Friday, April 1, 2011
Power Grid Session
5 player - Germany
Turn 1: Bought 10 plant last, trying something new. Last to build houses, so I went in the double area Leipzig and Halle.
Turn 2: Put 13 plant up, hoping someone would outbid but I end up with it. The player in last with the 3 plant got to buy the 26 oil plant. I expand to Erfurt.
Turn 3: First player passes on bid, I bid on the 15 and get it unopposed. Luckily the 20 doesn't get onto the market yet. I add Magdeburg.
Turn 4: In second again for the auction. After the first gets the 19 unopposed, I bid on the 20 and get it? I have 9 capacity already. I really didn't want the plant necessarily. I decide to destroy the 10 instead of the 13, because I don't want to pay a lot for coal. Good choice since people stock up on the coal and it's up to the 6 box in price. With 24 electro, I can only expand to Berlin, which means the 13 is wasted this turn.
Turn 5: First in turn order, time to pass for plants. Everyone passes and the 6 trash is destroyed. Luckily, the guy in 2nd position doesn't buy up extra coal just to screw me. I build in Torgelow, in the northeast corner. So the wind plant was used for 3 out of 4 turns so far. Nuclear power is cheap since no one has bought any yet - down to the 3 box.
Turn 6: Ack, I'm in risk of not being able to buy coal, so I have to put the 24 trash plant up (2->4). I bid it up to 26 and destroy the wind plant. I have rarely been in a situation like that where a market is emptied this early. Ordinarily I never want to be buying this many different power plants. There are 2 trash in the 3 cost box at this point, but the 19 is also in the game, so trash will go up slowly. I have 12 capacity and everyone else is still at 6. The 19 double buys to jack the price up for me. I start step 2, building to Frankfurt. I really need someone to ditch a coal plant, although now 7 will come out each turn.
Turn 7: I pass to start the auctions. I am able to get 3 coal to power my 20 plant, so I can build to 9 cities and use that and the 24 trash plant. One player (grey) finally gets into nuclear. I build Fulda and Kassel, heading west/southwest to overlap with yellow.
Turn 8: I bid on 25, don't get it, then bid 34 on the 31 and get it, committing myself to coal. This coal situation is not good, there's one coal on the board after buying resources. I extend to Frankfurt (southwest).
Turn 9: The market is full of bad plants: 11, 14, 16, 17. That means yellow and I are still stuck using 8 coal a turn while it refreshes 7, so he can kill me at any time, by buying extra coal. It seems like grey should be making a ton of money from his two nuclear plants. Oil is also gone. I guess I stay at 10 cities since that's all I can power. I realized right after I clicked that I could have won by building out to 15 and powering 10. Sigh. There goes the game.
Turn 10: I am short 1 coal from powering the 20 and the 31. Step 3 happens in the auction phase. The super trash guy (purple) builds to 12, but the super nuke guy wins with more money and also 12 cities.
Interesting strategy note:
Sometimes you care who wins the auction - the 25 was up in turn 8, and I bid on it to try to corner the coal market because the demand was so high for coal. As soon as the only other bidder was the other guy who would destroy a coal plant, I let him have it - because him getting it wouldn't alter the coal demand, but if someone else got it, it could really hurt my access to coal.
Other lesson remembered:
Don't forget to check if you can win every turn! I should have won on turn 9. I'm usually better about doing this, but it's always worth thinking about this concept actively.
I'm not a huge fan of the aspect of Power Grid that came out this game - the idea that you can be shut out of a resource bothers me. Luckily, it doesn't happen all that frequently, and when it does it's usually not to me. I got stuck trying to play runaway leader in this game, and technically it worked, since I should have won.