This was the first time I had ever played on the Benelux board. To make the game interesting, we used the south, northeast, and one of the central (yellow) regions. This made for a tight game, thanks to the bottlenecks in the east (narrow connections between regions).
The three plants bought in round one were #3 (right-hand opponent, which I'll call player B), #7 (left-hand opponent, which I'll call Player A), and #4 (me). Player A built in the north, while the other two built in the south (one city for me, two for Player B). In round two, I grabbed #12 (two hybrid, two cities) while PLayer B took #13. I built two cities, getting to 3. Player B passed, meaning he'd build first in round three. Player B then proceeded to CUT ME OFF from any cheap builds, leaving the north wide open for my two opponents.
This forced me into a waiting game. In the next three turns, I acquired (in order) #30 (3 garbage, 6 cities), #25 (2 coal, 5 cities), and #31 (3 hybrid, 6 cities) for face value. Never mind that I only had five cities at the time (I did get to Luxembourg); with a capacity of 17, I would never have to worry about buying another plant!
On round six, the game finally entered phase 2. By then, Player B had gone entirely eco-friendly (#13, #22, #27). He used that advantage to continue the pressure on me. I was able to get into the remaining cities in the south, and make some inroads in the north (thanks to fortutitous turn order).
Going into the last turn, the situation was:
--- Player A: 15 cities, 17 capacity
--- Player B: 15 cities, 18 capacity (including two coal plants)
--- Me: 14 cities, 17 capacity
At that point, there were four plants available for purchase - #46 (capacity 7) and three capacity 4 plants. (#50 never came up; it was one of the eight randomly thrown out at the start.) Player B passed. Player A, seeing that Player B had more capacity, decided to bid on #46. Even though I had no need for the plant, I bid against him. He finally won the auction at 71. I then bought up enough coal to keep Player B from powering all his plants, leaving me with barely enough to build three cities.
It turns out that after buying #46, Player A didn't have enough cash left to build two cities (he was two short). Final result:
--- Me: 17 cities, 17 capacity
--- Player A: 16 cities, 19 capacity
--- Player B: 18 cities, 12 capacity (no fuel for one coal plant)