At the start of the industrial revolution




Patience means success!


About a hundred years ago, Tesla revolutionized the production / winning of energy with is inventions, which are now, shortly after World War I, are about to be implemented in the French Alps in the guise of huge water power stations that are meant to bring in progress.

Pipelines and first massive dams have been constructed, but conduits and powerhouse installations are still missing. Some money needs to be invested here until the Tesla Coils will work efficiently - however, the competition is not asleep! Which company will manage to operate the most profitable supply contracts - who harnesses best the power of water?


Four boards - double-sided map, Patent Office Board, Management Board and Energy Track, four Company Boards with four Construction Wheels , seven Executive Officer Tiles and any number of partially company-related, detail-enamored designed wooden components and tiles - no wonder that the box is large and thick. “Grrr, that will probably mean monstrous rules!“ - Not at all! The rules are not short, but easily understood, comprehensible and really not too difficult - bravo!

In each of the five rounds you need to construct more and more dams and conduits on the huge board, showing three river valleys, in order to win more and more energy from the held-back water - very atmospherically represented by wooden water drops - in the power houses, which enables us to advance again on the energy track in each round. This is a deciding factor for the income of the round, turn order of players and even the acquisition of victory points  and  represents the continually growing challenge that fuels the competitive upgrading.

But before workers can be placed on a the „activate power station“ slots, you need a power house, connected by a pipeline, equipped with a conduit, to a storage reservoir featuring a neutral dam or one of your own dams - and, of course, water. At this point the latest, you understand that, if you do not love to plan and plan well, you will be quickly out of your depth. Solo efforts or lone wolf behavior will not work well here either, as resources are too scarce for that and cooperation - even if related to certain situations only - can be of an advantage, as you may use other players’ conduits - not, however dams or power houses - for a fee and victory point.


Therefore, place workers on your company’s construction sites, start constructing and put the construction on the board immediately. You pay costs with excavators and concrete mixers, not with money, and the costs depends on the location of the construction side; dams, for instance, are more expensive in mountains than on plains or hill terrain, and for conduits the cost refers to the usable production value. Costs? Well more used capacities than costs, because you get them back, as you do workers, albeit not, like the workers, at the start of the next round, but only after a complete run through all six segments of the construction Wheel, which coherently simulates resources blocking - a very well-working mechanism.


Soon you are out of all your starting capital and you keep asking yourself if you will see land at any point. Even after the second round, victory point losses are not rare, if you do not meet the demand in energy production - maybe because outwitted by clever tacticians among your fellow players or maybe due to planning mistakes, which cannot be ruled out due to the complexity of the game. With such planning mistake you can really get behind, pre-empting the outcome, but there are chances for a comeback due to the bonuses from meeting the openly displayed, always refilled government contracts, free  building of a conduit, advancing the building  wheel or re-arranging turn order based on amounts of energy produced in the previous round as well as from unlocking bonuses and, finally, due to the chief engineer advantages that are effective in the various phases of the game - low-priced building of dams, more effective water storage or minimum energy production, which is also good for the flow of the game and is a deterrent to stereotype game play. Therefore, do not run out of money if possible, keep an eye on the water flow, cooperate at some point but also put a dam under the opponent’s nose up-river to sabotage his energy production, while taking into consideration the building options of your fellow player - and most important of all - keep an eye on energy production and the advancement in victory points! Grandiose!


Wasserkraft is a highly complex game, and yet, as regards to rules, an enjoyably simple, interactive worker placement game exclusively for adult experts, who want to test themselves. The game is felicitous as regards to flair as well as regards to design and enchants us with innovative mechanisms, good balancing, well-regulated chance element as well as - thanks to individual, slightly varying starting set-ups - with a richness of variants, in-game depth, and empirical realism. Nothing falls into your lap in this game, and mistakes are very rarely forgiven. Surely one of THE genre highlights of this year!


Thomas Bareder


Players: 1-4


Time: 120+

Designer: Simone Luciani, Tommaso Battista

Artist: Antonio De Luca

Price: ca. 70 Euro

Publisher: Feuerland Spiele 2020


Genre: Worker Placement, action drafting

Users: For experts

Special: 1 player

Version: de

Rules: cn de en es fr it kr ru

In-game text: no



Exceedingly complex game

Relatively simple rules

Attractive design

Innovative mechanisms


Compares to:

All complex worker placement and development games


Other editions:

Cranio Creations (en it), Crown Games (ru), Game Harbor (cn), Intrafin (fr), Maldito (es), sternenschimmermeer (kr)


My rating: 7


Thomas Bareder:

Highly complex, challenging even for experts, featuring innovative mechanisms and attractive design - definitely one of the highlight of the year!


Chance (pink): 1

Tactic (turquoise): 3

Strategy (blue): 2

Creativity (dark blue): 0

Knowledge (yellow): 0

Memory (orange): 0

Communication (red): 1

Interaction (brown): 3

Dexterity (green): 0

Action (dark green): 0