Sunday, February 5, 2012

Its alive Jim


There are always a few topics that are bandied around message boards. They include, what games can my kids play, what game will my wife enjoy and what game can I play solo.
So generally it seems like some gamers out there have trouble finding other players and are trying to boost the gamer numbers with family members.
I'm lucky, I have a good group and my kids are willing to play games. i also have some really good solo games.

There are some games that i would love to play more often, Power Grid is one of them. I have had a copy for years but with the cult of the new taking place it doesn't get played as much as usual. One of my friends loves it, but playing it with 2 players just doesn't work. Luckily Friedeman has created some lovely robots to help bolster the game. I was initially unsure about them, but as they are pretty cheap I ordered the set.
You get two thick stock cardboard sheets for your money, with each sheet containing 3 robots. The robots themselves are made up of 5 pieces. To prepare for a game you just pick a random head, feet and 2 body parts and put them together. Each part will tell you how the robot will perform in each phase of the game. Plus each robot will have a special power to help it through the game.

For our first game we created a single robot, so the game was set up and played as though there were 3 players. Our robot seemed pretty hard to beat. His power meant that he got his first city for free in phase 4. He quickly became the leader of the game and we were playing catch up.
Eventually the robot won the game by being able to power one more city then the rest of us. He had built 17 cities and powered 16 of them. Frankly he was one tough robot to beat.

Playing with the robot was very interesting, initially it was hard work as we had to continually refer to the rules to go over what he would do. But after a few rounds it started to sink in. I think this is the worst part of the expansion. It doesn't quite feel intuitive enough. I am not sure if I would want more than one robot in the game, but maybe things will improve the more they are used.

Finally, it blew our meta game of winner packs up.

Would I recommend Power Grid Robots? Yes, if you like power grid and can't get it to the table often enough because of player count. Or want to try with some hard players then its well worth it.

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