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Subject: A Timeless Classic Auction Filler rss

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Ben Wickens
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I really like meaty fillers. Most fillers that are out there are fun the first time you play them but diminishing returns start kicking in real
fast. So often by the time you have played a filler 5-6 times you have seen all it has to offer. Other fillers just feel like they are passing the time and although fun whilst they last they do not have enough to them to really feel satisfying.

Now High Society is a very quick playing (15-25 minute) auction game that never overstays its welcome. Like many Knizia auction designs there is a push your luck element to the game and there is no real clear way to calculate the values of the cards as it is all relative to who has the least money and who knows which cards will come up before the game is over.

High society is the type of game that I could play once with friends or family during the course of a day and feel satisfied or play round after round as it never gets boring. It is a great filler in a gaming group either as a warm up or the end of the night.

The genius of the design is that you want to have the most "prizes" but if you have the least money you lose. Well that is the first aspect of the genius of the game. So you have a tense battle to get as much as you can without overspending. Then there is the second genius of the design, the cards count as a second currency. All the cards in your hand are of different values from 1 to 25 with some (particularly higher) numbers missed out. As you bid with cards you cannot ever give yourself change so the number of cards you have really feels like a second/related currency of the game.

Really every rule in the game is genius - there are two types of auction, the auction for the positive score cards 1-10 and doublers and the negative (bidding to not win) auction for the bad cards. Each gives a lot of variety as well as fun and the negative auctions really add a lot of value to the small value cards.

The game has a timer. As soon as the fourth red card is shown the game ends (red cards are the 3 doubler cards and the 1/2 card)- so you never know how many of the cards will enter play (it could be all of them or only 4 or anything in between). The game is constantly tense but plays very quickly. The random nature of the game means that noone can really over think things too much because they will never know what cards will or will not appear before the game ends.

Now the game can occasionally fall flat if one player so massively overbids that they are almost guaranteed to be out of contention but it plays so quick I do not think that is too much of a problem.

Also the theme is fun and works, it kind of makes sense that you want to be the one showing how rich they are by buying the most stuff as long as they do not overdo it and seem to be broke.

Knizia has made many great auction games but this is my favorite because of how quickly it plays and how much variety there is in each game. Ra is maybe more unique and deep, Medici maybe will win out if I want a slightly longer game or a 6th player but High Society remains my favorite game from my favorite designer. My edition looks a bit ugly though so I might upgrade to the new Osprey edition when it comes out this year.
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Doug Adams
Australia
Oakleigh
Victoria
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A fan of new Knizia games
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Osprey are reprinting this? Wow.

I have an old Ravensburger edition. One of those games I need to play more than I do.
 
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James C
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Alexandria
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I like it over three rounds. Not for adding the scores, but just seeing how people value things differently based on what the other people did in the previous round. Good fun.

Yes the new edition box cover looks awesome.
 
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