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Chicago Express» Forums » General

Subject: The first auction rss

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Steffen Beck
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playing this with a new group tonight (we'll be four people) and i think i'll be leaving out the first auction and randomly deal each player one of the first four starting shares (at cost of course)...last time noone knew what they were bidding on and why one was more expensive than the other and it's too confusing to explain it to newcomers-

what do you think?
 
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James Cheevers
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I'm sure the experts will disagree totally but for a group of first time players it doesn't seem that bad an idea. It will allow them to see the game unfold and they will be better prepared for the 2nd game.

Ensure each player pays around 50% of their cash for the first share. You may even want to let them decide the exact amount but using 50% as their guide.
 
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Shane Is Board
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For a first play through with new players seems like a reasonable thing to do, but yeah, I would say make each player put in some kind of minimum for their share; if someone was smart and got, say, the green share, they'd probably put $0 into it, and do very well for themselves, which would probably make things tricky, so a minimum of 50% might not be a bad idea.
 
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J C Lawrence
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sugadaddy wrote:
what do you think?


I think it a terrible idea. Chicago Express is at heart an auction game, just an auction game. Oh sure, there's a lot riding on those auctions and they imply and break alliances and valuation is damnably hard and indiscrete etc etc, but it is just an auction game. Would you take the first auction out of Ra? Out of Medici? Out of Industria? Of course not. Then don't take the first auction out of Chicago Express.

I've taught Chicago Express to many dozens of new players without any problems at all. Just tell the players that all the initial shares are worth a couple bucks of 50% of their starting capital. It is really that simple: anywhere within a couple bucks of 50% is just fine. Then let them have at it. The first round will go just fine.

The result of the game will be random of course. One of the newbies will throw the game to another player and not realise it. It is going to happen, guaranteed. But as long as each of the initial shares shells for ~50% of starting capital you'll be just fine as far as the game is concerned and no player will be at a significant advantage or disadvantage on that score.
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Eric Flood
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Shane Sather wrote:
...if someone was smart and got, say, the green share, they'd probably put $0 into it...


The minimum bid is the current income / # of shares (rounded up).


I would not recommend a random method of handing out shares. 4-player games do *not* always resolve into each player starting with one share; 3-player and 5-player would be tricky to resolve.

With the 50% knowledge, players should do just fine. It can be difficult to understand what is going on without an experienced player to help tell you what's what (and shove your face into the mud a fair bit), and development will almost certainly be slow; but if you want some guidance there is a significant amount to be found in the forums here.

Just push through it, you'll figure things out quickly enough, and the satisfaction will be much higher for having done it without trying to make things easier on yourselves; you'll also develop more quickly.

Put another way, would you place your first dozen Go stones on the board randomly because it's difficult to figure out? One would hope not.
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Brandon Pennington
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Games that start off with an auction are always really awkward the first game or two (AoS, 18xx comes to mind).
 
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Snooze Fest
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I hate to agree with JC, but I am forced to: you ought to start with actions. on the other hand, you could make things slightly better for the newbies by letting them bid whatever they like then see how that affects building. Play a round and a half or two, then start the game over. That shouldn't add a lot to the game length
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Jack Neal
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I still have trouble with the first auction, but I play with my 7 and 10 year old, because they like bidding, bidding, bidding!

The one thing you could do that I have tried is simply limit the bidding to, say $10 for the first round so no one goes completely nuts OR loses their shirt.
 
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Justin
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I don't think it would be terrible if you started by taking half the players' money and giving it to the companies before doing random distribution. If people started with full money and either cashless companies or companies funded from the bank there might be so much money in the economy that the game would play noticeably different. Still, I agree that an earnest pricing guideline before the auction would be best and get people into the auction spirit - even if they're confused about valuations. Discovery can be a big part of the fun.
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