Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Power Grid» Forums » General

Subject: First game was weird: Did we do anything wrong? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Lionel
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi,

We (finally) played our first game of Power Grid yesterday, and while I liked it, there was a really bad moment in the middle of the game which made me wonder if we did anything wrong.

We were playing 4 players. My opponents let me keep the lead for most cities from turn 1 or 2.
We were at Step 2, I was at 11 cities (powering 11), the others were around 8-9.
The next turn, I went up to 14 cities, powering 14, while the others were around 11-12, powering 12.

The top row of power stations were only super low numbers, so nobody could buy any stations for a couple of rounds as none of them were improving the powering power of anyone.

So, with my 14 cities powered and nobody matching that, I could easily win the game by building 3 more cities and ending it. Something my opponents quickly realized, and being last in building order, they actually built together all the existing cities left, letting me stuck at 14 when they all catched up at 13-14 too.

Then... 2 rounds waiting for step 3. Nobody could buy any power stations (as they were really bad), nobody could build any cities. We had 2 excruciating rounds waiting for the Step 3 card to show up while amassing piles of cash. As soon as the card got released, everyone could basically build up to 17 and power 17 from the new power stations released, so the last round was ridiculously crazy with bids for the one power station powering the most going to 200k+.
I eventually won thanks to turn order, but it definitely left an unsatisfying taste in the mouth, especially after hours of planning, to have the game ending like this. And the worst issue was those 2 turns were everything was blocked due to the power stations on the first row being too weak.

Did we miss anything? Or was it just bad draw luck?

Thanks!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max
Germany
flag msg tools
badge
Eine wunderbare Heiterkeit hat meine ganze Seele eingenommen, gleich den süßen Frühlingsmorgen, die ich mit ganzem Herzen genieße. Ich bin allein und freue mich meines Lebens in dieser Gegend, die für solche Seelen geschaffen ist wie die meine.
Avatar
mb
Did you remove the appropriate number of power plant cards from the stack before the game?
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rollie Olson
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When you were all passing did you remove the lowest cost power plant at the end of the bidding round?
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Smiles
United States
Dedham
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
admin
The ratio of people to cake is too big.
badge
Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You should discard a power plant if it's number is equal or lower to the number of cities built. So when you were at 14 cities, all plants 14 or lower should be automatically removed from the market.

It is still possible to to have stall for a couple of rounds because the market is filled with mediocre plants that are no better than the ones already owned by the players.

It is also possible that you forgot to remove some power plants form the deck since you were playing with 4 players. This would make phase 2 longer and delay the start of phase 3 which brings more city building opportunities and better power plant options.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Bush
United States
West Linn
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
landcsf wrote:

We were playing 4 players. My opponents let me keep the lead for most cities from turn 1 or 2.
We were at Step 2, I was at 11 cities (powering 11), the others were around 8-9.
The next turn, I went up to 14 cities, powering 14, while the others were around 11-12, powering 12.

The top row of power stations were only super low numbers, so nobody could buy any stations for a couple of rounds as none of them were improving the powering power of anyone.

So, with my 14 cities powered and nobody matching that, I could easily win the game by building 3 more cities and ending it. Something my opponents quickly realized, and being last in building order, they actually built together all the existing cities left, letting me stuck at 14 when they all catched up at 13-14 too.

Then... 2 rounds waiting for step 3. Nobody could buy any power stations (as they were really bad), nobody could build any cities. We had 2 excruciating rounds waiting for the Step 3 card to show up while amassing piles of cash. As soon as the card got released, everyone could basically build up to 17 and power 17 from the new power stations released, so the last round was ridiculously crazy with bids for the one power station powering the most going to 200k+.


*Did you remove random 4 power plants at the start?
*Did you remove power plants from the market that had a number which was equal or less than the number of houses the leader had?
*Did you remember to remove the lowest numbered power plant every turn no-one bought a power plant?

Probably forgot one of these rules.

21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Besides the 3 mentioned good ideas, also reading Power Grid FAQ might help you discover any other possible frequent mistakes you might have made.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lionel
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
klbush wrote:


*Did you remove random 4 power plants at the start?
*Did you remove power plants from the market that had a number which was equal or less than the number of houses the leader had?
*Did you remember to remove the lowest numbered power plant every turn no-one bought a power plant?

Probably forgot one of these rules.



All of them, actually. blush

Can't believe I missed this.

I remember now reading about the "number of houses" rule, but totally skipped the 2 other ones when reading the rulebook.

Thanks a lot to all of you. I guess we need a rematch.
26 
 Thumb up
0.06
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lionel
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russ wrote:
Besides the 3 mentioned good ideas, also reading Power Grid FAQ might help you discover any other possible frequent mistakes you might have made.


Thanks! Looks like we did everything else right.
I should have had an extra look at the rulebook when we noticed that the game was stuck.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
f h
msg tools
Avatar
landcsf wrote:
klbush wrote:


*Did you remove random 4 power plants at the start?
*Did you remove power plants from the market that had a number which was equal or less than the number of houses the leader had?
*Did you remember to remove the lowest numbered power plant every turn no-one bought a power plant?

Probably forgot one of these rules.



All of them, actually. blush

Can't believe I missed this.

I remember now reading about the "number of houses" rule, but totally skipped the 2 other ones when reading the rulebook.

Thanks a lot to all of you. I guess we need a rematch.


For such a relatively easy game, it is amazing how often these rules get overlooked. We've missed them in the past too blush and it really does change things.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Oakes
United Kingdom
Liverpool
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The other common rules mistakes are:

Wrong number of map areas.

Not changing player order straight after the first plant auction.

Changing the step effects in the wrong phase - 2 always starts at Beauraucracy, 3 depends on how the card is revealed.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PaulinTheLion wrote:
The other common rules mistakes are:

Wrong number of map areas.

And erroneously believing that each player must build their first house in a different map area. (Which wouldn't even be possible in a 6-player game.)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrea Bampi
Italy
Padova
flag msg tools
badge
"Go suck yer blade!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russ wrote:
PaulinTheLion wrote:
The other common rules mistakes are:

Wrong number of map areas.

And erroneously believing that each player must build their first house in a different map area.


Really? We made some of the common mistakes in our first couple of sessions, but never even thought about something like that.
Probably because we love maximum interaction and we often end up starting very near to each other cool

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lionel
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The area have the same colors as the players, that might confuse some people
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RickNash wrote:
Really? We made some of the common mistakes in our first couple of sessions, but never even thought about something like that.

Really! E.g. here are a couple of example threads where newbies were confused about this:
starting position of cities
questions from beginner
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrea Bampi
Italy
Padova
flag msg tools
badge
"Go suck yer blade!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russ wrote:
RickNash wrote:
Really? We made some of the common mistakes in our first couple of sessions, but never even thought about something like that.

Really! E.g. here are a couple of example threads where newbies were confused about this:
starting position of cities
questions from beginner


thumbsup
Weird. We usually fall in all "rulebook traps". I'm very proud now cool
6 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
PaulinTheLion wrote:
The other common rules mistakes are:

Wrong number of map areas.

Not changing player order straight after the first plant auction.

Changing the step effects in the wrong phase - 2 always starts at Beauraucracy, 3 depends on how the card is revealed.



The rules are there, execution is tricky.

For example, a Step begins in the Phase after it is triggered. This can confuse people:

- If the Step 3 card comes up during Phase 2, Auctions, then Step 3 commences during Phase 3, Buy Resources, and 20's will be available during Phase 4, Building.

- If the Step 3 card comes up during Phase 5, Bureaucracy, then you still restock at Step 2 rates one more time, because Step 3 does not commence until Phase 1 (Determine Turn Order) of the next game turn.

- If the Step 3 card comes up during Phase 4, Building (because of a destroyed plant), then Step 3 commences during Phase 5, Bureaucracy, and the restock is immediately the Step 3 restock.

- Step 2 can only ever be triggered in Phase 4, Building, and commences in Step 5, Bureaucracy. This can be tricky! Why? Well, you remove the smallest plant number one time when Step 2 begins. But you could also be removing plant numbers because of city count! (For example, the 06 or 07 are often in the market when Step 2 gets triggered, so building to 06/07 would destroy them, and then during bureaucracy ANOTHER small plant gets zapped as well) So you have to be careful to remove plants during the correct phase.




2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
flag msg tools
CHA was my dump stat
badge
Snob of the People
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
russ wrote:
RickNash wrote:
Really? We made some of the common mistakes in our first couple of sessions, but never even thought about something like that.

Really! E.g. here are a couple of example threads where newbies were confused about this:
starting position of cities
questions from beginner
I bet I’ve taught this game to about twenty people, and in every teaching game someone assumes that the regions are specific to a player at game start.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
I bet I’ve taught this game to about twenty people, and in every teaching game someone assumes that the regions are specific to a player at game start.


I've taught this game to about twenty people, and I don't think it has ever happened.

How I teach initial placement:

"You can start in any empty city (i.e., no houses). Your first build costs 10. You can build as much as you can afford, but you must pay the connections and city costs. In Step 1, only 10's are available; in Step 2, 15's become available; and in Step 3, the 20's open up."

There is literally no rational reason to interpret "any empty city" as "only in a region." There's no such thing as a player's region, and if I have new players, I usually just set up a "friendly" play area without too many bottlenecks, rather than having individual players pick regions.

The hardest rule that *I* have teaching is that 15/20 spaces don't open up immediately if the Step change is triggered during Building. I almost always have some new player who thinks they can "cleverly" trigger the next Step, and then illegally spam a half-dozen 15 cities after everyone else has passed for that turn.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alexdrazen wrote:
There is literally no rational reason to interpret "any empty city" as "only in a region."

True.

And combining this with the fact that nonetheless some newbies do think that only one player can build in a region, I think we have finally found the long-sought proof that people are not always rational!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
And combining this with the fact that nonetheless some newbies do think that only one player can build in a region, I think we have finally found the long-sought proof that people are not always rational!


Or just not good listeners. I tell them they can start in any empty city, anywhere on the board, near someone or far away, but that a cheap area is usually a better bet than an expensive one as long as it is not overcrowded.

If they still interpret that as one player per region, it might not even be irrationality, it's just not paying attention to the full explanation. Which is also one of the seven habits of highly defective gamers.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Goch
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How does "paying attention" help you not hear something that isn't said?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
How does "paying attention" help you not hear something that isn't said?


That's sort of... the point of paying attention. If you're not paying attention, that's when you mis-hear something that wasn't actually said!

And if you are paying attention, you would hear and remember "You can start anywhere." Even if you somehow, inexplicably, think you are constrained by region, then if you are paying attention, you would hear "anywhere" and then can ask a clarifying question, which should clear it up for good.

The only reason I can think of why anyone would ever even think that each player starts in their own region is the notion that each player chooses a region to play with (which doesn't even work for a 2p or 6p game). But that's to determine the regions to play the game in, not for them to play in by the themselves! (Also, this is why I pre-determine the regions in a teaching game)

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Goch
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alexdrazen wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
How does "paying attention" help you not hear something that isn't said?


That's sort of... the point of paying attention. If you're not paying attention, that's when you mis-hear something that wasn't actually said!


What are they mishearing?

They're jumping to a conclusion based on their own notions of common sense. This happens all the time. They're making assumptions.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Drazen
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
They're jumping to a conclusion based on their own notions of common sense. This happens all the time. They're making assumptions.


If someone is jumping to a conclusion that directly contradicts the plain, direct, and explicit words they heard, I could only conclude that they are either not paying attention, or have some fundamental inability to comprehend what words mean.

Yes, people make assumptions. But if those assumptions directly contradict the information presented, shouldn't that be a really obvious trigger them to see the dissonance, and seek clarity?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Goch
United States
San Francisco
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
They're jumping to a conclusion based on their own notions of common sense. This happens all the time. They're making assumptions.


If someone is jumping to a conclusion that directly contradicts the plain, direct, and explicit words they heard, I could only conclude that they are either not paying attention, or have some fundamental inability to comprehend what words mean.


And yet people do this all the time. Preconceived notions are very strongly ingrained and every rule set and explanation is fighting against them.

Quote:
Yes, people make assumptions. But if those assumptions directly contradict the information presented, shouldn't that be a really obvious trigger them to see the dissonance, and seek clarity?


To the assumer it isn't a "direct contradiction" they're adding a qualification to the statement "anywhere on the board" that says "within the region that matches my color" because that's what makes sense to them.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.