My Last post for this recurring plan that I managed to maintain from the start of the year was: Non-Bookish Saturday Post: Power Grid- The Card Game. I picked this game for a very simple reason, I saw this with fresh eyes this week and realised that this is an enjoyable game and definitely one I would recommend people introduce the hobby with!
The cover of the game is irrelevant in the bigger picture. I had grown jaded with regard to this game since I figured out at multiple stages that I had read the rules wrong and had been playing a longer game since the day I bought it. It has happened to me several times, but this is the best example of the lot. Once I go over what actually happens in the game, I will tell you what I used to do, and those who are familiar with this game can have a laugh at my expense.
This is a relatively simple game, to begin with and can remain so if you choose to play it that way. The civilization card that you see at the bottom right are the ones that tip the scale into secretly scoring complex points that surprise the opponent at the very end. Each player gets their own board with the key point-related information listed in case you forget and a painted-on camp site for your stone age family to wait until called up. In every round, we go around in a circle in the player order, placing one or more people out at the various locations before phase two. I will start with the right-most and go in clockwise order.
- The tools are where you can progressively get 1 or more modifiers to help change your dice roll.
- The birthing hut – where you have to place two people, and they come away with a new member at the end of the round. You start with a family of five and can get up to five more.
- The grain tracker moves up by one every time you place a person here. You have to feed your entire family at the end of the round, and this helps alleviate the burden.
- Hunting grounds can have any number of people from one or all the playing colours. The number of people equals the dice you roll, and that number is divided by two to give you food.
- The comes Wood, which is divided by three. Clay, Stone and Gold have the values divided by 4,5 and 6, respectively. In all of these resource locations, the number of players determines whether you can share space with other colours or not. The number of meeples you place equals the dice you roll.
- The civilization cards are bought by paying any one, two, three or four resources as indicated. They have either the power to act as multipliers to the number of players, grain marker locations or the number of houses or how much of a variety of items they show at the bottom.
- Finally, the houses. They give you instantaneous points. You show your intention by placing a meeple on it during phase one, and you get it (obviously) by paying the resources shown.
The game ends when one stack of houses is gone. The first mistake I corrected was finding out that the number of stacks is based on the number of players! This used to extend my game forever. The second was the letting people place meeples in turn order one(or more) at one location at a time. I would end up doing everyone and then moving on, giving me the advantage. Finally, the sharing of resource spaces ups the complexity to make things interesting as it makes you think about your decisions.
You may not have gone through all the rules, but I played this with someone who liked the variety of games I had but was thrown off by having to parse through too many decisions simultaneously. This game gives you a lot of choices and ways to score, but it is more linear since they all involve the placement of a limited number of meeples. The theme is cute, and for anyone looking for a light but fun game, this will stay interesting for a while!
Bonus: It works as a great tool to show how rounding down, and multiplication works for children. They always seem enamoured by the gold resource and take time to realise that having to roll multiples of six on a single D6 die is a hard thing to do. Even with the tool modifiers (still helps learn math in a fun way)