Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Power Grid The First Sparks

Power Grid The First Sparks is a brand new game that was just released in the US this past week by designer Friedemann Friese the designer of my current number one game Power Grid. The US publisher is Rio Grade Games.
    After setting up the board the players in order of the first player (who is randomly determined in round one) put up a technology/tool up for purchase with the next player on the order track having first right of refusal then the next and so on if all players pass then the player that put it up for purchase can buy it using food as currency. Then it is the next players turn to do so, players are out of this "auctioning" phase once they have made a purchase, or when it is their turn to put something up for purchase have passed. Then the players discard "rotten" food which is 1/3 rounded down (unless they have fire).
     Next the players in reverse order from the start player gather food from the market. The food items are herbs and maze (which you only need the tools to collect there are no hexes for them), berries, fish, bear, and ma-mutes. Using their tools, they can only gather food types from the market when they are occupying a hex that has that food supply and if they have the appropriate tool to do so (also it still has to be there once it gets to their turn). Also a neat mechanic is if you have clansmen on different hexes with the same food supply then you get one extra of that food item or two if there are three hexes that have said item. Then you feed you people that are on the board one food per clansman!  If you cannot feed them all it's very bad and you loose any that cannot be feed you choice on the board but it will definitely guarantee you a loss in the long run so don't do that.

    Then also starting with the last place player and working your way up you spread the clan it's one food plus any extra's 1 to cross a mountain 2 extra if there is already another clan in the hex 3 if there is 2 other clans in the hex (and so on). Then there is a scale for each other clan member you expand out onto the board 3 food for the second member, 6 for the third, 10 for the fourth, and 15 for the fifth, and these costs are cumulative.

    Then there is the bureaucracy phase where the tech/tool market is reset, the food supply is replenished and the turn order is recalculated.  

     This is a really good game with some similarities to power grid but also some differences as well which make it worth picking up and playing even if you already have power grid. Yesterday I played it again with my friends Josh and Mark (first time for Mark). The caveman theme is very well done and the card art is nice with the different levels of tools. Above are the tools for hunting the MaMuts the animal which gives the most food! I really like the the knowledge's and they make the game fun and interesting. Speace (yes it's spelled wrong lol) lets you pay one less to spread clansmen into areas where there are other clans, fire lets you hide your food and prevents it from spoiling, intelligence lets you move your position back on the track, so you will get to collect food first and spread your clan before others that are doing just as well, the sled lets you have 4 tools instead of the normal 3, and the plow gives 2 extra food for fields (herbs included). The wooden pieces are great quality as are the hex boards and the food is also in the shape of the animals. The playtime is easily less then the hour that they suggest on the box with the exception of the first time you play. And there is a good amount of re-playability. I have seven plays on it so far and I am going to play more!

  Here are my recorded plays:


 Here is a link to the page on BGG for more information:

No comments:

Post a Comment