Power Grid – great strategy board game

Power Grid board game

A great “brain burner” board game.

Power Grid is a fantastic strategy board game. While the theme may not seem very exciting, it’s a game that easily made my Top 14 Best Board Games.

It’s not a game that appeals to mom, since she prefers lighter games with elements of luck. So I won’t be asking her to play Power Grid. This game is best for when I’m in the mood to get my strategy on!

If you’re interested in board games that keep you thinking and reward strategic planning with a victory, then we highly recommend you consider Power Grid.

Since it’s so high on my list, I was happy to get in front of the camera for our video review of Power Grid.

Can the whole family enjoy Power Grid?

Power Grid board game

Building our city networks.

Power Grid can be played with up to 6 players. We love seeing games that allow up to 6 to play so our whole family can join in. But, as I’ve already mentioned, Power Grid isn’t a game that will appeal to everyone. It’s a board game that requires balancing a number of elements that all involve strategic planning. That alone will preclude younger kids and others that don’t want a lot of strategy in their games.

Of course Caleb, now 10 years old, rates Power Grid a 4 out of 5. So we can’t rule out that all kids under the recommended age of 12+ should steer clear of it. If your kids have a lot of experience with games that require good thinking skills, then they may be up for some Power Grid as well.

The boys in our family all enjoy it and we had fun playing it again last night. Great times with a desert break in middle.

Power Grid board game

Variety of Power Plants burning different raw materials.

What’s the strategy involved in Power Grid?
The objective in Power Grid is to be the person who can supply power to the most cities in the network when the game ends. And the end of the game is triggered by the players. So the players have complete control on when the game will end. Keeping an eye on the other players, their progression, their city network, their power plants, and their resources is key to doing well in the game.

And that’s what I love so much about Power Grid!

I love analyzing every move and determining when to make which moves myself. Which power plants should I buy? And since they’re bought at auction, how high am I willing to pay for them? Or how high should I run the price up on my competitors when I know they want a particular plant? Or when should I pass on buying another power plant altogether?

Power Grid board game

Coal, Oil, Garbage – get ‘em while you can.

Then there are the resources (raw materials)…should I purposefully hold back on my city network so I can buy resources for less money? Which resources do the other players need to power up their plants – so I know how much of those resources to stock up for myself?

When should I move ahead on building out more cities? Which direction should I build to cut off the other players? When will we hit the second and third stages of the game where more people can power each city?

So much to think of the whole game – awesome!
And since I’m actively engaged the whole time with each phase, each stage, and the decisions of the other players, I hardly know that 2 hours have gone by.

More Power Grid

Power Grid board game

Near the end of the game in China.

As if I didn’t have enough to keep me excited about Power Grid, I bought a few expansions for it as well. Actually, I expanded my Power Grid game the very day I bought the base game. Since I had a good inclination that I’d like the game, I went ahead and bought some expansion maps bundled with the base game.

While I wouldn’t recommend buying expansions before you know if you like the game, I’m glad I have the extra maps. Not only does each map create it’s unique mix of choices because of the way the cities are laid out and the connection costs between cities, but each map also changes the game play slightly. For example, on the China map the power plant auction works quite differently than the base game – creating a new twist in how players approach their strategy on auctioning and buying power plants.

Power Grid board gameFun stuff.

But the expansion I like the most is the one I’ll talk about in our next review post…Power Grid Robots.

In the meantime, take a look at the video review to get a feel for the mechanics of the game and see if it’s a strategy board game you might like to give a try.

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The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 4.0 Meeples Caleb
Has not played Brooke
Jaden: 4.25 Meeples Jaden
Trevor: 4.25 Meeples Trevor
Has not played Mom
Dad: 5.0 Meeples Dad
Average: 4.35 Meeples Average
Pick up a copy!

Buy Power Grid from Amazon

 

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