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Subject: Green WINS. (Er... purple, that is) rss

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Joe Grundy
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We had one of our "Friday gaming" sessions at work, where I collect my 2.5yo daughter from daycare my wife joins us at the office after work on Friday so a few of us have a game or two.

Just about when our warmup game of citadels finished, my wife arrived. F left the building, but M's girlfriend R joined us for five player Power Grid.

W had played Power Grid a couple of times. M had joined us for Power Grid once before but I was wary that a refresher of rules all around might be warranted since last time we played I @#*$% the rules up, and this was certainly R's first time running an energy megacorp. So I went over the rules with her in particular fairly carefully. (Keeping my wife waiting outside the security doors of the office, no less. Oops.)

We paused for pizza before we even started, had a break in the middle for a nappy change, and generally wove the game around being humans and enjoying a social evening. A very enjoyable time was had by all.

The end.


What? Huh? You want to hear how the game went?!? D'oh!


We played the Germany map, without the southern most region. My wife ("C") always plays red. (It's a cultural thing.) And generally W has a taste for blue. My daughter was playing happily with the "breen" houses, so, thus offered their choices of the remainders M took black and R took purple leaving me feeling yellow.

Oh, and "Hi, I'm J"

Our initial plant purchases were:
R: #5 (2 hybrid fuel powers 1 city)
M: #7 (3 oil powers 2)
J: #8 (3 coal powers 2)
W: #9 (1 oil powers 1)
C: #10 (2 coal powers 2)

In the first turn, R,M, and C all bought full capacity of fuel while J and W bought only the minimum required.

Clearly, we were all concerned we'd be pegged out of our expansion prospects and went for the second city immediately. Besides, three of us could power two cities.

R opened her network with the cities of Hamburg and Schwern in the north... a worthy play likely to secure her some cheap expansion
M claimed Duisburg and Essen in the west, also positioning himself for a cheaply expanded region
J picked up Fulda and Frankfurt-M near the south of our playable regions, away from competition
W grabbed Erfurt and Halle
C chose Dusseldorf and Koln, in spite of strong encouragements from various quarters to make herself more of a barrier to various other players' expansion prospects.



Second Round

I have here in my journal of history that M opened the #6 garbage recycling plant and R picked up the #18 wind farm powering 2 cities. History does not relate what W and C grabbed at this point, while J was the only one not to buy a plant, having insufficient cash to do that AND expand AND buy fuel.

M expanded into Dortmund, J grabbed Kassel (securing territory and saving the unthreatened zero-connection-fee Wiesbaden for later). R grabbed Lubeck, and C (realising she was going to be hemmed in soon) connected through M's grid to Munster while she had the chance.

Everyone powered two cities.


Third round

A spate of relatively high plants were purchased, and everyone eyed off the futures market which J obliguingly opened up for them by picking up the #20 (3 coal powers 5). R grabbed the #29 (1 bybrid powers 4), C collected the #30 (3 garbage powers 6), W got the #31 (3 coal powers 6 cities) and M rounded out the remarkable run of plants grabbing the #36 (3 coal powers 7 ... I should have waited for that one!)

There wasn't a lot of hot bidding for any of this, as each hoped to be left in a position to grab the next plant.

Everyone except W hit four cities this round, and we all ran out of money.


5th round

The turn order is now MCRJW.

Everyone was strapped for cash, and WCM were starting to feel concerned for their immediate expansion prospects. R built 3 more cities to hit 7, opening up the board just when it was getting stressful for M and W. But it also gave her new horizons AND she was in a clear lead... she could cheaply power all seven of her cities, with just the two hybrid plants needing one fuel each, plus her wind power.

My hoped for "stress the opponents' expansion costs while I expand easily in my cordoned off territory" which I had carefully nurtured was essentially foiled at this point. (Pity though ... I'd got it set up pretty well with everything south/east of me isolated from everyone else's reasonable reach.)


6th round

After that relatively high run of plants in round 4, the #37 (windpower, 4 cities) was next in the futures market, and everyone with half a brain was eyeing it off.

Apparently I didn't have have a brain, since I bid for and acquired the #23 (1 uranium 3 cities). (D'oh!)
The #33 (windpower 4 cities) appeared, and R fought off several bidders to pick it up, giving her six cities on wind power and 4 on a single fuel hybrid. (Uh oh!)
W had been waiting for that #37 but the #35 appeared (1 oil 5 cities) which he bought.
M lucked out, relatively speaking, with the #22 appearing (windpower 2 cities) and he bought it. (I think this was a mistake ... his plants are now 7/2/2 and he will have to replace one very soon to keep his capacity up.)

With R running her network on the sniff of an oily rag, and me with uranium and C with garbage, the competition for resources wasn't too hot.


7th round

That pesky #37 plant (the windpower 4 cities) still didn't make it into the market. R was sitting pretty with her plants, M couldn't really afford another upgrade though he needed one, and the rest of us took petty upgrades to our city capacity.

For some bizarre reason in this turn I bought out coal to power my network when I could have powered it on uranium for much less. Oh well.

R was in the lead with 12 cities and plants to power 10, while W was still on 6 cities with no money but plants to power 15.


With all this fairly high turnover of plants, the STEP III card appeared.


I was sitting on a boatload of cash by now... a couple of hundred Electro. I'd had (at last) some advantage of my cordoned off region since the others were slow to expand through my buffer zone, and I got some more "first builds" fairly cheaply while they fought each other over second and then third-build rights.


8th round

R bought the #38 (3 garbage powers 7) and now had plants for 7/4/4 cities
M bought #26 (2 oil, 5 cities) (7/5/2)
J bought #44! (5 windpower) (5/5/5)
C bought a lowly #21 (2 hybrid, 4 cities) (6/5/4)
W stuck with his existing plants (6/5/4)

I have to say... I don't like having 5/5/5 city plants. It leaves no obvious upgrade, and if I do need to buy another plant I'll be paying a lot of money for just one or two more cities capacity.

R continued to massively lead the way with her city expansion backed up now by superior plant capacity.


In the 9th round

R bought the #50 plasma plant ("because I like blue", she said). shake
M bought the #39 (1 uranium, 6 cities) for a capacity/efficiency upgrade he might have needed if the game went on for a couple more turns. But it didn't.

Here, R had cash coming out her ears and easily built out 16 cities to end and win the game. She'd led in cities by a wide margin pretty much the whole game, and rode her green power to victory.

And yeah verily were we all duly pwnd, and did we learn our lesson about green energy... that it's the way of the future for money grubbing mega-corps.

I'd had vague hopes of building cities to match my 15 plant capacity but ran out of cheap expansion prospects and couldn't even make 14, leaving C on 14 ahead of me. W was in a similar position as me of expansion constrained by expense and ready cash, and M... well, M just finished out the game with a smile.


Final Results

R 16 cities 17 cap $7
C 14 cities 15 cap $20
J 13 cities 15 cap $2
W 13 cities 13 cap $1
M 12 cities 18 cap $11

(We were most amused by the J vs W outcome.)

Oh, and this time there weren't any game maintenance ommissions (that I'm aware of) and the pace flowed very well.
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Andrew Swan
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jgrundy wrote:
R bought the #50 plasma plant ("because I like blue", she said)

That's appalling. How can someone be so insightless as to play a deep game that goes for literally hours and then screw skew the outcome for everyone present via such an arbitrary decision?
 
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Joe Grundy
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game_boy wrote:
jgrundy wrote:
R bought the #50 plasma plant ("because I like blue", she said)

That's appalling. How can someone be so insightless as to play a deep game that goes for literally hours and then screw skew the outcome for everyone present via such an arbitrary decision?
You're probably being tongue in cheek, but just in case...

She was about to win that turn, no matter what she did.
 
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Andrew Swan
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jgrundy wrote:
game_boy wrote:
jgrundy wrote:
R bought the #50 plasma plant ("because I like blue", she said)

That's appalling. How can someone be so insightless as to play a deep game that goes for literally hours and then screw skew the outcome for everyone present via such an arbitrary decision?
You're probably being tongue in cheek, but just in case...

She was about to win that turn, no matter what she did.

I wasn't, so thanks for helping me relax about it!
 
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Randall Bart
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jgrundy wrote:
She was about to win that turn, no matter what she did.

Since she won by two cities, that was what I thought. She needed a plant that powered 5 or more cities, and she just didn't care to count out the fuel cost to figure which one saved her a couple bucks.
 
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