A refinement to the auction game

I did some thinking about the auction game I previously designed and I decided on some refinements that I think would make it a better game.

Specifically, ditching the “upkeep” and “cost” numbers.

Instead when you draw a tile it immediately becomes your own (you can of course immediately auction it as one of your moves if you want). You may place it anywhere on your board as usual. This eliminates the cost as a variable that needs balancing, and also means that being behind isn’t a crippling disadvantage.

Upkeep is now played as follows: Your starting tile requires no upkeep. Everything else requires upkeep equal to its distance from the starting tile. Note that removing tiles may change the cost, so be careful!

As a side note I’ve been thinking about the physical mechanism of playing. In particular:

When you place a tile up for auction, put it in the middle of the table. If you win with your reserve, then when you reclaim it you may place it anywhere you like. So an auction action includes a move action for free.

When collecting income: Put $1 on each hex. Now for each hex put an additional $1 on it for each matched colour on its border. Now collect all that money.

When paying income: Put money on hexes equal to their income cost. You may not put money on a hex unless there is already money on some hex connecting it to the origin through a trail of moneyed hexes. When you put money on the hex, it must be one higher than the money on the cheapest connecting hex. Note that if you then backfill you should double check that you’ve not missed taking money off any hexes. Once this process is complete, take all the money off the hexes and give it to the bank.

And, in related news, I have a set of tiles for this game being delivered! I decided this evening to have a play with The Game Grafter and put together a set of hexes for it. I wrote a small python script using PIL to generate a set of hexes, uploaded them, wrote another small python script using requests to auto-proof them (I checked a few, but I had no interest in manually clicking proof on 80 identical hexagons), and sorted. I’ve placed an order and they should be with me in a few weeks.

For your delectation, have some of the hexagons I generated. A work of art they ain’t, but I’m still relatively pleased with them.





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  1. Pingback: Report on some initial playtesting of the auction game | David R. MacIver

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