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Buy high valued cards to increase your points in that color. Buy low valued cards to increase your multiplier in that color. But don't spend too much, since the points you still have at the end are added to your score. Highest total at the end wins!
- 28 cards (in 4 colors)
The English speaking section of the hobby discovered Reinhard Staupe this year as a result of Basari; the Germans found him last, when this little self-published card game made it on to the Spiel des Jahres shortlist. As with his David and Goliath card game that repeated the feat this year, it is a game that takes next to no time to explain and all its subtleties stem from a novel and clever scoring system.
The deck consists of four suits of seven cards, with the cards in each suit being numbered 1 to 7. The only other feature you need to know is that each card shows a number of stars--three for the ones, two for the twos and one for each of the others.
Each player begins with a bank account of 150 points, which they will use to buy cards. At the end the cards they have bought, together with the money they have left over, will determine their score. The deck is shuffled and a few cards set aside, face down, so that players don't know exactly which cards are in play. The cards are then turned over, one at a time, and auctioned off. The only special rule concerning the auction is that the minimum raise equals the number on the card. So, if the card turned up is the green 5 and I open the bidding at 7, you must bid at least 12 if you wish to outbid me.
When all the cards in play have been bought, you compute your score in each suit. To do this add up the face values and multiply by the number of stars. For example, if I have bought the 1, 4 and 6 of yellow, my score for yellow is (1+4+6) times 5 (the number of stars being 3 for the 1 and 1 for each of the others), which is 55. Your total score for the four suits is then added to the residue from your bank account to produce your final score.
In our first game the winning score was 141. You will recall that we all began with 150. This suggests a possible winning strategy and it is one that we are going to have to figure out how to beat next time we play. Less flippantly, it shows what the game is about and where the skill lies. You have to be able to estimate what a card is likely to be worth to you and to others and to pitch your bids accordingy. In that exercise of judgement lies the entire game. It is not as varied or as much fun as David and Goliath, but it is quick and skilful and well worth the occasional outing.