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This auction game won the Hippodice Designer Competition for 1999. Through auctions, players buy and sell jewelry in order to make the most valuable combination of precious stones. The auctioneer decides the level of the auction by looking at the type of stones auctioned and his own financial level. Adding some nice twists, the auctioneer receives a percentage, has right to buy first under certain conditions, and determines whether the auction is rising or falling, which in turn influences the type of payment.
Like the previous player, In my first game I was trying to build one supernecklace and this was just not working out. Frustrating. If you aren't willing to spend the gems, you wont get better ones. An assortment of small gems is definately better than a few pricey ones, at least until near the end. It's great to see the look on the auctioneer's face when, after a heated auction goes into the high price range, you pay with a little necklace made of crappy gems, when they expected a wad of cash.
It definately has that auction-game feedback loop effect, where someone who wins a lot of auctions ends up with a lot of gems and keeps winning auctions. If you don't buy early, you can get shut out. The ability to sell a gem or necklace for up to $10 helps to recover a little, but it's not enough. But I don't think this is a flaw, once players realize this, it makes everyone play aggressively.
The art is very nice, too, and the theme works very well with a hand of cards.
We had 10 players play this over 2 sessions of 5 players each, and not a single one of us understoood how to REALLY play this one!
All of us started by desperately trying to acquire a pair of gems during the auctions. Once that was secured, the game then became a rather boring exercise of continuously upgrading the main gem.
We found that we would not take the risk of selling our first necklace for fear of not being able to acquire another pair (which get more scarce as the game goes on). However, that leaves us without money to actually acquire another pair!
What we would like to know is: how do you play this so that you actually get more than one pair and a valuable main gem? There just isn't enough money to do so.
By the way, at the draw of the last card (which ends the game), any player without a necklace (i.e. at least one pair and one lead gem) is disqualified from winning--so this is not the 'who has the most money at the end' type.
Please help us as I feel we are missing something--perhaps it's the rules translation?
Win this game by assembling the most expensive necklace. All jewels must occur in pairs, except for the single central gem, which must be the most valuable. Divide $60,000 among the players and let the auctions begin. One player turns up cards from the gem deck until at least $6,000 worth of jewels are showing. He then chooses to have either an open auction, in which the starting value is at least the base value of the displayed gems, or a sequential auction, in which the starting bid is the base price, which is lowered by $1,000 each round until someone agrees to buy. Your necklace is worth the value of its gems times the number of types of gems used. Manage your money shrewdly and you'll be sitting pretty.
One of those card games from Germany that seem to spawn from nowhere, this one is about making a necklace out of gem cards. The necklace must be symmetrical with the highest valued gem in the centre of the necklace. The value of the necklace is the value of the individual gems multiplied by the number of different gems.
Each player starts with some money and as gems are displayed, they are auctioned off. There are two types of auction--a conventional one where the price rises, which is available from the 7th round and one that works in the opposite direction from a price fixed by the auctioneer. Players can pay in either cash or combinations of gems for the upward auction, with the value of the gems paid being calculated as if the combination was mini-necklace. For example, two rubies (value 1 each) and a Topaz (value 2) would be worth 4 points for the basic value of the gems, multiplied by two because there are two colours involved, giving a total of 8 points. The downward auctions are cash only, but with these the auctioneer earns commission, which he he can then, of course, use for later auctions.
After the first pack of cards has been used, higher value gems are introduced and the conclusion of the game takes place when this pack is also exhausted.
The game is fairly simple to play and the two types of auction provide you with options as well as giving interaction between the players. The cards are nicely produced and even in German the names of the gems are pretty straightforward, so English players can pick this up straightaway. Another useful filler to pass the odd-half hour.