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Subject: a bunch of Power Grid newbie questions rss

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I've played PG for a couple times now, always with my friend's set, and recently got my own. I was reading the rules, and I came upon some things that were different from how we played.

1) We always played such that we could bid on any 8 of the power grid plants out. But I learned there's a Future Market of the 4 most expensive and a Actual Market of the least 4 expensive. If I am buying a plant, can I only buy in the top 4?

2) If so, after I bought from the top 4 (for ex, I buy the 5 in the 3-6 in the beginning), then I take the next highest and bump it up while flipping over the next card and reordering all 8? (for ex, after buying the 5, the Actual Market is 3,4,6,7 and the Future market is 8,9,10,13). Is that correct?

3) Based on this, it seems like its possible for a plant in the actual market to be bumped back to the future market - is that correct? (ex: right now we have 3,4,5,13 for Actual and 20, 25, 26, 39 for the Future and the 11 comes out next turn, so the 13 is bumped down?)

4) The rulebook says on the first turn to reorganize the turn order after the first plant is bought. Does that mean that in the first turn, we reorganize the turn order based on who has the highest plant right after the plant buying phase and right before the resource buying phase?

5) We always played such that everyone chose a territory and then put one house into the territory we chose. However, it sounds like in the rulebook, each player chooses a territory, then we are allowed to place our first house ANYWHERE. Is that correct? So potentially, can all 4 players end up starting in the Red area for example?

6) The rulebook says "cities a player adds to his network must connect to at least one city already in his network". We ARE allowed to jump over other cities right? EX: I wanna reach a new city but I'm boxed in by another player completely. If I pay all the connection costs to a city (which is on the other side of the player boxing me in), I am allowed to build the city and bypass my opponent's cities as long as I pay all the connection costs, right?

7) What does it mean "A player can only expand his network; he cannot start a second network on the map"? What even is a network?

8) Similarly, what does it mean "A city may only be connected to a maximum of three different networks"?

9) If the player with the most houses reaches a number of houses >= a factory on the board, the factory is replaced correct?

10) It says "the players do not have to choose their starting cities in the first round. They can start their networks in later rounds to influence their positions in the playing order". Does that mean I can go the first few turns or even the whole game without putting even a single house down? So my house count would be at the 0 tab on the board and I'd almost always be going last?

Thanks for the help! I've googled a lot of these, but I have so many and I wanted to get them addressed directly.
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Billy McBoatface
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1) Correct
2) Correct
3) Correct. Note this can only happen during bureaucracy - you may bury the highest plant, then get a low one that bumps out the 13. When you buy a plant, you would be buying from the actual market, leaving an empty space there; even if you draw a low plant, it will fill the space, leaving the 13 in place.
4) Correct. This makes plant #3 a whole lot better.
5) Correct, you place a house in any selected territory.
6) Correct, you can jump cities, but must pay all required connection costs.
7) This just means you must always pay the connection costs from your new city back to a previous one. A "network" is the set of cities you have substations in.
8) It means that there can can only be at most three substations (AKA tiny wooden houses) in a city.
9) Right, but only from the market. If you own plant #3, and somebody puts down their third substation, you keep the 3.
10) Correct. I've never seen this strategy work but maybe somebody else has.

Looks like you'll have a whole different game once you play it by the rules!
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Henning Kröpke
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All answers from W M Shubert are correct.

Just one comment:

NowOrNever88 wrote:
10) It says "the players do not have to choose their starting cities in the first round. They can start their networks in later rounds to influence their positions in the playing order". Does that mean I can go the first few turns or even the whole game without putting even a single house down? So my house count would be at the 0 tab on the board and I'd almost always be going last?


a) If you do not connect any cities during the whole game, each turn your income is at the lowest, you will get 10 Elektro for supplying 0 cities.

b) Another resulting problem: you lose the game, as the player wins who supplies the most cities in his personal network with his own power plants.

Sometimes it makes sense to wait until turn 2 to connect your first city. Rarely, maybe wait until turn 3. After that turn you need to start connecting cities …

Have fun exploring Power Grid!

Henning
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Another question I had: If its a player's turn to buy a power plant and he chooses not to get anything at the auction, do we remove the lowest priced power plant?

Similarly, when the last player has gone and no one has bought a power plant, a new plant is immediately flipped over, replacing the lowest one right?
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Russ Williams
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See Power Grid FAQ to correct more things you might have been taught wrong.
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brian
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Another question I had: If its a player's turn to buy a power plant and he chooses not to get anything at the auction, do we remove the lowest priced power plant?

Similarly, when the last player has gone and no one has bought a power plant, a new plant is immediately flipped over, replacing the lowest one right?

If only a single person does not buy a power plant, none are discarded. It is only if ALL players choose not to buy a Power plant, then the lowest is discarded, a new one is flipped over and you do your standard market fiddle.

If you choose not to auction a plant when your turn comes up, you cannot participate in any more auctions this round.
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Russ Williams
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Another question I had: If its a player's turn to buy a power plant and he chooses not to get anything at the auction, do we remove the lowest priced power plant?

No; only if ALL players pass without buying. (This is in Power Grid FAQ, recommended reading, by the way.)

Quote:
Similarly, when the last player has gone and no one has bought a power plant, a new plant is immediately flipped over, replacing the lowest one right?

Right.
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Henning Kröpke
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Another question I had: If its a player's turn to buy a power plant and he chooses not to get anything at the auction, do we remove the lowest priced power plant?


No, that player passes and does not get any power plant this turn. You continue the phase with the next player in turn order, who did not buy a power plant in this phase. That player chooses a power plant from the actual market.

Quote:

Similarly, when the last player has gone and no one has bought a power plant, a new plant is immediately flipped over, replacing the lowest one right?


If NO player at all buys a power plant, THEN you discard the lowest plant and replace it with a new one.

Henning
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Henning Kröpke
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Thanks to Brian and Russ!

I should know better instead of trying to be faster than them ninja

Good night from Germany!
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Dirk H
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Damn, this was wuite fast answering from you guys!

Question at 10:20
3 answer until 10:22

This community is incredible!

Thanks for the clarifications in this thread. even I learned something new (Drawing after no one buys a plant) although I played Power Grid many times now...
 
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René van Bussel
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wmshub wrote:
8) It means that you can only have at most three substations (AKA tiny wooden houses) in a city.


All questions answer correctly, but I want to comment on your use of the word "you". Each player can only have one house in a city. There's room for three houses, so three different players in one city.
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Billy McBoatface
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RenevB wrote:
wmshub wrote:
8) It means that you can only have at most three substations (AKA tiny wooden houses) in a city.


All questions answer correctly, but I want to comment on your use of the word "you". Each player can only have one house in a city. There's room for three houses, so three different players in one city.
Good point. I clarified my original wording.
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Just wanted to report back on our games. They've gone well and better balanced with the correct gameplay, but the 4 plants at a time do seem to slow the game down. Our 4 games played so far have each averaged 3 hrs give or take 20-30 minutes. They were all 3-5 players.

Is that normal?
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Just wanted to report back on our games. They've gone well and better balanced with the correct gameplay, but the 4 plants at a time do seem to slow the game down. Our 4 games played so far have each averaged 3 hrs give or take 20-30 minutes. They were all 3-5 players.

Is that normal?

Sounds about right. That should come down some with more experience and knowing what plants are available and how to plan for them.
 
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Russ Williams
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
Just wanted to report back on our games. They've gone well and better balanced with the correct gameplay, but the 4 plants at a time do seem to slow the game down. Our 4 games played so far have each averaged 3 hrs give or take 20-30 minutes. They were all 3-5 players.

Is that normal?

Once your group is familiar with the rules, the bookkeeping routines, and the strategy/tactics, you may be able to shave up to an hour off of that time.

If you're not already doing it, I suggest assigning certain tasks to specific people, so that there's a specific person responsible for restocking resources at the end of the turn, a specific person responsible for managing the power plant deck, a specific person handling the bank money, etc. Depending on how chaotic/casual your group is, it can also be useful to have someone explicitly guiding things along from phase to phase ("OK, now we're buying resources. Brian, you're up", etc.) Having some clearly assigned responsibilities like that seems to help things move along and to avoid errors/omissions.
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Thanks for the update Hua, it's surprising how many people ask for help like this then just disappear without saying anything.

Obviously your games are slower now you can't buy from 8 plants in the auction - you should notice that it's impossible to get hold of something over 30 until a lot of the cheaper plans have been bought, whereas you could buy the 50 in round 2 if you had saved enough!

For 5 players we usually take 150 minutes, although this varies with the players and board; some boards have high connection costs and take longer to play. 2 hours is a quick game with any number of players.

To expand on the comments by Russ, at the start of the game you should assign these jobs to players, and stop them daydreaming when they need to do things in the beuaraucracy phase. This keeps things moving and stops one player having to do all the work.

Banker.

Resources manager. Make sure they use the table for the player count.

Plant auction manager.

Player city count.

Turn order.


With 4 players combine the last 2, with 6 someone gets to be the boss and shout at players who aren't doing their jobs quickly enough. I like playing with 6.

I also recommend printing some player aids. The most useful are the plant lists (so you know what can appear in the bottom row, how many 6 plants are left, how many big Oil plants are left etc.) and a reminder of what phase Step 3 starts in depending on how it's triggered (plant turned over in auction, plant scrapped during building, lowest plant replacement). There's lots of files, most linked to specific maps, have a browse for those you like.
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