all of you are talking about) about whether it's worth bidding up or not.

I talked with Bruno about this bidding system and he agreed that most games won't see people bidding 18...but when they didn't have that option then a player could just bid 12 and be guaranteed the first move. As it is, people really have to think because if they see an incredible turn and only bid 8 (or even 12) someone else could take it for 18 and then score 25-40(!) points. It happened in testing!

Then the player who payed 12 or 8, might be stuck with a low-scoring turn because their plan was ruined.

These are the kinds of decisions that pushes this game into the "great" category in my mind; so yes, the bidding is working.
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Brian Frahm
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
If bidding 12 or 18 lets you break even an it prevents someone else from getting points, it may well be worth it. What's more, each game I've seen 1 - 3 times where it's possible to gain 15 - 20 points in a single action (at least for one of the players). My suspicion is that the bidding is supposed to be between $0 and $8 most of the time and only a couple of times each game is $12 used with $18 not necessarily being used every game.


After two games, I of course only have limited perspective...

I had the Djinn that allowed me to double my money on a builder (blue meeple action). I was able to perform that action to the tune of 40 points. Perfect example of wanting to take that action early in the round and being willing to spend big to take it.
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bruno cathala
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...i remember one of my games where i lost just because i didn't accept to pay 18 on the last turn... if i had payed, i would have win for 1 point


yesterday evening, we played and during the game, 3 times i had to pay 12 to go first. There were really big points to take (from 22 to 30). And i won at the end.

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Dan Keller
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Played a game tonight where there was a lot of high bidding on turn order for most of the game by a couple of the players, while I lagged behind in turn order. On what turned out to be the last turn of the game, one of my oppenents bid 12 for turn order. I bid 18 and got the move he was looking for. I ended up netting 12 points on that and won the game.

The thing about the turn order is that it won't always be crazy high bidding, because that eats away at VPs. Most of the game will be jockeying for those low-cost spots that still get a decent place in the turn order. But when you see that optimal move that will net you a ton of points, it's usually very much worth it to make that investment.
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Juan Crespo
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The way I see it, when bidding you should not only take into consideration the net gain on your next move, but also by how much you'll screw the next in line.
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Chris Kogut
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I realize that occasionally there will be big point moves, and that sometimes those moves will benefit one player far more than others because of abilities. But the board can change so dramatically from one turn to the next, that going last doesn't seem like a major penalty. I haven't tracked how many turns each player gets in a typical game, but bidding zero the entire game versus five the entire game is likely saving you 40 or more points. So our games that end up 1,3,5 and the 0 vs 8 choice seem likely to continue. I'm far from convinced that this bidding system is working. I do agree that a change from start player simply passing clockwise is a welcome mechanic. Just not sure that I like the implementation here.
 
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Juan Crespo
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Once people begin to master the mancala moves, I think that the bidding system will gain more importance. I highly doubt that bidding 0 in order to save points is a winning strategy among experienced players.
 
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Jesse Rasmussen
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11rooster11 wrote:
I realize that occasionally there will be big point moves, and that sometimes those moves will benefit one player far more than others because of abilities. But the board can change so dramatically from one turn to the next, that going last doesn't seem like a major penalty. I haven't tracked how many turns each player gets in a typical game, but bidding zero the entire game versus five the entire game is likely saving you 40 or more points. So our games that end up 1,3,5 and the 0 vs 8 choice seem likely to continue. I'm far from convinced that this bidding system is working. I do agree that a change from start player simply passing clockwise is a welcome mechanic. Just not sure that I like the implementation here.


If you think that bidding 5 the entire game is 'costing' you 40 points, then you're bidding wrong! The whole point of bidding is to play a great move that will gain you a ton of points. If you and your group aren't seeing good moves then yeah, don't bid anything because it won't matter if you go first of last.
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bruno cathala
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juanma99 wrote:
Once people begin to master the mancala moves, I think that the bidding system will gain more importance. I highly doubt that bidding 0 in order to save points is a winning strategy among experienced players.


I can guaranty you that bidding 0 all the time is a loosing strategy...

Be sure that it has been taken in consideration during all the plate sting session. 10 games in a row, one payer was chooses to pay nothing during all the game. And he won only 1 time.

The key, in the is game, is to pay the right amount for the right move.... trying to make the others paying too much
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Pierre Carette
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But was that player you?
 
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