An open-eyed man falling into the well
"I don’t believe in magic that works whether or not you believe in it!"
Winding down the night, Tramfabrik is suggested and a bunch of new players convince themselves to play. We have five players, 3-4 of us (myself included) new.
Over the first round, I build up towards a nice Green flick and also a (purposely) lousy Yellow 2-star. With only a few films completed, a simple purple takes the award for that round.
Next round I get the components to finish the first 4-star Green for a good score of 18. I also take the lead in actors, giving me prime party picks that help to build up my starting 3-star purple and new 4-star green. My 18 Green wins the best award for the round.
3rd round I mostly focused on building my new large green, and ended up neglecting my other 2. At the end of the round, none are complete, but needing only 4 components to finish all of them. With 2 free ones coming (and with 5 actors I'm sure to get a good pick) I feel confident about finishing them. However, I was outbid for Knizia, giving me some real competition for the worst flick (which currently sat at 2 needing a director and another attribute).
Entering the last round, I notice there's one auction near the end that contains *exactly* what I want for my worst flick - a blank and a 1-star director. But someone notices that I need the auction and bids me up to 8 before relenting. Meanwhile, I manage to finish my other 2 with good party picks for 12 and 16(scored 15).
My final scoring:
12 leftover contracts
48 = 15 + 3 + 12 + 18 for films
5 for first green film
5 for best film of the 2nd round (for the 18 green)
10 for worst film (3) - beat the film with Knizia by 1
10 for best directors (3+3+3+1 = 10).
10 for best purple film (12)
The other scores were as low as 50; I don't think there were any others higher than 90.
My initial impression of the game was favorable. I like the "others get what you pay" as a money replenishment and power balance mechanic. In bidding games, I usually find it tough to assess the values of the pot but in this game I didn't have too much trouble - it seemed more intuitive here than in (for instance) Modern Art.
Overall, a lot of interesting options. Initial rating: 9/10.