Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Puerto Rico» Forums » Rules

Subject: Unwanted Colonists in the Mayor Phase (Rule 8) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The rules for Puerto Rico are well written and there are very few questions that cannot be answered using the rulebook with a little common sense. There is a need to provide an expanded list of tie-breakers for tournament play and, of course, there needs to be rules for advancing in a tournament.

I am Rich Shay and I GM the Puerto Rico tournaments at World Boardgaming Championships and at Euroquest. I am also part of the Meeple League and we are involved with the Puerto Rico tournament at TotalCon as well.

The one arguable rules clarification is about unwanted colonists and is listed as Rule 8 on the tournament explanation:

Quote:
8. Use of all roles and privileges is always optional, with the exception of shipping during the Captain phase (which is mandatory unless using the Wharf). In the event a player declines colonists, during the Mayor Phase, such colonists are to be removed from the game and not placed back on the ship or distributed to other players.


The reason to do this is to try and end the game by having more empty slots after the Mayor phase. This would load more colonists on the boat, potentially depleting the colonists.

Not all players agree with this interpretation of the rules and I did not receive a clarification from the designer when I contacted him.

I would like to open a discussion of the issue and would appreciate thoughtful input.

My own thinking on the issue (aside from the explanation included in rule 8) is that refusal of the colonists should not result in a direct benefit to the other players. The only way to do that would be to take them out of the game OR put them back in the pool of unshipped colonists.

An alternate view is that they would be available to the other players. This view is supported by the explanation of how to distribute colonists:

Quote:
The player who chooses this role may first take one colonist from the colonist supply (not from the colonist ship!) as his privilege. Next, the players take the colonists from the colonist ship one at a time, starting with the mayor. The players continue to take one colonist at a time, in clockwise order, until none remain on the colonist ship.


No one does that. The colonists are just divided up as if they were distributed one-by-one. If Rule 8 is not implemented, then there is no strategic point to refusing colonists.

Here are what I feel is the other relevant quote from the rule book:

Quote:
The action of a role card is optional (exception: captain). A player may
choose not to or be unable to use the action on his turn.


As you can see the choice of result for refusing colonist/colonists is somewhat arbitrary, at least in my opinion. I have chosen to support the option which allows some strategic choices. The other outcomes all make refusing colonists a very poor choice and not really a choice at all.

Please add your opinion and fill out the survey below if you have an opinion.
Poll
How do you think unwanted colonists should be handled in the Mayor phase of Puerto Rico:
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Unclaimed colonists are out of the game.
23.5% 8
Unclaimed colonists are put back in the pool.
5.9% 2
Unclaimed colonists remain on the boat, available to the other players.
70.6% 24
Voters 34
This poll is now closed.   34 answers
Poll created by rmshay
Closes: Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:00 am
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gert Meyer
Denmark
Trekantsområdet
flag msg tools
badge
Skål - Cheers - Gom Bui - Prost - Almien - Salut - Kampai - Na Zdrowie - Gan Bae - Qapla
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
With these German games it sometimes helps to go back to the source (the original German rules) for clarification since things sometimes get lost in translation.

Here is the same quote from the German rules:

Quote:
Das Ausführen der Aktion einer Rolle ist freiwillig (Ausnahme: Kapitän). Kann oder will ein Spieler eine Aktion nicht ausführen, wird er übersprungen.


And here is my direct translation of them:

Quote:
Performing the action associated with a role is voluntary (exception: Captain). If a player is not able or willing to perform an action he is skipped.


As you can see there is an extra sentence at the end that would indicate that a player opting to not perform his action is skipped entirely. So in that case the Colonists would remain on the boat for other players to take.

When you think about it, this is in line with how you would handle skipping other Roles as well. For example, you would never consider blocking an empty space at the Trading House if a player opted not to sell a good when able.
7 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robledo Gonzalez
Brazil
flag msg tools
I think that if the colonists unused go back to the pool then we increase one layer of strategy! It would let the player who choose not to take the colonist strategically menage time!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm having trouble envisaging a situation when refusing colonists would be a valid strategic move and preferable to taking them.

Besides, the 'refuse' rule has its gaps, because surely the Captain action is compulsory?


1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So, if you take colonists, are you required to place them on a building?

I do agree that if you choose not to take colonists that the others will be able to take them (German translation).

I personally just don't see this as worthwhile.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, all colonists must be placed on a building or plantation/quarry at the end of the Mayor phase. Only excess colonists can hang out in San Juan.
There would be little reason to skip taking the colonists if the other players could take them. The only reason you would do that is if not taking them assures you the ability to trigger the end of the game by having enough empty spaces to force the depletion of colonists.
That would be harder because the other players could be using the refused colonists to fill city spots lowering the number of colonists needed to refill the boat.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The additional sentence from the German rules is pretty conclusive of the designer's (or maybe publisher,s) intent.
The survey results side with that.
I will probably alter rule 8 for 2017 and Euroquest.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Realcyberghost
Belgium
Antwerp
flag msg tools
mbmb
There are 2 Q&A's from the Publisher :

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/46806 from 2004
I quote the relevant parts :
Quote:
* Mayor - Although it seems weird, I have to assume from the wording of the general rule that a player can choose not to receive a colonist. If a player declines to take a colonist when he can, I assume that there are more for the other players. In other words, the ship *must* be emptied and no colonists are discarded or put back in the colonist pool.
>>> SB: you´re right!

But I'm not 100% sure of that. The other thing to consider is the active player's privilege: can he take his colonist without taking the bonus colonist?
>>> SB: yes. _Each_ privilege (incl. the captain!) can be denied _without_ loosing the action itself!!!

This immediately leads to the question of what happens if all people decline to take colonists?
>>> SB: I´m pretty sure that that won´t happen in 999 of 1000 games, but nevertheless i would say: In this case, nothing more happens. The
colonists stay on board (+ new ones (but only if the number is higher now!)).

Are the remainder returned to the supply? Are they left on the colonist ship with new colonists being added to their numbers? Are they removed from the game entirely? Also can a player choose when to stop taking colonists or is it all or nothing?
>>> SB: All or nothing! (As _always_!!)

(ie in a three player game there are 8 colonists to be doled out...can a player choose to take only one?) There are too many questions raised by making Mayor phase optional so I feel I'll continue playing as if it's not.
>>> SB: Once again: Denying to take colonists does _not_ prolong the game since somebody else will take them additionally, so i really cannot see any reason to do so. The only thing which may make sense is to deny the privilege: +1 colonist (from the supply). Could be worth a complete new round...


and

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/406635/are-crafting-pro... from 2009
I quote the relevant parts :
Quote:
For mayor, the action is "take one colonist from the ship". That action is optional, even if you have taken that action earlier in the phase (or taken a colonist as your privilege).

If, for whatever reason, every player passes (declines to take the mayor action) before the colonist ship is empty, then any remaining colonists on the ship are removed from the game (not returned to the supply nor left on the ship) and the ship receives new colonists from the supply as normal to end the phase.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Realcyberghost
Belgium
Antwerp
flag msg tools
mbmb
The rules state :

German rule :
Quote:
Performing the action associated with a role is voluntary (exception: Captain). If a player is not able or willing to perform an action he is skipped.


English 2014 rules :
Quote:
Each role (except the Prospector) has both an action and a special privilege associated with it.

Quote:
If a player is unable to perform the action associated with a role, he forfeits his turn for that role, and play continues to the next player in clockwise order.

Quote:
For all roles (except the Captain), the associated action is optional for all players.

Quote:
Mayor - Action: Each player in rotation takes one colonist from the colonist ship, until all colonists are gone.


Dutch 2002 rules :

Quote:
Een·speler mag kiezen of hij de aan de rol gekoppelde actie al dan niet wil uitvoeren (Uitzondering: kapitein). Kan of wil een speler een actie die bij een rol hoort niet uitvoeren dan gaat zijn beurt voorbij.


Translated :
Quote:
A player may choose if he wants to execute the action of a role (Exception: captain). If he can't or won't execute an action that is part of a role then his turn passes.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Realcyberghost
Belgium
Antwerp
flag msg tools
mbmb
Well it still feels a bit messy but for now the Band of Boarders competition rules for the Puerto Rico Mayor role are the following :

Mayor
- First you can accept or refuse to take your privilege colonist from the supply. Then you may accept or decline to take each colonist separately. In the event a player declines to take one or more colonists, such colonists remain on the ship to be distributed between the rest of the players. If after the distribution of colonists there are still colonists left on the boat, these colonists remain on the boat and the boat gets filled with more colonists if needed ( i.e. there are more empty spaces or players than colonists on the boat ). As your last action you can place and/or rearrange your colonists on your board even if you have no new colonists.

- Placing and/or rearranging all your colonists is one action. Accepting or denying one single colonist is one action. Any player can demand to follow the correct order of the actions.

But I am still eagerly awaiting the new WBC rule clarifications so I can bring our rules in line with the WBC rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I believe you have it right. I am still thinking about what happens if everyone refuses the colonists, but I think your interpretation is correct.
 
 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.