Power Grid is a strategy game, designed by noted game designer Friedemann Friese. It was originally published in Germany, where it was called Funkenschlag. It is published in the U.S. by Rio Grande Games.
In Power Grid, each participant plays as a power company, working to supply electricity to cities. During the game, each player will buy power plants at auction, buy resources to produce electricity in those power plants, and build a network of cities to supply with electricity from the power plants. To win the game, a player must supply the most cities with power.
Power Grid includes a game board with a scoring track, player order and resource market. There are 132 wooden houses in 6 colors (22 per player), and 84 wooden resource tokens: 24 coal (brown), 24 oil (black), 24 garbage (yellow), and 12 uranium (red). Power Grid cards include 6 summary cards, 43 power plant cards, and one "Step 3" card. Complete illustrated rules for gameplay are included.
Power Grid is played over several rounds, and each round has five phases. In each of the five phases, each player takes their actions in the order specified for the phase. The five phases in each round are:
- Determine Player Order
- Auction Power Plants
- Buying Resources
Power Grid requires strategy, foresight, patience, and skill. The game is a constant struggle to upgrade power plants for maximum efficiency, while retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network along the least expensive routes.
Power Grid has been nominated for or won numerous awards, including the Spiel des Jahres, the International Gamers Awards, and the Games Magazine Awards. It is one of the top-rated market-based board games, and frequently appears on "top game" lists.
Number Of Players: 2 to 6
Recommended Ages: 12 and up
Published By: Rio Grande Games
Power Grid Games
The following are standalone games, based on the standard Power Grid rules, with special rules and capabilities for each separate theme.
Power Grid (Base Game)
This is the game that started it all! The object of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power. Players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they use to power their cities. However, as plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, so by merely purchasing, you're potentially allowing others access to superior equipment.
Power Grid: Factory Manager
In this stand-alone follow-up game to Power Grid, players own factories and make important decisions to improve their factory, while fighting against competitors for the best equipment available in the market. You can use workers to buy machinery and robots, and to run the machinery in the factory. Keep an eye on rising energy prices, and use only the most efficient and productive machines to produce energy.
Power Grid: First Sparks
This is a stand-alone game related to the other Power Grid games and expansions, but set in the Stone Age, where players are clan leaders that must help their tribes survive, by developing new hunting technologies and acquiring new knowledge to successfully hunt for sustenance and control fire. As you acquire new skills and techniques, you can better feed your clan and help it to spread to new land and new hunting areas.
Power Grid Expansions
The following are expansions for Power Grid, and are not standalone games – they build upon and require the base Power Grid game.
Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds Benelux and Central Europe to the list of maps available for play. In the Benelux countries, ecological power plays a greater role and oil is more available and coal is less available. In Central Europe, Poland has large coal supplies, but nuclear power varies from country to country, depecding on politics. Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: Brazil/Iberia
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds Brazil and Iberia (Spain and Portugal) to the list of maps available for play. In Brazil, biogas takes the place of garbage, and resources are scarce. In Spain and Portugal, Uranium is important, and special nuclear rules apply. Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: Italy/France
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds Italy and France to the list of maps available for play. Rules are modified slightly for the new countries. France has embraced nuclear power, has more experience with atomic power, and more uranium available. Italy has more waste, but fewer coal and oil resources. Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: China and Korea
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds China and Korea to the list of maps available for play. Korea is split into two separate resource markets: North Korea and South Korea. In China, rules are based on the rigid planned economy of the communists, but rapidly-expanding nation. Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: Northern Europe, United Kingdom and Ireland
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds two maps: Northern Europe and United Kingdom / Ireland. In Northern Europe, the seven countries use very different energy sources for their electricity production, while in the United Kingdom and Ireland, players can operate two different networks on these islands, but with no direct connection, starting the second network can cost dearly. Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: Russia/Japan
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. The expansion adds Russia and Japan to the list of maps available for play. In Russia, the market for power plants is restricted, and rules for exchanging out-of-date power plants are changed, forcing players to completely rethink their strategies. In Japan, the crowded geography restricts players to two separate networks. The first connections are restricted to certain cities, guaranteeing a tough fight for the best networks.Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid: The Robots
This is an expansion for the base Power Grid game. Unlike most of the other expansions, rather than adding maps, this expansion adds players. This expansion includes components and rules for adding robot players to the game. This edition is designed for two players, but you can use a robot with up to five human players. You can also include more than one robot in a game.Not a stand-alone game!
Power Grid Images
Power Grid Contents
Power Grid Links
- Board Game Geek: Power Grid
The Power Grid page at Board Game Geek offers an overview of the game, including description, images, videos, links, and discussions.
- Publisher Page: Power Grid
Check out the official Power Grid page at the Rio Grande Game web site. Includes detailed rules for the game, with illustrations.
- Wikipedia: Power Grid
The Wikipedia page for Power Grid contains information about the game, including brief instructions and rules for play, as well as short synopsis' of Power Grid expansion games.