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James Faulkner
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Banstead
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I've been looking forward to trying this filler for some time and last night got my first play. It seems to get universally good comments and I too look forward to playing it again. It is quick, simple to learn with just enough to think about to make it interesting. It also has that 'just one more game' feel to it.

However, during my first game we came across the following situation that left me a little flat.

We had 4 players and on the very first draw of buildings we revealed the 20, the 1 and two middling buildings (can't remember exactly but i'll use 10 and 11). I was first to bid. What should I do?

1) Drop out and take the 1. This didn't seem sensible as it left the next player able to drop out for the 10 at no cost.
2) Bid something.

I chose to bid 5. The 2nd player now was in a similar position to that i'd been in and matched my bid of 5 as did the 3rd and 4th players

Now I had a choice of
1) Drop out, lose 2 coins and take the 1. This still seemed very poor given the fact the next 2 players could similarly drop out for the 10 and 11.
2) Raise the bid

I raised the bid to 7. Everyone matched my bid of 7.

The logical conclusion of this seemed to be that I carry on raising upto 15 and everyone simply matches me each time at which time I am forced to take the 1. I seemed to have no way out. Whenever, I dropped out it was likely the 2nd player would drop out at the same cost but for a much better building.

Given it was my first game, I wanted to check that i've got my thinking straight. Anyone who has played this game more times please point out any errors in the logic. What would you have done in this situation?

Apart from this I enjoyed the game and maybe we just got unlucky with an extreme combination of buildings.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Jamesdcfc (#18717),

Easy answer - you can't "match" the bid, you have to increase it. If you bid 7, the next player has to bid 8 or more or drop. If you go right to 15, you're guarenteed the 20, although not at a particularly good price.

The situation you mention (1-10-11-20) is particularly harsh, a very tough bid. You don't want to be the first or last person out. I'm not sure there are any good answers.
 
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James Faulkner
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cfarrell (#18722),

Thanks for responding Chris as this bugged me in an otherwise good game.

I thought at the time requiring players to increase the bid, not match it, might solve this situation somewhat. However, this morning I printed off the rules on BGG to check and under Bidding it says 'must bid at least as much as the present highest bid'. Which seems to suggest (using poker terminology) you do not need to raise just call the last bid. So is the rule you mention a later amendment or a variant?

As you point out we ended with the 1st player dropping out disadvantaged by getting the 1 and the last player dropping out disadvantaged by using all their coins (even if it was for the 20).

Oh well, in such a quick fun game it doesn't matter too much, it just spoiled my opinion of it slightly.
 
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Chris Farrell
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Jamesdcfc (#18723),

I just double-checked myself, and it appears you are right and we've been playing incorrectly all these years! The Game Cabinet translation agrees with you also, and the Siggins review there also refers to "poker-style" bidding. So I guess you don't actually have to raise the bid, but I will check my original German when I get home.

It occurs to me, however, that this shouldn't have a major impact on the game, and probably the main thing that whacked you was the incredibly painful split of the buildings (which can make the game decidedly odd when it happens).

I'll let you know if I think as highly of it after I play it correctly
 
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Randall Peek
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Re: For Sale bidding
There is a rule variation mentioned at the end of the rules on BGG that seems to fix the problem of the poker-style check-bidding. The first person to drop out does not take a building, but instead takes back his entire bid. This could make for some interesting gameplay!
 
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Ryan Beasley
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Jamesdcfc (#18717),
My gut reaction on this is that I wouldn't want to pay all my tokens on the first turn.

If the first bidder continually raises the bid by one token and all the subsequent players match that bid, and this continues until the bid reaches 15, and then each player drops out in turn, then the last bidder will be forced to pay all their tokens.

They will have to play the remaining rounds by dropping out when their turn comes around, guaranteeing themselves the worst buildings of the lots until and unless another player runs out of tokens and is forced to drop out ahead of them.

It should be possible to come up with an expected difference between the average building number of the player that "won" the 20 and the other players. I wouldn't doubt if that player ended up with the worst set of buildings in general.

This scenario plays into the game's mechanic. You don't want to be the last person in the round and end up paying twice as much as everyone else. So everyone must seriously consider the possibility that if they don't drop out right now, they will end up paying their entire bid.

In your example, after everyone matched your bid of 15, you would've paid 7 and gotten the building worth 1. You also removed one player from future bidding. I wouldn't want to be that player.

If you raised the bid by 1 each turn, would everyone have matched your final bid of 15? Or would the last bidder have dropped out instead of matching the bid of 15, so that the second-to-last bidder spends all their money in the first turn? And if that might happen, then should the second-to-last bidder drop out instead of matching the bid of 15?

In your situation I may have raised by one token every time my turn came around. Once the bid got to 10-12, I think everyone would've caught on to the eventual result and started thinking backwards through the chain of logic. At some point in time someone would've chickened out. But the interesting questions are when, who, and how much am I willing to pay for what?

There is one thing I'm not clear on, if you can match the current bid ("call"), then who is forced to break a cycle of calls? As far as I can see, the rules don't explicitly state who is forced to not call. Player could be prevented from calling at a bid level they raised to, but that penalizes the first bidder. Not allowing calls at all would seem to solve the problem best.
 
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