User Rating Comment Status
Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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7.5
May 2007*
This is really a surprisingly good filler/closer. I'm not a huge fan of blind bidding, but it works quite well here. The pace and the level of control seem best for three players. Thematically this game works, you pick up guys for your crew, low-ball bids for work and grimace when you have to pay your guys when they are sitting around. Everyone is active, with little to no downtime. There aren't an overwhelming amount of important choices, but you always vaguely feel like you are controlling your own destiny as you are constantly playing the odds against the kinds of jobs that will come up and the inevitable paydays. I think it is important to let people know about the frequency/demand that each type of card has. The shovelers are the most commonly needed, then the foremen, then the backhoes, finally the cranes. Really does what it sets out to do effectively.
2007-05-14*
Owned
Olav Müller
Germany
Düsseldorf
Deutschland
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7
Mar 2004*
Hm ... not sure yet. The last game I won, cause I was the only one to score a "8 million" contract just before the last payday. My fellow players couldn't bid for the job, so it was a sure thing ...
2004-03-18*
Owned
Tad Ito
Japan
Unspecified
Unspecified
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7
May 2004*
Not so bad! To make ajust timing of pay-day card like "Alhambra" is to be good ballance.
We always play do that.
2004-05-19*
Owned
TOKYO Heartbroken
England
York
North Yorkshire
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7
Aug 2004*
I enjoyed this. A light simple auction game with nice mechanisms, fast play and amusing graphics. Under-rated here. Worth picking up, a good quick filler.
2004-08-29*
Owned
Cal Macewan
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
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7
Aug 2004*
An interersting little card game, with elements of bidding and hand management. The quality of the cards is particularly nice, with colourful cartoony pictures.
2004-08-29*
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
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7
Nov 2006*
Bidding for construction jobs & meeting payroll are tricky work in this fine game that was pretty much overlooked when it was released.

UPDATE: Continues to be overlooked... and occasionally dismissed as "blind bidding." Let's be clear here, people - if you're paying attention, this is NOT blind bidding. Sheesh.
2009-10-26
Owned
david karasick
United States
Gladwyne
Pennsylvania
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7
Apr 2007*
Nothing to dislike here.........I need a building permit to play though.
2007-04-18*
Owned
Steve Kearon
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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7
Nov 2007*
A slightly odd cardgame that works pretty well. You have a hand of workers/plant, and aim to blind bid low to win contracts for specific sets of worker/plants. This earns you the bid value, but ties up your workers for a turn or two. This restricts your ability to satisfy subsequent contract requirements, but contracts also include "paydays" which require every player to pay unemployed workers in their hand so it's sometimes good to have few workers sitting idle.
2007-11-07*
Owned
Elizabeth Jensen
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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7
Jul 2009*
The low bid wins the job and gets the money, but players have to know when it is safe to bid high and rake in the bucks. It is a quick game, not difficult to learn.
2009-07-16
Owned
Tim Thomas
United States
Oceanside
California
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7
Apr 2011
My strategy didn't work at all in my first game, almost embarrassingly so. I found it interesting and I enjoy blind bidding, so hopefully I'll get a chance to play again soon. It seems that I almost always enjoy playing Ravensburger games.
2011-04-30
Ting Pong IP
Hong Kong
Lai Chi Kok
Unspecified
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6.5
Jan 2009*
[Ravensburger 2002 edition] {Economic, filler, city-building; blind-bidding, hand management, drafting; scalable} I like many Franz-Benno Delonge's games. Most of them are fun to play and suitable for non-gamers. Zahltag is no exception. It is a nice filler - thematic, engaging, interactive and tactical. It is engaging because players can take risk to hold their workers for better contracts even though a pay day is coming. Like many auction games, it is about how to get a bargain deal when other players are occupied and cannot compete with you.

Franz-Benno Delonge really like blind-bidding / auction mechanic.

The illustration of card is very funny. Each contract is unique! I like them very much. However, the standard card back of Ravensburger bugged me However, it is better if they provide 9 bidding cards, rather than 5.
2008-07-11*
Owned
Herald Claeys
Belgium
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6.5
Oct 2011
Essen 2010
2013-11-26
Owned
Jim Carvin
United States
Hamburg
Pennsylvania
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6.1
Dec 2014
I really enjoyed this game. You need to anticipate what others are willing to bid, do a little card counting, and sometimes hold your breath and go for it. Very fun
2005-06-24*
Prev. Owned
Ken Shoda
Japan
Zushi
Kanagawa
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6
May 2011
Quite interesting auction game. Since the system of batting and limited number of cards, middle numbers are not really used in bidding. Also tied bidding can be just spread among players, not negative 2.

For Zahltag (pay day), one can reduce or increase the hand size by 1 but it is far from having decent control. Also who is getting benefit from pay day is rather luck dependent.

Hand limit of 12 cards (including the ones in front of you) is tedious and the game should work without this limit.
2011-05-13
Prev. Owned
Lindsay Scholle
Australia
St Ives, 2075
NSW
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6
Jul 2004*
There's a couple of different ways to approach the game. The bidding can hurt as you take a loss on the contract just to get cards down before a payday. There's a lot of luck in the individaul contracts being turned over. I'd play without the automatic payday after nine cards - just wait for the payday cards themselves. The theme fits well with the game. Enjoyable.
2004-07-29*
Richard Lea
United Kingdom
Leeds
County: West Yorkshire
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6
Dec 2004*
Further play might alter the rating.
2004-12-12*
Patrick Brennan
Australia
St Ives, Sydney
NSW
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6
Dec 2004*
Games that overly rely on bidding to advance grow tiresome pretty quickly.
2010-06-08
Do-hyeon Kim
South Korea
Uiwang-si
Gyeonggi-Do
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6
Dec 2007*
reviewed on my blog.
2010-02-10
Owned
For Trade
Kevin Nunn
United States
Houston
Texas
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6
Jun 2006*
Not a bad bidding game as bidding games go. The key to success is to bid high when no one else can satisfy the contract and to underbid the rest of the time. Never bid lower than 2 though.
2006-06-19*
Bruce Miller
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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6
Nov 2007*
Quick light blind bidding game.
2007-11-28*
Owned
Tom Hilgert
Germany
Unspecified
Bavaria
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6
Jun 2014
The handling is a little bit difficult, but its a good card game
2007-03-17*
Prev. Owned
oskari
Finland
Helsinki
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6
Jul 2007*
Mostly about card counting, and a little bit longish. Quite fun, though. Probably best with four.
2007-07-19*
Owned
Tim Myers
United States
Salem
Wisconsin
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6
Oct 2007*
Rating of 6 based on 2 player game. I think a 3 or 4 player game would be much more exciting but 2 was not bad. Played in little over 1/2 hour. I do not think that more players will increase the time by much because the game will end when the 5th payday card is drawn, whether 2, 3 or 4 players are playing.
2007-10-02*
Owned
Pedro Soto
Spain
Santander
Cantabria
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www.pedrosoto.com
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6
Mar 2009*
Only one play. I need replay more.
2008-07-08*
Prev. Owned
Jonathan Takagi
United States
San Marcos
California
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6
Mar 2011
I definitely enjoy the theme of this game - it's nice to have one that's contemporary that doesn't involve fantasy/scifi elements. Since it revolves around underbidding, it makes sense to have the theme involve construction. I also like how the workers used are put out of commission for a period of time.

I think I like the idea of the game more than how it eventually turned out. I think I enjoy blind bidding, but undercutting your opponents never is really as interesting as it seems like it would be (I'm thinking of Fantasy Business). It also seems like memorization plays a huge role in this game, as if you knew what cards your opponents held you would be unstoppable.

Still though, for a filler, it doesn't seem like many people would invest that type of brain power, and for a quick activity, it's not bad. Not exciting, but not unpleasant - the game length feels about right.
2011-03-30
Owned
Terry
United States
carlsbad
California
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6
Mar 2011
Mar 2011: The game is okay. It doesn't really bring much new to the table, and is slightly on the long side for a filler, but perhaps that was as much about us playing for the first time as anything else.

The cards and art are good, and there are certainly some balance decisions to make. I suspect the real way to play this game well is to remember what cards each player has played so that you can determine how many people are likely to be in any given auction, and change your price based on that. Any game where memory like this is important gets a lower rating for me... so we'll rate this a 6 initially. No desire to trade, purchase, or play this game at this time.
2011-03-25
James Faulkner
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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5.5
Jan 2010*
A large level of luck based on whether Payday cards come up when you have just reduced or increased your hand size. Also if a hard to meet work order comes in when other players are low on cards in hand you can bid 8 and get a windfall. However, it is all over fairly quick and does give a few laughs as people get lucky or hosed.
2007-05-18*
Bryan Johnson
United States
Salem
Massachusetts
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5.5
Oct 2005*
It's ok for an occasional game or two.
2005-10-16*
Juan José Fernández Quiroga
Chile
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5.2
Jul 2008*
Este fue mi primer juego alemán que jugué. Tiene un valor sentimental especial para mí.
2008-03-29*
Owned
Prev. Owned
Terry Egan
United States
Waltham
MA
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5
Feb 2010
An unusual bidding game where the lowest bid is awarded the construction job, and jobs are important not only for the payout but also for keeping workers occupied, as idle workers cost players money on paydays. Worth trying, as the game works well and the mechanics are a bit unusual, but not deep or fun enough to stay in my collection long-term.
2010-02-07
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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5
Aug 2010
Its a fun game but very chaotic. I usually don't mind blind bidding, but I'm beginning to wonder if the key might be just undercut at the 2 mil mark fairly regularly (moreso than I usually do since I get greedy and want the big payday).
2006-11-11*
Prev. Owned
Tero H
Finland
Vantaa
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5
Sep 2013
Not that bad actually. A luck driven card game, blind-bidding included - > could be even worse! Filler, which I might play every now and then.
2008-04-09*
Chris Barnard
United Kingdom
Leeds
West Yorkshire
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All aboard the 'B' Ark! Priority boarding for bankers and HR staff!
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5
Sep 2009*
Okay. Not a hit with me because of the lack of control.
2009-09-05
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
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4
May 2015
Lowered rating because I haven't played it ever again, and haven't been pining away for it.
2007-07-02*
Jan K
Germany
Braunschweig
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4
Oct 2007*
[german version] I have an older version in white package published by Parker
2007-10-23*
Owned
César
Spain
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1
Jul 2009*
Casi buena idea. Juego muy malo. bastante lotería.
2009-07-21
Jan Ostmann
Germany
München (Munich)
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N/A
(2-4) - 45 Min. - Underground
2012-12-31
Owned
Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Los Ranchos
New Mexico
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"Always rely upon a happy mind alone." Geshe Chekhawa.
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N/A
Interesting contract bidding mechanism. You lose money from idle workers. Looking forward to a play, as it's a bit hard to solo this one!
2008-01-25*
Owned
Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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I sought this game out for several reasons. First of all, it's got very clever cartoon graphics. I love the details like the bear's cage needs repairing, the plane that flew into a house, etc.

Secondly, it's a little known Franz-Benno Delonge design, that has a very cool, highly thematic bidding on contracts mechanic, namely the low bidder wins. So, you want to bid high so as to collect more money, but if you bid too high, your opponents win the contract. Lots of nice mind games and positioning moments, as big profits can be made if your opponents don't have the proper components on hand in order to bid.
2010-07-05
Owned
Jeffrey Allers
Germany
Berlin
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N/A
USA
2014-08-17
Owned
Beat Liechti
Switzerland
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N/A
6/02bs,5/02bs,2/02,
2015-05-14
Prev. Owned
LJ
United States
Spokane Valley
Washington
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Do or do not, there is no try.
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N/A
Card game where you bid for projects. Lowest bid wins. You then pay down the number of workers that are then tied up for 2 turns. After 5 paydays, the game ends. You can be eliminated from the game.
2010-04-18
Want To Play
Frank-Philipp Wolfer
Germany
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N/A
2-4 45min -
2015-06-16
Owned
Want To Play
Bayerisches Spielearchiv
Germany
Haar
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N/A
06.02.04.01
2015-01-10
Owned

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