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Byzanz» Forums » Variants

Subject: No automatic win of auctions rss

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Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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In the game of Byzanz, often the few cards up for auction as a set are worth much less than getting into a great position to take cards from the market. In the default rules, if everyone passes without bidding, the currently on-sale lot is given for free to the first person to pass as well as the top bidder card. They don't have to discard a card in this case.

If one of the early lots isn't great, the bid 'winner' in this situation can find themselves badly disadvantaged. They get some useless cards and end up being one of the last few to take cards from the market.

We developed the following variant to counter this: If everyone passes on a lot the first player has the option to take the lot. Because we aren't compensating them for taking a first lot, they must still discard one card from the lot before taking it. If they choose not to take it, the cards from the lot are placed directly into the market and the bidding card is removed for this round.

When a player passes on a free lot, this guarantees that there will be bidding, possibly furious bidding on each of the remaining lots because at least one player will be left without any option to get either a winning lot or cards from the market. Even though this rarely happened, we found that players getting the choice of whether to take the free set of cards made folks playing feel a great deal less forced.

We recommend this variant to anyone playing the game.

 
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Emanuele Ornella
France
Dijon
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This is a very good idea.
So if I understood correctly if in a lot every one passes instead of giving the lot to the first player who passes, the lot is put in the market and that player is still on the auction.
However one player will get no cards from winning an auction because one was "skipped".

What will be the order for this player who will not get any card from the auction phase? Will he the first to choose cards from the market or the last? I would say the first because he get nothing.

The only problem I can see is what happens if more than one lot is completely skipped.. we will have two or more players without a winning auction, and therefore which will be the turn order for the market?

emanuele
 
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Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Well, to keep the game simple you can simply let them get nothing from the market. We never had more than one person skipped because of this, and frequently the bidding on that last item/bidding card was high enough to make winning it mostly Pyrrhic.

To be a little gentler, they should pick from the market dead last. If there are multiple people in this situation, it would make sense to have an auction for the pick-up order, people pick in reverse order of passing, bids either discarded outright, or added to the market after all the people with normal bidding cards had picked up.

It feels as though the first option isn't too horrible and having a second subsiduary type of auction simply to handle a really rare corner case seems inelegant. It's effectively the analogue of people being forced to sail with near-empty ships in Medici.

B>
 
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