David C
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I played Ra a couple weekends back, and I've seen been hooked on the softboard version of it. There's a lot of mechanics I really like:

1.) the sun tiles change-up bidding greatly.
2.) You can be awesome at the game, but luck can still bite you in the butt.

However, there are some things I don't like about it:

The scoring system and value of certain things over others isn't readily obvious to the first-time players.

I wish it wasn't as luck dependent as it is (it's very easy to get hung-out with an extra sun tile, or to check-out too soon). It's not a bad problem, just an observation.

So, I think Vegas Showdown should bring my first-time gateway pals up-to-speed pretty quick. I'm curious at what bidding games you've played that keep it interesting, but are also mildly straightforward in understanding.

-----------------

Kinizia's scoring systems are....rough. Not bad, just rough.
 
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mark sellmeyer
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manila has bidding as a big part of the game (and gambling).
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Kelly Bass
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How about Strozzi?
 
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Brad Miller
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25 Words or Less
 
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Medici is lot more straight forward but not at fun with less people.
Modern Art takes a couple of plays but is more intuitive than Ra.

*all kinizia

----
Chicago Express is another one. It's subtle in play and a lot deeper than my first impression but at heart mainly a auction/bidding game


 
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Before the Wind
The Princes of Florence
 
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Pete Lane
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I second Manila and Medici. I would say Goa has a nice bidding section as part of its mechanics, as does El Grande... but that's not the full point of the game.
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indigopotter wrote:


I've just taught The Princes of Florence to about 6 new people in 4 different sessions.

Although it is simple once you begin, playing this takes a good 20-30 minutes of rules explanation to get going. Its not one that you can start and explain as you go. In order to even know how to start you pretty much need to cover the whole rule set.

Its rough to begin a game night with. I'd definitely play a filler or two before chopping on this one.

*i love the game and will play at any chance, just a bit of caution in picking it up for the 'gateway' purpose
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Steve Leach
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Merchants of Amsterdam is good. It is Kiniza though and it does take a few games to work out the values of things. A few more to look at if you haven't yet would be For Sale! and You're Bluffing. I know For Sale! was just reprinted I'm not sure about You're Bluffing though.

 
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Jens KH
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I've had very good results with Dream Factory as a gateway game so far (albeit with the Traumfabrik version).
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Seth Brown
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Goa is one of my favorite games, but perhaps not the best gateway. Vegas Showdown seems a fine choice. Palazzo is not quite is good as those two, but is quick to teach and play.

Depending on what you mean by higher-level, Power Grid could work; it was one of the first Eurogames I was introduced to, and I immediately liked it.
 
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David C
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Osirus wrote:
Goa is one of my favorite games, but perhaps not the best gateway. Vegas Showdown seems a fine choice. Palazzo is not quite is good as those two, but is quick to teach and play.

Depending on what you mean by higher-level, Power Grid could work; it was one of the first Eurogames I was introduced to, and I immediately liked it.


Well.... there was an 'auction games for kids' thread, and most of my folks I game with are able to understand bids, and some semi-complex scoring... but everyone likes to play a game they understand how they're doing, the first time.

Like, they can understand Ra, but, no one can truly understand Ra until you've played it a time or two.

But I'd like it to stay 'gateway' in time commitment.
 
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Davido
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Vegas Showdown.
Accessible theme: it's Vega$ baby
bidding-obvious: bid on tiles to place in your casino to score points
gateway to other bidding games and tile placement
handles 3-5 and plays in an hour or less.
 
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David C
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Replying to my own post... Ra is hard to get, because it seriously takes about 3 plays to figure out if you suck at it, or if it's luck biting you in the arse. I think it's fun, winning or losing, but I'm in the minority of gamers.
 
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kevintlee wrote:
indigopotter wrote:


I've just taught The Princes of Florence to about 6 new people in 4 different sessions.

Although it is simple once you begin, playing this takes a good 20-30 minutes of rules explanation to get going. Its not one that you can start and explain as you go. In order to even know how to start you pretty much need to cover the whole rule set.

Its rough to begin a game night with. I'd definitely play a filler or two before chopping on this one.

*i love the game and will play at any chance, just a bit of caution in picking it up for the 'gateway' purpose


The big plus about PoF is that it has everything right there on the player boards, so you don't have to memorize much of anything at all, you can follow along step by step. It also helps to arrange the pieces in auction and action phases, so people can visually see their choices there as well.
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Brent Cunningham
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Have you considered either of these?


Amun-Re - Each turn players bid on available provinces, then can buy power cards, farmers, or bricks to build pyramids. Power cards provide bonus points for satisfying certain criteria, farmers generate income, and pyramids gain the player points. A good balance-management game.

Oasis, while not exactly bidding, is a fun game along those lines...area management, with a bidding type system. Each turn, players flip a card or cards from their face down deck in an attempt to garner the 1st player marker for the following turn.
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Big Kat
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Metropolys has Ra-like bidding and simple rules.

Biblios is one of my favorite bidding games. Don't know how available it is right now though.
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David C
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Opinions on Hoity Toity?
 
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Breno K.
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Modern Art is one of my favorites. Develops a nice market of incentives during the game.

Amun Re is more eurogamey, but it's also a nice choice.

Chicago Express is actually an auction game, with some route-building aspects. But make no mistake, you win it at the auctions.
 
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Lauren Lazar
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I would recommend Modern Art. It's far less luck based than Ra but there is still some luck, I guess, in which art cards you draw at the beginning. The auction/bidding mechanic is a lot closer to that of a "traditional" auction than Ra in that you are not limited to using your sun tiles. That being said, the auctions are still done in an innovative way since "art" is auctioned off through different styles of auction. (Blind auction, once around, etc.) Keep in mind, though, that it is purely an auction game in that the auctions are really the only mechanic in the game.

If you are interested in games that include an auction as part of the game but where it is not necessarily the central mechanic, I would highly recommend both Amun-Re and Goa.
 
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Darren M
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There's more great auction/bidding games than you can shake a stick at:

Power Grid
El Grande
Die Macher
The Princes of Florence
Railroad Tycoon
Goa
Taj Mahal
Amun-Re
A Game of Thrones
Modern Art
Vikings
Cuba
Santiago
Medici
For Sale
Colosseum

All worth playing/owning.
 
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