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Subject: Puerto Rico, Settlers, or Power Grid rss

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Heres the scoop, ive recently developed an interest in strategy games and whatnot, and Id like a game that is pretty easy to teach, and has alot of replay value. Yes yes, I know get them all, right? I can only afford 1 now, so if you think there is one specifically I will have the most fun with a non-heavy-gaming group, tell me why. Please!
 
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Dustin Miller
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Settlers then Puerto Rico then Power Grid. Settlers is easy to teach and it will hook all of your friends. You may also want to consider, one of my favorites, Carcassonne. It's a blast and plays well with 2-5 players w/o expansions 2-6 w/ expansions.
 
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Charles A. Davis
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Settlers - hands down! Easy to teach and most people catch on, easier decision tree each turn, less likely that a bad play will only benefit one player, and the game is slighty different each re-play. Lots of additional games in the system for variety, if you ever get more money.

But, of course, I would buy the other two before I start buying other settler games.
 
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Were already into Carc and the Ins and cathedrals expansion. Ive heard so much about Settlers hooking people and whatnot, I just feel like I need to get beond the "opening" stage and into something more meaty.
 
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Dustin Miller
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Settlers is plenty meaty for a non-heavy-gaming group. It's not a brain burner or anything but you don't want to scare them away. Just get Settlers and have a blast. You won't regret it.
 
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I would recommend Settlers of Catan, of the three.

Puerto Rico and Power Grid are both great games, but not for non-heavy newbie gamers. Most likely they will get scared off by these two.

Others in the same lighter-for-newbies category as Settlers:

Ticket to Ride
Saint Petersburg
Through the Desert
San Juan ("Puerto Rico Lite")

 
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Through the Desert was quite a hit with them, I dont know, this will take much more research than I thought. I will sleep on it.
 
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phil v
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Although I find it incredibly simplistic, a lot of light-gamers like Settlers. Of the other two, PG is easier to learn, although fiddly for the 'banker.'

P
 
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Ed
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Personally, I got hooked on my first play of Power Grid and turned off on my first play of Puerto Rico and Settlers. But board game taste is such an individual thing, it's hard to say what your group might enjoy. Here's a crazy idea: start with the one that will be the easiest to trade if you don't like it.

USERS WANTING
Power Grid = 360
Puerto Rico = 322
Settlers = 172

And hey, that fits in perfectly with me loving Power Grid! I think I may have stumbled upon the Grand Unified Theory of Everything!

Enjoy the agonizing over which game to get, that's fun, but in the end you can't really go wrong with any of the ones on your list.
 
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Greg Gresik
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ed95005 wrote:
Personally, I got hooked on my first play of Power Grid and turned off on my first play of Puerto Rico and Settlers. But board game taste is such an individual thing, it's hard to say what your group might enjoy. Here's a crazy idea: start with the one that will be the easiest to trade if you don't like it.

USERS WANTING
Power Grid = 360
Puerto Rico = 322
Settlers = 172

And hey, that fits in perfectly with me loving Power Grid! I think I may have stumbled upon the Grand Unified Theory of Everything!

Enjoy the agonizing over which game to get, that's fun, but in the end you can't really go wrong with any of the ones on your list.


Fair enough point, but part of the reason so few want Settler's is that 6500+ already own it (as opposed to 5600 for PR and 2300 for Power Grid). My point is, while I see the point that "User's Wanting" may be helpful for trading purpouses, I wouldn't (as some have tried to - though not in this post) use it as an indicator of game quality.

For me Settler's > PR. I've played PR several times and just don't find it as fun a play as Settler's (and 5 player PR should be banned - BLECH!) Lately we've played a lot of Seafarer's (one of the Settler's expansions) and like it even more.

I have not played Power Grid so can't comment on that one.
 
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Steve McIlhatton
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I've got all 3 and I would have to say that Settlers would be the one I would recommend getting first.

A lot of the people who don't rate Settlers do so simply because they burnt out on it.

Others dislike how a series of bad rolls can really screw someone over. To me that's part of the fun...

I also think Settlers works better than the others with people of varied skill level. The luck factor can help even things out a bit but mainly it's the fact that with Settles you can generally tell who is doing well and then actively work against them (by not trading with them and by cutting them off etc). With PR having a skill imbalance can really throw the game.
 
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T. Rosen
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Jeff, You should definitely go with Settlers of Catan first, and then after a while try out the others. Settlers is easy to learn and teach, and has very high replayability due to the modular board. It's also a very social game because of all the negotiating, so it'll get your group talking, whereas the other two might lead to more silent, thoughtful gameplay. It's hard to know for sure what you'll like, but odds are that Settlers will go over very well.

meeple
 
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Matthew M
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If you don't go into too much detail of the processes involved in the beauracracy phase I've actually found PowerGrid to be as easy to teach, if not easier, than Settlers. Granted, it is harder to play Power Grid well than it is to play Settlers well, but as far as getting started is concerned I don't think there's any need to feel skiddish about introducing Power Grid. The game runs pretty intuitively - so much so that I was able to teach it to my housemate's 55 year old non-gaming mother with little difficulty.

All that said, Settlers is definitely first. And I'd introduce PR last.

-MMM
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Hi there!

I tend to say go first with settlers, however, on second thoughts I say:

Go for POWERGRID

It has IMHO the best of everything:

Auction
Resources Management
Planning
No dice

There is also a easy mode if you play it only to phase one, which is alreaedy exciting.

When I played Settlers, I thought it was very individual and very limited, almost dull. Hardly player interaction and very much luck driven.

Am I too much of an advanced gamer compared to your group?! I am not sure
but listen to the following:

There is a quick version of Powergrid, which is nice to start with and to introdce: just play it through to the 1st phase. After that, you can play it again.

I am sure the next time players are asking to play it again and take it to the next level!

MY CHOICE. POWERGRID!

Later you can go for Puerto Rico but I would pass on settlers.
 
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Tom Key
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Settlersm then PR, then PG.

Paco got it right on everything he said - agree totally. And yep, the reason no-one wants settlers in trade is coz everyone owns it and its been around for 7 or 8 years longer than the rest...
 
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Kasey Relford
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JeremiahClayton wrote:

Power Grid has more people who want the game because it's more expenisve to purchase which results in a higher desire to trade for the game. The Settlers Of Catan is owned by more people than Puerto Rico because the game has been for sale since last century.

Puerto Rico.. in my opinion.. is the superior game.. but since the poster doesn't want anything too heavy.. The Settlers Of Catan is the easy choice.. because compared to the other two games.. it's mindless.


yuk PG basher. angry

With regards to the original point of this post, I *DO* agree...Settlers first, but I think Power Grid BEFORE Puerto Rico after Settlers.

I would not agree that Power Gird is the most "fiddly" of the other two. I love both games, and I personally think that PR, though more compact, has slightly more options to pay attention to during each turn.

With Power Grid, each turn is a "community" move: nearly every player is going to benefit in the same way each time around, and perform basically the same actions, in the same order [phase, not player order]. Also, less bits to keep your eyes on.

Start with Settlers. If your group finishes the second or third game with "This game rules!", THEN move onto Power Grid. If they seem bored, I'd go straight to Puerto Rico for a bit more strategic complexity.

K
 
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CHAPEL
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Settlers should be the first game in every budding euro gamers shelf. Go for settlers.
 
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Todd Jarvis
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If you included Settlers simply because it is the more main stream of the 3 and you are really looking for a reason not to buy it, well here it is.
I own all three and my wife and I are the only gamers on both sides of our decently sized families. This last weekend we were down at her parents and I brought along Power Grid, Bohnanza, and Ticket to Ride Europe. My wife had been talking up PG to her dad, since he's an electical engineer we were hoping that the theme would at least get him to try the game.
Well Saturday night came and we got the boys to sleep, so I pulled out the PG. They were excited to try it as they saw all of the cool bits being setup. My father-in-law mentioned that he was going to go to bed at 9:30 since he had a 6:00am meeting at the church the next morning, so I was thinking that we had better get started--it was 8:45pm.
In short they LOVED the game (their gaming experience to this point was monopoly, farming game, and party games). At 10:15 my mother-in-law mentioned to here husband that he was late going to bed. He said that there was no way he was going to go to bed until the game was over. Since they were new to the game and we were watching the olympics on the side, the game lasted 4hrs (not that typical) and they loved every minute of it. My wife won and my father-in-law came in second--I lost, having started in LA thinking to give myself a handicap (well it shut me down). We played Ticket to Ride Europe since we were starting even later than the night before and they liked it, but they would have rather played PG by far.
The moral to the story, if it sounds good to you, buy it!
Power Grid is my recomendation, PR is so different than any other game, that PG is probably better for reeling an already hooked group.
Either way, I hope you have a lot of fun with which ever you buy!
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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Harae wrote:

Go for POWERGRID

It has IMHO the best of everything:

Auction
Resources Management
Planning
No dice

There is also a easy mode if you play it only to phase one, which is alreaedy exciting.

When I played Settlers, I thought it was very individual and very limited, almost dull. Hardly player interaction and very much luck driven.

Am I too much of an advanced gamer compared to your group?! I am not sure
but listen to the following:

There is a quick version of Powergrid, which is nice to start with and to introdce: just play it through to the 1st phase. After that, you can play it again.

I am sure the next time players are asking to play it again and take it to the next level!

MY CHOICE. POWERGRID!

Later you can go for Puerto Rico but I would pass on settlers.


I agree with this 100%. I've played a lot of Catan (1,000's of games). I played PR a few times and traded it off, not a hit with me or my game group. PR is a dull dry game, not fun at all - I have no idea why this game is so popular. PR is also a pain to set up and pick up. My group introduces new players to PG all the time. Usually the first choice (if not Santiago or Citadels). Never Catan as we want to take dice out of the gameplay with newbies who often are surprised when the see a boardgame without dice. PG is also the nicest board and bits of the three. Very pretty to look at.

Expansions / scale? Catan: I've played cities and nights also the 5-6 player expansion. Neither improved the game, simply made it longer. I like it best with 3 players and the base game. PG playes well 3-6 and ok with 2. With adition of maps like France and Italy the game play is different enough to give the game some staying power and replayability beyond Catan.
 
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Wow, thanks for all the advice everyone !
 
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Mike Evans
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Ignoring your criteria for the moment, the game, of these choices, that I get excited to see hit the table is Puerto Rico. I think it was the second Euro that I ever played.

Power Grid starts out fun, but gets too long for the amount of enjoyment I get out of it. It eventually devolves into a math problem, a turn off for me.

I missed out on Settlers as I joined an already established gaming group, burned out on Settlers. The first time I'd played it I had already been gaming for a year or so. From that perspective, it doesn't have that sense of nostalgia for me. It feels more like an exercise than a game, especially the endgame. There are other gateway games out there now, that do more for me.

All that said Puerto Rico is probably too heavy to be used as an introductory game. In short, the heavy doesn't fit the easy to teach requirement, but is the only one of these that I consider having a lot of replay value.
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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PR - not fun, very dry, pain to set up, feels like the game plays you. Way overrated and not a gateway game. I tried pulling this out with some newbies that had played Catan, MagicTG, Citadels and Bang! - we did not even get past the rules. They already figured out that it would not be fun.

Catan - Has a deserved reputation, but better games have come since. I am sure people will be playing it years from now, just like Ticket to Ride and Monopoly. Ulitmately it is a random dicefest and not a gamer's game.

PG - Prettiest to look at, easy to teach, scales the best, deepest game of the three but not heavy. Makes a great gateway.
 
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Kevin McF
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I am pretty new to the geek and real board games. While I have not played Power Grid I would definitely say NOT Puerto Rico. It does not meet your requirements. It isn't the easiest to teach and takes forever. If you're trying to introduce people I would play a game that you mentioned- easy to teach and still has some meat to it. My first experience with Puerto Rico was okay. I enjoyed it but was not hooked (not that I was hooked my first play of Settlers either, but a little I was more anxious to play another game).
 
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Jorge Montero
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As a gateway, I'd pick neither. Get For Sale, Tutankhamon, Basari, Ra, Modern Art, Bohnanza, Ingenious, Santiago ... there are dozens of good games that I'd rather use as gateway games than those three.

Power Grid is just too heavy to be a gateway game.

Settlers IMO is aging badly: One or two players will be out of contention by the third round of dice rolling. One might not even last the settlement deployment. I find this kind of player elimination worse than the real thing: You're stuck playing kingmaker.

Puerto Rico with 4-5 newbies is a 2-3 hour affair that is decided by the mistakes and lack of understanding of the game of others. I find playing this one to be an exercise in frustration.

 
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Nick Avtges
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Screw the budget! Buy all three! laugh

I'd personally recommend Power Grid. Despite what some say, it's a good gateway game as long as you don't cloud the first play with the fiddly details. Just take care of the bureaucracy phase yourself, they'll get the main mechanics down and have a blast playing the game. I really like Power Grid alot because it does mesh a lot of typically euro mechanics (auction, connections, resource management) in a very satisfying way.

Of course, it's hard to deny Settler's. While there is certainly some backlash from gamers around here who have played it to death, it's still a great game for newbies.

Puerto Rico, while fantastic and one of my favorites, is without a doubt lowest on the buy list for you. While not terribly complicated to teach, there is a bit of a learning curve to the play...sometimes frustratingly so. But once you've played Settler's and Power Grid, your group will be ready.

 
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