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Subject: 6 players and 5 areas? rss

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Remy Gibson
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We played a six-player game for the first time last night, since I wanted to use the whole board. Then I noticed when setting up the game that one of the rules exceptions from the back of the manual states that you're only supposed to use 5 areas.

Well, I wanted to use all 6, so we did that anyway. It didn't have a great impact on the game: We used the USA map and nobody built in the west (all new players) until the last round, so it really didn't matter. But it did prompt the question for me:

Why have 6 areas on the map if you're never going to use all 6?.
 
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H-B-G
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I gather it is game balancing thing. The number of cities to end the game is reduced with 6 players. If you included all the areas, the game would probably become less competitive because of the extra cities. You could increase the number required, but I suspect this would make the game too long.

By having 6 areas, you essentially have 5 variations on the one board, making for more variety in play if you leave a different area out each game.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Aweberman wrote:
Why have 6 areas on the map if you're never going to use all 6?.


For variety? Since you end the game at only 14 cities with 6 players, you don't need more than 5 areas.

Note that the Funkenschlag: EnBW map has only 5 areas, and it works fine with 6 players. Get that version if you want to play with the whole map.
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Chris Linneman
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DaveD wrote:
I gather it is game balancing thing. The number of cities to end the game is reduced with 6 players. If you included all the areas, the game would probably become less competitive because of the extra cities. You could increase the number required, but I suspect this would make the game too long.

By having 6 areas, you essentially have 5 variations on the one board, making for more variety in play if you leave a different area out each game.


Also, if you increased the number of cities required and used all 6 areas of the board, there would not be enough high-capacity plants to go around. This is why the game has so many modifications at various different player counts: game balance.

The Benelux map has only 5 areas if you want to use the whole board.
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Kevin Brown
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QBert80 wrote:
Also, if you increased the number of cities required and used all 6 areas of the board, there would not be enough high-capacity plants to go around. This is why the game has so many modifications at various different player counts: game balance.


Actually, it works just fine with six players and six areas if you increase the winning condition to 15 and the Stage 2 trigger to 7. That's how we usually play six here.
 
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Russ Williams
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Aweberman wrote:
Why have 6 areas on the map if you're never going to use all 6?.

You will use all 6 (if you play the game more than once and choose to use different areas); just not in the same game.

There are plenty of games that provide you with similar ways to have different scenarios and starting positions, not all usable together in a single game.

Why does Field Commander: Rommel provide 3 maps if you're never going to use all 3 in 1 game?
Why does Manoeuvre have 8 armies if you're never going to use all 8 in 1 game?
Why does Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 have 4 armies if you're never going to use all 4 in 1 game?
Why do some Magic: The Gathering players have hundreds or thousands cards if they're never going to use them all in 1 game?
 
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Just call me Erik
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russ wrote:
Aweberman wrote:
Why have 6 areas on the map if you're never going to use all 6?.

You will use all 6 (if you play the game more than once and choose to use different areas); just not in the same game.

There are plenty of games that provide you with similar ways to have different scenarios and starting positions, not all usable together in a single game.

Why does Field Commander: Rommel provide 3 maps if you're never going to use all 3 in 1 game?
Why does Manoeuvre have 8 armies if you're never going to use all 8 in 1 game?
Why does Neuroshima Hex! 3.0 have 4 armies if you're never going to use all 4 in 1 game?
Why do some Magic: The Gathering players have hundreds or thousands cards if they're never going to use them all in 1 game?


Why are there 3 power grid expansion maps if you're never going to use them all at once?

Although, frankly, the thought of "Mega-Grid" had occured to me.
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Stan Hartzler
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pilight wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
Also, if you increased the number of cities required and used all 6 areas of the board, there would not be enough high-capacity plants to go around. This is why the game has so many modifications at various different player counts: game balance.


Actually, it works just fine with six players and six areas if you increase the winning condition to 15 and the Stage 2 trigger to 7. That's how we usually play six here.


Kevin, can you (or others with 6-region experience using the original deck) respond to the issue of high-capacity plant shortage? I know even in 4 or 5 player games it is common for the game to hinge on who can snag the last 6-city plant in step 3; is this not aggravated in a 6-region game, leaving some players with lots of cities and money unable to win?
 
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Genghis Ahn
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The best advice I ever received from a game designer was:

"It's YOUR game so feel free to experiment on what works best for you and your gaming crew!!! I only provide a competitive and balanced, I think, framework."

So I always experiment with new rules, especially if it allows different strategies without compromising the game integrity.

There are several optional Power Grid rules:

1. Use more areas. This makes city placement and conflict less of an issue. Makes the game play easier for many people and appeals to herbivoire euro-gamers.
2. Do not allow players to city hop bypassing locations by paying the extra. This makes city placement, resource management,and cash managment much more important. Adds a high level of difficulty to the game. I like this rule a lot and think it should be the standard rule and the being able to bypass the optional rule.

I have been thinking of adding a steam-like expansion to the resource market so you could play the speculation market or adding cards (like Fire and Axe) to add new wrinkles to game play.

 
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Jon Hook
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Hi guys. I just got this game as a Christmas gift, and I'm excited to play. I just read the rules, and I had the exact same question about the "6-player/5-region" thing.

Now that you guys have talked about the "built-in" variety in the game, and someone's house rule of upping the city requirement for the Step 2 trigger and end game trigger, I am totally ready to get this game to the table.

Now to round-up the asses to put into those seats!

Thanks guys.
 
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Steve Duff
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JonHook wrote:
Now that you guys have talked about the "built-in" variety in the game, and someone's house rule of upping the city requirement for the Step 2 trigger and end game trigger, I am totally ready to get this game to the table.


I suggest playing it "normal" before using house rules. Learn what the game is supposed to be like before modifying it.
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
JonHook wrote:
Now that you guys have talked about the "built-in" variety in the game, and someone's house rule of upping the city requirement for the Step 2 trigger and end game trigger, I am totally ready to get this game to the table.


I suggest playing it "normal" before using house rules. Learn what the game is supposed to be like before modifying it.


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