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Game Preview: Funkenschlag Deluxe: Europa/Nordamerika

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: 2F-Spiele
In March 2014, designer Friedemann Friese announced Funkenschlag Deluxe: Europa/Nordamerika, a revamped version of Power Grid due out from his own 2F-Spiele in October 2014.

As noted in the BGGN post at that time, this Funken version features "two giant-sized maps (Europe and North America), completely new power plants, a new resource type (natural gas), new wooden pieces for resources and player tokens, and new plastic coins as currency". I got to look these new maps over at a game convention and can share them with you, along with a few details of the changes in this game.

Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America

To start, each land mass is divided into seven regions instead of six, allowing for more variety in games in terms of what's removed, although admittedly you can't remove the red mid-Atlantic region without also lopping off New England. The six-fold game board has space for the power plant market on it instead of you needing to make space for it on the side.

Note that the European side of the game board shows five spaces for power plants in the future market, giving player more information as to what will likely be available in future turns. (I can't recall whether they're redesigning the North American board to also show five future markets, but I do recall that the cheapest plant on the NA side at the start of each round will have a special token on it that indicates a minimum starting bid of $1. If a cheaper plant is drawn during the round, this token is removed, but otherwise someone will have access to a cheap, crummy plant in case his dream plant never shows up.)

Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America

The resource market at the bottom of each game board shows which resources will be available at which prices (and the quantities differ from earlier versions of Power Grid), and instead of needing to consult a chart to determine how many resources are refilled on the market each round, you now place a resource refill chart directly on the game board that corresponds to the number of players in the game.

The player order chart now has two spaces for each player so that you can slide the marker over to more easily identify who's won a power plant in the auction and who's completed his entire turn.

The city chart no longer indicates when Step 2 begins as that will now depend on the number of players in the game instead of being fixed at the same number for all player counts. The game will include a marker or divider that you place in the appropriate location so that everyone knows the right spot in each game.

Finally, each picture shows only a few of the new power plants in the game. While the deck has a new distribution of cost/city/fuel combinations — partly out of necessity due to natural gas replacing garbage as a resource — one other change is that hybrid plants now take either natural gas or oil instead of coal or oil.

Okay, that's a bunch of small changes to the aesthetics of the game as well as the rules, but how does it all affect the gameplay? I don't know as I played other things instead of either of the new Funkenschlag boards. Sorry! I can tell you, though, that within the next two months 2F-Spiele plans to announce in which languages this new version of Funkenschlag will appear and from which publishers, and production is currently planned early enough that the game should be available everywhere on October 16, 2014 — the day that Spiel 2014 opens.
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