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Subject: Session Report rss

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Scott Borton
Finland
Helsinki
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We just received this out-of-print game fresh from Germany, so once we got four people we decided to give it a try.

Sc. had read through the rules previously, and gave a quick explanation to the other players. Our translation of the rules didn't give a recommended breakdown of the coins to give to each player, so Sc. just gave two 50,000 pieces to each player to fulfill the 100,000 starting requirement. This resulted in a lot of change-making later in the game, but did have the advantage of a quicker start-up time.

The first round was the longest one. Everyone had the expected questions about what the various auction symbols meant, but they were quickly answered. Unfortunately, only three artists were laid on the table before L. played a = card and brought one artist to five cards, ending the round.

In the second round, the memory of the previous, truncated round was fresh in mind. With the players predicting that the second round would end in the same way, bidding for the artist that was the sure winner reached epic proportions, and "auction fever" struck as L. overbid, paying more than the art could possibly be worth. Sc. was the seller of the overbid cards... would he be able to win the game based on these outrageous earnings? Eventually, L. redeemed herself and ended second round the same way as the first, by playing a = card and forcing the round, bringing the maximum value to her expensive art.

The third round ended the same way. L. played a = card and ended the round early, to her great advantage. This time, however, only two artists had been played!

The final round ended in the same way, but with a different player. E. played a = card and ended the game with (again) only two artists on the table, resulting in a rather predictable outcome.

By forcing early settlement of three of the rounds, L. was able to achieve mastery of the art market and won the game. Sc., by auctioning works by hot artists rather than buying them, was second. E. and Se. rounded out the bottom.

The game was rather short, due to the "early" ending of the rounds. Since this was our first time, we don't know if this is how the game usually goes. We suspect not, and note that never once did the number of artists on the table reach more than three. While there was some evident frustration at the table due to the power of the = cards, all agreed that the game was fun and a future session was promptly scheduled.
 
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