Continuing the effort to get all the current maps played in 10th. Anniversary year, Power Grid was played on the Baden-Wuerttemberg map. Mike was interested to play this as he didn't recall playing it before. I thought that this sounded odd and checking the records I see that he had played twice before (see here for one, also in 2012).
With 5 players the whole map was used and also the game was played with plant deck 2 together with the Flux Generator, Transformer Station and Theme Park. The game started with Jonathan taking 3 cities in the middle of the north of the board, being followed by Bob and myself building close in on either side of him. Simon took position in the east, while Mike started in the South, pretty well on his own.
The major twist with this board is that player order is determined following the plant auction rather than before it and this caused some issues for some players (particularly Mike and Jonathan I think) as it doe cause a certain re-evaluation of normal strategy. The game proceeded with very few of the higher value plants making it into the current market until late in the game which probably caused most problems for Mike. Jonathan's problem was being boxed in with only 4 cities early on due to Bob and I on either side which was unfortunate as he had the capacity advantage early on, being able to get plant 28 powering 5 compared with Simon & I who had only been able to get hold of a 4 cap plant earlier although mine was number 14 which burns 3 coal, it served me well however as I was still running it at the end of the game.
It was very close between Simon and myself in the end as we both powered 14 cities, Simon had 15 capacity while I only had 14, but I ended the game as I was fairly sure that I would not have improved my position by allowing the game to run another turn. Simon won the tie break by 13 (I think). That's 4 consecutive 2nd places now since my last win.
We now have only France & Japan unplayed this year.
After that Mark joined Simon, Mike & I for This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 Of Us, first played at the games day. It doesn't last long, but I'm not sure I want to play again with 4 players as it's one of those games where the more players there are the less control you have. At this number it's just a case of making the best immediate play you can with the tile draw, the chances of you being able to set up some potential opportunity for the next turn are virtually Nil. I suspect it would be better with 3 and maybe quite interesting with 2.
Finally we played Love Letter, I won the first 2 rounds, but was unable to improve after that, Marl coming through to take the win. As a quick filler I much prefer this to the previous game.
Other games played were Last Will (this sound to me to be a euro version of Go For Broke which I remember playing in my youth) and Coup. I notice that Chris has posted about these on his blog while I have been typing this.
The final game was Traders of Genoa, which as Mike noted seems to have made something of a comeback after years without play.
All the results-
|Last Will - 90 Mins.|
|Coup - 20 Mins.|
|Power Grid - 130 Mins.|
|Traders of Genoa - 150 Mins.|
|This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 Of Us - 20 Mins.|
|Love Letter - 25 Mins.|