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Subject: Proper mechanics for replacing plants rss

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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Can someone confirm that this slightly awkward Power plant replacement mechanism is correct?

Specifically: when the last player buys a plant in round 1 and 2 the sequence of events I play in Steps 1 and 2 is:

In Phase 2
1) Remove lowest valued plant if noboby bought a plant in this turn.
2) Replace bought/removed plant from draw deck
3) Sort the plants in ascending order

In Phase 5
4) Remove the Highest valued plant to the bottom of the draw deck (for Phase 3)
5) Draw another plant from the draw deck
6) Sort the plants in ascending order again.

I know it all changes in Step 3 but I need to be sure that this is the correct sequence for the situation I have described.

The net effect of the above is that after everyone has made their decision to buy/not buy a Power plant, you end up with a Replacement and Sort (2 and 3 above) followed by another replacement sort (4, 5 and 6 above).



It felt very awkward and entirely unnecessary as the exact same effect could have been achieved by the simplified method that I have described below.

In Phase 2
1) Remove lowest valued plant if noboby bought a plant in this turn.
Note Do Not replace bought/removed plant from draw deck


In Phase 5
2) Draw 2 plants from the draw deck
3) Remove the Highest valued plant to the bottom of the draw deck (for later Phase 3)
4) Sort the plants in ascending order again.


 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
My intial article has a few typos that may confuse. Let me restate it again:

Can someone confirm that this slightly awkward Power plant replacement mechanism is correct?

Specifically: when the last player buys a plant in steps 1 and 2 the sequence of events I play is:

In Phase 2
1) Remove lowest valued plant if noboby bought a plant in this turn.
2) Replace bought/removed plant from draw deck
3) Sort the plants in ascending order

In Phase 5
4) Remove the Highest valued plant to the bottom of the draw deck (for Phase 3)
5) Draw another plant from the draw deck
6) Sort the plants in ascending order again.

I know it all changes in Step 3 but I need to be sure that this is the correct sequence for the situation I have described.

The net effect of the above is that after everyone has made their decision to buy/not buy a Power plant, you end up with a Replacement and Sort (2 and 3 above) followed by another replacement sort (4, 5 and 6 above).

It felt very awkward and entirely unnecessary as the exact same effect could have been achieved by the simplified method that I have described below.

In Phase 2
1) Remove lowest valued plant if noboby bought a plant in this turn.
Note Do Not replace the last bought/removed plant from draw deck


In Phase 5
2) Draw 2 plants from the draw deck
3) Remove the Highest valued plant to the bottom of the draw deck (for later Phase 3)
4) Sort the plants in ascending order again.

You would need to do some simple tweak for when the Phase 3 card appeared as the first or the second card in the draw but this should be easy enough.


 
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Jim Cote
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
Steve99 (#47162),

I think everything have is correct. I agree that the machinations for dealing with the power plant market are way too "fiddly". It exists as a way to force the power plants to come up in almost sequential order, but not exactly. It only works ok because of the number of plants involved. It would not scale to a larger number. It feels completely unnatural to play this game.

I would never have designed it this way. If this was my game design, and the only way to make it work was to do what they did, I would have simply decided "the game is too broken." But that's me. That being said, I still enjoy it to some degree.
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
Thanks for that.

I also like this game after only a couple of plays but I'm reserving judgement on the cleverness or otherwise of the Plant replacement mechanism until I've played it a lot more.

It's intersting how some of the criticisms levelled at the game are at complete odds with eachother.

For instance, some say that you can't catch up; other that it's too easy to leapfrog. Some that the Power plant mechanism is cleverly design to produce 4 stages of Plant distribution; others that it is contrived to fix a broken game. The list goes on.

The Jury is still out on this one from my perspective. The good thing is that I'm still interested enough to continue playing it.

One observation that I have from playing a limited number of games is that the main difference between winning and losing appeared to be the number of plants that people replaced in the game. This seems to have accounted for the cash difference that determined the winner. I may change my opinion on this later.

 
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Matthew M
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
Steve99 (#47169),

A note that your suggested rules can create the rare situation where they differ from the rules as written. It should be possible for the plant that replaces the highest plant to have a higher number than the one being replaced. It is also not good enough to simply remove the highest plant first and then draw two replacements, as the early replacement may be the highest one, which gets saved for stage 3.

Some of the bookkeeping is fiddly at first, but I feel the game does a very nice job at simulating some interesting economic phenomena through them - supply and demand of resources, increased market potential for service, and technological improvements. It's fairly clear to me that the rules are meant to represent these dynamics and not to fix something that was broken about the game.

-MMM
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
Octavian (#47192),

Yes the rules as they stand do allow for the second highest plant in the set to be set aside for Step 3 and the highest card to form part of the future market.

It's a moot point at this stage but I wonder if this was a deliberate and integral part of the design or some mere bi-product of an overly convoluted replacement mechanism. It is certainly something that has raised concern from a significant number of people.

I totally agree with your assessment that it does a very nice job of a lot of economic phenomenon. The fiddly Plant replacement mechanism is probably a small price to pay.

 
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Malachi Brown
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Re:Proper mechanics for replacing plants
Steve99 wrote:
In Phase 2
1) Remove lowest valued plant if noboby bought a plant in this turn.
Note Do Not replace bought/removed plant from draw deck


In Phase 5
2) Draw 2 plants from the draw deck
3) Remove the Highest valued plant to the bottom of the draw deck (for later Phase 3)
4) Sort the plants in ascending order again.


I believe this fails in at least one respect for me. With the original rules, the players know what the bottom for plans are for the next round during the resource buying and build phases. Granted, only three of those might actually be available after the highest plant in replaced, but with your alternative, It is possible that only two of the four plants are available in the next round. I'd much rather deal with the fiddly nature of the rules as written and have that extra information about the coming round.
 
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