|Designed by||Greg James|
A 2-4 player auction game for the Decktet with an innovative scoring system designed for the double-suited cards.
Full Decktet and a way to keep score
2nd Decktet required for 3 or 4 player game
2 Player Game
Separate all of the Sun suited cards from the rest of the Decktet and then remove The Bard and the Sun suited Pawns and Courts. Each player randomly receives a stack of bidding cards based on the table below.
The Ace of Suns is placed face up on the table at the start of the game. The remaining 30 cards are shuffled and placed face down next to the Ace of Suns and comprise the auction deck. The player holding The Pact is the start player and the game begins.
3-4 Player Game
Set up the bidding deck as described for the 2p game, but include The Bard, The Window, The Lightkeeper and The Harvest. Each player randomly receives a stack of bidding cards based on the table below.
To form the auction deck, use the remaining 30 cards from the first Decktet as described above. Then, remove all of the Sun suited cards from the second Decktet. These 30 cards are shuffled in with the first auction deck so that 60 cards are up for auction. The player holding The Bard goes first and the game begins.
The bidding cards are separated and compiled in this way:
|2 Player||3 Player||4 Player|
Each player randomly receives one of these sets of bidding cards. Bidding cards are placed face up on the table in front of their owners at the beginning of each round so that all of the cards are visible.
The game is played over a series of 3 rounds with scoring taking place at the end of each round.
Each turn, a player may either 1) flip a new card and add it to the auction pool, 2) call an auction or 3) play a Pawn or Court.
1. Flip a new card
If the card flipped up creates a situation where the pool is filled, then there is a forced auction and the lead player will bid last. He places The Excuse (or some other token if you prefer) in front of him to indicate that he will bid last. If the card flipped does not trigger an auction, then the lead passes to the left.
In a 2p game, a forced auction takes place when the 4th card enters the pool. In the 3p and 4p game, a forced auction takes place when the 5th card enters the pool.
No player is required to bid in a forced auction. If all players pass, the cards in this auction are discarded.
2. Call an auction
If the lead player chooses to call an auction rather than flip a card, he places The Excuse (or some other token if you prefer) in front of him to indicate that he will bid last. Note that there need not be any cards in the auction pool for a player to call an auction. The Sun card may be valuable enough in itself to that player for him to consider calling an auction for it. Bidding goes around the clock starting with the player on his left. Players may only bid once. If all players pass, then the player who initiated the auction is obliged to bid.
Auction and Bidding Rules
Sun suited cards follow their usual rank order for the purpose of bidding - Ace, 2-9, , , . The exception is that two Pawns are used as bidding cards and the game requires one to rank higher than the other. The mnemonic to help remember the ranking for the Pawns is that the Sun is in the top position on The Lightkeeper, so it is “higher” than the Sun on The Harvest.
If a player chooses to bid, he selects one of his face up Sun cards and pushes it forward to indicate his bid. All subsequent bids must be higher than the previous bid and the card with the highest value wins the auction.
The winner of the auction takes all of the cards from the auction pool into his take and then exchanges his face up bidding card with the Sun card above the auction pool. The Sun card won in the auction is then placed face down next to his other Sun cards and will not be available until the next round. Sun cards played in losing bids are returned to their owners face up and are available for the next auction. Cards in player’s takes are also public information.
Play then passes to the player on the lead player’s left.
Note: When a player has expended all of his face up bidding cards, he is obliged to sit out the remainder of the round.
A player who wins an Ace in an auction may suffer a penalty. All cards including the Ace are placed in the winning player’s take at the end of the auction. The player must then choose one card of the Ace’s suit and discard it along with the Ace. If the Ace is the only card of its suit in a player’s take, then only it is discarded.
3. Play a Pawn or Court
A Pawn or Court in a player’s take may be played in order to score a card from the pool, provided that the two cards share a suit. e.g. The Rite may be played to score a card in the pool that has a Moon, Leaf or Wyrm. That card is added to the player’s take and the Pawn/Court is discarded for the remainder of the round.
End of Round
A round ends when either 1) the last Sun card has been played or 2) the draw deck is depleted.
1) In some rounds, the draw deck will not be depleted and only one player will have a Sun card face up in front of him. This player may continue flipping cards until he wishes to take the auction pool with his Sun (obeying the forced auction rule, of course). He may also wish to pass on a full auction pool and begin a new auction pool (provided that there are still cards remaining in the draw deck). Ultimately, this player will end the round when the draw deck is depleted and then scoring will take place as described above.
2) Alternately, a round will end in this way: A player will flip over the last card in the draw pile and add it to the pool. If this last card flipped fills the pool, an auction will take place as described above. If it isn’t, the next player (who still has a bidding card) may choose to call the final auction or pass. If he passes, the cards in the pool are discarded and the round ends.
Start a New Round
After scoring a round, all bidding cards are turned face up, all of the auction cards are gathered, shuffled and a new round begins with the player holding The Bard (The Pact in a 2p game) as the new start player.
Endgame and Tiebreaker
The game ends after the third round is scored and the player with the highest score is the winner. In the event of a tie, the player holding the highest total of Suns at game end is the winner.
Scoring is determined in this sequence of 4 steps:
1. Highest value in Suns - 5 points
At the end of the round, all bidding cards are flipped face up and their values are summed, using these values for the numberless cards:
01 - Ace of Suns
10 - The Harvest
11 - The Lightkeeper
12 - The Window
13 - The Bard
The player with the highest total of Suns scores 5 points.
2. Pawns & Courts - 3 points each
Each Pawn or Court in a player’s take scores 3 points.
3. x of a Kind - x times 2 points
Next, players arrange the cards in their takes into piles which share the same rank. Each card which shares rank scores 2 points. e.g. A pair is worth 4 points, 4 of a kind is worth 8 points. Note that only Crowns and numbered cards can be scored in this manner - no Pawns or Courts.
4. Binding cards in sequences - 1 point per card
Finally, players arrange their cards by suit and score one point for each card that shares a suit and is in sequence. It is advisable to score one suit at a time to ensure that all possible points are gleaned. A Crown may be used in scoring as a wild card of its suit as one value only to form a sequence.
2 player Example:
3 or 4 player Example:
Duplicated cards that are in sequence score once each:
For the 2 player game, the auction deck can also be sorted this way: 9-6-4-3 and 8-7-5-2.
For a less "Ra-like" and more "Decktet-like" bidding structure, PD Magnus has suggested this variant: Treat the Pawns as being of equal value, with the second Pawn played during an auction being the winner. This would provide some unique situational tactics that some players may enjoy. With this variant, the , and cards would all have a numeric value of 10 for the purpose of determining the end of round highest Sun score.
The key to scoring a lot of points is to ensure that cards in your take score more than once. Knowledge of the card distribution is helpful in this regard. As all of the Sun cards have been stripped from the auction deck, they do not score as pairs and sequences. This makes Leaves the tallest suit with no voids, followed by Waves which is only missing the 5. Wyrms (2 and 6) and Knots (3 and 7) are missing two cards and three Moon cards (4, 8 and 9) are absent. Crowns are helpful as they can bind up a stranded card to pick up an extra 2 points.
It is choice to have two pairs in your take that are also in sequence. The most powerful combo is both pairs of 8s and 9s, as these 4 cards will score a total of 12 points if you can pull it off!
Note: I added the Pawns/Courts as God tiles after the first run of playtests and haven't played with this rule yet. It should work fine tho.
Sun Bid is an adaptation of Reiner Knizia’s classic game Ra for the Decktet. The mechanics come from Ra, but have been adapted to fit in with the structure of the Decktet and the way I have sectioned it for this game. The scoring system is my own innovation. As with other derivative Decktet games, the structure of the deck affords a wonderfully rich gaming experience, but with a fraction of the components normally required. I feel that Sun Bid is an excellent example of this idea in action.