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Power Grid: The Robots

1 customer review

Price: £8.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 2 left in stock.
Sold by Boardgames4usUK and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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  • Age range: 12 and up / Number of players: 2 to 6 / Play time: 60 to 120 minutes
  • Manufacturer: Rio Grande Games
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£8.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by Boardgames4usUK and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Power Grid: The Robots
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  • Power Grid Board Game
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  • Power Grid Expansion: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland
Total price: £51.88
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Product Information

Technical Details
Item Weight240 g
Product Dimensions25.9 x 0.3 x 36.1 cm
Manufacturer recommended age:12 years and up
Item model number462RGG
Number of Game Players6
Batteries Required?No
  
Additional Information
ASINB006VWVLIQ
Best Sellers Rank 108,197 in Toys & Games (See top 100)
Shipping Weight249 g
Delivery Destinations:Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
Date First Available25 Jan. 2012
  
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Product Description

This expansion can only be played with a copy of Power Grid. The game rules for Power Grid are the same. This expansion includes components and rules for adding robot players to the game.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Evenstar982 on 6 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase
Brilliant addition to an excellent game! If you only have two regular players, this is a must-buy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Essential for 2-Player 17 July 2012
By Joshua S - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
Power Grid suffers--ahem, used to suffer--when played with 2 players. Much of the competition is lost, since there is inherently less of a war for power plants, resources, and city placement. So what do you do when you want one of those exciting, cutthroat games that Power Grid is known for, but you don't have enough players? Why, you build a player of course!

Robots is an ingenious solution to the problems created from not having enough friends. Although they will not help you enhance your social skills or provide warm feelings, they can certainly make your low-attendance games of Power Grid more exciting!

In a nutshell, this expansion allows you to create artificial "players" that take actions according to a set of predetermined rules. The robots participate fully in all elements of the game (auctioning, purchasing, building) and even have the ability to win, if you're not careful. Robots are assembled by choosing one tile from each of five different groups of tiles that contain a variety of rules. The tile groups dictate:
1) Where the robot will place its first city (for instance, "player auction")
2) How the robot will participate in power plant auctions (for instance, "bids for the highest numbered plant that uses the cheapest resource")
3) Which resources the robot will purchase (for instance, "purchases anything it can store that costs less than 5 electro"
4) Where the robot will expand its network (for instance, "always makes the cheapest connection and cannot build through occupied cities")
5) What special ability the robot will have above all players (for instance, "builds 1 city for free each round")
And since there are 5 tiles in each group, not only is there practically endless variety, but you can play against up to 5 robots in a game.

The robots follow the same set of decision-making rules for the entirety of the game, no matter the circumstances--and frequently, they make stupid decisions. Strategic players will learn to use this to their advantage. But most of the time, the robots are "intelligent" enough to be a thorn in your side and a challenge to overcome. All of a sudden, your 2-player (or even 1-player!) game can become the fight to the finish that it was meant to be.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The most vicious robots you'll play a board game against 18 Nov. 2013
By J - Published on Amazon.com
My fiance and I like Power Grid quite a bit, but don't play it as much as we'd probably like, since, frankly, the game sucks with only 2 players. It gets broken out at our game group here and there, but more often than not, it ends up being a teaching game.

So when the Robots expansion was announced, we jumped for joy as we could now throw together a pseudo-3/4 player game! Boy, we didn't know what we were in for....

COMPONENTS
The Robots themselves come as a few different options for puzzle pieces (head, upper-torso, lower-torso, legs, feet). They're fairly thick cardboard and fit together nicely.

HOW YOU PLAY
For each Robot you would like to play, you randomly draw one of each piece of the robot, put it together on the table, and when it's the robot's turn, just follow it's "programming" for that situation. That's where our problems started....

THE RULES
The rules for this expansion are not, shall I say.....written very well. There's a lot of ambiguous text on the pieces, which then push you to the rulebook, which then in turn can be difficult to impossible to find a clear answer for. And then sometimes, the rules say to have the robot do whatever makes the most sense (for instance, when choosing which power plants to fire), which in of itself can lead to arguments of what makes the most sense.

GAMEPLAY
So we've played with the robots a few times, and each time have had 2 robots in play.

Everything is open for the robots, so we just go around taking our turns, one of us "controlled" one robot, the other "controlled" the other (as in, making sure its' rules were followed, paying money to/from the robot, etc.). Some decisions were random, so a simple coinflip decided those.

The problem we had was how exactly to "roleplay" the robots. Do we act like we know what the robots are going to do (and pull crap like sticking them with the #6 on the first turn) or do we pretend they're real players and make moves as if they're real players? We opted to roleplay them as if they're real players and then somewhere along the way in each game, said, "OK, they've made all these stupid moves, there's no reason for me to assume they're smart at this point" and screw them a little bit....but still treat them as a real player.

Given those terms, the Robots played great. They were usually in the vicinity of being "in the game" and in one game, one of them was even close to winning.

THE ROBOTS ARE QUITE VICIOUS
Most of the rules for the Robots have them buying up a LOT of resources. Combine that with the fact that they keep firing whatever plants they have (as needed) and they can go through a LOT of Coal/Oil if the players keep snagging the better plants (either by outbidding or by being in better position), then those robots will keep burning through resources FAST. Our first game was in Italy and it was PAINFUL.

KEEPING UP WITH EVERYTHING
In Power Grid, there's a lot to take mental note of while playing normally. Throw in something like this, where you're tracking things for 1-2 other players, making decisions for them sometimes, and the game becomes a bit more of a mental strain than I am really interested in without really adding to or recreating the fun of playing 4 players, with 2 human players.

SO WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
The Robots are interesting. They can create enough of a semblance of a human player where adding 1 to a group of 3 could probably make it feel a bit more like 4 players. But trying to add 2 to a 2-player game does not make it feel like 4 players.

Additionally, the slightly unclear rules and the need to ignore knowledge you know when making a decision is odd. If we didn't do that, I imagine the game would play much more differently (as you'd have the element of playing the robots against your opponents and each other much more than with human players) and the robots would end up being extreme bottom-feeders in every game.

So if you have a group of 3 and want it to feel like 4, go for it. If you have 1-2 people, I'd probably recommend passing on this expansion.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Solitaire Power Grid 7 Nov. 2012
By Skeptic - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
This is a great expansion to Power Grid. The robots act as "dummy" players and add a nice tension to the game (see product description for how the robots work). They aren't easy to beat either. I have played a few games alone, with 2 robots, to make it a tight 3 player game, and had a lot of fun. I was initially hesitant about the bidding phase using the robots, because one of the best parts of this game is trying to outbid your friends for plants you want, but that element isn't thrown off too much. The robots will still give you some competition in the bidding war. Overall, this is probably one of the best expansions to get for Power Grid.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Power Grid/Robot Expansion 1 May 2012
By John B. Mattioli - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase Durability:    Educational:    Fun:   
I was originally excited to purchase "Power Grid Robots" because it seemed like a fascinating concept to apply to a classic game of strategy. I was immediately unhappy when I saw how poorly the "puzzle" pieces stay connected, and also that there was no separate storage device provided for the pieces themselves.

I have only played once so far, but our experience in the 2-player version was extremely problematic even though we only used one robot. We are veteran PG players, but I still can envision future games in which we would have to reference the rules 20-30+ times for situations. Not only would this disturb the flow of the game, it would make it much longer.

If you are still curious about it, I would recommend trying to obtain a copy of the rules, if possible, to be aware of how much of a novelty item this game is, and purchase with that as your intention, if the price is right.
Great expansion for 2 or 3 player games 19 Jun. 2015
By Kim L. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If you mainly play Power Grid with less than four people, you may have found competition to be a little bit stale. I usually play in two-player games and I have my opponent figured out after the first few rounds. A drawback of the original game is the lack of dynamics with a small number of players. I feel this expansion solves this issue. The addition of the robots adds more complexity to the overall game, increasing the participation to all aspects of the game. Power Grid plays well with four players, and adding the robots to make a four player game creates a more challenging and fun time. Since we purchased the robots to make four player games, I have been playing this game almost every night for the last few weeks.

As with all parts of the Power Grid universe, the instructions can be a bit confusing. But once you are able to comprehend what the instructions say, the robots easily make up for it with it's ease of use. Just randomly put all the parts for a robot together, setup another player, and you have another competitor for plants, resources, and houses.
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