5 this week with the return of Steve and we introduced Power Grid to Dave, Ben & Alec (although Dave has played once before, a long time ago). We played on the Benelux board, which I think is probably the ideal for the introduction of new players due to its low connection costs and rules for getting through the power plant deck quickly. Both of these will tend to shorten the game and counteract the longer time when several people haven't played before. We also used Power Plant deck 2.
This is a game where first time players do tend to be at a disadvantage and it is no real surprise that Steve & I came in first, but by the end of the game I think everyone was getting into the swing of things.
A few points of interest, there seemed to be no real completion for power plants, with the only real battle I can recall being between Alec & Ben for the 32 wind plant, which I went up to about 47. Dave and I had a brief skirmish over the 33 garbage plant, but I dropped out quite quickly and picked up the 21 plant which powered the same number of cities, albeit for one extra garbage, which had become quite cheap by that stage. Alec adopted an interesting green strategy and it was the first time I have ever seen a player go through the entire game without needing to buy raw materials and with Ben also trying to be green, this was enough to keep the fuel prices down (on the final turn I only needed to spend 5 on 2 uranium). I don't think Alec's strategy was a winning one but I think he could have done better than he did if he had not got himself boxed in with just 3 cities early in the game meaning he had to spend money jumping other players.
In the end I was just able to finish the game with no money remaining, but Steve had not got enough money to build to 15 as well, both of us had capacity to power 16. Everyone seemed to enjoy the game and Dave has since told me that Ben was especially taken by it and is on at Dave to get a copy as well.
Power Grid 120 mins