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Subject: Market setup variant rss

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Power Grid is my favourite game- I must have played it 50 times.

Something I noticed recently is that the first half a dozen power plants to be sold hardly vary at all (excluding when I play with new players- they do all sorts of crazy stuff- I'm looking at you #6!). Here I'm talking about US/Germany resource rules.

I'd be interested to hear other people's take on this, but this is how it goes.

3,4,5,6-----4 is bought,
3,5,6,7-----7 is bought,
3,5,6,8-----8 is bought,
3,5,6,9-----here either 5 or 9 gets bought, so we have:
3,6,5/9,10--10 is bought,
3,6,5/9,13--13 is bought.

I haven't crunched the maths on what are the best choices, and I don't really want to. Whenever I play it seems 3 and 6 never get bought, 3 will get chucked out on turn 2 when someone builds to 3 cities, 6 can stick around for quite a while. 9 usually gets sold at some point, sometimes 5 gets sold, sometimes it doesn't- it kind of depends on what comes out of deck.

Anyway my idea is to randomise which plants are in the market to start with- take 3-10 and 13 as usual, add in 11 and 12 (these ones almost never get sold because they come out too late), shuffle them up, discard 2 at random, and then set up the 8 lowest as the market and the other one on top of the deck (where 13 normally goes).

This will change the potential demand for fuel, and hence peoples choices i.e. if there's a couple of coal plants missing it will mean fewer people burning coal, cheaper coal, and more demand for plants that can burn coal, etc.

Paul

 
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Chris Jones
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Interesting! your only concern is the amount of money that people will have free in turn 1/2 to pay for more expensive plants and still be able to build.

A more interesting route would be to look at the rate that players trade up plants. From analysis regarding a separate principle it seems that a player will buy another plant every round 90% of the time.

Is there a sweet sequence of plants to buy that mean the least number of trade ups, thus the maximum amount of cash free for city expansion and resource gluttony?

CHRIS
 
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I certainly don't buy a plant on 90% of turns- that would mean you'd be buying one and scrapping one every turn which is very wasteful because you don't get any money from scrapping a plant.

I find it's best to buy a big (4-5 cities) plant as early as possible- #20 or #21 sometimes leak through as early as turn 2 with 5 or 6 players, or even #25 or #26 on turn 2/3.(I find #24 isn't worth buying early in the game).

It doesn't matter if you oversupply because you'd be burning that fuel anyway, you can run everything off that one plant fow a few turns, and if you play it right it'll last you to the end of the game (depending on the target number).

In short don't spend a lot of money on plants you know you're going to have to replace a few turns down the line.
 
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Ron K
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I'd be interested in a variant that had a more pronounced impact on fuel costs to encourage plant fuel type variation. I find the supply and demand market to be too soft as it doesn't cause anyone to buy a different plant but rather to delay buying additional fuel. The number of cities is the overwhelming attribute.

I was fiddling with the idea of a non-linear increase in the cost for fuel and the ability to have another plant in the mix but have no progressed very far as of yet.
 
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Kevin Brown
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#3 almost always gets bought around here. Going late in turn two is quite valuable. #6, not so much, although with six players (maybe even 5) it's a defensible buy.

Your first plant usually only runs once or twice anyway, so it's not such a big deal.
 
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Chris Jones
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The up and coming UK map and rules removes garbage and introduces Natural Gas. I'm hoping (and initial playtesting suggests) that this adds another 'viable' (often garbage is not) fuel source for the game.

CHRIS

PS I think I meant to say that people buy a plant very often, buying from whats available (often a poor choice) rather than whats left motivated by fear of losing capacity with the cities the build.

 
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Quote:
I think I meant to say that people buy a plant very often, buying from whats available (often a poor choice) rather than whats left motivated by fear of losing capacity with the cities the build.


Ah, now I understand:

it seems that a player will buy a plant every round 90% of the time.

Yes, I agree. You can buy a bad to improve your capacity if you're last, but I wouldn't unblock the market otherwise. Even then it's not a great situation because you'll need 3 good plants to win on the last turn.
 
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Quote:
#3 almost always gets bought around here. Going late in turn two is quite valuable. #6, not so much, although with six players (maybe even 5) it's a defensible buy.


That's interesting to hear. I might try it out next time- i.e. it helps you get a big plant on turn 2. Come to think of it I often wind up with #4, then go last and get a big plant. Hmmm. I'm still not convinced 6 is ever going to be the most attractive option- it'd still be cheaper and more flexible to buy something else, with the possibility of keeping it into mid-game incase you find you've got an odd city that needs powering.
 
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I'd be interested in a variant that had a more pronounced impact on fuel costs to encourage plant fuel type variation. I find the supply and demand market to be too soft as it doesn't cause anyone to buy a different plant but rather to delay buying additional fuel. The number of cities is the overwhelming attribute.


Yes, I find fuel is the least important of the three things you spend money on. (Power plants with high capacity being no.1) If the cost was just increased generally (either by starting higher or by having a lower restock rate) then it might achieve that effect, although progress would be slower .
 
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Shane Loader
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Anyway my idea is to randomise which plants are in the market to start with- take 3-10 and 13 as usual, add in 11 and 12 (these ones almost never get sold because they come out too late), shuffle them up, discard 2 at random, and then set up the 8 lowest as the market and the other one on top of the deck (where 13 normally goes).

This will change the potential demand for fuel, and hence peoples choices i.e. if there's a couple of coal plants missing it will mean fewer people burning coal, cheaper coal, and more demand for plants that can burn coal, etc.


[/q]

I like this idea if for nothing else than to change up the first 2 rounds a little. I'm going to try it.
 
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