We want to create player tension in our games, and one way to do this is to create limited public objectives.
Auctioning is one way to go, but I wanted purchasing features to be a little more free-form, and objective based on costs and resource gathering/management based on the dynamic map and player decisions.
On the Bazaar mat is a Tavern Section where some Knights are available for hire. Any player may hire any knight in the Town Phase of their turn, but each knight is slightly different and adds differing perqs to the player who hires her.
Also on the Bazaar mat is a Menagerie section where creature dwellings can be purchased. There are three tiers of creatures to purchase, and 3 of each tier available in the menagerie at any given time. Thus players can see what is available for purchase, and make economic decisions about which to pursue, whether to block other players, etc.
Finally, on the bazaar mat is the Wizard's Guild where spell-cards are available for purchase. Spells also come in three tiers, but here we only display one spell of each tier and randomize the rest. (Dynamic still to be finalized.) This way players can also see the potential spell benefits available to their forces, and may save/block/ignore as best suits their strategy in the game.
Finally, also attached to the Bazaar mat is The Lists, where players can track their victory point gains during the game, and add any end-game gains as well.
Attached is a late-model prototype for the bazaar mat.
The goal here is to make public some of the decisions players will make, and to create some level of competitive tension between them.