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Subject: Which auction to use? rss

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Rob M.
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I played this game many years ago and saw that it was finally available again and just received my copy today. Hurrah! I think my kids are really going to enjoy it.

Planning to play this week I have been double checking the rules and see an issue with the auctions. It looks like there will be little tension or shortage of tiles for putting on shows with all the extra auctions that can take place.

How is the "intense auction" an improvement?
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Murr Rockstroh
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Click "Search" up there and search for "Intense Auction" (or click the link I did below) and you'll see a lot of threads discussing it, or at least mentioning it. It's not anything new, it's a variant that was in the back of the Days of Wonder rulebook. TMG just made it how the auctions are now. Apparently it helped with something in the game those threads you'll find from searching seem to touch on just glancing at the search results.

Intense Auction Search
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Rob M.
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Murr wrote:
Click "Search" up there and search for "Intense Auction" (or click the link I did below) and you'll see a lot of threads discussing it, or at least mentioning it. It's not anything new, it's a variant that was in the back of the Days of Wonder rulebook. TMG just made it how the auctions are now. Apparently it helped with something in the game those threads you'll find from searching seem to touch on just glancing at the search results.

Intense Auction Search

I did do a bit of poking around and while "Intense Auction" is discussed there is very little discussion of why it is better, what issues it resolved or what issues it creates. I don't think it inappropriate to re-ask the question given the new availability of the game and hopefully more plays.

What are the effects of the auction?
Mitigate or facilitate a perceived runaway leader problem?
Encourage trading because supply of resources makes it easier to strive for the big shows?
Discourage trading because the supply allows players to get the shows they can afford with no need to trade?

While there are comments I have not seen much discussion or analysis. Really more a laying out of the questions. Such as:

AI think it'll help stop the runaway leader thing as people will be less likely to dump their entire stack of coins on a single bid, and will instead try to spread them out across multiple sets, which increases the trading potential.

BI like the 'intense' auctions -- but I feel it only promotes a runaway leader. If you can win multiple auctions, then you'll have more resources. Odds are you'll attempt to win ones you need (or will need in the future). With more resources, the loss of a single resource because you are first, just isn't too damaging -- heck if at all damaging. Though a savvy stealer could yank a tile that gave you a +4.

CYou might be right that trading potential may increase, but could easily see scarcity of resources also promote trading (ie Torch piece I have no desire using ever...I'd probably find an easier time trading with limited resources then with an abundant amount of resources). Either way, trading is crucial in this game, and it's probably the REAL reason you get runaway winners.

DThe original auction mechanism was too weak.

EYou don't need a big show to win. Staying on a middle show saves you an upgrade of your arean, which you can use to buy season tickets, and save money for acquiring asset tokens (very importent with teh Intense Auction variant).
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Richard Dewsbery
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Gutrender wrote:

AI think it'll help stop the runaway leader thing as people will be less likely to dump their entire stack of coins on a single bid, and will instead try to spread them out across multiple sets, which increases the trading potential.

Except of course that the cash leader can now buy multiple sets, and effectively bully poorer players into conceding not just one plumb auction with a killer bid but two or three of them.

Quote:
BI like the 'intense' auctions -- but I feel it only promotes a runaway leader. If you can win multiple auctions, then you'll have more resources. Odds are you'll attempt to win ones you need (or will need in the future). With more resources, the loss of a single resource because you are first, just isn't too damaging -- heck if at all damaging. Though a savvy stealer could yank a tile that gave you a +4.

That was how I felt; albeit that I've only played one game with intense bids.
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CYou might be right that trading potential may increase, but could easily see scarcity of resources also promote trading (ie Torch piece I have no desire using ever...I'd probably find an easier time trading with limited resources then with an abundant amount of resources). Either way, trading is crucial in this game, and it's probably the REAL reason you get runaway winners.

I'm not sure which auction variant is used is all that determinative of how much trading goes on; the fact that players have access to more tiles seems to diminish trading rather than increase it, but it's much more influenced by group dynamics.
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DThe original auction mechanism was too weak.

Not sure I ever found it such.
Quote:
EYou don't need a big show to win. Staying on a middle show saves you an upgrade of your arean, which you can use to buy season tickets, and save money for acquiring asset tokens (very importent with teh Intense Auction variant).

Again, it seems to me that intense auctions make it easier to acquire enough tiles for the big shows.

I'll add another, though. With the standard DoW auction, you could keep track of who had won an auction in a similar fashion to the way it worked in Power Grid. But with the intense auction, we found it made for more mental overheads in keeping track of who had won a bid with this player's auctions, and whether they were back in or not for the next player.

Overall, I'm seeing it more and more as a matter of group preference rather than which is "better". My preferences are heavily influenced by a failrly successful games designer, whose mantra is to simplify as much as possible and include special rules only if the alternative involves sharp objects. Hence after trying the "intense auction" or TMG rules, I'm hoping that we can stick to the DoW rules in future.
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Jason Rothe
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RDewsbery wrote:
My preferences are heavily influenced by a failrly successful games designer, whose mantra is to simplify as much as possible and include special rules only if the alternative involves sharp objects. Hence after trying the "intense auction" or TMG rules, I'm hoping that we can stick to the DoW rules in future.


One thing I keep in mind is that the intense auction rules was the designer's intent for the game and DOW changed them to simplify the system. I use the intense rules for this reason.
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A Frag
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I have had this game since the first print run from DoW and have never played with intense auctions. However, after the last game, my group all decided we would try it the next time. Without them the game creates this weird situation where you really don’t want to be the leader at all before the last round. Sure the +3 podiums nice, but losing a tile each turn was just downright crippling. Having More cash didn’t provide much of an advantage either. It seems that with the intense auction variant, you will have players now try to win each round, because while losing a key tile can still hurt you can mitigate it buy buying more than one group at auction. I am eager to try the game this way.
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Dylan Coulter
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I think without the 'intense auctions' there can be a tile scarcity that I don't really like. I've seen people buy Caesars march but really struggle to get the number of tiles they need to put it on, let alone the right combination of tiles. In intense auctions people usually have tiles left over every show, even putting on triumphal march. I'm not sure whether the added tiles promotes trading, but it does make the game less punishing, which I love. It may be that people perform 'full' shows more often, as depending on if the table is in a trading mood you can usually buy or trade your way out of anything, but I definitely prefer intense auctions for the extra decisions it gives, and it makes every choice less do or die.
 
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Nate Straight

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Mostly I think the opening minimum bid of $8 is too high. I’d be keen on trying a variant of the intense auction variant with a starting bid of, say, $5. Maybe even make it an Age of Steam style dollar auction while you’re at it, to penalize unnecessary gamey bidding-up shenanigans.
 
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