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Power Grid: France/Italy» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Same Game, New Life rss

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Marcus Lau
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The Italy/France expansion for Power Grid comes with a double sided gameboard and a sheet of additional rules. The double sided board has the map of Italy on one side and the map of France on the other side. The rules sheet are additional rules to reflect the changes that are made to the game when playing on either one of these maps.

This expansion not only adds more maps to play on but also new ways to play the game. Strategies will need to be reworked when playing with these two maps as what might work in the base set (USA/Germany) may not be viable here.

Let me get into details on the differences/changes on these two new maps for the expansion.

[i]Italy[/u]
First up, Italy. Italy is a very difficult map to play. The resources are more scarce hence the higher starting prices, and the connection cost between cities are also a lot higher and the percentage of $15+ connections are also higher than in any other Power Grid maps. The only exception here is the top part of Italy, where the connection costs are relatively low.

From my experiences when playing with 5+ players, this map tends to be very brutal and unforgiving. Most often than not, a player will be left so far behind that it is almost impossible for that player to catch up witht the rest, let alone, win the game. This, coupled with the higher priced resources makes every decision painful and very crucial. So, in this map, one mistake could cost you the game.

Hence, this is an expert level map. Never ever play this map with people who are just learning to play Power Grid, as this may put them off the game for a long time.

[i]France[/u]
The France map, when compared to the Italy side, is a breeze to play. This map plays at a very relaxed pace, sometimes, almost in a dreamy state.

France has an abundance of Uranium, so, Uranium is available in very large quantities at the beginning of the game. Also, the reflect the power culture in France, the Power Plant 13 (Eco) is replaced with Power Plant 12 (Nuclear) at the start of the game.

These changes makes Uranium a very viable source at the beginning of the game. The map also has a three city link with no connection costs in-between. The City of Paris is divided into three cities with the cost of connecting between these 3 segments is zero.

This makes for a very interesting play, as you have to decide at the beginning of the game as to whether buy out all three cities or build one and wait. Buying all 3 cities on the first turn is never a good idea as it puts you ahead (points wise) and since Power Grid punishes the leader, you will certainly be at the short end of the stick throughout the game.

For a really interesting game, take out the middle portion of the map (the one with Paris on it). This makes for an even more difficult game as the connection cost in the other regions are very expensive.

All in all, Power Grid : Italy/France is an interesting expansion. It breathes new life into an old but wonderful game. This expansion is every eurogamer's wet dream : more new maps, rules changes and tougher/tighter game play. If you already have Power Grid, this expansion is a definate must buy. If you don't even know what the game is about, you should at least give it a try. Most people I know are put off by the box art (really ugly box), but once I coaxed them into playing this 'ugly' game, there was no turning back... Now, I have to play this game with them at least once a week. Sometimes, even twice a week or more.

Gameplay : ***** (Same game, different gameplay)
Components : *** (Just a cardboard map and a sheet of paper)
Replayability : **** (Gives Power Grid a new breath of life)
Overall : **** (Great expansion, must buy)
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zippy grey wedge owner
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I'm convinced. Will now get the expansion, as well as the game.
 
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Chris Shaffer
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friedricetheman wrote:
France has an abundance of Uranium, so, Uranium is available in very large quantities at the beginning of the game. Also, the reflect the power culture in France, the Power Plant 13 (Eco) is replaced with Power Plant 12 (Nuclear) at the start of the game.


Note that the #13 is replaced with the #11, not the #12.

Nice review.
 
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Eddy B
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Just bought the expansion today. Can't wait to try it out.
 
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Andrew Swan
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Good review; I bought this expansion today and look forward to playing it.
friedricetheman wrote:
Most people I know are put off by the box art (really ugly box)


Maybe it's because my degree is in electrical engineering, but I happen to love it! It's sort of cartoony art deco.
 
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