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Subject: 2 Player Power Grid rss

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Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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My wife had an evening meeting for her work, leaving me to put the girls to bed. She promised to do the dishes and take out the trash in return.

After the girls were asleep, I got an idea: What if I did the chores as well? Maybe she'd be thankful enough to... well, this is BGG, so you know that I was hoping she'd be thankful enough to play a board game with me. And she was, and we played Power Grid.

We'd only played once before, and that time was only to the end of phase 1, so this would be our first full game. I set it up, we picked the map sections (US map, Oregon+Texas+Florida), and we started.

I started by taking the "choke point" city in that configuration (Oklahoma City I think), forcing her to choose between the Southeast or the Northwest. Last game she blocked me in, so I was determined to return the favor. The first round she bought the fancier power plant, putting her in the lead for the second turn, but in turn 2 she miscalculated her finances and only had enough money to link up one more city, while I linked up 2, putting me into the lead.

We both bought a lot of coal plants, driving the price up. She decided to buy the #13 wind farm to get away from the price pressure, but I realized that this wouldn't be very effective; #13 only powers one city, which means that one turn of growth and you're right back where you started. I bought an oil burner instead that could power 4 cities, giving me several turns of partial relief from the coal prices. Towards the end of step 1 coal prices started climbing again, so she bought a 2 city wind farm, but by now garbage was cheaper (and I saw it would start dropping even faster once step 2 started), so I bought a 4 city garbage burner.

I wasn't as good as blocking her in as I hoped; it wasn't until her 10th city that she had to pay to route through my blocking cities, but at least that cost her 30 elektros. Once she had her 10th, I bought 2 more, putting me at 11. Step 2 had begun!

By now I had a lot more cash on hand than her, which was useful because it meant that when a good power plant came up for sale she really couldn't compete. I would just bid enough to mean that she would have trouble both buying fuel and expanding, then she would have to let me have the plant, or cripple her own growth - she tried both plans, both failed; I ended up with the best power plans and widened my cash advantage even farther. After a couple of turns on step 2, step 3 began. Just one turn later I was able to buy one more good power plant, lighting up 18 cities, and buying the hookups to a full 20. Her plants (mostly still burning lumps of coal for $7 per lump) only let her light up 16, so that was the game!

Overall a lot of fun. I can see why more players would be fun; the auctions would be tougher and there'd still be issues of blocking players in after step 2 started. But just two player, this is a great game. Can't wait to play it again.
 
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