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Subject: I hate Power Grid. Will I like Indonesia? rss

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Game Junkie
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Hi all,

I have been keeping an eye on Indonesia for some time and now I have a chance to get a copy.

The only thing that is holding me back so far is that I have seen several posts where Indonesia is linked to Power Grid, a game I detest. The repetitive additions bore me to death (is 11+9+15 better than 12+6+14?).

Therefore, my question is: do you think I will enjoy Indonesia if I hate Power Grid? Just so you know, Age of Steam, Brass and Chicago Express are other economic games I love.

Thanks for your opinions!
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It's nothing like Power Grid... like, at all.

Much more like Age of Steam, Brass, et al.
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Pony Casts Fire
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If you don't want to do math, then don't get Indonesia. The mergers are the most important part of the game, and are really math heavy.
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Nate S
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If the only thing you don't like about Power Grid is connection cost optimization (which is of course by no means the only mathy part of Power Grid), then Indonesia has nothing like that. If you don't like mathiness in general, well, Indonesia is probably the single mathiest game in my collection. Not quite as mathy as Greed, Inc., maybe, but I don't own that one

I don't think Indonesia has much in common with Age of Steam or Power Grid, but to be honest if I have to pick one of those two games in a comparison it is a lot more similar to Power Grid.
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Agent J
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Okay, I have Railways of the World and have played Age of Steam. I own Brass now, love that. I adore Chicago Express. Indonesia, I think, does not have that same problem that you're looking at in Power Grid - you have set prices for each good, so you know how much you'll sell them for, you just need to find places to sell them, which is a bit fiddly at times but at least you're not having to remember numbers. Also, I am not a huge Power Grid fan, mostly due to the game end scoring being based on cities powered instead of money earned. I own Indonesia and it's the one game that I make sure I play at the very least, once per year.

I recommend picking it up, because I think your taste in games matches mine pretty spot on with the economic games, and you will really enjoy Indonesia.

There is a bit of math involved especially with valuing and making sure your bid the proper denominations (bids go up by different numbers, to allow for the bid to be split between the companies merging by chit) which you might find annoying, but that's less than the repeated adding of numbers in Power Grid. Also, there is the operations phase, but what I do is add up the chits, then add up the ships used, multiply it out and subtract. So you only have to keep a couple numbers in your head, and they're counted, not added. For example:

I sell 3 spice, and used 5 ships to do so. 3x25=75, 5x5=25 (this might be split between companies though, but 5's are easy) so I get $50 and the shipping companies get $25... a lot easier than 7+4+3+10+15+15...
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Agent J
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Oh yeah, and pick up Container while you're at it. Definitely a must have for your collection of awesome economic games!
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I absolutely loathe Power Grid, and find Indonesia quite enjoyable.
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Game Junkie
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Orph wrote:
If you don't want to do math, then don't get Indonesia. The mergers are the most important part of the game, and are really math heavy.

I don't find the math in Power Grid particularly difficult, only boring because of the repetition. Maybe I am the problem, since I try to ponder all options (i.e. calculate all options) instead of playing from the gut?

ghorsche wrote:
If the only thing you don't like about Power Grid is connection cost optimization (which is of course by no means the only mathy part of Power Grid), then Indonesia has nothing like that

Jythier wrote:
There is a bit of math involved especially with (...)

Thanks for your answers. I am now all pumped up. XD

Jythier wrote:
...Oh yeah, and pick up Container while you're at it.
Definitely a must have for your collection of awesome economic games!

How did you know? Container is another game in my "must try" list.
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Agent J
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Well, I looked at your 'must try' list, to be honest. What I don't know is if that's even available anymore... bummer. But, hey, pick up Indonesia while you have the chance.
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Martins Livens
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doubtofbuddha wrote:
I absolutely loathe Power Grid, and find Indonesia quite enjoyable.


same here.
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John Rogers
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Indonesia is far superior to Power Grid in nearly every way. There is math twice a "year" in Indonesia with the mergers and operations. I don't find the mergers to be particularly annoying as bidding for companies can be quite exciting and having a calculator handy makes this simple. The operations are more annoying but not so much because of the math but because of the sheer length of this phase, especially as the game wears on.

All that being said, Indonesia is a top tier game for me and one I heartily recommend.

Jythier wrote:
Oh yeah, and pick up Container while you're at it. Definitely a must have for your collection of awesome economic games!


Oh yeah, a must in the strongest sense of the world. Perhaps even more so than Indonesia. Someone also mentioned Greed Inc. and that is likewise a must buy, top tier game.
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Jythier wrote:
Well, I looked at your 'must try' list, to be honest. What I don't know is if that's even available anymore... bummer. But, hey, pick up Indonesia while you have the chance.

I am considering getting a second-hand copy, but Indonesia can still be found at some Spanish online stores. Container, however, is a bit harder to find right now.
 
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Kurt R
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Canales wrote:
The only thing that is holding me back so far is that I have seen several posts where Indonesia is linked to Power Grid, a game I detest. The repetitive additions bore me to death (is 11+9+15 better than 12+6+14?).

I love both games, but I will say that Indonesia is fiddly as hell. You have to keep track of which goods have shipped to which cities over which boats. Every group has their own system, I'm sure. We put coins by the boats and plastic crystals on top of the goods and then goods counters by the cities. I'm not saying this deters me from the game in any way, but I would want someone to know this up front.

In summary: IMO, the fiddliness of math is replaced by fiddliness of tracking. I find PG less annoying in this sense but maybe you'll find it the reverse.

Good luck!
 
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enzo622 wrote:
In summary: IMO, the fiddliness of math is replaced by fiddliness of tracking. I find PG less annoying in this sense but maybe you'll find it the reverse.

This is why I love BGG so much (or BGGers to be more accurate).

I was not aware of that fact, Kurt, so thanks for pointing it out. I don't usually have problems with fiddliness (Through the Ages is a personal favorite), but I will take it into account.
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Agent J
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Oh yeah, Indonesia gets really fiddly, especially when you're placing tokens and stuff everywhere... much easier if you just use the calculator I programmed... Basically, the major problem is that it's a lot harder to track the 13 goods you've shipped and which boats you've used, but the main thing to remember is that you can probably ship one good per ship(x it's hull) in a sea zone next to your company. Once you get that down, it becomes more of a 'where does it go from there' game... I forgive it because that really only gets out of control towards the end of the game.
 
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enzo622 wrote:
Canales wrote:
The only thing that is holding me back so far is that I have seen several posts where Indonesia is linked to Power Grid, a game I detest. The repetitive additions bore me to death (is 11+9+15 better than 12+6+14?).

I love both games, but I will say that Indonesia is fiddly as hell. You have to keep track of which goods have shipped to which cities over which boats.


Depends on experience of players I guess. Really its only needed for extra large companies in last two rounds.

And why would you need to track which good over which boats?
No offense, but maybe you play something incorrectly?
Like:
a) track use of boats all round the round;
b) don't transport goods inside plantations to needed shore;
c) something similar to make it zillion micro operations.
 
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Kurt R
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marliv wrote:
enzo622 wrote:
Canales wrote:
The only thing that is holding me back so far is that I have seen several posts where Indonesia is linked to Power Grid, a game I detest. The repetitive additions bore me to death (is 11+9+15 better than 12+6+14?).

I love both games, but I will say that Indonesia is fiddly as hell. You have to keep track of which goods have shipped to which cities over which boats.


Depends on experience of players I guess. Really its only needed for extra large companies in last two rounds.

And why would you need to track which good over which boats?
No offense, but maybe you play something incorrectly?
Like:
a) track use of boats all round the round;
b) don't transport goods inside plantations to needed shore;
c) something similar to make it zillion micro operations.

My point was you need to track which boats get paid, right? So we put a coin by the boats to track that.
 
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Jythier wrote:
Oh yeah, Indonesia gets really fiddly, especially when you're placing tokens and stuff everywhere... much easier if you just use the calculator I programmed... Basically, the major problem is that it's a lot harder to track the 13 goods you've shipped and which boats you've used, but the main thing to remember is that you can probably ship one good per ship(x it's hull) in a sea zone next to your company. Once you get that down, it becomes more of a 'where does it go from there' game... I forgive it because that really only gets out of control towards the end of the game.


Let's say you have them three - A,B,C ( and it's rather large company)

You do it like that: 1 from A, 2 from C, 1 from B, 2 from C, 1 from A and so on?
 
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Nate S
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I think Martin's point is that there is no reason to track which goods have shipped over which boats. Each production company can use the full capacity of any boat, even if it is shipping the same type of good as a different company has already shipped.
 
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enzo622 wrote:

My point was you need to track which boats get paid, right? So we put a coin by the boats to track that.


To reduce counting in mind? Even in trivial situations?
 
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Agent J
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marliv wrote:
Let's say you have them three - A,B,C ( and it's rather large company)

You do it like that: 1 from A, 2 from C, 1 from B, 2 from C, 1 from A and so on?




I have no idea what you are saying to me.
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Most of the time you're only deciding where to send 1 or 2 extra goods because you sold the same goods the turn before, minus your expansion... so you're really not recalculating best 13 routes in your head, rather, you're coming up with the two best routes beyond those.
 
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ghorsche wrote:
I think Martin's point is that there is no reason to track which goods have shipped over which boats. Each production company can use the full capacity of any boat, even if it is shipping the same type of good as a different company has already shipped.

I think I've confused you all by saying "which goods over which boats." No need to track "which goods by which boat" but what I very sloppily was saying was that you need to track which boats get paid. So we put a coin by each boat each time it's used. At the end of the game when there are a lot of shipments, it helps to keep track of which company should get paid and how much.

 
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Quote:
I absolutely loathe Power Grid, and find Indonesia quite enjoyable.


I'm the exact opposite, despising Indonesia and welcoming Power Grid, so there's hope that you might like Indonesia.
 
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I just have a counter on my program... so you tell me how many you shipped, then how many boats from each player you used, I plug them into the program and it spits back out how much money you get and how much each shipper gets. Note, though, that I only built that part because I was really trying to make a MERGER calculator which would calculate the next bid, and given a number, bring it down to the next legal bid, and also give the splits at each bid.
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