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Let's assume that I've got 10 cities connected in my network. I want to supply electricity to 6 of them and I've two power plants, each of them capable of supplying up to 5 cities. I've bought enough resources to use both power plants. Can I decide to use them to supply only 6 cities with electricity?

In this case, that would mean one plant would be using only 1/5 of its potential when it's perfectly possible to supply more cities with it - all 5 in this case. Is this allowed?

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This questions sounds good, I will want to know the reasoning behind doing this! –  gbianchi Nov 19 '12 at 13:13
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Yes, why do you want to do this? The only effect it has is you ending up with less money. –  Jefromi Nov 19 '12 at 16:09
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Why would you want to? The only effect would be to give you less money, and more money is never a disadvantage in Power Grid. –  Chris Dodd Nov 19 '12 at 16:52

2 Answers 2

While the answer is certainly yes, it is important to note that player order is determined by the number of cities in the player's network, not the number that were powered. This misconception is the best reason I can imagine a player would want to do this.

It is also possible to fuel plants that cannot supply any city. Although still rare, you might want to do this if you were able to go before a particular opponent in the next round and cause a scarcity of a critical resource.

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The behavior in the second paragraph still seems illogical. Couldn't you just hold onto the resources? Spending them will put them back in the pool for possible resupply... –  The Chaz 2.0 Nov 20 '12 at 14:02
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Consider the case where there's enough to resupply anyway (presumably there's at least some because your opponent is using it this round, and possibly other opponents too). Burning it from your plants allows you to drain the resource from the market rather than just keeping it out of the supply. –  sitnaltax Nov 20 '12 at 14:19
    
Oooh. I see. You can hold double, and effectively keep double out of the market by burning some and storing some. –  The Chaz 2.0 Nov 20 '12 at 16:49
    
I agree particularly with your first point; that's the only reason I can imagine someone wanting to do this, and it would have no effect on gameplay except earning fewer Elektros. No effect on turn order. –  Matthew Frederick Nov 21 '12 at 8:01

Sure - see page 5 of the rulebook, in the "Earning Cash" paragraph of the Phase 5: Bureaucracy section:

Earning cash: Starting with the first player, every player indicates how many cities in his network he wishes (and is able) to supply with electricity. He earns cash based on the number of cities he powers as shown on the payment table. A player who does not supply any city gets 10 Elektro (the guaranteed minimum). The players remove the required resources from the power plants that produced electricity this round and place the used resources in the resource supply next to the board. A player may choose (or only be able) to supply fewer cities than he has in his network. The player is paid only for the supplied cities. If a player produces more electricity than he has cities in his network, the surplus is wasted. Every player can choose how many and which of his power plants he uses, e.g. he does not have to supply all of his cities.

So you can very much power 6 cities with enough electricity for 10. You just won't be able to store the extra electricity produced for future use (or save yourself any of the resources that it cost you to produce so much electricity).

See also the line "a player may choose to supply fewer cities than he has in his network. The player is paid only for the supplied cities." It seems pretty clear to me that you can undersupply your cities if you want, strange though such a course of action might seem!

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In fact, this is the case when you have surplus power. OP has enough power to all his cities, has all the needed cities, but only want to power some of them. –  gbianchi Nov 19 '12 at 13:14
    
Yes, I knew about this, but as gbianchi already said, my case is a little different. I'm not producing more electricity than I have cities in my network - I'm producing exactly the same amount. However, I voluntarily want to waste some of it, even though there is no surplus generated. –  beam022 Nov 19 '12 at 13:30
    
@gbianchi Whoops, sorry, don't know how I failed to read the question quite so badly there! I've edited my answer accordingly, as I feel that the same rules para is quite clear that you can undersupply your cities, just as much as it's clear that you can oversupply electricity. –  thesunneversets Nov 19 '12 at 14:27
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Two things are clear: the rules don't explicitly mention the possibility in question; the possibility in question is tantamount to returning money to the bank - in this case, 32 electro. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!?!? –  The Chaz 2.0 Nov 20 '12 at 2:34
    
To say it differently, you could simply accept the full amount of electro from the bank, then donate a portion of it to charity. Around my gaming group, charity starts en mi casa. –  KFro Nov 20 '12 at 20:31

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