Henry Allen
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I've just played my first game (great game!) but I'm curious, do experienced players prefer the auction variant mentioned at the end of the rules or random starting turn order? Obviously this is subjective but I'm curious what others prefer and why.
 
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never knew there was this variant mentioned in the rules. We just start by choosing a random player. If someone can post what this is, that would be appreciated, but until I do see what it's about, it just seems random works and makes sense.
 
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Henry Allen
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The alternate starting order rules are APPENDIX I (page 10).

Quote:
Alternate Starting Order Rules (for expert players only):
Rather than having the turn order at the beginning of the game determined randomly, an auction is held. Each player (starting with the youngest), bids (in Spanish Dollars) in turn, clockwise around the table. Each bid must be higher than the previous bid or the player may "pass". The first player to pass places a colonist of his color in the last available turn space (the last available space is equal to the number of players in the game) in the Turn Order box. The next player to pass places her colonist in the next lowest available space (for example in a five player game, the first player to pass places his colonist in the "5" space and the next player to pass places her colonist in the "4" space.

The player who places his colonist in the "2" spot pays half of his last bid (rounded up). The player who takes the "2" spot also gets a free specialist of their choice if they bid $8 or more. The player who wins the bid places his colonist in the "1" spot, pays his entire last bid, and discovers the Caribbean region.

For discovering the Caribbean, the player receives the Spanish Dollars shown on the discovery counter and places the discovery counter face up in front of himself. The discovering player places one colonist (not a specialist) in the Caribbean. This colonist does NOT count as one of the five starting colonists.
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I don't believe we did this (it was kinda late), but I reading it, it seems I would prefer this.

However, there's still the element of a "random start player", as someon has to start off the auction. Some folks prefer to do a truly random start player whenever it says "youngest/oldest/wealthiest/most whatever player goes first" rather than being somewhat "age discrimatory".
 
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Flawed Hero
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we've always used the random start order. Never even bothered with the auction variant.
 
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Flawed Hero
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last night I was looking over the directions for the auction variant. I'm not sure I'm quite grasping it. Can you bid any amount, even over the $10(+) that everyone starts with? if so, would you go into debt if you won the bid? I can't see wanting to spend that much money to go first anyways. and if someone passes, they don't pay anything? What about if they pass but end up going into slot #2 -- they still have to pay half their bid, correct?
 
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Henry Allen
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Jim K wrote:
last night I was looking over the directions for the auction variant. I'm not sure I'm quite grasping it. Can you bid any amount, even over the $10(+) that everyone starts with? if so, would you go into debt if you won the bid? I can't see wanting to spend that much money to go first anyways. and if someone passes, they don't pay anything? What about if they pass but end up going into slot #2 -- they still have to pay half their bid, correct?


Yes, if somebody passes into 2nd then they have to pay half their bid and the other person that’s left pays full for first.
Since there is nothing that says you can bid more than you have I’d assume the max bid is how much money you have (so if the first person to bid goes with $10k then they will go first and whoever was going to bid last ends up in 2nd for free).
I don’t have the rules in front of me but … I wonder if, using this variant, players still get extra coins for ending up starting 2nd, 3rd, etc?
 
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Kendahl Johnson
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Since buildings are $10 in the first age, I can't see anyone wanting to pay money to go first. I would much rather have a building, even third or forth choice, then the right to go first on the first turn. Random! Random!
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Henry Allen
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Well, it seems like it’s always worth $1 to go first because of the way discovering the Caribbean works. If you manage to pay $1 to go first with these rules you’ll get your money back immediately (from the discovery tile) and possibly make a profit, you’ll get a guy on the Caribbean that doesn’t count against your initial 5, and you get first choice of actions on the first turn so you can grab the best action (including taking the best building since you’ve made your money back).

It’s possible to pay more than $1 to go first and still get your money back though I’m not sure how risky it is (I don’t remember the distribution of the returns on the discovery tiles). Even if you’re $1 short you could still grab the first building spot and then put one guy on the initiative spot sometime during turn 1 to get that $1 back before building comes around (I don’t know that this is optimal but, if the building is really good maybe?).

The thing that’s weird to me is that (having only played once) it doesn’t seem like it’d be worth more than a few $s to go first. If that’s true then it seems like only one or two players would actually bid and then everyone else would pass rather than pay too much to go first. So, the turn order would still end up being fairly random (the first two random bidders taking 1st and 2nd and everyone else being in the reverse order of bidding order since bidding order is the order they passed in) but whoever went first would have a larger advantage than normal OR whoever went first will have paid too much and whoever had the guts to hang out in the bidding just long enough to get second (or maybe third) will have a bigger advantage than usual. It’s kind of interesting but it seems like it might be kind of weird and maybe annoying if only the first bidder or two have a real choice to make … that’s why I’m curious who has tried it and what opinions are about it.
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Galen
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kendahlj wrote:
Since buildings are $10 in the first age, I can't see anyone wanting to pay money to go first. I would much rather have a building, even third or forth choice, then the right to go first on the first turn. Random! Random!


How is it random. It's bidding, nothing random about it.
 
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galeninjapan wrote:
kendahlj wrote:
Since buildings are $10 in the first age, I can't see anyone wanting to pay money to go first. I would much rather have a building, even third or forth choice, then the right to go first on the first turn. Random! Random!


How is it random. It's bidding, nothing random about it.
?? I think the last two "Random"s were a call to stick with the random way to determine order (in other words, the non-variant). I don't believe he was trying to denounce the auction variant as being random
 
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Galen
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opps sorry
 
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Jim Henderson
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Quote:
If you manage to pay $1 to go first with these rules you’ll get your money back immediately (from the discovery tile)



We always use random turn order for the first turn.
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