Posts Tagged 'Power Grid'

Weekend Gaming: Post April Fools

On Saturday we played Ticket to Ride, Hansa Teutonica and Princes of Florence with Joe, Jaime and Kevin.

I hadn’t played Ticket to Ride in ages, so it was a lot of fun to get a chance to play.  My routes were from Canada all the way down to Texas.  I was able to hit quite a few long links in between and had a sizable lead coming into the end.  It almost went bad for me when Jaime and Gina all converged on some of the links in Texas, but I was able to squeak through and finish all but one route and won Longest Train.

Jaime sat out for Hansa Teutonica, while the rest of us played using the expansion.  Kevin managed to empty out almost all of his board, and Joe had pretty unhindered access to the Merchants.  I managed to claim offices in the city for extra actions, and a bunch of the cities around it.  I was a bit slow, though, and didn’t expect Joe to finish off the bonus route across the top of the board.  I wasn’t quite able to get my key upgraded, so my links that I was going for was a bit lacking.  Joe ended up winning while Kevin was a close second.

The last game of the night was Princes of Florence.  I had a pretty good selection of works and I was able to set myself to play four of them out over my last 4 actions.  I wasn’t quite able to keep up with Kevin, though, and ended up just a few points short.

On Sunday, Joe called and wanted to play some more games.  Ryan joined him and we started it out with another game of Hansa Teutonica.  Again I managed to get an office in the Actions/Bag city.  This provided me a bunch of points while I went to gather a bunch of bonus markers.  I was able to pick up six bonus markers and some offices across the board.  I managed to pull off enough points to take the win.  Joe’s game was pretty impressive as well.  He managed to pull off second place while only getting a single upgrade and playing the entire game with only two actions.

The last game of the night was Power Grid: First Sparks.  I tried to corner the market on bears, but there wasn’t much of a market to corner.  Ryan managed to be the only one with a spear and access to the bison, so he was able to fairly easily grab a lead.  Gina and I were both having trouble making enough, while Joe was able to catch Ryan on the last turn.  It wasn’t enough for a win, though, as Ryan had some food leftover for the tie-breaker.

All-in-all it was a fun weekend full of games.

Weekend Gaming: Prehistory

On Friday my wife and I decided to play a few games.  We started off with Power Grid: First Sparks.  The two-player game of First Sparks is a little different from the standard.  There are a few technologies removed and a 3rd “neutral” clan is controlled by whoever is in last place.

In our game, I picked up the Fire knowledge on the first turn and I was trying to us it to its fullest potential.  I was able to build slowly, always staying just behind Gina so I usually had control of the neutral clan.  I was also able to position myself just right on bear hunting grounds so by the last turn the bears were being refilled just enough so that I could sustain gathering 2 bears a turn with a low level bow.  On the last turn, I had saved up enough food to place 5 new clan members, which launched me from 9 to 14.  Gina was close behind, but she only had enough to place 3, which put her at 13.  A good close game, and it was interesting to see how the Fire strategy could work.

End game - Red (me), Green (Gina), White (neutral)

Next was Thurn and Taxis.  I was able to get Lodz and Pilsen early, but then couldn’t find anything in the green or blue regions for a long time, so Gina beat me to the All Regions points.  I was able to get all of grey in one fell swoop after digging through the deck to find Augsburg.  That combined with a big 7 route to end the game pushed me to the win.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture, though.

Saturday evening, Kevin, Joe, Phil and Louis joined us for Dominant Species.  This turned out to be a pretty epic game.  I was playing the mammals, and took a pretty sizable lead by being dominant in the lower right.  This was helped by very few meat elements being available for Adaptation.  Louis (playing reptiles) ended up going completely extinct when all of the Sun elements were removed from the board.  He ended up coming back strong, though with some nice end game Domination points.  I was able to maintain my lead by getting a lot of first or second place points on tiles where other species dominated, but I was dwindling toward the end.

On the last turn, I made a burst in the upper right by speciating and wanderlusting twice.  This gave me a couple locations where I was able to dominate and hold for points.  Gina (birds) was able to migrate all over the place, but ended up losing all of her domination to Joe or Louis (insects).  In the end, Louis put up 21 points through domination and both he and Gina got a bunch of points from the final scoring.  It wasn’t quite enough, though, and I ended up winning by a single point.

Dominant Species - Me (White), Gina (Blue), Louis (Black), Kevin (Green), Phil (Yellow), Joe (Red)

A great weekend of games with an interesting game of Dominant Species to finish it up.  Much better than the blowouts we’ve had in the past.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: 300th Post!

This is my 300th post according to WordPress.  I can’t really believe that I have written that many posts over the past few years, but it’s been great.  I’m glad that I am able to continue doing this and plan on doing this for another 300 posts at least.

In the gaming news, on Friday Joe, Jaime, Kevin and Tyrel came over and we started things off with a game of Hansa Teutonica.  I began the game with the plan to upgrade my keys and go for a bunch of connected cities, but I started off wrong and got a bit caught up with getting in Joe’s way.  It really didn’t work out all that well.  Gina was going for the route across the board, and was a step away when Joe decided to get in the way.  I helped her get around Joe, but it wasn’t quite enough for her.  Kevin actually ended up winning the game by snagging a bunch of bonuses, emptying most of his board and grabbing the points in the lower left of the board on the last turn.

After that we broke out Power Grid: The First Sparks.  I had a bit of everything, but I got burned a few turns when the technology market ended up with nothing but Knowledges and I missed out on technology upgrades.  I was able to position myself better towards the end, but Joe was able to use a well timed Speech buy to allow himself to place 4 new clam members and snag the win.

On Saturday we got together again with Joe, Kevin, Louis and Ryan and decided to play Louis’ new copy of A Game of Thrones.  It took a bit to learn, but then we were off and running.  I was positioned in middle of the western coast, with Ryan right below me and Kevin to the North.  It was definitely a tricky game to figure out, and we ended up calling the game a bit early.  That said, I was actually able to pull out a win by moving up and taking over Kevin’s land.  On what we decided would be the last turn, Kevin moved out of my way, which allowed my to take over one of his strongholds easily and then attack Ryan for the last stronghold needed to win.  The game was fun, but definitely better suited for a longer Saturday afternoon session.

Finally, on Sunday, we headed over to Joe’s to watch the Superbowl.  Overall it was a fun weekend with a bunch of newer games.  Until next time, happy gaming.

Weekend Gaming: First Sparks

Joe, Kevin, Ryan and Louis joined us for games on Saturday night.  I had just received my copy of Power Grid: The First Sparks, so I was excited to try it out.  We took a little while to go over the rules, but then we got into it.  Power Grid is one of my favorite games, and First Sparks captures a lot of the same feel, though in a simpler and shorter format.  The auction portion of the game is simplified and the math required at the end is a lot easier.  There isn’t as much micromanaging as the original, which I kind of miss, but the random layout of the board means that the setup will be different each time.

I ended up getting the lowest starting card, so I was first to place my starting settler, so I started off in the center of the board where a bunch of mammoth hunting grounds were located.  Also, I was then last to get a new technology, so I was able to grab a spear to hunt them.  This ended up being a big bonus, as I was able to hunt a bunch of mammoths and keep myself fairly well stocked for the entire game.  No one else was hunting them, so all the resources came my way.  Later in the game I was also able to get the Speech knowledge, which ended up winning me the game.  I was mostly situated in the middle of the board, so I figured having the discount on shared spaces would help in general.  On the last turn, though, because of that discount, I had just enough food to expand my clan to size 13 to end the game and since no one else had managed to get there, I ended up with the win.

Since that game hadn’t taken too long, we decided to break out Railways of the Western US for the next game.  Ryan sat out, so it was only the five of us playing.

Both of my Baron options were focused on the Northwest, so I knew I was going to be playing there.  The one I ended up taking required that I connect Billings to Tacoma.  Then when the starting cards were revealed, there were four service bounties, including one for Billings and another for Spokane.  I was hoping to get the Spokane one, but I wasn’t willing to go all out for the first turn.  Joe ended up winning that, and took the Spokane route.  I did get the Billings one, though.  For the rest of the game, Joe and I were fighting for the same routes in the Northwest, while Louis was left mostly uninhibited in the lower Midwest.  Gina was in the Denver area, while Kevin was mostly on the West coast.

There were some oddities in the game, though, because of Joe and I.  Every route but one into Tacoma was blocked by Joe and I, so Kevin was dissuaded from completing the LA to Tacoma route, and then I grabbed the Portland to Ogden route, while Joe connected to Salt Lake City.  This ended up making it very difficult for Kevin to get through Promentory, and put him off trying the Promentory to Omaha route.

All this time, I was behind, as I wasn’t shipping much.  Eventually I managed to get a good shipping route from the Billings area with some longer shipments, but it was too little too late.  Louis had upgraded his train quickly and took advantage of a lot of goods near Oaklahoma City and the his hotel there, to launch himself into a sizable lead.  In the end, he and I were the only ones to complete our Barons, but it didn’t matter.   Louis had first place and Joe was in second, followed by Kevin, myself and Gina.

It was a nice night of entertaining games.  First Sparks is fun and it’s nice to have another 6 player game to add to our catalog, especially since it is a shorter game.

Until next time, happy gaming!


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