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Subject: Sometimes it pays to buy a small plant at the end... rss

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Bill Gallagher
United States
Torrance
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Six player game on the USA map (standard power plant deck) - one newbie. NW area randomly selected to be out.

I went first - put #4 up for bid. One player bid 5 - I raised to 6. When he raised to 8, I passed. I then put up plant 5 - I let it go as well. I ultimately got plant 8 (3 coal, 2 cities) at par - that put me fifth for buying resources and selecting cities (#10 went first). My decision was between the upper Midwest (Minneapolis and vicinity), the South Atlantic, and the West Coast - I chose Savannah (?) and Jacksonville.

On round 2, I grabbed plant 25 (2 coal, 5 cities) for 29. I built no cities. By the time Stage 2 started, I had five cities (having built north to Norfolk, and west to New Orleans - note that someone else had taken the rest of Florida). I then got plant 32 (3 oil, 6 cities). Over the next few turns, I built to nine cities.

It was then that the Stage 2 stall happened. Four teens level plants were on the bottom row! None ever got flushed though - as at least one player always bought a plant!

On the penultimate turn, I had nine cities (more than anyone else), Everyone else decided to block me out! So I decided not to build!! At the end of the round, I had roughly 170 electros - and had fewer cities than anyone else (everyone else had 10 or 11). The game was still in Phase Two.

At that point, one other player had the capacity to power 14 cities; everyone else was at 10 or less. The four plants available at the time were #12, #15, #18, and #19. Everyone else passed. At that point, I had a capacity of 13 - #8 (3 coal/2 cities), #25 (2 coal, 5 cities), and #32 (3 oil, 6 cities). I already had the fuel for #25 and #32. So what did I do? I bought plant 15 (2 coal, 3 cities)!! That pushed my capacity to 14 (enough to win with six players).

As I went first in the fuel buying and expansion rounds, I was able to buy the two coal I needed for the new plant, and expand from New Orleans to San Francisco for the win (even if the player with 14 capacity had the funds to do so, he couldn't get to 14 cities. He was at 10 cities, and only three cities did not have two players occupying them.).

Yes, it doesn't happen often - but it can happen where buying that small plant at the end wins!!
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Billy McBoatface
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Couldn't you have just bought nothing, built the 14th substation, then powered 13 and won? It sounds like nobody else could power more than 10 cities, so triggering the endgame would give you the win whether you could light up all 14 cities or not.
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Randall Bart
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Yuglooc wrote:
That pushed my capacity to 14 (enough to win with six players).

I am wondering if you are playing correctly. You do not need any set plant capacity to win the game. I have seen a 6 player game won by a player who only powered 9 cities. I have seen a 3 player game won by a player who only powered 9 cities. The game ends when someone builds to a magic number of cities, but the winner is the one who powers the most.
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Bill Gallagher
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wmshub wrote:
Couldn't you have just bought nothing, built the 14th substation, then powered 13 and won? It sounds like nobody else could power more than 10 cities, so triggering the endgame would give you the win whether you could light up all 14 cities or not.

In that event, the other player could have gotten to 13, and had more money than me. This was the only way to be 100% sure of the win.

I knew that the #29 plant hadn't been seen yet - thus I knew that my purchase wasn't going to trigger Stage 3.
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Vaughn Sandor
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I see that you left one section out.

Is it preferred to play only 5 sections of a map in a six player game?

I know the rules recomnend you play with one section per player.
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Billy McBoatface
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Vaughn wrote:
I see that you left one section out.

Is it preferred to play only 5 sections of a map in a six player game?

I know the rules recomnend you play with one section per player.
The rules say to play like this:
Quote:
2 players = 3 areas
3..5 = same # of areas as players
6 = 5 areas
So he was playing as recommended. (That isn't really a quote, the rules state it differently, but I wanted to set it apart).
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Shane DAmico
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Why make a board with 6 regions then? For a recommended experience play with 5 sections. For a less-fun experience play with 6?
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Travis Hall
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pufonthis wrote:
Why make a board with 6 regions then?

So that the map on which you play isn't the same from game to game. In effect, there are six maps on each board on which to play 6-player Power Grid.

You could play a variant using all six regions, but you'd want to change some of the other numbers in the game to make it work right. You would want to use the standard 7-city trigger for Step 2, and increase the number of cities required to end the game. You'd probably need to increase the rate at which resources are replenished, too. These changes would make the game longer.
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Russ Williams
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pufonthis wrote:
Why make a board with 6 regions then? For a recommended experience play with 5 sections. For a less-fun experience play with 6?

Why make a map that has the US on one side and Germany on the other, so that you can't play with US and Germany at the same time? For a recommended experience play with just US, or just Germany. For a less-fun and rather less practical experience play with US and Germany at the same time.
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Randall Bart
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russ wrote:
For a less-fun and rather less practical experience play with US and Germany at the same time.

It's lots of fun, but there are practical issues.
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