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Subject: Building power plants late in the game rss

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Ben Tsui
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Today I played a 4 player game. Game went fine until about beginning of 4th decade. By the 4th decade, 3 of us had a pretty good stash of money and cubes - at least enough to buy a few power plants (at least we have enough cubes for the cheaper ones)

There I was, waiting for my turn to come around to build more power plants. Turn comes around, no installed plants to build on. No matter, just propose more plans to entice the other players.

However, all of a sudden, either players before me would build the power plants, or there isn't any installed plans around. (Since it only takes 2 players to install and build, and there are 3 players before it gets back to me)

You'd think that eventually my opponents would run out of resources, but I sat there for 6 turns, from 4th decade to 5th decade, without any thing better to do but just propose plan after plan after plan. I'm sure it's not some king-making move, since I was sitting at 3rd place, and at that time, building plants were the best thing to do to push the scoring up.

In the end I was able to build 1 power plant, which gave me like 7 points. I had enough resources to even build 2 forestation if needed.

So the question is, what do you do in such a situation? Proposing plans eventually gave me the lead in cubes, which net me 3 points. Considering the winning score were in the 110s, that almost seemed like nothing. The biggest thing that seems to me is that, no one would want to install plans, as that leads to people building power plants for the points. Especially when CO2 level is under control, and we weren't in need of the bonuses you get from installing.

 
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Chris Linneman
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I think this sort of stalemate happens a lot in the late game. I felt my 2p games ran about one decade too long, but I have never played it with more. You can always propose projects for money, which can be worth more overall than the 3VPs for the cube lead. I admit it's sort of an anticlimactic ending, but at least it should be over quickly as the best moves would become obvious.

Don't forget that the VP gain for building a plant is minimal compared to the cost of building it. So it can possibly be to your benefit to install a plant if A) it gives a valuable reward (perhaps 2 CEPs when CEP value is high) and B) the next player building the plant would not steal regional control from you or gain access to any additional UN goal cards.
 
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Steve Duff
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Sairanac wrote:
There I was, waiting for my turn to come around to build more power plants. Turn comes around, no installed plants to build on. No matter, just propose more plans to entice the other players.

However, all of a sudden, either players before me would build the power plants, or there isn't any installed plans around. (Since it only takes 2 players to install and build, and there are 3 players before it gets back to me)


I can see this with 3, but it doesn't seem to make sense with 4 players. What did the 4th guy do?

If you proposed, and 2 of the other players flip and build, then there must be something when it gets back to you, when the 4th guy had to propose a new project.
 
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Dave K
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Love 'em even if a few games get scuttled from time to time.
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We hit this pseudo-stalemate too. I didn't see any obvious way around it - late in the game, nobody wants to work on a project just to see someone else yank it from them and complete the plant. I'm no expert so maybe there is a good way to prevent this, but we didn't find it.
 
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Ben Tsui
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Sairanac wrote:
There I was, waiting for my turn to come around to build more power plants. Turn comes around, no installed plants to build on. No matter, just propose more plans to entice the other players.

However, all of a sudden, either players before me would build the power plants, or there isn't any installed plans around. (Since it only takes 2 players to install and build, and there are 3 players before it gets back to me)


I can see this with 3, but it doesn't seem to make sense with 4 players. What did the 4th guy do?

If you proposed, and 2 of the other players flip and build, then there must be something when it gets back to you, when the 4th guy had to propose a new project.


I cannot remember the exact situation, but 2nd player was low on resources, so he would install plans - which helped 3rd or 4th player. By the 5th decade when I pointed that out, no one would be installing anything anymore, but just proposing plans.

I just find the end game, if everyone is playing like that, to be a drag and anti-climatic. The only thing I could do is defending my controlled regions by installing the same type of plans over and over (as I already had more types in place earlier)

 
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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition, Mercato
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You should do well your accounting. Don't be afraid of install power plants, especially in countries where opponents may lose control, or in regions with oone or none ceps, or even in places that have the same type of power plants.
Installing forestation projects when the market price is high is very lucrative. Recycling gives more points to you then the power plant build. just be aware of the oportunities. Place your scientists on projects. Try to have more than 2 to in game to finished summits alone.

All of the above will give you more points than building power plants. Remember that players must send your scientist away to build, this will gives you cubes, expertise and CEPs. All of those are points. Money is points.

Instaling a recycling plant can gives you 7 or more points. Building it, will only give a couple of points to your opponent.

In the beginning of the 4th decade, you still have 6 actions to take, so install as much as you get and manage well your scientists. After building one plant your opponents eventually run out of resources, so you are in control of the game. Proposing will gives you power, and puts you in control. Installing will pace the game rhythm as you wish and gives you resources.

You will give other players something every time. you just have to do your thing to get more than you give. This is the real goal and chalenge of CO2. Well at least I try to designed it that way. But I admit that many cannot see the hyden points behind the power plant building.

See this thread:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/880800/one-sentence-random-t...
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Tim OConnor
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I was at the other side of the table from Ben and felt the frustration too. There seemed to be no shortage of resources (CEPs, tech cubes, money), so no one wanted to install to let the player to their left construct. By this time we had also reduced the CO2 emissions such that there was no risk of going over 500.

I had 2 scientists stranded on a 3-topic summit, no lobby cards left to use, and a reluctance to propose or install because I knew those actions would only help the other players. I sort of felt like passing.

I actually thought we must have been playing a rule wrong and that resources should have been more scarce. I was wondering if that would make a difference. I wonder if not using the lobby cards would create that situation - I believe that is a suggestion to make the game more difficult.
 
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Harri Kokkonen
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In our 4 player game the stalemate also occurred in the middle of the game. After that nobody wanted to install any projects, and there was no danger of going over the 500 ppm. This might work better with "nicer" player groups. But at least with the people I usually play any game that requires giving something to the opponents has some problems.
 
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Steve Duff
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abzone wrote:
In our 4 player game the stalemate also occurred in the middle of the game. After that nobody wanted to install any projects...


I think this just shows that most of us just can't grasp that installing a plant is often better than building it (yes, I include myself in this). I too thought that building plants was the end all - be all.

As Vital said, you get more points from installing a recycling project than building it (3 vps minimum to install it, 1.5vps to build it).

If everyone is just proposing projects, *some* of the players are missing that a better move is to install something.
 
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Andrew Walker
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One thing I have noticed from the few games I played is that the CEP price at the end of the game is often the determing factor. The person or people who are doing the most building want to keep the price high so those CEP's from the regions they control are worth big money at the end of the game.
So, if your neighbor won't let you build; don't worry about it.
Install those projects, especially the forestation projects, get the extra expertise when they construct your installed projects, and sell those CEP's to grab some extra cash and get the CEP price down super low.

I have to agree that resources often seem very abundant in this game. However; the value of all those resources is constantly changing as we all go from "Oh my god, we gotta work together or the worlds gonna end!" to "He's got more points than me. How can I lay waste to his dreams?".
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Maarten Alders
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Quote:
I think this just shows that most of us just can't grasp that installing a plant is often better than building it (yes, I include myself in this).


But it simply isn't better to install around year 4 of further (4 player game). Remember at this moment everyone will build their 3rd of 4th power plant. That means as soon as you install the project someone else is building it AND almost certainly getting a UN goal!

My theory is this (at least in a 4 player game):
- when you reach a point in the game where
a) players have build 2 of more plants
b) players are allowed to build most plants according to expertise tracks
c) most players have enough money/cubes to build almost any type of plan
- then the only logical action is to STOP installing

I would LOVE to be disproven in this theory. If I'm right (which I hope I'm not), I consider this game to be (at least partly) broken cry

We had exactly the same situation when we played as described above. So for one round everyone was only planning.
Interestingly, one of the players did not want the game to end like this so did start installing just to get the game going (not because she thought it was smart). So what ofcourse happened is that her neighbour build at least two more plants, got a bunch of UN goals, and ended up winning the game by an extreme(!) margin at the end of year 4 (pollution under 350).

I'm interested in some feedback on this issue. The end-game we experienced was so bad that none of us want to play again, because we don't really see a solution for this. This is a pity because we were really enjoying the game until then.

Thoughts?
 
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Jacob Lee
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Slightly off topic question regarding power plants:

Vital,

Could you explain briefly your rationale for awarding control of a region to the player with the most TYPES of power plants in that region rather than the most? My first game we played incorrectly, but we didn't realize it until our second play and we were consulting the rulebook. It just got me thinking that's one thing that's not intuitive when I'm teaching the game to new players and I'm wondering if it's "necessary".
Due to the timing and high resource cost required, I find it difficult enough to build power plants and "most types" of power plants as a control indicator seems to work.

But I know you must have thought this through so I'm wondering what the reason may be. Thanks!
 
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Vital Lacerda
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@ Mariel:
Please take a look at this thread:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/880800/one-sentence-rand...

It is not enough to install, but you must install the right power plants.
I won so many games having the least power plants. For instance, there is no advantage to the controler player to build a similar power plant in the same region. But I'm bias, so you don't have to believe me.


@Jacob.
I wanted the control change more often, i wanted that people could defend. i wanted that some types of power plants be more important than others depending in the game stage. I want that you could install the right plants in the end and win the game doing it.
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Jacob Lee
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Thanks, Vital, for your quick response.

We'll never get to take advantage of that strategy because I don't think we'll ever become experts at the game. My group plays the same game only a couple of times in one year. We may play this one a third time before the year is over, though. I've played it with a different group so I'm at three plays right now.
What I've noticed in our plays is that we tend to construct the highest level power plant in a region and then go elsewhere. This gives control right away and would take at least two power plans before control is usurped. But it's hard to get two plants built let alone two different plants.
One day, when I am experienced player, I may believe in the original rule as being the best. Right now I feel a hybrid is the most reasonable: a) Most plants wins control; b) If there's a tie, the one who has more different types of plants (taking into account the ranking) wins control.

I think control will change hands more often this way.
 
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Vital Lacerda
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Hi Jacob, of course you may play the game as you want, but that rule changes the game a lot. Because with the original rules, players don't have any advantage , or worst, it is bad for them to build 2 equal power plants in the same region. Giving advantage to the players that want to install in the same region the same power plant. Like that and because one similar power plant don't give any advantage, I must think if I really want to build that power plant. With your rules, its always good to build any power plant. So the strategic thought is very different and much less intresting.
 
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Maarten Alders
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newrev wrote:
@ Mariel:
Please take a look at this thread:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/880800/one-sentence-rand...


Many thanks for the quick answer. By the way, I'm Mariel's partner but we share a single account for our collection. Maybe we have to change the name so it's clear I'm not a girl (edit: now displaying correct name)

I actually read the thread, but was not convinced to be honest. But you have a very good point about installing plants that people already have built in the region. This would be the least desirable installation action for him as it doesn't help him in the region and doesn't give him a UN goal (very important). However with 4 players, your are likely to give 'someone' a new type of powerplant so this will probably only take 1 player away from building the plant.

You give an example the link you sent about the recycling plant , but I think with other types of power plants, the results maybe different. Also you do not take into account that you lose a CEP in a region (which you may exchange later for VP). Did someone already do the math here? If not, maybe I will do it myself when I have time.
 
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Vital Lacerda
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Quote:
but was not convinced to be honest

Try the following: imagine that only one player in a 4 player game is installing in the last decade and half. So 4 rounds to the game end, and what he does is installing and make use of his free actions. remember that if the others will build they must send your scientists away, so make your accounting also thinking about that extra move. Then what your fellows do is building and propose. I would say that with 4 installations your friends build only one power plant each and one may or not to build two, if he get enough resources. Then they just proposing.
See how many points you can manage with CEPs, expertise, resources and money, and how many points the others make building and proposing.
Just make sure you install the right ones in the right spots.

I can bet that that player will be the one with more points in those 4 last actions, if not, will be very, very close to the one in front.
If one of the other players resolve to install to speed up the resources he needs, you have your chance of building a power plant.

I did that math so many times that i believe the stall only happens due a group thinking. And usually in my games players never stop to install. And reach that phase of the game with a lot installed plants.
But yes, players get that felling often unless they give another chance to the game.


 
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Maarten Alders
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Please note that we knew the game was going to end in round four instead of five due to low pollution. Everyone had enough recources to build at least one or two plants.
- Two guys stopped installing projects(and lost horribly)
- My girlfriend continued installing (and lost horribly)
- The guy next to my girlfriend could therefore continue building (and won by a great margin)

In the end we all ended up with many recourse cubes unused and no UN goals, expcept the winning guy who ended up without much of anything and about three UN goals.

I only partly agree that group thinking caused this. If ONLY my neighbour decided to stop installing I would lose automatically because he would simple build the plants before me and never give me the opportunity.

I did some math and saw that building gives you 1,5 to 6 VP (depending on the type) + 1 expertise + a chance to take over the region + a chance for a UN goal.

I don't see how this is not better than about 2,5 VP you get from installing any project (A little more if you assume a CEP spent is worth less than a CEP gained because it can come from a region you might lose).

Maybe things would be different in 5 years instead of 4 because we could 'empty' our opponents resources which was now not possible. Then we could build in the fifth year, when the big builders would be out of cubes.

When doing the math I could see exactly how you calculated the value for each install and build action and how much value you gave to each CEP and resource cube, which was nice to see (the results were very consistent ).

One final personal note: I really appreciate how you seem to build a game around a theme (similar with Vinhos) instead of the other way around what most designers seem to do (just guessing here). I think that is much harder to achieve and altough might make the rules a bit more complicated than needed it does create unique experiences.
Looking forward to your third game(Kanban) and hopefully we will be able to give CO2 another chance
 
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