Power Plants Deluxe Edition

Power Plants Deluxe Edition

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Every wizard knows that the best ingredients for spells and potions are grown fresh! Power Plants is a strategic tile-laying game for 1-5 wizards. Each turn, add one magical plant to the garden and decide which dynamic powers to unleash. As the garden grows, your sprites will battle for control of valuable fields. The more territory you can control, the more gems you earn. This item…
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-KTG8002 Availability 1 in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Stunning visuals
  • Variable plant powers ensuring set up can be tailored to player skills/choice
  • Area control done on the pretence of controlling an area, not a spot in an area
  • Chunky components

Might Not Like

  • Odd theme created through art and design, not mechanisms
  • It’s a growing spot for analysis paralysis
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Description

Every wizard knows that the best ingredients for spells and potions are grown fresh! Power Plants is a strategic tile-laying game for 1-5 wizards. Each turn, add one magical plant to the garden and decide which dynamic powers to unleash. As the garden grows, your sprites will battle for control of valuable fields. The more territory you can control, the more gems you earn. This item differs from the base edition. It comes with wooden Patch tiles and shaped Sprites.

If there’s one thing my friends and family will all unanimously agree about me, it’s that my thumbs aren’t green. Both metaphorically and literally. The only flora I can actually keep alive is the type I don’t have to interact with: cacti, succulents, weeds. It’ll definitely survive if it doesn’t need me. Like the grim reaper of flora, I touch it and it dies. Luckily for me, the plants in Power Plants Deluxe, by Kids Table BG, require no water or soil. No love nor care. Just some good old fashioned black magic and shady sprite-centred trickery!

Power Plants is an area majority, tile placement game for 1-5 players. It takes around 30-45 minutes to play regardless of player count.

How to Play

To set up a game of Power Plants, players must take a set of Sprites (coloured meeples), choose five of the eight plants available and take the associated tiles. Place the highest valued tile in the centre of the table in a connected formation. Dependent on player count, the number of tiles of each of the five colours will change. At two players players use six tiles, at three they use seven, and all eight for higher player counts. Players should also ensure at least one plant of each timing is in play – these are depicted as a sun rising, a sun and a moon to show dawn, day and night respectively. Finally set up pools of points tokens within reach of all players, deal three tiles to each player, place three tiles out as a Nursery and put the Wizard meeple within read of all. The game is now ready to play!

In Power Plants, players are aiming to control clusters of matching tiles by having their Sprites on them. Control is based on tiles controlled in the cluster, not number of Sprites. A player controlling three tiles with a single Sprite on each would beat a player who had 10 Sprites on a single tile. The number of Sprites is used to break ties and ensure dominance on that tile.

Taking A Turn

On a player’s turn they’ll place a tile from their hand to the current tiles placed and place the Wizard on it. This reminds players which tile was most recently placed. Some plants also allow players to immediately add a Sprite to them, so it’s worth checking the referenxe cards. They then choose one of two actions: Sprout or Grow.

All plants have two abilities associated to them dependent on whether the player Sprouts or Grows. Sprout activates the Sprout ability of the tile placed only and is arguably the more powerful of the two choices for that tile. Sprout abilities often centre on placing multiple Sprites, moving tiles or removing opposing Sprites. Grow, however, activates the Grow abilities of all adjacent tiles. Grow abilities are much less impacting, but with the ability to activate up to four on placement they can really shake up the play area! When Growing, players activate the tiles in time order (dawn, day, night) and resolve the effects as appropriate.

To end their turn, they then draw a new tile at random from the bag. If it matches one they already have, they may swap it for a tile in the Nursery.

Calculating Control and Scores

Control in Power Plants is centred on tiles controlled, not total level of control. In example, a player who controls three tiles will trump a player controlling one, no matter how many more sprites they have. In this way, players are encouraged to spread their Sprite numbers thinner and wider as opposed to creating a stronghold on a single hex. With this, taking control is done through reduction. No hex can ever hold two different colours of Sprites: players must reduce the opposing numbers to gain control. Should a player try to play a Sprite to a tile containing two opposing Sprites, one of the opposing Sprites is instead removed.

Once the tile bag is empty and players can no longer draw, play continues until all players have one time left. At this point the game ends and end game scoring begins. Some tiles have extra end game scoring conditions but, generally, scores are calculated by majority and field size. Points are allocated for 1st through 4th based on field size, with majority over the area trumping numbers. Once all end game scoring is complete, whomever has the most points wins!

How it Feels to Play

I find control is a fickle mistress to dabble with (don’t tell your wife). Sometimes it works seamlessly on the basis of “biggest army”. Other times it can be a bit… messier: elements to consider, resources to count, arguments to have. Power Plants, luckily, runs on a seamless model, but one with a pleasant alteration which I welcome wholeheartedly. Couple that in with some gorgeously illustrated variable plant powers AND an element of choice in growth and sprout, and for me… you’ve got a winner.

Most Blokes or Most Spaces?

Power Plants’ area control concept runs on most tiles owned within a connected matching patch. A gorgeously considered scoring element that ensures you’re never out of the fight! No matter how many beautiful, little wooden fellas your opposition has stacked on one tile… if you own more tiles, you score higher. It encourages you to both contribute to a patch’s size regardless of context and ensures you always have a fighting chance.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your opponent merge several meeple into one giga-meep; knowing you won’t score. It’s my pet peeve for area control… Power Plants delivers in spades what I love about area control. The need to control the area, not a small empire in the area!

Green Thumbs?

The second thing I adore about this game is that element of choice. Sprout… or Growth? It’s beautifully considered in the scale of power for every plant and – contextually – you’ll be wanting to make a balanced choice of both. Sprout lets you pull of a single game changing move. One big shabang that’ll give you extra patch control, allow you to remove other meeples or it may even let you shift a whole tile! But the key element here is that you get to do only one thing. One action. Powerful though it may be, that one single move has to be decisive…

Growth on the other hand is several actions activated based on tiles around your placed tile. Slap down any tile and utilise those around you for several smaller, yet tactical actions. These are by no means to the extent of a Sprout action. However, because you activate all tiles adjacent to your placed one – up to a whopping four – you need to be somewhat more tactical. There’s opportunities for stunning cascades of effects when thinking about the activation of the plants from dawn to dusk. You can’t control the order, but the game encourages you to choose how one action can affect another! In example, removing someone’s fairy from one tile may enable you to chuck your own into its previous residence. As much as Sprouting has the strong arm approach needed for area control, Growth lets you manoeuvre your fairies into more advantageous positions. Both absolutely necessary, and that balance is stunning for a game about gardening!

Gorgeous Gardens or Shall We Get The Weed-Whacker?

Power Plants is a beautiful game – particularly the deluxe version. The custom meeples, the artwork and the theme all stack wonderfully to make this game a treat to behold on your table. The chunky screen printed tiles, custom meeples and art are eye-catching and wonderful to see and they all for the “theme” gorgeously.

Sure, I’ll admit theme is tricky to pull off effectively. And getting players to realise they are not the wizard, even though he’s put in the tiles played, is tricky too. Couple that in with some quite tough choices for Growth powers to get the best out of a turn could risk the age old “analysis paralysis”.

However, I think the game is a treat to behold both in its art, theme and gameplay. It looks stunning, is easy to get your head around once you’re a turn in and it is exceptionally fun and tense. I’m yet to play a game where I feel like I’m “out of the running” for a patch, and that’s wonderful in area control as I find that hard to come by!

Final Thoughts

Power Plants is a delight. Pure and simple. It plays excellently, looks stunning and is relatively easy to pick up so long as you utilise the references for the unique plant powers. Some may find the choices available for some actions tricky to stack together, and it’s clear the theme is created through the art and style, not necessarily through the mechanics, but that’s forgiven for how fun it is! This is my current go-to for area control, and being as shallow as I am it’s delightful that the game looks good too!!

 

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Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Stunning visuals
  • Variable plant powers ensuring set up can be tailored to player skills/choice
  • Area control done on the pretence of controlling an area, not a spot in an area
  • Chunky components

Might not like

  • Odd theme created through art and design, not mechanisms
  • Its a growing spot for analysis paralysis