Greatest secret agent in the world!!!
Traumfabrik: Craig, Andrew, Dan, David and Mark
First a summary of game play. The game is played over 4 turns. Each turn is made up of I believe 7 auctions and 2 parties. Each auction is for one or more tiles. Players bid "contracts" (think money chits); the high bidder splits his bid among the other players, with any excess going into the pot for the next auction. So the total money in the game is constant and being re-circulated among the players. Twice a year there are "parties". At these parties whoever has the most actors in his studio's stable gets first choice of the tiles available at the party (there's one tile per player so everyone gets one), followed by whoever has the 2nd most actors, etc.
The tiles represent actors, directors, camera production, musical score, agents (wildcards), special effects, and cameo actors. The more white stars on the tile the better it is. You use the tiles to fill in slots for movies; (each player starts with 3) once all the grey slots are filled the movie is complete. If the tile has a black slot you can also throw in a cameo actor to add to its value. Count up all the stars on the tiles making up a movie to determine its value (equals victory points at the end of the game).
Bonus victory points (5 VPs) are given for the first movie made of a particular type (there are 3 different kinds, drama, adventure and something else). The best movie made over a whole turn, get 5 bonus VPs. At the end of the game additional VPs are awarded. The best movie in each category gets 10 VPs. The worst movie made gets 10 VPs, and the person with the most stars worth of directors gets 10 VPs.
I tried my usual strategy of nabbing the lead in actors early and then having top choice at the parties. This time it didn't work very well, mostly because there just were never a lot of actors available in one lot, in fact there were none available (except at parties) in the first year. I did manage to get a slight lead in actor count later in the game, but it really wasn't enough of a difference maker. A few lousy parties (nobody of note came! ;-) ) and things were looking grim. I put on the best and worst shows of the game, but it was too late to garner any of the other bonus points (no best show of the year, no first in a category, etc.).
I don't remember the exact scores but Craig ran away with it, myself and Andrew were tied for second. Craig didn't produce a whole lot of movies, just very high quality ones in a steady and timely manner. He also took the director bonus.
This title continues to grow on me and I'll gladly play it at any time. The game plays a bit differently with 5 players as there are fewer tiles available and so you aren't able to complete as many movies.