I played Power Grid once. The game took four fucking hours. The only thing that made it bearable was the guy sitting next to me talking shit about the other players under his breath. Unfortunately, this would make me laugh, which would break someone's concentration, and they would have to start their damn calculations all over again.
Uba WANTS a lot of shitty opinions and HAS a tray of Maker’s Mark
It's has a cool theme in some surreal kind of way, and the on board interaction with all the routes is like a cool little area control game. The map adds some kind of risk feel to it. There's also some interaction with the auction for plants, a cool market system. Plus a sense of playfulness (this quality stops him from seeming as pretentious as other Euro designers to me) and no victory points, just powered cities and money... like it should be. The different deck and maps add a good amount of re-playability. The much hated catch up mechanic used in it I really enjoy A part of the strategy is knowing when to stay behind and when to take your lead, like a race car driver. It's certainly a Euro, but unlike any other I've played.
Friedman is ok in my book.
I even like Factory Manager, there's a cool bit of art in the lunch room (where all the workers hang out), there's a big no-smoking sign right behind them and in front of that a smoking ashtray.
Power Grid is one of my favourite euros, it's got lots of screwage opportunities and, besides some basic arithmetics (which are admittedly ubiquitous in the game), it's not really brain burning. It's a bit like a train game in that you're trying to connect cities on a map too. And you really have to go with your gut feeling a lot of the time, on whether to pull ahead or keep back, which plants to go for and for how much, how many resources to stock up on, etc. The auction phase is the most crucial in the game, IMO, and where there's a bit of risk management as well.
4-hour game? Don't play with those guys is my advice. Games usually last no more than 2 hours, maybe a bit more if you're playing with 5 or 6. It's definitely shorter than Railroad Tycoon.
I played Factory Manager once, and don't really intend to play it again. It felt like we'd done and seen everything the game could offer in a single game and I had no wish to revisit it. It's euro through and through.
Power Grid is one of my very favorite games. It's true that there's a fair bit of math involved, but oddly enough, it always felt thematic to me. I mean, there WOULD be a fair bit of bean-counting involved with running a power plant right?
I am a very big fan of the expansions for the game. I would recommend that any fan of the base game pick up the alternate power plant deck and the China/Korea map.
I played once with 4 other people and it was less than 2 hours. I spent the whole time walling off areas (these towns are mine!) and snapping up all the cheap resources to raise everyone else's costs. If there was only some representation of me jacking up the prices in the towns where I had a monopoly...