Power Grid (2004)

20100627 Game 1:
This is my first time playing Power Grid. It took about an hour to explain the rules.

Note: When reading the rules on my own for the first time, it helped a lot when I actually set up the game as if I was about to play. This way, I could visualize the rules and game play.

[20100627][20211227 Edit]
20100627 Game 2:
Thoughts specific to the game: I should have not placed in purple.
I should have gone with my first choice and play on the cheap area near Josh.

General comment: I had forgotten that the other side of the Germany board was the United States. This game is fabulous. I already put my order in for the other expansions. I look forward to playing a bunch of Power Grid.

[20100627][20211227 Edit]
On an early turn I didn't buy enough resources. I didn't know what I was thinking. I didn't buy resources thinking it wouldn't profit, but the jump in money would have been a profit. That sort of error happens in my board game thinking every so often (more specifically, I'll make a decision thinking it has certain consequences, only to realize that I miscalculated).


One round I bought too much, and I could have made the burst for a win a turn earlier than when I did end the game. And when I did end the game, since I had made a big commotion about being close to winning, everybody rushed to get what they needed.

Therefore, while the posted score shows a close game, it was possible for me to win uncontested. Though here's a different hypothetical. If Steve had bought two fewer cities, would the money he would have saved been enough to win? Possibly, but not necessarily, because I would have saved some money too.

[20110126][20160821 Edit]

My choice of initial placement was bad. Placing close to another player isn't a bad idea. Better than bad placement.

The uranium ban rule of Portugal isn't that significant. At least not with the removal of the bottom area. And not without more competition.

The uranium coming out on step 2 is interesting. The energy plants that came out during step 2 didn't interest me.

Michael bought very few power plants during the game.

This game could have turned out much differently depending on various critical "mistakes" in the game.

Josh noted the following errors:
1) Steve should have made some different choices as to building early game, and that Steve's failure to do so cost Josh the game.
2) I made an error in building placement during the middle of the game
3) Steve made an error in power plant buying which would have saved Steve a lot of money.

Meanwhile, Michael noted the following:
- Josh should have run coal dry to prevent Michael's win (which implies that Michael's choice to buy a coal power plant was risky)

Philosophically, perhaps it's the errors which makes board games fun as opposed to some theoretical perfect play.

[20101229][20211228 Edit]
I learned from this game that spreading yourself out will balance the game more than going after cheapest areas. While this was also true in the last game, it didn't quite sink in for me. Though I think it sank in for Josh. Thus, it's likely the greedy algorithm does not work for determining the order in which to buy cities in Power Grid. From a different point of view, paying high connection costs early can be beneficial later. Steve did this in the last game, and I tried doing it this game.


Unfortunately, I think I would have done better with one or two extra rounds. By the end-game, the plants I owned could only supply ten cities total (2+4+4). I needed power plants which produce more power. In particular, I should have increased prioritization of power plants which supply energy to six cities. With only a single upgrade (the two city plant to a six city plant), I would still only be supplying fourteen cities total (4+4+6).

My auctioning this game was terrible. On that front, I have decided that it is better to buy the best from what's available in the actual market than to put too much thought about the power plants that might eventually come in from the future market. Furthermore, it's too much work and no fun to count all the power plants that have already come up.


Comments on Russia map:
Pertaining to the Russia map and game play, there are three power plants on the actual market and three on the future market so there are less choices to choose from. I think that helps speed up the game. Too bad we didn't get to auctioning in step 3, with four power plants on the market. The resources are also interesting. With two people buying Uranium, Uranium should be one for four. I was getting one for two, which was terrible for me. With two people buying oil, then oil is very cheap. I think for Russia's supply table, three people should be competing for oil, or two people should have more oil power plants. In our game, coal was probably the worst resource.


Supply and demand:
In this game, I implemented Josh's advice on buying materials. Last game he said that sometimes I bought resources to try to up the cost, but that wasn't always the right choice. Depending on the turn order, if you're up first for resources in the next round, then you only need to buy the minimum number of resources, because after the resupply, you will be first to buy. If you know you'll be up last for resources, you should consider buying more while you can, because you will be last to get your hands on some. All this also depends on the restock rate. If you are last to get your hands on some, and people are buying more resources than the restock rate, then it's more important to get your hands on some. If the demand is less than the supply, then you don't need to buy now.

[20110102][20160821 Edit][20211228 Edit]
20110126 Comment:
Picking which areas to keep/remove:
We have different methods of choosing which areas to remove:
- We sometimes talk about it.
- We sometimes go in a circle choosing the one we want to keep. Sometimes this restricts another players decision. For example, in this game, the choice to keep Red and Pink forced the colors to be Pink, Green, Yellow, Red.
- We sometimes choose by rolling dice. This is most fair.
In some sense it doesn't matter too much, as I want to eventually have played all boards, with all possibilities. I wonder if I'll ever achieve this. Good thing the two-player game uses the same number of areas as a three-player game and a six-player game uses the same number of areas as a five-player game.

Error(s) with following the rules:
I learned that bidding on an auction goes clockwise. From the rule book:
The player chooses one power plant from the actual market (top row) and then makes a bid to purchase it (the player must bid at least the minimum bid (number of the power plant), but may start with a higher bid. Continuing in clockwise order, the other players can make higher bids or pass.
Other than this, I don't think we've made any other serious errors. Forgetting to remove the smallest or largest power plant during the bureaucracy phase, when the number of cities exceeds a plant on the market, or when step 2 is triggered are all likely possibilities. It's clear to remember to remove a plant after the step 3 card comes up, because instead of 8 (6) plants showing in the market there needs to be 6 (4) plants.

[20211228 Edit]
I'm fairly new at explaining the rules to new players. I try my best to be succinct, while covering all the bases. I figure it's best to start with the First Game Rule set, because if we played a regular game, without knowing strategy, one can make a mistake early game, and suddenly be turned off. Of course, the short game presents the element of being blocked until the end game. Whereas the full game allows extra options after step 2.

If I recall correctly, on the last round, I made a purchase which I thought would ensure my win. But I didn't see the spot to which Lauren could expand to. In the last picture, you can see the lone yellow city in the bottom left. I don't regret making the purchase I did, it's much more enjoyable to go on instinct, than to spend the last turn figuring out exactly what one needs to do, which is generally possible.

[20110817][20211228 Edit]
It's been a while since I've played and it took me some time to re-read the rules I had forgotten.

At one point, there were two consecutive takebacks, though the latter takeback was arguably still within the player's turn.

In the late game, I observed we had stalemated to Stage 3, and a couple turns after I made the mistake of rushing. It kind of worked out, but I could have done better.

Today I thought playing safe was the best strategy. But playing safe resulted in more risks and a loss.

Unfortunately, part of the reason I needed to implement the strategy was because we couldn't agree on whether we should or shouldn't be aware of each other's monetary values.

This is certainly dependent on the player. Some players would agree that that such information should be public. To hide it gives an unfair advantage to any player with extremely good memory. Furthermore, since a player can keep track of the information via pen and paper (certainly not against the rules), it might as well be public. Making the information public results in well-informed actions, but not necessarily a guaranteed victory.

In the end, we played the end game with hidden money and this caused an interesting end, because it cast doubt on what I should do. If I tried to end the game, I might lose due to building less cities or having less money.

What ended up happening was the game dragged out and allowed other players to claim good power plants and catch up.

On a different note, the interesting multiplayer dilemma is having a player (who may clearly be out of the running for a win) who can screw the other players over.

[20170305 Edit]

Played 20100627 Game 1 SteveN MichaelT StephanieH JoshK TimT. Germany. Removed Brown. FirstGameRules. TimT won. 2115-2305PDT 1hr50min. 18-19min/round. 3-4min/player.
Played 20100627 Game 2 SteveN MichaelT DanielM StephanieH JoshK TimT. Germany. Removed Green. JoshK won. 2324-2636PDT 3hr12min. 21-22min/round. 3-4min/player.
Played 20100628 MichaelT JoshK TimT. Germany. Removed Brown, Purple, and Blue. MichaelT won. 2226-2444PDT 2hr18min. 10-11min/round. 3-4min/player.
Played 20101222 MichaelT KevinH SteveN JoshK TimT. Brazil. Removed Brown. TimT won. 2218-2559PST 3hr41min. 24-25min/round. 4-5min/player.
Played 20101226 MichaelT KevinH SteveN JoshK TimT. Spain & Portugal. Removed Red. MichaelT won. 2113-2325PST 2hr12min. 14-15min/round. 2-3min/player.
Played 20101229 JoshK MichaelT SteveN TimT. Korea. Removed Purple and Yellow. MichaelT won. 2140-2403PST 2hr23min. 14-15min/round. 3-4min/player.
Played 20110102 SteveN JoshK KevinH TimT. Russia. Removed Purple and Brown. KevinH won. 2050-2250PST 2hr00min. 13-14min/round. 3-4min/player.
Played 20110531 LaurenB JohnR TimT. Germany. Removed Purple, Green, and Brown. FirstGameRules. LaurenB won. 2010-2101EDT 0hr51min. 8-9min/round. 2-3min/player.
Played 20160502 TinD CrystalT TimT. Germany. Removed X, Y, and Z. CrystalT won.

Power Grid (2004)

Relevant Links:
Power Grid (RioGrandeGames.com)
Power Grid Rules (RioGrandeGames.com)
Power Grid (BoardGameGeek.com)
Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal (BoardGameGeek.com)

20100627 Game 1:
Start game at 9:15
End round 1 at about 9:35 (20 min)
End round 2 at about 9:53 (18 min)
End round 3 at 10:12 (19 min)
End round 4 at 10:30 (18 min)
End round 5 at 10:46 (16 min)
End round 6 at 11:05 (19 min)

20100627 Game 2:
Start game at about 11:24
End round 1 at about 11:44 (20 min)
End round 2 at about 12:08 (24 min)
End round 3 at about 12:26 (18 min)
End round 4 at about 12:46 (20 min)
End round 5 at 1:01 (15 min)
End round 6 at about 1:20 (19 min)
End round 7 at 1:44 (24 min)
End round 8 at 2:05 (21 min)
End round 9 at about 2:36 (31 min)
End clean-up at about 2:44

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 7 min
Round 2 10 min
Round 3 9 min
Round 4 8 min
Round 5 7 min
Round 6 10 min
Round 7 10 min
Round 8 15 min The pictures suggest we had hit Step 3 and that I was studying the rule book to deal with the transition. This could be when step three comes into effect, or just with proper set up of the market.
Round 9 13 min
Round 10 15 min
Round 11 15 min
Round 12 10 min
Round 13 9 min

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 37 min
Round 2 23 min
Round 3 20 min
Round 4 18 min
Round 5 21 min
Round 6,7 43 min While possible, I'm guessing I just missed taking a picture and this was two round each about 21 minutes.
Round 8 30 min
Round 9 29 min

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 15min
Round 2 13min
Round 3 07min
Round 4 07min
Round 5 17min
Round 6 14min
Round 7,8 35min
From the transition between the two pictures, many buildings were built. Thus while its possible only one round occurred, it's more likely that two rounds occurred.
Round 9 24min

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 13min
Round 2 13min
Round 3 13min
Round 4 06min
Round 5 13min
Round 6 17min
Round 7 21min
Round 8 15min
Round 9 16min
Round 10 16min

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 18min
Round 2 09min
Round 3 13min
Round 4 11min
Round 5 10min
Round 6,7 29min Between the two photos, I gained two new power plants, so at least two rounds have passed.
Round 8 15min
Round 9 15min

(times are inferred from pictures)
Round 1 ??min
Round 2 07min
Round 3 08min
Round 4 08min
Round 5 09min
Round 6 12min
Round 7 07min


20100627 Game 1:
06 05 06 06 07 cities
07 07 06 09 07 cities able to supply
03 02 22 12 22 money
04 05 02 03 01 place

20100627 Game 2:
12 14 14 11 15 06 cities
16 14 16 15 16 12 cities able to supply
20 39 07 11 01 16 money
04 02 03 05 01 06 place

(according to the last three pictures...)
18 17 17 cities able to supply
18 15 17 cities supplied
10 25 64 money
18 15 17 cities
01 03 02 place

Bk Rd Pu Gr Bl color
13 16 16 16 16 cities able to supply
13 15 16 14 16 cities supplied
27 10 00 02 23 money
13 15 18 14 16 cities
05 03 02 04 01 place

Bk Rd Pu Gr Bl color
16 15 14 15 13 cities able to supply
16 15 13 14 13 cities supplied
52 03 17 19 08 money
16 15 13 14 13 cities
01 02 04 03 05 place

Gr Bl Pu Bl color
03 01 04 02 starting turn order
14 14 14 14 cities able to supply
13 14 12 14 cities supplied
11 67 30 01 money
13 17 12 14 cities
03 01 04 02 place

Pu Gr Rd Bl color
04 03 02 01 starting turn order
13 11 15 10 cities able to supply
13 11 15 10 cities supplied
18133 31 10 money
16 12 17 15 cities
02 03 01 04 place

Ye Pu Bl color
XX XX XX starting turn order
08 09 08 cities able to supply
07 07 07 cities supplied
23 11 12 money
07 07 07 cities
01 03 02 place


20100627 Game 2:
Round 7:
Okay so here's the thing, card counting, would result in six cards being under the phase 3 card, but there were only four under and two on top. That means we missed taking care of the bureaucracy phase twice. Then there was some confusion on where cards should have ended up during that phase. But I arbitrated the situation by discarding the 23 to the discard pile, six in the draw pile, and six up for auction.
We also clarified that while the phase 3 card came up during phase 5, step 3 begins at the next phase, which is phase 1, therefore stock of phase 5 is still carried out under the re-supply numbers of step 2.

Round 8:
19 25 32 36 37 40 up for auction

Round 9:
25 32 36 38 42 50 up for auction
Stephanie bought 50 for 79
Steve short 2 Elecktro for cities because he bought too many garbages
Josh was down by three for something. But he found alternative purchases and made off with one extra city to win the game.
Unfortunately for Michael, he couldn't supply enough cities even if he could.

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