A Vacation Filled with Obsession

January 7, 2013

A nice thing about school are the nice long vacations. Directly after my last exam we went north to our dear home village Övertorneå and spent two weeks celebrating Christmas and New Years Eve. What did we do? I practiced some obsessive behavior with Power Grid and Minecraft (and finishing up with some World of Tanks).

It all began with an article and the discussion which followed on hacker news. Basically they discussed the pros and cons of different games and specifically noting the advantages of german style board games over classical board games like Monopoly.

A summary from Wikipedia:

  • Themed games
  • Games made for everyone
  • No player elimination
  • Game ‘mechanics’

A note from simonw about Monopoly which I can relate to.

Couldn’t agree more. German-style games make Monopoly etc look positively archaic. Two great starter games are Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. I’m a big fan of Ticket to Ride as well.

There are a couple of things that make these games so good. Firstly, they’re extremely well balanced - unlike Monopoly, it’s rare for one player to pull ahead to the point that it’s impossible for anyone else to catch up with them.

Secondly, they tend to come to an inevitable conclusion - a game of Settlers will virtually never last more than an hour and a half due to resources / space on the board depleting over time. I’ve had games of Monopoly last 6 hours or more, by which time everyone is fed up and wishes they’d never started playing.

After some debating I figured I’d order Power Grid as it got really good reviews, both from the discussion thread and various reviews.

And boy was it worth a buy!

The first day I played maybe two games with my little brother, like me he’s very into games and we positively loved it. When my uncle (he loves board games as well) and cousin arrived we played a bit, and then some more. In total we played at least 20 times in 12 days, with a maximum of 4 times one day. The game takes 1,5 - 2 hours and is very mentally taxing so I consider that a lot.


Power Grid, an great strategy game

I liked it so much that I ordered three of the expansions for it just after I left.

Of course we didn’t only play Power Grid day out and day in. We also started a new world in minecraft which we played a bit on… Sometimes things are just so good you can’t get enough of it you know?


Posted in: Gaming.