The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Yesterday’s Gaming

I played a game of Power Grid! On the Central Europe Map! With the new Deck.

It broke up Race for the Galaxy into two blocks, totaling roughly six hours. As Eric said, this is the Race Blog until further notice.

Power Grid was good — I like the new deck, as the order is a bit more mixed some “High cost, many cities” options right next to “cheap and clean” … a less orderly progression, and fewer “I can’t imagine buying that” choices. There was a time when Power Grid was my “Yeah, let’s play that” game of choice. Partially because it was online, but it’s just inoffensive.

I was thinking about it yesterday, and how much more Power Grid do I need? I’ve got four expansion maps, two decks and a nice version of the Atolla Modulis (actually, two copies of that). Even if I play Power Grid once a month, that’s only twice a year for each map (assuming I ignore the Atols). That’s enough variety. Age of Steam is the same way (and I haven’t even gotten a game of that in this year … the shame). I long ago decided that I have more 18xx games than I need (although I’d still like to try some of the new ones).

Some expansions toss stuff in, but the “New Map” expansion seems limited for all but the most hard care of people. Just an idle thought while I wait for the Race expansion.

Anyway, I’ve finally gotten Research Labs to work, although I still consider slapping it down early a desperation move (unless you tagged a small Alien world and are producing/trading). Using the Labs in a Pioneer role (by constantly exploring) just gives up too much timing control. So you have to slap it down, explore 1-2 times to deduce what the cards are telling you and build up a hand, and then go ahead. Not a stunning insight, but still satisfying to win with.

There’s a thread on the Merchant Guild that left me wondering … which is the least useful big (6-cost) development? Obviously they all require you to go in a specific strategy …

New Economy, I’m looking at you. Discuss.

(Incidentally, the rulebook says 15 developments consume one or more goods. I count 16. Given all developments come in pairs, save the sixes, I make the “Big ones” as Mining League, Free Trade, New Economy and Trade League. Trade League does have a consume (as well as trade) power, right? Is that a typo in the charts?)

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Written by taogaming

December 23, 2007 at 10:47 am

Posted in Race for the Galaxy, Ramblings

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7 Responses

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  1. New Economy doesn’t consume a good…

    New Economy can often score in the 12-16 range, particularly when combined with Gal. Fed. 2 for itself, Public Works, Deficit Spending, and whichever one of Mining Conglomerate, Consumer Markets, or Diversified Economy is fueling your economy gets you 8 VPs. Add FTA, ML, or TL, and season with a few worlds with consume powers. With the NE/GF combo, it is often worthwhile to toss down a mid-priced development (Research Labs, Mining Conglomerate, Terraforming Robots, etc.) when someone else calls Develop and you don’t have a 6 to slap down, as they are now worth an extra 3 VPs apiece.

    Tom Lehmann

    December 23, 2007 at 5:42 pm

  2. Research Labs are much more powerful in a two-person game, and there are a couple of 6-point cards that result in a couple of extra victory points for them.

    Ted

    December 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

  3. Research Labs are much more powerful in a two-person game, and there are a couple of 6-point cards that result in a couple of extra victory points for them.

    Ted

    December 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

  4. New Economy doesn’t consume a good…

    I knew I was missing something, thanks! As for the rest, it may be that I’m just now swinging into the “Discard Cards for VPs” strategy, but also because I’m pondering how to play with the ratio of consumption to production powers.

    As for research labs, I haven’t played much of the ‘experienced’ two player game, which is an odd beast (as is the ‘standard’ 2 player game, I’ll admit).

    Brian

    December 23, 2007 at 9:14 pm

  5. New Economy doesn’t consume a good…

    I knew I was missing something, thanks! As for the rest, it may be that I’m just now swinging into the “Discard Cards for VPs” strategy, but also because I’m pondering how to play with the ratio of consumption to production powers.

    As for research labs, I haven’t played much of the ‘experienced’ two player game, which is an odd beast (as is the ‘standard’ 2 player game, I’ll admit).

    Brian

    December 23, 2007 at 9:14 pm

  6. I’m starting to wonder if Research Labs and other explore powers are underpowered in a 2 player game. When you pull develop twice in 2er (experienced), you get your develop bonuses twice. If you put out both explore cards, you still only explore once.

    Or maybe develop/settle bonuses are a touch stronger in 2 player? I guess the balance is that developing twice and settling twice is tough to do even with a full hand of 10 cards…

    Warren Cheung

    December 27, 2007 at 3:38 pm

  7. I tend not to pick the double explore in 2 player that much, but that doesn’t mean the card bonuses are less powerful. The big advantage of explore is the timing, it gives you the cards just before develop and settle. Since you can select two actions you can take advantage of the extra cards from the explore right away by picking develop or settle with your other action. No worries about uncooperative other players.

    frunk

    December 27, 2007 at 4:58 pm


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