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Modern Art» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session report: You got to be up to be in rss

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Andrew Rae
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Heres the story line. Everyone thought I was a run away leader but in fact I only won by considerably less than 100. The nature of the game? The nature of participation. Forgive me as I sermonise.

So four of us had the early game at Jasons this week and it was modern art. We estimated 45 minutes, but I have this nasty effet of prolonging games (especially mathmatical ones) with my calculation. To my credit I think I was a little better tonight, but to my discredit the game definitely ran late and poor Matt had to wait a bit. Fortunately for him waiting was a good thing as you will see in the next session report.

I had three doubles over the course of the game which is about par but I managed to use them to good effect. The early bidding was in Red which is wham down the middle, so seeing I had four of these in my hand I decided to take the first two that went down. I auctioned the third myself and kept my double auction for the next round. They came home, I made ane excellent profit and found myself in all the money.

The second round should have been a paradise for me, but I played this a little wrong. I hadn't played modern art with Zirak of Meowsqueak before so I didn't know the prices the market would bear. I had picked up a second christian P dounble and were sitting on four in two sets and what i thought was a goldmine. So I did a fixed price of 80. I knew they would be worth 120 without doubt but the otehrs were particularly rich right then and it was passed in. I took it myself along with the next double that came out. I paid too much ... but yet if I get a lot i nearly ALWAYS pay too much, this is my stratgey, and hence I am only payign what I think it is worth to me to control the game. but I digress.

So by the time it reaches me there are 2 reds (which I have two of and 2 blues which I have tow of). I auction a sealed bid for two reds. This was basically a guaranteed 120 and all I got was 70 something. The boys were onto me and weren't gogin to give me easy money. Still Dave picked up paintings which was geat because it encouraged him to finsih it off, which he did not long after. This was a great return for me.

By now I am a target so i am have to pay a premium for auctions but I am happy to pay and only slightly mindful of paying nuscience value regularly. The douuble auctions that come out are very important because it's like winning two auctions but only having to pay one premium. But if youa re goign to be paying high prices to get in teh action you have to have paintings in that colour to auction when it comes round.

There were a couple of great sidelines though that made this game meorable. both involved Jason but on opposite fronts. After taking first place twice there were still a number of christian P's available and jason tried twice to get them off the ground. on both occasions he ended up buying them himself and they failed to cash out for him. but Jason had the steal of the century. On the last round he made a killing. Let me set the scene. There are 4 blues worth twenty on the table and 1 green worth fifty. So Meow auctions a crypto which are worth 10 at the time. Well it is early in the round and there is very on the tabel so we figure that 1 kyrto is not goign to get anything at all. Jason reconsiders and bids 1. Meow takes it. Then Jason turns round and auctions the second kyrpto and it goes to me for 59 because I know I am ending the game. The net result was two cards for 1118 for jason on teh last two plays. Now that my freind is a moment worth remembering. Poor Meow is all I can say.

Anyway I think I must have been in on three quarters of the deasl and in the end, although the margins were small I returned enough to make it all worth while in the end and come home the winner.


 
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David
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citylife wrote:
Everyone thought I was a run away leader


I didn't think you were 'run away', but I knew you had won because I was roughly counting expenditure vs. return.

That Krypto was completely my mistake - I actually meant to auction a Yoko but in a brief moment of madness something made me take the Krypto instead. Yeah, in hindsight it sounds like an excuse, but in reality I was secretly horrified I had played that card even before the bidding started.

And you are right. You have to be in to win. That said, it's largely a matter of risk - if you spend a lot, get a lot of paintings, and get lucky, then you may do well. This works particularly well if everyone else takes the conservative approach - you have a much better chance of controlling the value, like that game last night. If everyone had played as you did, then there would have been four people who were 'in' but only one who would 'win'.

This is, in my opinion, why new players generally do very well in their first game of Modern Art, if everyone else is a veteran. Experienced players tend to narrow their valuations and miss out on potentially lucrative (yet risky) acquisitions. The new player ends up with a lot of paintings and then ends the round. They make losses on some but nice profits on others while everyone else just got to sell a painting or two for peanuts and perhaps had one to cash in.

I think the time has come for me to reassess my approach to this game - I do way too many calculations in my head. I think it's time to just bid lots on the paintings that look cool...

Both you and I started with three doubles each. I got another during the course of the game. That is potentially a huge advantage over anyone who didn't get any. I find the doubles tend to unbalance the game a bit, especially if you get none. Therefore the games of Modern Art that I run now use a variant where the doubles are distributed evenly (but randomly across artists), either at the start of the game (so everyone starts with the same number), or rationed out between the first three rounds. This helps to even out the advantage that these cards so obviously provide.

 
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Andrew Rae
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The variant would unbalance the potential inbalance yes. The alternative is also for the other players to balance it. I've played a number of games where players play a double and then add a third their next time out but the line still doesn't get a prize. As a group we need to be better at holding out on the early type of painting that is played and getting others into play so the result is not so telegraphed. Easier said than done.

The pretty painting technique can sometimes worka treat though.

 
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