Change of night, change of pace and a session playing one of the top rated euro games in my collection: Power Grid. The object of the game is to build a network of presences in cities and the power plants to power them. You can choose from plants which consume coal, oil, garbage, nuclear or ecologically friendly resources, with differing combinations becoming available in a largely random fashion. (The players do have some influence, though, and this increases the importance of turn order.)
There’s also a neat market mechanism which adjusts the price of resources according to demand, and manipulating it as an essential skill in doing damage to your opponents. Although it is not a short game, it’s engrossing and involving. The money supply is so tight that it really does repay careful calculation and recalculation. But, more often than not, you are just a couple of “Elektros” short.
There were five of us tonight: myself, Abraham and Hilik – who had all played it before – and first timers Daniel and Laurie. Abraham went for a very cautious strategy, building up cash but not much else. Daniel very nearly caught him – and everyone else – out with a building surge just before the end of the game. Hilik was quietly staying in contention and I thought I was doing ok. Laurie was just not able to get enough power plants, and that meant she was not in a position to win, come the final turn.
Abraham built 16 cities and so did Hilik. The rest of us were stuck on 15. Tragically for Hilik, the tiebreak was money and Abraham had about 6 Elektros more. (Certainly not a lot of money.) Hilik had given Abraham a real run for his, er, money, but it was a fine win by Abaraham. It took us about 3.5 hours including explanation and setup, which wasn’t too bad. The telling thing: everyone is ready to play it again in the future. Excellent!