A Shocking New Event ...
Power Grid had a great start with 48 players in the
first heat on Thursday evening, despite conflicting with both
Puerto Rico and Tikal. The schedule and round time
had been pre-determined due to the 11th hour entry into the WBC
trial events. We had to change the time allotted to rounds to
three hours. The Polo room got very crowded with five players
at all eight tables. We had to set up two separate four player
games in the Club room down the hall. Unfortunately we had a
mishap when one player was not able to participate in the tournament,
due to being accidentally hit on the head with a chair, while
someone was trying to carry it out of the room to make more space.
One of the first heat games was completed in seventy five minutes,
which is the fastest I have even seen a game of Power Grid
finish.With fewer conflicts, more players showed up to play in
the second heat on Saturday. 51 players were in the second heat
making up four games of four and seven games of five players.
Frank Hastings and Rich Meyer were able to win in both heats.
19 individual winners were qualified to advance to the semi-final.We
instructed runner-ups to appear for alternate slots, considering
the semi-final was scheduled at 11PM. 17 of the 19 winners appeared
along with four alternates o play in the semi final. The semi-final
consisted of four 4-player and one 5-player games. The five winners
advancing to the Final were: Rich Meyer and Frank Hastings, still
unbeaten with three wins each, Eric Brosius, Evan Tannheimer,
and Tim Swartz.
Tim started the final game by purchasing the #5 power plant
for $5. The #4 plant was desired by more players and went to
Richard for $9. Eric decided to put the #3 plant up for auction
and got it for $3. Some insights from Eric on this decision
follow. [One critical moment in the final came in the initial
auctions. I had to decide whether to put the #03 oil plant up
for auction or the #07 coal plant or #08 oil plant (the #06 trash
plant is a much weaker first plant.) I was afraid the #08 might
put me into a coal battle, and I was afraid the #07 could be
costly if someone after me took the #03. I chose the #03 as
the safer choice, given that I didn't know two of the players.
It was cheap, and because it put me last in the auction order
for Round 2, it gave me the opportunity to buy the #33 windmill
at list price, saving me a great deal of money over the course
of the game.] The #9 power plant went to Evan for $9 and the
#10 went to Frank for $10. The northeastern part of the US was
the portion of the map left out of the final game. Eric started
off the building phase by building the first city in Atlanta.
Richard built in Kansas City, Tim in Memphis, Evan in Savannah,
and Frank building one city in Denver and another in Cheyenne
starting the blocking of the West coast to other players.
All players power up the cities they have built giving them
$22 each, except for Frank with two cities, who receives $33.
Frank starts off round 2 by buying power plant #13 for $15.
Evan follows by purchasing #8 for $8. Power plant #7 goes
to Tim for $7 and Richard gets #16 for $16. A high number power
plant shows up to replace the n#16 plant and power plant #33,
a wind powered plant that requires no resources, shows up on
the auction block. Of course, Eric takes advantage of this rare
opportunity of such a high numbered plant showing up so early
in the game and purchases it for the face value of $33. Eric
goes first on buying resources and building cities. Eric builds
his second city in Birmingham, Richard builds in St. Louis and
Tim in New Orleans. Evan builds in Raleigh and Jacksonville,
giving him three cities total, and Frank builds his third city
in Omaha, infringing even closer to Richard, making it more expensive
for him to build north of Kansas City. All players are able
to power up all their cites. Frank and Evan receive $44 for
their three cities and Richard, Tim and Eric receive $33 for
two cities each.
More high numbered power plants are available for Round 3.
Frank begins with purchasing plant #28, the first uranium plant
to be purchased, for $28. Eric buys plant #25 for $26 and Evan
buys plant #20 for $20. Richard and Tim both pass on purchasing
power plants this round. Coal becomes a more precious commodity
during the resource purchasing phase, now that all five players
HAVE some interest in owning it, and it is more expensive for
Evan and Frank who go later in the purchasing phase. Tim starts
off the building this round, with Oklahoma City. Richard builds
in Norfolk, Frank chooses not to build a city this round, and
Eric builds in Knoxville. Evan and Richard collect $54 for powering
up four cities each. Eric, Frank & Tim collect $44 for three
cities a piece.
Evan, Eric, and Frank all decide to pass on purchasing power
plants this round. Richard buys plant #21 for $23 and Tim buys
#31 for $31. Eric builds in Tampa in order to grab a city site
on the East Coast. Richard and Tim both pass on building. Frank
builds cities number four and five in Minneapolis and Duluth,
again making it more expensive for Richard to try to expand.
Evan builds in Houston in order to have a closer connection
to the West, before the connection costs jump too high, from
Frank's blocking tactics. Evan and Frank power up five cities
to receive $64. Richard and Eric collect $54 and Tim collects
All five players pass on plant auctioning this round, as the
players conserve their cash for city building.
Resources are still readily available, although costs are
high for Evan and Frank, who go later in the resource purchasing
phase. Tim builds his fourth and fifth cities in Sante Fe and
Dallas. Richard builds past Frank's position in Minneapolis
and goes into Fargo. Eric builds in Miami. Evan does not build.
Frank builds into Billings and Seattle, bringing his city total
to seven and sending the game into phase 2. Franks powers up
his seven cites for $82. Evan and Tim each power their five cities
for $64. Eric and Richard choose to power four of their five
built cities in order to conserve on purchased resources and
receive $54 each.
Bidding for plants becomes more competitive this round, driving
up the prices of power plants.
Frank starts off by purchasing plant #27 for $31 and replaces
his #10 plant.
Richard buys plant #32 for a pricey $41 and replaces his #4
Evan buys #26 for $27 and replaces his #9 plant. Eric buys
#34 for $40 and replaces his #3 plant. Tim buys #35 for $35
and replaces his #5 plant. Evan starts the building phase with
two cites, one in Dallas and another in Oklahoma. Richard builds
in Knoxville and Tim in Birmingham. Eric builds in Jacksonville
and Savannah, and Frank builds in Kansas City. Now with eight
cities, Frank powers up to receive $90. Eric powers seven cites
for $82 and Richard powers six to receive $73. Tim and Evan
choose to power only five of their six cities and receive $64.
The replacement plants showing up in place of auctioned power
plants in round 6 turn up to be low plant numbers that can only
power two to three cities, leaving few options for most players
in round 7. Frank now desperate to increase his current capacity
of powering eight cities, buys plant #18 for $18, and replaces
his #13 plant, increasing his output potential by one city.
The rest of the field, not willing to make a similar investment
for such a small return and holding their funds for building,
pass on the auction phase. As expected from the lack of purchases
in the plant auction phase, building becomes very aggressive
this round. Richard starts off by building four cities going
into Norfolk, Raleigh, Atlanta and Omaha, giving him a total
of ten cites. Tim builds his seventh and eighth in St Louis
and Houston. Evan builds up to ten cities by going into Tampa,
Miami and New Orleans. Eric builds in Cincinnati and Chicago,
bringing him to nine cities and Frank being the player to have
bought a power plant this round, passes on city building. Richard
and Evan receive $105 for powering their ten cities. Eric receives
$98, and Frank and Tim receive $90 for powering eight cities
As only one plant is replaced in round 7, the plants available
for auction again leave much to be desired, with only two and
three power city potentials being available. Plant #19, potentially
supplying three cites with electricity, is the only plant worth
considering. No garbage plants have yet been purchased in the
game, making the garbage resources the cheapest in the game,
going for only $1 each. Evan ends up with plant #19 for $26
and replaces his #8 plant, only improving his potential electrical
output by one city. Having no good choices left on the auction
block, Richard, Eric, Tim and Frank pass on the remaining plants.
Frank opens the building phase by purchasing a city in Fargo.
With close to $200, Frank still has plenty of cash, but as he
is not able to power more than nine cites, he sees little sense
in building additional cities. Tim builds three cites in Denver,
Cheyenne, and Billings, bringing his total to eleven cities.
Eric has lots of money for building cities. Eric has spent
$102 on power plants, tied for most in the game while, Tim has
spent the least, $78. The key savings for Eric was in fuel purchases.
He spent a total of only $26 on fuel (two oil for $6, four coal
for $10, and three uranium for $10.) This was much less than
the others spent, and Eric didn't have to worry about running
out of fuel, which was a danger for the other players. Eric has
yet to use the resources be purchased back in round 3 for his
#25 plant. Another money saving factor for Eric is that he has
only purchased four power plants since the beginning of the game,
two of which he purchased at face value, and one which was only
$1 above face value. Eric builds in Minneapolis, Duluth, Memphis,
Seattle, Portland and Boise, for six cities this round. This
gives Eric a total of 15 cites, which is the game end condition
for a five player game. Evan builds his final two cites in Sante
Fe and Phoenix. Richard concedes his building phase, as he can
power a maximum of 13 cites. Eric takes the tournament win with
a come from behind last turn by powering 14 of his 15 cities.
Eric Brosius is the First WBC Power Grid Champion.
Final placement supplying cites with electricity are: Eric
Brosius: 14, Evan Tannheimer:12, Tim Swartz:11, Richard Meyer:10
and Frank Hastings: 9.
Rules clarifications for next year's Power Grid tournament
I. Board set up.
Players should choose regions of the map to be in play in
the same order as the first auction round.
Proceed as follows:
1. Take one city from each player to be used on the Player
Order Track as per normal.
2. One player should hold the cities in a closed hand and
shake them up randomly.
Another player without looking should select the cities one
by one, from the other player's hand, placing them in order of
draw on the Player Order Track.
3. The players now in the turn order signified by the Player
Order Track, should select one region on the board to be included
in the game.
4. After all players have selected one region for play the
first round auction will proceed in the same order as indicated
by the Player Order Track.
5. After the first auction phase is complete and all payers
have purchased their first round power plants, reorder the Player
Order Track as per the normal rules.
II. Game End Condition
1. When the game end condition is reached, one or more players
building to 15 or 17 cites, all players must be given the opportunity
to complete their build city phase.
2. Do NOT start phase five: Bureaucracy. You do not actually
power your cities to collect money after the game end condition
3. As per the Rio Grande rules: The winner is the player who
CAN supply electricity to the most cites in their network. Players
should NOT actually power the plants and receive money.
4. The money Tie breaker is determined with any left over
monies after all players have completed the final build city
5. The Tie Breakers are: 1.) Most Money. 2.) Most cities
built. 3.) Highest power plant number.
I would like to thank Mark Guttag for his invaluable assistance.
The tournament ran very smoothly thanks to Mark's help. I would
also like to thank all the players for their participation and
great sportsmanship and conduct during this tournament.
Despite appearing in character in his mad scientist getup,
Keith will not be returning as Power Grid GM in 2005 - choosing
to move on to new challenges, so we're looking for a new GM for
this event in 2005.