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Subject: Standing Corrected rss

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David Zimmerman
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After years of playing Power Grid with either the same group of people or newbies, I finally had an opportunity to play with a completely different circle of experienced players. During a preliminary explanation of the rules to the one non-veteran, I was surprised to find that I had been playing with many of the wrong rules. I shutter to think how many people I have taught to play the game incorrectly. Anyway, here are the three variations or house rules I always played and I would appreciate any input experienced players may have on them.

1. New power plants are always added to the end of the futures market rather than keeping the plants in numerical order. This leaves no surprises so you can always plan a head for future plants. The only exception is that plants removed because they are valued less than the highest number of current connections are replaced directly from the draw pile.

2. When choosing power plants during phase 2, if the first in turn order doesn't win the auction they initiate, choice for the next plant still passes to the next in turn order. This sequence continues until everyone has purchased a power plant or passed. It allows the leaders to potentially win a more desirable power plant from the future market with out getting stuck or forced to pass because they are constantly initiating the auctions. They need only loose the auction for the first plant they select.

3. Step two always begins immediately during phase 4.

I think I prefer the three variations of the rules with which I have been playing. Although I may propose placing the power plants in numerical order during the bureaucracy phase of the first few rounds of play. The one game I played using the standard rules was so different from the games I normally play for reasons other than the rules difference that I’m probably unable to fairly evaluate the changes.
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Steve Duff
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Yes, try playing the game as designed a few more times before "correcting" it. It's a pretty good game.

#1 is interesting, because some do complain about the luck of the draw there. Good option for those folks.
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David desJardins
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zimm20 wrote:
1. New power plants are always added to the end of the futures market rather than keeping the plants in numerical order.


If I understand this correctly, it's pretty similar in effect to "keep the top card of the draw pile face up" variant that's been proposed before. I never heard much from people trying it, though.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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1) On first sight, this seems like no great change to the basic rules (just makes it easier to plan ahead). The only great problem I see, however, is that very good plans come too early into play. The 50, for instance, comes never into play before step 3, and now could enter the game even in step 1. I strongly recommend to play by the rules written.

2) This is part of the turn order design. Do not change this! The leading player is supposed to have the disadvantage to propose plants first and get stuck with not so good ones.

3) This also has a great impact on the game. Usually, you need to think twice if you let step 2 begin by building the 7th city as you'll be the last one to build into the new area next round. Now, with your rule, it's a no-brainer to start step 2 and build some 15 cities right away. Also, the punishment for people who have build too many cities earlier or got surrounded by others (due to risky play in the beginning) now completely vanishes as they will get the 15 cities the round step 2 begins, where they usually wouldn't be able to build anything as all cities would be taken.

I strongly recommend to play by the rules written! I know it must be a hard time for you to recognize you've played so badly wrong for such a long time. You now have the chance to correct this. Do not be afraid to stand for your failure to explain the rules to so many people correctly. They'll be happy if you tell them the correct rules now that you know them. I hope you'll have a much greater time with Power Grid than you had now. I'm sure you will.
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ɹǝsɐɹɟ
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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zimm20 wrote:
1. New power plants are always added to the end of the futures market rather than keeping the plants in numerical order. This leaves no surprises so you can always plan a head for future plants. The only exception is that plants removed because they are valued less than the highest number of current connections are replaced directly from the draw pile.
Just play the China map where this is a variation for the first 30 odd power plants. The planned economy. Otherwise no, no, no meeple

zimm20 wrote:
2. When choosing power plants during phase 2, if the first in turn order doesn't win the auction they initiate, choice for the next plant still passes to the next in turn order. This sequence continues until everyone has purchased a power plant or passed. It allows the leaders to potentially win a more desirable power plant from the future market with out getting stuck or forced to pass because they are constantly initiating the auctions. They need only loose the auction for the first plant they select.
This would help to destroy the self balancing mechanism of the game. I would never do this.

zimm20 wrote:
3. Step two always begins immediately during phase 4.
Which would totally screw over which ever players had already had their go, which combined with your option 2 would mean that you have two variants that help push the leader ahead (assuming you are getting the turn order correct) instead of the design as per the rules which is to peg the leader back.

Interesting, but these changes make it not Power Grid, I would not play them (with the limited exception of the China map as mentioned above).
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David Zimmerman
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Thanks for the input. I finally had a chance to replay the game with 'all' the original rules and it was very enjoyable. It was a 5 player game with the Italy map that ended up very close. The biggest differences were:

- Players tended to value plants in the open market higher because those in the future market may not move up.
- Each player owned more power plants through out the game.
- The game slowed down temporarily between step 1 and 2 because the value of playing position was reversed. We had one round with very little building.
- Step one was longer, two was shorter.
- The finishing positions were more even.

The game lasted about 2 1/2hrs. I was pleased that the uncertainty of the power plant market didn’t detract from the game. I am definitely inclined to play by the original rules in the future. However, I will miss not being able to start step 2 during phase 4, because I like the temporary change in the value of turn order and the more consistent pacing it provides.

 
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Randall Bart
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zimm20 wrote:
However, I will miss not being able to start step 2 during phase 4, because I like the temporary change in the value of turn order and the more consistent pacing it provides.

Funkenschlag worked that way, but Friedemann changed it. He wanted to punish the player who triggers Step 2. This often leads to a stall, which some players don't like.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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A stall, however, is bad for at least one player. Hope it'snot you who doesn't see it as it'd be better to finish that stall...
 
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Alex Grant
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I played it once with the rule "Step two always begins immediately during phase 4" because I was playing with a different group who insisted that was the correct rule.

As you might expect, it seriously disadvantaged the players who were at the back of the turn order and therefore built early and were unable to make use of the cost 15 spaces.

Not recommended.
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