I received my latest shipment of German games during the week and was itching to get one on the table. We had Acquire already lined up for the night, but hoped I'd be able to lead off with a quick one. Everyone agreed so we started off the night with a new one, Michael Schacht's Don, from Queen Games.
Assembled for the night's gaming were all of the regulars: Rob, Andy, Phil R., Phil W., and Dan.
As this was a brand new game which none of us had played, while I broke out the bits so people could look them over (the deck of cards and betting chips), I quickly reviewed the rules again. It didn't take but a few minutes to explain the game's nuances. Our group is used to a wide variety of betting games, so they caught on quickly and we were off.
A false start as it was... We had to restart after realizing that we weren't paying out the winning bid correct way - to the owner of the card(s) whose number matches the bid amount. The good thing is that since this is such a short game, we restarted without really losing much time.
This game is all about the bidding mechanic! And what a cool mechanic it is. Keeps everyone in the auctions. Keeps focus. Keeps up some hope too - for those with little chance of matching up their cards on the bid amount. The game really is all about the bidding mechanic, as it could be about auctioning off bananas on an island, or candy to kids on the street, instead of Chicago's neighborhoods. Regardless, it doesn't effect the outcome: it is a fun bidding game!
At the end of 15 bidding rounds, the final tally was:
Phil W. - 14
Rob - 12 (including 2 for the most cash/chips)
Phil R. - 8
Dan - 7
Andy - 6
Consensious was that everyone liked it and is looking forward to trying Don again. The singular nature of the bidding system was the most attractive feature of the game. We had some discussion about the side-auctions and their value: no one tried it during the game, but at game end we could see the value in doing it. Definitely worthy of another play.
Thus, the night was off to a good start. Don was an excellent warm-up for Acquire, just enough thinking to get the brain up to steam.