Monday, February 13, 2006

2 Player Power Grid

Today was the last day before I start a new job, and also Tu B'Shvat, a Jewish holiday for planting trees.

Many kids go on field trips to plant trees, either through school or with youth groups. I let Tal skip school and we went hiking. Long story short, we hiked around the Ein Gedi area near the Dead Sea. In the evening I brought Saarya home from school and we ended up playing two player Power Grid.

The game works pretty well for two players. Saarya started with some extra cities, but eventually the good prices slowed him down. Coal and oil kept being used faster than they could be replaced and they eventually ran out each round by the first person to pick them. Neither of us could get a nuclear plant running until nuclear fuel had already hit a cost of 1.

The problem was for the person with more cities who couldn't power them because he had no fuel - that was me. I saw this problem coming two rounds earlier and tried to switch to alternate plants of garbage and nuclear but couldn't do it early enough.

Saarya built to and powered 21 cities while I only had 3 plants operating and powering 16 cities.

There you have it. The trick is to work back early enough from the end game to see where that point is that you can establish a victory by running your opponent out of fuel. Of course, it is always possible that other 2 player games will go differently; this was only the first time I tried it.

Quite fun.


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