Friday, 11 January 2008

2008 Starts With Friedemann Friese Classic

We were six on Tuesday. Harry and Steve made an appearance. The copious amounts of planning needed for their wedding had curtailed there club gaming for a while. But they were by no means rusty as our pre game chat covered various new games the coupled had played over the last few weeks. No XXX bachelor night for Steve oh no they preferred an 18XX night and who could argue with that??

The others at the ribs where Matt B, Jimmy, Ollie and Luke and after a 15 minute wait for late comers we cracked out power grid. Ollie was the only power grid virgin and we decided to use the central Europe map and the new Essen release power stations deck. The game took 2 ½ hours and saw Luke win by powering up 15 cities. Matt and Jimmy both powered 14 but Matt had the more electrons so squeaked second on the count back. I think Steve came next then Harry and last was Ollie but I may have that muddled. I felt the game had drifted away from me after I had purchased 4 power stations and passed on the opportunity of buying and replacing a 2 power garbage station that would have won me the game early. As it happens my lack of power in what would be the last round (max 15 cities) was irrelevant as the rivals with more capacity, failed to expand sufficiently in the last two rounds. Jimmy played a shroud game of expanding in jumps allowing himself to often be first or near the front when it matters and Matt structured his growth so as to be usually in the middle of the player order. I however repeatedly grew to my max power potential and horded money. I was frequently last player, less choices available but I could respond and not be left behind. Once in last place due to the power of my station (32 I think) there was little point being level or close to level, my only chance was to power more cities and get the money. Fuel was slightly more for me but after round two this stopped being an issue when I purchased a ‘1 fuel for 4 power’ station which used the same fuel as my ‘3 fuel for 2 power’ station. This meant I could stock up to 8 fuel in one go when it was cheap and use only one a turn in conjunction with my ecology green ‘4 power’ station. Steven horded garbage which was not a bad idea, however he probably went a bridge too far near the end especially in the last station he bought. Harry got to the last round with a lack of power and needed an 8 strength station to come out for her to make 14, it didn’t so she was under powered. Ollie was disadvantaged in playing the game amongst some seasoned players but he did reasonably well, having the right level of power stations at the end but falling foul of expanding / or not at the wrong times and running out of money as a result.

This was my fourth game of power grid and I enjoyed it immensely. Be it the board or the players, but this Tuesdays game played quick and always flowed fast. I think having several people doing the maintenance helped, Harry and Steve sorted the power stations, Matt and I refuelled the market place, Ollie sorted city power markers and Jimmy kept an eye on procedures and player order.

We finished the night with Land Unter (drowning sheep edition) an enjoyable light weight card game. Harry and Steve departed and the four of us left used the last 40 minutes well. Jimmy won, getting a positive score each round, I finished on 1 point and Ollie had a similar score possibly one more or less than me, Matt was in last place. Matt may have got a point at some stage but I don’t remember it happening. I do remember him frequently drowning and then grabbing onto my leg and pulling me down with him…but I won power grid so who cares?

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