Board games, and especially competitive board games, often create a tense and competitive environment. This is perhaps best exemplified in board games that use bidding and bidding.
Just trying to gauge what your opponents might bid and trying to outbid them to get the advantages you need is a pretty tense time. However, it’s equally exciting and fun to try to come up with alternative plans when the auction goes bad. Several games use these types of mechanics in very creative ways and it is highly recommended that you try them out.
ten Electrical network
In Power Grid, your goal is to supply energy to as many cities as possible among their opponents. To do this, you will mark routes between towns and bid against your opponents trying to buy power plants.
Another part of the game is obtaining materials, such as coal and uranium, to fuel your power plants. The game is all about acquisitions and staying ahead of your competition, and has beautifully integrated depth and bidding mechanics.
9 For sale
For Sale is a quick and simple game that you can easily pick up. Its principle is that you buy and sell real estate. You bid on the buildings first, and once all the buildings are owned, you sell to try and maximize the profit.
There is an element of bluffing and trying to get your opponents to pay more for less, and, despite the simplicity of the rules, this can lead to some exciting bidding. It’s an easy-to-learn, family-friendly game that can be played easily in 30-minute sessions.
8 High society
High Society is a game where you try to increase your status, avoid misfortune, and try to achieve the lavish lifestyle sought after as a socialite. To do this, throughout the rounds you bid to collect status cards and avoid disgrace cards.
Bidding is at the heart of the gameplay and strategy of the game, as you will be eliminated before even counting your points if you are the poorest player at the end of the game. This means that you have to choose what you invest in. The game is very simple to understand and has cool art, making it a prime candidate for an introductory game to the hobby for potential newcomers.
Key Flower is an excellent game that incorporates bidding mechanics into a leisurely European-style game. In Keyflower, you bid with your workers to gather tiles to add to your village over four seasons, with each season adding more workers and tiles to the mix.
You will try to build the village that gives the most victory points. While not a pure auction game like some other entries on this list, Keyflower blends the auction theme into the game beautifully and ends up making for a very enjoyable and competitive game.
Ra, is set thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, overseen by the god Ra, and is played over three rounds called Epochs. Throughout these eras, you’ll enrich ancient Egyptian culture with art, religion, and more. You will build monuments and try to obtain the favor of the gods.
The game has amazing artwork and very enjoyable mechanics throughout. If you’re vaguely interested in a highly themed game, or a particularly well-designed auction game, Ra is a sure bet to try out with your group.
5 dream factory
Ever wanted to feel what it’s like to be the head of a movie studio? In Dream Factory, you auction off with your rivals for special effects, directors, star actors, soundtracks and more to produce the best movie possible.
The game mechanics are also interesting. For example, the game has a closed economy, which means that the money there is, at the start, is all there will ever be, with the money spent being distributed to other players after each auction.
There’s a real balance and competitive nature to this game and the fun of parody names for people and movies is pretty fun, if not downright hilarious. It’s always a good time to see Leonardo Dicappucino star in Punk Fiction.
In Nidavellir, you are tasked with amassing a glorious army of dwarves to defeat the legendary Fafnir. To do this, you will amass hunters, explorers, blacksmiths, miners, and more. The game is unique with its bidding mechanics. Each player starts with the same resources, but you can choose to turn one of your pieces into a bigger one instead of using it to buy dwarves for that round – do you have a smaller army and better resources, or do you stick to the basic pieces everyone has and splash more strength?
There’s a lot of depth to the game with different scoring methods for different troop types, powerful heroes, and of course the blind bidding mayhem.
In The Estates, you’ll play as real estate investment companies trying to get the most points, while manipulating the development of the area. To do this, you will build floor tiles and roofs, use building permits and even collect your illegal income.
The game is simple, but has a lot of depth once you experiment with the mechanics. It’s also good to play for short periods of time, as games last around an hour and are incredibly easy to learn.
Cyclades is a board game that perfectly blends auction mechanics with a more traditional area control war game. In this game set in ancient Greece, you must bid for the favor of the gods and access their special actions every turn. These are extremely impactful and will dictate the course of the game.
The order of these god powers also changes each turn, and other players’ capitals are kept hidden, so there’s uncertainty to keep things engaging. Cyclades is a great mix of war games, exciting auctions and strategy.
1 Modern Art
Modern art is perhaps one of the purest forms of bidding/bidding games, as it is purely a bidding game. In modern art you will try to manipulate the value of paintings and try to get the most valuable ones at the cheapest price.
With several different bidding styles and varying values for each performer throughout the rounds, the game always keeps you engaged.
However, where modern art really shines is the beautiful artwork that you can enjoy while playing. The rulebook even comes with an artbook, so you can learn more about the artists and examine their work. It’s truly a celebration of auction board games and art at the same time.
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