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Subject: power grid, good for 2? rss

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nate ben-porat
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Jerusalem
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i see a lot of people talking about power grid and mentioning how awesome the game is. the game does look great but, becuase i play mostly with 2 players i wanted to ask how is the game with 2? no one ever mentioned the game sucks with 2 (as far as i seen) but, yet, no one told it good. just wanted to ask to see if i want to start thinking of getting the game.

thanks,
nate
 
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Bill Byrd
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Mt Prospect
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Power Grid is awesome with 2
 
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Stan Mamula
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Oakmont
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I was surprised at how well it plays with 2. Very good game.
 
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Christopher Hinsz
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San Jose
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I love Power Grid. It's my only 10 game I've rated. That being said, it's not a 2-player game in my opinion. The game really gets good when cities can fill up such that you can't expand into them. In a 2-player game every city is available to you from "Stage 2" on. I also don't feel that the auctions are as interesting in a 2-player game.
 
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Brent Mair
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Roy
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Power grid with two is okay but it is much better with more players. With two the game changes quite a bit. Building becomes an exercise in making your opponent pay more for each city since you are all trying to build into every city. The auctions become much more difficult since the person who doesn't win the first auction gets their pick of the next four cards at face value.

I will play it with two but I prefer more.
 
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George Kinney
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Bellefontaine
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Just like I wouldn't recommend sawing off your leg due to the availability of prosthetic legs, I wouldn't recommend playing this with 2 players for the same reasons.

There are far too many good 2 player games out there to settle for bland and mediocre.

 
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José Carlos de Diego
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Zaragoza
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Power Grid is mediocre with 2 and 3 players.
 
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Matt Albritton
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Chris (goldy) gave some good examples of why to stay away from two-player Power Grid. Two-player just doesn't have the interaction necessary to make the bids interesting, it loses the nail-biting "how much do I need to build to defend my territory, yet maintain decent turn order" decisions, plant upgrade decisions are less important because you can hold four plants, and you can't effectively play all the endgame possibilities that the full game allows (specifically "over-building" is not possible, since you are capped at 21).

The multiplayer game is awesome. The two player version is ok to learn the mechanics of the game on, but quit after Stage two and find more players for next time.
 
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Michael Waters
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I really dislike it with 2. The single element that weakens it most with 2-3 is the reduced tension involved with winning just 1 auction per round.

Other auction games, where you can win more than 1 lot per round (Ra, Goa, etc) seem to be just fine with 2.
 
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Paul Smith
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Ventnor
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It's not often I totally disagree with BGG threads, but personally I think Power Grid is amazing with 2 players.

There's no doubt that it is a totally different game with 4+ players, but with 2 the auctions near the end of the game are really tense! Like, If anyone buys that 7-plant that has just come up at face value, they'll win. So, how far can you push your money before pulling out of the auction leaving your opponent without enough money to finish the game.

Then you've got to watch that your opponent isn't squeezing resources for your best plant by running one of their lower powered plants just to drain the market.

Then, if you're not careful, you can be outplayed on the board and find yourself unable to build the crucial city to trigger Step 2 because you would have to waste money leapfrogging over 4 of your opponent's cities to get there.

Power Grid is flat out my favourite game, and it plays brilliantly with 2 or 4+ in my book. (Actually, now that I mention it I have very few plays with 5 or 6 players, I seem to remember 6 being a little chaotic - but that's outside the scope of this thread)

3 players I don't like. Too kingmakerish.
 
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Rooster Robinson
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Powergrid with....
2 players - fun, but not as exciting as 3, 4, 5, or 6 players.
You will get bored with it always playing with just 2 players. Not a long table life, longer shelf life I think.
3 players - played with 3 the first time yesterday, and YES the third person did decide the fate of the game and Made a King. Still better with 4, 5, or 6 players. but better than 2. Perhaps only take out 6 power plants instead of the required 8. This might help.
4 players - 4 players seems to be the end all be all of most boardgames I've played. In this case its true, I like it best with 4 players however if player 5 and player 6 found a babysitter for the night and want to come over, don't turn them away.
5 players - Mo players, Mo problems...just kidding. 5 is fun but ends early, I suggest game end at 16 cities not 15.
6 players - Crazy, crowded and confusing, not ideal but still better than 2 or 3 players.

All is all if you like/love, and collect boardgames you HAVE to buy this game. You'll find people to play with. "If you buy it they will come."

~VONROO
 
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Bill Byrd
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Mt Prospect
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JeremiahClayton wrote:
boatner wrote:
Power Grid is awesome with 2


That has to be sarcasm.. because Power Grid is awful with 2 players. The auctions are predictable.. and most games are decided by cash in hand at the end of the game. In my opinion.. 2 players results in an okay game becoming an awful game.


I respect your opinion, but I was being perfectly serious.

If the auctions are predictable, try struggling more for player order.

 
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Matthew Wills
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Panania
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jcd2001es wrote:
Power Grid is mediocre with 2 and 3 players.


Agreed.
 
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Brian Rawson
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Ottawa
Ontario
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In 2- and 3-player games, players do not have to compete very much to build their networks and there is no risk of being trapped in a single region like in games with more players.

However, I have to disagree (partly) with the opinions that the auction is less interesting in the 2- and 3-player games. Near the end-game, being able to power the most cities is critical, and competition for plants powering 6 or 7 cities is fierce.

Resource shortages are also much more intense in 2- and 3-player games than in games with more players. With more players, more plants are in play, consuming a broad range of resources, and the re-supply rate is high. With 2- and 3- player games, only 12 plants are in play and the resource restocking is very limited. If just 3 of 12 plants require a single resource (especially coal or uranium), there's a risk of depletion. If 4 or more plants require a single resource, someone will get shafted.
 
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Ben Smith
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hmmm, I was sceptical about this not working for two until I tried it. Contention for cities was low, auctions were a non-event. We both built to 21 cities and powered them all so it came down to cash in hand.

A real train wreck.
 
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Matthew Wills
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b5mith wrote:
hmmm, I was sceptical about this not working for two until I tried it. Contention for cities was low, auctions were a non-event. We both built to 21 cities and powered them all so it came down to cash in hand.

A real train wreck.


Even with more players it often comes down to cash.

But, as you point out, the lack of contention for cities and the lack of auction tension destroys the game for 2.
 
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