A couple of nieces came down to visit for a few days and visitors can only mean one thing - indoctrinate new followers to a new game. This visits choice: Puerto Rico.
Players: Matthew, Melin, Nathan, Ranee, Karen
I decided to experiment with covering only the most basic of the rules and let them learn as they watch. So essentially I covered each of the roles and what they did, told them that buildings broke the rules (and gave them each a sheet with a copy of the buildings to observe) and then told them how the game is won through victory points and how to obtain them. With that done We had the three veterans go first so they could get a feel for it.
It took a couple of rounds for them to get a hold of it, but once they did they were rapidly into the game.
Melin went with the Harbor/Wharf strat in mind from the get go and conserved most of her money for those buildings and the production buildings.
Ranee went with the "little bit of everything" strategy but pointed out her main goal was to get a Starbucks on the Corner (ie a Coffee Roaster placed in the corner of a city). She made sure that the other two players did the same. Early in the game she picked up a Hacienda and had a diverse amount of goods, she picked up the Manufacturer and was raking in the cash.
My first goal was to rake in the money and then build the buildings, but although I had the large market I was rarely able to sell to the Trading Company. So I found myself strapped for cash at the end of the game and was unable to buy a large building for those extra victory points. I eventually ended up with a Harbor/Wharf as well, but to late in the game.
Nathan went with a focus on Production, however he picked up a Hacienda a little too late and the draws and leftovers during the Settler phase were not good to him (he ended up with 5 Tobacco fields). This pretty much tied his hands for the bulk of the game.
Karen was experimenting in learning the game and trying various strategies. When it was apparent she was not going to get the lead she began to due what she could to hold the rest of us back in hopes to keep us down so she could stay afloat by our lack of ability to produce/purchase/ship at key times.
In the end Melins early jump on the Harbor netted her a significant amount of VP as she was able to ship 2-3 times every captain phase.