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Subject: Can house building and fuel burning be staggered? rss

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Lorne P
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Two questions:

1) Can you decide to build a certain number of houses equal to the lowest number plant on the market, replace the plant, and then decide to build more houses after you see the replacement plant?

2) You have three plants: Plant A burns 2 coal and is holding 3 coal. Plant B (Hybrid) burns 2 coal/oil and is holding 3 oil. Plant C burns 1 oil and is holding 2 oil.

Could you Burn one oil in plant C, then transfer 1 oil from B to C, then 2 coal from A to B, then burn the 2 coal in plant B?

Basically can you use one power plant and then redistribute resources before continuing to use another power plant?
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Steve Bauer
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1. Yes, technically you adjust the track with each city built and as soon as you go over the number of a power plant it is removed and replaced, you can continue building afterward or stop there.

2. Yes, you can rearrange them at any time.
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Randall Bart
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1) Yes. Note however, when you build your seventh city, you discard plant 07 immediately if it's still in the market. The player may see the replacement plant before deciding whether to build an eighth city. After phase 4 is complete, then you discard the lowest plant for triggering Step 2. No one builds after this discard.

2) No. All the fuel must be on the plants that burn them at the same time.
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Steve Bauer
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Barticus88 wrote:

2) No. All the fuel must be on the plants that burn them at the same time.


Do you have a source for this?

The rules take pains to say you can reshuffle resource at any time, pg 4 of my rule book. The rules don't take any pains to say all the plants have to be fired at the same time, it just says how many you are firing and remove the correct resources. You could argue there is no "time" between these two actions but I don't see any justification for this in the rules.

The FAQ, which I have no idea if it is official reads:

Quote:
Decide for each plant to power it or not

For each of your plants, you either power it (spending the resource cost shown and generating enough electricity for the number of houses shown) or not (spending no resources and producing no electricity). There is no option for partially generating, or using extra resources to generate more electricity.


This lends support that you are firing them in order and can stop in-between and transfer resources. I don't know if I am correct or not but that is how I read it.
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Ryan Kuehl
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You example in question 2 makes no sense strategically. The current situation you provide for the 3 power plants and the resources on them allow you to fully power all 3 plants at the same time. Your "redistribution" allows you to only power 2 of your plants. Without getting into the "is it allowed or not" you should really evaluate whether such a thing is even necessary first. The end result of what you are trying to do has you with 1 coal and 4 oil remaining after powering only 2 plants. Had you powered those 2 plants as is you would be left with 3 coal and 2 oil. If what you were wanting was to have more coal left after your turn then don't use powerplant A. If you're wanting to have more oil left then don't use powerplant B. In my opinion you are overpurchasing resources during that phase and doing a bunch of unneccesary things in the powering phase. Your proposed situation and doing what you want to do allows you to fire powerplants C and B and leaves you with the resources to power plants B and C again in the next round without having to purchase anything. If you leave things as they are and power all 3 plants you have the resources required to power plants B and C in the next round without having to purchase anything either. I just don't see where rearranging accomplishes anything for you, and if it doesn't accomplish anything WHY DO IT?
 
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Ryan Kuehl
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If you were to give us a specific number of cities you needed to power along with the specific number of cities that each of these powerplants can power (saving us the hassle of looking through our own stacks of plants in our game boxes) we might be able to give more insight as to what you should do in the powering stage.
 
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Steve Bauer
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rkuehl wrote:
You example in question 2 makes no sense strategically. The current situation you provide for the 3 power plants and the resources on them allow you to fully power all 3 plants at the same time. Your "redistribution" allows you to only power 2 of your plants. Without getting into the "is it allowed or not" you should really evaluate whether such a thing is even necessary first. The end result of what you are trying to do has you with 1 coal and 4 oil remaining after powering only 2 plants. Had you powered those 2 plants as is you would be left with 3 coal and 2 oil. If what you were wanting was to have more coal left after your turn then don't use powerplant A. If you're wanting to have more oil left then don't use powerplant B. In my opinion you are overpurchasing resources during that phase and doing a bunch of unneccesary things in the powering phase. Your proposed situation and doing what you want to do allows you to fire powerplants C and B and leaves you with the resources to power plants B and C again in the next round without having to purchase anything. If you leave things as they are and power all 3 plants you have the resources required to power plants B and C in the next round without having to purchase anything either. I just don't see where rearranging accomplishes anything for you, and if it doesn't accomplish anything WHY DO IT?


I can't speak for the OPs intent but I can think of a situation where it makes sense.

Say A powers 1 city, B powers 2, C powers 5.
This round you have 7 cities so only need BC to power.

You plan to buy a 5 or higher power plant next round (D) which may not use coal and power 10 cities so you will use CD. Then on the next round you want to buy another power plant E and power DCE. This may be your last chance to use the coal.

As for why he bought the coal in the first place, maybe he was planning to go to 8 cities but got blocked in the building phase.

I found the a similar question discussed but they didn't really come to an answer.
 
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Laurence Parsons
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sbauer9 wrote:
2. Yes, you can rearrange them at any time.

What a lot of discussion!
To reiterate what Steve said:
At the start of the Burn phase, work out how many cities you want to power, and with which plants. Then move the fuel around as required.
Then Burn.
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David desJardins
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freduk wrote:
To reiterate what Steve said:
At the start of the Burn phase, work out how many cities you want to power, and with which plants. Then move the fuel around as required.
Then Burn.


And what is your source for this assertion?
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freduk wrote:

At the start of the Burn phase, work out how many cities you want to power, and with which plants. Then move the fuel around as required.
Then Burn.


That's also the way the game is implented online in Brettspielwelt.

Finally to take it to "reality": You don't just burn some coal for 5 Minutes and power a city for a day. You'd have to burn coal all the time.
If you want to power 10 cities you'll need to switch on all the powerstations at the same time.

So unless ruleslawyering is your hobby there is no real chance of doing this...
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Sebastian
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Also the rules mention:
Quote:
Every player uses his power plants to produce electricity. Starting with the first player, every player indicates how many cities in his
network he wishes (and is able) to supply with electricity. He earns cash based on the number of cities he powers as shown on the
payment table. A player who does not supply any city gets 10 Elektro (the guaranteed minimum). For example supplying 4 cities will earn
a player 54 Elektro.

The players remove the required resources from the power plants that produced electricity this round and place the used resources in
the resource supply next to the board.


So you remove your resources after supplying and collecting cash.
No chance to stagger fuel burning like described above in my opinion.
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John Holder
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DaviddesJ wrote:
freduk wrote:
To reiterate what Steve said:
At the start of the Burn phase, work out how many cities you want to power, and with which plants. Then move the fuel around as required.
Then Burn.


And what is your source for this assertion?


The Power Grid Rulebook, page 4, third block marked "important":

"Important: At any time during the game, a player can rearrange his resources among his power plants. The only requirement is that the power plants must be able to use the resources being placed on them (for example, the player can take stored coal from his hybrid power plant to store it in his coal power plant) and the numbers must not exceed the maximum allowed on each."

(I cut & pasted from the PDF file of the Rules for Power Grid on Rio Grande's site)

Since they say it here, it doesn't have to be said in the Bureaucracy phase.
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John Holder
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Boardgamenight wrote:

2) You have three plants: Plant A burns 2 coal and is holding 3 coal. Plant B (Hybrid) burns 2 coal/oil and is holding 3 oil. Plant C burns 1 oil and is holding 2 oil.

Could you Burn one oil in plant C, then transfer 1 oil from B to C, then 2 coal from A to B, then burn the 2 coal in plant B?

Basically can you use one power plant and then redistribute resources before continuing to use another power plant?


In regards to this question, I belive you can't do it this way. The rules state this order for phase 5:

"Every player uses his power plants to produce electricity. Starting with the first player, every player indicates how many cities in his network he wishes (and is able) to supply with electricity. He earns cash based on the number of cities he powers as shown on the payment table. A player who does not supply any city gets 10 Elektro (the guaranteed minimum). For example supplying 4 cities will earn a player 54 Elektro.

The players remove the required resources from the power plants that produced electricity this round and place the used resources in the resource supply next to the board."

"Remove required resources from the power plants" appears to be considered a single action ("plants" being plural), so you can't rearrange your resources in the middle of that action.

This is my take on it, and I seriously doubt the designer intended it any other way.
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Steve Duff
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Interesting discussion, I'd never have looked at it that way.

Seems to me that one of the points about the storing fuel rules and the limits to what each plant holds and how many is to prevent this sort of shuffling.

I'll agree with John.

Interesting to see an official ruling.
 
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Laurence Parsons
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Interesting to see an official ruling.

I don't understand the problem. The official ruling is, as has been quoted (from the official rulebook, above):
Quote:

"Important: At any time during the game, a player can rearrange his resources among his power plants. The only requirement is that the power plants must be able to use the resources being placed on them (for example, the player can take stored coal from his hybrid power plant to store it in his coal power plant) and the numbers must not exceed the maximum allowed on each."

So, when you enter the Burn phase, but before you do any actual burning, just rearrange your fuel amongst your power plants. Then burn it.

I'm having trouble understanding the question about "staggering". I think you're massively overcomplicating this step. Don't try to burn some fuel, then move some other fuel, then burn some more, etc. Just move it all to the right place at the start.
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Joseph Cochran
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freduk wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding the question about "staggering". I think you're massively overcomplicating this step. Don't try to burn some fuel, then move some other fuel, then burn some more, etc. Just move it all to the right place at the start.


In the OP's example, there is space for 4 units on plant B (which can burn oil or coal). Currently 3 units of oil are on it. Plant C (which can burn oil) has space for 2 units and is full. The player wishes to burn coal in plant B. You can't move the coal to plant B without bringing it over capacity unless you first burn an oil in C and then shift an oil.

Make sense?
 
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David desJardins
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freduk wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding the question about "staggering". I think you're massively overcomplicating this step. Don't try to burn some fuel, then move some other fuel, then burn some more, etc. Just move it all to the right place at the start.


You're totally missing the point. In the example, you can't move all of the fuel that you want to burn to the "right place", because then you don't have enough storage for the rest of your fuel. But, once you operate one plant, you can move some fuel to that plant and then move the fuel that you want to use to the second plant.
 
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unkle
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It is really hard to see how any shuffling done there could not be done before... Hence this is mostly a non-issue. Right ?

I think there is no need to "lawyerify" more rules than they are laugh
 
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jsciv wrote:
freduk wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding the question about "staggering". I think you're massively overcomplicating this step. Don't try to burn some fuel, then move some other fuel, then burn some more, etc. Just move it all to the right place at the start.


In the OP's example, there is space for 4 units on plant B (which can burn oil or coal). Currently 3 units of oil are on it. Plant C (which can burn oil) has space for 2 units and is full. The player wishes to burn coal in plant B. You can't move the coal to plant B without bringing it over capacity unless you first burn an oil in C and then shift an oil.

Make sense?


Totally makes sense now blush Funny I've never seen such a situation. Given the fact that it is quite clear to me that you can move ANYTIME fuel, it would be possible to operate that way...
 
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unkle wrote:

Totally makes sense now blush Funny I've never seen such a situation. Given the fact that it is quite clear to me that you can move ANYTIME fuel, it would be possible to operate that way...


It would be very unusual that it would matter. It would only come up with a hybrid plant and then only if you either did not plan to fire the hybrid again next turn or if you want to return a particular resource two supply.
 
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unkle wrote:
Funny I've never seen such a situation.


I don't think it's too strange that you've never seen it - in order for this situation to pop up, the player would have had to intentionally just bought an amount of coal and oil to bring him to the current levels, knowing full well he doesn't plan to burn the purchased amounts.

Seems to me that most people wouldn't do this unless they wanted to hoard resources and keep another player from obtaining something (in which case the objective was already achieved in the prior phase).
 
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Lorne P
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This situation is uncommon. It occurred in a 2 player game (4 plants each) where my opponent was very reliant on oil and I purchased oil first, over purchasing to drive up the price. The problem was, with the price of oil so high (5 a barrel) and the price of coal so low (1 a barrel), I would rather burn coal (which would replenish at a low price) instead of oil.

For those curious as to the power plants I had, we were playing the variant with two decks and I had:

Green 10: 1 Wind Power
Grey 15: 2 coal for 3 houses powered
Grey 21: 2 coal or oil for 4 houses powered
Green 20: 1 oil for 3 houses powered

In the previous turn, I bought first and bought up extra oil, as my opponent had 3 oil-reliant plants (due to the 2 deck variant). I produced with Green 10, Grey 15 (due to cheap coal), and Green 20, powering all 7 cities.

Next turn I maxed out my coal in Grey 15 (hoping to be able to stagger my production). I wanted to power Grey 15, Grey 21 and Green 20 (I had 9 cities).
 
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I understand the situation and that a player could profit from "shifting inbetween burning". It may be a theoretical example for most of us but if it would occur I would strictly rule against it.

As written in the rules (burn - collect cash - remove burned recoursses) there is at no time a possibility to shift recoursses inbetween, because you remove your recoursses after receiving the cash for burning .
You simply have no place to shift your recoursses before you collected your cash and after collecting cash there is no further burning this round.

And before someone mentions it: I suppose the rule "May always shift" does not allow to shift recoursses after burning them.
 
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Steve Bauer
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The rules as written are not very clear.

As you said, the steps are:
1. Decide how many cities you are powering
2. collect cash
3. remove resources.

It is missing they step where you state which plants will be used completely, which I think may be telling. You have not committed to use plants A and B but only to power 5 cities, which you may be able to do with several combination's of your plants. It never says the removing of resources in step 3 all have to be removed at the same time. Therefore I would assume you can remove them in an order you wish, which provides a chance to shift in-between. The FAQ adds more support for this ordering.

The people who say there is no time between removing resource from each plant, how do they come to this conclusion?
 
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sbauer9 wrote:
The people who say there is no time between removing resource from each plant, how do they come to this conclusion?

Because we think it ought to be that way.

I had thought that the rules said you specified which plants were firing when you specify how many cities you power. We always played (the 1% of the time it matters) that the player later in the turn order gets to see what fuel is burned before deciding how many to power and what to burn. This implies we need to go around the table (in turn order) declaring how many we power, then go around again declaring which fuel to burn. That could lead to some unusual situations.

The current case is an extreme edge effect. I haven't seen it in 400 games. It only occurs when you have a hybrid plant, a coal plant, and an oil plant, and you are trying to hoard either coal or oil, and the hybrid powers more cities or burns fewer fuel than the other plant of the fuel you are burning. I don't play two player; it's probably more common with four plants.
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