Jason Elliot Benda (26376) wrote,
Jason Elliot Benda
26376

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Power Grid Japan.

I've played two games now of Power Grid on the Japan board. The first game was a two-player game with a modified deck (added 12 cards from the green deck, then removed 20 at random) on the middle three regions. I lost, $104 to $67; we both powered 21 cities the final turn.

The second game I played was a 5-player solitare game with the standard (grey) deck. The game suddenly ended on Turn 8, and I felt like the final turn belongs in the Annals.

The setup for Turn 8:

Red: Kobe, Kyoto, Kofu, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Koriyama, Sendai, Morioka, Akita; 14-18-26; $99

Yellow: Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Shimonoseki, Oita, Hiroshima, Akita, Aomori, Hakodate, Sapporo; 11-19-24; $102

Green: Kochi, Matsuyama, Takamatsu, Okayama, Kobe, Nagoya, Hamamatsu, Aomori, Hakodate, Sapporo, Asahikawa; 08-25; $86

Blue: Osaka, Kanazawa, Toyama, Hamamoto, Nagoya, Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama, Nagano, Niigata; 04-23-30; $160

Purple: Hiroshima, Okayama, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Kofu, Yokohama, Nagano, Niigata, Koriyama, Sendai; 10-21-29 (3 coal); $115

Fuel Market: Coal(2) at 3; Oil(2) at 2; Garbage(2) at 7; Uranium (1) at 1

Plant Market: 12-15-16-17; 31-32-33-35

A bit of backstory: Blue had been dominating, first with an early buy of plant 23, then with a buy of plant 30. At the start of Turn 7, the Plant Market had nothing appealing: 12-15-17-24; 31-32-33-37. After the first four players had passed, Yellow made a surprise move and bought plant 24, giving her two 2-Garbage plants. Red had plant 14 for 2-Garbage, but Yellow was not willing to force a Garbage shortage that turn to keep Blue from operating his plant. It was clear to all, however, that Blue would not have fuel to power plant 30 in Turn 8.

Turn 8:

Turn Order: Purple, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow

Auction Power Plants:
Purple, sitting at 11 cities with power for 10, passes, as the best plant available would only get her to 11.
Green, sitting at 11 cities with power for only 7, had to buy a plant (and finally get to three). Since Oil was cheaper than Coal, he put 16 up for bid at 16. Blue knew he was not going to power his plant 30, so he needed a bigger plant to replace plant 04, and he bid 17. Red bid 18; her motivation seemed to be the price of Garbage for plant 14, though her bid was somewhat surprising to the table. Green and Blue were content to get plant 16 off the board and hope for better; while Red replaced plant 14, plant 22 showed up in the Market.
Green still needed power over costs, and so put up 15, the only 3-city plant available. Blue elected to pass this time, hoping for either more power or less cost. Green took the plant for 15; plant 28 appeared in the Market.
Blue was looking hard at plant 31, but could not pass, and so bid on the best available, now plant 28. Yellow decided (correctly) that if she bid on plant 28, Blue would pass and hope for 31, which would give him more power. Therefore Yellow passed. Blue replaced plant 04; plant 50 appeared in the Market. (Plant 20 did remain in the deck, so there was a chance that 31 would not be available.)
Yellow bought plant 31 at cost, replacing plant 11; plant 37 appeared in the Market.

Purchase Raw Materials:
Yellow purchased the obligatory 3 Coal for plant 31 and 2 Garbage for plant 24. That left 3 Garbage total in the game; she had to buy 1 more to deny Blue his plant 30 (as Red had replaced her Garbage plant). She decided to buy all the remaining Garbage, as she was concerned about not being able to power these plants next time, and she wasn't going to be able to build past 10 cities anyway.
Red purchased the minimum 4 Oil to operate all her plants.
Blue purchased the minimum 2 Uranium, as there was no longer any competition for Uranium and so no need to buy a third at 3.
Green purchased a rather expensive 7 Coal.
Purple was short two Hybrid to power all her plants, so she bought 2 Oil.

Build:
Yellow, sitting on $23, built to Kagoshima for $23. (Yellow had been the only player to start on Kyushu, and she'd held off building much of the island for lack of competition.) This put her at 10 cities, intending to power 10.
Red, having run out of places to go in the north (and unwilling to spend $63 to Asahikawa), spent $57 to jump from Kobe to two cities on Shikoku, Takamatsu and Kochi. This boosted her to 12 cities, but only enough power for 10.
Blue considered making a move to Matsue and toward western Honshu, but decided to pass. His reasoning was that Yellow was done building at 10 cities, and he was also at 10. Since she acquired plant 31, she held the tiebreaker for turn order, which meant on Turn 9, if he held steady at 10 cities, he'd be able to buy Garbage before her. 3 Garbage were due to be replenished, which would be enough; he could then use his cash to get to 13 cities, for which he'd have power.
Green, still underpowered, nonetheless saw the opening at Matsue and took it for $26, slightly cheaper than a move from Shikoku to Kyushu. Green was up to 12 cities, even with Red.

Purple was the only player besides Yellow at Hiroshima, and thus the player in the best position to strike at Kyushu. She was planning to take the only two remaining $10 city slots on the board, Fukuoka and Nagasaki, with a run through Shimonoseki (also picking up Shimonoseki). That run cost $67, and moved Purple to 14. She was still sitting on cash, and she glanced around the table: Blue could only power 7; Yellow only had 10; Red, Green, and herself could each only power 10. One more city -- Kumamoto for $23 -- would trigger Game End, and a four-way tie for the win. She needed to have the most cash (ignoring Blue, who thanks to Yellow's Garbage management was short on power).

She went for it. $90 for 4 cities, which moved her to 15 and triggered Game End. The game never reached Step 3 (there were three cards left above the Step 3 card, so it would have certainly happened on Turn 9).

Purple finished in first place with 10 cities powered and $18.
Red finished in second place with 10 cities powered and $14.
Green finished in third place with 10 cities powered and $10.
Yellow finished in fourth place with 10 cities powered and $0.
Blue finished in fifth place with 7 cities powered.
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