Spark strike (game)

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Italy map
Italy map
Game data
author Friedemann Friese
graphic Maura Kalusky
publishing company 2F Games ,
Rio Grande Games ,
etc. a.
Publishing year 2001, 2004
Art Board game
Teammates 2 to 6
Duration 2 hours
Age from 12 years (originally from 14)


Gamers Choice Awards 2002: Multiplayer Nominees
International Gamers Award 2004: Multiplayer Nominees
Game of the Year 2005: Recommended
List Gra Roku 2007 (Game of the Year in Poland)
Dutch Game Award 2010: Winner

Funkenschlag is a board game by Friedemann Friese , published by Frieses Verlag 2F-Spiele. The current edition (2004) is a complex business simulation for two to six players, ages twelve and up, with a playing time of around two hours with four players. The first edition from 2001 was a little more complex, more difficult to handle (network of lines with washable pens on a generic game board) and lasted longer (about three hours with four players).

In 2005, Funkenschlag was on the list of recommendations for the “ Game of the Year ” critics' award . In October 2009 it was one of the four board games played at the European Board Game Championship .

Theme and equipment

Each player runs an energy company . The aim of the game is to supply a certain number of cities with electricity as quickly as possible . To this end, power plants are operated and fuel is purchased. All promotions cost money and competition among each other drives up prices . The energy sources available are coal , oil , uranium , garbage , wind power and a fusion power plant .

The game board shows a map of Germany on one side and a map of the USA with cities and the connecting routes for high-voltage lines on the other .

Wooden houses used in Funkenschlag

Wooden houses in the colors of the players mark the cities connected to the grid, the energy sources are also represented by wooden figures. The power plants are symbolized by square cards, the currency in the Funkenschlag world is called Elektro.

Game flow

Each round has five phases:

Determination of the order

For the game principle it is crucial that no player achieves too great a lead, therefore the leading players are disadvantaged in the course of the game. This is done in an order from best to worst: the best is the player with the most connected cities, and in the event of a tie, the one who has the power plant with the highest number is better.

Acquisition of power plants

In this phase, the winner selects a power plant from the current offer and then submits a bid that must be at least the number of the power plant in Elektro. The other players can make a higher bid clockwise or pass (= exit the auction for this power plant). The highest bidder purchases the power plant at this price and is no longer allowed to bid in this phase. Then the best-placed remaining person chooses a power plant - etc. If you have the right to vote and do not want to bid for any of the available power plants, you are eliminated from the entire phase, so you cannot acquire a power plant in this round. The player placed last can wait the longest before making his purchase and has the advantage that he has the chance of a better (larger or more effective) power plant at a minimal price, since after each auctioned power plant a new one comes from the stack into the display - and thus often a better one in the current offer. The order of the power plants in the deck of cards is the only random element of the game besides the drawing of the order for the very first power plant phase.

Purchase of fuels

The last placed player begins here; this gives him the advantage of being able to buy the cheapest fuels. The others buy more expensive. Each power plant can store a maximum of twice its fuel consumption, so that not only the price but also the storage capacity limits the possibilities.

Expansion of the network

And the players have to invest again: this time in the high-voltage lines between the cities and the connection of the cities themselves. In the first "stage" of the game, each city can only be supplied by one player, in the second (after reaching a certain number of cities by one Player), a second connection is possible, and towards the end of the game, after a “Level 3” card has been revealed, a third player can connect the same city. In this phase, too, the last-placed player always starts, which is another advantage for him.

Scoring (in the game: "Bureaucracy")

At the end of each game round, the players decide which of their power plants they want to operate using the fuels in the warehouse, and thus how many of their connected cities they will supply with electricity. According to this number, the players receive income that they need for the actions of the following rounds. Even if 0 cities are supplied, there is already a basic income (perhaps to be understood as a state subsidy), so that no player is completely eliminated from the game for lack of money.


The game ends when a player has connected the minimum number of cities (depending on the number of players). The round is played to the end. Whoever can actually supply most cities with electricity wins; in the event of a tie, the money decides.

Target audience and evaluation

Funkenschlag is an elaborate board game for enthusiastic game fans. However, getting started is not very difficult, as the same processes in the five phases are quickly understood. The medium complexity as well as the clear and balanced set of rules have given the game a loyal fan base. In particular, the handicap scheme works extremely well because it

  • makes it more difficult for the leading players in phase 2 to bid for a better power plant,
  • lets the previous players buy the cheaper raw materials in phase 3 and
  • the previous players in phase 4 are given preference when connecting the cities.

In comparable business games there is often the problem that a player who was able to gain a small advantage through luck or skill in the initial phase can limit himself to managing and increasing this advantage for the rest of the game, so that it is practical automatically wins. Funkenschlag has an effective mechanism that slows down the leader.

The game requires keeping several key elements in mind:

  • The power plants are cheap to start with but not very efficient (i.e. they consume many resources and supply few cities). The efficiency of power plants is getting higher and higher, but so is their price. When making a selection, in addition to price and efficiency, the availability of raw materials must also be considered - if all other players already have many oil-fired power plants in operation, buying the next oil-fired power plant may not be the best idea, even if it is cheap and efficient (For players lying behind, it can be an effective but also dangerous tactic to put a power plant into operation that consumes a scarce resource - this puts the other players under pressure).
  • When setting up the supply network, the number of players who can connect a city is limited. In addition, second or third connections are more expensive than first connections. That is why it can be important in certain situations to strategically connect cities, even if this does not immediately generate additional revenues, the money may not be available for other investments and the position in the turn order deteriorates. Another important aspect is the above-mentioned level change - it may be important to force or delay this and to be in a favorable position when entering, i.e. to be the first to be able to connect new cities and have money available for this .
  • Your own position in the train sequence must generally be taken into account, especially when expanding the network.

Extensions and license issues

Friedemann Friese at the international match days in Essen 2017

At the end of 2005 an expansion set was released with an additional game board and rules modified for it. On the one hand, there is a plan from France (this is where nuclear energy comes into play earlier and uranium is cheaper, but green and waste power plants are less attractive) and Italy (with more waste, but less oil and coal).

There was also a new board for Funkenschlag for the 2006 game . Topics are the Benelux countries and Central Europe. Benelux is characterized by rapid technical progress and cheap oil; this reduces the playing time. In Central Europe there are countries in which no nuclear power plants are used, and there are also subsidies for waste incineration through the City of Vienna .

For the 2007 game , an expansion set with new power plants was released, which enables an extended version of the game.

At the end of 2007, a version of the complete game sponsored by EnBW appeared with a map of Baden-Württemberg in which there are “external” cities that can only be connected at level 2. On the back there is again a map of Germany, which is slightly modified compared to the standard game.

In 2008 another alternative game plan appeared with China (planned economy, the power plant cards are almost completely sorted) and Korea (separate markets in the north and south). At Spiel 2008 there was also an additional power plant card, “Flux Generator”, an additional hybrid power plant.

For the 2009 game , a fifth expansion was released with an additional game plan “Spain / Portugal” and “Brazil” with a changed range of raw materials and a collection box for the additional game plans that could no longer be found in the original box. As a bonus, there was another additional card, "substation", which is auctioned separately, is assigned to a power plant and permanently increases the capacity of this power plant by one city.

In 2010, another new program with “Russia” and “Japan” appeared on the same occasion. In the former, the power plant market is limited, in Japan the topography divides the country into two parts, between which connections are only possible at certain points. Again as a bonus there was an additional card “raw material store” as well as two cards which, when drawn, slightly modify the raw material supply by adding or removing raw materials.

A master copy for a storage power plant has been published in the magazine “SpielBox”. It should be available twice per player and can be purchased for 10 Elektro at any time. If you produce electricity for more cities in one round than you have in your network, you can use it to pump water into a reservoir, from where it can generate electricity for an additional city in the next round via turbines. After that, the memory can be recharged in a later round.

In 2011 an expansion "Robots" was released to give the game of two players more appeal by adding a player with "artificial intelligence".

A new plan with “UK & Ireland” (separate markets) and “Northern Europe” (changed energy supply with new power station cards) appeared again for the 2012 game. Ireland, Norway and Denmark are nuclear-free. In addition, there was a “Industrial Espionage” promo card, through which a player can view the hidden power plant stack.

In 2013 another plan appeared with “Australia”, which also has separate networks and exports uranium instead of converting it into power plants, as well as “Indian subcontinent”, on which raw materials are scarce and rapid expansion is problematic. A new “Tax Collector” promo card gives players a one-time fee of 20% on their cash assets. For the 2015 game, the expansion "Die Aktiengesellschaft" appeared, in which the players try to gain control of various public companies as shareholders in order to amass the greatest personal wealth. There are a total of three game variants for this expansion, which is based on the module 9 “Shares” from the 2015 independently published game 504, also by Friese.

In 2017, Funkenschlag: Fabel-Extension, a legacy extension of the game, was released in which the general conditions for the subsequent games change due to the games played. Another program for South Africa and the Middle East appeared in 2019 .

There are licensed editions in English, Czech, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Dutch. There is also a multilingual Finnish license edition (Scandinavian and Baltic languages). In addition to the Greek instructions, the Greek license version also contains instructions in Hebrew.

Spark strike deluxe

For Spiel 2014, the tenth anniversary of the current Funkenschlag issue, a revised new edition will be published under the name “Funkenschlag deluxe” with new graphics by Harald Lieske and new game material. The game contains two maps, "Europe" and "North America". In Europe, the power plant market starts in stage 1 with 9 instead of 8 power plants, in North America the first bid for the cheapest power plant is reduced to 1. The power station cards as well as the raw materials (coal, gas, oil, uranium) have been changed, and there is a new rule for 2 people, according to which you play against an imaginary third player, the “corporation”.

Funkenschlag: The card game

In 2016, a card game implementation by Funkenschlag was published under the title Funkenschlag: Das Kartenspiel , whereby the game plans were dispensed with and the entire game is played with power plant cards, raw material cards and other cards.

Funkenschlag Recharged

In 2019, a revised new edition of the classic Funkenschlag was released under the title Funkenschlag Recharged with graphics by Maura Kalusky, which were improved in small details. The 2-person rule against the group, the reduction of the first bid to 1 and the new wood material were taken over from Funkenschlag deluxe. The little-known town of Torgelow on the Germany map has been replaced by Stralsund .

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