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Cosmic Encounter» Forums » Variants

Subject: Bid drafting idea. rss

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JonnyRotten
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So at work this morning, thinking of CE as I often do, I was wondering how a bid drafting variant would work.

Here is one concept:

During setup twice as many aliens as players are laid out in the middle of the table face up. Each player blind bids a number of ships for the opportunity to pick first. The winning player chooses one alien to play, and one to discard out. Then pick passes to the next highest bidder. Ties are decided by the player closest to the highest bidders left. If high bidder is tied, cut the deck to decide ties.

Another:
During setup, X + 3 (X being the number of players) aliens are taken face down. Bidding works the same, High bidder takes the entire stack, chooses one, and passes to the next highest bidder.


Thoughts?
 
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Andy Leber
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What happens to the ships? Do they go to the warp to start?

Edit: And with the first scenario, I wouldn't let the first player discard an alien. I think that's too powerful... I would just discard the remaining after all people have picked.

I like the concept though.

 
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Big Head Zach
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I like the bidding idea, except if Masochist happens to be one of the choices...then it's in my best interest to bid 19.
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Jack Reda
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We've done something like that, except without knowing what any of the aliens are. So you not only get first choice, but first peek as well.

I think we also used to bid clockwise, and the high bidder paid full, but anyone that dropped out got half of their bid back. If you dropped out first, you got a token or card that was the last choice, and the next player dropping out got the next last choice card, etc.
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Andy Leber
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bhz1 wrote:
I like the bidding idea, except if Masochist happens to be one of the choices...then it's in my best interest to bid 19.


LOL. Good point.

You could also have X number of aliens ready for bidding... but you only see them one at a time.

So when you're looking at the alien and deciding to bid, you don't know if the next one will be better, worse, etc...

 
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JonnyRotten
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Haha, Yeah, I didn't think about Masochist . Or the one that gets +X where X = ships in the warp.

But yeah, the ships would start the game in the warp. Perhaps if Masochist or the other one is in there, the bidder who takes one of the two "Pays" in reverse, where they get a number of Tokens equal to their bid, and that many ships are forced to be saved from the warp. A little complicated, but it should work.

Another solution with those two, would be that Masochist goes to the lowest bidder automatically.


Also, round robin bidding would be cool too. People could bluff to raise someone into losing more ships.


 
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Just a Bill
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No, I said "oh, brother," not "go hover."
Just bid normally, but any player who ends up with Masochist or Warpish simply doesn't send his ships to the warp. They can in theory bid very high "for free", but have to weigh the risk of losing a tiebreaker and ending up with a different alien. Should work.
 
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JonnyRotten
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Excellent solution! I can't wait to try this out!
 
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JonnyRotten
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A year and a half later, and we finally tried it out! We loved it! Will splash it in occasionally, especially when we want a faster game. It felt like the first turn of the game was simulated, and we were in about the situation we would be in after a full turn around the table.

 
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Brian Pickett
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Of these:

Zombie Sadist Symbiote Glutton Sniveler Remora Macron Grudge Gambler Healer Vacuum Void

some might help recover faster, or capitalize on the pain of fewer ships being available for other players, or suffer less pain directly, but I might have a balance problem with only one.

Sadist might win nearly before the game is begun. What are the average bid sizes you have found for your group? It might only make the game more interesting if the bids aren't excessively high.
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JonnyRotten
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We ruled that if you choose an alien that benefits from lost ships, then you do not pay in the ships you bid. So no pre-game Masochist wins.

We've only done it once. I won the first bid with 9 ships, and got the glutton. Second bid went for 10, then 11. Then the last two players fought over who didn't have to take the crappy alien. It was quite funny how the bidding got more intense as the selection got slimmer. Almost like a game of chicken.

 
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Brian Pickett
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I believe you have a good, easy, interesting, and fun system of alien selection. I like the ideas put forward regarding how to handle Masochist, and I'm not overly concerned with Warpish.

Sadist may need to just be off limits however...
Sadist wrote wrote:
Wins by Killing Others' Ships
At the start of any player's regroup phase, before the offense retrieves a ship from the warp, use this power to win the game if all other players have lost at least eight ships each. Lost ships include ships in the warp, ships removed from the game, and ships captured by other players.

You may still win the game via the normal manner.
Do not use with Zombie or Healer
...as the solutions used for Masochist don't stop Sadist from an automatic victory using a special alternate win clause.

How about this? - If more than one bid goes over 5, Sadist gets pulled from the auction block -

Dual power variant
How about placing multiple bids to acquire multiple powers at game's start? Nobody wants Genius, and nobody wants Fido, but put them together on the cheap, and you may actually pose a threat.
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Jack of Clubs
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You could even use some kind of equalizing mechanism, using cards or Tech.

Instead of bidding ships, you can deal 2 x Players cards from the deck, the player who gets the last choice of powers gets to look at all the cards and choose any two as part of his starting hand. Then the player with the second-last power choice takes two of the remaining cards, and so forth, until the player who had the first choice of powers gets the last two cards remaining.

If that's not enough, you could make it 3 cards per player. Or you could use Tech cards - last choice of power gets first choice of tech, etc. Or some combination of the two, like 1 card and 1 tech.

If there was Lucre, that would also make a good thing to bid with.
 
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