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Subject: Bidding amounts? rss

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Bob Vosper
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Hello,
I just played my first game of Power Grid last night (Never having played Funkenshlag either) with a bunch of people who also had never played. Im guessing we were doing something wrong because Stage 2 lasted for half a turn. I was wondering what people are bidding for plants...we had no concept of what "normal" bids were so I think that ight have skewed the game a bit. Also, I think we were all auction happy, buying lots of plants when we didnt really need to. We all enjoyed the game, and are looking forward to the next play now that we sorta know what were doing.
Bob
 
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Bandit Ripshawd
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Re:Bidding amounts?
vosos102 (#44803),

Hmmm.... here are a few rules that you might have missed...

In the power plant market, there are 8 power plants (until Phase 3). You may only auction off the top 4 power plants... this assures that the larger plants are not bought right away and are saved until later in the game.

You may only have 3 plants in play at any one time (unless you are playing with only 2 players... then the limit is 4 plants). Once you have bought 3 (or 4) plants, if you buy another, you must destroy one of your previously built plants.

I don't quite know what your problem is, but I hope that these help. If not, just read over the rules again really carefully and I bet you'll find your problem.
 
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Bob Vosper
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Re:Bidding amounts?
Bandit Ripshawd (#44819),
I think our main problem was that everyone seemed to buy a power plant in every auction phase, which made us scream through the deck. We never thought that we might not need to buy one. We used all of those rules, but we kept upgrading our plants, even though we didnt have nearly enough cities to make use of them all.
 
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Rod Spade
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Re:Bidding amounts?
vosos102 wrote:
Im guessing we were doing something wrong because Stage 2 lasted for half a turn.
Also, I think we were all auction happy, buying lots of plants when we didnt really need to.
Bob


It's been my experience on BSW that Stage 2 is often very short. Regardless, I think you're right that buying lots of plants has a big impact. Perhaps more experienced players who maximize the return-on-investment of their plants will delay the start of Stage 3. OTOH, they might also connect cities more slowly, delaying the start of Stage 2 as well....
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Bidding amounts?
I think our main problem was that everyone seemed to buy a power plant in every auction phase, which made us scream through the deck. We never thought that we might not need to buy one. We used all of those rules, but we kept upgrading our plants, even though we didnt have nearly enough cities to make use of them all.

Once people realize that its way cheaper to not continually upgrade, this will cease. You only want to buy about 5 plants all game, if possible. Thus, your 3rd plant needs to be one that is good in the endgame, i.e. one with 5 or more capacity (or possibly 4 cap, for 5-6 player)

Its ok for your capacity to exceed your cities because you are buying plants that will be very helpful later, but its NOT ok to do it on plants you will throw away later...that is throwing away money.


I have played a game where phase 2 did not occur, because phase 3 was first. This was not due to agressive plant buying, but rather due to a horrendous city stall on the board, where several players were completely walled in on one side, and those who could build to new cities without spending like 30-40 extra for it, didnt want to as they were running more efficiently, but didnt have high capacity ot go for the win yet.

I have played numerous games where phase 2 lasted one turn only. I have laso played a few games where phase 3 did not occur. All of these things can happen, and will, with good play, depeding on how things go. Adapting to how the game is going, while playing it, is critical to the game. This can mean realizing that a powerplant market stall will probably develop, where no one wants any plants, and multiple turns go by with none purchased, since they are all low capacity crap that no one needs. Or that the game will be rushed, or whatever...

 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Bidding amounts?
Regarding bidding amounts:

Most plants will go for face value or slightly above. A few will go much higher.

A plant should go much higher than its face when:

1) It is a high capacity plant auctioned early in the game.
(Generally, its number will be significantly higher than most of the others that are owned, yet it managed to slip down).

2) It is a high capacity plant, and the resources it is using are very cheap this game.

Generally, plant capacity (#cities powered) is the number 1 priority, and then efficiency. The plants you want the most are the ones that either have very high capacity compared to what else is available, or else have decent capacity but are very efficient.

Examples of the first class are (for the time they tend to come into play): 15 & 16 (on turn 2 or maybe 3), 20 (the lowest number 5 cap plant, and a great buy), 21 (if still early), 25, 26, 30, 31, 32. (plants above 30 will rarely enter play before the "huge powerplant market jam up" occurs, but if they do, they are very good! (Though the 30, using garbage, could still be poor in a game with a low #players).

Examples of the second class (again for the time they enter play): 13, 18, 22, 27, 29 (when played with it at 4 capacity, like on BSW), 33, as well as the 24 (2 garbage for 4), and the mid capacity uranium plants, in a game with enough players to drive down the garbage or uranium price sufficiently to make them efficient by this point. Note that after the first several turns, plants like the 18 and 22 (2 wind), can become bad, since their capacity is too low to matter, except as an emergency remedy. Later on, even the 3 and 4 cap. wind plants can be bad, since you need high capacity to attempt the win.

Other plants, suich as the 11, 14, 17, 19, 23, and the 12 (except for turn 2 when the 12 is ok), are quite bad, and should only be bought in an emergency. The 19 and 23 can be ok in a big game where lots of garbage and uranium come out, if you failed to get one of the better plants like 20,21,25,26, etc...



The very high capacity plants, or the plants that are both high capacity and efficient, will almost never come out before phase 3, and of course, your priority then will be to secure the plant that gives you the capcity you need, fueled by resources that actually exist (and hopefully are cheap).


If you were confused by my referencing all the plants by number, without describing what most of them are, then you need to go memorize them. (Kidding...after playing a number of times, you'll know what all of the good early plants are, and youll remember that the 25 is that cool one that powers 5 cities for 2 coal, while the crappy 23 only powers 3 cities for a uranium).
 
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Bob Vosper
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Re:Bidding amounts?
Alexfrog (#44890),
Wow. Thanks for the response! That makes sense, I feel it'll be clearer with more plays. Looking forward to it.
Bob
 
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