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Subject: Why I seldom play. rss

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Heather Walters

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I want to like Puerto Rico. I do.

It is one of those games I WANT to like, but just frustrate me so much.

Because it is 3 player min I cannot play at home to gain experience. But it is one of those games where if you do not have a ton of experience you will loose so badly it will make you want to cry. And it becomes obvious early in the game. ALL HOPE IS LOST...

I have only played like 4 times at 12-18 month intervals.

Yesterday when I was playing I started to understand a bit. I was playing with a couple people who said something along the lines of "A couple years ago we used to play this at least once a week, and we could play a game in under 40 minutes because we were like, "OK, you did that, so you are going to do this, and you are going to do this, and you are gonna do that, then of course the next person will take this role and do this and he will do that..." We knew what everyone's moves were going to be and could almost make them for them, so the game went fast."

It made me feel like, I should not even really bother with the game at this point, because I will never play enough to be competitive. Not that I need to win every games, but I don't like KNOWING I will always come in last?

Is this other's experience with the game?
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Brian Sinclair
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Don't dismiss it as a two player game. I have played it many times and it is pretty good. Also, unless you play with different players there becomes a group think of what should be done at every turn. Play with others and you can try different strategies. Have fun.
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David Debien
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While it is best to play PR with others of equal experience, I do not see why playing with more experienced players is all that bad. I remember when I was learning chess as a child, it probably took me many years of playing before I could hope to defeat someone of only moderate ability. The act of becoming better, not winning, was the challenge.

That said, you have alternatives. There are online as well as iOS implementations of the game. Also, as mentioned, there is the 2 player variant, but I doubt its ability to hone your skills as a PR player in the regular game.
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Nat Levan
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There are a couple of viable 2-player variants. I prefer the one that gives the governor 3 roles each round and the other player 2 roles.
It's not the same experience as a 3+ player game, but it should get you familiar enough to hold your own.

That's the problem with super successful games. People become experts, raising the bar for new players to enter.

My problem is that it takes a while to set up, and I'd rather play a game that I can throw on the table.
 
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Rusty Patterson
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casualgod wrote:
I remember when I was learning chess as a child, it probably took me many years of playing before I could hope to defeat someone of only moderate ability. The act of becoming better, not winning, was the challenge.



The chess comparison is appropriate. Puerto Rico is not a game in which a player with 4 plays under his belt is on an equal footing with others with dozens. Depending on your point of view, this can be a good thing or a bad thing, but it is what it is.
 
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Frank Feldmann SoFrankly
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Why do I seldom play?

1. Not enough player interaction. It would be better if you could steal point, or at least knock someone back, but you can't.

2. I have San Juan. Same feel, more streamlined, half the time.

PR is a good game, but not a great one.
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Tibs
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PR is great. That's irrelevant to your points of course...

If you want to practice the game on your own, why not play Tropic Euro?
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Phil S. Stein
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kungfro wrote:

If you want to practice the game on your own, why not play Tropic Euro?


There is also a good online implementation at Boardgame Arena. And a pretty good app version on iOS, if you have an iPhone or iPad.

Also, two-player Puerto Rico is great. No need to not play it at home with the spouse/SO. Check out Ender's Comprehensive overview of two-player variants for a great list or two player variants.
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Geeky_Farmer wrote:
Because it is 3 player min I cannot play at home to gain experience. But it is one of those games where if you do not have a ton of experience you will loose so badly it will make you want to cry. And it becomes obvious early in the game. ALL HOPE IS LOST...

d10-1 The Alea two player variant is actually very good, my wife and I have played it a lot.

d10-2 You may assume that you are going badly early on in the game, but this by no means is actually true. I remember that in the mid game once I figuratively ready to walk away, I was sure that I was doomed. I ended up winning.

Geeky_Farmer wrote:
Yesterday when I was playing I started to understand a bit. I was playing with a couple people who said something along the lines of "A couple years ago we used to play this at least once a week, and we could play a game in under 40 minutes because we were like, "OK, you did that, so you are going to do this, and you are going to do this, and you are gonna do that, then of course the next person will take this role and do this and he will do that..." We knew what everyone's moves were going to be and could almost make them for them, so the game went fast."

Don't play with those sorts of people. You would probably classify me as a comparatively experienced Puerto Rico player and I don't play with that sort of person. Or if you do play how you want to play and relish the moment when they say "But, you are playing it wrong" because it just shows their lack of ability to handle a dynamic situation.

If you have access to an iDevice, the Puerto Rico app on that is good and you can play against the AI or other people around the world.
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Heather Walters

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kungfro wrote:
PR is great. That's irrelevant to your points of course...

If you want to practice the game on your own, why not play Tropic Euro?


I just found out about this and will do so. Also the game on Board game arena...

I will also try the 2-player variant. Also, I was talking with a couple newer gamer friends who feel similar to me about the game, and we are going to play it together next time we get together and see what we all think at that point...
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Gary Heidenreich
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Karlsen wrote:
Don't play with those sorts of people. You would probably classify me as a comparatively experienced Puerto Rico player and I don't play with that sort of person. Or if you do play how you want to play and relish the moment when they say "But, you are playing it wrong" because it just shows their lack of ability to handle a dynamic situation.

If you have access to an iDevice, the Puerto Rico app on that is good and you can play against the AI or other people around the world.


Yeah, what he said. Played a game once with someone I had not played this game with (and games with, in general). He was freaking out that I wasn't playing right/well, that I didn't know what I was doing. Mind you I had played the game 40 times by that time.

Yeah, I beat him.

I love playing with new people as it really is a great game at all players. New people throw in wrinkles that everyone needs to work through. Like others said, I don't think you can expect to win if you are new and the others are experienced but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. Play it, enjoy the battle, learn.
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Tibs
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Heh, personally I might tend slightly to the "but do that move" mentality, though I would never say it to a player. That's why I like the expansions so much: if the building selection is random, you have to adapt your playstyle.

I taught PR to somebody once where I highly recommended he not take coffee as his first plantation because of the work required to get it going. To my surpise, and delight, he wound up beating me. I now no longer offer advice on plantations unless asked.
 
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Letsplay Another
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Geeky_Farmer wrote:


It made me feel like, I should not even really bother with the game at this point, because I will never play enough to be competitive. Not that I need to win every games, but I don't like KNOWING I will always come in last?

Is this other's experience with the game?


You're not playing the wrong game you are just playing with the wrong people. The complaint you have, could be made of many great strategy games. I would recommend you try PR with newer players, or teach it to some fresh faces since you are pretty new yourself and you'll have a much better time.
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Duncan P
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Geeky_Farmer wrote:
I want to like Puerto Rico. I do.

It is one of those games I WANT to like, but just frustrate me so much.

Because it is 3 player min I cannot play at home to gain experience. But it is one of those games where if you do not have a ton of experience you will loose so badly it will make you want to cry. And it becomes obvious early in the game. ALL HOPE IS LOST...

I have only played like 4 times at 12-18 month intervals.

Yesterday when I was playing I started to understand a bit. I was playing with a couple people who said something along the lines of "A couple years ago we used to play this at least once a week, and we could play a game in under 40 minutes because we were like, "OK, you did that, so you are going to do this, and you are going to do this, and you are gonna do that, then of course the next person will take this role and do this and he will do that..." We knew what everyone's moves were going to be and could almost make them for them, so the game went fast."

It made me feel like, I should not even really bother with the game at this point, because I will never play enough to be competitive. Not that I need to win every games, but I don't like KNOWING I will always come in last?

Is this other's experience with the game?


The official 2-player rules for Puerto Rico are really excellent! it is most definitely a 2-5 player game.

Some people have suggested 5 role selections per round to avoid the "double turn" (2-player governer effect) but in my opinion this botches the game in an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. The double turn is there to give both players an optimal time to select craftsman and follow it with trade/captain.

I highly recommend the iOS version of Puerto Rico. The AI provides enough of a challenge to get you up to speed. Higher level play will only make you love the game more. I really don't mind losing at Puerto Rico; I get more enjoyment from forecasting the flow of the game and understanding the decisions made by others.

I recommend inexperienced players start by focusing on acquiring a single quarry and then diversify production (single amounts of different goods) rather than trying to specialise (large amounts of one type of good). This helps you always have at least something to trade/ship and sets you up for the factory, whose extra income will help you to get a harbor. Dump single goods onto ships (for double VPs) and your doubloons onto big buildings (the Guild Hall and Customs House have good synergy).

The best part about this strategy is that it gives you the flexibility to reassess mid game and tweak your production mix. Maybe both harbors get purchased before you have enough factory income. Can you offset this with a wharf? Can you foil shippers by shifting your production to leave ships partially filled? Should you set that money aside for a down payment on a big building?

When your predictive ability allows you to position yourself not just for the current round of shipping but the next one that's when you'll see your play become more competitive. If Puerto Rico has a weakness it's that the early decisions really make or break your economy and chains of obvious best moves can make the game feel like it runs on rails.
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Mariusz Kowara
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My advice is to read strategy articles in this forum. There is a pack of them and they are really good:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/64032/compilation-of-top...

While it could be problem to go through them for the complete newbie, since you already know the game, these articles will greatly help you to understand alot of aspects of the game and quickly improve your level.
 
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Eric Lambeth
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I've played close to 1000 games of Puerto Rico (on my ipad) and enjoy teaching people the game and appreciate it when they make good moves.

First rule of playing Puerto Rico should be to play with people you actually like; where friendship doesn't run secondary to playing the game.

When playing with friends, if you're good at the game, you should be helping people who want the help. Winning and losing doesn't matter. The real winning is getting your friends to enjoy the games that you enjoy so they'll want to play again and again, get good at it, and then give you good competition.

As for you, play Puerto Rico on a tablet or online against AI. It'll play in 15 minutes or less and you'll gain a lot of good experience without playing nervous. And then you can compete against knobs who take it too seriously.
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Heather Walters

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hogefan wrote:

As for you, play Puerto Rico on a tablet or online against AI. It'll play in 15 minutes or less and you'll gain a lot of good experience without playing nervous. And then you can compete against knobs who take it too seriously.


LOL! That is a plan.
 
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