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Subject: Power Grid...dont know rss

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Ryan Lee
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My parents and I love bohnanza, carcassonne, and ticket to ride. TTR was great, but not enough strategy. We did play Settlers of Catan and enjoy, yet there was still quite a bit of luck. We haev puerto rico, but somehow we didnt like it too much..

So i am thinking about getting Power Grid. It seems good..but is it easy to learn with good strategy? Is it very long to play? How is the setup? Good for occasional gamers? How heavy is this game?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 
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Eddy Bee
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Power Grid is not a complicated game once you know how to play it. But be prepared for a little head-scratching when you first try to absorb the rules. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not a big fan of how the rulebook is organized.

Setup is fairly easy. Depending on how many players are in the game, it can last anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours. Anyone who has played the games you've already listed should have no problem with Power Grid, although it will probably take them a couple of games before they feel competent at it.

It's a great game with lots of replay value that should satisfy your craving for a strategic challenge.

While you're at it, you might want to consider some of these other games:

- Tikal
- Through The Desert
- Princes of Florence
- Age of Steam
- Mesopotamia
- Maharaja
- Vinci
- Samurai

Good luck!

 
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T. Rosen
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oboman2002 wrote:
My parents and I love bohnanza, carcassonne, and ticket to ride. TTR was great, but not enough strategy. We did play Settlers of Catan and enjoy, yet there was still quite a bit of luck. We haev puerto rico, but somehow we didnt like it too much..

So i am thinking about getting Power Grid. It seems good..but is it easy to learn with good strategy? Is it very long to play? How is the setup? Good for occasional gamers? How heavy is this game?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.




Ryan,

If you're looking for a game with a lot of strategy, but rules that aren't too dense, and that works well for occasional gamers, I really think you should check out Through the Desert. The rules are easy to learn, but there's absolutely no luck involved, and lots of different strategies to try out. Another game to consider is Torres. It also has very little luck, and intuitive rules, and plenty of strategic depth. Personally, I didn't enjoy Power Grid precisely because I found the rules too fiddly and cumbersom. If you thought Puerto Rico was a lot to digest at first, Power Grid is even worse in my mind. Don't get me wrong, Power Grid is an interesting game and well-designed, but not a whole lot of *fun* because you get bogged down with the all the phases and steps etc etc. I hope that you check out and enjoy Through the Desert and/or Torres.

One final one that just came to mind is San Marco, which is outstanding if you're playing with 3 players a lot of the time. The luck of the draw is mitigated through an interesting mechanism where one player splits a group of cards and the others choose what to take first. Check out my review on San Marco for more info on it.
 
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Scott Nelson
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From my perspective, PG is a wonderful game, and a definite upgrade in strategy for Catan players. I played this game and though the rules were hard to read, got it correct the first time through with playing 2 players - the second play of 5 players had added depth, and I missed a rule that changed the outcome which was bad cuz the players didn't enjoy it. I convinced them another day to play it the correct way, and they have asked for it ever since. My wife loves it as well, so I get a 2 player game out of it as well. With the expansion(s) it has more replayablity (though it always had replayability with just the double map of the original game. There is a free expansion that you can make which in itself adds to the fun. It has everything a eurogamer wants and craves: auctions, commodity market, resources, building, etc.
 
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John Farrell
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I wasn't very impressed by Power Grid. It seemed reasonably heavy, but then my 9yo son beat all of us, and he wasn't even paying attention. The catch-up mechanisms work very well :-). I agree, Through the Desert is a good choice, but my other suggestions would be:

Mystery of the Abbey
Amazonas
Citadels
Elfenland
St Petersburg
Tongiaki
Himalaya
 
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David Fair
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Or maybe PowerGrid?
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oboman2002 wrote:
My parents and I love bohnanza, carcassonne, and ticket to ride. TTR was great, but not enough strategy. We did play Settlers of Catan and enjoy, yet there was still quite a bit of luck. We haev puerto rico, but somehow we didnt like it too much..

So i am thinking about getting Power Grid. It seems good..but is it easy to learn with good strategy? Is it very long to play? How is the setup? Good for occasional gamers? How heavy is this game?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Power Grid is a wonderful game. It is, however, not for the faint-of-heart. It's rulebook is very poorly laid out, and there is a lot of turn maintenance that has to happen. There are good player aids here on the geek, and I highly recommend them.

But...

I'm not sure it will be the best choice for you, depending on what it is that led you to dislike PR. It is long to play, it is not ideal for occasional gamers, and it can be quite heavy. I love it, but it is not for everyone.

Some others you may want to consider before PowerGrid:
Samurai
Tikal
Through The Desert

Dave
(edited for 2am typoes)
(that one was intentoinal)
(that one wasn't)
 
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Eric Brosius
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I'll present a dissenting view. I've taught Power Grid to quite a few people, including non-gamers. I've found that it goes over remarkably well, despite the (admittedly) intricate sequence of play.

I think the game is accessable because the theme is so strong, and because it's a shopping game. Most people understand shopping. It's an excellent strategy game that rates high up on my list, but the luck of the power plant draw gives everyone a chance to win.

If you teach this game, I have two pieces of advice.

(1) Give each player a job to do. For example, one person can be the banker, another can re-stock the raw materials, another can manage the power plants in the market, and another can keep the turn order track and city count track up to date. This speeds the game and keeps people involved.

(2) Halfway through the first game, stop and remind people again about the game-ending condition. You don't need to power 17 cities to end the game. You only need to build 17 cities. At that point, the player who can power the most cities wins.
 
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Kasey Relford
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JeremiahClayton wrote:
I do not like Power Grid.. but it'll provide more strategy than the other games you've played.. except Puerto Rico. Through the Desert is a solid recommendation.


How did I know you'd pipe in here ?

My two cents :
Power Grid is an excellent game. Though not quite appropriate for euro-newbies or non-gamers, it's got just enough strategy and resource management to make it a fun game. It sounds like your group might be able to enjoy it without too much brain-burning.

The one piece that I remember causing me the biggest headache [in case this helps] is the TURN ORDER management. It changes dynamically, due to what's happening and who's doing best/worst, so get THAT part figured out, and you'll improve the game's pace a lot.

Don't listen to Jeremiah. He doesn't like AC/DC either !

K
ninja
 
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Christopher Gritt
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Eric Brosius wrote:


(1) Give each player a job to do. For example, one person can be the banker, another can re-stock the raw materials, another can manage the power plants in the market, and another can keep the turn order track and city count track up to date. This speeds the game and keeps people involved.

(2) Halfway through the first game, stop and remind people again about the game-ending condition. You don't need to power 17 cities to end the game. You only need to build 17 cities. At that point, the player who can power the most cities wins.


This is great advice. My group love Power Grid, but we don't enjoy PR at all. We've also had success with teaching it to non-gamers. Although the rules seem a little fiddly there is a high level of thematic integration so they stick quite easily.

It will take a couple of games to work out some of the strategies, especially as the key to winning the game knowing where to position yourself two thirds of the way through.
 
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JEREMY WILHM
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
oboman2002 wrote:
My parents and I love bohnanza, carcassonne, and ticket to ride. TTR was great, but not enough strategy. We did play Settlers of Catan and enjoy, yet there was still quite a bit of luck. We haev puerto rico, but somehow we didnt like it too much..

So i am thinking about getting Power Grid. It seems good..but is it easy to learn with good strategy? Is it very long to play? How is the setup? Good for occasional gamers? How heavy is this game?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


I'm not sure it will be the best choice for you, depending on what it is that led you to dislike PR.


This mirrors my own thoughts here - What did you not like about Puerto Rico? Your answer will determine whether or not you are satisfied with Power Grid. I also find it interesting that you (and your parents) enjoyed Bohnanza - which in my opinion relies just as much on luck of the draw as TTR does, and provides less strategy than Settlers - but still find these others lacking.

Based on the info you've given, I would suggest Princes of Florence (provided you like auctions). I would also suggest Niagara; in my opinion it provides some interesting choices and my plays of the game have all been satisfactory. It hasn't completely blown me away, but I've enjoyed it each time.

I'll also give a half-recommendation to St. Petersburg. It has some interesting choices as well, but relies on luck of the draw. Since you like Bohnanza, but find TTR lacking - I honestly don't know if you'll enjoy St. Petersburg. But it is definitely worth trying.
 
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Scott Nelson
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I'll jump in again and give some recommendations from my playings with my wife and a friend and his wife, and what they (non-gamers) liked enough to say they would choose to play it again:
TTR:E of course
Through the Desert
Amazonas
Medieval Merchants (bland board, good game)
Vino (grape counters are annoying though)
New England
Elasund
Power Grid
Ys (for a change of pace)
Caylus (long game time didn't seem to matter)
Santiago
Vegas Showdown
Amune Re
Acquire
St. Petersburg
Marco Polo Expedition
Around the World in 80 days
Bootleggers
Bridges of Shangri-la
Carolus Magnus (my wife, not my friend's)
Tower of Babel (plays in about an hour)
La citta (long but theme keeps them interested the whole time)
Keythedral
Altantic Star
Reef Encounter(slightly heavy, but the shrimp keep them interested)
Hansa (short and they have a chance to leave the ship where it won't help you at all, and they laugh maniacally)
Goldland
Lost Valley
Garden competition (more than meets the eye, very fun game)
Patrons of Venice (short time compared to PR, but similar feel)
Citadels (bigger groups are best)
..to top the list:
Elfenland (w/elfengold expansion for deeper gameplay)

 
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Ryan Lee
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Wow. Thanks a lot guys! That is why I love boardgamegeek. All the feedback is GREAT!!

Indeed I do have citadels. We quite enjoyed that a bit.

I am now hesitant for power grid. Maybe I should look into through the desert ( i have go), samurai, torres, and st petersburg. (I heard that St. Petersburg has a lot of luck though...

I really appreciate all your help for helping me choose a good game (since im a student, i dont have all the money in the world to spend on gamescrycrycry

Thanks again! How about tigris and euphrates?
 
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T. Rosen
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Glad you like all the contradictory advice you're getting

I think you'd do well to look into Through the Desert and Torres, as I said before.

Tigris & Euphrates might suit your needs very well, but then again it may not work well for your group. I like the game very much, and consider it one of the very best. While it's less fiddly than Puerto Rico, it will take a little while to understand and appreciate the game. The best way to find out if it's right for you is trying it out, and you can do that right here on BGG, under the "Fun Stuff" menu. If you want to play in a learning game with me, just let me know, I'm sure we could round up a few BGGers to show you the game.

P.S. I'm a student too, so I feel your pain!
 
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Paul Kidd
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All of the suggestions are good ones, but I would say Power Grid would be fine for people who are comfortable with the Bohnanza, Ticket to Ride etc. It is certainly a step up in complexity, but it's not really that hard once you understand the game sequence.

You just need to accept that your first game is a learning game. I got soundly thumped in my first game, but by the second or third game I kind of knew what was going on and could play it competitively.

My big comment on Power Grid is that while people say it is fiddly, I actually find the three main mechanisms, the method and costs of connecting cities, the "Market Twiddle" to keep the power stations getting better through the game and the raw materials market, are actually quite elegant.

One major problem with Power Grid is that the rules are terribly written. Take a look at the forums here to get the rules clear before jumping in if nobody in the group has played before.
 
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Mike Barno
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In regard to the game you actually asked about, I agree with the comments of Eric Brosius (up a ways) and Paul Kidd (just above unless I spend too long writing this). If an experienced player teaches you or you read enough Q&A, it's not too hard to learn and play, and you'll play pretty well your second game. I first learned this in the original FF German edition, with an unclear English translation being the only thing we didn't like about it. The turn order (and its reversal depending on phase) gives trailing players a chance to overcome the leaders' raw cash advantage.

I know most of the other game recommendations are good; people gave some of the reasons why. Let me add Ta Yu from Rio Grande Games. Elegant in game design terms: very simple yet very deep. It has a delightfully nasty three-player version where one player is trying to stop BOTH other players. Let me also add Blokus from Educational Insights and Rumis from the same publisher. You need four players for Blokus, a 2D game of putting Tetris-like pieces onto a grid fitting them around other players' pieces. Rumis is the same thing in three dimensions; it's basically for four players but some boards can handle three players by reducing everything one level.

 
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