Thursday, April 18, 2013

Power Grid: Double Win!

I have been doing much more gaming than blogging lately, but I do have a lot going on in my life right now (new job, school, daughter getting married). Still, I'd like to bring everyone up-to-date with a series of posts, starting with a summary of two games I played of Power Grid, a fun and easy game in which players compete to build the most effective electrical power network. I say "effective" and not "biggest" because while someone might have a larger network, if they can't power it, they may end up losing.

There are no dice involved in the game (something I enjoy) and the mechanics are easy and balanced. Players take turns bidding for power plants, buying fuel (coal, oil, nuclear, and garbage), expanding their network, and powering their cities. The game puts the leader at a disadvantage and those trailing at an advantage, making the game pretty even throughout.

The first game I played was with my two sons, 23 and 13. The game was pretty close but I had made a critical mistake--I invested heavily in fossil fuel plants on the last turn, we were nearly out of oil and coal. My 13 year old bought his fuel first and could have bought the rest of the coal (there are limits to what one can buy to ensure someone doesn't monopolize any of the fuels) but didn't, allowing me to power my 17+ city network and win the game.

My Winning Position in the First Game (I am blue)
The second game was during the First Annual International Table Top Game Day. Again, I won, but barely. The game was pretty close throughout, but toward the end I went on an expansion frenzy and pulled ahead.

International Table Top Game Day
On the last turn, my closest opponent decided not to expand, but to save up for a better power plant the next turn. I was able to take advantage of his decision to win the game that turn.

My Winning Position in the Second Game (I am once again playing blue)
The game is fun and is becoming one of those "really don't have to think about the rules a whole lot" games that our group enjoys playing. The basic game comes with two maps: Germany and the United States, and expansion maps and power plants are available.

Roll well and live!

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