I came up with this idea on the fly last night, as an example for someone, and it actually sounds like it’s got some potential. Probably only works with 2 players, but maybe could be adapted to work with more. Let me know what you think about it…
Say there are X cards, and we’re going to go through them one at a time and find out who gets each. We each have X dice (d6), which we have rolled behind our player screen. Now we flip a card, and simultaneously “bid” one of our dice (without changing its value, of course):
High bid gets the card, which would have some value (in the range of 5-10 maybe?), and some effect or ability
Low bid gets the 2 dice to be set aside and used later
In the case of a tie, perhaps one player has a totem, indicating that they win ties – that player wins the tie and passes the totem to the other player (so you take turns winning ties)
After all X cards are won, each player will have 0-x cards and 0-2x dice (probably close to X/2 cards and X dice). Then you use those in a 2nd phase of the game to do something else, much like in For Sale, where you first bid money for house cards, then later bid houses for money cards, or Biblios, which does something similar.
I imagine the 2nd half here would involve playing a cards against each other, resolving their effect, and rolling dice to enhance their value before comparing to see who wins the round.
When you say simultaneously, do you take your dice from behind the screen for the bid? You could use a second die to bid again for ties. If a player decided not to bid again, they would have an extra die to bid later or maybe automatically get the last card if the other player has no dice left. Just my random thoughts.
I like the concept. It reminds me of Ra, where you bid with numbered tokens (each player has 3) after each other and the winning bid-token is replaced by the one in the center of the board. So you might actually improve your bidding power if you manage to win a bid AND exchange your bid-token with a higher value one.
It’s very engaging and I guess that’s what I’m missing a little bit here: if some cards are just very good then what’s the strategic choice I’m making? I will always just use my highest die, and so will my opponent. If I win: yay, and if I lose, I get 2 good dice, so the high-stakes bids are actually the least interesting and come down to chance.
“if some cards are just very good then what’s the strategic choice I’m making? I will always just use my highest die, and so will my opponent.”
Well, one could ask the same of a regular auction… “if some lots are just very good, I will just bid all my money, and so will my opponent, and whoever has the most money will win!”
For one thing, if you have a single 6, do you spend it now to get this card, or might you want it later to get a different card.
If you have a 4, maybe that will win a card that an opponent might not want as badly, but maybe it won’t win one that’s really good for them (since they might bid their high numbers for that).
If you have a 1, you aren’t likely to win any card with it, but ideally you’ll use it when the opponent uses their highest number, so when do you use your lowest numbers?
” If I win: yay, and if I lose, I get 2 good dice, so the high-stakes bids are actually the least interesting and come down to chance.”
So, maybe something wasn’t clear — you don’t get 2 “good” dice, you just get 2 dice. You’re going to roll them later, not use them as-is.
And the way I envision it, since one player gets 2 dice and the other gets a card, look at the value of the card and the value of rolling 2d6. The dice will come out between 2-12, but likely 5-9. The card will have a static value (probably in that 5-9 range), plus an ability or effect. Obviously the stronger the effect, the lower the value should be.
Later, when you play that card (you’ll get the effect) and I roll some dice, we’ll compare the values — the dice have a higher max value, and possibly higher average value, but might roll low. The card has a static value that’s maybe lower than the average die roll, but also gives the effect. And maybe you can boost it’s value by rolling additional dice.