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Subject: Worth it for 2 players? rss

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Isaac Milton
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My wife and I mostly play games 2 players. Right now we are loving Stone Age, Pandemic, Puerto Rico (with the official 2 player variant), Dominion, and Carcassonne.

The mechanics of Power Grid look like a lot of fun. It is obviously a very popular game here at BGG. The question is it worth buying if 75% of the plays will be worth 2 players? Do any of the expansion maps make it worth playing with 2 players?
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Gordon Adams
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Isaac, I asked the same question a while back and was told that the game will not be much fun.

I sincerely hope that someone has better news for us. I really do want to play Power Grid as a 2-player game, too.

We are eagerly waiting for good news , so : please Geekers help us both

Best regards.
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Gordon Adams
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Oh well, cannot be helped.

Thanks for your input.

Regards.
 
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Marc Boulet
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I find 2-player acceptable with the Benelux/Central Europe expansion map. It's smaller, allowing for more interaction. Otherwise, the more players, the better.
 
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Tibs
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I might bust it out for a 2p game to introduce a newbie (for later games) or to test a new map. But I usually try to get at least one more player even then.

2p Power Grid is significantly less interesting than any other number of players, because:

-The Player Order mechanic is oversimplified. Either you go first each phase or the other player does. It's a lot more interesting with 4 or 5 players to see what the player order is each round.

-Uranium never goes above 1 unit per round. This applies to all official expansion boards too. So Uranium production never fluctuates throughout a game.

-There can't be 3 players to a city. It's a lot more fun when multiple networks have to overlap, rather than just two.

-Auctions are a little less enjoyable. Although, what is a good auction? When two players out-bid each other. I take it back; auctioning doesn't suffer that much. But it's still not quite as good with fewer potential bidders.

-Some measurements have to be bent to accommodate two players. Each player can have 4 plants instead of 3. All 21 cities on the board have to be occupied for the game to end, too. 2p is the only situation like this. Not saying that's a bad thing, but the experience is a bit different. You have to shoot to occupy every city.

If you want a game you'd like to squeeze a lot of 2p enjoyment out of, Power Grid is not it. Games like Puerto Rico or Agricola are good with many players, but they are also quite good with only two players.
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Andrew Nichols
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The two main things you lose with two are the positional scramble on the board and the tension of the auction.

Italy is a nice map to gain back some positional jousting, but even then it will only last you through Step Two, after that, board position is mostly irrelevant.

I've only played it with more than two, but China might help bring back some of the auction tension to the two player game, since (until Step 3) no plants are added during the auction, so what you see is what you're stuck with.

It is not a bad game with two, but it's not the full experience. I am in the distinct minority on this view, but I think it's worth owning (probably especially with the expansions mentioned) even if 75% of your plays are only two.
 
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Goo
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I usually hate 2 player versions of multi-player games, but I really like Power Grid with 2. I think it retains almost everything from the 3-5 player version and plays faster.

I would buy this if I were only going to play it with 2.
 
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Mil Myman
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There's a fairly simple way you could potentially play a fully "interesting" game of Power Grid with only two players:

Play a four-player game, with each player controlling two colors.

You have to keep your money and fuel and everything else separate for your two colors, and your final score is the LOWER score of your two colors.

I haven't tried this, but it ought to work fairly well, since the amount that your two colors can "cooperate" with each other is limited.
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James Cheevers
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Power Grid is my favourite game and I extol it's virtues whenever I can. But I'd rather play a dedicated two player game if it's only my wife and I.

Have a look at Caylus. My wife loves that and it's probably at its best with 2 (with a good argument for 3).
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Billy McBoatface
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I love power grid, but the 2 player game isn't that great. If you find a group to play with 3 or more, then get it, but for only two I'd give it a pass.

The closest game I know that is really good two player is Goa. It has an auction, like PG, and is an economic exapansion game, like PG, but somehow Goa works two player much better than PG does. Give it a try.
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Steve Duff
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Only 75% was 2 player. Which is fine, yes maybe it's not as good as with more, but it's still fun.

And with that 25% of the time being more than 2 players, that makes it worthwhile to pick up.
 
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Randall Bart
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Sharc wrote:
I find 2-player acceptable with the Benelux/Central Europe expansion map. It's smaller, allowing for more interaction. Otherwise, the more players, the better.

Benelux has a problem two player. The second player takes the 07 plant and has a big advantage. You need a rule to prevent that.

I think the game is dull 2P, and I am no longer thrilled 3P. I know a couple who play 2P a lot. To each his own.
 
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Sebastian
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I also learned that in 2playergames with two rather skilled players the game will almost always be decided by money and more often than not only by a few Electro.
We felt it rather unsatisfying to see after a long game only a cashdifference of 123 to 130. Also because often the winning player had one moment of luck where the right Powerplant was drawn.

In a moreplayer game this can of cours happen as well, but a leading player has a bigger disadvantage on Recoursses and building and will draw more attention of the other players, while in twoplayer it's always only 1 on 1.
 
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Damien Browne
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I've loved this game since I got it, and I've only played 2 players a few times. Most of this is due to a) not many people want to play it 2 player, and b) most of the time more than two people want to play it.

The game feels more dry and predictable in a 2 or 3 player game, and it really comes down to who is the most efficient in running their plants.
Also, the competition between the players is more direct, and more controlled, and can be better planned for.

Some people don't like this. They like the bigger interactions in:
a) the power plant auctions. These become very simple affairs in 2 player because if you are second to act you can just pass and get the next plant which will be just as good. Only rarely will there be direct competition to get a specific power plant.
b) the board control. Both players require one building in every city to have a shot at winning the game. So it really comes down to the fact that one player will be able to purchase more connections at the cheaper cost of 10, and the other will have to pay 15 for those cities. This is a lot more dry than the multiplayer aspect of blocking people in, having to jump several cities in a single purchase, the stall game, and so on.
c) resource wars. With four resource markets and two players, it is quite easy to avoid resource conflict and control your own market, keeping the prices relatively low and being efficient in running your plants. Some people like to cause direct conflict here and prevent people from being able to power their plants.

If these elements interest you, or at least don't bither you then you can enjoy the game as a 2 player game.
I do, but it isn't for every body.
 
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Olav Fakkeldij
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Me and my wife love this game 2-player. I agree it isn't the same game as it is with more, but that doesn't mean worse. Very nice is the playing time of 45-60 minutes.
 
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I've only played it once as a 2 player and thought it was fun. But TermiGator is right in that our game ended with the winner being decided by money. (And if I had just kept my mouth shut about what I needed to do in the last turn I could have won.)
 
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Just call me Erik
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This has been the subject of much discussion on the 'Geek. I find power grid is best with 3, 4, or 5. The 2-player game is good, but the game really shines with more.
 
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Randall Bart
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Sharc wrote:
I find 2-player acceptable with the Benelux/Central Europe expansion map. It's smaller, allowing for more interaction. Otherwise, the more players, the better.

Benelux has a problem two player. The second player takes the 07 plant and has a big advantage. You need a rule to prevent that.

I think the game is dull 2P, and I am no longer thrilled 3P. I know a couple who play 2P a lot. To each his own.
 
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Mike Nelson
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
There's a fairly simple way you could potentially play a fully "interesting" game of Power Grid with only two players:

Play a four-player game, with each player controlling two colors.

You have to keep your money and fuel and everything else separate for your two colors, and your final score is the LOWER score of your two colors.

I haven't tried this, but it ought to work fairly well, since the amount that your two colors can "cooperate" with each other is limited.


This is a great idea! I'd really be curious to hear what happens if people try this. Would make 2 player games way more interesting. Seems like it would be a ton of fun, because you would have to think twice as hard about decisions and imagining that you are 2 colors. A great idea =)
 
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Oliver
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I recently got this and have ONLY played it with 2 players and so far I really enjoy it.
 
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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Power Grid is an excellent game for two players. It does NOT have the same 'feel' as the multi-player, but it plays more like a tactical duel.
For the Power Plant 07 problem listed above, here's a variant: To start the game. take the Power Plant cards 03 -10 that are normally displayed, shuffle them and lay out only the top four cards from the short stack. After player one chooses and the bidding (if any) is done, add the next card from the short stack. Once player two has chosen, reveal the rest of the short stack and add two more cards from the deck. Continue as normal for the rest of the game.
 
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Bob Dylhead
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try caylus with 2
 
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Steve Duff
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Since it keeps coming up, what's so great about the 7 plant? It uses a ton of oil, and only powers 2.

Doesn't that just mean the other guy's going to get first dibs on the other stuff since he's going to be behind? And isn't that the preferred position for most here?
 
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Mike Nelson
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Since it keeps coming up, what's so great about the 7 plant? It uses a ton of oil, and only powers 2.

Doesn't that just mean the other guy's going to get first dibs on the other stuff since he's going to be behind? And isn't that the preferred position for most here?


I might be missing something too, I'd rather take the 04 plant or 05 plant, and then be able to bid on plants 2nd, buy resources first, and build first.
 
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Randall Bart
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Since it keeps coming up, what's so great about the 7 plant? It uses a ton of oil, and only powers 2.

On the Benelux map, oil is cheap. Do the math:

First player pays $3 for 03 and $2 for two* oil. Pay $5, collect $22, net $17.

Second player pays $7 for the 07, and $5 for three oil. Pay $12, collect $33, pay $13 net $21.

Second player is $4 ahead, and has a better plant for the next turn. On the second turn you won't even pay the $4 difference for the plant. Turn order isn't worth that much. It's not a crushing advantage, but you should never turn it down. The auction is supposed to level these things out, but it can't.

* Work it out with 3 or 4 oil if you like.
 
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