Conclusion: We're all addicted to this game!
But first...this is my first attempt at writing this kind of thing here. It may be confusing and contain erroneous data, but hopefully it's not disasterously bad. I only include a short version of the games... And I used "dollars" instead of "elektros" for no particularly good reason.
First game: 4 players, Harry, Brian, Francis and I, all newbies. We picked the four western regions on the US map. The auctions for the power plants usually didn't go much higher than the market price. The management of power plants, resources, and building cities was overwhelming at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly. Brian was blocked off in the beginning since he built at the eastern end of the map...but he managed to build across to the west by paying high prices. Money was hard to come by in the first step, and also in the second step, but when third step came, money for power plants and resources was no longer an issue. It was then a race to have maximum plant capacity and build cities at very high costs. In the final round, I jumped from 12 cities and crossed the game-ending 17th city threshold, with only 4 dollars left. At that point, Brian could only power 16 cities, so he definitely lost, but he built to 17 cities just in the hopes of blocking Harry and preventing him from winning. Alas, Harry also built to the 17th city, and had just a little more money left than me, so he won. I was close, and had I made the right choice in building the final city, it could have been 5 dollars closer. Oh well. I find it a very enjoyable game, though. Final scores...
Me: 17 cities, 17 capacity, 4 dollars left.
Harry: 17 cities, 17 capacity, 19 dollars left.
Brian: 17 cities, 16 capacity, 8 dollars left.
Francis: 12 cities, 12 capacity, 177 dollars left (left the game about 2 rounds from the end) (so technically it isn't a complete game...).
Second game: 4 players, Harry, Brian, Eric and I, only Eric hasn't played before. This was a hard-fought game where the last two rounds took nearly an hour to complete in this almost 3-hour game! Wow...but I thought that was a very good one. Hmm...where to begin? Set up: Germany map with the bottom two regions excluded. Eric and Harry competed for the SW region while Brian and I were in the northern region. As the game goes, Harry and Brian are always in the lead, building more cities than Eric and I. So Harry and Brian are always last in the resource buying and city building. It got to a point where we all had capacities less than 12 except Harry, and if he built to 17 cities then, he would win. But he didn't have enough money to build that many cities, so the game played on. Everyone but me had coal plants since coal was cheap and in abundance at the start, but it dried up quickly in step 3...hmm...
...then came a point where both Harry and Brian had capacity for 16, and both of them were at 16 cities. But if one of them builds the 17th city (hence costing some money), the game ends, and whichever of them that had more money would win. Since Harry was last to go in this round and he thought Brian had more money, so he decided to go one more round. 2 hours of gaming so far, and things just got very interesting...
Brian bought a plant to put him into capacity 16. Harry put a 3 coals -> 7 cities on the auction block, which would bring his capacity to 19. However, Brian was convincing me that in order for me to prevent a Harry win, I needed to raise this price high enough so that Harry couldn't build more cities, or at least have very little money left. Brian was analyzing this to death, so I followed his advice...for a while. But eventually I let it go and Harry bought it for a relatively cheap price. Then I had an idea...a brilliant idea, perhaps... I bought a 2 coals -> 5 cities plant at face value, and when it came to buying resources, I encouraged Eric to buy 9 coals (since he had two 3-coal plants and had 3 coals already), and I bought the remaining coals, meaning Harry and Brian could not buy coals to power their coal plants! That dropped both of them down to only capacity 12! Yes! But wait...it's time to build cities. Eric had capacity for 14 and built to 14 cities. I had capacity for 17, but could only built to 14, and for one more dollar, I could have built to 15 and beat Eric... But it wasn't meant to be...hence if either Brian or Harry would build a 17th city (and end this game), Eric would win. So they didn't do that and we played on for another round.
Ah...the round that end up being the final round. Time for another auction. Brian put up the fusion plant that powers 6 with no resources. All remaining plants can power 5 or less. Brian's plants power 5/5/6 cities, so if he got this plant (and only this one would do), he would definitely be able to remove his dependence on coal, power and build to 17 cities, and have enough money left to win. But then Eric decided that he would play the spoiler...and help me (on the theory that my supposedly brilliant idea almost helped him win last round...heh). When it comes time for him to bid, he put up all of his money...all 188 dollars! For a 50-plant! So if Brian did buy that, he wouldn't have enough money left to do other things, and therefore he passed. Brian then bought another plant to decrease his dependence on coal down to just 1. But when it comes to buying resources, I went first and bought up all 4 coals remaining on the market (which is also my storing capacity for coal), and so Brian couldn't get coal, and neither can Harry. In the end, I built to 17 cities, ended the game, and I won!!! Yay!!! That was an intensive game...and I thought I had no chance of winning until the very end. That was an enjoyable win, I have to say. Final scores:
Brian: 16 cities, 17 capacity, 12 powered, 214 dollars left.
Eric: 15 cities, 17 capacity, 15 powered, 0 dollar left.
Harry: 16 cities, 19 capacity, 12 powered, 191 dollars left.
Me: 17 cities, 17 capacity, 17 powered, 16 dollars left.
Alright, so we couldn't match the plant that sold for 320 in another game listed in this forum, but 188 for a 50-plant is sure going to be memorable for us...heh.
I enjoyed reading the session report.