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.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Games Played 16 July 2014

Another quick report just for completeness. I am currently not really finding much to say about the games I've been playing, I find there is only so much to say about a euro such as Power Grid (great game as it is) when I've played it 3 weeks in a row, in comparison to something like Battlestar Galactica or Fury of Dracula, which tells a story. That said, I seem to have ended up writing a fair bit regards Power Grid in this article, in relation to big deck theory, so scratch that bit about a quick report.

There were 11 of us and the group initially split 4,4 & 3. Games played were Tzolk'in, Viticulture, Power Grid, Carcassonne and Steam Noir: Revolution, the latter being new to the group. For some further information and results click below.

Power Grid was played on the Iberia map. Since we've been playing the game a lot, I've been trying to get as many of the different boards played as possible in the game's 10th anniversary year, this was the 9th different board used this year. We again used the Big deck, so there were 32 cities (eliminating an area to the North East of Spain and including Madrid just on the border of the played area) on the board with an end game trigger of 20 cities, we also used the Flux Generator and Transformer Station promo cards.

I'm starting to realise that playing with the big deck involves a re-evaluation of what constitutes an end game plant, particularly with 4 players where the end is at 20 cities, but also with 5 with an 18 trigger. In a normal game it is not uncommon for a 5 capacity plant to come out early and you can reasonably rely on not having to replace it (except maybe the 20 plant which uses 3 coal). In a game with the extended deck you can't rely on 5 capacity being an end game plant, so there is a good chance that the plant will need to be replaced. I don't think that it's a coincidence that in the 2 4 player big deck games we've played in the last couple of weeks, both have ended with the end being triggered when no one was in a position to power all the cities they have built, a situation which, while not unknown by any means, is not what has tended to be the norm in our games.

In this game, Bob was able to accumulate a capacity of 18, while his nearest rivals had 15. I was perhaps still adhering to the old paradigm, discussed above, which I'm also thinking involves modifying the rule of thumb to try and avoid buying more than 5 plants during a game, which is probably no longer tenable if you are having to actively consider replacing 5 capacity plants, this leads to the thought that maybe 4 capacity plants are worth more consideration in the early game, where I might have previously passed them by  in the hope of getting a 5. If both are merely interim plants that will have to be replaced anyway, then the 4 becomes more worthy of consideration for its short term capacity increase, if a 5 is not available.

Of the other games, Chris has written about Viticulture and Steam Noir in a blog post here. The latter game was still going when I left for the evening and I picked up that result on the 23rd.

Hopefully, I should post some comments on the 23rd July meeting later today, Hungarian Grand Prix and Test Match permitting.

Full games details below.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 130 Mins.
1Mark R66
2Dave F65
Viticulture - 120 Mins.
1James S30
2Chris S26
3Mark W17
Power Grid - 120 Mins.
2Dave D15
3Jonathan M15
Carcassonne - 20 Mins.
1Mark R122
Steam Noir: Revolution - 45 Mins.
1James S53
2Mark W50
3Chris S42

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