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Subject: 5-player USA Map rss

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C.K. Au
Kuala Lumpur
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Jamie and Neoh finally arrived. We'd wanted to do Acquire but decided to do that in other sessions so that we can get more gamers introduced to that game. Since everyone here already knew how to play Power Grid, we decided to go for a 5-player Power Grid game. Neoh was the relatively newcomer to this game after having only played two turns of Power Grid in an aborted session at Times Square.

The game started with the players bidding for their 1st power plant and on the 1st bidding, Neoh got #4, Jeff #5, Wai Keen #7, Jamie #8 and Alan #10. Three of them were coal plants with another one a hybrid (i.e. can use coal or oil) while the last one (#7) was an oil plant.

On the 1st building stage, Neoh built in the middle of USA Map while Alan set up his base in the south-eastern corner. Jamie and Jeff took up home in the northern region with Jamie towards the mid-northern side of the map. Wai Keen chose the middle to build his 1st plant, possibly hoping to fence off the lucrative but expensive western USA for himself later in the game.

In the 2nd turn, two eco plants were available (#13 powers one city and #18 powers 2 cities). Fierce bidding eventually saw Neoh bought #18 while #13 went to Jeff. Alan managed to grab the 3rd eco plant that popped up this turn, the #22 which also powers 2 cities. Jamie got what's arguably the most powerful plant at this stage, #21 a hybrid which can power 4 cities using one resource only.

Neoh took the early lead in setting up power plants that can power up to 11 cities, with Wai Keen (10) and Alan (9) close behind. Jamie (6) and Jeff (4) have relatively low capacity plants.

The stall came at 6 cities with three players - Alan, Jamie and Jeff - all having 6 city-connections. The plant distribution at this stage were:

Jeff - #32 (6c), #25 (5c), #17 (2c)
Neoh - #28 (4c), #26 (5c), #18 (2c)
Wai Keen - #30 (6c), #20 (5c), #16 (3c)
Alan - #29 (3c), #22 (2c), #24 (4c)
Jamie - #8 (2c), #27 (3c), #21 (4c)

Jamie decided to make the break-out.... opening out towards the south-western part of USA. Everyone soon followed and on the next turn, everyone realized that Jeff (who's on 1st Turn Order) could possibly build 5 cities to reach the 15 cities threshold and powered 13 which would made him the winner if he's allowed to built his 5 cities on the cheapest connection.

Therefore everyone gang up to prevent this from happening with Alan building up to 7 cities in one-shot to grab all the cheap connections around Jeff's area. The others followed by closing down Jeff's options. This did prevent Jeff from ending the game but he chose another strategy - he did not build any city that turn and therefore he was moved to last in turn order.

The Step 3 card was shown.......

The game now entered the final stage where each city can support 3 power plants. This meant it's not possible to prevent Jeff from building to his 15 cities. At this stage, the capacity vs city-connection distribution were:

Jeff - 13 capacity, 10 cities
Neoh - 11 capacity, 11 cities
Wai Keen - 14 capacity, 11 cities
Alan - 9 capacity, 14 cities
Jamie - 7 capacity, 11 cities

Bidding in the last round was fierce since everyone wanted to grab the 7 capacity plants for themselves and also to prevent Jeff from taking that (and taking his total capacity to a possible 18.

Jamie bought a garbage plant #38 (7c) bringing her total capacity to 14 (with 11 city-connection)

Alan bought a high-capacity coal plant #36 (7c) bringing his total capacity to 14 (with 14 city-connection)

Wai Keen bought a spanking new uranium plant #34 (5c) bringing his total capacity to 16 (with 11 city-connection)

Neoh bought an oil plant #40 (6c) bringing this total capacity to 15 (with 11 city-connection), and

Jeff bought coal plant #31 (6c) bringing his total capacity to 17 (with 10 city-connection)

Jeff being the 1st to build was able to built 7 cities to supply a total of 17 cities, and thus won the game. Neoh and Wai Keen tied for 2nd place with both able to supply 15 cities but Wai Keen won the tiebreaker (money).

Click here for the full gaming report with photos

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