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Subject: Human Error in Power Grid: Did we break the game? rss

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Edward Peters
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A few weeks ago four of us got together to play Power Grid. We picked the brown Northeast, the yellow midwest, the red South and the purple Northwest for our areas.

Three of us had played only twice before, and the fourth was learning. I believe we started the game setup correctly.

After buying the first power station, three people bought into the Northeast. One went for New York, one went for Detroit, and one went for Cincinnati. I bought in to Duluth with the idea of limiting the space of two of the players. The Cincinnati player actually moved inwards towards the other two by buying into Pittsburgh. I picked up Duluth to Chicago on the second turn.

On turn 3 I could have boxed in everyone by not buying a power plant but I did not see the option until the buy phase. Buying St. Louis is the game winner here.

By turn 4 I declared I won and the game broken because I had successfully boxed everyone in to the Northeast. The Cincinatti player bought in to Knoxville instead of St. Loius and I bought St. Louis. Knoxville only connects into Atlanta, which is outside our chosen zone. One player had two houses, one player had three and one player had four. Mistakes were made as this turned into an awful game experience.

I was reasonably certain that I could just wait the game out (buy up to 6 houses and then power them each turn) and then win, but the other players convinced me that the Phase 3 would show up eventually and they would be able to break out with their efficient power plants (because they had nothing else to spend their money on) and offer some competition. Since this was the first time one of us was playing, I didn't object too much. Turns out I should've stuck to my guns on this one, because in a decent amount of rounds I was able to simply buy another 14 or so houses and power them all to victory.

My question is if there is something I missed in the game setup or in the selection of areas that would resolve this issue? I understand at least two major mistakes allowed this to happen, but why does the game force players to choose areas instead of leaving the map open? Is each person supposed to start in the zone they selected? Am I somehow compelled to buy more houses in order to reach Phase 2? What am I missing?
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Daniel West
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I may be misreading, but were you aware of the rule that players can jump opponents? You can build in a city all the way across the map if you pay the sum of all the connections costs between each city. Each new city does not need to be adjacent to a previously owned one.
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Ian Toltz
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You can build through another player's city.

E.g. if the cities were like...

[City A] --- 5 --- [City B] --- 7 --- [City C]

and you had a plant in City A, you could build a plant in City C for 12 (plus the cost of the plant).

Note that you can do this even if City B isn't occupied (it's probably not going to happen often, but I can picture scenarios where it might be desirable)
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Glaucio Siqueira
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If I understood correctly, you missed the rule that you can skip an occupied city by paying multiple connection costs until you arrive in an unoccupied city that is not immediately adjacent to your network.

We don't necessarily have to start one in each region too.
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Paul DeStefano
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As far as I can envision it, I agree with everyone else. You missed a bunch of rules.
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Curt Carpenter
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Yes, there was Human Error.

The Error was posting to the General forum rather than to Power Grid's forum.
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Galen Iliev
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Seriously, read your rule books.
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Mark Edwards
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Glad to see this post as my game group had the same bad experience. Now we need to play again using this jump rule. And of course, a thorough re-reading of the rules is in order!
 
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Jorge
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curtc wrote:
Yes, there was Human Error.

The Error was posting to the General forum rather than to Power Grid's forum.
That's why Russ hasn't jumped into the thread, yet, linking the very-very important FAQ to read. (Seriously, read it)
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Paul DeStefano
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okidew wrote:
By turn 4 I declared I won and the game broken because I had successfully boxed everyone in to the Northeast.


I thought about this overnight.

And all I could think was "Really? You declared a game that's one of the highest and most respected on BGG to be broken rather than reread the rules?"
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Bitchy Little Boy
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Picon wrote:
That's why Russ hasn't jumped into the thread, yet, linking the very-very important FAQ to read. (Seriously, read it)


The official rulebook seems to have been designed by the most sadistic German bureaucrat of all times. The rules are quite complete, but they are so brilliantly obfuscated it is almost impossible to understand the mechanisms and the game flow by simply reading them. This is why everybody should carefully read the FAQ before trying to play the game by themselves.
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Jorge
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gmilitaru wrote:
The official rulebook seems to have been designed by the most sadistic German bureaucrat of all times. The rules are quite complete, but they are so brilliantly obfuscated it is almost impossible to understand the mechanisms and the game flow by simply reading them. This is why everybody should carefully read the FAQ before trying to play the game by themselves.

Very true story. It's actually a complete rulebook, well-written, doesn't leave space for ambiguities, but it's badly organized.
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Geosphere wrote:
okidew wrote:
By turn 4 I declared I won and the game broken because I had successfully boxed everyone in to the Northeast.


I thought about this overnight.

And all I could think was "Really? You declared a game that's one of the highest and most respected on BGG to be broken rather than reread the rules?"


I thought about this for 30 seconds and my first conclusion was that the OP was pulling our legs.
 
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Martin Bell
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curtc wrote:
Yes, there was Human Error.

The Error was posting to the General forum rather than to Power Grid's forum.


You did not correct your error. That's another error. You are flawed... imperfect. M5, how do you deal with imperfect organisms?
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Curt Carpenter
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mabell_yah wrote:
curtc wrote:
Yes, there was Human Error.

The Error was posting to the General forum rather than to Power Grid's forum.


You did not correct your error. That's another error.

Were I an admin, I would have moved the thread. As a non-admin, the best I could do is click the button for wrong forum, which I did. And the thread has now been moved. Mission accomplished.
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Jorge
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curtc wrote:
As a non-admin, the best I could do is click the button for wrong forum, which I did.

Where's that button?
 
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Lawcomic
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If it's any consolation, I made the same mistake for several games.

I actually kind of like the "wrong" rule, actually.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Lawcomic wrote:
If it's any consolation, I made the same mistake for several games.

I actually kind of like the "wrong" rule, actually.


Hit the red X under recommend at the top left of the first post. It says "hide" but then asks why, and you note wrong forum, which alerts admins.
 
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Kelly Bass
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mabell_yah wrote:
curtc wrote:
Yes, there was Human Error.

The Error was posting to the General forum rather than to Power Grid's forum.


You did not correct your error. That's another error. You are flawed... imperfect. M5, how do you deal with imperfect organisms?
So much for the Ultimate Computer!
 
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Lawcomic
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Geosphere wrote:
Lawcomic wrote:
If it's any consolation, I made the same mistake for several games.

I actually kind of like the "wrong" rule, actually.


Hit the red X under recommend at the top left of the first post. It says "hide" but then asks why, and you note wrong forum, which alerts admins.


What?
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Paul DeStefano
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Wrong quote. I did that on an ipod and screwed up. I was answering how to move forums.
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Pieter
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Picon wrote:
Very true story. It's actually a complete rulebook, well-written, doesn't leave space for ambiguities, but it's badly organized.

That depends on the version. The one I have is awful, but yesterday I looked into the rulebook of a new copy, and that one is MUCH better.
 
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