Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Puerto Rico» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 5-player with 2 newbies having Wharf/Harbor handicap rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
C.K. Au
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PUERTO RICO
The usual gamesters arrived sharp 8pm and since we already have 5 gamesters - Alan, Lai Wah, Wai Keen, Kah Yee and Jeff - we decided to start off with a favorite of everyone, Puerto Rico. Both Kah Yee and Wai Keen have not played this before so some game briefing was conducted by Jeff.

Once that's over, we drew for starting position; Lai Wah, Jeff, Alan/Jamie, Kah Yee and Wai Keen. Just nice that the two new gamesters got corn. As usual, we played with our handicap system where the three experienced gamesters (Jeff, Lai Wah and Alan/Jamie) were not allow to take Harbor or Wharf to avoid a fast end to the game.

Lai Wah started with Settlers and she picked a quarry. Jeff took tobacco, Jamie coffee, Kah Yee sugar and Wai Keen another corn. Obviously the three experienced players - Jamie (replacing Alan), Lai Wah and Jeff - had to go for a building strategy or a building/shipping strategy with strong emphasis on building since they do not have access to the harbor or wharf.

Jeff took Builder role and immediately bought a tobacco storage to build an early tobacco monopoly, forgoing his indigo plantation. Jamie skipped, certainly with the objective of saving up to get her coffee roaster. Kah Yee bought a large sugar mill and this signified her intention to dominate in the sugar market. Wai Keen - since he has corn plantations only - opted for the small market. Lai Wah took a small indigo plant.

Kah Yee took the early Craftsman and produced some corn together with Wai Keen. No Mayor role taken yet so the rest did not have workers manning the plantations and plants. Wai Keen and Kah Yee then shipped their corns for a few early victory points. First blood to the new members!

The 1st trade was made by Jeff who already had a small market too, bringing him a good 5 doubloons for a tobacco. Lai Wah and Kah Yee also managed to sell some indigo and sugar respectively.


LAI WAH, the sugar and plantation queen. Lai Wah started with indigo but found the profits slow-coming and switched quickly to sugar. Even though she's competing with Kah Yee on the sugar business, there's enough demand for sugar such that both made reasonable good profits from their sugar business.

Having an Office in San Juan certainly helped since it allowed her to trade her sugar even if Kah Yee has sold hers. The Office helped her to grow her sugar business into the largest in San Juan.

She also saw great potential for plantation ownership in San Juan and beside her vast sugar mills, she has indigo and corn plantations and was about to embark on her coffee plantation. She did not bother to get into tobacco as she saw that as an overcrowded market. Her large number of plantations gave her reason to open the only Hospice in San Juan.

Lately, she was working on the blueprint to build the first University of Puerto Rico. With her wealth, she offered to build a Fortress to ensure the security of all plantation owners in Puerto Rico.


JEFF, the building magnate. Having secured the early lucrative tobacco monopoly, Jeff was building his town quite rapidly and even had the cashflow to diversify into indigo with the purchase of a large indigo plant and setting up some indigo plantations.

Soon there were opportunities for Jeff to be involved in the corn market and so corn became his third business. He even managed to build his corn plantation large enough to challenge the pioneering corn king (Wai Keen). Since he's now producing three types of goods, a Factory looked like the next building to maximize his returns.

The indigo and corn productions helped Jeff spread out his business yield since Kah Yee and Wai Keen have also started their own tobacco business to compete with Jeff, and doing not badly too. With the acquisition of a large market to his existing small market, and the presence of a well-run Factory, Jeff has built a strong financial base for his business and no longer depends on tobacco trading for his business cashflow.

Jeff built two large buildings to house the City Hall and Customs House for the government of Puerto Rico.


JAMIE, the coffee queen. Jamie on the other hand got her coffee roaster early and after a few rounds of coffee trading were doing pretty well financially since she had a good monopoly on the coffee market. Her trading profits from coffee allowed her to branch into indigo processing and she eventually owned the largest indigo manufacturing output in San Juan - one small and one large indigo plant.

She did diversify into sugar mills later but did not have much time to reap profits there as the game ended soon after. Like Jeff, Jamie also contributed two large buildings for the government to house their staff Residence and a Guild Hall to serve as the cultural centre of San Juan.


KAH YEE, the tobacco tycoon. Kah Yee started with corn like all new plantation owners in Puerto Rico. But unlike others (eg Wai Keen) she quickly cross-over her business to producing sugar since she anticipated a high demand for this commodity back home in Spain. With a thriving sugar business, she can then afford to move into the lucrative tobacco business which has been dominated by Jeff all this while.

In fact, at the end she did even better than Jeff in the tobacco business by having three tobacco storage houses compared to Jeff's one. She has diversified the most among all the current Puerto Rico tycoons by also venturing into coffee roasting (she now produces four goods). She then built a factory to maximize all her productions.


WAI KEEN, the shipping king. Wai Keen like Kah Yee also started with corns but unlike Kah Yee, he saw his future with corns (meaning he's going for the shipping strategy). He aggressively built up his corn plantations and soon were having a very prosperous and regular corn shipment which earned him many victory points. However too much shipping meant he's not cash-rich and thus that impeded him slightly in the development of his township.

With limited cashflow, he also did not manage to get a proper warehouse and in a few incidents, he has to throw away a good amount of wasted goods which were not shipped back to Spain on-time. That incident forced him to change his business direction and seeing Kah Yee doing quite well on tobacco farming, he soon started a tobacco business of his own.

While he did not achieve as much profits from his tobacco business as Kah Yee, he did make enough money to afford his own large warehouse and wharf (private ship). He can now produce corns in large quantities and ship them at his own leisure. No more wasted goods to throw away now.


Final Scores

Lai Wah - VP 23, Building VP 19, Bonus VP 8. Total: 50 (3rd)
Jeff Au - VP 26, Building VP 25, Bonus VP 14. Total: 65 (1st)
Jamie/Alan - VP 26, Building VP 18, Bonus VP 13. Total: 57 (2nd)
Kah Yee - VP 28, Building VP 21, Bonus VP 0. Total: 49 (5th, 1 doubloon)
Wai Keen - VP 31, Building VP 18, Bonus VP 0. Total: 49 (4th, 4 doubloons)

-----------------------------------------------------------
Click here for the full gaming report with photos
http://boardgamecafe.net/community/blogs/boardgamecafe_net/a...

For boardgaming activities in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, check out www.boardgamecafe.net
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Nielsen
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Quote:
The usual gamesters arrived sharp 8pm and since we already have 5 gamesters - Alan, Lai Wah, Wai Keen, Kah Yee and Jeff - we decided to start off with a favorite of everyone, Puerto Rico. Both Kah Yee and Wai Keen have not played this before so some game briefing was conducted by Jeff.


That made me think of an interesting handicap...the experienced players *must* buy the University at their first legal opportunity. If they want a harbor/wharf/endgame building after that, they can.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not sure your handicap is as fair to the newbies as it sounds. First off, I fail to see how it avoids a quick game end. Secondly, in my experience, a 5 player game lends itself more to a building strategy, while a 3 player game lends itself to a shipping strategy.

In other words, it's easier to do well via building in 5 player than it is in 3 player, and it's easier to do well via shipping in 3 player than it is in 5 player.

So by handicapping yourself into using a building strategy in a 5 player game, well... one might argue that would happen anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C.K. Au
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
I'm not sure your handicap is as fair to the newbies as it sounds. First off, I fail to see how it avoids a quick game end. Secondly, in my experience, a 5 player game lends itself more to a building strategy, while a 3 player game lends itself to a shipping strategy.

In other words, it's easier to do well via building in 5 player than it is in 3 player, and it's easier to do well via shipping in 3 player than it is in 5 player.

So by handicapping yourself into using a building strategy in a 5 player game, well... one might argue that would happen anyway.


Not true.

Yes if all five players have played PR then I agree building strategy is as good as shipping but when you have two or three players who have played before and the rest are playing for the 1st time, the harbor/wharf combo will burn them.

All the two experienced players need to do is to save money to get the harbor. Once done, one craft the other ship. Occasionally they trade. When there's enuff money, get the wharf.

Game will end by depletion of shipping VPs. The other three won't be able to build fast enuff to counter this.

The only way to counter this if they can see this coming but they are newbies yeah?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jack208 wrote:
Yes if all five players have played PR then I agree building strategy is as good as shipping but when you have two or three players who have played before and the rest are playing for the 1st time, the harbor/wharf combo will burn them.

All the two experienced players need to do is to save money to get the harbor. Once done, one craft the other ship. Occasionally they trade. When there's enuff money, get the wharf.

Game will end by depletion of shipping VPs. The other three won't be able to build fast enuff to counter this.

The only way to counter this if they can see this coming but they are newbies yeah?

You could just as easily say that all the experienced players need to do is gain lots of income (easy because newbies don't realize the subtleties of denying money, etc), and build lots of buildings. The game could end quickly due to multiple big buildings going to the same person, and there's no way the newbies could keep up.

So not only is a 5 player game more condusive to building, but playing against newbies is also more condusive to building because it's easier to get money. Again, not allowing the experienced players to buy the Wharf or Harbor is not all that big a handicap. Maybe if you disallowed experienced players to purchase a Big building it would be a better handicap. Or forbid them to produce Tobacco (which would just encourage shipping)...

Instead of handicapping the experienced players, why not just help the newbies think through their moves for the first few turns?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C.K. Au
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sedjtroll wrote:
The game could end quickly due to multiple big buildings going to the same person, and there's no way the newbies could keep up.

So not only is a 5 player game more condusive to building, but playing against newbies is also more condusive to building because it's easier to get money. Again, not allowing the experienced players to buy the Wharf or Harbor is not all that big a handicap. Maybe if you disallowed experienced players to purchase a Big building it would be a better handicap.


Yes I think this is a good idea too. not necessarily prevent from buying a Large Building but perhaps they can only buy ONE large building. So this means in a 5-player game, the newbies also get their chance to grab a large building.

sedjtroll wrote:
Or forbid them to produce Tobacco (which would just encourage shipping)...


This is another good suggestion. W/o coffee/tobacco, the experienced players have to balance shipping/building since they do not have the rich crops to bring in the easy money.

And without harbor/wharf, the experienced players need to optimize their shipping play to gain those crucial VPs.

Will try this in the next newbies session and see how it works out. This could be useful tip, thnks sedjtroll.

sedjtroll wrote:

Instead of handicapping the experienced players, why not just help the newbies think through their moves for the first few turns?


We usually think out loud out moves and let the newbies catch on for eg. we do what-ifs scenarios and tell the newbies.

Sometimes with newbies esp if its a new gamester we just met, we cannot be pushy and keep telling them to do this, that etc. Some of them wants to "think on their own" and may find our advice instrusive instead of instructive. To each his own.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kreisler Buy
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Yo KLBGMG brother!

Here's what someone has got to say about your review:

So at last, we reach the Sinner of Sinners. The most overrated, overhyped, ovipositored game in history. Here's an example of what I mean, from Jeff Au's recent review:

Quote:
The usual gamesters arrived sharp 8pm and since we already have 5 gamesters - Alan, Lai Wah, Wai Keen, Kah Yee and Jeff - we decided to start off with a favorite of everyone, Puerto Rico. Both Kah Yee and Wai Keen have not played this before

So it's a favourite of everyone in his usual group, but two of them haven't ever played before? Riiiight
.


Commented by David Chapman, find his comment here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/13917


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C.K. Au
Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thnks for the heads-up Kreisler.

haha.. he spotted an error in my sentences and latched on it to make his point. What I would have wanted to convey was that PR is a favorite of those who have played it before.. and that would have excluded the two newbies.

But then someone has to be anal and take it word-for-word like a legal doc. Well, some ppl just need to do something to give themselves a life... what can I say eh?

Do I care that PR is not is fave game and he thinks it's overrated? Nah.... there's far more important things in life.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.