Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Power Grid» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Finally got the wife to play rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Carl Anderson
United States
New Boston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Power Grid had been on my radar screen for a while, and when I visited my FLGS about a week and a half ago, I decided to pick it up. My wife had previously been more interested in lighter games like Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, and Carcassonne, so I knew this one would be a tough sell.

Eventually I wore her down and got her to play. I had printed out the Teaching Script (see the Files section) in an effort to get her into the game. (Side note: I wish I'd read the new Geek List on being an effective game teacher--my wife was very much about "less reading, let's just play!", but that could have been her desire to simply get the game over with!)

After a few missteps on my part (originally I thought we only had two regions to work with, and I also got a couple of the administrative setup parts wonky), we began the game.

Our three regions were the Midwest, New England, and the Southeast--essentially, most everything east of the Mississippi River. My wife went first, and bought the #3 power plant; I followed with the #4. We each bought our resources and then got to building our "home city" (that's what I called it, for clarity's sake). I chose Buffalo; my wife chose Atlanta. By sake of geography, we stayed separate for quite some time (well into Step 2).

A quick note... I chose not to follow the turn order rule, for one simple reason: It would have confused my dear wife. She was already perplexed with many of the phases--"What do I do now?" or "I want to buy some of the stuff for this one..." or "Which resource should I get?" were common phrases. I figured that with just the two of us playing, it wouldn't matter so much to leave out the turn order stuff. (And I don't think it did matter.)

Within the next couple of turns, we'd each gotten our max of four plants, and she had a pretty decent city network going on. I remained at two or three cities for several turns, trying to save up my money.

By Step 2, we'd each gotten a large network and sizable capacity. By this point, my wife had gotten into nuclear power (or "nuke-u-lar", as we call it), while I remained with good, clean, cheap coal and oil. While I consistently bought enough resources to have excess materials to burn, my wife only bought enough for that turn--a wise choice, since I had no nuclear plants and she'd be able to buy for the same price the next turn. In addition, she had some wind and solar plants, and thus never had to spend a lot on the resource market each turn.

Soon we arrived to Step 3, and I announced the changes to the gameplay. I quickly amassed a 17-city network, and was poised for the kill (I had power capacity for 21 cities, and a fair stack of money was about to come my way). However, I realized I'd made a fatal mistake...

I'd forgotten to inform my wife of the victory condition.

To say I was embarrassed would be an understatement, but because I could tell she was uncomfortable (physically; we were sitting on the floor) I decided to simply end the game. Thus, on her turn, I guided her through buying as many cities as possible, and she was at 21. That's when I realized that she could not win the game...she had capacity for only 20. While on her next turn she could swap out a power plant, I was about to purchase my 21st city, and had all the capacity I needed.

I felt bad, but it didn't matter much...we were done, and she took up residence on the couch.

After I began packing things up, I realized that in essence she'd won the game--she had a large stack of cash, had the cities, and if she'd purchased a 6-city plant instead of a 5-city, I'd have been sunk. If only I'd told her how to win... (I suspect that it was due to the fact that she was insistent on beginning the game, rather than have me go through all the rules, and I simply forgot.)

All in all, it was an enjoyable first game for me, although it was far less challenging than I would have expected (perhaps that's due to the fact that there were only two of us). My wife was less enthusiastic, preferring shorter games like Ticket to Ride, but she said she'd consider playing again.

Next time, I'll be sure to tell her how to win first.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Larry Baxter
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I understand you pain. My wife has two very strong yet incompatible preferences...
1. Let's get playing, I'll figure it out; along with:
2. What?!??!!?? You never told me that rule!



Makes for some interesting games, but can lead to scenarios much like you described.

As for your feeling the game wasn't very challenging, a few comments:

* The turn order is a *huge* part of the game! While I can see in your situation skipping it for the first game, it's a must-include rule. The changes in turn order let the player who is trailing get resources cheaper, place their cities first, and get better choices in the plants.

* While it's ok with 2-players, Power Grid is far more interesting with more than two, four being about the # I like best.

It's a huge jump from Ticket to Ride to Power Grid for those who like lighter fare. You may need to find an intermediate game first before pushing too hard for Power Grid again

Stick with it though, Power Grid is a great game!
Good luck,
Larry
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
badge
Yes, I really am that awesome.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife was always so-so on power grid. She doesn't like a lot of rules or a long playing time. She really doesn't like doing all the arithmatic that this game requires to play well. We played 2-player a couple of times. 4-player a couple of times.

Then she won a tough 4 player game. After that, she said, "Hey, I think I get this game now. I like it!"

Anyway, hang in there. Wait until you can play a 4 player game with her, she might like it after all! (But with more than two players it is crucially important that you do the turn order properly. The game just dosn't work if the same person always goes first.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Anderson
United States
New Boston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
ltbaxter wrote:
...
It's a huge jump from Ticket to Ride to Power Grid for those who like lighter fare. You may need to find an intermediate game first before pushing too hard for Power Grid again ...


I think that's the challenge, finding something that's a happy medium while being enjoyable to both of us.

I might pick up the Marklin or Europe editions of Ticket to Ride, as they seem to be a bit deeper than the USA version, but I haven't decided yet.

Thing is, I have a ton of games on my wishlist that are quite heavy/meaty, and now that she's almost shunned Power Grid, I'm afraid to buy them!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Anderson
United States
New Boston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
wmshub wrote:
My wife was always so-so on power grid. She doesn't like a lot of rules or a long playing time. She really doesn't like doing all the arithmatic that this game requires to play well. We played 2-player a couple of times. 4-player a couple of times.

Then she won a tough 4 player game. After that, she said, "Hey, I think I get this game now. I like it!"

Anyway, hang in there. Wait until you can play a 4 player game with her, she might like it after all! (But with more than two players it is crucially important that you do the turn order properly. The game just dosn't work if the same person always goes first.)


Indeed, I certainly intend to do a 3- or 4-player game of Power Grid...as soon as I can find someone who will play. Being new to Arizona we've only got my sister-in-law and one or two acquaintances, so it's tough. (The local board game group, erm, "scares" my wife!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ltbaxter wrote:
It's a huge jump from Ticket to Ride to Power Grid for those who like lighter fare. You may need to find an intermediate game first before pushing too hard for Power Grid again


Power Grid is a strange beast in this way. It is actually more accessible than some other games which I would consider lighter, like Taj Mahal or Ys, for example, because the theme, while not exciting, is more closely integrated with the game play than some. It also plays like a train game.

My wife (whose current favorite board game is probably Ingenious) has played Power Grid three times now, and while she is unlikely to ask for it, will play again. Her introduction to Taj Mahal (which came AFTER Power Grid), was less successful, and she is more likely to resist that one. TTR and TTR:Europe are fine as well. She also won't go near the game group, but we have another couple we play with.

I am not sure what game or kind of game I would recommend as a bridge from TTR to Power Grid.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Anderson
United States
New Boston
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
sroney wrote:
...
I am not sure what game or kind of game I would recommend as a bridge from TTR to Power Grid.


You know, your mention of Ingenious might actually work out for me. It's deep enough strategy- and thinking-wise to be enjoyable for me, but short enough to be enjoyable for my wife. I think I might pick it up.

I know for both of us, we enjoy humorous games (think Munchkin, Killer Bunnies [which we have yet to play!], and the like), and in that case it's tough to get something deep...but I'm always on the lookout!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.