Hey, DaveW and Kern aren't here yet. What now? What can we play that's really quick? Maybe something we've played before? Hey, how about For Sale?
As fast as this game is, it's hard to get meaningful notes to create a meaningful report, but I'll try. During the auction phase, we saw an interesting distribution. In the first round there were lots of low cards on offer, so very little money went out. One really interesting auction in particular was the third, where the properties available were 29, 24, 17, and 3. Dave made a big initial bid, hoping to scare someone into passing and taking the 3 for nothing. Well, that didn't happen. Bids kept going up...7..8..9..10(!). That was enough for Alice, who passed and took the 3 for $4,000, and everyone else passed in turn, giving Jim the 29 for his $10,000 bid. Interestingly, all four properties in the next round were in the low teens, and no money was spent at all. Jim went broke on the 5th auction, but got himself the 28. Carrie picked up the 30, and Dave had the 27, 26, and 24. Interestingly enough, in the last round Dave made a large bid for the 30, but Carrie outbid him. Dave then passed, taking the 24 and ending the first part of the game with $8,000 left over.
Interesting points in the second part: both void checks ended up in play. Alice was unfortunate enough to get the first one with her 12 property, while Carrie got the second with her 6. Jim earned a nice check when all the checks were above 5, as everyone went fairly low with their properties, and Jim's 13 home earned a $12,000 check. In the sixth round (second-to-last), Dave realized that a lot of high valued checks hadn't appeared, and he still had his 26 and his 17. He made the decision to use his 17 on this round, which still earned him the second best check (a 10, if I recall correctly), thinking that his 26 would still get a really nice check in the final round. He was right, and he earned a 13 for his thoughts. It turned out that the two checks we had set aside due to having four players were a $14,000 and an $11,000 check, but there were still so many high checks left that his decision paid off. And with the last round completed, we added up our scores:
Alice had $49,000 in checks, and $1,000 left over from the auction, for a final score of $50,000.
Carrie had $49,000 in checks as well, but also had $3,000 left over from the auction, for a final score of $52,000.
Jim had $58,000 in checks, and nothing left over from the auction, for a final score of $58,000, and
Dave had $58,000 in checks, and a whopping $8,000 left over from the auction, for a final score of $64,000.
And on the strength of his leftover money from the property auctions, Dave took home the win.
I thought it was interesting that there were two ties (49K, 58K) in check earnings in the game. Jim mentioned that he didn't remember that money left over from the auctions would be added to your score, so he very well could have bid differently, and made the game's outcome totally different. But even so, for a 20 minute game, mistakes like that are easily forgotten. It's still a very enjoyable game, and quickly you're off to the next title.