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[SR] MVGA Holliston 2005-03-31

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  • brosiuse
    MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7pm in the Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just east of the center of town. Turn north on Church Place (which is more a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 26, 2005
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      MVGA meets Thursday nights at 7pm in the
      Masonic Hall in Holliston, on Route 16 just
      east of the center of town. Turn north on
      Church Place (which is more a driveway than
      a street) to find parking.

      We welcome visitors. We'll even
      waive the $3.00 fee for your first visit.


      Roll call:
      Dan, Rich, Eric, Paul H., Anton


      PARIS PARIS
      (Dan, Rich, Eric)

      We started with only 3 players this week,
      but we were almost sure there were more
      on their way, so we began with Paris Paris,
      a 25-minute game that works for 2, 3 or 4.
      Walt is famous for being puzzled by Paris
      Paris, but he wasn't coming, so we'd have
      to do without the fun of teasing him about
      it.

      Paris Paris plays quickly when you know what you're doing, and
      it didn't take long for Dan to rack up a few big grand tours,
      pulling out to a big lead. Rich and Eric tried to catch him,
      but it wasn't going to happen this time, and Dan won by a
      comfortable margin.

      Final scores: Dan 53, Rich 44, Eric 42.

      Eric's rating: 8. Paris Paris is one of my favorite quick
      games.


      SAN JUAN
      (Dan, Rich, Eric)

      We finished Paris Paris before anyone else showed up, so we took
      a trip to the MVGA game locker to find another short 3-player
      game. We often play Wyatt Earp in situations like this, but this
      time San Juan edged its way into the lineup. This smooth-playing
      card game is often accused by novices of having only one way to
      win, but they typically differ about what that way is. In this
      game, Dan and Eric built production, feeding off each other's role
      choices, though Dan got an early Library down to stay ahead of Eric
      throughout. Rich pursued a building strategy, with a Quarry and a
      Library of his own, but Eric was helping Dan more than Rich as he
      tried to stay in the game. Rich played a City Hall and a Triumphal
      Arch, but it wasn't quite enough.

      Final scores: Dan 33, Rich 30, Eric 29.

      Eric's rating: 8. San Juan has grown on me. It started as a '7',
      but I've raised it to an '8'.


      POWER GRID
      (Dan, Rich, Eric, Paul H., Anton)

      By the time we had finished San Juan, Paul H. and Anton arrived and
      it was time to put the appetizers aside and dig into a main course.
      We decided on Power Grid, a game we seem to be playing every week
      or two this spring. Eric has been getting the #04 coal plant every
      game recently (though he hasn't been winning with it,) and this week
      was no exception as he paid a relatively low $6 for it. Dan then took
      the #05 hybrid, a favorite of his, for list price. Rich put the #03
      oil plant up, and Anton bid $4 to take it off his hands. Rich was
      then outbid by Paul for the #08 coal plant at $9, so he took the #09
      oil plant at list price. With this set of starting plants, it looked
      like oil would be plentiful early on. Anton started by connecting two
      cities, even though he could power only one. Eric and Dan connected
      one city each. Paul, who could power two, connected two, and Rich
      connected two as well. Our group has a tendency to connect extra
      cities early on to discourage others from horning in on what we think
      is our own private territory.

      In the next round, every player bought a plant. Rich took the #10
      coal plant for $14, Paul bid $20 for the #18 windmill, and Anton went
      all the way to $23 for the #16 oil plant, which powers three cities
      for two oil. With oil looking cheap, this was an attractive plant.
      Dan had few good options and took the #14 trash burner, and Eric made
      the best of a bad selection and took the #07 oil plant so as not to
      fall too far behind in the plant race.

      Round 3 saw nothing interesting available except for the #30 trash
      plant. This plant has a high capacity, but it's expensive to run,
      given the relatively small supply of trash, and we all passed. We
      spent our money building instead, with Anton going to four cities
      and everyone else to three. Anton bid aggressively again, getting
      the #29 hybrid, which powers four cities for one coal or oil, for
      $35. Dan took the #28 nuclear plant for $37, and Eric bid $36 for
      the "poisoned" #30. Rich decided to settle for the #11 nuke at list
      price, and Paul was overjoyed to see the #31 coal plant fall into his
      lap at list price.

      In Round 4, Rich was the "brightest bulb" as a result of his game-
      leading five cities, but he got the coveted #25 coal plant for list
      price when the rest of us realized that our heavy spending in Round 3
      had made it impossible to prudently purchase another plant. Paul H.
      took the #15, but the rest of us grumbled to ourselves over the fact
      that Rich's patience had earned him such a juicy opportunity. There
      are a lot of things to consider in Power Grid; one of them is making
      sure you have cash when there are good buying opportunities. Round 6
      saw Rich make another purchase, getting the #32 oil plant for $37.
      Eric settled for the relatively inefficient #20 coal plant at $25. By
      this point in the game, Rich had capacity for 13 cities. Eric also
      had capacity for 13, though at a much higher fuel cost. Paul could
      power 11, while Anton and Dan were still at 8 and 7. To remedy this
      gap, Anton paid $37 for the #26 oil plant (the analog of Rich's #25.)
      Paul then picked up the #34 nuke and Dan the #27 windmill while Eric
      and Rich saved their money.

      The plants on offer were lousy again in Round 8. We spent our money
      building, but Eric's high fuel cost was killing him, and he was only
      able to build to eight cities, compared to ten for Dan and eleven for
      the others. Round 9 saw sparse buying (the #21 hybrid for Dan and the
      #23 nuke for Rich,) but the real action came in Round 10 as we loaded
      up for the end of the game. Dan paid $51 for the #38 trash plant,
      Anton paid $50 for the #36 coal plant, and Eric paid $40 for the
      efficient #35 oil plant. Rich took the #50 fusion plant at list price
      and Paul H. took the #33 windmill at list price as well. In the
      building spree that followed, Paul started us off by connecting 15
      cities with $1 to spare. Rich then connected 17 cities, all of which
      he could power, to dash the hopes of the field. Anton got to 16 with
      money left over, but he could only power 16, so there was no point
      going further. Dan also connected 15, and Eric could only make it to
      14, despite the fact that he could have powered 16.

      Final scores:

      Rich 17 cities
      Anton 16 cities
      Dan 15 cities + $36
      Paul H. 15 cities + $1
      Eric 14 cities

      Eric's rating: 9. Power Grid continues to hold my interest. There
      are many factors to consider; cost of fuel is one that I hadn't been
      so forcefully impacted by in the past. Walt had lost two games after
      paying for the #30, but I just had to see for myself. The #30 is a
      good buy later in the game if trash is cheap, but you need to be very
      careful in Round 3 or 4.


      Eric Brosius
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