Blind auctions for country assignment

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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby Pedros » 02 Mar 2012, 17:35

I don't think you can say that players can't comment on an early version of a map and then enter the auction. If their comments have any validity then the map will have been changed (you'd hope!) But it does probably mean that I (or anybody else, such as you asudevil!) needs to post a warning as early as possible in the thread's life. There's surely a difference between "Germany looks weak because it doesn't have any SCs to go for in Year 1", and "Well, that's OK but no way you'd get me playing Germany on that map"!
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby asudevil » 02 Mar 2012, 20:20

I understand...and that very reason is why I posted a disclaimer on the Imperium post that I may be GM'ing later.
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby Pedros » 22 Mar 2012, 14:50

There's a discussion about the merits of a non-blind auction at viewtopic.php?f=34&t=27258
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby sinnybee » 21 May 2012, 21:49

I'm not trying to start a fight here, but I'd like to bring something over to this thread, especially as it quoted the OP of this thread.

sinnybee wrote:[I believe that] installing tie-breakers, whether by differentiating between equal bids or by requiring different numbered bids does significantly reduce ties. It gives the GM a lot more data about player preferences. Of course it doesn't change the likelihood the players will share first choice preferences who give maximum bids for those countries, but I'm talking about tie-breakers, which looks at other preferences.
...

I so often see blind bids in which most of the players give the maximum for their top choice and (allowing enough points to give 1 to most countries) give the rest to their second choice. Then, there ends up with players that must be fit to a country that they bid 1 for, when instead the GM could be giving out third choice preferences if they were known. If the players would have lowered their first or second choice preferences by even a single point then as it turns out they wouldn't have a chance at getting them, so I'm not suggesting that they should have done that.
While I talking anyway, a 1 point minimum is completely unnecessary. There would be absolutely no change in outcome if there was no bidding minimum, with a zero being allowed.

Furthermore, I believe that
Pedros wrote:Simple preferences is better, but I've no idea how the main site, or any GMs, work out how to process the preferences and most of the comments I've ever seen about it are from people saying they never get one of their top preferences, ever.
shows naivety. If you have "no idea how the main site, or any GMs, work out how to process the preferences", how can you be so sure that bidding is better than bidding with preferences also being shown (assuming that preferences are properly considered)?

In World War IV, BigBert and I came up with the same country assignment results for dozens of countries based on a list of 5 preferences from the players.
sinnybee wrote:No... no random assignment. Assign all first choices that were the only ones to pick the country, then you assign all second choices that were the only ones to pick those country, not including countries that have already been assigned of course, and also not including countries that have been tried to be picked. Then, assign countries to anyone who has now become the only one to choose their country. Then you proceed to third picks in the same manner and so forth, so that random assignment only happens when the players haven't been unique in all five preferences, which shouldn't be likely, since some have no preference or just a generalized preference. This is the best way to assign the highest possible preferences to players.

sinnybee wrote:
BigBert wrote:Okay, thanks for the advice.

I like the idea because it takes away the random part. Couldn't this mean however that if two people both have the same first choice, that country will in the end go to somebody else completely? Suppose for instance that player A and player B both have Nigeria as first choice, and assume for simplicity nobody else has Nigeria on their list. We first don't give Nigeria to either A or B, then in the remainder of the process player A and B get assigned (for instance) their third choiches (say, Australia and Central Asia, respectively), and at the end of the process Nigeria ends up in the hands of someone who didn't name any countries (player C). That is very well possible, right? Because in that case, the situation can be improved upon by swapping Nigeria and Australia: player C is indifferent to this, but player A improves (or alternatively, the same for player B).

Cheers,
Bert

No, like I said, when there is only one remaining player in line for a country, due to others vieing for it getting assigned to other countries, the player is assigned to the country. So, you wait to see if a different country needs to get assigned Australia or Central Asia for their 3rd, 4th, or 5th choices. If so, and if the country is Australia, then A will be assigned Nigeria and B will be assigned Central Asia. In other words, when A and B requested Nigeria as first choice, one of them is guarenteed to get Nigeria, but it isn't assigned randomly, it's assigned to the country who has more common or more taken 2nd through 5th preferences. So, you basically just use logic to give everyone the highest possible preference.


I'm not here to discuss bidding vs. preferences but rather to voice my opinion that a combination of the two is better than either.
More on the debate/discussion is here.
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby Pedros » 22 May 2012, 13:08

Naive huh? Thanks - I don't think my friends would recognise that!

But I'm sorry sinnybee - the suggestion for tie-breakers in the link you quote looks exactly like the Blind Auction system as it was corrected by Dirk Knemeyer (see my post of 29 October last in this thread) It had apparently always been his intention, but wasn't included in the earlier rules - the revision came as a result of an enquiry from us. Rather than use "a, b, c..." the order in which the player lists the countries indicates his preference.

I wouldn't actually call this a "tie-breaker"; that's semantics, but hopefully we can now agree, and not even agree to disagree!
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby sinnybee » 22 May 2012, 23:29

Pedros wrote:Naive huh? Thanks - I don't think my friends would recognise that!

But I'm sorry sinnybee - the suggestion for tie-breakers in the link you quote looks exactly like the Blind Auction system as it was corrected by Dirk Knemeyer (see my post of 29 October last in this thread) It had apparently always been his intention, but wasn't included in the earlier rules - the revision came as a result of an enquiry from us. Rather than use "a, b, c..." the order in which the player lists the countries indicates his preference.

I wouldn't actually call this a "tie-breaker"; that's semantics, but hopefully we can now agree, and not even agree to disagree!

Fantastic!!
"The order in which the player lists the countries" is a great and simple way to show preference.

Not a "tie-breaker"? Ah, but to any GM who knows how to grant preferences, whenever the highest and second highest bids of players are contested countries, the "loser(s)" will almost always at least get their 3rd choice of country rather than their 3rd or last pick or anywhere in-between, choosen randomly.

My definition of a tie in the context of country assignment is anytime when, according to the bids or information given, no specification has been given between the remaining countries. In these ties, the GM is forced to randomly pick one of the countries for one or more losers, who in the case of bidding with points, likely has alloted maximum points to 1st choice and maximum remaining points to 2nd choice, which two countries were contested.

The only way to be stuck with a tie when preferences have been given, is when two players give the exact same preferences which is exceptionally rare in 4+ player games.
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby sinnybee » 23 May 2012, 00:24

Pedros wrote:Naive huh? Thanks - I don't think my friends would recognise that!

I'm sorry Pedros. I shouldn't have called you that.
I think that many others are probably also skeptical of preferences, because unfortunately the system is prehaps rarely used in the correct manner.


You're right! It's there!
Pedros wrote:
Dirk Knemeyer wrote:Blind Auction Bidding
By Dirk Knemeyer with Pete Dale and Tim Crosby
v. 1.3, November 1, 2011

...

PROCEDURE
...
5. Your bids will be evaluated from the highest points allocated to the lowest, regardless of the order you put them in. However, in cases where you bid the same amount on more than one power, whichever is listed first is considered your "highest" bid, all the way down to the bottom-most being considered your "lowest" bid, and this ranking will affect the order in which your bids are evaluated (see para. 8)
...
8. The GM will then review the bids of all players and identify the most points spent on any power or powers. Where a player has more than one bid of that value for powers not already allocated to any player, only his highest ranking bid of that value will be considered



:( ...there is a problem though (not that it has to be your problem...if I'm bothering you, just ignore me)
I believe the following to be a flawed method.
Dirk Knemeyer wrote:10. In the event of a tie bid, where two or more players have bid the same high amount on the same power, the GM will randomly determine which player receives the disputed power.

There NEVER has to be a random aspect to country assignment as long as two players don't give identical preferences.
sinnybee's method wrote:10. In the event of a tie bid, where two or more players have bid the same high amount on the same power, country "A", the GM should postpone assignment of that country. The GM will then continue on as normal, assigning countries, until just one of the players with the same high bid amount on country "A" is left without a country. At that time, country "A" will be assigned to that last unassigned player.

This method removes the random aspect from the equation.
My method guarentees that of the players with the same high bid amount on the same power, the player who is least able to get one of their next highest bids/preferences will be given the contested country.
In other words, it can be mathematically proven that my method gives the best or lowest possible value x, where x is the sum of preferences given to players, with a value of 1 to all players who get their first choice, a 2 to players who get their second choice, etc. Furthermore, my method doesn't remove any of the integrity of the bidding process and respect to the bid values spent.
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby Pedros » 14 Jun 2012, 04:11

Just to report that (although it took us a long time to realise the fact!) sinnybee and I are actually in total agreement about this. Honest! (The revision last autumn included exactly what sinnybee had in mind)
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Re: Blind auctions for country assignment

Postby sinnybee » 14 Jun 2012, 13:31

Pedros wrote:Just to report that (although it took us a long time to realise the fact!) sinnybee and I are actually in total agreement about this. Honest! (The revision last autumn included exactly what sinnybee had in mind)

Agreed!
We can be friends after all lol :).
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Crucial note re "No preferene"

Postby Pedros » 19 Jul 2013, 15:11

"No preference" does NOT mean "Adjudicate all the other bids and I'll take what's left" (which would mean almost always Austria or Italy in Regular!) The rule says:-

6. Players not interested in bidding may express "no preference". In this case they will receive 100/x rounded down to the nearest whole number, where x = number of powers in the game, on each power, with their order from "highest" to "lowest" randomly generated (See para. 8)


In the way most GMs organise their auctions here, that means 20 points for each nation, randomly determined order.
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