Meetup

BGC Meetup 15/1/10 @ OTK Cheras – Powergrid Spain & Portugal, Puerto Rico, Long Shot, Bang

Gamers: Allen (blownfreaks), Heng (ayheng), Alvin (aycee), Henry (rhyen), David (dodya), John Wong (johnwong), Nelson (nelson), WaiYan (neu), and CK Au (jack208)

Games: Long Shot, Bang!, Powergrid (Spain/Portugal), Puerto Rico

Location: Old Town Kopitiam Cheras Google Map 
Date/Time: 15 January 2010 (Fri) 8.00 PM – 4.30 AM

Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ Old Town Kopitiam Cheras 15/1/2010
by jack208

MORE NEW ESSEN GAMES PLAYED

Given that our group has acquired a few new Essen 2009 games but have yet to really play then until a couple weeks ago, we are now in the lets-play-the-new-essen-games mood and are looking to check-off at least one Essen ’09 game each week.

We did Greed Inc last week and Factory Manager & Rise of Empires the week earlier. So what’s up for this week?

LONG SHOT

Again? This is looking to become our default appetizer to start the gaming evening!

BGC Meetup - Long Shot

Well, can’t help it when the game is so much random fun! hehe

BGC Meetup - Long Shot 
Everyone wants a piece of that horse!

Given that we’ve the full table of 8 players, Long Shot is always a good choice as it can accommodate 8 players without affecting the playing time too much (unlike say Formula De where if you tried playing with 10, the game can drag for more than 3 hrs!)

BGC Meetup - Long Shot
Their first game of Long Shot with us (from left) – John, David and Nelson 

BGC Meetup - Long Shot
Veteran horse gambler ayheng (middle) trying to convince newbies Nelson and Aycee to bet on his horse (which ain’t look like it’s going to win) muahahaha 

BGC Meetup - Long Shot

It was a pretty close race for this round… with more than half the horses tumbling into the last quarter of the track in close competition.

Yes, you read it right.. “tumbling” into the last quarter as horse #6 and #2 actually raced ahead of the pack into the No-Bets zone (ie the last quarter) very early in the game then for some inexplicably reason, they decided to slow down and let the “rest” tumbled in…

BGC Meetup - Long Shot 

The eventual placing went to #6 (John), #4 (BlownFreaks) and #1 (David). Looks like the newbies had a great go… with both John and David’s horses securing a placing.

BGC Meetup - Long Shot

John eventually won the game (as the player with most money) as he has placed good bets on the placing horses with David & Blownfreaks close by in 2nd/3rd.

The rest of the players? Well, they lost all their money on horse gambling la!! The morale of this story is.. dun gamble on little horsies… 😛

BANG!

Bang! was the next game to come to the table. We actually have more than 7 players but since my Bang! set did not include Dodge City (duh!), we can only do 7 players.

Blownfreaks was the Sheriff in this game and in his first go, he pulled out a Volcanic and immediately started shooting left (waiyan) and right (aycee)…. literally speaking. He was Calamity Jane (play Bang as Miss, or Miss as Bang) and I suppose he has a hand full of Bang/Miss cards.

aycee got hit twice and waiyan once I think… but the Sheriff literally played ALL his hands!! Which meant he was “naked” when the other players take their turns… and given that the next-in-turn ie waiyan was Slab the Killer (you need two Miss card to avoid her Bang) with identity unknown..  this was a very bravado play from Blownfreaks… hehe

BGC Meetup - Bang 
Blownfreaks the Sheriff emptying all his bullets on turn one!

Surprisingly, no one actually attempted a shot at the Sheriff (given he’s naked with no protection whatsoever). Maybe they do not have the guns to reach him.. or maybe they were just scared stiff.

waiyan was one of his deputies so naturally didn’t take any pot shot at the Sheriff.

BGC Meetup - Bang
The Outlaw group.. .heehee-haha-ing.. instead of taking down the Sheriff 

A strange game indeed… as the Outlaws grew so desperate they even have to shoot down one of their kind in order to reach the Sheriff.

In the end, the Good Guys prevailed in this game.

POWERGRID (SPAIN & PORTUGAL)

After Bang! it was time for our main course… and this Friday we decided to play the new Powergrid map. rhyen – diehard Friedemann Friese fan – supplied the game + map for us appreciative OTKers. hehe

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal) 
aycee and ayheng examining the resource supply chart for Spain & Portugal

The Spain & Portugal map – according to our resident Friedemann Friese expert (aka rhyen) – is a balanced map in terms of city-building ie. it has pockets of cheap connections surrounded by more expensive connections (kinda like island-style).

This meant you do not need to worry about your starting city location.. but you do have to worry about obnoxious neighbouring power-plant competitors who are building too close for comfort!!

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)

jack208’s (red) starting city near the middle of the board.. alongside the No-Nuclear (yellow) region. If you have cities only in this region, you are not allowed to get a Uranium Plant. Obnoxious neighbors – Black (John), Purple (Ayheng) and Blue (rhyen) already springing up around jack208 (sigh)

There’s a (yellow) region on the map where if you have cities only in this region, you won’t be allowed to get a uranium power plant. Not that I see this as an issue as in Step 1 of this map, there’s no restocking for uranium resources meaning if you have a Uranium Plant in Step 1, your resource cost is only going to go higher.. until it gets depleted and you have to wait for Step 2 before getting any uranium resupply.

In short, no one wants Uranium Power Plant. Or at most, only one player can afford to go uranium in this map in Step 1.

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal) 

Note the very limited supply of uranium resources (red) for this map while it’s in Step 1.

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)

ayheng was the first to acquire a uranium power plant, and thereafter no one competed with him for uranium (as it’ll be a lose-lose situation for both).

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)

I started with oil and when the opportunity existed for me to take a gambit on an early #25 (coal), I went for it… and I think this tipped the scale to my end for this session especially in this map.

In the Spain/Portugal map, three of the mid wind plants (#18, #22 and #27) were taken out of the deck to be re-inserted on top of the deck when Step 2 triggers. This can have a very “interesting” impact on the power plant upgrade (more of this later…)

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)

The map showing our game after Step 2 (build to 6 cities) was triggered. You can see everyone expanded evenly. City expansion is quite expensive (and painful) in this map… and there’s danger it’ll just choke on 5 cities without triggering Step 2.

However given that there’s no uranium restock in Step 1, if at least one player has acquired an Uranium Plant, they’ll be the one who’s going to push for a quick Step 2 trigger.

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)
Step 2 is triggered… #22 is now available to bid for (#18 was auctioned earlier)

The problem with Step 2 is that once it’s triggered, the three Wind Plants (#18, #22 and #27) which were extracted from the deck at start, will now be inserted back at the TOP of the deck…

This means the next three plants coming out from the deck (future market) will be these three Wind Plants! Development like this can either be a good or bad news to you.. depending on how your plants are set up when Step 2 is triggered.

It was good for me as my early buy on #25 is now paying huge dividends once the three Wind plants appeared in Step 2 to choke the plant upgrade flow. 😛

BGC Meetup - Power Grid (Spain/Portugal)

rhyen down to his usual resource hoarding tactics!!

My verdict?
I like this map…  I think ayheng likes it as well. It’s a pretty even map in terms of connection cost and opportunities.. yet it felt “expensive” to expand. It’s not “choking” as in the Italy map but nevertheless you just felt your progress on the map is “slow”.

The three Wind plants can be an issue if Step 2 is triggered late so need to watch out for that. I suppose if Step 2 appears earlier or omitted altogether (ie direct into Step 3), this would be moot.

Overall, a good map to buy especially if you are a Powergrid fan.

PUERTO RICO

It was past 2am when we completed our Powergrid session… John and David have to say goodnite so that left four of us – jack208, ayheng, rhyen and aycee.

In order to keep up with our appearance of being “legendary” and “hardcore” (ie doing 2 hrs + games till the wee hours of the morning.. tsk tsk), we brought Puerto Rico to the table..

BGC Meetup - Puerto Rico

.. .not once.. but TWICE!

BGC Meetup - Puerto Rico

BGC Meetup - Puerto Rico 
ayheng doing his infamous Hacienda strategy….

BGC Meetup - Puerto Rico
These guys are too nice to me.. they allowed me to get the Factory-Harbor-Wharf trinity for both games 🙂

It’s nice to get some oldies but goldies back to the table…. Alrite.. till next week when Imperial 2030 (another new Essen releases) might hit the table.

Related posts for this meetup by other gamers:


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3 replies »

  1. Hey, nice writeup! You might want to link to aycee’s writeup here: http://niched.blogspot.com/2010/01/boardgamecafe-100115.html

    I still can’t get enough of Long Shot, Bang! certainly was bad for the Outlaws as none of us had guns to reach the Sheriff.

    Powergrid: Spain & Portugal, well, what can I say, your gambit of going for an expansive power plant first paid off handsomely. Maybe there is that something to what you’ve said about the green power plants choking up the supply.

    As for Puerto Rico, come on, let’s wean off the Factory-Harbour-Wharf trinity or Harbour-Wharf double Whammy, win(lose) with style with the Hacienda Strategy!

    Like

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