British Board Game News – The Ragnar Brothers are taking another look at Workshop of the World

Posted: August 26, 2012 in game news


British Board Game News – The Ragnar Brothers are taking another look at Workshop of the World

Steve Kendal from the Ragnar Brothers dropped me a note to update us on the latest work he is doing on the rules for Workshop of the World…

 

Workshop of the World Alternative Bidding System Trials

Workshop of the World uses a blind bidding system which delivers speed, humour and a hint of that which excites in Poker. However, some of our gaming friends have reported embarrassing ‘hosings’ taking place and with that in mind I have decided to find an alternative system. Thanks then to friends (Andrew, James, Gordon, Russell) at Epsom Games Club who have helped trial.

As it happens, of the said friends, only James had actually played before (despite WOTW being voted ‘Best Game 2010′ at UK Games Expo), so the Canal Era was played using the normal rules. Guess what? Fast, fun and Poker-like (though why Gordon bid £10 for Birmingham remains a mystery). Come the Railway Era everyone was up for exploring the new system. In fact I was astounded by the immediate alternative suggestions that suddenly surfaced; Goa-system, Ra-system, Steel Driver-system to name but a few.

My thumb-nail idea was;

  • In (remaining) turn order 1st player selects a card to bid on. Minimum bid is the value of the card. Players bid or drop out. Player winning takes card and places turn order marker on next position. Continue until all cards taken. etc.

I’d already played this solo and anticipated it being embraced on the nod. That’s why trialling is critical; nothing particularly wrong except that bidding differentials were enormous. And … so slow…

After three turns we decided to try Andrew’s suggestion:

  • Starting with 1st player and continuing, players place their bid (use an Industry marker to record) on one of the cards. If a later player over-bids on the same card, then the player re-bids onto a different card. Continue until all cards are bid for.

After an amiable discussion we decided to stick with a minimum bid of the card’s value. Thank goodness; it still took an age. To make matters worse James started moaning about having built up a cash advantage in the previous system. This time card differentials were rather limited.

For the final set of cards we reverted to System B. On count-up James won by a healthy margin.

Feed-back initially suggested that blind-bidding remained the best option in a game that benefits from being played at a good speed, even though game- calculations are an interesting puzzler. But, at the last minute, Russell (the quiet man of the table) came up with a steal; the Goa-variant.

  • In (remaining) turn order 1st player selects a card to bid on. Minimum bid is the value of the card. Starting with next (remaining) player clockwise, players bid or pass. 1st player makes the final bid in a once round auction. 1st player MUST bid if no other bids made. Player winning takes card and places turn order marker on next position. Continue until all cards taken. etc.

 

Certainly worth a try; but will have to wait until another session.

 

The aim ultimately is to produce an alternative system and publish on this and other web-sites. Watch this space.

 

Steve Kendall

(Ragnar Brothers)

 

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