Date: January 7th, 2006
Game: Power Grid
Players: Charles, François, Jean-François, Johnny, Ray and Valdir (myself)
We were still six after the end of our short session of Sticheln, it seemed that nobody else would show up. With six players it would be impossible to play either A Game of Thrones or Samurai Swords. Charles proposed Power Grid that he had brought.
Ray and Charles explained the rules, I helped also, I remembered a few things from my previous session of this title, so I could complement some of the information. The beginning was a bit complicated because we were all the time going back to the rulebook, that dragged down the game a bit.
I remembered that starting in Jacksonville was a good strategy because that gave me exclusive access to the two cities in Florida, so that's what I did. Money was very tight for me throughout the game. Power Grid is one of those unforgiving games, where if you make a mistake at the beginning, you're practically doomed for the rest of the game. It's very hard to undo a bad initial decision.
We also had a runaway leader problem. Johnny was first to hit big money and with more money to spend he was able to jump farther ahead, which gave him more money... You see the cycle. By two thirds of the game there wasn't much more doubt that he would win. In the end, it was a landslide, he was able to complete the fourteen cities for the win while the closest competitor was at only 11.
Player: Cities (Money)
Ray: 11 (6)
Charles: 11 (2)
Jean-François: 10 (2)
Valdir: 10 (0)
François: 8 After the game the opinions were that this is a good game, but it has some problems that would be hard to correct. Probably this is a game for those groups that only play one game over and over. With a group of hardened pros, this might work well. With a lot of newbies around the table, the problems show up too much.