The Scepter of Zavandor

In The Scepter of Zavandor, the players are magic students amassing power to claim the game named scepter. SoZ is a brutal snowball economy game with an auction component as the main player interaction. Given this description, I should 1) not enjoy the game and 2) be fairly terrible at it. I was fascinated, if a bit overwhelmed, the first time I played it. With each subsequent play, I have liked it more and more. Even more surprising, I am very competitive at the game. After a few attempts, players learn what is and is not a good idea and then develop a sense of what strategies are viable.