The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Power Struggle

I tried Power Struggle this week. Lots of interesting ideas, although I’m not sure it holds together well. Intriguing, at least. You need to score 4 VPs out of a potential 6. One of them is “Best your (hidden) nemesis in 3 categories” (which turns into “Best everyone in 2 out of three categories” if you draw yourself as a nemesis.

Our game only lasted 4 turns, but each turn is 15-20 minutes (probably longer, since it was our first game).  There are certainly lots of tactics there, and I suspect it’s deep enough to warrant 3+ more plays. Right now I’d sign up for them, although not in quick succession. Random thoughts:

  • One local compared this to tribune (in that you need to break a certain barrier in each category to get a VP, and need ~4 out of 6 categories). The “nemesis” VP is a twist, to be sure.
  • One of the rules (Head of communications”) determines how many rounds each turn will have (4-7) … I’m still thinking about how your hidden VP card will affect this. Do you want many shorter turns if you have “Corruption” or “Stock” or “Influence?” Or do you want longer turns if you are abandoning your nemesis VP? I think this may matter, and I have no idea what’s correct. That’s a good sign.
  • The theme amuses me.
  • Despite all of my thinking, I suspect this is yet another in the long line of “play a few times and done” business games. Having recently played 2-3 games of Acquire makes me appreciate how hard it is to do right. I should also play Indonesia again…and 18xx.
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Written by taogaming

March 11, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Reviews

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  1. “Despite all of my thinking, I suspect this is yet another in the long line of “play a few times and done” business games. Having recently played 2-3 games of Acquire makes me appreciate how hard it is to do right. I should also play Indonesia again…and 18xx.”

    The theme didn’t amuse me, so it was a one-and-done for me.

    But if you’re looking for games of Indonesia and 18xx in, say, three weeks in, say, the capital of Ohio, I think you might find them without too much effort.

    Joe Huber

    March 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

  2. I like the game a lot, but it helps that I won twice in a row. I expect to like it a lot less next time…

    The interesting thing that I think will be worth exploring are the hidden victory conditions. Efficiency at getting to four conditions is crucial, so if you can deduce (or guess well) what people are motivated by, you might be able to work the system better – give them an offer they can’t refuse, so to speak. If someone is trying to climb the corruption ladder, they really need to accept your bribe. If someone needs the lead in shares of stock, cash might be the winning motivator, or the threat of losing departments in [whatever category gives you the stock bonus]. It opens a lot of different options and slightly different motivations each play.

    Sean

    March 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm


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