With time to spare, we gave this art auction game by Mayfair a try. The wealthy art dealers were John Moore, Jon Comeaux, Jay Ouzts, Lenny Leo and myself (Greg Schloesser). Most players jumped into their role of auctioneer, shouting and confirming asking prices and bids in rapidity. Attempting to describe the paintings was humorous, especially Jay's snobbish opinions on some of the 'comic book' artwork of Yoko.
During the course of the game, players take turns offering a painting for bid. There are paintings representing works of five artists and the cards determine the type of bid that must be held: Open, Sealed, Once-Around, Fixed Price or a Double Offering. The player bidding the highest amount must pay the auctioneer (unless he, himself, bought the painting, in which case the money goes to the bank). Play continues in this manner until a fifth painting by an artist has been offered. At this point, the bidding ceases and the value of the sold paintings are determined. Only paintings of those three artists who had the most paintings purchased that round are of any value. Any paintings by the remaining two artists that have been purchased are worthless. Each painting of the highest-selling artist are worth $30, second-highest artist is worth $20 and third-highest $10 apiece.
A second, third and fourth round of bidding is held. In each subsequent round, the same procedure is followed. Only the scoring is different. Artists who remain in the 'top three' in paintings sold in subsequent rounds have their previous rounds' paintings value added to the current rounds' value. Thus, if 'Yoko' finished first in round 1 and third in round 2, each painting sold by her would be worth $40 in round 2 ($30 + $10). However, should an artist fail to place in a subsequent round, then his paintings are worthless that round.
This makes the decision on which paintings to offer for auction a tough one. One must balance the desire to offer desirable paintings in order to earn cash versus the threat of a round ending early before you can make your own desired purchases. Further, all cash held by players is kept secret, so the front-runner is difficult to determine (which is a good thing with our group ... being anonymous is always best).
This held true in our game as no one was quite sure as to who was winning. It came as a bit of surprise to most as Jon Comeaux claimed the victory with $ 480, followed by Lenny (414), Jay (374), John Moore (3330 and Greg (277).
I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but when, oh when will I learn that I suck wind at bidding games?