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a light blind auction game

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/09/2017

this is a quick little game based on goofenspiel (or GOPS) its 2 player and takes 10-15 minutes. i themed it as wizards buying spells but i think i will change that if i can think of anything better

components: 2 sets of bid cards (10 cards marked 1-10)
3 power cards (earth, water and fire)
30 mana cards.
mana cards are numbered 1-5 and have 1 or 2 symbols (to match power cards). there is 1 card for each permitation (ie 5 earth, 5 earth/water 5 earth/fire etc).
set up: each player receives a set of bid cards and a power card (hidden from opponent). the mana cards are shuffled and dealt into 3 face down piles of 10.

game play: this game is played over 3 rounds using the 3 mana piles.
on each turn flip the top card of the current mana pile.
each player selects a bid card and places it face down in front of themselves.
when both players are happy the bids are revealed and the highest bid card wins the mana card.
used bid cards are discarded and the turn is repeated until the mana pile has been exhausted, the bid cards are then collected and you start a new round with the next mana pile.

in the case of a draw flip the next mana card and bid for both (all unwon) cards. if the mana pile has been exhausted and there is no card to flip, all unwon mana cards are discarded.

when all mana cards have been won/discarded the game is over and it is time to score.

scoring: each mana card is worth its face value. any mana card that shares a symbol with your power card is worth twice its value.

i have made this 2 player because a) it keeps the card count under 54 and b) 2 players using 3 power cards adds some extra hidden info.
if i ever made this more than a family game i might add an "expansion" of an air power, a set of bid cards and 20 extra mana cards. this adds 2 extra rounds.

any thoughts are welcome thankyou.

ps. goofenspiel the game i based this on is one of my favourite games (certainly my favorite card game). it is easy enough to teach to a toddler but complex enough to have papers written about the maths of it. i recommend people learn it for those rainy days when you havent got your game collection to hand and another game of go fish may result in murder.

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
I think that's pretty good. I

I think that's pretty good.

I totally get the hidden info of it being a two player game with three possible sources of power. That works. The expansion pack might muddle things too much, but again, maybe.

I think the hidden info will be figured out before the halfway point of the game, though. Which may be fine.

Also, there's only actual contention on 5 of the 30 cards, i.e. the ones where both mages have an interest. Might need a way to increase possible contention. Of course, depriving your opponent of a card they need isn't bad motivation, so maybe this works okay.. there are only 5 cards in the deck that NEITHER cares about.

I think this game works as an "easy to learn" concept, where less.. "advanced" players would just bid high for stuff they want, but also has several layers of strategy available to the deeper thinkers, especially as a memory exercise. Kind of like playing Hearts.

I'd play this, and my kindergartner could also play it.

Joined: 06/09/2017
thanks. i know players would

i know players would be able to figure out their opponents power but i am hoping (i need to playtest more) this adds some meta gaming " do i want to stop them or save my high cards? " "do i bid high on a card without my power to confuse my opponent?"
i was also considering making powers public, but i dont know if this makes things harder or easier as far as strategy goes.
having cards that you dont want adds a strange twist in that you need to bid each turn, you don't want to bid high for trash but you also never want your opponent to get a point if you can help it.

in the original game you win by getting 46 (half the available poits +1) but there are different ways to get there, you can try to get a few high cards or pick up lots of little cards that your opponent is ignoring or a mixture of the two. my niece liked to play by shuffling her deck and just bidding the top card, i think thats boring but its very hard to play against and she wins alot with this tactic. (GOPS stands for the Game Of Pure Strategy or the Game Of Physiological Strife as you are trying to read your opponent - its like poker for idiots)

the expansion wouldnt be necessary for 3 players but it would require people have a deck of cards (to make a third bid set). 3 players adds an interesting layer of play. in a 3 way tie you play as normal but in a 2 way tie only the drawn players carry on bidding. this means the third player misses out on (at least) 2 cards but potentially has more, high cards than their opponents, which can be awesome if they just wasted cards to get 5 points and you know you can win the king (13) when it shows up

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
I think it works great with

I think it works great with the power hidden.

I'd consider (in a rule book) mentioning that with younger kids you could play with the powers open.

As for the expansion, you've already drawn the same conclusion I have that fitting into a 54-card deck is a Very Good Thing :)

As for "trash" points, if I'm a fire mage, a fire 2 is worth less than an earth 5, so there are only a few really low-valued "trash" cards.

If you can't beat someone playing randomly, then this doesn't have quite enough strategy in it, but I suspect you can beat that person. Even just tracking whether or not you've seen your top three cards yet will frequently be a big advantage over the randomizer. I'd probably track the top 5 cards for sure.

I'd consider changing the rule about ties to say that nobody gets the mana card and it's discarded. Obviously I haven't playtested any of this :) but that might change the strategic options a bit, where I could be more sure of depriving the opponent of their best card if I bid 10 on an Earth 5, for example, instead of worrying about then having to bid a 7 or something on the next round to pick up the Earth 5 as well as the next card.

Joined: 06/09/2017
hi. i have played with the

i have played with the numbers a bit. it is now 3 player straight out of the box. annoyingly i had to add 18 cards but i think it was worth it.
now the contents are: 30 mana cards, 21 bid cards and 12 power cards.

mana cards; each has 2 symbols (no ore single mana cards) and i have added the air symbol. during set up you now deal 4 piles of 7 and discard 2 without looking (a sacrifice to the gods).

bid cards now only go from 1-7.

power cards: there are now enough to have 3 copies of each power (earth air fire and water). this gives the possibility of players sharing a power.

i think 3 players is the optimum for this game because of the way it changes a tied bid. as with GOPS, only players who tied may bid on the next card. the third player looses out but (effectively) gains a card.

hopefully these little tweaks will give more complexity for those who want it but still keeps it easy enough for younger players.

i can beat my niece when she plays randomly (esp. if i card count) but she is six so i dont really try (i bid what i would against a proper player and hope). my point there was more that the game has a degree of reading your opponent as well as the maths. a good example is when you have the highest bid card and everyone knows it. you can play some (simple) mind games, threatening to play your high card , but really playing a much lower card to steal the bid. but not too low or you could lose it.

i think i will also recommend that young players are able to check older players used bid pile, so they can "card count" as well.

i will also include some variations in the rules to give it some extra play value:
no win ties; tied cards are discarded.

open powers; all powers can be seen by everyone.

(3 player only) highest unique bid: in the case of a 2 player tie the third player wins the mana card.

(2 player only) beat the gods; shuffle the third set of bid cards and place them face down (the gods pile). after each bid has been revealed, flip the top card of the gods pile. you must have bid at least as high as the gods or you lose the bid and the mana cards are discarded.

i also had a vague idea of a version of the memory match game for younger players/ higher player counts, but I'll put that on the back burner.

Joined: 06/09/2017
i have play tested a bit (but

i have play tested a bit (but i can always do more). i might play with the hand sizes and number of rounds etc. but the gameplay works well (it plays like a slightly more complex version of goofspeil -which it is). it is easy enough for little kids (if they can recognise numbers and not eat the cards), but has some deep strategy/math (maybe too much as i cant seem to win).
so now i am doing the important work of procrastination. specifically the name. the theme is mages trying to buy spells at the magic auctions. so far the names i have are
Goofspell (like goofspeil)
dwibble (an old English word for magic)
sigils (a reference to the magical symbols)
G.o.m.s (game of magical strategy - goofspeil is also known as the Game Of Pure Strategy)
occult auction (as occult literally means hidden)
duopsony (a market situation in which 2 buyers create the entire demand for a product)

has anyone got any preference/suggestions? or an idea of another theme (though there isnt much to attach it to)

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
wob wrote:duopsony Not that

wob wrote:

Not that one.

Joined: 06/09/2017
yeah wasnt sure about that

yeah wasnt sure about that one.

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