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O Zoo le Mio» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Cheapskate wins Auction Game! rss

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David Thompson
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Oregon
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I've been wondering lately if I am just too much of a cheapskate to be any good at auction games. I never seem to be willing to pay enough to buy anything. In some games, that works out okay (I actually won a game of Modern Art at GameStorm 9 without buying a single painting!), but usually it just means that you are locked out of the action. That's the way it went with my first game of O Zoo le Mio, but I learned my lesson and came away victorious in my second game. Here's how it went:

Game one was a four-player event with only one player who had played before. It had been so long since he played, that I don't think he had any advantage. He and I comiserated about our miserly approach to auction games, and the devastating results.

I started out fine in the first season, but couldn't seem to bid enough to get more than one tile per season after that and gradually fell farther and farther behind. The winner was a free-spending girl who was only playing her second euro (after having played TTR:Marklin the week before). Her friend had never played a euro before, but she dragged him along to game night. He kicked our butts, too. Lesson from game one: a penny saved is apparently not a penny earned.

Here are the scores from game one:

David (me): 4 + 4 + 12 + 12 + 25 = 57
Scott (experienced player, fellow miser): 0 + 12 + 9 + 12 + 35 = 68
Newbie: 6 + 14 + 15 + 24 + 15 = 74
Newbette: 4 + 6 + 18 + 28 + 45 = 101

Game two was a three-player affair about a week later, and I vowed that I wasn't going to be a spendthrift. I was going to blow all of my money in the first round and not look back! Sure enough, my plan worked. Then again, I was the only person who had played before, so maybe that's all it was. Anyway it felt like I was playing better. I bought a lot of tiles, which led to a strong income, which allowed me to buy more tiles. I built a lot of park benches, and kept control of my leads in orange, yellow and trees despite a few misplaced or poorly purchased tiles.

Here are the scores from game two:

David: 4 + 18 + 27 + 44 + 55 = 148
Ryan: 6 + 12 + 30 + 32 + 50 = 130
Stacy: 2 + 14 + 21 + 32 + 40 = 109

I'm interested in playing more and seeing if the runaway leader is really a consistent problem. I enjoy the balance of tile laying, auctioning and enclosure majority - it really feels like it's working different parts of my brain. Hopefully I can keep up my free-spending ways!
 
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Andreas Josefsson
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Lund
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I really recommend you playing with the 2 coin fixed income variant. It really alleviate the runaway leader problem.

O Zoo le Mio is such a wonderful game! Love it!
 
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Rick Keuler
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I haven't played O'Zoo enough to comment intelligently on a "runaway leader" problem, but I have to chime in and empathize with the OP's problem. I'm an auction pennypincher myself. "You've gotta' spend money to make money" isn't really part of my gaming lexicon at all. So often I find myself sitting on my hands all the way to last place. I'm working on it, getting better, but maybe we need a BGG support group for those of us that never pull the trigger.

 
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David Thompson
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plysbjorn wrote:
I really recommend you playing with the 2 coin fixed income variant. It really alleviate the runaway leader problem.

O Zoo le Mio is such a wonderful game! Love it!


Thanks for the tip! I like the game a lot, and would hate to see a flaw keep me from bringing it to the table. I will definitely give the variant a try.

I wasn't sure if there was a permanent problem with runaway leaders, since both games I played were with inexperienced players (including myself). I thought that maybe smarter play would keep the problem in check. Do most people agree that the runaway leader problem happens even with experienced players?
 
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Justin
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with 5 auctions and anywhere from 2-4 players, every round should end up with at least one player acquiring more stuff than another. using the standard rules, this translates to increased income on the very next round. a pretty quick rich-get-richer situation imho. when regularly dealing with single-digit cash integers the pain is more pronounced. if playing 2p, for example, one could hope that one player gets 2 quality tiles while the other gets 3 lesser ones. it all depends on what gets randomly pulled though, and the bidding is still blind. i'm usually not much for house rules, but i only play this one with the fixed income variant.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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The original rules work as long as people value the tiles appropriately. A tile in the first round is $4 of income plus what's on it. Everyone gets one tile and anyone with two tiles should be cleaned out of cash so that they will not get a tile in the next round in a 4-player game or will get one tile in a 3-player game. It might work better with more starting money, though. There are a lot more VPs to win at the end of the game, so having fewer tiles at the beginning is okay as long as it leaves you with a cash advantage that you can exploit in the second or third rounds to get much better tiles.
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Flying Arrow
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mlvanbie wrote:
The original rules work as long as people value the tiles appropriately. A tile in the first round is $4 of income plus what's on it. Everyone gets one tile and anyone with two tiles should be cleaned out of cash so that they will not get a tile in the next round in a 4-player game or will get one tile in a 3-player game. It might work better with more starting money, though. There are a lot more VPs to win at the end of the game, so having fewer tiles at the beginning is okay as long as it leaves you with a cash advantage that you can exploit in the second or third rounds to get much better tiles.


I agree.
 
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David Thompson
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I got to play again last Thursday after a long hiatus. We used the two-coin income variant, mostly because I was afraid of turning even more players off of the game. Most of the people I've played with previously are hoping to never see the game again. The game went well, I think. I was the only experienced player, and barely edged out another player 113 to 112, with the other two reasonably far behind. The good news is, I think everyone enjoyed it enough to want to give it another try soon.

I would like to try it without the variant once I know enough experienced players. Who knows if/when that will ever happen.
 
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