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Messages - Shiroiken

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Power Grid General Discussion / Re: ranking the starting plants
« on: April 07, 2014, 04:42:34 pm »
See, this is where the metagame becomes involved. I do not play with top tier players (by any definition), and so the 7 plant is bought almost every single game. If I were to adjust myself to buy the 3 plant, I would certainly suffer because of it. Thus, the 3 plant is pretty terrible for when I play. You are correct about viewing the Future Market (you should always be keeping track of what's there, and what numbers could come up under them).

In any case, I think that optimally, you shouldn't be powering either the 3 plant or 4 plant more than twice if you want to win anyway.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: Invent your own cards
« on: March 26, 2014, 03:20:54 am »
Rather than have them work as Plants, I would suggest treating them like the Event promo cards. When they come up, the trigger an automatic bid, starting with the 1st Player. They do not count as power plants for maximum number of plants, and they don't take up your power plant purchase for the turn.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: ranking the starting plants
« on: March 16, 2014, 10:46:57 pm »
Still not buying it on the 03 plant. Even if board position matters a lot, the difference in the board position and the setback of the 03 plant isn't usually great enough (maybe 2P or 3P, but I only play 4-6 because I find 3P to be unfun).

The 04 plant (in the base game) allows you to buy 2 turns of resources for $5 and will give you very early placement. Coal replenishes the highest, so it's still fairly cheap to run into the mid-game when you replace it. Average cost per turn should be about $5, producing about $9, for a profit of about $4 per turn. Not bad for a starting plant.

The 03 plant (in the base game) gives you the first placement... for quite a cost. Your first turn's resources are going to be $6 to make $11, for a profit of $5. It only gets worse, as oil doesn't replenish as quick as coal, so you're still probably paying about $7 per turn to produce $9, for a profit of $2 per turn. You can't run this plant for more than 1-2 turns and still be profitable. Even the 06 plant in a 4P game is better, and that's still pretty bad. Far better to take the 05 plant, lose turn position to the 04 plant, and take the second best spot.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: 5P game: removing plant 17?
« on: March 16, 2014, 10:35:14 pm »
most people think those early trash & nuclear plants are worthless, but i've seen games where coal & oil get completely run out during step 1 and those plants become a must-have for the players behind in turn order. sure, you could argue that's not optimal play, but it's something that can happen and i think it's good to have options against that strategy should it arise.

there are also really interesting edge cases where it can be worth buying a lower-numbered plant during the early-mid or midgame even if it doesn't improve your capacity, simply because of a vast difference in the cost of resources that makes those plants profitable anyway. my friend actually did this TWICE in the origins tournament finals this year, and beat a player with years more experience than her by $2 or $3 in the tiebreaker!
Two things:

Trash and Nukes are good in the early game if 5P (or if alternate board with higher trash/nuke). However, the 17 is pretty damn awful. We've played removing it (I'm in Adam's group), and it helps, but it's not really solving Adam's problem. I agree with leaving everything in, however, as the value of each plant is based on the situation. That leads us the next point.

Timing is everything in PG. Buying a plant that doesn't increase your production is very questionable, as while it may save you money per turn, you are spending quite a bit of money up front. If you don't keep that plant for enough turns, then you've lost money overall. Spending $18 to save $4 per turn, means you have to use that plant for 5 turns to be efficient. Considering that most games I've seen flow near step 2, then stall for maybe a round or 2, then blitz to the end, I've seldom seen a time that you would actually make your money back. Perhaps in competition it's different (I've never been), but that's been my experience with a couple of groups.

Yea, I've never seen the 21 be underrated. It's a cheap, versatile mid-game plant. You'll probably replace it by the end, but it should power you though until the last or next to last turn.

The big issue with rating individual plants (outside of China) is the value varies from game to game. An early 21 is phenomenal. Late, it's weaksauce and may not be worth even 21. The low number will increase the probability of it being available earlier, but it's by no means guaranteed.

GokoDom / Re: GokoDom II: Suntastic Summerish Season Signups Sthread
« on: July 18, 2013, 10:26:19 pm »
I'll get crushed, but I'm in!

Part of it is the new player aspect. Your first game is going to be longer because even though Power Grid is very forgiving to early mistakes, you still don't know exactly what you're doing. I would say each new player will add about 15 minutes to your group's average time, not counting rules explanation. As you play more games, you will speed up quickly, as you will figure out what your best play is at any given time.

The 45 Minute mark is for a group of 4 that have played hundreds of games, and I would consider that the goal to achieve, not the standard to base yourself on. I would simply try to keep everyone on track and play more frequently. Your time will drop fairly quickly, and I would say the average group of experienced players using Adam's proscribed methods should take about 60 Minutes (75 Minutes for 5 Player, 90 Minutes for 6 Player). Using this standard, your game should have taken more than 2 hours, but less than 3. Again, AP players will slow this down even further.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: Map Comparison Article
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:08:24 pm »
You could total all costs and divide by number of connections. Make sure you ignore the "phantom" connections that would never be used.

Something to consider with map based commentary, would be to consider each region that might be available/removed. The US board is much different with the cheap East removed and the West available. If the Northwest is gone, then there is a chokepoint in the South.

Also, while France and Italy are "vanilla" board (i.e. refresh per base game with minimal rule changes), the change in starting resources can have a significant affect. For example, in Italy, there is more Garbage to start, so the 6 looks like a great starting plant, but since the 14 is guaranteed early, and no garbage plants are removed, the 6 become less appealing.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: The Step Two Stall (draft)
« on: April 24, 2013, 05:22:20 pm »

Our group sees little of the S2S, because everyone is aware of it. Players who are not going to benefit from it, trigger Step 2 before the stall can even occur. If it does happen, it lasts only 1-2 Turns before someone breaks it. If everyone is aware of the possibility of the S2S, the probability decreases considerably.

The big trick is to know when to kill the stall. If you are benefiting from the S2S, the proper time to break it is when you can build the remaining cities near you and power all of them. I will only trigger Step 2 if I can build to at least 9 Cities, preferably 10, unless I'm getting killed by the S2S. As I normally am very careful of my board position and my Power Plants, I seldom suffer from the S2S, even if others are gaining slightly more of a benefit than I.

It is possible to overbuy your plants and lose that way. I've been in the situation where I was the last one left to buy a Power Plant, with NO intention of buying one, when the 30 drops in my lap. And I just bought the 25 last turn. I don't need it, but I can get it cheap, so I bail my plans for the round and get it. Congrats to me, I took 3rd place.

Why? Because I didn't expand. That turn, I sat on what I had. Then I started to expand, but Step 2 had opened up, and everyone built around me. My choices became quickly limited, and I struggled to keep up on the massive loss of tempo (I was behind about 3 cities on average in Step 2). I was only able to make 3rd because I never bought another plant (I never had the cash to build beyond 14 cities).

That's not to say you shouldn't pick up a super bargain plant, only that you should realize that changing your plans mid-turn can ruin your game if you are not careful. If you already have most of your Turn planned out, and it's good, then don't spend the money unless it's late in Step 2 and you need another Endgame plant (preferably your last).

On further consideration, I don't think this post was helpful at all  :-\

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: "That Plant" (draft)
« on: April 24, 2013, 05:02:47 pm »
IMO, the good Plants during Step 1, is anything that allows you to efficiently power 5 or 6 Cities (usually with a Green Plant or a 1 Recourse Plant). This helps power you in case of a Step 2 Stall.

During Step 2, as Step3 draws closer, you want to make sure you have 2 Endgame Plants if at all possible. The reason for this, is that once Step 3 Starts, you have no more than 2 Turns. If you need to buy 2 Power Plants once Step 3 starts, you lose. The only way this ever wins, is if you have TONS of cash and currently have more Maximum Capacity than anyone else, then buy to the endgame powering way less than required to build. Even then, it's chancy if you miscount.

Power Grid General Discussion / Re: Introductory Strategy (draft)
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:51:34 pm »
Generally speaking, the optimal way to go, as far as balancing Power Plants vs. Cities, is buy the Power Plant first, then build up to the Cities. Sometimes the board position doesn't make that work. Your board position can make a big difference on how many cities you can build during Step 1, so you might need to overbuy early to cut off an opponent. We refer to this as "being named Sam," as the named player in our group often overbuys on Turn 1-2, then buys a high production plant afterwards (usually the 20 - 3 Coal for 5 Cities). His strategy has some success, but I would say this is more the exception, rather than the rule.

I woulds say the low output (throughput?) plants should be avoided after your 2nd Plant (not necessarily your 3rd Turn), unless needed. They should NEVER be taken as your 4th Plant!

Ideally you want to buy 5 Plants for the entire game, but 6 is acceptable (some boards, such as China, greatly increase this number). If you buy a low output plant, you have to replace it. Generally I try to make my 3rd Plant power at least 4, but even a 4 will likely need replaced by the end of the game (unless 6 player).

The first time you play this game, it will be long and confusing. However, the game is VERY generous to early mistakes, and after playing once or twice, you'll know what you need to be doing.

Adam is right that there are ways to speed up the game, and the fourth role is, IMO, the most important. The expediter needs to let people know they are active, and that's true for many games that may have long gaps between player decisions. The other rolls help speed things up (especially an experienced Power Plant Boy like myself  8) ), but they really only reduce the Bureaucracy phase.

AP is the bane of this game, as it is many games. The key to AP for new players is to just do whatever, with an experienced player only advising against horrible decisions. Since the game rewards you for being behind, it's not too hard to make up for an early bad decision. The real AP occurs to players that have played a few times, and are trying to figure out strategy. There's nothing that can be done for it, other than having an experienced player point out several good options.

Of course, there are players who suffer from chronic AP. For them, I have two pieces of advice: avoid PG, and definitely avoid playing with Adam  :P

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