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Subject: Blind bidding - how big part of the game is it? rss

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Paul - the
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I was very excited about the game at first as I adore Gloomhaven and the setting but then I saw the blind bidding part. cry

Blind bidding is really not my cup of tea to say it nicely. It is a mechanism I have problems enjoying outside of party games perhaps, and not even there really.

So my question is how important or prevalent are the blind bidding parts of the game. Does the whole game center around it or is it just a minor less important part?
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Gustavo Goncalves
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Bidding is one of my most hated mechanics in a game. I have to see a few more playthroughs to see if it feals like a soft bidding (like castles of mad king) or like real bidding and how much time you are actually bidding

If its too much, im out!!
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Bernhard W
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As far as I understand it, everytime somebody wants to get the cards back, a round of bidding on 3 buildings is started. Everything put into the bid is gone, whether you won or lost. The buildings are determining how many endgame prestige you can earn, which is a major way to gain prestige.
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Paul - the
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BeloW06 wrote:
As far as I understand it, everytime somebody wants to get the cards back, a round of bidding on 3 buildings is started. Everything put into the bid is gone, whether you won or lost. The buildings are determining how many endgame prestige you can earn, which is a major way to gain prestige.


Thanks, then I guess this is not a game for me unfortunately.
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Miguel Gonzalez
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Why the dislike for bidding?
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André Silveira
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Justicex75 wrote:
Why the dislike for bidding?

I also do not like it.
It's too random. The relative price is random. You may bid to much for a feather or take a super Ferrari for 2 dollars.
It's worse when it's blind. If you can see what to buy and increases your bidding over time no problems. But blind? I don't know.
Maybe I'll drop it.
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Justicex75 wrote:
Why the dislike for bidding?


I don't dislike bidding per se, just the blind part.

Personally I see blind bidding in games as a bad design choice most of the time. I always feel there should be a alternate/better way of doing this, but then I'm probably coloured by my dislike of the mechanism. Some people find it fun I guess.
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BG.EXE
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It's not random at all. It's fully deterministic.

Every player has a known amount of influence, there are three known buildings. You put your influence in depending on which building fits best for your current situation. This can mean which earns you the most points, or which holds the leader back, etc.

But every detail is known as you go into the bid. You simply choose how much you're willing to risk. The bidding in Founders wouldn't work if it wasn't blind, everyone would simply conspire against the leader or never have any risk, because they could spend exactly the amount of influence needed to win every time.
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Julien Grenier
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You should look up this full playthrough .
To me this game mainly feels like a brillant mix of The Great Zimbabwe, Concordia and Puerto Rico. The blind bidding only happens when someone puts a call for vote (i.e wants to pick their cards). Also keep in mind that you are not bidding money but influence.

There is two types of influence fleeting(basically they disappear after the vote whether you win or not so you will always use them) and permanent influence. The permanent influence tokens (or crystals) are worth a point at the end of game if you keep them instead of using them during a vote.
So the interesting decision is whether you are willing to sacrifice victory points to ensure that you win the vote and potentially scoring more points
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David desJardins
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
It's not random at all. It's fully deterministic.


The resolution is deterministic but the outcome is still highly random because the players use mixed strategies. It's like rock-scissors-paper. If you put a contest of rock-scissors-paper in the middle of a game, you're adding randomness, just the same as if you rolled dice.
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Alex P
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That's simplistic. If you put a game of Rock/Paper/Scissors in the middle of a game and you know that Bill will get 30 points if he picks rock and wins but no points if he wins with paper or scissors, it's not at all "random" as you suggest. But yes, evaluating others' strategies is certainly part of the game, as it is any game where players interact.

I'm not particularly a fan of auction mechanics either. But that's just a preference. I make no claims about their quality as design elements. In general I find the hobby game community conflates "I don't like this" with "this is bad design." They are not the same thing.
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Cliffy73 wrote:
That's simplistic. If you put a game of Rock/Paper/Scissors in the middle of a game and you know that Bill will get 30 points if he picks rock and wins but no points if he wins with paper or scissors, it's not at all "random" as you suggest.


Actually that's just as random. If you make the payoffs for winning with different combinations different, the optimal strategies are still mixed strategies.

Quote:
In general I find the hobby game community conflates "I don't like this" with "this is bad design." They are not the same thing.


Yes, actually they are. Games have no utility except whether people like them or not. They aren't like bridges or airplanes where there is an objective standard of success or failure (do they stay up or do they fall down). If people like them that's good and if they dislike them that's bad.
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Michael T.
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DaviddesJ wrote:

Quote:
In general I find the hobby game community conflates "I don't like this" with "this is bad design." They are not the same thing.


Yes, actually they are. Games have no utility except whether people like them or not. They aren't like bridges or airplanes where there is an objective standard of success or failure (do they stay up or do they fall down). If people like them that's good and if they dislike them that's bad.


Useless discussion just to provoke.
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David desJardins
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Von Strubel wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:

Quote:
In general I find the hobby game community conflates "I don't like this" with "this is bad design." They are not the same thing.


Yes, actually they are. Games have no utility except whether people like them or not. They aren't like bridges or airplanes where there is an objective standard of success or failure (do they stay up or do they fall down). If people like them that's good and if they dislike them that's bad.


Useless discussion just to provoke.


I agree, Cliffy is trying to provoke with this attack on the "hobby game community".
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DaviddesJ wrote:
boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
It's not random at all. It's fully deterministic.


The resolution is deterministic but the outcome is still highly random because the players use mixed strategies. It's like rock-scissors-paper. If you put a contest of rock-scissors-paper in the middle of a game, you're adding randomness, just the same as if you rolled dice.


Not quite random still. Because you can see who controls which resources at all times, the current VPs, and everyone's influence you are making a VERY educated guess from a huge supply of information. The chance is near zero that a player bids on a Silk and Jewlery improvement if they have only Garisons and Bricks. Chances are high you'll get your preferred building if you have 10 fleeting influence and the other players have 6 combined. Chances are also high people will bid against your best outcome if you are 20 VP ahead.

Watch the Jon Gets Games playthrough and it's clear the bidding is as far from random as it can get.
 
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boardgamesdotEXE wrote:
Not quite random still. Because you can see who controls which resources at all times, the current VPs, and everyone's influence you are making a VERY educated guess from a huge supply of information.


Of course you're making a very educated guess. But the optimal strategy is still a highly mixed strategy with very random outcomes. Build a game of rock-scissors-paper where each choice has a different cost to each player and a different payoff depending on what the opponents choose. You can do a lot of computation and analysis based on all of that data, but at the end your correct strategy is still to secretly roll a die and choose from among several very different choices, because being predictable has a big cost.
 
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Kursplat Kury
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I was able to play a prototype of the game a week or two ago. I and I just want to reiterate something that has been said before.

The resource you bid is (virtually)only used for voting and the vast amount of the influence you will bid will lost at the end of voting, whether you won, lost or did not use that influence to vote this time.

Thus it is more worth thinking about the influence as a players voting power, because they will commit all of their (fading) influence to the vote. Thus it is more of an asymmetrical voting system as opposed to a bidding system.

Thus, as least I feel, the bad feeling associated with 'committed blind bidding' are not fully applicable for this game.
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kursplat wrote:
Thus it is more worth thinking about the influence as a players voting power, because they will commit all of their (fading) influence to the vote. Thus it is more of an asymmetrical voting system as opposed to a bidding system.


So does that mean there's a lot of coalition building and negotiation? If Alice has 40% of the votes, and Bob and Carol 30% each, it benefits them to band together to make a majority in favor of something that might be neither of their first choices, but better for both of them than what Alice would choose.
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Kursplat Kury
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DaviddesJ wrote:
kursplat wrote:
Thus it is more worth thinking about the influence as a players voting power, because they will commit all of their (fading) influence to the vote. Thus it is more of an asymmetrical voting system as opposed to a bidding system.


So does that mean there's a lot of coalition building and negotiation? If Alice has 40% of the votes, and Bob and Carol 30% each, it benefits them to band together to make a majority in favor of something that might be neither of their first choices, but better for both of them than what Alice would choose.


Granted I only have one play of a four player game so I can not be too authoritative. But that being said collaborations like you have describe can happen. In the one play I had I was winning by a chunk and the other players made sure that their votes went to projects that would not be good for me. Thus typically I wanted one project and the other players would not vote for that one. So when the votes are revealed, my one batch of votes would be going against 2 or 3 players stack of votes.

 
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Blind bidding is not random...it's deterministic in a formalistic sense. Every bid is non-random, and the results are determined from non-random events. Not random.

But it is unpredictable by design. That's why you make the bidding blind...to eliminate the ability of participants to accurately predict what will happen. It's arguably more predictable than a random event, but a lot less predictable than a bidding system that isn't blind.

Unpredictability is the objective of using random elements.

Unpredictability is also the objective of making bidding blind.

That's why the ultimate effect of these two design elements is similar, even if one of them is not in fact random.

Pete (tries to clean up a messy debate)
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Still Human behavior is NEVER random. It is always a result of (sometimes countless) conditions in an environment. In Founders there are 3-5 conditions to consider. This is really, reaaaaaaaaally far from Random and Rock/Paper/Scissors isn't remotely a comparison. Though as an aside RPS is not random either, because again it involves human behavior. The simple game has been studied such that there are strategies that can put someone who knows them ahead of someone who does not. There are also computer learning algorithms that win over 60% of the time against human players.

I can agree there is an element of unpredictability, but that's good in this case otherwise the buildings might as well come out in a set order, and the best strategy will be known before the game begins. But still players are able to hedge their bets, and in some cases guarantee their preferred outcome.

Now one thing I was not totally clear on - are players allowed to talk during bidding? I can see that turning into a concerted effort to repeatedly screw one player. Though on the flip side I could see some backstabbing opportunities similar to when you "say" you'll negotiate in Cosmic Encounter and then throw an attack. Here you could say you'll go in on Mutually Beneficial Store and then throw a bunch of influence at Points For Only Me Boutique.
 
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Pete
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For the record, I really like blind bidding.

Pete (thinks it's a much better source of unpredictability than randomization)
 
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Bernhard W
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kursplat wrote:
I was able to play a prototype of the game a week or two ago. I and I just want to reiterate something that has been said before.

The resource you bid is (virtually)only used for voting and the vast amount of the influence you will bid will lost at the end of voting, whether you won, lost or did not use that influence to vote this time.

Wait, what? Are you saying that you are pretty much forced to use your fleeting votes even if there's nothing for you win? Just to mess with others instead of saving up for the building you want at a later stage, and possibly over paying?
 
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Kursplat Kury
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BeloW06 wrote:
kursplat wrote:
I was able to play a prototype of the game a week or two ago. I and I just want to reiterate something that has been said before.

The resource you bid is (virtually)only used for voting and the vast amount of the influence you will bid will lost at the end of voting, whether you won, lost or did not use that influence to vote this time.

Wait, what? Are you saying that you are pretty much forced to use your fleeting votes even if there's nothing for you win? Just to mess with others instead of saving up for the building you want at a later stage, and possibly over paying?


There are two types of influence fleeting and permanent. fleeting is the one described above and permanent counts as two votes, if not used will remain in your possession and at the end of the game is worth 1 vp.

Fleeting is much, much more common than permanent. So the loss of it between rounds does not hurt that bad, there are lots of ways of getting more.

[Edit: You can also have an income of fleeting influence if you build houses so you can almost always be a player in the voting process, without having to do additional work.]

But back to your question, what "if there's nothing for you win?"

This is never the case, there are always either buildings you want to have built or buildings you do not want to be built (Because it helps your opponents a lot). Thus you always have something meaningful to put your votes to in either getting points for yourself or denying points to others.

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