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Puerto Rico» Forums » Strategy

Subject: First Turns rss

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Wes Gray
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Hi, I'm kind of new to the game and was wondering...is there any way to stop from getting screwed the first few turns if you don't start with corn?
I almost always play with 3 people, and the person that starts with corn always seems to get off to a great start. Can I ask for a few strategies on how to counter that? Thanks!
 
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David Debien
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My typical openning moves with Indigo will be:

Settler -> Quarry
Corn player will have to play mayor to get someone on the corn. Let them and activate your quarry.
Builder to get the small market if still available.
Grab trader/captain before a corn player can play craftsman

Important:
Get Quarries and play builder. Take captain/trader before they get goods and once they have coins on them.

Grab the small market before the indigo plantation.

Let the corn players grab mayor/craftsman and deny them the trader/captain plays if at all possible.

Once you have the quarry and market going, you can be the first to tobacco/coffee. Don't worry too much about an Indigo building, it will happen eventually when someone else plays builder and you can grab it for free using your quarry.
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Dave Green
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It is generally accepted that the first Corn player has a slight advantage in any given game due to a combination of easy goods production and early turn order. The good news is that Corn 1's advantage is very slight, and other factors like player skill and plantation draws balance it out.

The only way to counter that is for the Indigo players to be equipped with the knowledge that Corn 1 has a head start, and to block him when given the opportunity. This doesn't mean that Indigo players should deliberately conspire against Corn, rather the optimal strategy for Indigo revolves around moves that have a side effect of blocking Corn.

As Dave said, Indigo players should focus on getting a coin advantage through high-value trades and neutralizing opponents' shipping VP.
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M M
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First 3 turns should be optimally played:

Turn 1
Player 1 (Indigo): Take Settler -> Choose Quarry
* Player 2's best options after Settler go: Corn, Sugar, Coffee, Tobacco, Indigo in that order
Player 2 (Indigo): Take Builder -> Choose Hacienda
* Choosing Hacienda is also strongest IMO for the other 2 players.
Player 3 (Corn): Take Mayor
* Player 2 should man the Hacienda.

Turn 2
Player 2: Choose Trader. Take the dubloon. This prevents the corn player from selling his corn and extending his advantage.
Player 3: Choose Craftsman. Make a corn.
Player 1: Choose Captain. Ship away Player 3's corn.

Turn 3
Player 3: Choose Settler. Take a quarry.
Player 1: Choose Builder.
Player 2: Choose Mayor.


Ignore the Small/Large Markets as they're a waste of time. Get quarries when they're available and not disadvatanged to leaving dubloons for the other players. Prevent early sales to keep the other players from jumping ahead of you with money by choosing Trader when nobody has anything to sell and shipping away their goods when they produce. Don't undervalue Sugar as it only costs 1 more dubloon than Indigo for the production building, sells for that same 1 dubloon more, and you're more likely to be the only person selling it than Indigo.

Build up to 2 or better 3 Quarries and then build Factory. Keep shipping away people's goods as you get money when things get produced. Next build Harbor. After that, whatever makes sense.
 
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Stefan W.
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Here's a very comprehensive article on this opening issue:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/14480/puerto-rico-openin...
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Wes Gray
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kn1tt0r wrote:
Here's a very comprehensive article on this opening issue:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/14480/puerto-rico-openin...
Thanks that's a great thread.
And TY to everyone else for their responses, I appreciate it.
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Duncan P
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Mat628 wrote:
First 3 turns should be optimally played:

Turn 1
Player 1 (Indigo): Take Settler -> Choose Quarry
* Player 2's best options after Settler go: Corn, Sugar, Coffee, Tobacco, Indigo in that order
Player 2 (Indigo): Take Builder -> Choose Hacienda
* Choosing Hacienda is also strongest IMO for the other 2 players.
Player 3 (Corn): Take Mayor
* Player 2 should man the Hacienda.

Turn 2
Player 2: Choose Trader. Take the dubloon. This prevents the corn player from selling his corn and extending his advantage.
Player 3: Choose Craftsman. Make a corn.
Player 1: Choose Captain. Ship away Player 3's corn.

Turn 3
Player 3: Choose Settler. Take a quarry.
Player 1: Choose Builder.
Player 2: Choose Mayor.

Ignore the Small/Large Markets as they're a waste of time.
In round 2 player 2 might be better off picking settler and taking a quarry plus a random plantation to maximise the benefit of their hospice. It doesn't matter if there is a doubloon on the trader as long as player 1 forces player 3 to ship their two barrels of corn. If player 3 crafts as governor, player 1 can select trader with 2 bonus doubloons and it negates player 3's advantage. Edit: I see, player 3 could just select trader for the 2 doubloons.

The critical thing is that if player three invests all their cash in tobacco storage that player 2 avoids craftsman and player 1 and 2 conspire to make a tobacco ship should player 3 ever craft. It's important that both sugar and indigo are not being produced or you could end up with corn, sugar and indigo shipping and a very happy player three.

The small market is a good return on investment and should be a round 1 staple for a corn player. The large market is usually not worth the cost but can see some specialised use if you emphasise (or get stuck with) sugar or indigo and you really need to close the gap with players trading high volumes of tobacco or coffee.
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