Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Power Grid» Forums » Sessions

Subject: China map with Chinese players! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John Sherck
United States
Saltsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I teach at a boarding school with a diverse international population, and tonight three of us teachers played on the China map with three of our Chinese students. Brad, Jen, and I have played Power Grid a handful of times (though never the China map) and students Jun, Yu-fu, and Ian had never played Power Grid before (and hadn't really played many board games, but quickly got into the spirit of it, thinking hard and well about their moves and strategies). We played without the northwest region.

In the early going, Jen and I were building in the northeast, Yu-fu was in the farthest west of the map we were using, Brad and Ian gummed up the center of the board, and then Jun was left with southern China all to himself. Jen and I were quickly boxed into the northeast, with (if I remember correctly--I don't have the map in front of me) 5 for her and 4 for me, where we stalled for a turn or two awaiting Step 2.

Step 2, it turned out, came very quickly: Jun took advantage of the open space that had been left to him and built 4 cities in one turn to jump to 8, all of which he could power that turn.

I should pause a moment to say a few words about power plants during the game. I found myself consistently buying the more expensive power plants available, which gave me a capacity of 14 by the start of phase 2, with 26 (2 oil for 5 cities), 20 (3 coal for 5 cities), and 28 (1 uranium for 4 cities). My goal was to avoid buying more plants than I needed, and I ended up buying 5 total (5 to start, 12 to follow). I'm pretty sure that I bought too much capacity too soon--I had more than I could use until the very last turn, and meanwhile I was prevented from buying some key cities that I needed and I further up in the turn order than people I was going against for resources.

Early on, Yu-fu bought too many inefficient power plants (he started with 8 and fired it the first round, even though he could only afford to buy one city). He never really recovered. Brad always seemed to be one turn ahead of me--lower in the turn order at the right time to stock up on the resources I needed, and then higher and able to power more cities than me. Jen tended to be leading more often than not, but she was running efficiently--she was the only one running nuclear for a long time, and it just got cheaper and cheaper for her. Ian ran a fair number of green plants, and was right in the game throughout. We dubbed Jun the Garbage King: after what seemed like a bad move buying (willingly) the #6 plant, he basically bought all the other garbage plants in the game (and for one reason and another, we let him). As a result, after the first turn, he was able to consistently power his cities very inexpensively, even when he was the last to buy resources, as he frequently was. This *nearly* won him the game.

As it turned out, we jumped very quickly from Step 2 to Step 3. Thanks to Brad building into the second space in one of the two connected cities south of our region (sorry, don't know names), and by doing so, prevented me from getting both of those cities (I was under 5 Elektro short, which I would have had if I hadn't bought so many power plants so early). I was, however, able to get out of the Northeast before Jen was, and I thought that might be enough.

Still, she had a healthy lead in Elektro, and wasn't slowed for long. Soon after, I was able to build up to 13 but fell short of having enough to build 14, though I could have powered as many (frankly, I was surprised that I pulled that close--it helped that I didn't buy any of the expensive plants, but it hurt that I had bought the ones I had early and that they didn't run any more efficiently than they did). Meanwhile Jun and Jen were both able to build their 14th cities and power them all, though Jen had about 20 Elektro leftover and Jun had only 5.

All in all, we were pleasantly surprised with how close the game was right to the end. We helped the new players and they caught on quickly. As I said, our two leaders ended with 14, I had 13, Brad had 12 (and I think Ian did too), while Yu-fu managed to get up to 10 I believe. While connection and resource costs seemed to slow us down early, we were surprised by how plentiful resources seemed to be as the game wound down. This was more true for Jun with his trash monopoly, but we didn't seem to be in danger of running out of anything. Time will tell, but we seem to have brought 3 new converts to Power Grid and to board gaming in general.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hemsley
Italy
Desio
MB
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What did they think about the exclusion of Tibet on the map?

(Question coming from a former teacher of English to Chinese students.)

--James
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Sherck
United States
Saltsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
They mentioned it, but didn't really do much more than notice it. No political statements, just good gaming.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hemsley
Italy
Desio
MB
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sherck wrote:
They mentioned it, but didn't really do much more than notice it. No political statements, just good gaming.


Of course!

It's just that when I was in China, it seemed that between Taiwan and Tibet, there were always "canned" responses to any mention of them (not that I brought them up, but if we read something that mentioned them or were talking about current events, etc.).

Are you in the U.S.?

--James
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Sherck
United States
Saltsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, I'm in the U.S., so there's less direct pressure to toe any party line. In fact, they were pretty vague about it, so we didn't initially get what they were talking about: just sort of "Why isn't there anything down here?" Not having an answer for them, they didn't press the point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
Sorry to veer off into politics but I've noticed a lot of "canned" responses here in the US as well. The only difference is that the uninformed spout off the cause du jour talking points about Tibet while in China the uninformed spout off the communist regime's talking points. Not saying that's you, just saying it exists on both sides.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hemsley
Italy
Desio
MB
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
berzerkelian wrote:
Sorry to veer off into politics but I've noticed a lot of "canned" responses here in the US as well. The only difference is that the uninformed spout off the cause du jour talking points about Tibet while in China the uninformed spout off the communist regime's talking points. Not saying that's you, just saying it exists on both sides.


Yeah, that's probably true, I just found it odd to have a lack of diversity in opinion and scary that each opinion was almost word for word the same.

--James
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
Iceberg1 wrote:

Yeah, that's probably true, I just found it odd to have a lack of diversity in opinion and scary that each opinion was almost word for word the same.

--James


Yup yup. I agree completely. It probably applies a little more to those in China. However, in some ways, I find it a little more disturbing when I see that in some groups in the US. I' like to think that with more of an opportunity to form their own opinion, people here would do a little more critical thinking. Some people do, but too many people just parrot what they hear so they can sound like they're more worldly.
Anyways, I'll try to stop with this little political detour.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Jackman
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very much reminds me of my first session, and brings up a question that sort of came up in my 6 player game - garbage.

Early in the game, it tends to be fairly expensive, but the price gets dirt cheap by the end. In general, it seems like buying garbage burners before step 2 seems like a bad play, especially in a 6 player game. Would you agree with this?

Once step three hit, the cheapest resource besides garbage was 7, and Garbage was at 3 (the other 6 were stockpiled by the player that bought the 8 as well, and cost him dearly for it).

I dont know - some of the late game garbage plants are enticing, but can anyone give an example of when being the King Of All That Is Trash is a good strategy?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.