The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Friday 25 May 2007

Session Summary - 23 May 2007

5 this week including Ben and welcoming back Richard for the first time in a while. The games:

Power Grid 75 mins
Steve H117
Dave D215
Richard B314

This played on the Benelux board, with the 3 central regions containing all the cheap connection costs. Steve got the first in the turn order and bought the number 3 oil plant, I think we let him have it for 6 which seems a good deal, since on this board it is Oil rather than Coal that is initially cheaper and it is the lowest numbered plant allowing him to be first to build. I got the number 4 coal while Richard took the number 5 hybrid. Steve started his network in the middle of the board, while I took the north part with the really low connection costs and Richard took the west.

In this version of the game, the lowest power plant is removed every turn and I would have expected this to impact on the mid game stall, may be eliminating it, this did not seem to be the case, however, as the market seemed to fill with nuclear plants, which considering the maximum refresh rate for uranium is only 1 for 3 players, did not seem very good deals, the gaps seemed to be filled with a few trash (which also has a low early refresh) and wind plants, it was as if some one had decided that oil and coal were bad right from the start. So we built up capacity slowly and the wait for step 2 allowed us to build up money.

Step 2 coincided with the arrival of a couple of decent coal plants (20 & 25), but only lasted one round before step 3 hit before 20 was bid on. As a result of this 20 never got bought as other better plants became available. The game finished quickly now and Steve's central board position was an advantage as he could go in either direction to find available 15 spaces, while Richard and I only had the initial choice of Steve's original area, also Steve, at this point, had the cheap northern connections available and he ended up a comfortable winner.

For some reason I always end up reflecting on what I should have done differently when I play this game (even when I win).

As expected the choice of board gave us a shorter than normal game of Power Grid so there was time for

Industrial Waste 50 mins
Richard B156
Dave D255
Steve H332

Steve is almost always an advocate of a green strategy and whenever he departs from this, things seem to go horribly wrong. In this case he went for reducing the workforce early on and allowed his waste produced to go up into the yellow section and even once into the red. Of course he got hit by 2 accidents resulting in his needing to take a loan to cover the costs and when he repaid the first loan he was soon required to take another.

I tend to reduce my raw material requirement early with the idea to control waste by using cards, but there seemed to be a bit of a shortage of such cards this game (they tended to turn as duplicates and get discarded) and I had to change strategy part way through to reduce waste production, I had to take a loan at this point to pay for the innovation necessary as the order I was about to produce would otherwise take me into the yellow zone when an accident was certain the following turn as the card deck was almost exhausted. I was able to recover from this later repaying the loan.

Richard had quietly gone along adopting a combined waste/raw materials plan as well as regularly advancing his factory, so it was that he was the one to trigger the end of the game. No one was affected by the end game accident and although I was slightly ahead on innovation I lagged behind on factory growth and this together with a slight advantage in money gave Richard the win in a close game. Steve had been forced to take a second loan and lagged some way behind.

Dave and Ben meanwhile were playing

Blackbeard 145 mins
Dave C20

This is a game that I remember spending many an hour on on Saturdays in the old days, the pirates battling it out this evening were:

John Taylor (Ben) - Sunk.
Edward Teach (Ben) - 15 points.
Francis L'olonais (Dave) - Marooned following a mutiny
Emmanuel Wynne (Dave) - Retired penniless
Henry Avery (Dave) - Sunk

Until next week.

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