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Subject: Not even close (2 players) rss

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Hun Yang Ng
Singapore
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After I won the last game, I declared I was the winner for eternity and we would not play again. However, my brother reminded me that our scores were 1-1. He didn't take it lying down too. He went through the cards and claimed he had worked out a new strategy, but he refused to reveal it.

Our game started uneventfully, except I put 6 plants on the market instead of 8 again. Reshuffled the cards and re-dealt. I wonder why I keep thinking it's 6.

My brother went first and picked plant 5. I picked plant 4 and later plant 3 in the second turn.

My strategy for this game was to try to block my brother off so that he could only connect to a limited number of cities. By turn 5, I had 6 cities but could only power 2! My brother went for more even connections: 4 powered cities.


Some key auctions

Plant 20 (3 coal -> 5 cities) came up in turn 6. It was the first good plant so far. I lacked capacity and was hurting very badly by my lack of income. I just had to get it to power my cities. I bid $30 and my brother passed. Now I had to watch my position carefully. Getting coal second would be costly.

In turn 9, plant 26 (2 oil -> 5 cities) came up. I couldn't remember why I let my brother get it for a cheap $30. I think I was aiming for a plant to come up from the future market, but as luck would have it, a smaller plant came up from the draw deck instead. (My brother drew the replacement.)

Two turns later, plant 25 (2 coal -> 5 cities) came up. This would be the one and only Step 2 turn. My brother got it for $35. Again, I was aiming for a plant for a future market, but plant 28 (1 nuclear -> 4 cities) came up to replace it instead. Argh! (Every time my brother drew from the draw deck, it was to his benefit; he must have palmed it!)

The next turn (first Step 3 turn) was very tense. Both of us could get 6-cap plants to power 18 cities and my brother claimed to be able to connect to 21 cities to end the game, so it could very well come down to money. I bought plant 40 (2 oil -> 6 cities) for $60. My brother laughed as he drew plant 42 (2 coal -> 6 cities) from the draw deck. (See what I tell you?)

I had no choice but to connect and power 18 cities. My brother lived up to his word, connected to 21 cities and powered 18. He won with $77 to my $42. I had hoarded $18 worth of coal for the next turn, but I would have lost with $60 too.


Post mortem

My strategy didn't work. My brother managed to punch through a weak link, so we ended with access to 10 - 11 cities each just before Step 2. Cities are not very important in a 2 player game. Just make sure you have cheap access to 8 - 10 of them.

Having too many cities early hurt because the resources were more expensive. A second blow was my limited capacities (2 cities). It wasn't until plant 20 appeared that I could turn my fortunes around.

Letting both plants 25 and 26 fall into my brother's hand was a mistake. Apparently my brother had realized they were "end-game" plants. When he used that term, I asked if he read about it on BGG, but he denied it and claimed he came to the conclusion himself. I skipped plant 26 cos I was aiming for a better plant. Later, I didn't really want plant 25 cos it would mean replacing plant 20 or using 5 coals per turn.

But what really did me in was my lack of capacity. I could only power 18 cities. If I had changed my plants in a different order in turn 9 to 11, I would be able to power 19 or 20 cities. Then my brother wouldn't be able to end the game in turn 12, since he could only power 18.

The game would end as soon as one of us is within striking distance of 21 cities. Due to the way we play, that means about 14 cities. Around that time, we need to worry about capacity in addition to the cost of the resources.

The game again took about 2-1/2 hours. There were only 12 turns, so it worked out to be 12 minutes per turn. That's awfully slow! I hope to play a faster game the next time.


Final thoughts

I was in a bad position the entire game. Early on, it was my lack of income. Later, I had to spend much more than my brother on resources. Still, the end result didn't look that far apart. Power Grid is deceptive in this area. Sometimes it looks like you lost only by a bit, but actually you lost by a lot.

My brother could connect 5 more cities than me, so he had $100 - $125 more than me. Not even close.
 
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Ann De Haes
Netherlands
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Re: Not even close
Good report! I liked it. I wish my brother played me

(keep playing - you will win eventually)
 
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Hun Yang Ng
Singapore
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Thanks, I will win. laugh

I mentioned that I got plants 3 and 4. My intention was to make coal and oil expensive. However, it didn't really work cos these two plants powered too few cities. I'll still do the same in my next game, but with different plants. I cannot reveal too much, cos my brother reads these session reports too. devil

I forgot to mention that we were playing the red, yellow and green areas of the US map.

This time there were almost no confusion over the rules. First, we were much more familiar with the rules. Second, I printed two very polished rules from the files section:

reference sheet (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=6714)
rules summary (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=13186)

This info sheet (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/fileinfo.php?fileid=15138) looks even simpler, but I didn't see it in time.
 
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