Games I Missed
While making an exhaustive exploration of auction games would have been beyond the scope of my blog (and would have gotten boring and tedious, quite frankly), there are some kind of glaring omissions.
I focused a lot in Reiner Knizia's auction games but I skipped both Dream Factory and Amun-Re. That's because my couple plays of Amun-Re were over ten years ago and I don't remember if well and I've never played Dream Factory. I do really want to play it some day.
I also haven't played High Bid, which was 3M's entry into the auction world back in the 60s. I don't know how well it would hold up but I view 3M as a big part of the development of modern board games so I feel like I should try it.
I know it has the interesting element of selling back items to raise capital but there's a good chance you might not get the full value. Realistic but potentially frustrating.
One auction game I do want to examine in the future is Vegas Showdown. It didn't get nearly enough love from its first published but it is a really good game that combines auctions, resource management and tile laying.
War of the Fillers
One of the things that got me started on the whole auction kick was a desire to compare For Sale and High Society. They are both auction games that take about fifteen minutes to play, which means fill a similar slot in gaming.
For Sale has often been called the king of the fillers but I have actually gotten more use out of High Society.
A key difference is that For Sale is an unusually forgiving auction game while High Society is as forgiving as the Mafia. So I think that High Society is better for 'hardcore', 'serious' gamers while For Sale is ideal for a more general, family audience.
So, I got a lot of play out of High Society with my old crew but, when our son gets older, For Sale will probably become the new champion.
The Future of Pure Auction Games
There are a lot of games that use auctions as one element, like Power Grid. However, it feels the heyday of games that had auctions as their one big thing was back in the 90s and early 00s. Auction games still come out, the Speicherstadt came out in 2010 and GEM came out in 2015, but it feels like they're no longer a going concern.
I would love to be proven wrong. I would love to find out that I just don't know about them and that there are a whole bunch of good auction games that of come out in the last five years that I'm just ignorant of.
Even if that's not the case (really, prove me wrong), I don't think that auctions are a dead genre. I bet there are some amazing innovations that haven't been created yet, primary auction games that will be really amazing after they get invented.