I played a game of power grid with 6 players using the map of Italy, with one zone removed. In step 2, I had power plants to produce electricity for 11 (6-4-1) houses with cheap resources, and built 13 houses, preparing to end the game (14 houses) once a suitable plant is in the market. However, one of the players had plants to power 15 houses, so I didn't buy a 4-house plant in the market, fearing that once I bought it, he would build up to 15 houses immediately to win the game (he had 11 houses at that time), and waited for better plants.

Afterwards, step 3 was entered. My player order was 2 at that time. I bought a 6-house plant, replacing the 1-house plant, preparing to end the game with 16 houses, fully powered. However, the other players had filled in all the cities in the map immediately, with no more space left, making me unable to build the 3 additional houses to win the game.

Is this a rare scenario? Can this happen when everyone plays the game normally? Should I instead try to end the game earlier when I already had 13 houses?


3 Answers 3


If all the cities on the map have been filled in (35 cities in 5 regions), then SOMEONE will have built 14 cities and so the game ends -- 13 cities each for 6 players is only 78 of the 105 available places.

Its not necessary for a player to be able to power all 14 cities -- they just have to build them to trigger the end of the game. The player who powers the most cities at the end of that turn (even if it is less than 14) wins.


This is a real possibility, especially for 6-player games. This happens because there are the same number of cities on most maps in a 5-player game and a 6-player game. This crunch is somewhat mitigated by only having to build to 14 to end the game. If you are the only one in lots of different cities during step 2, you should try to get into other places so this doesn't happen, particularly if you are near the front in turn order, even if it might be a bit more expensive.

I would say, however, that this scenario is uncommon. I've seen it happen only once or twice in all my plays of Power Grid.


The game is designed such that it will end if all city slots are bought. Additionally, it's just about who can power the most cities, not who has built in the most cities, or even who can power more cities than the end-game threshold.

If the map filling up is something you are concerned about, buy cities in advance. Doing so means you have less money (bad for opportunity cost) and are earlier in turn order (bad for a number of reasons), but guarantees you will get the cities you want at favorable prices. Buying more cities than you can power can be a strategic move for a number of reasons, including you can buy them cheaply enough now to make it worth it.

Another possibility is to buy cities that are more expensive but leave you more expansion options. For example, let's say that on the one of side of you are a set of cities developed by players A and B and on the other side are cities developed by a mix of players C, D, and E. In this case, you probably want to buy a more expensive city that has been developed by C+D rather than a cheaper city developed by A+B because you are actively competing with E for the C+D city, where you can come back to the A+B cities later.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .