Board Games

Non-Bookish Saturday Post: Power Grid- The Card Game

I decided to do this at the start of the year. I play and collect (more than I play) games and thought it would make an interesting addition to my regular blog posts.

This game also has a story to go with it. At my very first board game extravaganza, I got this in the second-hand section. I have heard of and been tempted by Power Grid, the big game, but having looked into it, I resisted.
It turns out that it might have been a good thing since this card game is as complex as my husband is willing to play often.
It is a straightforward game with three phases. The first has you buying (compulsory only in the first round) a factory from the first four in the market (as shown at the bottom). Buying involves you auctioning for them, and the bidding starts at the value shown on the card (with a discount for the first).
The second, in the reverse player order, have the people buying resources from the resource market. You can only store double the number of resources as their factories need. Then finally, the resources are used to power the factory, and the players are paid.
It is as simple as that!
There are some things done to maintain the mechanics of the game and ensure that it stays within decent playing time limits.
The explanation might be dry, but there are mitigations in expansions that prevent people from just buying wind farms (which do not need resources, as my friend did just this week) and win more easily.
Although the number of rules is simple, playing involves a lot of involved dynamics. Interactions are varied and a lot more than I am used to. Luck is definitely a factor in the availability of things, but decisions have to be made thoughtfully.
There is even an AI mechanism which lets two-player people with ease. The first time, I did not think I was going to like the game, but over the last few dozen plays with different people, I am starting to appreciate the simplicity and the light number of cards to carry. I might even like this more in future! The latter is a very rare sentiment. I would not recommend this for families with younger children, but slightly older ones might enjoy it along with the adults.
I may never try the big game, but am satisfied with this foray.


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