OBJECTIVE OF POWER GRID: The objective of Power Grid is to develop your power generation company to power more cities than the other players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 6
- a game board
- 132 wooden houses in 6 different colours
- 84 wood resource tokens (24 coal, 24 oil, 24 rubbish, 12 uranium)
- Elektro (the currency of the game)
- 6 game help cards
- 43 power station cards
- a step 3 card
TYPE OF GAME: auction based development board game
AUDIENCE: teen, adult
OVERVIEW OF POWER GRID
Each player runs a power generation company, and is responsible for supplying electricity to the cities. To do this, throughout the game each player buys power plants at auction, buys resources to generate electricity in their plants and builds a network to connect the cities to which they supply electricity from their plants. In the end, the player who supplies the largest number of cities wins the game.
During each game the players have to choose in which regions they will play. The map is divided into six regions each with seven cities. In general it is recommended to play with one region per player. The selected regions must be adjacent to each other. The regions are not reserved for a particular player, so each player may develop his network in all the chosen regions.
After choosing the regions where the game will take place,
- Each player takes a game help card, all the houses of his color and 50 elektro
- Place the initial resources on the resource market at the bottom of the board.
- 3 coal on spaces 1 to 8
- 3 oil on spaces 3 to 8
- 3 rubbish on spaces 7 and 8
- 1 uranium on spaces 14 and 16
- Place the remaining resources near the game board
- Place the power plant cards numbered 3 to 10 in ascending order in 2 horizontal lines next to the board to form the exchange market. The first line represents the current exchange market, while the second line represents the future exchange market.
- Set aside the step 3 card and the ecological plant card, then shuffle the remaining power plant cards. Remove a number of cards from the deck (depending on the number of players, see table at the end of these rules), then put the ecological power plant card back on top of the deck and the step 3 card underneath the deck.
The game is divided into three main steps, during which the players will take turns. A game round is divided into 5 phases:
- determination of the turn order
- power plant auctions
- purchase of resources
Certain game events will trigger the passage to a new step of the game, which will modify certain rules.
Phase 1 – Determining the turn order
The turn order is determined by the decreasing number of cities built. Thus, the more cities a player has in his network, the more he will play before the others. In case of a tie between two players, the one with the most power plants goes first.
Phase 2 – Power plant auctions
Each player will be able to buy one power plant, and only one, per turn. Following the turn order, each player can place a bid on one of the power plants present in the current market (first line). The other players then have the opportunity to bid on the proposed power plant. Once the auction has been won,
- If the player who won the auction is not the player who started the auction, then the latter can start a new auction. Otherwise, the next player who has not won an auction will have to start a new auction.
- A new power plant is immediately drawn and the two lines of the power plant market are rearranged, so that the power plants are always arranged in ascending order (lower value power plants on the first line, the weakest on the far left, etc.).
Other rules for auctions:
- The minimum price to launch an auction on a power plant must be higher or equal to the value of the power plant (indicated in the top left corner of the card)
- A player who has already bought a power plant can no longer place a bid
- As soon as a player buys his fourth power plant, he is obliged to discard one of his three existing power plants: if he has resources on this power plant, he must transfer them to his other power plants that use the same resource; if he has no more room or if he has no more power plants using this resource, he puts the resources back in the supply next to the game board
Phase 3 – Buying resources
During this phase, players will buy the resources they need to power their plants on the resource market. The following rules apply:
- Purchases are made in reverse turn order.
- You can only buy resources used by your power plants.
- A power plant can store a maximum of twice the resources it needs
- A power plant cannot operate if it does not have all the resources it needs (indicated at the bottom left on its map)
- The price of the resources is indicated in the box where the resources are taken.
- It is possible to transfer resources between power plants
Note: some power plants are hybrid (they operate with two types of energy), you can use any proportion of the energies accepted by the plant.
Phase 4 – Construction
This very important phase allows the players to develop the network of cities which they supply with their power plants. The first connected city costs 10 elektro. Thereafter a player will always have to develop the network started on his first city (you can’t have two separate networks). To expand his network the player has to pay the cost of the connection to the city added to the network plus the cost of the cheapest remaining location on that city. The other rules that apply when expanding the network are as follows:
- The construction is carried out in reverse order to the turn order
- The current step determines the number of players allowed to connect a city (step 1 = 1 player, and so on)
- It is forbidden for the same player to connect a city more than once
- It is possible to cross a city to go and connect another city (for example if the city crossed is already full) by paying the total cost of the connections used
- It is possible to develop your network in several cities in the same turn
- It is not mandatory to start your network from the first turn of the game
- As soon as a player expands his network he must update his position on the score track
- If a power plant in the current market has a value lower than the number of cities connected by each player, this power plant must be immediately removed and a new card must be drawn to replace it (update the two lines of the power plant market as usual)
Note: switching to Step 2
As soon as one or more players have connected their 7th city, the game switches to Step 2. The weakest power station in the current market is immediately removed and a card is drawn to replace it (by rearranging the power station market lines).
Phase 5 Bureaucracy
Income: each player will supply as many cities as possible (or as many as he wishes) in his network. Each player designates the power stations that are running to determine the number of cities supplied. This number then determines the player’s income according to the table below.
- a power station can only operate if it has enough energy, as indicated on its map
- Surplus energy produced is not conserved
Then the resource market is updated according to the table below, starting with the rightmost (most expensive) boxes.
Finally, the plant with the highest value in the future market is removed and put back under the pickaxe. A new one is drawn to replace it (if there are cards left in the deck).
Switching to Step 3
Step 3 will be carried out when the Step 3 card is drawn. In Step 3, there is no future market for power plants, but the two power plant card lines constitute the current market. The transition to Step 3 can occur during three different phases of the round :
- Step 2 (during the auction): Place the Step 3 card in the future power plant market as if it were the highest value power plant, then conduct the auction in the normal way. Once the auction is over, remove the Step 3 card and the lower value power plant card without replacing them.
- Step 4 (replacing the lower value power plant card) or Step 5 (replacing the higher value power plant card): remove the Step 3 card and the lower value power plant, without replacing them.
In any case, from step 3 onwards, the current power plant market consists of 6 cards, all of which are available for auction.
END OF GAME
As soon as a player, during phase 4, expands his network to connect 17 or more cities (this may vary depending on the number of players, see table below), the game ends immediately, without players being able to acquire any more resources or power plants. The player who can supply as many cities as possible with his power plants and resources is the winner. In case of a tie, the richest player wins. If there is another tie, the player with the most cities in his network wins.