Events

BGC Power Grid M’sia Qualifier #5 @ Mage Cafe 9/4/2011 (Round 1)

BGC POWER GRID M’SIA 2011 QUALIFIER #5 (ROUND 1)
By jack208
 
EXCERPT
This week we return to arguably the first boardgame café in Msia – MAGE CAFE in Damansara Jaya – as we seek to find out who shall be our 9th and 10th Finalists. Two rounds were played – Germany first, then China – read on to find out what Ribena Lychee has to do with Power Grid. 🙂
 
Participants Qualifier #5
1. Emil Ali
2. Ian Binn
3. Ek Hau
4. Philip Teo
5. Suresh Velu
6. John Choong
7. Elena Kua
8. Effendy
9. Ang Xian Jun
10. Jimmy Cheng
 
Game Masters (GM): rhyen, jack208

Location: Mage Cafe, Damansara Jaya
Date/Time: 9 April 2011 2.00 PM – 7.00 pm (Sat)
 
 
RIBENA LYCHEE
Mage Cafe (link) was one of the pioneering boardgame café in M’sia and having been around since 2007, they’ve seen the early growth of boardgaming in M’sia. Together with Games Circle, they used to make Damansara Jaya THE boardgaming hub for Klang Valley. Boardgamecafe.net is happy to be able to host one of our Power Grid qualifiers at this popular venue!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
One of the reasons Mage Cafe has retained a steady stream of customers is their delicious food which helped to keep customers coming back for more! Even if you are not so into boardgaming, do drop by their café and try out their menu!
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
A gamer trying out Mage’s concoction of ribena + lychee named “First Love”. Any similarity to the gamer’s real life love affair is purely coincidental. LOL
 
Back to the tournament, with 10 gamers registered for this leg we’ll be doing two rounds (as per the Boardgame Depot format) where the 1st round is played on the Germany map with the top three finishers from each table advancing to the 2nd round using the China map to determine the top 2 finalists.
 
Let’s get to the games, for an interesting Round 1 where we see a Step 2 stall and aggressive network building in action! Warning: This is a long report.

QUALIFIER #5 – GAME 7

Players (initial turn order): Effendy (yellow), Ek Hau (red), Philip Teo (green), Emil Ali (black) and Ang (purple)
Map: Germany with southern area not in play
GM: rhyen
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
(L-R) Ang, Effendy, Ek Hau, Philip and Emil
 
Turn 1
A rather unbalanced start-up building with three players cramped into the western area of the map (Effendy-yellow, Philip-green and Emil-black) with Ang-purple and Ek Hau-red having more space to develop on the south and east respectively.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Average resource cost was $8 and only those with the 2-cities capacity power plant started with 2-cities built.
 
Turn 2
Only three players bought another power plant in the 2nd turn (Effendy-yellow, Ek Hau-red and Philip-green). All players now on 2-cities except for Effendy-yellow who lead with 3 cities.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Effendy (left) and Ek Hau were two of the three players who added another power plant in turn 2
 
Turn 3
Some players started to pull away from the pack in terms of power plant capacity with Emil-black, Ek Hau-red and Ang-purple all ready to power 7-8 cities while Effendy-yellow and Philip-green remained at 4-cities capacity.
 
Emil-black now lead the building phase with 4-cities to everyone else’s three.
 
Turn 4
Everyone’s catching up on the power plant capacity with Emil-black opening a gap at 11-cities capacity with his coal and garbage plants. City building remained slow with Ang-purple reaching his 5th city, the rest on 3 or 4.
 
7-city to trigger Step 2.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Emil-black (left) leading the power plant capacity while Ang-purple led the city building.
 
Turn 5
Everyone decided to skip the power plant bidding phase in this turn (maybe because of the crappy underpowered plants on offered in the current market).
 
With more cash-in-hand, this resulted in a higher city building with Philip-green dropping 3 cities to move himself to 6-cities together with Emil-black and Ang-purple. The other two were not far behind with 5-cities.
 
And this was when things stalled…
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Turn 6
Turn 6 was almost a repeat of Turn 5, with no players opting to bid for any power plant. Worse to come. Everyone just built to 6-cities and no one was keen to trigger the 7-city Step 2 condition!
 
Turn 7
Back to business in power plant bidding as Effendy-yellow and Ek Hau-red upped the ante to draw level with Emil-black in power plant capacity at 11-cities. Ang-purple and Philip-green trailed at 8-cities.
 
In resource buying, Ang-purple invested $33 for two rounds of coal (6) vs the average resource cost of $10 for the rest! Some things were stirring…
 
Emil-black (first to build) still refused to trigger Step 2 but Ek Hau-red can’t resist building 3-cities to move him to his 9th city while Ang-purple followed with one city (to his 7th). The other two Effendy-yellow and Philip-green chose to remain at 6-cities.
 
Turn 8
With Step 2 now triggered and new territories opened up for grabs, the players decided not to upgrade their power plants to conserve cash for city building. Except for Ang-purple who bought the #27-eco plant to boost his capacity to 11-cities. Only Philip-green was under-powered with 8-cities capacity.
 
Those non-builders for the past two turns started making their big moves now with Emil-black and Effendy-yellow both building 5 cities to bring them to 11. Philip-green built only 2 to reach 8-cities while Ek-Hau also built 2 but he’s at 11-cities. Ang-purple added 3 cities to make it his 10th.
 
All the players were under-powered with only Effendy able to power 12 cities which would still be short of the 15-city game end trigger. Would the game end next turn or would it require a few more turns?
 
Turn 9
Effendy-yellow and Ek Hau-red both skipped power plant bidding. They remained at 12-cities and 11-cities capacity respectively. Eh? Don’t want to end the game?
 
Emil-black grabbed the #19-garbage plant (what? There’s still this low-capacity plant at this stage of the game?) to get himself to 12-cities capacity while Ang-purple got the #21-hybrid to reach a potential game winning 13-cities capacity. Philip-green also upgraded his power plants with the #29-hybrid to be on 11-cities.
 
Interestingly all three players bought their power plants this turn at cost price!
 
Everyone was waiting to see if someone will pull the trigger in this round… Philip-green (first to build this turn) did not. He just built 3 cities to get himself to 11-cities. But Ang-purple – with 13-cities capacity did not hesitate and he dropped 5 cities to reach the 15th city end-game trigger.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
The rest has no choice now but to build to their optimal capacity since the game was already ending. While Emil-black and Effendy-yellow added just one city to make it 12 (both their capacity were just 12-cities), Ek Hau-red decided not to build (and remained at 11-cities) since his capacity was just 11-cities.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
The final board layout
 
Position
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Supplied
Cash
1st
Ang Xian Jun
Purple
15
13
$34
2nd
Effendy
Yellow
12
12
$110
3rd
Emil Ali
Black
12
12
$109
4th
Philip Teo
Green
11
11
$124
5th
Ek Hau
Red
11
11
$122
 
Ang, Effendy and Emil advanced to the next round to join three more from Game #8 (see below). However it’s interesting to note that four of the players ended the game with more than $100 in cash!!
 
Alamak, so apparently there are still people who keep cash under their pillows! 😛
 
QUALIFIER #5 – GAME 8

Players (initial turn order): Suresh (purple), Ian binn (yellow), Elena Kua (black), Jimmy Cheng (red) and John Choong (green)
Map: Germany with southern area not in play
GM: jack208
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
(L-R) John Choong, Suresh, Ian Binn, Elena, Jimmy (back to camera)
 
Turn 1
This game started with a meeeh-bidding… as everyone more or least acquired their power plant at cost. Cooperative session ka?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
First build was more spread out here (compared to Game #7 above) with only Jimmy-red and Elena-black fighting for the western area.
 
Turn 2
All semblance of cooperation went out the window when Elena-black and Jimmy-red engaged in aggressive fight for territory on the western side…
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
… while John-green continued his solo building peacefully in the northern area.
 
Turn 3
Ian-yellow was the first to break from the pack with regards to power plant capacity when he added the #25-coal (as his 3rd power plant) to move his capacity to 9-cities while the rest were still playing catch-up at 6- or 4-cities.
 
Elena-black attempted to bid for three power plants – #18, #29 and #25 – all three were outbid by others! Whew… She finally decided she’ll not take any plant this turn and skipped.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Suresh (left) skipped building while Ian increased his capacity to 9-cities
 
When it came to building, Suresh-purple skipped building this round while the others mostly added one more city. But Elena-black and Jimmy-red continued their fierce tussle in the western area…
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
While Game #7 has three players fighting over the western area, I felt the fight here was tougher as Jimmy and Elena were literally trading blow for blow to claim territories in the (cheap) western connections. In this turn, Elena-black – since she skipped buying any power plant this turn – plopped down a $33 connection cost to add just 2-cities (bringing her to 5-city) in an attempt to over-run Jimmy-red’s 3-cities network.
 
Turn 4
The leading players started to turn up the heat in this turn by acquiring large capacity plants to increase their capacity to double-digit. Jimmy-red took the high #30-garbage to be able to power 10 cities while both Elena-black and Ian-yellow bought up their capacity to 9-cities. Suresh-purple and John-green were now trailing them with their 6- and 4-cities capacity.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Ian (left) and Elena now on 9-cities capacity with their newly acquired power plants
 
A couple of players such as Suresh-purple and John-green who were well stocked with resources did not re-stock this turn. Did this provide them with more cash to build cities?
 
Both Elena-black and Jimmy-red skipped building cities this turn – apparently the power plant purchase took out too much cash from them – this allowed the others to catch-up to Elena’s leading 5-cities network.
 
Turn 5
Everyone skipped buying power plant this turn, allowing John-green to grab the #33-eco for a good price. This meant John-green’s fully into green power plants (hey, it rhymed!). However his (#13, #18, #33) green plants only provided him with a capacity of 7-cities.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
John-green’s very efficient and zero-cost set of green power plants (above). But were they enough to power him towards victory?
 
In the Building phase, Jimmy-red added 2 cities to catch up with Elena’s five while Ian-yellow and Suresh-purple also built 2-cities but they were now at 6 together with John-green who built one. It’s all up to Elena-black to potentially trigger Step 2 by building two cities but she opted to skip building to gain turn order advantage over Jimmy-red (her closest competitor).
 
Turn 6
As the game reaches the pivotal Turn #6 where players need to start breaking away from the group towards their final push, we saw some fierce bidding for power plants with the first offered plant #21-hybrid going for $28 to Suresh-purple.
 
Jimmy-red continued to maintain his tempo by diversifying into uranium #24 and now lead the capacity with 12-cities. Elena-black opted not to buy any power plant, leaving her trailing the capacity game with her 9-cities capacity.
 
Will someone trigger Step 2 (7-city) in this turn?
 
Both Elena-black and Jimmy-red who built first, decided it’s not in their interest to trigger Step 2 even though both of them were on 5-cities against the other three’s 6-cities network. Hmm….
 
No further question was asked when it came to Ian-yellow’s turn. He put down his 7th city and thus Step 2 was triggered (but takes effect next turn). Suresh-purple who built after Ian-yellow dropped 2 cities to get to this 8th.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
At this stage, my thought was that John-green had the map advantage with almost zero competition during the early building stage. But his total capacity would be his Archilles.
 
Turn 7
With Step 2 now triggered, it would be interesting to see how the players balance their cash between power plant buying and city building.
 
Interestingly everyone skipped power plant bidding this turn (even John-green with his under-powered 7-cities capacity) except for Elena-black who wisely picked up the #22-eco at cost (from the current market of #17, #19, #22 and #24) increasing her capacity to 10, still short of Jimmy-red’s 12.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Elena-black was the first to build in this turn, and she took full advantage of the new Step 2 opening by building 6 cities to move her total city count to 11. Jimmy-red who built next can only add 4 cities to reach 9. Has she pulled away from her fierce rival, Jimmy?
 
John-green followed with 5 cities to lead with 12 total (but he has capacity to power 7 cities only). This I believed would set him back a bit since we were already coming into the end-game stage.
 
Suresh-purple kept pace with the leads by adding 3 cities to reach his 11th.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Turn 8
John-green started to make his move by bidding for the strong #26-oil plant but were outbid by Suresh-purple at a whopping $35! Suresh-purple now has capacity to power 13 cities (two short of the game-end trigger).
 
John-green tried for the #28-uranium next and got it this time at cost (no one interested in uranium?) He managed to push up his capacity to #10 but was still short of one or two more upgrades. He has the lead in cities network but would time run out for John to upgrade his power plants?
 
Elena-black got the #31-coal and Ian-yellow went for the #24-garbage – both at cost. Elena-black was now at 14-cities capacity while Ian-yellow’s still lagging behind at 11. Jimmy-red opted not to pick up a power plant this turn even though he’s still at 12-cities capacity only.
 
Resources were getting pricey and three players (Ian-yellow, Jimmy-red and Elena-black) were paying average of $30 for theirs. Best of all was John-green who only needed to pay $7 for his uranium (he still has two eco plants running). Being green pays!
 
Everyone quickly built to catch up with John-green’s 12 cities lead with Elena-black and Suresh-purple hitting 13 cities. John-green surprisingly opted not to build this turn and remained at his 12th city.
 
I could feel this game would be won with a very narrow margin, and next turn would definitely be the last (given Step 3 was also triggered now). This was how the players stacked up after the building phase of this turn.
 
Turn Order
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Capacity
1st
Elena
Black
13
14
2nd
Suresh
Purple
13
13
3rd
John Choong
Green
12
10
4th
Jimmy Cheng
Red
12
12
5th
Ian Binn
Yellow
12
11
 
Turn 9
Surely the last turn given both Elena-black or Suresh-purple can trigger the 15-city game end condition. J
 
The bidding for this turn will be important, and again Elena-black’s opening bid for #34-uranium was thwarted by John-green who took it for $37. John-green finally discard his eco-friendly policy and went into uranium overdrive (haha) but his total capacity was just 13 (still two short of the 15 to win). As I suspected, it was a turn too few for John.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
John (right) wishing there was one more turn….
 
Elena-black went next for the super efficient #35-oil and managed to get it by paying $39! At this stage, every dollar mattered. However she has now moved her capacity to a very strong 16-cities, possibly going for a straight-win if she can find 3 cities to build (and has the cash to afford so).
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Elena upgraded her #16 with the #35, giving her a strong 16-cities capacity for the end-game
 
Suresh-purple wanted the #40-oil but the price was drove up to $50 before he successfully won it! That’s a lot to pay for this plant at this late stage and it only took his capacity to 15-cities (one short of Elena-black). Would this suffice for Suresh?
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Suresh thinking – My 15 capacity enough to win over Elena?
 
While Triona – here as an observer (probably to fish out her potential competitors) – getting bored with proceedings and started to build her own green/red city network. J
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Jimmy-red still needed to increase his capacity by at least 3-cities and he went for the #32-oil. Ian-yellow – the only other player who has not bought a power plant – went ping-pong with Jimmy over the #32-oil until he dropped out at $38 for Jimmy. With the #32-oil, Jimmy-black now has 15-cities capacity and was ready for the end-game.
 
Ian-yellow then picked up the #50-eco at cost, giving him a total 15-cities capacity as well. So we now have 3 players on 15-cities capacity, one on 16 and another on 13; but Elena-black has the clear lead with her 13 cities on the map and 16 capacity.
 
Resources continued to remain expensive with Elena-black (being last to buy) having to pay $40. John-green again got away with this cost as he only has to pay $3!
 
Building! Let’s see what happened now. All the 1st three players to build added 2 cities to reach a final tally of 14 cities on the map. Game end not triggered and this merely shifted all the advantages to Suresh-purple and Elena-black who if they build to 15 would not only trigger game-end but win the game as well.
 
In the end, both Suresh-purple and Elena-black managed to build to 15 cities, triggering the game end and also ensuring both of them were the top two finishers from this game (final position would depend on their remaining cash). So this would be all down to cash-in-hand as the tiebreaker for 3rd place, and Ian-yellow ($20) had the clear advantage over Jimmy-red ($4).
 
John-green has $100 remaining cash but with only 13-cities capacity he was not in the running. Cash is not necessarily king in Power Grid. 😛
 
Congrats to Suresh-purple who managed to triump over Elena-black in this last turn as I’d expected Elena to maintain her lead to the finishing line.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
What a close finish; with two players on 15-cities and the rest on 14-cities!
 
Position
Player’s Name
Color
Cities
Supplied
Cash
1st
Suresh
Purple
15
15
$19
2nd
Elena Kua
Black
15
15
$4
3rd
Ian Binn
Yellow
14
14
$20
4th
Jimmy Cheng
Red
14
14
$6
5th
John Choong
Green
14
13
$100
 
 
ROUND 1 DONE; ROUND 2 TO BEGIN
Phew… that concluded our 1st two sessions of Round 1 on the Germany map. Suresh, Elena and Ian (from game #8) will now join Ang, Effendy and Emil (from game #7) to battle it out on the China map to determine the top 2 finishers to join as Mage Cafe Finalists.
 
BGC Power Grid Msia 2011 @ Mage Cafe
 
Stay tune for the Round 2 event report….
 
 
RELATED LINKS
Learn more about POWER GRID board game at Boardgamegeek (link)
 
For more photos of this Qualifier, visit our Facebook Album.
 
Event reports from all Power Grid M’sia 2011 Qualifiers

Qualifier
Venue
Location
Event Report
Photo
1st
Boardgame Depot
Bangsar
Link – R2
Link – R1
Link – R2
2nd
Cassian Kitchen
SS15 SJ
3rd
Family BG Station
Setapak
4th
Wolf Game Shop
Sec 14, PJ
5th
Mage Cafe
Damansara Jaya
Link – R2
6th
OTK Cheras
Cheras
Link
Link
 
Buy POWER GRID from our webstore (link) and its expansion maps:
– France & Italy maps (link)
– Benelux & Central Europe maps (link)
– China & Korea maps (link)
– Brazil & Iberia maps (link)
– Russia & Japan maps (latest) (link)
– Power Plant Deck 2 (link)
 

For more boardgaming reports, visit our Boardgamecafe.net Blog.
To discuss this tournament, join us in our Facebook Page.
 
To buy the games played in this meetup, please visit our Web Store.
To view a listing of POWER GRID and all its expansion maps, click here.
 
We carry over 400+ games and provide prompt and free delivery to anywhere in West Malaysia. Min order applies for free delivery.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s