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Subject: Exceeding own bid when someone used turn order action rss

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Aleksi Ahtiainen
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Is a player required to exceed his own current winning bid in order to stay in the auction, when someone has used turn order action?

E.g., in a 3 player game:

Player 1: Bid 3
Player 2: Use turn order action
Player 3: Pass

Does Player 1 now have to bid at least 4 in order to prevent Player 2 from getting the first place for free?

-Aleksi
 
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Marc P
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Excellent question. I have no idea, but I'd guess "No". Since Player 2 didn't bid, then Player 1 hadn't been outbid, so the bid of 3 still stands.
 
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Anthony Simons
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I am pretty certain this has been answered elsewhere (perhaps in the FAQ); but I am uncertain where it is. I do know the answer, however; a player is never required to outbid themselves:

Player 1: Bid 3
Player 2: Use turn order action
Player 3: Pass
Player 1: Bid of 3 still stands as highest bid.

Player 2 may now pass and drop out for second place at no cost or else bid 4+ for first place; Player 1 may then choose to outbid with 5+ or pass and so on. If Player 2 chooses to outbid and later drops out, then the full bid is paid for second place.

I'll get back to you when I remember where I saw it, but I can assure you this is the way to play.
 
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Jeremiah Lee
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The answer is that you need not exceed your own bid. The second edition rules cover this.

page2 wrote:
[Vince] must either bid an amount greater than the last amount bid by another player or drop out. Since his last bid is higher than that bid by another player, Vince says "My $3 bid stands." Now John must either top Vince's bid or drop out. He had already used the PASS action...
 
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Mik Svellov
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Which - just for the record - is exactly what the first edition rules says as well.
 
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Chester
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So the turn order special action has limited usefulness...particularly in games with low numbers of players.
 
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Mik Svellov
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It is not among the favorite choices, but it can still be very effective when used at the right moment.
 
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J C Lawrence
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cornjob wrote:
So the turn order special action has limited usefulness...particularly in games with low numbers of players.


The value of Turn Order Pass typically decreases the fewer players there are in the game. Additionally, the more players use simple incremental bid patterns (starting at $1 and raising by $1 with each new bid) the less valuable Turn Order Pass usually is. However given four or more players, Turn Order Pass is arguably the third most valuable action in the game after Locomotive and Urbanisation as it will often afford second in the next turn order for free.
 
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cornjob wrote:
So the turn order special action has limited usefulness...particularly in games with low numbers of players.


True, but in 5-6 player games, I've seen this tactic used very well. In fact, I believe I was hosed out of a very good bid because of it, in one game....
 
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Robert
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In too many of our games I've seen Turn Order just get people second for free when they'd have gotten second for free anyway. Granted, we're not playing with all experts, and some people have a tendency to just buy first straight up and knock everyone else out of the auction, so the turn order just reverses (sometimes repeatedly until they self-destruct).

I'm not sure I see a down side to forcing players to pass or raise the current bid, even if their own. It would make someone that wanted to get first bid slightly less than possible, to leave room for the TO person to force a raise. That also gives others a little more chance to jump in the bid, and generally makes the TO action more likely to have some effect on the other players.

I know it's not canon, but does anyone with more experience have reasons to favor the original system? I know "raise the price of first or pass" is slightly less intuitive than "raise your bid or pass", but not terribly so...
 
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J C Lawrence
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xethair wrote:
In too many of our games I've seen Turn Order just get people second for free when they'd have gotten second for free anyway.


This can happen. With good players it should not happen often that the first player just bids high and the rest of the turn order inverts.

Quote:
Granted, we're not playing with all experts, and some people have a tendency to just buy first straight up and knock everyone else out of the auction, so the turn order just reverses (sometimes repeatedly until they self-destruct).


This is bad play. In doing so they are spending money, quite a lot of money, and nobody else is. Unless they particularly and specifically need and want the turn order to reverse(*), then this is a bad and usually losing tactic. Each share sold is -3 VPs. If you're spending shares needlessly on the auction and the other players aren't, then you are falling behind.

* There is an art in the turn order bidding to control not only your own placement in the turn order, but also to control (or at least heavily influence) the order and placement of the other players. Frequently the goal is not only to get a good action for yourself, but also to ensure that XYZ other player is at least two places behind you in the turn order. There is an additional art in the turn order bidding to controllably get third place in such a manner that either one of the first two placements are screwed out of the effective value of their bid (ie are exploited by the dollar auction).
 
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Scott Russell
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Quote:
This can happen. With good players it should not happen very often.


(getting second by passing without turn order)

I am curious as to your reasoning here, Clearclaw? I would expect that the better (and closer in skill level to each other) the more likely that the first bid would be considered exactly correct and everyone else passing meaning the person that took turn order (usually last pick) gets second player. This crude analysis, of course, ignores that order may be more important to some players than others on a given turn.

But with newbies, bidding is often the single increment type, which makes it less likely that everyone will just drop.
 
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Robert
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clearclaw wrote:
This is bad play. In doing so they are spending money, quite a lot of money, and nobody else is.


I agree, but it still happens easily enough (especially if the first bidder feels it is worth a lot to insure he gets the action he needs, and he doesn't want to take the chance on someone else jumping the bid to his target number later), and it really kills everyone else's chance to participate in the turn ordering, as well as to get the actions they need. Until the share costs take down the "leader", the auction breaks, and in a very frustrating way. The change I'm talking about isn't big, and certainly won't end that situation, but at least it lets the other players *affect* the "leader" and adds another bias against it happening.

It also has the benefit that TOP always actually does *something*.

So, is there any downside?
 
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J C Lawrence
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qzhdad wrote:
Quote:
This can happen. With good players it should not happen very often.


(getting second by passing without turn order)


I quoted badly. I'll go fix that.It should not often happen that the first player simply bids high resulting in all other players then passing, thus effectively inverting the turn order after first.

Quote:
I am curious as to your reasoning here, Clearclaw? I would expect that the better (and closer in skill level to each other) the more likely that the first bid would be considered exactly correct and everyone else passing meaning the person that took turn order (usually last pick) gets second player.


Because each player's interest in the turn order auction is multifold:

1) Get the desired turn order placement
2) Ensure the relative placement order of specific other players
3) Get the desired action
4) Conserve issued and to-be-issued shares
5) Ensure that other players bid/spend inefficiently

The actual value and priority sorting order of each of those items will vary during the course of the game. Just getting the action you want is not enough.

Quote:
But with newbies, bidding is often the single increment type, which makes it less likely that everyone will just drop.


With experienced players bidding relatively rarely starts at 1 and increments by one with each player. it will often do that for some portion of each bid cycle, but rarely for a whole round. Initial bids are usually some multiple of 2 in order to preserve efficiency for the middle slots, there may be one or more single point increments as it rotates through the players, plus one or two leap in bid values in order to set/influence the final turn order. A typical sequence for a four player game might be something like:

2->4->5->pass(free)->6->pass(2)->8->pass(6)

in fact that was the exact bidding sequence for the first turn in my last 4 player Age of Steam game. I took second place and was moderately screwed. The high bidder knew I would have gone to 7, wouldn't go to 8, and so left me forked with an action and starting order I didn't really want. That's not bad for an extra cost of just $1.
 
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J C Lawrence
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xethair wrote:
I agree, but it still happens easily enough (especially if the first bidder feels it is worth a lot to insure he gets the action he needs, and he doesn't want to take the chance on someone else jumping the bid to his target number later)...


In which case he should issue an extra share or two. This has several results:

1) He can dominate the auction and everybody knows it
2) Gives him opportunity to try and milk the other players of money
3) Clearly signals the other players to conserve money and bid only to set their desired turn order after first.

Remember also that the player last in the turn order from the previous turn is in the strongest position: They know exactly how many shares they'll have to issue to get whatever they want and/or to influence the turn order however they wish.

Quote:
...and it really kills everyone else's chance to participate in the turn ordering, as well as to get the actions they need.


Absolutely. One player has simply bought a monopoly for that round. Monopolies are expensive and inefficient, so it had better be well worth it -- and it is up to the rest of the players to ensure that it isn't worth it.

Quote:
Until the share costs take down the "leader", the auction breaks, and in a very frustrating way.


You seem to be saying that a deliberately suicidal player can weaken the game in a very frustrating way. Uhh, yeah. That's true of any game which supports even marginal player interaction. Don't play with people like that.

Quote:
The change I'm talking about isn't big, and certainly won't end that situation, but at least it lets the other players *affect* the "leader" and adds another bias against it happening.


Not really. You're talking about a potential $1 delta on a bid. That's pretty close to noise.

Quote:
It also has the benefit that TOP always actually does *something*.


Nope. TOP doesn't necessarily do anything. That's part of the value and weakness of the action and why some put its value in 4th place under Engineer. I've seen many games in which TOP get's last place in the turn order simply due to the other players effectively colluding against the TOP player.

The main thing the TOP player has to work with and against is whether or not he wants to pass on the first round of bidding, or whether the auction will last two rounds meaning that he wants to use his pass on the second round. Of course once he picks either path, the other players may react to ensure that his choice was wrong.

Quote:
So, is there any downside?


A lack of an upside?
 
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