A return to a beloved classic. Puerto Rico was the game that brought me to BGG. I read a bunch of the strategy articles and encouraged the rest of my group to do so as well. I recall winning a game with much abuse of the Factory and Harbor and then people didn't want to play it so much.
However, it does still get the occasional outing. The time required is part of the barrier, but this year we have moved away from our lunch time sessions and into evening ones, so the 90 minute games are back on the table - in both senses of that phrase.
As it had been a considerable while since we last played this, a full refresher was needed. Tom got a (large) Indigo Plant right away, while Kristi and Rick (in the corn spots) both got Small Markets. I got a Small indigo Plant, then a Small Warehouse, with my eye on a Coffee Roaster as I was the only one with that plantation. Kristi got tobacco and the first trade which enabled her to get the Tobacco Storage she needed. Rick was playing the diversified game, with his first 5 plantations 1 of each type, he got sugar first though. My indigo got me the cash for the coffee roaster and that in turn got me the Factory, and so my game was set, with 3 goods (with corn) then 4 with sugar. I got the Harbor and Wharf later on, fueling my late run on delivery VPs. Rick had made the early running there, with Tom often blocked out as he hadn't acquired a warehouse, that was costly. Both he and Kristi had the Construction Hut though and his Hacienda as well meant he filled his plantation and had 4 quarries by the end (Kristi had 3), so Tom bought the first and last big building (Residence and Guild Hall), though Kristi did best with her City Hall. I had delayed getting my big building, which meant I was left with Fortress, while Rick's early VP chips meant he was keen on the Customs House - though he later saw it wasn't getting him as many points as he thought as his deliveries slowed in late game competition. He did achieve his 5 good Factory though. Game end triggered by the last of the colonists on the ship and it was close - despite me getting the 3 prime buildings (Kristi acquired her own wharf late on too) I won by a single point. To be honest, I had not realized Kristi was so close behind and had an opportunity to deny her boat space at the end, but I didn't analyze the situation too much, I was already late to meet my wife. Still, that was the only mistake I can clearly see I made - other than providing helpful advice to my opponents.
Me: 23 + 22VP + 5(Fortress) = 50
Tom: 19 + 14VP + 6+6(Guild Hall/Residence) = 45
Kristi: 20 + 22VP + 7(City Hall) = 49
Rick: 19 + 19VP + 4(Custom Hse) = 42
As my 'first love' on BGG, Puerto Rico was my first 10, but I do feel like I don't love it as much as I used to. It has been somewhat eclipsed by Race for the Galaxy, which has greater variety while providing a similar feel of building something. And of course, I have played a lot more games since. Is it inevitable that our love fades?