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Subject: play with perfectly ordered plant deck? rss

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Nick Bentley
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As someone who likes to introduce as much AP into my games as possible, it has occured to me to try playing without shuffling the plant deck, and to rather just have them all ordered by cost. Has anyone tried this? Does it break the game?
 
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I think it would make the game boring and predictable, and put even more importance on the turn order than already exists. Part of the appeal of the game for me is the risk management aspect of bidding on a power plant, or hoping for a better one to pop up next turn. There are a lot of power plants that wouldn't even be bid on, if players knew what would be coming next, and I think the game would stop at the same point with each game.

I'm just thinking out loud here....
 
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Brad Keck
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I think I have to agree with Verkisto. One of my least favorite parts about Power Grid is how the power plants always start the same. If anything, I would personally go for a variant where you add more randomness at the beginning.
 
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Nick Bentley
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I'm not too concerned with predictability. I'm in the small minority of persons who likes games where you can theorize about and memorize openings.

As long as the game isn't solved (i.e. no player can, in practice, reason his way to a surefire win for some particular position in initial turn order) the variant will likely be exciting to me. In fact, it has the potential to be more exciting to me to the extent that the perfect information variant has added scope for long term planning (as perfect information games sometimes do). My real worry, then, is that the variant has some easily find-able solution. Any idea about whether it does? The auction represents a fine kind of symmetry-breaking that can make solutions hard to come by in games (think of the pie rule in hex, which can be thought of as a simple kind of auction. It was added specifically to obscure the solution to the game, which it has successfully done). This consideration makes me think that perfect-info power grid may be hard to solve. On the other hand, I try never to trust theory. Is there anybody out there who has tried this variant?

N
 
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Billy McBoatface
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If you really want AP, don't play with the deck sorted.

Just play with the whole deck face up. Shuffle, set it up as normal, but there is now the current market (the 4 you can buy), the future market (the 4 you can't but that you can usually see), and the "way future market" (all the rest). All of these cards are face up and/or searchable so anybody can see when each power plant will arrive.

I agree, though, this will make turn order during the auction much more important in some cases (and everybody will know when these cases are showing up). Maybe do something in addition to lessen this?
 
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Nick Bentley
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that's a very nice idea. I like it more than my original suggestion. I'll try it soon.

 
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Nick Bentley
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If it does make turn order very important, there's a chance it might be a good thing (for me, anyway), if it allows for clever many-turn plans that hinge on trying to obtain particular spots in the rotation at particular times (the kind of thing I live for). It might make the game's theme fit less well, but that hardly matters for my purposes.
 
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Nick Bentley
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For me, endlessly analyzing a game is part of the fun of playing it; it's hard for me to separate one from the other.
 
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