We were down to 2 tonight, with just myself and Mike, who had indicated that he probably would not be around so I narrowly escaped being on my own.
We were somewhat short of 2 player games and eventually decided to give Power Grid a try using the German map and original power plant deck. While I went to request the lights in the bar be turned on, Mike started setting up and selected the areas to use. These were the western Red, Blue & purple areas.
I went first and bought the 4 coal plant, while Mike bought the 5, both of these went for face value which set the tone for most of the game, with very little competition for plants. I set up in Koln (or possibly Dortmund) on one side of a set of expensive connection while Mike went for one of Wiesbaden and Frankfurt-M, which have a free connection between them. In retrospect my choice was probably mistaken bearing in mind the 10 city target for step 2 because I ended up 1 short of this, having miscalculated the number available on my side, when Mike grabbed Kassel. This left me in the position where I would have needed to spend 50 in connection costs to trigger step 2.
Fortunately this was not a fatal error because of the way the plants came out. Being a 2 player game there was a shortage of decent plants early on and I was able to grab the first 5 capacity plant when it became available. This was the 20 and produced the only serious auction battle in the game, I ended up paying 50 and wondered if that was too high, but it was probably a game winning play because it meant I could power 8 cities with 2 plants, while Mike needed 4 for the same capacity and the price of fuel had risen almost to the top of the scale. All this meant Mike could not afford to sit on 9 cities because of my efficiency advantage.
Once step 2 starts in a 2 player game it is pretty much a case of who can build to 21 the quickest because there is no longer any competition for cities, the only complication being fuel shortages. For the last couple of turns both Oil and Coal ran out on more than one occasion and I actually failed to power my 20 plant. Garbage would also have started running out if the game had gone on as I acquired a garbage plant as well as Mike. At the end I ended the game by building 9 cities on a turn to get 21, Mike made it to 20.
Power Grid is not a bad 2 player game, but I think we both agreed that it does lose something over the multiplayer experience, with reduced completion for Power Plants and cities.
Power Grid 120 mins