Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Power Grid Board Game Review - Electrical Eng. Game!

One of the most iconic games of the last ten years. It had a stint as the number one game on Board Game Geek. It has close to a dozen awards, nominations, and recommendations. It has had seven expansions and two spinoff games. The green box is a staple in most hobby game stores. It is Power Grid, or Funkenschlag as it is known in Germany.

Designed by Friedemann Friese in 2004, Power Grid is one of the most recognized games in the industry.Power Grid is a 2-6 player game that takes about 2 hours to play. Expect a game to last a little longer if you are playing with new players and if you are playing with five or six players. Each player takes the role of a powerplant company. The goal is to power the most cities with power on the last round of the game. The game takes place in rounds that have five phases each.

These include determining turn order, auctioning power plants, purchasing resources, building cities, and bureaucracy (this includes powering your plant to get money, replacing the lowest or highest power plant in the market [depending on the Step the game is on], and replenishing the resource market). Play continues in this fashion until a player reaches the required number of cities to trigger the end game (this differs based on the number of people that are playing).The first phase is simply determining the turn order for the round.

Unlike most games that have a set clockwise turn order, Power Grid determines who is winning and losing the game based on how many cities each player has. If there is a tie, the player who has the higher-numbered power plant is considered to be in the lead. Turn order is an important part of the game. The player in first place has a disadvantage as he is the last person that is able to buy resources and build cities, but he is the first person to go during the auction phase. This mechanism keeps the game balanced and helps prevent a runaway leader. Not everyone likes the mechanic, but most people do.