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Subject: Why Power Grid is a good game and not a great game and should not be in the top 50 BGG (opinion) rss

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Steve Bauer
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srcabeza wrote:
I think the BGG admins should stamp a big red banner at the top of the BGG Rank with "WARNING: this is a popularity rank. In no way we imply this reflects the tastes of any BGG user in particular nor we think you should like these games in the precise order they are presented here. Furthermore, If the BGG rank doesn't match exactly with your particular rank, we suggest you take it as a proof that your taste and/or discernment is vastly superior of that of the majority".


And miss out on all this fun?
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Gordon Roach
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@Steve
See earlier post.

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Cmdr_G wrote:
Seriously? A market game works with supply and demand. There is no real supply and demand, supply in the game is resources to burn, eg fuel.


and choice power plants...

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There is no demand as this in a market situation is driven by the market, ie the customers. There is no demand,


And I rest my case.
There are two points of demand, the first is in the power plants. Sure some will be more in demand than others. But all in all, there is a demand. The second point of demand is in the resource market. Demand is driven by two points: 1. restock rate, 2. proliferation of fuel consumption. It is a very real strategy to strangle the fuel market to force your opponents to overpay, or even worse, be denied access to fuel.

I can see how if you miss these points you would say there is only one strategy to power grid, and moreover, play "incorrectly".

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its an artificial bubble created to force interaction with other players and race to the end, deny resources or drive up the costs.


it isn't artificial, it is natural part of consumerism.

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Players know what is going to happen each turn due to the strict turn order, you know what costs will be, you know what cash people have and what they need to buy, you know how many houses you get to light up, you know what you might get to purchase in the future.


Your powers of precognition far exceed mine then. Either that or you are truly trapped by groupthink in your games of power grid. I never know how many cities my opponents are going to light, and I never know how much they are going to buy in front of me, or if they are going to force me into a new buying position, or if they are going to over/under buy a resource to affect the market and worst, I have no idea how much they are going to bid on plants. And if you know how much cash people have, you are truly special as I can't remember this (money is hidden, if you didn't know...) If you can truly remember everyone's money, then I truly envy you and you probably deserve to hate this game and any other game that benefits those who have solid memory skills.

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The Dice Tower's Ryan Metzler states he can't beat his accountant friend. This is how predictable it can be, and I am certain they have way more experience than me. Chess has this level of predictability.


Skill does not translate into predictability. Ghost Stories is VERY random, for example, however I happen to excel at it and can handily win on pretty much any level. Ghost Stories is FAR from predictable, though.

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As you set your own demand, and the game sets the supply, this is not a market simulation.


That is the definition of demand...and people rarely set their own supply unless they are a monopoly.
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Gordon Roach
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The choices are all tactical, you don't have a strategy, and there is only one path.

The demand is artificial, real life demand is not like this, and like the income and the turn mechanism are designed to try and balance the game. It takes not a lot of effort to keep track of cashflow, and you can usually peg what people are doing because there is no strategy, you just have tactical choices to exploit turn by turn, you know what the main powerplant choices will be because they can be seen a turn before.

Most of the posters here are not understanding strategy and tactics. Strategy is a long term plan. You don't start PG thinking I will win by blocking or over buying or choosing a certain city or whatever, because these are tactics. If there is a strategic decision at all in the game it is your starting city, and even that for most will be reactionary and thus tactical because people are looking for cheap starting connections. Nobody starts where the connections link costs are all over 10, it makes no sense.

I would argue that lack of skill is lack of predictability. The more skilled you are the more predictable you get, simply because of the single path to victory. You have tactical options and you will take the best ones, because that is what moves you forward to winning in the most efficient manner.

Demand is set in PG by the game and the drive to get to the end first. It is an artificial bubble, there are no customers in those cities, if there was lighting up New York in step 1 would earn you more than say Duluth. The income would vary if it did but it does not. The whole concept is an artificial construct to make a game, and to make it work they use a variety of methods to try and balance play, mostly to stop a runaway leader.

G

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Bijan Ajamlou
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Why is there no dislike tumb in boardgamegeek? tumbs down for this review.

Why: The reviewer tries to make a statement. This game really deserves its top 5 place. Its a low luck game and rewards skill. This is also what makes the game deep. Monopoly is high-luck and not so deep. Boardgamegeeks usually play a lot of games and thus become good (if they have the wits) at understanding mechanics and can exploit them. Games that take long time to master do to many choices and rewards skill attracts geeks
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Richard Sampson
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Cmdr_G wrote:
The choices are all tactical, you don't have a strategy, and there is only one path.
This is a contradictory statement. You can't say something is tactical (implying reactionary) and then say there is a single path to victory (implying a single strategy). Additionally the game does have tactics in reaction to the market and what people are doing, but there are many strategies to managing board placement and buying plants.

Cmdr_G wrote:
The demand is artificial, real life demand is not like this, and like the income and the turn mechanism are designed to try and balance the game. It takes not a lot of effort to keep track of cashflow, and you can usually peg what people are doing because there is no strategy, you just have tactical choices to exploit turn by turn, you know what the main powerplant choices will be because they can be seen a turn before.
So real life demand is just like all those other games, right? The more you talk about tactics and no longer term strategy says to me you have not played the game very much (or you are not very good at it). Either way, it is clear why you don't like it; you are missing out on a lot of the meat of the game.

Cmdr_G wrote:
Most of the posters here are not understanding strategy and tactics. Strategy is a long term plan. You don't start PG thinking I will win by blocking or over buying or choosing a certain city or whatever, because these are tactics. If there is a strategic decision at all in the game it is your starting city, and even that for most will be reactionary and thus tactical because people are looking for cheap starting connections. Nobody starts where the connections link costs are all over 10, it makes no sense.
There is a lot of strategy in the power plants. If you buy your plants completely tactically, you are not going to do well, I can promise you that. It is incredibly important to plan out the progression of your plants in terms of how many cities you can power as a misstep here will put you a turn behind and with skilled people will cost you the game. Additionally the way you progress completely determines the bidding. So for instance, if you have a 4 plant, a 7 plant may be a lot more valuable to you than someone with a 5 plant because you bought that 4 for a small leg up early, but it will cost you dearly if you have to upgrade it to win.

Cmdr_G wrote:
I would argue that lack of skill is lack of predictability. The more skilled you are the more predictable you get, simply because of the single path to victory. You have tactical options and you will take the best ones, because that is what moves you forward to winning in the most efficient manner.
Again you are contradicting yourself. If everyone is good at the game and the game is tactical as you describe, then it is totally luck as to who wins since it is whoever got the best decisions to make. This is the opposite of a single path to victory. When people talk about a single path to victory, them mean there is a set strategy (which apparently this game doesn't have). For instance if buying all oil plants won the game when everyone does something different, that would be a "single path to victory." It would probably be called the "oil strategy."

Cmdr_G wrote:
Demand is set in PG by the game and the drive to get to the end first. It is an artificial bubble, there are no customers in those cities, if there was lighting up New York in step 1 would earn you more than say Duluth. The income would vary if it did but it does not. The whole concept is an artificial construct to make a game, and to make it work they use a variety of methods to try and balance play, mostly to stop a runaway leader.
This entire paragraph merely points out that Power Grid is a board game and not real life.
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Gordon Roach
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Somehow you still miss my point. One path, for that is all there is, and you have not managed to explain where there are more paths? There is only one means to score points, one path. That you get to make lots of tactical decisions does not make that strategic or a strategy as both are not something you can even plan to do pre-game.

When you fail to understand the terms such as strategy and tactics, that strategy is a path which guides tactical choices and not the other way around, you don't make tactical decisions and call that strategy) it is hard to discuss a point. You can not confuse the two. Because you and many others have is why you fail to see my point, and that of others.

I knew this would generate some fanboy heat, and to be honest Its stayed clean even though people like yourself have thrown a few dispersion's at me or my ability. From the people I have played with and seen playing, I know the type of competitive gamers that enjoy this game, and they are here defending it now, competitively.

Thanks to all who put in constructive input for or against my opinion/perspective. I will try and add a summary as an edited addition to this post at the beginning for people who come to this thread. There is no point in going on if we have no point of reference in terms or concepts.

Thanks all,

G
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Fraser
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Personally I would have thought that the below are strategies, or at least strategic decisions, not tactical ones:

In city placement block another player in whilst leaving blank territory that is cheap for you to gain access to but now very expensive for the other player to reach
Deliberately staying low in the turn order with a large power plant in one resource that is not in (much) contention whilst keeping another power plant that other players are in contention for and driving the resource prices up for them. While you would not do this for the whole game, due to a) changing conditions and b) eventually you probably want to upgrade the other power plant, I still consider this a strategical decision, not a turn by turn tactical one.

'Cmdr_G' wrote:
...does not make that strategic or a strategy as both are not something you can even plan to do pre-game.
Does this mean that you define a strategy as something that has be planned pre-game? If so very few games could be considered strategic if they have any element of variable set up.

Can you name some games that you consider to be strategic so we have a reference point?
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Craig Liken
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I seem to recall that the OP mentioned Agricola, Cuba and perhaps Dominion earlier in this thread. You could argue that in all of these three games you can quite clearly pick a "strategy/path" or whatever from the get go.

Agricola - formulate a strategy based on your occs and minors
Cuba - you get to choose your initial cubes/cylinders so can target an initial building purchase (which can define your strategy) right from the start.
Dominion - well yes definitely - you need a plan of likely card purchases - not that I'm any good at figuring such a plan.

I'd tend to say that there is more fluidity about Power Grid (as other posters have outlined) so "strategy" is not so obvious perhaps. I don't agree though that the game is purely tactical. There are more ways to "skin a cat" in Power Grid than just one. What about:

Spending strategies like holding money back over the course of the game or conversely spending almost everything you have on every turn (which I kind of do) - I don't know how good they are as I've only played PG four times

I once played a game with a guy who had a "strategy" of only buying the plants that didn't require fuel (presumably so he wasn't subject to the vagaries of the fuel "market") - He did OK as I recall (3rd out of five players), but we are by no means experts.
 
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liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
I'd tend to say that there is more fluidity about Power Grid (as other posters have outlined) so "strategy" is not so obvious perhaps. I don't agree though that the game is purely tactical. There are more ways to "skin a cat" in Power Grid than just one. What about:

Spending strategies like holding money back over the course of the game or conversely spending almost everything you have on every turn (which I kind of do) - I don't know how good they are as I've only played PG four times


Spending fluidly is not a good strategy, because as the OP mentioned, you do need some agility in purchasing power, just in case things don't go your way.

Holding money can be a solid strategy, especially if you are trying to secure a really fast win (I've seen a win as fast as popping stage II and winning in the same round!).

Factory focusing can be a good strategy, I've won a handful of times by sticking to Atomics and Trash since most people seem to see those as the plague because of such high fuel costs. On the flip side, if you focus on oil and/or gas, you can bind the market for others, to the point of even denying resources altogether (a strategy used frequently and to immense effect against myself).

Factory diversification is probably one of the better strategies as it gives you the flexibility of having the fuel you need and spreading the cost across markets.

Also, I don't know if this would be considered strategy or tactics, but knowing when to divest yourself of certain factories and which factories would make suitable upgrades is a key and pivotal factor in doing well at the game.

I'm sure the OP would probably state those are all tactical choices though, despite the fact that you can choose those focuses up front
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liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
I seem to recall that the OP mentioned Agricola, Cuba and perhaps Dominion earlier in this thread. You could argue that in all of these three games you can quite clearly pick a "strategy/path" or whatever from the get go.
I don't know Cuba well enough to comment, but with both Agricola and Dominion you can't make a decision until after set up, i.e. until you have seen the cards. In fact with Agricola a strategy can sink or swim depending on the order that the first four round cards come out in, thus devising a strategy before knowing when the card(s) important to your strategy is available is risky at best.

liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
Spending strategies like holding money back over the course of the game or conversely spending almost everything you have on every turn (which I kind of do) - I don't know how good they are as I've only played PG four times
Holding money is a cute idea, but I think in 99 out of 100 cases you would have fallen too far behind to catch up. A special case of this is, if there is a stall prior to step 2 and you are the person making the most money. In that case if the other players allow it to continue long enough, you can pull off a quick win, but realistically can it be called a strategy if you are just taking advantage of other players making mistakes?

liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
I once played a game with a guy who had a "strategy" of only buying the plants that didn't require fuel (presumably so he wasn't subject to the vagaries of the fuel "market") - He did OK as I recall (3rd out of five players), but we are by no means experts.
I know a friend who does the same, but for political reasons, he only buys non-polluting green plants. He has fun (and drives the auction prices of the green plants up) but he has never won, nor is he likely to. It is a strategy per se, but one pretty much doomed to fail cool
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Richard Hills
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Bagherra wrote:


.....

what qualities you think a top 50 game should have, without specifically mentioning any games, just qualities.

My criteria:
1. relatively simple rules to teach (I specify teach as I'm capable of slugging through difficult rules and clarifying them very adeptly...so a hard rulebook can still be a fantastic game!)

2. sensible components (quality doesn't matter if the components make sense and support game play, anything can be replaced...)

3. Good match from theme to mechanics of game. (the theme should suggest how to play the game.)

4. Good replay value; varied set up, maps or other factors that allow for a large number of variable game paths.

5. play in a reasonable amount of time, or at least not feel like you played for as long as you did.

6. Fun to lose (you learn something from losing)

an example of my top 11 (not in order) to match with my criteria:
Power Grid
Kingsburg
Ghost Stories
Factory Fun (Cwali version)
Ubongo
Roma
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
McMulti/Crude
Taluva
Battlestar Galactica
Galaxy Trucker


In my opinion, criteria 1. to 3. above are nice but not essential. But I fully agree with criteria 4. to 6 - particularly criterion 6, "fun to lose". Although my definition of "fun to lose" includes the ability to make meaningful decisions in a losing position (That is, clever play by a loser can reduce the margin of the loss. As opposed to the highly irritating game Catan where a loser can only twiddle their thumbs after being hemmed in.) So under this "fun to lose" criterion my top four games, in order, are:

Duplicate Bridge - circa 25 to 30 deals are played in a normal Aussie Duplicate Bridge session, but even if you have mediocre to disastrous results on 29 of the deals, you may do something really clever on the 30th deal to prove that you are a manly muppet.
Innovation - in the mid to late game a loser is permitted, indeed encouraged, to change strategy for a reasonably likely come-from-behind win.
Power Grid - the inbuilt negative feedback of PG means that a loser almost always has relevant decisions to make on power plant purchase, fuel buying, and city building.
The Scepter of Zavandor - also inbuilt negative feedback; while much less fluid than Innovation SoZ has the countervailing advantage of cunningly deciding early on amongst a choice of viable long-term plans.
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Cmdr_G wrote:
The choices are all tactical, you don't have a strategy, and there is only one path.

The strategic choices are in the plant auction. I might bid up the 25 plant and play a plant heavy strategy, or I might buy the 16 and play an early cash strategy. You can't choose the strategy before you sit down. You must base your strategic choices on your tactical choices.
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Bruce Schlickbernd
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Cmdr_G wrote:

I was thinking at work today that this is a one strategy, which by default means that it is not a strategy game. What you are doing is tactical tweaks to maximize your position. Thus it really should to me not be listed as a strategy game.

Strategy games offer more than one route to the end, and they may vary in the number or type of tactical options within the strategy.


Arguing whether it is a a strategy game or not is ultimately neither here nor there - the question is whether it is a good game design with great depth that remains interesting play after play. And Power Grid is certainly the latter. You play badly, you do badly; you play well, you do well. And the choices are not always easy. So it is with great games - accessibility because the play is transparent doesn't mean that it is an inherently good game, just one that is accessible.

Power Grid is an adaptive game - because the circumstances are in constant flux via the other players' decisions, you must think on your feet rather than rely on some rote strategy. I never go into the game deciding to lead from the front, but sometimes I can spot the opportunity to do it. The depth of play rewards experienced players, but it's worth the effort to acquire the knowledge.

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A board game should be rated not just on its play, it should be rated on various aspects. You balance this to get a rating. Because there is no strategy it should rate low, the choices are tactical and limited in scope. It has lower production qualities in presentation relative to cost. It has other qualities, it is an elimination game without eliminating, at least in Monopoly you can be eliminated and in Chess you can retire. It is resource management that tries to deny that. It is a race game because it has just one path, and its whose first to the end, yet it is not a race because being ahead is a penalty.


Why is a "strategy" game inherently worthy of a higher rating? The choices might be tactical but are often subtle in nature and profound in their repercussions. Production qualities are high - the subdued nature of the graphics may not appeal to everyone, but that doesn't mean that production qualities are low.

Euro games in general avoid eliminating players, so either you like to continue to participate or go off and do something else. As to it being a resource management game that denies it - what in the world does that mean in terms of valid criticism? It has a certain amount of resource management (all money games do) - that's part of the game, and if you don't like it, that seems to be your problem, not the game's.

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It has the interesting mechanism of the auction to try and balance the game. Yet it also tries to balance again with the income as you get higher, the gains diminish rapidly. Having 2 balancing mechanisms suggests that the game is not balanced, and in practice neither really succeed, yet without the other this game would be rather unplayable.


I can't say I agree with your analysis. Having two balancing mechanisms does not suggest the game is unbalanced at all - they suggest that the game would be unbalanced without them, or a runaway game where the rich get richer without them (something of a Settlers of Catan problem). Do they in fact balance the game? Yes. It is extremely difficult to just simply run out into the lead and stay there, which argues in favor that the balancing mechanisms work. Are they artificial is a more valid question, not so much in terms of making a good game rather than in making an elegant design. Since smaller companies often have less inertia, I don't see it as inelegant. More important to me are there decisions I can make to overcome the current disadvantage.

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It reminds me of getting into the sweet spot of something, cruising, not to fast and you can't stop or basically you lose. You have to maintain momentum to be at the end and slip forward to win. It has a very competitive style of play, the people I know that dedicate lots of time to gaming it are all very competitive, there is no social aspect to this game. Interaction is limited to the auctions and resources in the main, you can work blocks on people in step 1 and that could see them hurt so bad they never recover.


Sometimes you have to decide if the extra money is worth it, or if you are fine on power plants and don't care that you are first, or if a better position in bids/fuel/cities is more important. It isn't a set thing. There's interaction in the order, in the bids, in acquiring cities, and fuel. So that's rather a lot of potential interaction. I suspect those that don't see it the same way don't quite understand the game yet and won't do well.

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I see a lot of this game in auctions, it is a game that really does not suit everyone, yet it has a hook that some find irresistible.


Whenever I see it in an auction it goes for decent money because it remains popular. No game suits everyone.

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So if this game is a niche game, it needs a niche rating.


They've sold 150,000 copies, so that doesn't sound like a niche game to me. It appeals to the dedicated gamer who likes a meaty game rather than accessible fluff, but that doesn't mean it is simply a narrow niche game. It's a popular game.

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In a mainstream rating it does not make top 50 material for alot of people for many reasons. As somebody has already said it is a game that got voted up early, and now getting it back into a better perspective is going to be very hard, like coming from behind in the game itself.


There's a certain inertia to ratings at times, but this is a game that remains popular and did not disappear a couple of years after its release, so I have a hard time giving much credit to your claims.

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Perhaps when we rate games we need to factor in various things more than is done. Chess by comparison is competitive, has more strategies, comes in all forms of presentation from amazing to cheap and nasty, and the rules are pretty solid, allows lots of strategy and many tactical options, and depending on your choices of timing, much quicker.


And you complain about the level of experience in Power Grid?!? Chess is a life-style to some people, has zero social interaction, plays so dreadfully slow that people play it with a timer, and is dry as dust.


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Ticket to Ride route builds, manages resources, competitive, visually appealing, solid rules and quicker play. All are ranked much lower.


Sheer random chance on what cards you get. The right ones you win, the wrong ones you don't. I can tell if I'm doomed sometimes by the initial deal. No bailout either. I play Ticket to Ride as a lighter game that others may like, but rate it better than Power Grid? Simply put, it isn't as rewarding to play.

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BGG ranking becomes very emotive, we need some way of balancing it out.


Also known as "why don't people all vote the way I do?"

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For me its outside the Top 50 because it fails in what it depicts itself as, lack visual appeal, mechanisms that don't quite work, and the leader is not a leader, yet a person behind the curve is probably a loser already.


It succeeds brilliantly at what it tries to be, and if the leader is not the leader, than a person ostensibly behind the curve clearly isn't a loser already. Yes, you can get so far behind the curve that you are looking more to climb to second or third rather than first, but that's because you played badly. A game that rewards good play and punishes bad is bad itself? I find great flaw with that outlook.

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Throknor wrote:
Quite a lot of words to say "I can't seem to win at Power Grid."


I LOVE BGG because this comment didn't derail the conversation . . . nor did anybody really respond to it (sorry to break the streak).

But so many thumbs? shake Come on, BGGers.
 
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Eric Brosius
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Even though I've posted several times expressing my views about the game, I want to express agreement with one thing you've said: Once you understand the game, Power Grid is mostly a tactical game. The strategic element is knowing that you must get enough power plant capacity to give yourself a chance to win. Everything else---how much to bid in auctions and when to drop out, how many cities to build and which ones, how much fuel to buy, which plants to power---is tactics and efficiency.

I, however, enjoy many tactical games. In addition to Power Grid, I also like Paris Paris, crayon rails (notably Empire Builder, Eurorails and India Rails,) Can't Stop, Winner's Circle and Web of Power, all of which seem (in a similar way) tactical to me.

I suppose if you had infinite computational ability, all games would be tactical (including, for example, Go.)
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Rompcat wrote:
Throknor wrote:
Quite a lot of words to say "I can't seem to win at Power Grid."


I LOVE BGG because this comment didn't derail the conversation . . . nor did anybody really respond to it (sorry to break the streak).

But so many thumbs? shake Come on, BGGers.

Jealous?

I've been keeping tabs and my conclusion has yet to be refuted. I could have brought up many of the points made, and added some others. (e.g. PG is one of the most-rated games, so by that criteria alone the proposition that it has an inappropriate rating is preposterous.) But the point remains - the OP does not understand the game well enough to justify why his single opinion of the game is more valid than the average of 20,000+ other people.
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Russ Williams
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Throknor wrote:
Rompcat wrote:
Throknor wrote:
Quite a lot of words to say "I can't seem to win at Power Grid."


I LOVE BGG because this comment didn't derail the conversation . . . nor did anybody really respond to it (sorry to break the streak).

But so many thumbs? shake Come on, BGGers.

Jealous?

I've been keeping tabs and my conclusion has yet to be refuted.


So what, you didn't see the OP's later comment when he said "I never ever have said I could not win, I can manage wins in this like most games I play"?
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Enrique Carro
Spain
La Coruña
La Coruña
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Quote:
The choices are all tactical, you don't have a strategy, and there is only one path.



No. You speak about only one goal, but there are several paths to that goal. I have won using several strategies:

1.- Simply making a sweep from beginning to end against newbies, buying the plants I wanted, the fuel I needed, and connecting cities as I wanted. The newbies learned, one of them won our next game, another won the next.

2.- Sneaking and being at the tail during almost all the game, and connecting 7 cities at the end, to close the game, making sure I was the one who could power more.

3.- Reacting to the flow of the game, changing from coal to uranium because everybody (a 4-player game) was buying coal and oil.

4.- During a 2-player game, I managed to exhaust all the coal. My wife had only coal plants, and I stalled her game.

5.- I carefully placed my new connections in one 2-player game to corner my wife until Step 2, so when it begun I was leading 11 cities to 5, and managed to control the game flow.


I received Power Grid as a Christmas gift. In only one month I found 5 paths to victory, but I think I'm only scratching the surface of this very deep game.
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Throknor
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Pittsburgh
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russ wrote:
Throknor wrote:
Rompcat wrote:
Throknor wrote:
Quite a lot of words to say "I can't seem to win at Power Grid."


I LOVE BGG because this comment didn't derail the conversation . . . nor did anybody really respond to it (sorry to break the streak).

But so many thumbs? shake Come on, BGGers.

Jealous?

I've been keeping tabs and my conclusion has yet to be refuted.


So what, you didn't see the OP's later comment when he said "I never ever have said I could not win, I can manage wins in this like most games I play"?


Fair enough. My only rebuttal would be there's no information about his opponents, nor how he wins.

However, that's a red herring. Power Grid is (currently) the 6th most rated game on the site. All of the arguments for why it shouldn't be in the top 50 have been shown to be opinion, and he fails to show why this one opinion has more weight than 20,000+ others.
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Elia - "Rainbow Hippie" Acca
Italy
Bergamo
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Cmdr_G wrote:
The demand is artificial, real life demand is not like this, and like the income and the turn mechanism are designed to try and balance the game. It takes not a lot of effort to keep track of cashflow, and you can usually peg what people are doing because there is no strategy, you just have tactical choices to exploit turn by turn, you know what the main powerplant choices will be because they can be seen a turn before.


Well if you want to play real-life like economic games there's the stock market. Every game has its own economy, some are very simple self production/consume kind of games, some let you build infrastructures, some let you interact with other players, some only with the game. Some let you trade, some let you steal, some let you take out loans, if the designer is Martin Wallace.
And all these economic system are different. Some have a sort of "demand and offer" mechanics, i.e. the relative value of a resource depends on its availability and how hard your neighbour wants it. Even in Settler this happens. When Sheep get an 8, a 6, and both 5es you know you're going to offer 3 Sheep for Wood the whole game.
And none of these is like real life. Container has one of the most interesting imho, while pg follows. Glory to Rome has one of the most fun.

And if all simulated "real life" I'd probably stop playing Euros.
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M T
United States
Texas
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Sound like the OP just doesn't like the learning curve.
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Bruce Schlickbernd
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Cmdr_G wrote:
Somehow you still miss my point. One path, for that is all there is, and you have not managed to explain where there are more paths? There is only one means to score points, one path. That you get to make lots of tactical decisions does not make that strategic or a strategy as both are not something you can even plan to do pre-game.


You don't score points in the game. There's only a final win condition, triggered by a related but not necessarily determining condition. You can sandbag to victory, lead from the front, starve your opponents for fuel, or make them pay through the nose for them, even pulse out and end the game prematurely but with you in the lead on activated cities.

And again, as to strategy vs. tactics, I'm not going to bother arguing that because you have yet to make any sort of case that a tactical game is somehow inferior to a strategic one.

Quote:
When you fail to understand the terms such as strategy and tactics, that strategy is a path which guides tactical choices and not the other way around, you don't make tactical decisions and call that strategy) it is hard to discuss a point. You can not confuse the two. Because you and many others have is why you fail to see my point, and that of others.


You fail to understand that "Strategy Games" are a class that in fact include tactical games - there's simply no "Tactical Games" class. Thus it isn't much of a criticism to say that it is more of a tactical game than strategic. Yet most of your criticism hinges on a false premise.

Quote:
I knew this would generate some fanboy heat, and to be honest Its stayed clean even though people like yourself have thrown a few dispersion's at me or my ability. From the people I have played with and seen playing, I know the type of competitive gamers that enjoy this game, and they are here defending it now, competitively.

Thanks to all who put in constructive input for or against my opinion/perspective. I will try and add a summary as an edited addition to this post at the beginning for people who come to this thread. There is no point in going on if we have no point of reference in terms or concepts.


You can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Which you seem to be doing at this point (yes, I note you log in, but make no further comment on this thread even though many valid points have been brought up - strategic retreat?). ;-)

In any case I think the failure is on your part - I fully understand the difference between tactics and strategy. The concepts you are failing on are the breadth and depth of the term "Strategy Game" and that somehow tactical games are inherently inferior strategy games (never mind that people have shown strategy elements in the game).
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Shawn Garbett
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Nashville
Tennessee
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Benjow wrote:
Thanks for the review! It would be nice to see more like them in the hobby. It seems like most "reviews" I see/hear/read are glowing.


Did you see the URL for this web site? It's board-game-geek, it's full of folks who geek out over games. Thinking this site doesn't have a bias, is like being surprised when Cracker Barrel is sued for discrimination.

I think a good writing exercise is to pick a game you have played more than once, didn't like, and write a negative review. Just saying it sucked and I hate it doesn't count as a review. You have to say which elements really didn't work with your enjoyment of a game. Some folks hate excessive luck elements, others enjoy them. A good negative review, might tell me that I would like the game--because I have different aspects I like. It's a difficult thing to write.

So I agree, some well written negative reviews are helpful.
 
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Ronnie
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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I enjoyed your writing style very well. Unfortunetaly I did not agree with many of your conclusions.

Your perspective on this game makes me wonder if you primarily played with 4-6 players or with mostly experienced players.

Regardless, thanks for the review!
 
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