Board Game Mechanics – Fixed Placement Auction
The fixed placement auction mechanic in board games is a type of auction where players bid for a limited number of spaces or positions on a game board. The positions are predetermined and have specific benefits or abilities associated with them. In a fixed placement auction, players bid against each other to secure the position they want, and the player with the highest bid wins the right to place their piece or marker in that position.
This mechanism adds an element of strategy, risk, and uncertainty to the game as players must make informed decisions about how much to bid and which positions they want to secure. The fixed placement auction mechanic is different from the traditional English auction mechanic in that the positions are fixed and limited, and the game board is used to represent the positions being auctioned.
Here are 10 popular board games with the placement auction mechanic and a brief description of each:
- Power Grid – Players bid on power plants to power their cities and expand their network of connections on the game board.
- Keyflower – Players bid on tiles to add to their village and expand their resource-gathering capabilities.
- Caylus – Players bid on various buildings to construct within a medieval village, each with unique abilities to help the player advance in the game.
- Cyclades – Players bid on mythological creatures and buildings to gain control of islands in ancient Greece.
- Ra – Players bid on tiles depicting ancient Egyptian artifacts, each of which contributes to their score at the end of the game.
- Small World – Players bid on various fantasy races to control and use in conquering territories on the game board.
- Lords of Waterdeep – Players bid on quests to complete and gain resources and points in a Dungeons and Dragons-themed game.
- Dominant Species – Players bid on various actions and events to influence the evolution and survival of their chosen species on a game board representing the earth.
- Tigris & Euphrates – Players bid on tiles representing cities, farms, and temples to build and control in an ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
- Puerto Rico – Players bid on various buildings to construct in a colonial-era Puerto Rico, each of which provides benefits to the player in terms of resources and points.
A specific example of the fixed placement auction mechanic can be found in the game Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, players are colonial governors bidding for positions on the game board that represent different roles and responsibilities in their colony, such as captain, mayor, trader, and builder. The positions are predetermined and have specific benefits associated with them, such as collecting resources, constructing buildings, and shipping goods.
The game uses the fixed placement auction mechanic, where players bid against each other to secure the position they want. The player with the highest bid wins the right to take the role and perform the associated actions. The fixed placement auction mechanic in Puerto Rico creates an exciting bidding experience as players try to outbid each other and secure the roles they need to grow their colonies.