Game Night – October 2005

Tonight was our monthly Analog Game Night for October 2005. We started a half an hour earlier this time and ended up with 6. The first hour was taken up by playing Hive, Coloretto, and Memoir ’44 but the bulk of the night belonged to our first playing of Power Grid.

Paul and Ken played a round of Hive and then Ken played Keith. In the meantime, I coached Mat and Rich in playing half of the Pegasus Bridge scenario of Memoir ’44. While they were finishing that up, Keith, Ken, Paul, and I broke out Coloretto and played once through the deck which is technically only a quarter of a game but the timing worked out right after Rich and Mat finished a round of Hive.

We then broke out Power Grid. Now this is kind of a monster of a game. Lots a wooden bits and lots of rules. I had read through them several times and played through a couple sample rounds with Sophie helping me. I struggled through the teaching phase and hopefully didn’t botch it up too badly. Unfortunately we immediately screwed up and didn’t reorder the randomly placed turn order markers after our first round of power plant auctions. Not reordering caused Ken to get the raw end of the deal during the resource buying and city building phases. Another rule we broke but caught after the first round was that the auction lead sticks with the leader until he passes or is the highest bidder for a power plant. I think we followed the rules okay after that. We only played the first ‘step’ but allowed purchases of 2nd connections in cities for those who didn’t get to buy until after someone got their 6th city.

I think Power Grid is a keeper but it’s going to take several games before the zen of it will kick in. It’s a real money management game trying to figure out all of the variables to be able to buy power plants, buy resources to power them, and still have enough money left to build cities for them to power. The variable turn order is crucial to making the right decision given the rise and fall of resource prices during a round as well as the price of the ever shrinking city routes.

In general we really messed up during our initial city placement (except Keith) and we clustered around the eastern seaboard. Next time, I’m sure we’ll spread out a bit more given we know what’s coming.

Thanks to everyone for coming and thanks go out to Rich and his family for lending us their house for the evening. Next month’s AGN will be held on November 7th so mark your calendars.

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