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Terra Mystica» Forums » General

Subject: Does the Bidding/Auction Rule Work in 2P Games rss

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Mike Stevens
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We have been playing lots of 2 player Terra Mystica recently and using the Fire & Ice expansion. We have been playing with the bidding/auction system and usually one of us will bid X amount of VP and then the 2nd player gets their faction for free. It is very seldom that we ever have more than 2 rounds of bidding and usually just the first bid ends it.

Is this normal? Do most of you who play 2 player use this system? Do you think it helps balance out the game? We have tried putting out 4 Faction boards to bid for and you can play either side if you win the bid. Another time we put 2 boards each in a set and you were bidding on that set to choose from. Do you guys have any suggestions. I am not saying this system does not work, it just feels a little odd when I bid 5vp and my opponent says, "you can pick first, I bid zero". Any suggestions, ideas?
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Kevin D.
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Start by not bidding 5 on the first opportunity.

The auction is intended for very experienced players to tighten the VP gap between factions. That gap can come from the board setup or just the inherent abilities of the factions.

When I play 2 player we set out two factions and the entire board, the only choice you have when you win the bid is which of those two factions to play with.

What I like about auctioning factions is it lets us randomize without punishment and it forces us to play factions we would never pick for certain board states.
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Per Olander
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if one of you are more experienced than the other, I would not do a standard auction - as mentioned, auctioning only balanced things out for experienced players, who are able to evaluate the value of the setup, before the actual game begins.

a nice way to do it, is to have the experienced player evaluate, for instance:

darklings vs aurens - I evaluate on this setup, that darklings should be nerfed 8vp.
afterwards, the weaker player gets to choose which of the two he wants to play.

the experienced player will have an incentive to make the game as balanced as possible, since he doesnt know what faction he will be playing, and the inexperienced player will have a more "safe" decision to start the game off with.
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Dániel Lányi
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In my 2 player TM plays we just settled with both of us getting two random faction each, choosing one in player order. It was usually balanced enough, and also forcing us to play factions we wouldn't just pick. If you don't really care that much about balance i'd recommend this, because it's faster.

BTW do you play with any variants for 2 player? In my experience tightening the map, etc etc help the game a lot.
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Robert
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Per Olander wrote:
a nice way to do it, is to have the experienced player evaluate, for instance:

darklings vs aurens - I evaluate on this setup, that darklings should be nerfed 8vp.
afterwards, the weaker player gets to choose which of the two he wants to play.

the experienced player will have an incentive to make the game as balanced as possible, since he doesnt know what faction he will be playing, and the inexperienced player will have a more "safe" decision to start the game off with.
While I like this, it doesn't change the fact that the more experienced player will likely win. Regardless of whether his assessment was a trap ("hehe, 8VPs will sound much to him, so he'll pick Auren now; but they really are 12VPs back"), or totally honest - the fact of being "more experienced" should lead to eking out a few more VPs.

Another remark: in a 2p auction, the auctioning method is less important than in e.g. a 4p auction. With more players, the auction method from the rules sucks shows improvement potential.

Oh, and my experience with 2p auctioning is this: drawing just 2 factions and bidding for them is already great; mixing in additional faction choices will just make it more difficult to assess the values.
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Mike Stevens
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Thanks for the suggestions but of course that has prompted another question. When you win the bid, does that also make you 1st player and does winning the bid allow you to pick the first Bonus Tile and place the first dwelling?
 
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Robert
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Omahavice wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions but of course that has prompted another question. When you win the bid, does that also make you 1st player and does winning the bid allow you to pick the first Bonus Tile and place the first dwelling?
If you're auctioning by the rules (which I consider ok for 2p, but disrecommend using for auctioning when 3+ players are involved), the winner picks a faction and a seat. As usual, seat #1 places the first dwelling, and seat #2 has first pick of a Bonus Tile.

With a more involved auctioning scheme, I prefer to randomly draw both faction and seat number together, then auction these pairs. I.e. you don't bid for "can pick faction and seat", but rather for "Auren on seat #2" or "Darklings on seat #1".
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Colin Marsh
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according to the bidding rules the player who wins the first bid in 2 player would choose their race and then whether they want to go first or second. first would give them choice of the first dwelling placement, second would give them the choice of first bonus card.
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