We had our largest attendance of the year so far on Wednesday with Gordon and Steve Paget attending for the first time and we split into 2 groups of 5. On one table we had Power Grid, most played game at the club for the last 2 years and also overall (since records began), but it has a big margin to make up this year if it is to overhaul Battlestar Galactica, which I suspect will get a bit more play yet before the year is out.
This game was played on the Korea map, which we had only played once before and the players were myself, Andy, Simon and the 2 Bens. It was Ben T's first game of Power Grid. We excluded the purple area on the middle of the west side, which meant the 4 areas of Seoul with zero connections between them, together with the 3 other adjacent cities with low cost were all out and we were left with the 2 northern areas and 2 southern areas with a narrow corridor which narrowed to one city wide (Wonsan) at the north end linking the 2.
I don't seem to have great recall of much of the game (especially what was going on in the south of the map), but giving a short description of the play, I set up in the North West, taking Anju and Pyeongyang, having bought with Andy occupying Wonsan to block the north of the eastern corridor. Simon was as the South of the corridor, while the 2 Bens set up in the wide open spaces of South Korea.
I would have been happy to stay in step 1 for a bit, having built to 6 cities, being able to power them with the 31 (1 Nuclear for 5) and the 11 (Wind power), but things worked out quite well as people also built 6 cities and Andy bought the 32 plant, so that when Ben C triggered step 2, I was low enough in the order and had accumulated enough money to immediately build down the corridor to Chungju giving me access to the cities in the south and also taking Hamheung to make it very expensive for anyone other than me to build into the northern cities where only Andy was currently. This was actually one more city than I could power, but I thought that I could afford the extra city for the sake of board position as I had no serious resource problem, both Uranium and Trash (for the 27 plant) being reasonably priced in the Southern market.
The following turn I did not buy a plant or build, but had bought 2 nuclear to give me flexibility in the resource market on the next turn, which I knew should be the last (I may have been potentially vulnerable here if anyone had been able finish the game as my capacity had fallen behind several people). Several people built past me to 12 and this caused the 12 plant to be discarded from the market and triggered step 3.
The next turn was the final one and, I was 4th I think in the turn order and was able to sit back and wait for a plant to drop at the end of the auction phase, I picked up the number 46 (2 coal 7 cities) which gave me 16 capacity and I was able to build this number of cities. Andy and Ben C finished on 15 with Ben winning the tie break, Simon was on 13 with Ben T on 12.
The set up we used worked to my advantage as Andy & I essentially had the North to ourselves and the north east area was very useful, although it caused Ben C problems when he started there in the first game we played on this map.
Power Grid 130 mins.
Dominion 35 mins.
Colosseum 150 mins.