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Subject: Player order question rss

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Roger Smith
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Hi

After the first player has been decided (via auction), how is the order of the other players decided? The rules seem to be silent on this. I assume it is either:

a) clockwise from the first player

or

b) last player is the first to drop out of the auction, second last player, second to drop out etc.

We used b) last time we played.

Cheers...Roger
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Ed
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Bruce Murphy
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(a) and it's the weakest part of the auction, but then the auction isn't really very central to RRT most of the time (unlike Age of Steam).

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Richard Young
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Martin himself has used any number of methods in his various games (VPs - least to most; money spent in previous turn - least to most; and, various auctions methods). In RRT, he uses a straight forward bidding mechanism with play going clockwise from the first player (highest bidder). And regardless of how much the other players have bid along the way, only the highest bidder pays.

Personally, I like the auction he devised for Age of Steam which could easily be used here. The highest bidder goes first and pays the full amount of his bid. The first player to pass goes last but pays nothing (even if that player had made previous bids). The second last player to pass (second highest bidder) plays second and also pays the full amount of his last bid. Between those, people take their turns in the order of the amount they bid, but only pay half of their highest bid.

In this way, you pretty much get what you pay for, rather than settling for where you are sitting relative to the highest bidder. So, lucking in and going second (for nothing) is not in the cards - if you want to be high in the turn order you will need to be in the auction. It's not a perfect system to be sure but it seems a lot better to me than the present RRT turn order auction.
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Bruce Murphy
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If you like this auction, play AoS. RRT is much more focussed on building and bonuses than on hard auctions. This makes it a lighter game that appeals to different folks.

I cover lots of other diffrences in my session report

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/407556

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Richard Young
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Turn order is just as important in RRT as it is in AoS from a game design perspective. Going second is much better than going last from any number of perspectives. In general, RRT is a simpler more forgiving game it's true, but making the turn order a bit more "fair" doesn't make the game like AoS in anything other than the turn order determination. I don't think it's that "hard" either...
 
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Harald Torvatn
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Bubslug wrote:
Martin himself has used any number of methods in his various games (VPs - least to most; money spent in previous turn - least to most; and, various auctions methods). In RRT, he uses a straight forward bidding mechanism with play going clockwise from the first player (highest bidder). And regardless of how much the other players have bid along the way, only the highest bidder pays.

Personally, I like the auction he devised for Age of Steam which could easily be used here. The highest bidder goes first and pays the full amount of his bid. The first player to pass goes last but pays nothing (even if that player had made previous bids). The second last player to pass (second highest bidder) plays second and also pays the full amount of his last bid. Between those, people take their turns in the order of the amount they bid, but only pay half of their highest bid.

In this way, you pretty much get what you pay for, rather than settling for where you are sitting relative to the highest bidder. So, lucking in and going second (for nothing) is not in the cards - if you want to be high in the turn order you will need to be in the auction. It's not a perfect system to be sure but it seems a lot better to me than the present RRT turn order auction.


The auction mechanic from AoS will not work very well in RRT, because it makes the second player pay almost as much as the first. This is right in AoS, but terribly wrong in RRT. In RRT, going second is clearly better than going last, but not much better.

Thus, the auction system used in RRT, while not perfect, produces a much more accurate price for the relative worths of the different places in turn order than the AoS system would do in RRT.

Generally, you do not want to be high in the turn order, you want to be first. And being outvbid for going first and having to pay almost the full ammount would be far to hash.
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Bruce Murphy
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Bubslug wrote:
Turn order is just as important in RRT as it is in AoS from a game design perspective. Going second is much better than going last from any number of perspectives. In general, RRT is a simpler more forgiving game it's true, but making the turn order a bit more "fair" doesn't make the game like AoS in anything other than the turn order determination. I don't think it's that "hard" either...


The AoS auction is really really nasty. Look up "Dollar Auction" for more information on this.

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Richard Young
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I guess I'm having trouble understanding how going last is "almost as good" as going second. Being behind three or four other players all working towards the same service bounties/major line connections would seem to be a "bad thing" period. Sure, take out more loans and make sure you are first. But that still means someone is going to go second just by virtue of being to your left and for no other reason. You surely aren't saying that you don't at all care what side of the first player you wind up on?

When turn order is a variable, fixing one spot (regardless of the method) and letting the rest be decided by going clockwise or counter clockwise just seems lazy and arbitrary. We have the same problem with Agricola and like the method used in Le Havre better even though those games have a lot in common otherwise.

If the AoS scheme is too brutal, it can be modified to simply have players take their positions in the order that they pass out (first to pass goes last etc.) but each player simply pays whatever his last bid was. Or, use the AoS system but only the first player pays full. Or, have the players (other than the first player) roll a die and use the spots to determine the rest of the order. I still feel like these could be better than leaving it as is...

Edit note - I'm sure the expert on autions could come up with something more suitable. If you're not a fan of auctions (and I'm not actually), then choose a method that doesn't involve auctions from the many that are out there...
 
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Bruce Murphy
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For the most part, there's usually one really shiny action card to pick up and everything else is players going about their business building up their network and delivering things.

Order just isn't as important as it is in AoS.

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Richard Young
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thepackrat wrote:
For the most part, there's usually one really shiny action card to pick up and everything else is players going about their business building up their network and delivering things.

Order just isn't as important as it is in AoS.

B>


Well, it looks from here like you don't take the game all that seriously. Sure, it is no Age of Steam or even Steam but if you are going to play you should want to have a little better control over things than that? No competition for build locations? Goods cubes? First player to (insert your choice here)? There are a number of things that are up for grabs. The first player can only do one of them. I would much rather be the player having the next choice of these things than the last choice. Our folks are still discussing this very issue from our game of Railways of England and Wales last Friday. We all think some thought on this is needed...
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Don't take it seriously? RRT is a lighter and gentler game than AoS. For folks who don't want to beat their heads against AoS it's a good game. I don't see where taking it seriously comes in here.

There's some minor importance attached to those issues you describe, but the majority of gameplay in RRT just isn't that critically competitive. For the very occasional first-player-to-X type competitions for bonuses, it might be worth actually bidding. It seems quite rare than more that one person wants to simply because I don't think the money comes in small enough denominations to make a more complex auction feasible. Turn order just isn't as important.

The reason it matters so much in AoS is that there are a set of critical special actions available every turn whereas these only come up occasionally in RRT. Plus the maps are incredibly tight and you can easily go bankrupt (and rarely does someone get cash-flow positive before the endgame)

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Bruce Murphy
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Oh yes, and it's not clear that the advanced game of RoEW is playable in its current state. Which did you play?

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Jon M
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Turn order in Railway Tycoon is normally completely unimportant, quite often no one will bid. Where it is most important is the first turn or two where a number of bonuses are up for grabs. Occaisionally later in the game a good card may come up that people will want to bid to get - but then it is only one person who can benefit.

Often for cubes it is clear who will deliver what first and quite rare to have two people willing to bid for the same cube delivery (i.e. it is available first round of a turn to both)
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Harald Torvatn
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Bubslug wrote:
I guess I'm having trouble understanding how going last is "almost as good" as going second. Being behind three or four other players all working towards the same service bounties/major line connections would seem to be a "bad thing" period. Sure, take out more loans and make sure you are first. But that still means someone is going to go second just by virtue of being to your left and for no other reason. You surely aren't saying that you don't at all care what side of the first player you wind up on?

A huge difference between AoS and railroad Tycoon is that if you are behind them in turn order in AoS, you build after them, deliver after them and choose action after them. In RRT, you are just one action after them.

I care whether I go before or after, but most of the time I dont care much. I may care a lot more about whether I go first, however, so differnce between first and second is usually huge, while difference between second and last is very small.

Bubslug wrote:
When turn order is a variable, fixing one spot (regardless of the method) and letting the rest be decided by going clockwise or counter clockwise just seems lazy and arbitrary. We have the same problem with Agricola and like the method used in Le Havre better even though those games have a lot in common otherwise.


Clearly, the auction in RRT could be more accurate, as it clearly is better to move second than to move last, but moving second is as cheap as going last. But is going second so mush better that it is worth the loss in playability a variable turn order brings to the table?

Bubslug wrote:
If the AoS scheme is too brutal, it can be modified to simply have players take their positions in the order that they pass out (first to pass goes last etc.) but each player simply pays whatever his last bid was. Or, use the AoS system but only the first player pays full. Or, have the players (other than the first player) roll a die and use the spots to determine the rest of the order. I still feel like these could be better than leaving it as is...


This will clearly be better than the AoS system (in RRT). I somehow doubt it will be better than the RRT system (because of playability issuses), but it does not bring with it the huge problem of the AoS auction, and thus will at least be acceptable.

Bubslug wrote:
Edit note - I'm sure the expert on autions could come up with something more suitable. If you're not a fan of auctions (and I'm not actually), then choose a method that doesn't involve auctions from the many that are out there...


It is sometimes very important to go first in RRt, sometimes not, so I doubt it will be easy to implement it without an auction.
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Jon G
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Bubslug wrote:

Well, it looks from here like you don't take the game all that seriously. Sure, it is no Age of Steam or even Steam but if you are going to play you should want to have a little better control over things than that? No competition for build locations? Goods cubes? First player to (insert your choice here)? There are a number of things that are up for grabs. The first player can only do one of them. I would much rather be the player having the next choice of these things than the last choice. Our folks are still discussing this very issue from our game of Railways of England and Wales last Friday. We all think some thought on this is needed...


On the US map, it's pretty rare that there are two different things being raced for in the same round. If only one thing is being raced for, those players should outbid the (third) player who just wants to bid $1 to go first. If two things are being raced for by 3-4 different players, then you can have the situation where the lesser race (not worth bidding as high as the greater race) gets decided by who's nearest the high bidder for the greater race. But this comes up maybe a couple times a game for us... the other 10 times, second place is worthless. I could see multiple races being more of an issue in Rails of Europe, with all the Major Lines in play at once.

Personally, I think the simplest solution is the following: After the auction to go first, ask if anyone wants to bid to go second. 80% of the time, no one will bid, 15% of the time two players will bid, and in the first round you might get more bidders. If second draws bids, sell third as well, and so forth. I don't see this adding more than 5 minutes to the game, and it fixes your problem in a simple and direct way that correctly values 2nd place.

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Bruce Murphy
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It would be hilarious if the second place bid exceeded the first

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Kim Milvang-Jensen
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In my group where we play regularly about once a month, and plat about 2 or 3 games in a session, we bid for all spots in the first round, and use standart bidding after that. Once the auction for first has ended, we start a new auction for 2nd, and repeat until no one bids for a place.

Auction for 2nd varies a lot in price. Some games it goes for 1, other times it goes as high as 10. In some instances 2nd place is really worth that much, especially deals where Atlanta-Richmond is out, along with a service bounty, as 2nd player gets the major line, or the service bounty with the extra point for first delivery.

Ther is nothing wrong with using the original bidding system, if you like it. But you will have some games where there are 2 good starting positions, and then player going 2nd will start the game with a substantial lead.
 
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Richard Young
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thepackrat wrote:
Oh yes, and it's not clear that the advanced game of RoEW is playable in its current state. Which did you play?

B>


Oops, missed that, sorry - we only played the RRT version. We are going to have a chance to play the advanced version this coming Friday. Wish us luck...
 
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