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Subject: 'Outbid' augmentation rss

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Mike K
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It seems to me (and many others) that the least-useful card in the deck is the 'outbid in the same province' card. Thus, I have a proposal for an improvement on this card:

At the beginning of the auction, everyone who has such a card may play it. (One may also hold onto it, and surprise someone as usual.) These players will make the first bid for the round, beginning with the start player (if he has played one) and continuing clockwise. After all card holders have made a move, the other players (again, beginning with the start player) will make their bids.

In addition, a player who uses the 'outbid' card (either at the beginning of the auction, or as a 'surprise' move), who is then outbid for a province, may immediately make another bid, either on that province or elsewhere.

It does seem to me, now more than before, that the first bid is often the most crucial. This makes the 'outbid' card more useful now. Also, the 'immediate' rebid can only strengthen the card, right?

Thoughts?
 
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Adam Smiles
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I have to disagree with you on a number of fronts.

I disagree that it is the least useful card in the deck. It's not always useful, but it is extremely powerful when it is used. (Same can be said about every card in the deck).

I disagree that bidding first is always advantageous. There are times that bidding later can be more advantageous. Players are looked into bids and can't respond to your bid when you do make it.

I thing the game is excellent as is and don't see a need to change it.

Although, you obviously see a need for a change. That said, I don't see anything about your proposed variant that would unbalance the game.
 
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Massimo B.
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Adam, I'm a bit surprised by your opinion, and I totally agree with Mike. I think the overbid card is almost useless, exactly beacuse bidding first is very important: it allows you to bid the 'right' value, so an opponent has to over-pay to get the province. Even if I have the overbid card I can never bid too low, for example 0 or 1 for a province I value 6, because an opponent will bid 6 and then I'm screwed. I find that the 'bluffing' of bidding low hoping to get a valuable province at a cheap price never works with experienced players.
I agree that the game is excellent as is, and there are only 2 overbid cards in the deck so I can live with that, but I sure hope to always draw something else .
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Martin B
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While I agree that the overbid card is the most useless power card, I wouldn't want to interfere with the starting bid mechanic. Part of the strategy is to offer lots if you want to bid first next time. If some other player pulls out an overbid card and gets to bid first, it would be a big spoiler.

There is a lot of strategy in this game, with the power cards adding a bit of luck. I think your proposed change would add a lot more luck.

The second change of allowing the overbid player to immediately bid again sounds ok, but in my opinion doesn't make the card any more desireable.
 
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Stven Carlberg
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I agree with Adam that the outbid card is already extremely useful!

In addition to the points already mentioned, the card's mere existence is a threat which often needs to be considered when deciding by how much to outbid someone.

Going first in an auction is sometimes an advantage -- but it's an advantage for which the players already have a chance to compete in the sacrifice to Amun-Re round.
 
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Inno Van
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We find the outbid card extremely useful without modification. In fact, it can win a game all by itself. But you only use it for elephant hunting -- for buying the biggest, juiciest province on the whole board. Not for hunting down minor game.

The bids increase on a pyramid system.
0->1 =1
1->3 =2
3->6 =3
6->10 =4
10->15 =5
15->21 =6
21->28 =7
28->36 =8
36->45 =9
45->55 =10
...

If you're good at evaluating the cost of what a provence should bid for, what this card enable you to do is bid two levels underneath what a province is worth, saving you money.

Typically it's used to buy the most valuable province on one side, say one with 3 pyramids that should give the owner once they add two more the bonus for most pyramids on that side of the Nile at the endgame. This will usually go for 21-28, depending on how much money is left in the game. The only real question is, do you bid 15, do you bid 21, or rarely, very rarely in a game of all farmers and heavy cash, do you bid 28.

It is true having this card makes going first more valuable. Meaning it works better with the farmer strategy than the camel strategy. Because to make it most valuable, you have to had sacrificed more than anyone else the previous turn.

Players that are being outbid and having to move are not evaluating province value very well. The game encourages you to bid the full fair value at your first bid. I would argue that players who are using this to bid 15 or less for a province don't understand how the pyramid price increases are at the heart of this game. Bidding 15 and forcing your opponent to pay 6+7=13 or bidding 21 and pay 7+8 = 15 more to outbid you is a strong move. Playing this card at 0 and forcing someone to pay 1+2=3 more to outbid you doesn't cause anyone to even blink an eye.

On the other hand, building pyramids isn't THAT expensive. I love when opponents overspend for a province. Because cash poor, they can't build anything more. Meanwhile, I can use use the cash saved to churn out the more pyramids than they bought and get the most pyramids per side bonus anyway.

 
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Daniel Corban
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Maybe the best use for the overbid card is to turn it in for a gold right before the deck is reshuffled, increasing the chance that your opponents will draw it in the future.
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Daniel Corban
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Innovan wrote:
We find the outbid card extremely useful without modification.

I may be mistaken, but I believe your post is referring to the "bid blockade" card, which is indeed a strong, if not the strongest, card.
 
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Daniel Corban
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ssmooth wrote:
In addition to the points already mentioned, the card's mere existence is a threat which often needs to be considered when deciding by how much to outbid someone.

It is never a threat, because you should be bidding the correct amount in the first place. Bidding a little low, trying to get a deal, will usually end up with you getting outbid by someone, power card or not.

This is why the card is so weak. Bidding below the expected value of the province, using the overbid card as backup, is a bad tactic. Someone will overbid you, forcing you to play your card and making you one card/gold poorer, and might even cause you to bid more than the initial valuation. Even worse is your opponent overbidding you to the correct value, forcing you to surrender it to him while you overbid someone on a different province, often paying more than its initial valuation.
 
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Petri Savola
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I totally agree with Dan here. The best use for this card is definitely to cash it for $1. If you have to use the card, you lose this $1 and you'll still have to bid the same amount or more than what you'd bid without the card. It's almost always best to bid the right amount right away.

In this scenario I can imagine using the card:

You bid quite much for a province and hope to get it, because it's crucial for you. Then for some reason someone still overbids you (VP power cards). If the other provinces are totally useless for you or you gain lots of VPs from power cards by buying that certain province, this card can be used. But even then using the card is just a sign of bad play, because it's often possible to evaluate what the other players are willing to bid.

In fact I've used the card once. During the very last auction I tried to buy Damanhur with 3 pyramids for $21 with a block. Someone bid $36 for it and I had to go $45 with the card. With any other move I'd have lost the game, but still paying $28 or $36 with the block would've been the wise move to start with.
 
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Inno Van
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If you really don't like the "Outbid in the Same Province" card, rather than trying to fix it, I'd suggest just removing those two cards from the deck and not playing with them.

There's more than enough other cards left that its absence won't change the balance significantly.
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darksurtur
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It's definitely the weakest card in the deck. Take even the most promising case, where you deliberately underbid on a province and plan on using this card. You are A) hoping that only one person will want the province you want, and B) that person will bid only one slot higher than you. Good players will see this coming from a mile away, and bid on the province according to its proper value (to them).

I can understand the theoretical value of this card - making bidding remain somewhat unpredictable by taking away one of the certainties in the process - but the comparative value to other power cards is terrible.

This card needs to sell for at least 2 gold for me not to sigh and curse when I draw it. Even worse, if I draw this card, that means someone else won't get it, but rather a more useful card. Drawing both makes it very difficult to win.
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Brian Newman
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I've used it before with success, not by deliberately underbidding, because that just invites someone to nullify your card play by bidding anyway at a reasonable rate, but by deliberately overbidding on a province that I know someone else must have and playing the block card. That pushes their bid up beyond the comfort zone.
 
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Alvin Chen
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Blackberry wrote:
I've used it before with success, not by deliberately underbidding, because that just invites someone to nullify your card play by bidding anyway at a reasonable rate, but by deliberately overbidding on a province that I know someone else must have and playing the block card. That pushes their bid up beyond the comfort zone.


This isn't the blocking card but the card that allows you to bid again on the same province, rather than being forced to bid on a different province.
 
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Daniel Corban
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To Whom It May Concern:

Before clicking the "reply" button, please note that this thread is discussing the "overbid in same province" card and not "bid blockade".

Thank you,
Your Friendly Amun-Re Agent
 
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darksurtur
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Actually, now that I think about it, how about this as a variant (hinted at in my message above)? The Outbid card, and this card alone, sells for 2 gold instead of 1 gold.

I believe people have done the calculations, and with possibly an exception for Change the Offering, all other power cards have a net value of at least 2 gold. For those advocating always buying a third power card if possible, the average value of a power card is beginning to exceed 3 gold ...
 
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jbrier
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There are some situations when the Outbid in the Same Province card can be useful (even very useful), but they are too few and far in between. Compared to any other power card, it is virtually useless.

I agree with Aalok that drawing both Outbid in the Same Province cards is just maddening
 
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Billy McBoatface
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Sorry to ressurect this thread, but I was thinking over how useless outbid is when the players at the table "bid right" instead of underbidding. I think that better players will tend to "bid right." I searched the forums and found this thread.

Here's my proposal:
Rename the card "overbid at cost." When playing "overbid at cost," you can play your bidding token at the same level as an opponent (e.g., if an opponent bid 10 for a province, and you bid later, you may also bid 10 for that province). They now must bid elsewhere as if you outbid them. (If you are outbid, you still must bid elsewhere; the old power of the card is gone.)
My thoughts: If you want to top somebody's bid on a very expensive province, this could be worth 5 or sometimes even 6 gold. If you don't need an expensive province, or if you are bidding early and don't get outbid yourself, then this card will be worth little. That seems in line with the values of other cards; a card that can be worth 5 or 6 best case isn't always worthwhile (e.g., harvest increase is only worthwhile when you have a bunch of farmers in one place, 8gold card is only worthwhile with dahkla or a similarly low-paying province.)

How's that?
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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Schubert: I just came to BGG for the specific purpose of making a similar proposal to the one you made. My guess is your variant is too powerful since it means you don't have to worry about bidding first in the auction. As long as no one overvalues the province you want, you can place a bid of the right value on the province.

My variant is that you still need to have been outbid in order to use the card.

Card Text:

When you have been outbid in a province you may replace the highest bid in that province with your bid token. Once used, this card is discarded.

Example:

You bid 3 for a province. An opponent bids 10. You play the card and your bid token is placed on the 10. If someone bids 15 later, you would need a second copy of the card to take over that bid.
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Daniel Corban
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I have come to accept the overbid card for what it is. It is basically a "1 gold" card and a risk you accept when buying power cards.
 
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Billy McBoatface
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Daniel: Sure, the game isn't broken, but it seems annoying to me to have such a useless card. Most cards will be useless in some cases - for example, getting an East/West bonus when you are in the new kingdom and already have provinces both east and west. But a card that claims to be useful, but just never is, somehow bothers me.

jmucchiello - I agree, I like your version of this card better than my proposal. Sadly, I play all my Amun-Re games on spielbyweb, so I can't try it out, but it sounds good from looking at it. It also makes it much closer to the original meaning of the card.
 
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Carl Olson
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asmiles wrote:


I disagree that it is the least useful card in the deck. It's not always useful, but it is extremely powerful when it is used. (Same can be said about every card in the deck).



I'm with Adam in this one.

A major value of the "Jump" card is "Peace of Mind" when the provinces do NOT have equal value to both players.

Suppose I have two provinces in the northwestern quadrant, and you have two elsewhere OR I have more money than you. Let us say the province is in the NW and is worth 21 to me and 12 to anyone else, including you. For simplicity, the other players are interested in another province. I'm not going to bid my maximum value for the province, unless it is essentially all the money I have so that I will not be able to overbid. I will bid 10 - a decent bid. If you are poor, I might even start with 6. Now you have to decide whether to go to 15, which is a lot of money for you, because you don't *know* whether I have bonus cards. For all you know, I might not have any bonuses, and I MIGHT go elsewhere, leaving you hanging with an overbid and very little money. If you chicken out, I get a 21 province for 10 (or 6). If you DO risk it, I can still pay a fair bid by jumping over you. YOU have a problem bidding for the province, and I don't. You have to tell me exactly what you think it is worth, and I don't have to tell you anything.

That said, I wouldn't be opposed to allowing the overbid to simply match the higher bid. It makes the card stronger, but I don't think it makes a dramatic shift in the card value. It's still situational, but cheaper to play.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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carlj wrote:
A major value of the "Jump" card is "Peace of Mind" when the provinces do NOT have equal value to both players.


While that is a good theory, the problem is you don't know how much the other guy values the province. If you think the province is worth 21, why would you think ALL of your opponents have under valued it? They could have the same bonus cards your have. Unless all your opponents have no cards or you have all of the applicable bonus cards (both copies) you can't assume that province is worth more to you than someone else.

In general, you should start your bid at the value you think the province is worth. Only bid blockade might modify that.

Quote:
That said, I wouldn't be opposed to allowing the overbid to simply match the higher bid. It makes the card stronger, but I don't think it makes a dramatic shift in the card value. It's still situational, but cheaper to play.


Dramatic, no, but at least it is possibly worth more than 1 gold.
 
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Carl Olson
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jmucchiello wrote:
carlj wrote:
A major value of the "Jump" card is "Peace of Mind" when the provinces do NOT have equal value to both players.


While that is a good theory, the problem is you don't know how much the other guy values the province. If you think the province is worth 21, why would you think ALL of your opponents have under valued it? They could have the same bonus cards your have. Unless all your opponents have no cards or you have all of the applicable bonus cards (both copies) you can't assume that province is worth more to you than someone else.


But you have a reasonable idea of what cards the opponent(s) can or cannot *use*. If I have two provinces in the north, and you have one in the north and one in the south, I'm pretty sure my N/S bonus card makes that northern province worth 3 points more to me than it would be to you. If two N/S cards are in the discard pile, I *know* mine is good. If the province in question has 3 pyramids, and both of my other provinces have 2 or 3, but one of yours has only one pyramid, it gives me 2 or 3 sets and you only one, so there's a +3 or +6 valuation for me, all other things being equal.
 
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Carl Olson
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dcorban wrote:
ssmooth wrote:
In addition to the points already mentioned, the card's mere existence is a threat which often needs to be considered when deciding by how much to outbid someone.

It is never a threat, because you should be bidding the correct amount in the first place. Bidding a little low, trying to get a deal, will usually end up with you getting outbid by someone, power card or not.

This is why the card is so weak. Bidding below the expected value of the province, using the overbid card as backup, is a bad tactic. Someone will overbid you, forcing you to play your card and making you one card/gold poorer, and might even cause you to bid more than the initial valuation. Even worse is your opponent overbidding you to the correct value, forcing you to surrender it to him while you overbid someone on a different province, often paying more than its initial valuation.


What is the bid value in gold on a province that gets you 5 VP for "Most Pyramids" on one side that can win you the game? Are you going to let that go without paying 3, 6 or even 10 gold more than the farmers will supply if someone overbids you?

How much gold is it worth if it gives you the 5 VP and also a bonus 3 VP from one of your cards?

That's why the card is sometimes so strong. Without the Jump card, you lose all those points without even a whimper.
 
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