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Subject: Recommendations: Goa or Puerto Rico rss

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James Patterson
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I was in my FLGS the other day and both Goa and Puerto Rico were available. I know both are highly ranked, but I'm curious which of these two would be recommended. I mostly play with my older children, and we often play things like Ticket to Ride, Small World, Dominion, with a healthy dose of King of Tokyo. I'm interested in more of an economic game, and throwing in a historical theme doesn't hurt.

Thoughts? BTW, they also had Le Havre on hand, so we can throw that in the mix as well.

Thanks.
 
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Joe Salamone
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All 3 of the ones you mentioned are worth getting, but I'd probably pick Goa at this point. Oddly enough, Goa is my lowest rated (8.0) of the 3 games. This makes me realize I need to do a ratings overhaul! You won't go wrong with any of them, but I love Goa's bidding mechanics and the way the technology advances work.
 
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David Debien
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Pattersonclan wrote:
I was in my FLGS the other day and both Goa and Puerto Rico were available. I know both are highly ranked, but I'm curious which of these two would be recommended. I mostly play with my older children, and we often play things like Ticket to Ride, Small World, Dominion, with a healthy dose of King of Tokyo. I'm interested in more of an economic game, and throwing in a historical theme doesn't hurt.

Thoughts? BTW, they also had Le Havre on hand, so we can throw that in the mix as well.

Thanks.


I find Puerto Rico to be more thematic than Goa. In PR, you build a plantation. The things you do in PR make sense and follow a realistic pattern. From that regard, I say PR.

Goa is a bit more abstract in that regard. I can say I like Goa a lot more as a 2 player game than I like PR. If you see yourself playing a lot of 2 player games, pick Goa. Also note that Goa only goes up to 4 while PR goes up to 5.

Last thing to consider: Goa tends to come in and out of availability, sometimes disapearing from shelves for years at a time. PR as far as I can tell has been regularly available since its release.

Both are fantastic games and in my personal top 10. You can't really go wrong with either.
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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I like Goa much better than I liked Puerto Rico.

Then again, I don't really like Puerto Rico. shake
 
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Goo
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I agree pretty much across the board with casualgod's take. Puerto Rico was #1 on BGG for years and for good reason. It is a solid game that is a nice next step from the more "gateway" games you have been playing and it has lots of replayability.

It only plays 3-5 players, but it is great at any of those player counts (there is a 2p variant, but really, play something else for 2p). Goa scales well from 2-4. So player count might help inform your decision.

Goa is more abstract. I find both games equal in weight and complexity, but I think I needed a little more heavier strategy eurogame experience before I could fully appreciate Goa. Basically, casual gamers can enjoy Puerto Rico, but I think card carrying gamers tend to appreciate Goa more.

I'll put it this way. I think Puerto Rico is an essential for any collection and is a must play game for anyone in the hobby. I would not introduce non-gamers to Goa.

As a side note, I noticed you didn't mention Catan in your list of what you currently play. It was the original family/gateway euro before TtR, Small World, and Dominion. Let's not forget about that essential game.

Enjoy!
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Shane Larsen
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They're both in the classic-Euro category. There's something about those classics that have a wonderful flare to them.

Casualgod probably pointed out everything you should consider in getting one or the other. Here are just a couple more observations:

Role Selection is the main mechanic used in Puerto Rico. So based on whether you like/dislike, or have/don't have it in your collection, you may or may not want to pick up PR.

The auction mechanic in Goa was pretty original when Goa came out. Since then it's been used in other games. It's what I call a snaking mechanic. Players basically put a higher number next to the last highest number placed to stay in the auction. The last tile to have an auction token placed on it--after everyone passes--is the tile taken. And it's taken for the price of the auction token. It's a mechanic that is a bit easier to grasp for new gamers than all the timing, planning, and strategizing involved with PR's role-selection mechanic. I guess what I'm saying is that even though the two games are pretty close in complexity, I think I would have an easier time teaching children to play Goa than PR.

In the end, I personally prefer PR. I love the almost-perfect information on the table. I love the economics found in it. I love the way the role-selection is implemented, and I love the way it makes my brain puzzle out plans and strategies. It deserves the title of one of the best games ever created.
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David B
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The best answer to the original post is both. However, I do prefer Goa.
 
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Shane Larsen
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pfctsqr wrote:
The best answer to the original post is both.

+1 thumbsup

Or maybe you could decid by which emoticons you like more:

Puerto Rico:
coffeetobaccoindigosugarcorn
colonist1vp5vp1db5db

vs.

Goa:
cinnamonclovegingernutmegpepper

PR has more, but that doesn't make it better.
 
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Hmm. I have a question for OP:

What do you consider an "economics" game?

Economics as money?
Economics as resource management?
Economics as mathematical optimization?
Economics as trading?

I mean, there's more, but neither Goa nor Puerto Rico may suit your preferences in the end if you're going for some aspect of economics that they don't fulfill as well as some other game.

Also, I love the geek, but high rankings are just there to indicate those games you should probably try at some point, so you can experience and evaluate the quality of their design.

Rankings have little to nothing to do with what you will actually like, enjoy, or play regularly, and therefore, I would strongly discourage spending your money based on game ranking.

Speaking entirely from experience... before buying any game, you're better served by quality walk-through videos (like rahdo's). Just be careful you don't get sucked into his enthusiasm, and focus on the gameplay.
 
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Jeff C
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As others have said both are amazing! It boils down to if you are playing with 2 or more people, Goa is much better with 2. I also think Goa ultimately has more replay ability because you don't use all the tiles in every game and the layout is always different. PR uses the same buildings every game and had little to no luck in it (granted you can track down the expansion buildings but that might be difficult). Both are outstanding and really it depends on what you want out of a game. Goa has more direct interaction with the auction mechanic and can be a little "nastier" in how you choose to bid and what you put up for auction (you can really mess with your opponents strategies), whereas Puerto Rico is very strategic, almost like playing chess.

The thing about Puerto Rico is how amazing it works mechanically, like a fluid well liked machine. You will quickly find that once you've played a few games of Puerto Rico that you start to pick up the rules and nuances of other newer euro games easier because many if them borrow rules or mechanics in one way or another from PR, heck even Twilight Imperium borrows from it.

I think Goa is easier to teach but neither is overly complicated. Both should be considered necessary to any euro gamer's collection.

You also mentioned Le Havre. This is a spectacular game, and I personally rate it higher than the other two but I would never in a million years play it with more than 3 players nor would I want to teach it to someone that hasn't played Goa or Puerto Rico because the learning curve is just too high. Amazing game but it has so many moving parts and complexities to it that you want to have some experience and understanding in how they work individually before meshing it all together. You may want it eventually but there is no hurry (and besides Caverna is better buy that's neither here nor there).
 
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Walt
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As many have said, Goa is superb for 2. It's maybe the only auction game that works really well with only two. Goa is a lot drier than PR. It's pretty easy to teach; something to note to new players is that buying your own auction drains money from the players, and only a few actions bring money from the bank to a player.

PR has a lot of rules; it's a little hard to get them all down, but I'm not sure missing some of the minor rules has much effect. PR set up is a bit fiddly unless you use the nobles expansion, which is in the Puerto Rico Deluxe or the Alea Treasure Chest. I find it best to describe the basic economics, in terms of roles; then detail exactly what happens with each role, only then mentioning the rule details once the players have the basic flow down; and finally to discuss the violet buildings and the effects they can have, many of which affect rules details. The manual only describes the game in detail and can be a bit overwhelming. PR is also fairly sensitive to uneven player skill; a player not preempting a role another player needs or not considering the effect his role choice will have on others can give advantages to the following player.

I own both.

I dislike Le Havre, which I consider overly complex for what it is. It has a lot of semi-hidden information: in theory it's all available, but you can't understand it all without playing quite a few times (or studying the game for quite a bit). It's a game you need to keep playing to play adequately.
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James Patterson
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Thanks to everyone for their input. As for the particulars of an economic game, I don't know that I'm too picky. We do have Stone Age and Star Trek Catan, which both have economic aspects. What we don't have is something with an auction mechanic or the role selection mechanic. Based on the feedback so far, and because there is a decent amount of 2 player gaming in the house, I'm leaning towards Goa, but I'm still open to more information. (There's also the question of long-term availability, which also seems to favor Goa.)

Please keep it coming!

 
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Shane Larsen
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FWIW, I enjoy Puerto Rico as a 2p game just as much as I enjoy Goa as a 2p game. The officially-sanctioned 2p variant works really well.
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Goo
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Pattersonclan wrote:
Thanks to everyone for their input. As for the particulars of an economic game, I don't know that I'm too picky. We do have Stone Age and Star Trek Catan, which both have economic aspects. What we don't have is something with an auction mechanic or the role selection mechanic. Based on the feedback so far, and because there is a decent amount of 2 player gaming in the house, I'm leaning towards Goa, but I'm still open to more information. (There's also the question of long-term availability, which also seems to favor Goa.)

Please keep it coming!



I think your decision is made. Get Goa now and get Puerto Rico another time. PR isn't going anywhere.

There really isn't a wrong decision here. Goa just seems to better suit your group with the 2p situations.

FWIW, I much prefer the standard Puerto Rico to the fancy pants anniversary edition. Even at the same price, I'd take the standard edition. YMMV.
 
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