Players: John, Myself, and Tim
When we try a game for the first time we often have a fleeting grasp of the rules. Many times I haven't had the opportunity to read the rules and rely on my husband John to summerize. This was the case for the first game of Power Grid, a game that seemed to me to be very complex.
This game we used the entire map of Germany, and it was only after this game that we realized that we had to confine our play to three areas.
One thing that became clear even before we started is that the paper money that came with the game was a nightmare to handle. We ended up getting out the poker chips. Chuck the paper, poker chips are the way to go.
Since we did not know better, we picked our starting areas based on where we could reach. Tim got the cheap area around Essen and John tried to muscle in the same area. Meanwhile, I was stuck in the rather expensive purple area. This meant that Tim and John pushed ahead early with 3 cities to my 2.
This game I decided to go for all wind power and I felt that I may have paid too dearly for them. My first wind power I paid 36 for an 18 wind power that powered 2 cities. Later I paid 40 for a 27 wind to power 3 cities. My first plant was a 15 coal that powered 2 cities. Later I replaced the 2 coal with a 30 garbage to power 6 cities, until I could get a 44 wind that cost me 61. For most of the game, it was nice to not have to vie for coal and oil, but they made me pay for it. Since I wasn't the only person with garbage, garbage got expensive and it eventually soured me on garbage.
John diversifies with coal, garbage, and oil. He is the one who is making garbage expensive for me by buying up garbage.
Tim buys oil and nukes.
The clean air strategy is really nice for most of the game, but you get in trouble in that you do not have the capacity that coal and oil plants have. It got to the point where I couldn't buy anymore plants to increase capacity without abandoning the clean air strategy, which seems impossible after forking over double the chips for each plant.
Meanwhile, Tim ended up getting a turn ahead of us and getting nukes on the cheap. He ended up winning and I was scratching my head.
The game has a very complex turn order which got really confusing the first time around. It was really hard to get our heads around strategy when we were struggling with turn order.