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Subject: Unforgiving? rss

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Pablo Zamalvide
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First, I'll just drop this here:

The Snowball Effect

I have only played a few games of PG, but I suspect it may have an issue. Namely, if you made a mistake choosing your start location and became stuck with three cities, there is not much you can do (no energy market, no resource trade, no loans, nothing but wait for the other players to allow you to build another city, all while gaining less resources). I think the worst offender is the lack of a possibility to concede the game; I suggested the idea to the table, and they all scolded me for being a boring player and not admiting my mistakes. Problem is, I knew I screw up, that was not news, the problem is that for two hours I had nothing better to do but choose which player I would harm more by buying his/her resources.

¿Shouldn't an option to concede be in order?

Thanks!
 
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Chris Johnson
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One is never "stuck".

It may cost a pretty penny, but one can always pay the connection costs, and build into additional cities where there is room.

Perhaps you/your group has a flawed understanding of the rules? It would appear that there is at a mimimum a flawed grasp of tactical and strategic possibilities...
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Russ Williams
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
¿Shouldn't an option to concede be in order?

Well, technically, you could always just say "From now on I pass in all plant auctions, build no cities, buy no resources, fire no plants" and leave.

But I'd personally rather play on to see how well I could do to climb out of a bad situation.

PS: as Chris notes, "wait for the other players to allow you to build another city" sounds like a possible rule misunderstanding. Have you read Power Grid FAQ?
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Dan C
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Actually the turn order mechanism serves as a prevention against the "snowball effect". Enough that it actually annoys some people who think the game should be more unforgiving for bad choices.
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
One is never "stuck".

It may cost a pretty penny, but one can always pay the connection costs, and build into additional cities where there is room.

Perhaps you/your group has a flawed understanding of the rules? It would appear that there is at a mimimum a flawed grasp of tactical and strategic possibilities...


I played a game once where a player built four cities -- just four -- in the northeast USA. He bought coal plants, loaded up on cheap coal (he bought first all the time) and made about $50 a turn.

By the time we hit Step 2, he was sitting on $200+ in cash, and built in a frenzy. He didn't win, but he had a pretty strong showing.

If you're feeling boxed in, either sit and wait and get lots of money, or jump someone and try to race to the end before they can catch up.
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Fraser
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What they said. There can be starts that are not as good as others, particularly if you get built in by a bunch of other players, but you can either build out at a premium or bide your time and be the first to build in the next step.

Also beware of making prophecies about "I have lost" etc. In some games that may be true, but in plenty of others it is not. I distinctly remember a game of Puerto Rico where half way through I thought "Why am I bothering I am totally screwed". I won that game, yet I was convinced at the halfway point that I was going to come stone cold motherless last, yet I am not inexperienced at Puerto Rico.

Ditto Power Grid, rarely would I make any solid predictions until the penultimate turn and even then it would usually to be nominate two or three players who will be in contention.
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Fraser
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jedimusic wrote:
Actually the turn order mechanism serves as a prevention against the "snowball effect". Enough that it actually annoys some people who think the game should be more unforgiving for bad choices.
Let's not forget that the turn order mechanism is a jockeying thing, there are plenty of times I want to be last. Being "first" in Power Grid doesn't necessarily mean you are the leader, it is all dependent on power plants, cash on hand, resources, resource prices, the market and turn order.
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Pablo Zamalvide
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russ wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
¿Shouldn't an option to concede be in order?

Well, technically, you could always just say "From now on I pass in all plant auctions, build no cities, buy no resources, fire no plants" and leave.


I DID say that. They didn't like it one bit.
 
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Pablo Zamalvide
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fnord23 wrote:
One is never "stuck".


I disagre. Becoming locked at three cities is a HUGE limit. There's just no chance of winning at that point.
 
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Pablo Zamalvide
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Karlsen wrote:
Also beware of making prophecies about "I have lost" etc. In some games that may be true, but in plenty of others it is not.


When I was a depressed angsty teen, I used to assume I had no chance to win all the time, and conceded whenever the game allowed to. But time has passed, and now I only assert that when I have made a serious analysis of the board situation. That game... I truly had no chance of winning. Zero. Nada.
 
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Chris Johnson
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Sigh.

Go read the FAQ. Re(-re)ad what has been said in this thread.

Let me repeat: one is never "locked at three cities"*. If you believe this to be the case, you misunderstand the rules and/or the tactics and strategies of this game.


* Absent truly abysmal play on the part of the "victim", which is covered under the aforementioned potential misunderstandings.
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Pablo Zamalvide
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fnord23 wrote:
One is never "stuck".

It may cost a pretty penny, but one can always pay the connection costs, and build into additional cities where there is room.


It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

Sorry for not answering in order.
 
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Pablo Zamalvide
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Would you mind pointing what should I look for in the FAQ? Thanks!
 
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Throknor
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
fnord23 wrote:
One is never "stuck".

It may cost a pretty penny, but one can always pay the connection costs, and build into additional cities where there is room.


It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

Sorry for not answering in order.

What map were you on, and how many players? That should be physically impossible without hitting step 2.
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Randall Bart
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

This impossible statement is why we think you had a rule error. In Step 1 there are always empty cities, unless someone else just triggered Step 2, in which case there will be Step 2 cities next turn. Perhaps you are so badly cornered and cash poor that you cannot reach a city, but multiple turns stuck at a small number of cities should not happen.
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Fraser
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
fnord23 wrote:
One is never "stuck".

It may cost a pretty penny, but one can always pay the connection costs, and build into additional cities where there is room.


It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

Sorry for not answering in order.

The only way for there to be zero cities available is for you to sit there doing nothing for a long time whilst the other players build cities. For example in a five player game there will be 35 cities available to build in during step 1. That would mean the other four players have built 32 cities between them without triggering step 2 for you to be stuck at 3 cities with "no empty cities to be found". Note this is not actually mathematically possible, and that is probably the case for other player counts.

As has been mentioned above, if you get blocked in it can get expensive to build out, I remember a recent game where I paid 47 in connection costs to build a single city in step 1, but it almost always can be done.
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Mark L
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I agree with everyone else above. This game is 10 years old and still in the top 10 on BGG. Which is more likely: that you have found a flaw no-one else has noticed? Or that your understanding of the rules is faulty?

(Note that the rules are famously easy to misread, which is why there's an extensive FAQ.)

Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

coal The most crowded the game can be is 6-player, in which there are 35 cities to go round, which is just one less than 6 cities per player.

oil Once any player reaches 6 cities, the game enters step 2. (7 cities for 3-5 players, but in that case there are 7 cities per player so it's even easier to find a free city.)

trash So what you describe is literally impossible. If you were in 3 cities and there were no cities left that you could go into, that means at least one of the other players must have had enough cities to have triggered step 2.

nuclear My conclusion: you have misunderstood something in the rules.


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Pablo Zamalvide
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Barticus88 wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

This impossible statement is why we think you had a rule error. In Step 1 there are always empty cities, unless someone else just triggered Step 2, in which case there will be Step 2 cities next turn. Perhaps you are so badly cornered and cash poor that you cannot reach a city, but multiple turns stuck at a small number of cities should not happen.

Odd. I don't remember a given state of the game, but I do recall being surrounded completely, and nobody having seven cities.
 
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Jon
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

This impossible statement is why we think you had a rule error. In Step 1 there are always empty cities, unless someone else just triggered Step 2, in which case there will be Step 2 cities next turn. Perhaps you are so badly cornered and cash poor that you cannot reach a city, but multiple turns stuck at a small number of cities should not happen.

Odd. I don't remember a given state of the game, but I do recall being surrounded completely, and nobody having seven cities.


Were there free cities beyond the occupied cities surrounding you? If so, you can "jump" to them, paying all connection costs from city you occupy to new city. All your cities do not have to be contiguous.
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Pablo Zamalvide
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ravenskana wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

This impossible statement is why we think you had a rule error. In Step 1 there are always empty cities, unless someone else just triggered Step 2, in which case there will be Step 2 cities next turn. Perhaps you are so badly cornered and cash poor that you cannot reach a city, but multiple turns stuck at a small number of cities should not happen.

Odd. I don't remember a given state of the game, but I do recall being surrounded completely, and nobody having seven cities.


Were there free cities beyond the occupied cities surrounding you? If so, you can "jump" to them, paying all connection costs from city you occupy to new city. All your cities do not have to be contiguous.


True, true. I knew the rule. Problem is; with the small amount of cities I was supplying, there was no chance I could afford such a connection, except by saving for three turns (in which time my opponents would be making a bazillon electros).
 
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Eddie H
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
ravenskana wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
Barticus88 wrote:
Leon Trotsky wrote:
It was the first stage of the game, and there were no empty cities to be found. No new cities could be built, period.

This impossible statement is why we think you had a rule error. In Step 1 there are always empty cities, unless someone else just triggered Step 2, in which case there will be Step 2 cities next turn. Perhaps you are so badly cornered and cash poor that you cannot reach a city, but multiple turns stuck at a small number of cities should not happen.

Odd. I don't remember a given state of the game, but I do recall being surrounded completely, and nobody having seven cities.


Were there free cities beyond the occupied cities surrounding you? If so, you can "jump" to them, paying all connection costs from city you occupy to new city. All your cities do not have to be contiguous.


True, true. I knew the rule. Problem is; with the small amount of cities I was supplying, there was no chance I could afford such a connection, except by saving for three turns (in which time my opponents would be making a bazillon electros).
How are your opponents going to make a bazillion electros without triggering Step 2? At 3 cities, you're making 44 electros minus your resource costs (which shouldn't be bad, since you're buying resources first). At most, your opponents can only have 6 cities connected for 73 electros a turn, with higher resource expense. If you simply save for 2 turns, you should have about 80 electro with which to connect a city - surely there was a city on the map you could reach with that money.

Or better yet, sit at 3 cities and wait for someone to trigger Step 2. The 15 cost spots in each city do not open until the following Building phase, at which point you will have a fistful of money and first opportunity to build in all the 15 spots that have just opened up. Being first to build when Step 2 starts is a very strong position - maybe not enough to win, but if you plan well for it you should be competitive.
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Marc Gilutin
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Leon Trotsky wrote:


True, true. I knew the rule. Problem is; with the small amount of cities I was supplying, there was no chance I could afford such a connection, except by saving for three turns (in which time my opponents would be making a bazillon electros).


If you couldn't build cities, where was your money going? You get the cheapest fuel when you're in last place.
You're not buying new power plants that you can't take advantage of.
I don't get it (and I've played me some P.G.)
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Pablo Zamalvide
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I did save money from three cities (emphasis on "three cities"). But by the time I could actually use it to get at least another city, my opponents were way ahead of me. I bought a city, they bought three, it was madness.
 
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Eric Brosius
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
I do recall being surrounded completely, and nobody having seven cities.

In almost all of the maps, there are 7 cities per player (with exceptions for a 2 or 6 player game.) In order for all the cities to be filled, at least one player needs to have built 7 cities or more, which triggers Phase 2.
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Eric Brosius
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Leon Trotsky wrote:
First, I'll just drop this here:

The Snowball Effect

Power Grid is not a Snowball Effect game.
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