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Subject: Does the game simply end if we can't make it to the maximum number of cities? rss

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Imran
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My wife and I played Power Grid tonight and on our second game, we both ended up with 20 cities. We each had one city that was played in Step 3 (which we payed 20 for) so we couldn't build on those cities. As a result, we each ended up with 20 cities with no ability to build on #21.

We ended it, but is the game supposed to end at that point? If so, she won by a money tie breaker!
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Owain B
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It's been a while since I played PG so I could be misremembering a rule, but I don't know how this can have happened.

The first connection to a city costs 10 elektro; the second costs 15. Given that each player can only have one connection to each city (i.e. one little wooden house there), you shouldn't ever need to pay 20 elektro for a connection in a two-player game. No blocking is possible once you're into Step 2.

You use three regions (i.e. 21 cities) for two players, so the end condition is simply that one player has a connection in every city.
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I suspect you probably made a rules error somewhere - unless you're playing on a variant or expansion board, this can't happen, as every region has 7 cities, giving 21 total. On top of that, in a 2 player game, you can never build in the 3rd areas of cities, since that requires two other people to have built in that city first, and of course there aren't two other players, only one.

Still it's hard to work out exactly what went wrong without more description, I think. It could have been something as simple as overlooking one city being in a certain region.
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H-B-G
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petercockroach wrote:
My wife and I played Power Grid tonight and on our second game, we both ended up with 20 cities. We each had one city that was played in Step 3 (which we payed 20 for) so we couldn't build on those cities. As a result, we each ended up with 20 cities with no ability to build on #21.

We ended it, but is the game supposed to end at that point? If so, she won by a money tie breaker!


I'm not quite sure what you're saying here regarding the reason you couldn't reach 21 cities, but it seems clear that you have played wrong in some manner.

In a 2 player game of Power Grid, there will be 3 regions in play meaning there will be 21 cities (except possibly on the UK board). This means that each player will be able to build in each of the cities on the 10 & 15 spots, it being impossible for a player to be blocked out of city for the entire game. The 20 spots will not be used at all.

Note that each player is allowed to build in each city and will place their house on the lowest value spot available.
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Oh, I think I've got an idea about what happened! When building connections, did you always build in the first (10) zone in step 1, always in the 2nd (15) zone in step 2 and the 3rd (20) zone in step 3? If so that would probably explain the issue. As Dave said, you always build in the lowest zone available, but the highest you can potentially build in is what the step determines. So in step 2, you can still build in the lowest zone in a city, but you can also build in the 15 zone if your opponent had already built there. And similarly in step 3, you can build in the 10 or 15 zone but also have the ability to build in the 20 zone if two opponents are already there.
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My 2p is that 2P PG is unfortunately unsatisfactory. I understand that "The Robots" helps some, but I don't play 2p games.

PG is a great game, so maybe try 'The Robots' once you've sorted this issue and if you find it gets a bit samey with 2p.
 
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Russ Williams
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petercockroach wrote:
My wife and I played Power Grid tonight and on our second game, we both ended up with 20 cities. We each had one city that was played in Step 3 (which we payed 20 for)

As others have said, you're doing some rule wrong if you ever paid 20 for a city in a 2-player game. I recommend rereading the city building rules and reading Power Grid FAQ.
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Imran
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think I realized our error. After Step 2, we thought the cost of the city was 15, then in Step 3 it goes up to 20.

By the sound of all the comments, it looks like it just ramps up from 10 to 15 once it has already been occupied by an opponent.

Can't wait for our next session!

obenn wrote:
It's been a while since I played PG so I could be misremembering a rule, but I don't know how this can have happened.

The first connection to a city costs 10 elektro; the second costs 15. Given that each player can only have one connection to each city (i.e. one little wooden house there), you shouldn't ever need to pay 20 elektro for a connection in a two-player game. No blocking is possible once you're into Step 2.

You use three regions (i.e. 21 cities) for two players, so the end condition is simply that one player has a connection in every city.
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Paul W
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Yes, that's correct...also note that you still can't build into the 15 slots until step 2, and similarly you can't build into the 20 slots until step 3 (though you'll never do that in a 2 player game, anyway).
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Ben
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petercockroach wrote:
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think I realized our error. After Step 2, we thought the cost of the city was 15, then in Step 3 it goes up to 20.


Unless I'm missing something, that still doesn't explain why you thought you couldn't build 21 cities, does it? I just want to make sure there aren't more rules you are missing.
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Imran
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So we (incorrectly) believed that if a city was not owned until Step 2, it would cost 15 and Step 3 would cost 20. So we had a situation where I had paid 20 to claim a city that my wife could no longer play on because I had already claimed that 20 slot.

chally wrote:
petercockroach wrote:
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think I realized our error. After Step 2, we thought the cost of the city was 15, then in Step 3 it goes up to 20.


Unless I'm missing something, that still doesn't explain why you thought you couldn't build 21 cities, does it? I just want to make sure there aren't more rules you are missing.
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It's exactly what I said I thought the issue was, then? Glad to have helped .
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Ben
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petercockroach wrote:
So we (incorrectly) believed that if a city was not owned until Step 2, it would cost 15 and Step 3 would cost 20. So we had a situation where I had paid 20 to claim a city that my wife could no longer play on because I had already claimed that 20 slot.


Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up!
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Bruce Bergquist
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And yes, by all means, get The Robots if you want to play with two players. It's not perfect, but it is a lot more fun, and makes it a more competitive game!
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Apollo Andy
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You should also note (IIRC) that there aren't enough physical houses in the game to cover 21 cities and the 2 reference areas (order of play and number of cities). Once someone hits 21 cities, you can take away the order of play marker, though, since obviously nobody is going to play again.
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Mark Maginity
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ApolloAndy wrote:
You should also note (IIRC) that there aren't enough physical houses in the game to cover 21 cities and the 2 reference areas (order of play and number of cities). Once someone hits 21 cities, you can take away the order of play marker, though, since obviously nobody is going to play again.


Take away the number of cities marker instead (and say that no cities marker is the same as a marker on 21 cities). Order of play still matters in Bureaucracy when selling uranium on the Australia map.
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Feld Fan
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ApolloAndy wrote:
You should also note (IIRC) that there aren't enough physical houses in the game to cover 21 cities and the 2 reference areas (order of play and number of cities). Once someone hits 21 cities, you can take away the order of play marker, though, since obviously nobody is going to play again.


I always wondered about this, too. Why didn't the game just come with 1 more house in every color, so this whole issue could be avoided in a 2P game?
 
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