$20.00
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Secret Bidding vs Turn-based Bidding - Opinions? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Josh Kotlowitz
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
flag msg tools
mb
I'm in the early stages of developing a game and I can't decide which mechanism to use for an important phase where players hire specialized employees - from a random pool - and thus the turn order for this phase is critical.

The pool consists of Scientists and Engineers each with 3 different sub-types. The pool is replenished at the end of the round. Scientists are expended to research technologies, however the technologies require specific types of scientists.

For example:
Tech 1: costs 1 Scientist (1 Sub-type C)
Tech 2: costs 2 Scientists (1 Sub-type A, 1 Sub-type B)

Note that technologies are exclusive so, for example, only one player can get Tech 2 in a game.

Engineers are expended in a similar fashion although they are cheaper (cost less money) than scientists, the 'Developments' they buy are not exclusive and these Developments are generally not as effective as Technologies. I haven't settled on exactly how much and where money is spent, but for now you can assume the Hiring stage will consist of about 30-50% of the player's spending in a round. Anyhow, as Developments and Technologies are key to progressing in the game it will often be high priority for players to get the specific sub-type of Engineers and Scientists before other players.

My two favourite mechanisms (so far) for determining the order of play in this phase are:

Secret Bidding
Players simultaneously bid a hidden amount of money. In its simplest form; order of play is determined by who bids the most. More advanced examples can be found in Shakespeare and Dungeon Petz. I particularly like the Shakespeare one where played bid with action tokens to determine order. The more they bid the less actions they have!

I've never played a game with secret bidding so I'd be interested to know how people enjoy it. Does it build a lot of suspense at times? Do you often find yourself facing really tough decisions about how much to bid where?

Turn-based Bidding

Players get a certain amount of 'Action Tokens' each round and take turns placing these tokens on the various actions. The available actions will be things such as Hiring Employees, Researching Tech and Development. Placing the first token on an action gives the player benefits such as going first (Hiring Employees) or reducing the cost (Development). However, other players can steal the 'going first' benefit if they place more tokens on a certain action than you.

I have considered a few other alternatives not mentioned here (like 5 Tribes turn based gold bidding), but I will not be surprised if someone comes up with a far better mechanism than these two.

Lastly, I'm currently leaning towards the Turn-based Bidding mechanism (or a secret bidding version of it), but I'm pretty new to game design and I would really appreciate the opinions and ideas of other designers.

Thanks so much for reading!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brendan Riley
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Nos operamur, te ludere
badge
"Life is more fun if you play games." - Roald Dahl
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Secret Bidding vs Worker Placement - Opinions Please!
Look at Dungeon Petz and Shakespeare -- both of these use bidding mechanisms that sound similar to yours and might fit what you're trying to do.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard B
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
www.nine2fivestudios.com
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Secret Bidding vs Worker Placement - Opinions Please!
The worker placement sounds similar to Last Will. I'd take a look at that as well. I'd recommend you just pick one, play test it. See if it works, and change if it doesn't. Always lean on theme if you're having problems deciding on a mechanic.

Good luck!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Kotlowitz
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
flag msg tools
mb
Re: Secret Bidding vs Worker Placement - Opinions Please!
wombat929 wrote:
Look at Dungeon Petz and Shakespeare -- both of these use bidding mechanisms that sound similar to yours and might fit what you're trying to do.


Thanks for this Brendan. These games were both really enlightening in more advanced forms of secret bidding. Now that I think about it, this thread should be discussing Secret Bidding vs Turn Based Bidding and so I have edited accordingly.

Of the two I prefer Shakespeare's secret bidding as I feel like it will work better when there are only a few actions available (5-6 in my case). I also like the idea of players secretly bidding tokens on the various actions similar to the Turn-based Bidding suggested in my original post.

It's going to be difficult to decide between these. I'll probably need to play-test two or three to really be certain.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Kotlowitz
South Africa
Cape Town
Western Cape
flag msg tools
mb
simland wrote:
The worker placement sounds similar to Last Will. I'd take a look at that as well. I'd recommend you just pick one, play test it. See if it works, and change if it doesn't. Always lean on theme if you're having problems deciding on a mechanic.

Good luck!


Thanks for the advice
Richard B
United States
St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
www.nine2fivestudios.com
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
! But what if the theme lends itself equally to both mechanics? Oh and I'm gonna watch a play-through of Last Will first thing tomorrow!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jay Sears
Wales
Hengoed
flag msg tools
mb
What happens if you run out if tokens for your turn based system?

Both can work well so its a matter of deciding which you prefer. Don't worry too much if its similar to what other games have because literally nearly every mechanic has already been done, its only if the the enitre game is similar that's a problem.

I use secrete bidding in my polical game and it works well buts thats because money talks in politics. However you need to determine if that will fit in well with your game or not.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Warrender
United States
Averill Park
New York
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
A third option is a hybrid of these, where each player has a unique hand of bid cards and you deploy these face-down to the various things you can bid on, and then reveal simultaneously and high bidder gets the items. To make it semi-blind, the back-printing of each card can show a range of values that the face of the card could possibly have. This system is used in Maya, for example. (Funny story, I came up with exactly the same system, same denominations and everything, as Maya independently for a bidding game I was working on at the time. It was one of those really weird game design coincidences).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.