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Power Grid: The First Sparks» Forums » Rules

Subject: Starvation rss

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Jon Pranno
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Due to circumstances in a 6 player game...

We had 2 players run into starvation where they were only generating 1 food from the starting tool (3 turns in). Not able to afford new tools and stuck spending that 1 food on the 1 clan... growth became impossible.

Can we choose not to feed any of our clan members and let them all starve to get back into the game? or, Do we have to spend every drop of food first then remove those we don't feed?

It's a little grey area for me where it doesn't seem to define the choice or lack of choice.
 
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Patrick Riley
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They started with 7 food! How did they wind up with 1 clan member and only their original herb card after 3 turns? At that point, you might as well just let them starve clan members as a mercy rule.
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
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Someone could get into trouble buying tools that didn't match the resources they were next to...
 
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Robert Sheets
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On page 6 of the rule book it says that the player must feed his clan members. It is possible to get yourself into trouble if you are not careful.
 
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Derakon Derakon
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But given that people are getting themselves into trouble anyway, I don't see a problem with them killing off clan members to get back into the black. They've paid a significant penalty already; no need to torture them over it.
 
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Jon Pranno
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Once Upon a Time....

I was the #1 player in a 6 player game. My connections were bear and Mammoth and didn't want anything on the market. Not having a connection to berries or fish can hurt the #1 player. Only player #6 & #4 had connections to berries, with #4 having a double connection to berries. So, I put one of the berries up (player 6 took it) and then I put the other berry up assuming #4 had to take it but he passed forcing me to build it. That move ended up screwing the two of us.

Turn #1
Me... Starter + Berries (with bear and Mammoth connections)
Him.. Starter + Fire (with Berry + Berry connection)

Turn #2
Me... Plow (but not enough food to connect to berries)
Him.. Bear (no connection and couldn't afford to build it)

Turn #3
Can no longer afford to buy tools (either of us)

And that was all she wrote...

It was a pretty good game with 6 players, even with the 2 of us failing. The Tools go fast and this is proof that positioning is power. Maybe not as much as Power Grid but it still matters.
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Jon Pranno
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Derakon wrote:
But given that people are getting themselves into trouble anyway, I don't see a problem with them killing off clan members to get back into the black. They've paid a significant penalty already; no need to torture them over it.


Guess I should take another look at the rules and see if you "HAVE" to place anyone on the first turn. I know the second person is optional. In power grid you don't have to place (I think).

And, I do agree completely... even if we were allowed to kill off our clan and start over we were out of it and would be fighting over who wouldn't be last.

Edit:
Each clan starts with one or two clan members on the game board.
a) In reverse player order starting with the last player, each clan must place one clan member on any one empty space of the game board. Next to each hunting area only 1 clan
can settle with its first clan member. This first placement is free. Depending on the adjacent hunting area, the clan can harvest the matching goods when it is hunting.
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Robert Sheets
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The OP wanted to know if you must feed your clan members. The answer is yes you have to feed them.

Now if you want to make a house rule allowing someone to starve clan members, to get back in the game, go right ahead.
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David Larkin
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Jon Pranno wrote:
Once Upon a Time....

I was the #1 player in a 6 player game. My connections were bear and Mammoth and didn't want anything on the market. Not having a connection to berries or fish can hurt the #1 player. Only player #6 & #4 had connections to berries, with #4 having a double connection to berries. So, I put one of the berries up (player 6 took it) and then I put the other berry up assuming #4 had to take it but he passed forcing me to build it. That move ended up screwing the two of us.

Turn #1
Me... Starter + Berries (with bear and Mammoth connections)
Him.. Starter + Fire (with Berry + Berry connection)

Turn #2
Me... Plow (but not enough food to connect to berries)
Him.. Bear (no connection and couldn't afford to build it)

Turn #3
Can no longer afford to buy tools (either of us)


The lesson here is don't put up a card you don't want it and can't afford to take it. If there was nothing you wanted you would probably have been better passing, you would have lost some food to rotting but would have been in last position next turn (if you didn't expand and everyone else bought a tool/technology) and have been able to snag something worthwhile. It is a dangerous game in First Sparks putting up a card you don't want in the expectation that someone else will take it and you will get a pop at something nicer that comes down the line.

p.s. when teaching the game I always advise people not to by the first Fire in their first game as it it easy to get in a position where there is no useful tool in the next turn and end up in a downward spiral.
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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It does mention it as a warning in the rules and I mention it each time I play, you can over spend your food and get stuck (I know I did in my first game). With a little planning you can avoid that situation. I usually reserve the appropriate amount of food for next turns technology, before expanding. If I can't then I curtail my expansion.

There's a touch of Age of Steam to Power Grid: The First Sparks, in Power Grid: The First Sparks food = money and you need to be very careful with your food.
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Derakon Derakon
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Jon Pranno wrote:
Once Upon a Time....

I was the #1 player in a 6 player game. My connections were bear and Mammoth and didn't want anything on the market. Not having a connection to berries or fish can hurt the #1 player.
Absolutely. But you should have known what tools were in the market and would be entering the market; getting access to bears or mammoths on round 1 requires almost everyone else to have gotten something else first. So your placement choices (and in particular choosing to place two clan members before the first round) were inherently risky.
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Jon Pranno
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Derakon wrote:
Jon Pranno wrote:
Once Upon a Time....

I was the #1 player in a 6 player game. My connections were bear and Mammoth and didn't want anything on the market. Not having a connection to berries or fish can hurt the #1 player.
Absolutely. But you should have known what tools were in the market and would be entering the market; getting access to bears or mammoths on round 1 requires almost everyone else to have gotten something else first. So your placement choices (and in particular choosing to place two clan members before the first round) were inherently risky.


Yep..
I can only blame myself. My short comings in the game were based solely on my actions & player #4's were a result of his.

Hope this helps others in the future to avoid Starvation.
 
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Heath Stockburn
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Yeah I encountered this kind of problem. Through poor decision making (and ignorance) in my first game I came to the predicament where I had to starve one of my Neanderdudes as I hadn't enough food. But then I realised that I was in a situation where I even then I would be accumulating four food each Hunting phase and then feeding all four food to the four clan dudes (my four food came from Herbs and Farming)......this seems like a flaw in the game. There would never be any surplus food for me to invest in new technology. Once this happens there is no way out of it and so Round two into the game there was no point in carrying on unless we all aggred on allowing me to break the rule 'you must feed all clan memebers'!!

It feels like the rules should have said that players may feed clan members but must discard any they choose not to feed. As the rules don't say this I think that maybe each group that plays this game needs to be made aware of this possible pitfall and mayabe make a house rule for newbs allowing them to 'scarifice' neanderdudes to create a surplus of food for the next round.

Thankfully technolgy doesn't become expensive quickly so you can recover from such a blunder.......
 
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Randall Bart
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If you get to the position that one player is starving and has no chance, you should end the game there and tell that player to play better next time.
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