The thoughts behind the auction are not only about your favorite pick of faction but also about the best deal in context of the overall bidding.
Guide to Faction Auction
How It Works
All players will select a faction that will be put up for auction. Players will simultaneously and secretly bid how many VP they are willing to lose in order to win that faction. After all players enter in their maximum bids, the auction proceeds automatically with each player maximizing their own personal value. The starting turn order is tied to the factions themselves, so the first faction listed in the auction will be the starting player after the auction is over.
How does it work?
When setting the maximum bids, each player is essentially predicting what the final scores of each faction will be. For example, let’s say the current factions up for bid are Itars, Xenos, and Taklons and you think the final scores will be something like 165, 150, and 160. In that case your maximum bids should be 15, 0, and 10 since you are equally happy to take Itars with a bid of 15 as you are taking Xenos at 0.
So how will the auction proceed? Let’s say the maximum bids everyone entered are like this:
We have an algorithm that mimics how an auction would take place if the players were to place their bids manually one at a time. Our auction saves time by having each player automatically maximizing the value they are getting, where each faction’s value is the difference between their maximum bid and the current bid. It’s a little bit different than a standard auction because you’re bidding on multiple objects simultaneously. When it’s your turn to bid, you’ll select the faction that currently has the most value to you (the most under your maximum bid). If there’s a tie in your value for multiple factions, we have 3 tiebreaker rules:
- Prefer to increase an existing bid over starting a new faction. This is done because increasing an existing bid is more likely to decrease the value of another player compared to switching to a new faction.
- Prefer the faction you selected for the auction.
- Choose a faction randomly.
So the auction algorithm proceeds like this:
- You bid 0 on Itars (you can start with a bid of 0 and Itars is your maximum value).
- Player B bids 1 on Itars.
- Player C bids 2 on Itars.
- You bid 3 on Itars.
- Player B bids 4 on Itars.
- Player C bids 5 on Itars.
- You bid 0 on Taklons (you would rather have Taklons for 0 than Itars for 6).
- Player B bids 6 on Itars.
- Player C bids 7 on Itars (Player C is indifferent between bidding 7 on Itars and 0 on Xenos, so we use tie break rule #1).
- You are skipped since you’re still leading on Taklons.
- Player B bids 1 on Taklons (Player B is indifferent between bidding 8 on Itars and 1 on Taklons, so we use tie break rule #3).
- Player C is skipped since they are leading on Itars.
- You bid 2 on Taklons (You place a value of 10-2=8 on Taklons but only 15-8=7 on Itars).
- Player B bids 8 on Itars.
- Player C bids 0 on Xenos.
The auction ends with final bids
Everyone has maximized their value and doesn’t wish to outbid everyone else. Notice that you did not win Itars even though you were the highest bidder on them, but you are happy getting Taklons for 8 less than you were willing to bid.