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Subject: Cuba Vs. Puerto Rico rss

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Madhujith Venkatakrishna
Australia
Melbourne
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I know there are many threads on this, but what I was wanting to find out is

- Why some might like Cuba over PR and vice versa?
- Is my assumption on Cuba right?- The reason Cuba did not become as popular is because of its similarity to PR without too many differences?
- Is Cuba a better game with the expansion?

Just so that you all know...I've played PR about 35 times and Cuba 2 times...while I still like PR over Cuba, can't really tell why (may be finding it difficult to articulate)
 
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Matt Green
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One thing that is sometimes overlooked with Cuba is that it came out in the shadow of some truly amazing games that muted the initial splash that games sometimes need to catch on with groups. 2007 was a killer year:

Agricola
Brass
Race for the Galaxy
AoE III
Galaxy Trucker
Notre Dame
In the Year of the Dragon
Kingsburg
Vikings
Biblios
Starcraft
Chicago Express

-all rate higher than Cuba and were released in the same year. Brutal. 12th best game released that year? In that company? If it had been a year earlier it might have made a bigger splash. Puerto Rico was released in a bit more of a vacuum (and credit due there, for sure) and got a chance to stick early.

Cuba is probably mechanically better with the expansion but it adds a significant amount of time to the game that potentially isn't worth the difference. I prefer it without due to the play time.

I rather like them both, but don't feel the need to own either, curiously.
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Tomáš Sládek
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Oddly I can't pin down why either, but I prefer Cuba over PR. Maybe just because Cuba is a very pretty and thematic game and the only thing to be said about PR's art is that it is ...serviceable. I played PR before I'd even heard of Cuba, and yet I ended up purchasing Cuba and not wanting to own PR. I don't have or feel the need for the expansion, so far we've been enjoying it without it well enough.
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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Both games are good but I liked having more control of my gameplay in Cuba compared to being dependent on which roles the other players choose in Puerto Rico.
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Michael Oliver
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Argyle
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My wife favors Puerto Rico.

I favor Cuba.

The voting/policy mechanic is the biggest difference, and actually what makes us each prefer the one we prefer.

She does not like that mechanic at all, and it basically kills Cuba and Twilight Imperium for her. I really enjoy it, and find that I enjoy both of those games.

I probably like Puerto Rico more than she likes Cuba, so, Puerto Rico gets played more often.
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Lawrence
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Tustin
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Puerto Rico and Cuba are both games about producing/shipping goods. This is where the similarities really end. Puerto Rico's lead/follow mechanic affects everyone in play. As such, one if its biggest appeals is the lack of functional downtime. You're pretty much always doing something, unless someone picks Prospector. Altogether, Puerto Rico just flows better than Cuba, since Cuba's phases can sometimes seem abrupt.

In Cuba, the role selection only affects you. This gives the players more control over the game. IMO, the expansion is 100% necessary. The extra rounds really let you get your engine running, and the new ships make some previously undervalued goods/resources a bit better. The laws are also a nice distinction that give you another layer to think about when playing your roles. Note that Cuba is also more of a sandbox game (a la Caverna) with its abundance of buildings.
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Will
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This is my opinion and I am sure others have starkly contrasting ones and that's okay.
Cuba is probably my least favorite game on my shelf next to Castles of Burgundy. These will definitively be the first to go if I ever decide to sell anything. There are clearly better start boards in both games and everything feels very scripted to me in terms of optimal plays throughout the games. For me, it has nothing to do with Cuba having a similar theme to Puerto Rico.
I have never played the expansion for Cuba.
I love playing PR although it doesn't come out as often as I would like. The best way I can put it is that the world feels much more open in PR.
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Tomáš Sládek
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Temelin wrote:
This is my opinion and I am sure others have starkly contrasting ones and that's okay.
Cuba is probably my least favorite game on my shelf next to Castles of Burgundy. These will definitively be the first to go if I ever decide to sell anything. There are clearly better start boards in both games and everything feels very scripted to me in terms of optimal plays throughout the games. For me, it has nothing to do with Cuba having a similar theme to Puerto Rico.
I have never played the expansion for Cuba.
I love playing PR although it doesn't come out as often as I would like. The best way I can put it is that the world feels much more open in PR.


I feel the exact opposite in PR, not that it's a stark difference or anything, but PR seem to have has less options than Cuba, even without the expansion. And as for start boards? We have never used the different sides in Cuba oir Burgundy, why bother? I like variable startups in games but not when everything else stays equal. That's just railroading, the board telling you your optimal strategy.
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