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Power Grid: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Not that competitive? rss

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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Mercer Island
Washington
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I have played a bunch of games against myself, and one game with 2 humans at the table. Maybe it's a form of groupthink, but this game almost feels overly balanced. As long as you make "reasonable" moves, it seems like you'll end up within a point or 2 of the winner.

In the auctions, I rarely bid over the minimum for a plant, and when I do, it's rarely more than a couple elektro over. The plants aren't that much better or worse than others in the current market, and there's usually a good chance that a better plant will show up after the current auction ends.

The resource market is also surprisingly forgiving. That's mostly a positive for me, because I was afraid the resource market would be too cutthroat. It is rare that someone gets squeezed out of the market by other players (unless they took a big gamble). Occasionally someone will get screwed by none of the resource they need showing up when the market is refreshed.

The end result is that you can mostly buy the plants you want, for at or near the minimum cost. And you can mostly buy the resources you need. And after the first couple rounds, you usually have more money than you know what to do with (so it ends up as VP at the end).

Is it just me?
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Anthony Davies
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Newberg
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I've only got two plays under my belt, but my experience has been quite a bit different. Yes, each time the point spread always came down to just a point or two, but I don't feel that the game is too balanced. Each time, I felt that the player's win was justified and that my loss boiled down to a few bad decisions. I enjoy that the game is tight and that just about everyone has a fighting chance in the final round. Nothing more depressing than going into the final round in Power Grid and realizing you don't have a shot at catching up to the leader. Using leftover money as extra VP is a game changer and makes the winner unpredictable.

The thing is, my experience regarding competitiveness has been completely different than yours. That might come from playing with seasoned Power Grid players, but auctions and resource buying is always tense and cutthroat. What it really boils down to is that power plants have much different appeals in this game compared regular Power Grid. In Power Grid, the efficiency and cities powered took a front seat compared to the current resource market. In the Card Game, I feel like the opposite is true. Since the resource market changes dramatically turn-to-turn, what was once a valuable plant may now be worthless or vice versa. Both times we played, a nuclear power plant did not come up until late, which meant the 2-Elektro column was mostly full of nuclear power. Thus, when a nuclear power plant finally came to market, it became VERY valuable and hotly contested.

I would say the early game closely mimics your experience, but our mid-to-late game experience has been very different. Power plant auctions become very heated and prices can go 10-Elektro above the base price. This is because of the hotly contested resource market. I find myself flushing power plants much more frequently just to keep up with the market. Also, while the discount power plant isn't used much in the early game, we buy it frequently in the latter game. It can be a huge advantage to buy a plant for 1-Elektro when everyone else pays 20-Elektro.

I would also mention, each game we've had at least a few players opt not to power certain plants since the cost to acquire resources would be more than the income generated. This happened much less frequently in Power Grid.

In a nutshell, I still prefer regular Power Grid, but I actually enjoy the resource market in the card game more. It feels much more cutthroat. While the card game feels more balanced, I don't think it is any less competitive.
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Dan Zielinski
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Jenks
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I'm liking the card game but my group has decided to just play through the last round like any other round and then just have highest money be the winning factor.

We've found that it really doesn't change who would have won very often... but more so... the ECO Plant strat can now be viable. A player that gets their hand on all 3 eco plants ... even middle of the road ones... can infact just sit back and "save money" by not buying new plants and not buying resources and have a chance to win!

We'll only ever play it with counting money at the end to see who wins.
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