A full house as Jeff, Lawrence, Ben, Dave and David all arrived to play games. This led to some discussion of whether to split up or play as one. Games were suggested, but Rich didn't have the necessary expansions to take those suggestions to 6 players. In the end, Power Grid was suggested and tabled. Looking to play a new map, we started to set-up Central Europe but then realized half the players had not played PG before. Therefore, we decided to opt away from the special rules of the new map and revert to the base Germany map removing the southern (purple) region from play.
Dave and Jeff started their grids around Essen and Dortmund to capitalize on the cheap connections there. Lawrence started a bit further out around Osnabruck. Rich seeing too much competition decided to start around Hamburg, but opted for Kiel for some silly reason. This let David to start in Hamburg and Lubeck closing Rich in early in the game. Ben having picked up the most expensive initial plant went last and found himself without good prospects so he moved to the central German region.
The game proceeded in a very weird pace as lots of expensive plants showed up in the futures market. (The 50 plant was the first plant drawn after the 13!) Coal was cheap with only a few coal plants out, but it was garbage that was getting cheaper. Dave made a key move grabbing the 30 plant (3 garbage to 6 cities) early in the game and then holding back to stay out of first place with most cities connected. Dave also intentionally delayed Stage 2 to keep his position in the middle or back of the pack. But once Stage 2 was entered, he stormed the board with some 5 cities built in one turn. With the 30 plant behind him to power those cities, Dave had the infrastructure up and running most efficiently.
In fact, just as we entered Stage 3, we knew the game was about to end with the game-end triggering 14th connection. And it was really between Dave and Jeff to see who might power the most to claim the victory.
Cities Powered Plants
Dave 15 15 25/29/30
Jeff 14 14 16/20/31
David 14 13 21/28/35
Rich 12 12 19/27/32
Lawr 12 12 23/24/34
Ben 11 12 14/26/33
David did very well for his first playing of this game. I know I was frustrated with the available plants up for auction as I might pass on an auction as the plant on offer didn't really improve my capacity, but this was compounded by a lack of money early as I had to build through David's block costing me money that I couldn’t spend at auction. Ben and Lawrence were the other beginners had appeared to have a bit of a struggle trying to balance the three cash outflows (plants, resources, cities) with the single cash inflow. But still a nice quick game that appeared to be enjoyed by all.