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Power Grid (PGD) WBC 2018 Event Report
Updated November 16, 2018
114 Players Matt Calkins 2018 Status 2019 Status Event History
  2018 Champion     & Laurels

Calkins Returns To the Top Of The Grid

Power Grid had another exciting and productive year at WBC in 2018. Everyone had a feeling that things were going to be interesting during heat 1 on Thursday when a whopping 90 players showed up to play. The late night heat later that night at 10pm was less populated as expected, but it wasn’t without interest as a slow game lasting until 2am drew a crowd of 10 fans. Watching players spend minutes trying to do simple math in their head after midnight is always quite the show. The final heat Friday afternoon drew shortly over 72 players, resulting in what may have been the busiest Power Grid tournament in the few years I’ve been running it. Having to turn away game winners from the semifinals was unfortunate, but it led to an exciting 5 semifinal games.

The 5 semifinals resulted in 2 of the closest finishes in recent memory. Playing on the Benelux map, Philip Shea was 3 elektro short of tying Matt Lahut in money and making the finals off the 2nd tiebreaker. However he even failed to get the coveted sixth place, as Alexa Shimmel had already lost to Mich McCormick… by 1 elektro. It will be difficult for the tournament to have a closer 6th place finish anytime soon. The other finalists were Steve LeWinter, Bob Mazzi, and Matt Calkins; all of whom built to 15 cities when they were given the opportunity and powered the most cities.

The final got off to a start with Bob and Steve jumping to 2 cities to take the big 1st turn income. Steve was able to skip purchasing a plant the next turn, while Matt L. got the round-best 17 plant at cost. Micah had the lead in the bureaucracy phase by powering 3 cities compared to the 2 powered by the rest of the table.

Turn 3 was the big round for plants. The 32 plant was available to purchase, yet without the money to pay for it 2 players had to pass on it. The plant eventually went to Steve, who paid 45 elektro for it – more than Bob and Matt C. had to start the round. Bob and Matt C. didn’t exit the bidding phase haplessly: they respectively came away with the 18 and 26 plants, which they both got at cost. The 32 was only the 3rd biggest plant to go that round: Matt L. spent 40 on the 36, and Micah spent a whopping 49 elekro to get the 33. No one finished bidding turn 3 with more than 20 elektro, so it was fitting for everyone to buy their resources and skip purchasing.

Being satisfied with their big plants, everyone passed on bidding the next round. Micah was content to spend no money at all the whole round, but everyone else needed resources and a couple cities. Bob was the sole purchaser in turn 5, when he found the 25 but paid 43 elektro for it. Bob started phase 2 the next turn (#6), but not before Matt L. spend 27 elektro in a single connection cost to break out.

Turn 2 started with a foreboding auction, when Steve, needing cheap resources, bought the 15 which resulted in the 30 dropping to the last player to bid: Matt C. With over 100 elektro in his hand, he couldn’t afford to pass on the opportunity and Matt C. snagged his best plant. Despite being the only 2 to buy plants that round, Steve and Matt C. built 5 cities each as they were the first to build that round.

With Steve at 11 cities and Matt C. at 10, the end was in sight. That was also evident when the auction began when the 20 plant- the only one available that powered over 3 cities-was bid on by each player. Micah won it with the high bid of 61. Steve did not build that round and Matt C. built one; Micah built 5 to tie them at 11 and Bob built 4 to jump ahead to 13. Matt L. did not build and was stuck in last with only 8 cities, but this provided him with the best position in the final round plus table-high 220 elektro, 25 more than the next highest player.

All but Micah bought a plant, but the exciting drops and bidding wars had already taken place, so only minor upgrades were needed. Matt L. built first and decided to end the game, spending 159 elektro to jump from 8 to 15 cities. Bob, Micah, and Steve could do little to stop him as their plant power availability was limited. But Matt C. only needed 77 elektro to jump to 14 cities, which both he and Matt L. ended up powering. Matt C. finished with 72 elektro, which was more than enough to beat the 16 remaining in Matt L.’s hand after the large city purchase. Congratulations to Matt C. for coming out of the rigorous 2018 power grid tournament a champion!

2018 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Matt Lahut Steve LeWinter Micah McCormick Bob Mazzi Alexa Schimmel
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Foggy Goggle hosts power grid.

Getting ready to start constructing their grids.

Mark McCandless making his move. Finalists including GM Kevin Broh-Kahn
GM  Kevin Broh-Kahn [5th Year]  NA
 kbkrunner@Gmail.com  NA