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Subject: Is money supposed to be open? rss

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C M
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Hello everyone,

Played my first game of power grid the other night and it was well received by the group and i personally love it and think i have a new favorite game. Took a long time for our first game but i think it will go much faster next time.

But i have one major question. Now from the title of the post I'm sure you already know what that is...

Is the amount of money people have open or secret? In other words if I ask my opponent how much money they have, do they have to answer me? I mean you have a general idea of how much money they have based on the color of the bills, but do you have to tell people how much money you have?

Our group had a bit of discussion/argument over this when we played. We all found reasons why it would be good and reasons why its bad. Is there an official ruling on this? I could not find anything about it in the rulebook.

Our first thought was yes it has to be open because I know in Puerto Rico, it is open so you know whether or not your opponent could afford a large building if you were to call builder.

Some reasons why it would be good could also be considered bad. Some of the ones we came up with are:

- It's an auction game. Knowing how much money your opponents have gives you a severe advantage in the auction.

- It makes it difficult to plan a route if you have no idea how many cities your opponent could afford. Same with resources.

If there no official ruling i would to get a consensus as to what would be best.

Poll
Do you play with money open or secret?
Open
Secret
      349 answers
Poll created by imanarchy


Edit: Changed the poll so it actually makes sense. Sorry guys.
 
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brian
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If you have a multiple choice question, you shouldn't have a YES/NO response. Does "Yes" mean you play with "money open" or "money secret"?
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Werner Bär
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
If you have a multiple choice question, you shouldn't have a YES/NO response. Does "Yes" mean you play with "money open" or "money secret"?

"Do you play power grid with players money open or secret?"
yes = you play with money open or secret
no = you play with money neither open nor secret
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James Ludlow
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Werbaer wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
If you have a multiple choice question, you shouldn't have a YES/NO response. Does "Yes" mean you play with "money open" or "money secret"?

"Do you play power grid with players money open or secret?"
yes = you play with money open or secret
no = you play with money neither open nor secret


See, it's crystal clear.
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Garry Clarke
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Well the poll is complete bobbins, we play with money secret (is that a yes or no?)

- Garry
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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OH GOD, I'M SO CONFUSED!

edit: That's much better now.

Always secret -- there's enough room for analysis paralysis in PG anyway. I have enough trouble keeping tabs on my own account; having the option to actually know exactly what your opponents can spend, and then figuring out exactly what they may or may not do would make me pass out.

I actually thought this was a rule somewhere . . .
 
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C M
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Hey everyone. Sorry for the initial confusion. I changed the poll so it makes sense now.
 
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brian
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imanarchy wrote:

Edit: Changed the poll so it actually makes sense. Sorry guys.

Does the poll make more sense or less sense now?

YES
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Sam
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Where's the "thumbs down" button??

(should there be a "thumbs down" button or not?? - vote yes or no...)


Edit: realised that polls have been corrected... gets a "thumbs up" now cool
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1603-1714
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I always play with money secret. That's how I was taught and I assumed it was in the rules. In fact, in my old game group, we'd all try to wear shirts with pockets on the front to keep the money in if we were playing Power Grid.

I just taught the game to a new group last night and told them money was secret as well. It just makes the game better in my opinion. As has been mentioned, it takes a lot of time to just figure out what you can spend so if players were trying to do that for everyone, the game would really get bogged down.
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Will Radie
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First off, the crap you guys gave C M for messing up the intial poll was quite amusing. Made more so by the fact that I am a friend of his and in his gaming group.

Second off, shame on Rio Grande for not including that valuable piece of info in the manual.

As C M mentioned, the three of us (the 3rd guy might poke his head in here later) were split on the topic. One for, one against, and one neutral. In the end we decided to play open, but that was mainly becasue we couldnt officially resolve it and it was our first game (where we often allow some liberties for the sake of learning some strategy as well as the rules).

I notice that many people voted in the poll, but no one explained why. Is it just a personal preference? If it is just a personal preference, can someone explain why they like it better that way?

I feel like Open Money is the way to go as it encourages strategy over memorization. I am very against that. I think I would rather play a game with more luck involved them memorization. Now, a lot of you might say "well, you just dont want to have to rembember things" and you would be damn right. I want strategy pure and simple. If you blew your wad buying resources, it should be public knowledge that you might be lacking in funds when it comes time to build buildings. It shouldnt be that only the guy with the best memory knows this.

Another thing that I want to mention (and this might be a stretch, but follow anyway) is that Open Money is the themed equivilent to reading the Wall Steet Journal, Forbes and/or the stock market. Real companies have a pretty accurate idea of how much their competitors are worth and what they can aford to spend. It's what those competitors do with that money and how wisely they opt to spend it is what makes a company successful.
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John McGeehan
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We play Power Grid with poker chips, and these chips are generally stacked on the table. No one ever goes around counting other people's stacks, and people could if they wanted take a few chips and hold them under the table or something, but I guess I would consider that "open".
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Will Radie
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Wow... poker chips. That is a wonderful idea. We were ripping on the quality of the money all night.
 
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W. Craig Trader
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We play with secret money (per the rules) but we don't get crazy about it. I've seen people use special pouches to hide their cash against all eyes -- I just stack it all in a single pile with the lowest denomination on top.
 
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Jon
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J C Lawrence...calling J C Lawrence...

Ahem. Anyway, I believe the rules call for hidden money. That said, everyone starts with the same amount, all transactions are public, so you could technically track what each player had. Some would argue that hiding money just provides an advantage to anyone who chooses to track each player's bank (be it mentally, with pencil and paper, or whatever).
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Ola Mikael Hansson
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We play with open money, as it's perfectly trackable otherwise - all transactions / incomes / expenses are known and open - hiding money would just introduce an unnecessary memory element in remembering how much money everybody has. Extra effort (in remembering) for no gain in game play (identical choices, assuming people pay attention to transactions) means secret money is pointless.
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Will Radie
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wcraigtrader wrote:
We play with secret money (per the rules) but we don't get crazy about it. I've seen people use special pouches to hide their cash against all eyes -- I just stack it all in a single pile with the lowest denomination on top.


What caught my eye here was "per the rules". is it in the rules? We normally are VERY good about reading the whole manual, but we were on a time limit and might have rushed through them a little bit. I am pretty sure that we scoured the manual pretty well but didnt come up with anything.

Is it in the rules? Did we just miss it?
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Will Radie
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unic wrote:
We play with open money, as it's perfectly trackable otherwise - all transactions / incomes / expenses are known and open - hiding money would just introduce an unnecessary memory element in remembering how much money everybody has. Extra effort (in remembering) for no gain in game play (identical choices, assuming people pay attention to transactions) means secret money is pointless.


This is also intersting to me. Would keeping tabs on everything with pen and pencil be allowed?

If so, why not just allow for Open Money?
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Adam Smiles
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In other threads asking this same question, the designer has stated that the intended rule is to play with closed money, even though it is not explicitly stated in the rules.

His stated reason was to avoid AP in the games' final turn. You shouldn't be calculating your opponent's money the exact dollar in the final round. You should have a sense of if they have a lot or a little and make your play based on that.

He discusses calculations in Power Grid with Aldie and Derk on the lastest Aldie Show podcast.
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Jeff Wood
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I put my money into my shirt pocket. Why advertise the color?

That said, I wouldn't use a pants pocket or shoe, gotta have some respect for the game owner's desire not to have to wash the bills after passing through a player's grubby hands.
 
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Gareth
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From the official FAQ on the 2F website:
Quote:
Hide the amount of money

Question: Are you supposed to hide the amount of money you have?

Answer: The rules are not explicit on this point. You should play with hidden money, to prevent AP in the last (couple of) turn(s).
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Secret of course. Open money would cause even more AP.
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C M
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wcraigtrader wrote:
We play with secret money (per the rules)
Well i looked thru the rules and was pretty sure it didnt say that. Can someone quote this from the rulebook? Or is this based on the FAQ?
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drew stewart
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Hello People,

I am person number three in this equation. My personal vote was secret. Of course I got the usual response of "well the only reason you want it secret is because it effects you now and if the roles were reversed you wouldn't want it" Let me start off by saying this isn't true.

Bill, if you look at my past record in these arguments you will see I have pretty much always been against open money in any game. Just as you say it's important for strategy, I say that's the whole reason you shouldn't do it.

Look at it this way when you know exactly how much money a person has you know not only what they can do this turn but most likely the next few as well. You also now know exactly what they can and can't do during auctioning, resource buying, and city building. While I admit that this is in alot of ways the definition of strategy it leaves out a fatal distinction. Strategies can fail! If I know exactly what they can do for at least the next few moves, where is the risk in a strategy.

Strategy requires carefull planning and good instincts. Open money just requires that you are really good in math. There were several times during that game where I purposely bought out more auctions and goods than I normally would simply because I knew I could block you out and keep you mired in third.

Now I know this example will be used to prove how this is a perfect example of how open money played a part in my stategy. But I have a funny feeling that this will be another Puerto Rico where every one goes the builder route because it's virtually unbeatable and you know right from the first few turns if there will be any one who can challenge you for the buildings.

All i'm saying is for something to be considered a strategy there has to be some risk. There has to be a real chance that it will fail miserably and you will be doomed. If you remember I had called the game by like the third or fourth city because I was able to play out the money scenario for the rest of the turns. After that my only hope was that Koot would make a major mistake. Strategy was completely out the window.

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Michael Webb
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UwantRadie wrote:
unic wrote:
We play with open money, as it's perfectly trackable otherwise - all transactions / incomes / expenses are known and open - hiding money would just introduce an unnecessary memory element in remembering how much money everybody has. Extra effort (in remembering) for no gain in game play (identical choices, assuming people pay attention to transactions) means secret money is pointless.


This is also intersting to me. Would keeping tabs on everything with pen and pencil be allowed?

If so, why not just allow for Open Money?


I would consider keeping track of such information on paper an unforgivable breach of etiquette and you would not play games with me again.


I play Power Grid with hidden money, I've never even heard someone seriously entertain the notion of keeping it open. The main reason is because even though it is theoretically trackable, no one I know has the will or interest to actually memorize all of the minor transactions and keep the money total current. If you want to waste all of those memory resources tracking the money you'll probably make some stupid moves on the board as a result, so it's fine with me.

Having money hidden adds more intrigue to the auction and building phases. If you don't know what the situation is in either phase, you can make moves that are suboptimal as a result. With open money the game would become even more calculational than it already is, which would not be a good thing for my tastes.
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