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visible eventcards or not

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johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I have been using five different eventcards, the first one in the pile has been flipped over so every player can choose to buy that one if they want.
It is also possible to buy unkown card from the pile!

We tried with two cards that were fliped over, and it was a total disaster, really boring. Thats the reason why i write this!

We played the game yesterday and the testgroup thought that it would be better to have all cards secret. It makes it a bit harder to know what card you are going to get but i feel that overall it will be more fun and exciting when playing with all eventcards hidden. There are only five different eventcards and three of are those are crucial to the game. The other ones are VP or small adavtages. This mean that you as a player has to take into account the presence of these three cards during the cource of the game.

The deck contains 12 *3 +2*5= 46 cards. It might be 10*3+2*5= 40 cards since i would like to use as few cards as possible. (This in an old thread)

You would like to know what card you are likely to get, with cards flipped over everyone ese knows about it too as long as you buy the one that is flipped over. With two card visible, this was a big drawback that i hadnt counted on. OK we havent tried it with more than one card flipped over before, but this whole thing made me think that it might be better to draw ALL CARDS hidden from the stack.

What do you guys think?

thanks
johan

Scurra
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Joined: 09/11/2008
visible eventcards or not

Yup, this is a classic dilemma. If you have "open" Event cards, then people know what you have got. If you have "closed" Event cards, then it becomes a crap-shoot as to which card you get, regardless of how carefully balanced the deck is.
I'm not clear exactly what part in your game the cards play. Does everyone always take an Event card, or is it a voluntary action? And how are they played? Do players keep them until needed, play them during their turn, or play them immediately?
Unfortunately, I suspect that a useful answer to your query may require knowing more about the game system! For instance, you mention "buy" in your message. Does this mean that players pay resources of some kind to take an Event card? If this is the case, then bribing people to take the "open" Event card might work. (Indeed, this may address the multiple open cards idea as well, if the bribe increases each time someone fails to take an open card.)
An alternative approach would be to make drawing "blind" prohibitively expensive, so that players would really prefer to take an "open" card, regardless of what that does to their relative position.

johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
visible eventcards or not

Alternative :
1. Draw two cards keep one!
Discard the one that you dont want to keep

Could this solve the problem, it might.....

Scurra
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Joined: 09/11/2008
visible eventcards or not

Princes of Florence took that a step further, and allows you to draw five cards from which you chose one and return the other four to the bottom of the deck. This also gives the player information about what they are denying to the other players. Of course, that requires a set of cards that are substantially different from one another, which probably wouldn't work in your case...

ebonwoulfe
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Joined: 12/31/1969
visible eventcards or not

If you have all the event cards hidden, there is no reason to auction, since any particular hidden event will have the same value to the player. You might as well just deal one face down to each player and move on. Or if only those who are capable and willing to buy event cards should get them, they should have a fixed price, possibly a price that goes up for each event card bought per player (if a single player can buy more than one).

What is the desired distribution, as well? Is everyone supposed to get one? Only people that can afford it get one?

If everybody isn't supposed to get one, then you could flip however many events face up, everyone bids, then the events are randomized in some way to see which one the winning bidder actually buys. All you could really do is estimate the probabilty you will get the tile you want. This would cause this sort of dynamic - Ah, there's 3 of that particular kind of event, and I need one of the other two. If I sit out this auction, someone might get one of those useless ones randomly, and therefore I might have a better chance if I waited for the next auction. Of course, if I win the first two auctions, then there's a pretty good chance I will get the one I need as well as a bonus event.

Or, if everyone isn't necessarily supposed to get one but have the chance, you could deal out an event to each player, those players would then place the event in front of them, and they could choose whether to make a deal for it w/ another player or to keep it. Everyone would have a CHANCE to keep their action, or otherwise wheel and deal to get the action they want, or the money. This would make the auction a zero-sum game, since all the resources are on the table and will simply change hands. Of course, if three of the same action come up, the players who got that particular action might feel put upon, since their market is saturated.

Finally, if you're are using the auction as a means to get money out of player's hands, you could always use one of my methods and associate a cost with actually playing the card. Or you could decrease the player's income. Or perhaps the money leaves the buying player's control, but turns up in the other player's control as something differently valuable, say favor or some other idea, that is powerful but can only be gained in this way.

That's the end of my decent ideas, but here's a random, off the cuff idea -

How about if you flip all the event tiles up that are going to be played this turn, arrange them into piles based on type, and then instead of buying a event, you buy people OUT of the events? Like, say there are two earthquakes, a hurricane, and two riots. You would be decimated if someone played a riot against you, but would be otherwise ok if the other two were played against you. You know that the most likely player to play a riot on you is Bob. Well, for a price of $4000, you could buy Bob out, therefore negating him from being able to effect any of the events for that round. Let's say three players don't get bought out, and two people choose to riot against Susan and another chooses the hurricane. You would then have another round for the last two tiles. You would then not have to worry about Bob. On the next round, if there are tiles left, buying Bob out would cost $6000 or $8000 or $10000 or whatever for balance sake, so that Bob isn't terribly screwed. This, of course, creates other concerns such as "What if everyone else goes to the next round and there are only two tiles, who gets to play?", but you could figure something out.

ebonwoulfe
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Joined: 12/31/1969
visible eventcards or not

Alright thinking more about it after rereading your post -

The deck consists of lots of minor effects, and a few major ones, right?

Right off the bat this sounds like a bad idea, since the players who get the stronger events are more likely to win. I mean, if the event face up is crappy, and I spend $100 to buy the top event off the deck, and the actual value of that event is around $600, then I just lucked into a HUGE advantage.

I know, why not flip up the proper number of events, and auction off the right of who gets to pick who takes events first. The first player to pick gets one event, then the next player gets two, the next three, and so on. In that way, the last player would get a boatload of weak stuff, and the person who picks first is likely to get one very powerful thing.

I'll repeat - flip the events, and the winner of the auction CHOOSES which player will now go first.

Of course, this solution only gets money out of one player's hand... ok this idea of mine might suck.

I think the problem here is that you have a deck filled with items of widely varying value, but the values are relatively fixed per card. A victory point is always a victory point, unlike something like Modern Art where the winner of the auction gets something that has a wide range of possible values.

Your auction could be like this - the winner either gets to choose to pick up the face-up card, or TWO blind from the top of the deck. That way, if a powerful event is face up, then it is likely to be taken. If a weak event is face up, then at least they can take two (probably weak) random events off the deck. Either way, after the auction a NEW event is placed face-up.

johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
visible eventcards or not

Thanks!
I will consider the ideas.
The different eventcards are very equal in strenght.

I might skip the victory point card though.

//Johan

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