An electrical grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high-voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers.
Power stations may be located near a fuel source, at a dam site, or to take advantage of renewable energy sources, and are often located away from heavily populated areas. They are usually quite large to take advantage of the economies of scale. The electric power which is generated is stepped up to a higher voltage at which it connects to the electric power transmission network.
The bulk power transmission network will move the power long distances, sometimes across international boundaries, until it reaches its wholesale customer (usually the company that owns the local electric power distribution network).
On arrival at a substation, the power will be stepped down from a transmission level voltage to a distribution level voltage. As it exits the substation, it enters the distribution wiring. Finally, upon arrival at the service location, the power is stepped down again from the distribution voltage to the required service voltage(s).
In the game, each player represents a company that owns power plants and tries to supply electricity to cities. Over the course of the game, the players will bid on power plants and buy resources to produce electricity to provide power to the growing number of cities in their expanding network.
The game comes with a double-sided board with a map of the United States of America on one side and Germany on the other. Each map consists of six regions featuring cities with connections of varying costs between them. The number of regions used is based on the number of players. Map design itself is a key feature in the strategy of game play as some areas of the map feature generally higher connection costs compared to other areas of the map.
The game is played in rounds, with each round consisting of 5 phases: