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FAQ for Power Grid: The Robots
For questions about basic Power Grid rules not related specifically to the Robots, see Power Grid FAQ.
Note that (at this time) the publisher has uncharacteristically not responded to many of the forum questions, so the answers in this FAQ are often unofficial and speculative... Hopefully we will get more clarity soon.
Info taken from FAQs in file area and various forum threads, consolidated into a Wiki page so that people can more easily find all the info in one place and update it.
Table of Contents
"Last player, first player"
"Last player" means the human player who has the last (highest-numbered) position on the turn order track.
But when going through the players in a phase, all players (human and robot) do their actions in the usual standard rules order according to the turn order track (e.g. if the robot is last on the track, the robot will buy resources first).
Phase 1: First City
Early Choice for All
The German rules incorrectly give the wrong player order for selecting the candidate cities.
It is legal to bid 0. If no later bidder bids higher, then the first bidder wins, paying 0.
This means the human players successively mark all unchosen cities one by one until only one city is left unmarked, which the robot then purchases.
Phase 2: Auction Power Plants
Which plant to discard when a 4th plant is bought?
There is disagreement about how to interpret the rules if your lowest numbered plant powers more cities than some other plant and you buy a 4th plant:
Using Cheapest Resources
Many believe that "cheapest resources" means cheapest for purchasing a complete set to produce electricity for a turn, given the current market prices. (As opposed to cheapest to purchase a single unit of that resource.)
Buys the First Choice for Minimum Bid
"First choice" = "First offered power plant", i.e. the first plant put up for auction this turn.
It is legal to choose a plant which the robot can't/won't buy:
But if the robot can't/won't buy the first auction put up for bid (e.g. it's too expensive, or it has a lower number than his smallest power plant, etc), it's unclear if the robot will buy the next auction put up for bid.
"Minimum bid" = number on the card
Many believe that "minimum bid" simply means the number printed on the power plant card.
It is unclear if this means "the second smallest which the robot would be willing to buy according to the General Robot Rules" or simply literally "the second smallest".
Ignore nuclear plants if the robot can't buy them
E.g. if the robot only has cities in Poland, then ignore nuclear plants when deciding which plant the robot will want to buy in the auction.
Phase 3: Buying Resources
What if a robot can't buy all the resources to power its cities this turn?
In case the robot can't buy enough resources to power all its cities, it buys resources according to these priorities:
What if a robot can't buy all extra resources it's supposed to?
"Least available resources"
Presumably "least available resources" excludes resources which have none available. E.g. if there are only 3 garbage and 0 uranium, the robot would buy some garbage, rather than buying zero uranium.
Odd turn, even turn
Presumably the first turn is numbered "1" and is therefore an odd turn. :)
Phase 4: Building
Cannot build "through" possible cities
This only means the robot cannot skip a "non-full" city (which it could build in) to instead build in some other farther city). It is still allowed to build through "full" cities (which it could not build in) to build in some other farther city if it has no available adjacent cities.
Never more than "first player"
Note than in turn 1, this does not prevent the robot from building a city. The rule on the robot's head applies for the first city built.
"Step 1": 1 city, "Step 2": 2 cities, "Step 3": 3 cities
Of course this means the robot will build at most 1 city per turn in step 1, not 1 city during the whole game during step 1, etc.
Phase 5: Bureaucracy
There is confusion about how the robot chooses which plants to fire. Does "earn the most money with his power plants" mean simply the income generated from firing, or is it the profit (income from generation minus cost of resources used), for example? Some discussion here:
Always "Last in Player Order" versus Supply Contract
Presumably this robot's ability takes precedence over the Supply Contract, due to the "Golden Robot Rule".
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