Sunday, July 1, 2012

Power Hungry

Day 60 - Power Grid
Designed by Friedemann Friese

Power Grid is seriously one of the best board games out there. If you are unacquainted with the game, then it is about time that you do. I would like to meet the German game designer Friedemann because he sounds like a character and a half. He is well known for liking the color green (all of his game covers have green on them and he has died his hair green before) and all of his games (at least in German) begin with the letter "F." He owns his own game company called 2F.

In Power Grid, 2 to 6 players compete to power the most cities. This is done by bidding on more advanced power plants, buying the required resources to power your plants, and by spreading your power grid to more cities. The game includes a game board that has Germany on on one side and the U.S.A. on the other. This is nice because it provides a different city set up and dynamic during each game. Each map is also divided into regions and only a certain number of regions are played with each game providing even more variability. There are multiple kinds of power plants available (plants that run on coal, oil, garbage, uranium, or wind) and one must upgrade their plants to be able to power more cities. There is a set number of resources and the game has a great way of simulating resource availability (supply and demand) which increases the price of the resource as it becomes more scarce (resources are limited, and you may not even have the resource you need available when you need it). The turn order is determined at the end of each round which helps benefit the players who are behind (or those who strategize to be placed in a certain spot). The game is just chalk full of great game play and the game components are fantastic as well.

I really think those that enjoy the Ticket to Ride games would also enjoy this game. Power Grid is a bit more complex in strategy and game play, but it really is not too overly complex. Power Grid does take about 2 hours to play (maybe a bit less), so those that don't like longer games may have a bit of an issue with the length. Power Grid is a very innovative game that I like to recommend to pretty much everyone (including my thermodynamics teacher - random) and that is How Lou Sees It.

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