power grid [Updated October 2004]  

2004 WBC Report  

  2005 Status: pending 2005 GM commitment

Eric Brosius, MA

2004 Champion

2nd: Evan Tannheimer, MA

3rd: Tim Swartz, MD

4th: Richard Meyer, MA

5th: Frank Hastings, MD

6th: Marshall Philips, VA

Event History
2004    Eric Brosius     84

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AREA Ratings


Rank Name


 1. Eric Brosius


 2. Evan Tannheimer


 3. Tim Swartz


 4. Richard Meyer


 5. Frank Hastings


 6. Marshall Philips



A Shocking New Event ...

Power Grid had a great start with 48 players in the first heat on Thursday evening, despite conflicting with both Puerto Rico and Tikal. The schedule and round time had been pre-determined due to the 11th hour entry into the WBC trial events. We had to change the time allotted to rounds to three hours. The Polo room got very crowded with five players at all eight tables. We had to set up two separate four player games in the Club room down the hall. Unfortunately we had a mishap when one player was not able to participate in the tournament, due to being accidentally hit on the head with a chair, while someone was trying to carry it out of the room to make more space. One of the first heat games was completed in seventy five minutes, which is the fastest I have even seen a game of Power Grid finish.With fewer conflicts, more players showed up to play in the second heat on Saturday. 51 players were in the second heat making up four games of four and seven games of five players. Frank Hastings and Rich Meyer were able to win in both heats.

The 19 individual winners were qualified to advance to the semi-final.We instructed runner-ups to appear for alternate slots, considering the semi-final was scheduled at 11PM. 17 of the 19 winners appeared along with four alternates o play in the semi final. The semi-final consisted of four 4-player and one 5-player games. The five winners advancing to the Final were: Rich Meyer and Frank Hastings, still unbeaten with three wins each, Eric Brosius, Evan Tannheimer, and Tim Swartz.

Round 1

Tim started the final game by purchasing the #5 power plant for $5. The #4 plant was desired by more players and went to Richard for $9. Eric decided to put the #3 plant up for auction and got it for $3. Some insights from Eric on this decision follow. [One critical moment in the final came in the initial auctions. I had to decide whether to put the #03 oil plant up for auction or the #07 coal plant or #08 oil plant (the #06 trash plant is a much weaker first plant.) I was afraid the #08 might put me into a coal battle, and I was afraid the #07 could be costly if someone after me took the #03. I chose the #03 as the safer choice, given that I didn't know two of the players. It was cheap, and because it put me last in the auction order for Round 2, it gave me the opportunity to buy the #33 windmill at list price, saving me a great deal of money over the course of the game.] The #9 power plant went to Evan for $9 and the #10 went to Frank for $10. The northeastern part of the US was the portion of the map left out of the final game. Eric started off the building phase by building the first city in Atlanta. Richard built in Kansas City, Tim in Memphis, Evan in Savannah, and Frank building one city in Denver and another in Cheyenne starting the blocking of the West coast to other players.

All players power up the cities they have built giving them $22 each, except for Frank with two cities, who receives $33.

Round 2

Frank starts off round 2 by buying power plant #13 for $15. Evan follows by purchasing #8 for $8. Power plant #7 goes to Tim for $7 and Richard gets #16 for $16. A high number power plant shows up to replace the n#16 plant and power plant #33, a wind powered plant that requires no resources, shows up on the auction block. Of course, Eric takes advantage of this rare opportunity of such a high numbered plant showing up so early in the game and purchases it for the face value of $33. Eric goes first on buying resources and building cities. Eric builds his second city in Birmingham, Richard builds in St. Louis and Tim in New Orleans. Evan builds in Raleigh and Jacksonville, giving him three cities total, and Frank builds his third city in Omaha, infringing even closer to Richard, making it more expensive for him to build north of Kansas City. All players are able to power up all their cites. Frank and Evan receive $44 for their three cities and Richard, Tim and Eric receive $33 for two cities each.

Round 3

More high numbered power plants are available for Round 3. Frank begins with purchasing plant #28, the first uranium plant to be purchased, for $28. Eric buys plant #25 for $26 and Evan buys plant #20 for $20. Richard and Tim both pass on purchasing power plants this round. Coal becomes a more precious commodity during the resource purchasing phase, now that all five players HAVE some interest in owning it, and it is more expensive for Evan and Frank who go later in the purchasing phase. Tim starts off the building this round, with Oklahoma City. Richard builds in Norfolk, Frank chooses not to build a city this round, and Eric builds in Knoxville. Evan and Richard collect $54 for powering up four cities each. Eric, Frank & Tim collect $44 for three cities a piece.

Round 4

Evan, Eric, and Frank all decide to pass on purchasing power plants this round. Richard buys plant #21 for $23 and Tim buys #31 for $31. Eric builds in Tampa in order to grab a city site on the East Coast. Richard and Tim both pass on building. Frank builds cities number four and five in Minneapolis and Duluth, again making it more expensive for Richard to try to expand. Evan builds in Houston in order to have a closer connection to the West, before the connection costs jump too high, from Frank's blocking tactics. Evan and Frank power up five cities to receive $64. Richard and Eric collect $54 and Tim collects $44.

Round 5

All five players pass on plant auctioning this round, as the players conserve their cash for city building.

Resources are still readily available, although costs are high for Evan and Frank, who go later in the resource purchasing phase. Tim builds his fourth and fifth cities in Sante Fe and Dallas. Richard builds past Frank's position in Minneapolis and goes into Fargo. Eric builds in Miami. Evan does not build. Frank builds into Billings and Seattle, bringing his city total to seven and sending the game into phase 2. Franks powers up his seven cites for $82. Evan and Tim each power their five cities for $64. Eric and Richard choose to power four of their five built cities in order to conserve on purchased resources and receive $54 each.

Round 6

Bidding for plants becomes more competitive this round, driving up the prices of power plants.

Frank starts off by purchasing plant #27 for $31 and replaces his #10 plant.

Richard buys plant #32 for a pricey $41 and replaces his #4 plant.

Evan buys #26 for $27 and replaces his #9 plant. Eric buys #34 for $40 and replaces his #3 plant. Tim buys #35 for $35 and replaces his #5 plant. Evan starts the building phase with two cites, one in Dallas and another in Oklahoma. Richard builds in Knoxville and Tim in Birmingham. Eric builds in Jacksonville and Savannah, and Frank builds in Kansas City. Now with eight cities, Frank powers up to receive $90. Eric powers seven cites for $82 and Richard powers six to receive $73. Tim and Evan choose to power only five of their six cities and receive $64.

Round 7

The replacement plants showing up in place of auctioned power plants in round 6 turn up to be low plant numbers that can only power two to three cities, leaving few options for most players in round 7. Frank now desperate to increase his current capacity of powering eight cities, buys plant #18 for $18, and replaces his #13 plant, increasing his output potential by one city. The rest of the field, not willing to make a similar investment for such a small return and holding their funds for building, pass on the auction phase. As expected from the lack of purchases in the plant auction phase, building becomes very aggressive this round. Richard starts off by building four cities going into Norfolk, Raleigh, Atlanta and Omaha, giving him a total of ten cites. Tim builds his seventh and eighth in St Louis and Houston. Evan builds up to ten cities by going into Tampa, Miami and New Orleans. Eric builds in Cincinnati and Chicago, bringing him to nine cities and Frank being the player to have bought a power plant this round, passes on city building. Richard and Evan receive $105 for powering their ten cities. Eric receives $98, and Frank and Tim receive $90 for powering eight cities each.

Round 8

As only one plant is replaced in round 7, the plants available for auction again leave much to be desired, with only two and three power city potentials being available. Plant #19, potentially supplying three cites with electricity, is the only plant worth considering. No garbage plants have yet been purchased in the game, making the garbage resources the cheapest in the game, going for only $1 each. Evan ends up with plant #19 for $26 and replaces his #8 plant, only improving his potential electrical output by one city. Having no good choices left on the auction block, Richard, Eric, Tim and Frank pass on the remaining plants. Frank opens the building phase by purchasing a city in Fargo. With close to $200, Frank still has plenty of cash, but as he is not able to power more than nine cites, he sees little sense in building additional cities. Tim builds three cites in Denver, Cheyenne, and Billings, bringing his total to eleven cities. Eric has lots of money for building cities. Eric has spent $102 on power plants, tied for most in the game while, Tim has spent the least, $78. The key savings for Eric was in fuel purchases. He spent a total of only $26 on fuel (two oil for $6, four coal for $10, and three uranium for $10.) This was much less than the others spent, and Eric didn't have to worry about running out of fuel, which was a danger for the other players. Eric has yet to use the resources be purchased back in round 3 for his #25 plant. Another money saving factor for Eric is that he has only purchased four power plants since the beginning of the game, two of which he purchased at face value, and one which was only $1 above face value. Eric builds in Minneapolis, Duluth, Memphis, Seattle, Portland and Boise, for six cities this round. This gives Eric a total of 15 cites, which is the game end condition for a five player game. Evan builds his final two cites in Sante Fe and Phoenix. Richard concedes his building phase, as he can power a maximum of 13 cites. Eric takes the tournament win with a come from behind last turn by powering 14 of his 15 cities.

Eric Brosius is the First WBC Power Grid Champion. Final placement supplying cites with electricity are: Eric Brosius: 14, Evan Tannheimer:12, Tim Swartz:11, Richard Meyer:10 and Frank Hastings: 9.

Rules clarifications for next year's Power Grid tournament in Lancaster.

I. Board set up.

Players should choose regions of the map to be in play in the same order as the first auction round.

Proceed as follows:

1. Take one city from each player to be used on the Player Order Track as per normal.

2. One player should hold the cities in a closed hand and shake them up randomly.

Another player without looking should select the cities one by one, from the other player's hand, placing them in order of draw on the Player Order Track.

3. The players now in the turn order signified by the Player Order Track, should select one region on the board to be included in the game.

4. After all players have selected one region for play the first round auction will proceed in the same order as indicated by the Player Order Track.

5. After the first auction phase is complete and all payers have purchased their first round power plants, reorder the Player Order Track as per the normal rules.

II. Game End Condition

1. When the game end condition is reached, one or more players building to 15 or 17 cites, all players must be given the opportunity to complete their build city phase.

2. Do NOT start phase five: Bureaucracy. You do not actually power your cities to collect money after the game end condition is reached.

3. As per the Rio Grande rules: The winner is the player who CAN supply electricity to the most cites in their network. Players should NOT actually power the plants and receive money.

4. The money Tie breaker is determined with any left over monies after all players have completed the final build city phase.

5. The Tie Breakers are: 1.) Most Money. 2.) Most cities built. 3.) Highest power plant number.

I would like to thank Mark Guttag for his invaluable assistance. The tournament ran very smoothly thanks to Mark's help. I would also like to thank all the players for their participation and great sportsmanship and conduct during this tournament.

Despite appearing in character in his mad scientist getup, Keith will not be returning as Power Grid GM in 2005 - choosing to move on to new challenges, so we're looking for a new GM for this event in 2005.

 GM      Keith Levy  [1st Year]   NA
   gcom@gamesclubofmd.org   NA

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