Corey's Crib Notes

Power Grid: The First Sparks Board Game

thumbnail for the board game Power Grid: The First Sparks
Year 2011
Players 2 to 6
Ages 12 and above
Playing Time 60 minutes
BBG Number 106662
Mechanics Area Movement
Card Drafting
Modular Board
Route/Network Building
Description
Get a great deal on Power Grid: The First Sparks board game at Funagain Games!


Basic Strategy for Power Grid: First Sparks

  • Stay behind by 1 clan until the 7th marker, and then start to break away.
  • Get fields (grain) cards before anything else.
  • Only get a tech if the food cards suck.
  • Do not get two tech cards in a row.
  • Constantly grow and don’t fall behind.
  • Make sure you have enough food after growth to buy the highest tech card.
  • Max. Growth Cost = Food Supply – (Feeding Cost Next Turn’s Purchase)

Details, Details, Details

It is All About Sex Baby

You must constantly grow your clan and improve your food supply. Techs are nice, but should be secondary to food. When you take a tech like fire, you lose a turn that you could use to improve your food supply. You should NEVER take techs two turns in a row because you will fall behind in food production.

How Much Bongo in the Congo?

Each turn you will produce a net amount of food after feeding. You should set aside enough food to purchase the next higher card possible. The rest should be spent on expansion. This accounting should avoid spoilage.

Plow Those Fields

If you have an option to get a grain card, get it. Grain is a secure resource. You do not have to worry about being first to get a scares food supply. This means you don’t have to be “last” to pick first and frees you to jump into the lead with the threat of starvation. In short, the more fields you acquire, the more likely you are going to win.

The Picking Order Tactic

The above overall strategy is sound, however, as with the original Power Grid game; position in the turn order is critical (and slightly confusing). This tactic may cause you to adjust your plans. I like to think of it as a bike race, the 1st place person has to deal with the friction of the wind, while the last biker can conserve energy. However, at some point, the rear biker needs to take the lead in order to win. This applies to the board game “First Sparks.”

The last position player gets first pick of the technology and tools (but not necessarily the best). They also get first stab at the food supply when harvesting. This could lead to starvation for the leader.

So the main question is: When do I break away from the pack?

Always grow as fast as the other players. You can choose to be 1 behind the leader or a head of the pack in order get a prime turn order position. Keep in mind that you can only grow a maximum of 5 people per turn. So if you fall behind it is hard to catch the leader. You should start to think about being the leader around when the group starts to break the 7th clan mark.

An Easy Victory

  • Get three fields
  • Get the plow
  • Win.

If you can do this and not get prevented by the other players, consider yourself lucky. With the amount of food you will produce, there is no way you cannot build 13 clans before everyone else.

Enjoy the board game Power Grid: First Sparks!!!


A picture of us playing a game of power gird: first-sparks. Spread your clan!

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