[SR] MVGA Holliston 2005-03-31
- 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.
Dan, Rich, Eric, Paul H., Anton
(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
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
Final scores: Dan 53, Rich 44, Eric 42.
Eric's rating: 8. Paris Paris is one of my favorite quick
(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'.
(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.
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.