power grid  

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report  

  2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Jim Castonguay, PA

2009 Champion

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Event History
2004    Eric Brosius       84
2005    Jim Castonguay       94
2006    Jim Castonguay       79
2007     Patrick Shea     121
2008     Eric Brosius     123
2009     Jim Castonguay     129

Euro Quest Event History
2005    John Downing     25
2006    David Houston     36
2007     J.J. Jaskiewicz     41
2008     Lyman Moquin     42
2009     Kevin Garber     55



Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Jim Castonguay     PA    09    173
  2.  Eric Brosius       MA    09    103
  3.  Richard Meyer      MA    09     72
  4.  Bill Murdock       NY    08     72
  5.  Patrick Shea       VA    07     60
  6.  Bill Crenshaw      VA    08     45
  7.  Rod Spade          PA    06     39
  8.  David Platnick     VA    09     36
  9.  Lyman Moquin       DC    08     33
 10.  Barb Flaxington    NJ    08     33
 11.  Kevin Garber       VA    09     30
 12.  J. J. Jaskiewicz   MD    07     30
 13.  David Houston      MD    06     30
 14.  John Downing       VA    05     30
 15.  Robert Sohn        NJ    06     28
 16.  Jeff Bowers        UT    07     24
 17.  Gerald Lientz      VA    05     24
 18.  Evan Tannheimer    MA    04     24
 19.  Bill Salvatore     MD    07     23
 20.  Keith Levy         MD    09     21
 21.  Kenneth Horan      PA    09     18
 22.  David Bohnenberger PA    09     18
 23.  Leigh Eirich       MD    06     16
 24.  Matt Calkins       VA    05     16
 25.  Tim Swartz         MD    04     16
 26.  Randy Solberg      MD    09     12
 27.  Kathy Stroh        DE    08     12
 28.  Ian Miller         MA    08     12
 29.  Tom McCorry        VA    07     12
 30.  Raphael Lehrer     MD    06     12
 31.  Luke Koleszar      VA    06     12
 32.  Perrianne Lurie    PA    05     12
 33.  Sandra Scanlon     MD    08      9
 34.  Steve Koleszar     VA    05      8
 35.  Frank Hastings     MD    04      8
 36.  Robert Woodson     NV    09      6
 37.  Shivendra Chopra   MD    09      6
 38.  Peter Eirich       MD    08      6
 39.  Phil Shea          FL    08      6
 40.  Craig Trader       VA    07      6
 41.  Tom Browne         PA    05      6
 42.  Phil Rennert       MD    06      4
 43.  Marshall Phillips  VA    04      4
 44.  Joe Ward           MD    07      3

2009 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists:

David Platnick, VA

Richard Meyer, MA

Ken Horan, PA

Keith Levy, MD

Robert Woodson, NV

Past Winners

Eric Brosius, MA
2004, 2008

Jim Castonguay, PA
2005-06, 2009

Patrick Shea, VA

No fair ... Static electricity doesn't count.

The finalists assemble to generate laurels.

Even More Power ...

We had 129 Unique players this year - 77 played in only one heat, 41 played in two heats, and 11 played in all three!

Heat 1 drew 78 players playing 16 games with a map choice between Germany and France. 12 were played on the Germany board and four on France. 14 of these were 5-player games and two were, by necessity, 4-player contests.

Heat 2 drew 75 players playing 15 games with a map choice of USA or Central Europe. Ten games were played on the USA board and five on Central Europe. All were 5-player games.

Heat 3 drew 39 players for eight games with a map choice between Italy and Benelux. Both maps were chosen four times. Seven of these games were 5-player and one was 4-player.

Player Comments (written on the event form for that game):

Heat 1:

"Paid 131 for plant 38 since it was unsure if another 7 power plant would appear. The 36 (7 power plant) did show next and Michael got it for $53."

* The person who paid 131 for the 38 ended up getting third instead of second due to spending that much by $38; but if he had not gotten a 7 power plant would have 3rd place locked up. The person that received the 36 plant ended up in fourth and would have remained fourth even with a 6 power plant.

"We all hit a big wall at Turn 3, but Erica was forced to push to step 2. With Fred, Erica, and Thomas in the South; we were able to spread out and it was a race to the finish."

* These three that were in the South ended up 1/2/3 so sounds like the other two crammed each other up.

Heat 2:

"Most frustrating game ever!!! Crappy power plant drops. Phase 2 & 3 came out at same time so that affected resources and game was immediately over. Everyone (except Brad for the most part) got boxed in early."

* Phase 2 & 3 coming out at same time and a "crappy" market sounds like a lot of stalling. 1st / 2nd powered 16 and 15 as it was. 

"The 11, 12, 14 came out in Round 1. Matt powered the 7 to win on the final turn."

* Matt started with the 9 plant but ended the game with the 7 plant and won with only 12 powered.

"Fast game: 1 hour 5 minutes". Mid game blocked with 2/3 powering plants. Rod blocked entrance to the SW at beginning of game. (NW was the region out of play on the USA map). Even spread on expansion at beginning."

* The least amount of money at game end other than the first place player was $140 and most was $186, and one player bought only two plants the entire game!! People were definitely in a "stall mindset" and not looking for new plants / ways to increase their position.

 "Only three power plants were fought over."

* Sounds like a very friendly game; maybe too friendly.

 Heat 3:

 "We ended the game the same phase we triggered step 3."

* 1st through 3rd all had 15 cities powered; this game was also played on Benelux which is a fast board.


"JC got plant 20 for 31 and next round she got the 25 plant at cost couldn't build for two turns though. 32 plant went for 88 to Rod."

* JC hurt herself badly doing this (ended up last)

"Brown built to stage 2 with yellow building seven cities on the same turn. Everyone passing on auctions occurred once in stage 1 and back to back turns in stage 2. Someone bought the 20 plant for $105. The next plant bought was the 21 for 21."

* The person that paid 105 for the 20 came in third; and was 97 short of first place - the top three all powered 15.

"Raphael overbid by $1 for the 25 and was stuck at two cities while others at four. Coal market sold out in phase 1. Several turns of stagnation; during which Doug ended up powering four cities for two rounds. Raphael broke out by building five cities bringing him to 11 but then could not get any coal. Phase 3 hit simultaneously as phase 2 so coal was never replenished at stage 2 rates. Bidding went high with the 38 going for $115."

* The 38 for 115 was bought by Richard and he won the game. It sounds like Raphael was in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

GM Comments:

Several people commented about wanting to use the alternate plant deck. I don't know how many would have these as opposed to how many we would need; maybe next year I will buy a bunch of them to bring and offer them to use during the heats.

There were two instances where a table complained about a player using pen and paper to do additions/subtractions. I was personally at one of these tables and do not think the player had any malicious intentions, rather most likely the reverse in that they were trying to speed up their game. The WBC frowns upon outside help aids, defined as: "things that are not part of a game's original equipment are not allowed".  I am considering the possibility of bringing calculators to furnish for people's use, one per table; though these would have to be used to do quick math calculations and available for everyone at that play table (i.e. not a way of someone keeping a record of anything in the calculator's memory etc).

Jason Levine stopped by the beginning of the third heat. He mentioned that Friedemann Friese had visited his local gaming group not too long ago and he brought 2 Flux Generators with him as prizes for the winner and the other for the GM. The GM happened to win the tournament so one of these went to the runner-up David Platnick. Thank you again for bringing these Jason!

For the qualifying format this year I went with a points based system. This worked out perfectly. It let me take the top 25 people for the semi's based on their overall points and a win was the same no matter which heat. Yes it rewarded players who scheduled their convention around Power Grid and showed up to multiple heats, but they also had to place well in those heats to make any reasonable points (first place is worth 250% points of what second place is) Those players that attend multiple heats are the ones that usually come back for the Semi's.

The first scheduled heat I showed up a measly 15 minutes early which was a big mistake. Using a computer I was not familiar with as well as trying a new sign in process led to a lot of unneeded confusion. I learned from my mistake and appeared a good 30 minutes early for the next two heats; and both of those went so smoothly with only myself doing the sign-ins that it was a great test run of using a computer to do the sign-ins that proved how much a time saver it is.

The first heat I was down to one co-GM as the other was off playing other games instead of honoring their commitment to help; the second heat the co-GM I still had wanted badly to play Twilight Imperium which I of course relented to. Each heat I deputized Co-GM's before each heat. Most all of the Power Grid players we have are not only friendly but helpful people that make this a pleasure to run.

Next year I will be looking for some Co-GM's; so if you are interested please email me!

Totals for the Final were as follows:

 Name C.O.H.

# Plants




$ Earn

Rank/Cities Powered
Jim Castonguay - blue







David Platnick - red







Keith Levy - yellow







Ken Horan - green







Richard Meyer - purple







The first turn saw:

1. David Platnick won the #3 plant for $4 (he put it up for that in fact) and then bought the four free connection cities to spend his starting $50 ($6 for two oils). This put David in a "must upgrade" his plants situation and no possible way to get turn position for quite a few turns; which helped keep the market moving (as it was he ended up buying eight total # of plants throughout the game). He managed to put this plan into action beautifully and ended in second place overall.

 2. Ken Horan managed to get the #4 plant for $5 the first turn and immediately upgraded to the #12 plant for $12 on the second turn.

 3. Jim picked up the 8 plant and Richard the 9, both for cost. So that left Jim as fourth to build and built two just north of the four free connection cities; forcing him into a game of trying to be in good turn position for when things opened up.

Turn 2 - Keith picked up the 18 plant for $23, outbidding Jim by 1. Richard picked up the 21 plant for $26 and Jim picked up the #20 plant for $26 and was hating life; I so hate that plant. It meant spending double what a lot of other people did on resources each turn and a slow expansion progress. The 12 dropped into the market and Ken picked it up leaving the 10 plant still in the auction market.

Turn 5 stage 2 was opened up after the build phase - with David powering seven cities, Keith and Richard powering six, Ken and Jim powering five and turn order going into next turn.

Turn 6's auction Jim was the only player to still have two plants (he started with the 8 and was still using the 20 which wasn't as bad as it could be as no one had the 25, though it was sitting currently in the auction block). David picked up the 25 for 25! Keith picked up the 34 for 44, Ken picked up the 33 for 34, which left Richard up to bid and Jim still in the auction. Richard picked up the 28 for 30 leaving Jim crossing his fingers something good would hit the market, especially with nukes being so cheap and letting that plant go for 30; the 30 dropped in and he quickly snagged it for 30. Jim built two free cities and a sixth up in his northern area to bring him to eight cities and then only powered six cities with the 30 - still leaving three coals on the 20 plant.

Turn 7 saw David buying his sixth plant, and the only one to buy a plant that round, the #22. Everyone built to ten or more cities this turn leaving Keith with turn order unless Jim didn't build to10; Jim built to nine to take turn order as he only had enough money to build to 10 as it was and didn't feel the $7 was worth it vs. buying his coal after several other people.

Turn 8 saw David picking up the 24 plant for 24 and Richard taking the 32 for 32, leaving Jim alone to either pick up the 35 for cost or wait till the next turn which he knew would most likely be the last. He picked up the 35 and bought enough resources to double power the 35 and the 30 and have a single powering on the 20 so he could power 11 and not have to buy any resources the last turn.

Turn 9 the bidding was sporadic. Keith had plants 31/34/15 so had 11 upgrade power and only needed a 5 power plant to tie Jim with 16 power; yet he seemed to be determined to buy a 7 power plant. David gained the #36 plant for $54, Ken got the $38 plant for $61, Keith the #46 plant for $47, and Richard the #39 plant for $39. The game ended with four players building, and powering, 16 cities.

As you can see above the difference between first and second place was a single dollar! Yes "every dollar counts"! You can't try to pigeonhole yourself to being the most efficient in one area - whether that be in spending the least on your plants or spending the least on your resources or earning the most money or spending the least on your cities - you need a good balance.

Constructive comments are of course welcome.

2009 Euro Quest Laurelists

Kevin Garber, VA

David Bohnenberger, PA

Randy Solberg, MD

Keith Levy, MD

Shivendra Chopra, MD

 GM      Jim Castonguay  [2nd Year]   NA
   tamerlayne@yahoo.com   NA

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