After Royal Turf, Diane took her leave and went off to watch ‘The Shipping News’ with Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore (The verdict? She thought it was good). Dan and I were batting around ideas as to what we should play next. I had brought along the two player rules for Puerto Rico that Alea had come up with, and being big Puerto Rico fans and curious as to how it works with two players, we thought we’d give it a go.
And how did it work? Surprisingly well. It did feel very much like a regular game of Puerto Rico.
The setup is very much the same as a regular game of Puerto Rico, but there is only two of each production building and one of each purple building. Also, one prospector is removed from the game and every turn the players get three different roles (alternating) with one left over.
There were a few differences, strategy-wise. Because all of the roles except one are chosen every turn, it is much more likely that the Trader will be chosen and the Trading House will be used to get money. I find in multi-player games, for various reasons, the Trader isn’t chosen that often. With two players, the Trader is chosen almost every turn.
Also, because in the two-player game there is only one of each purple building, you can buy a building just to deny it to the other player. In a multi-player game this would rarely happen – who wants to waste their turn hurting only one player and helping everybody else? But in a two-player game, this makes sense.
In this game, Dan started producing and shipping indigo and sugar almost right away while I was producing a lonely corn. Finally I had a Coffee Roaster up and running and started producing my cash crop. And what a cash crop it was – after getting the Office and the Small Market I was trading in a Coffee every turn and making big bucks. Soon I had a huge pile of money – way more than I ever had in any multi-player game.
Towards the middle of the game, Dan was out-shipping me and I was slightly out-building him. I was trying to grab the mayor as much as possible to deny him colonists, but he soon grabbed the Hospice which gave him colonists on his plantations. In turn, I grabbed the University to help with colonists for my buildings and I also grabbed the Wharf to try to curtail Dan’s big shipping strategy.
In the end we were very close, the only difference at the end was the points that I had from a second bonus building.
*Rick* - 49
Dan – 42
A very good game. It’s a pity Alea didn’t include these rules in the box as they could have advertised the game as also handling two players.