PUERTO RICO (Eric, Dan, Mike, Evan, Dave)
As we were finishing up, Mike and Dave showed up. Dave was a first-time visitor last week who returned, and we were happy to welcome Mike back; he's a regular we haven't seen for a while. Dave and Mike work in the same place, so Dave was able to follow Mike's car and find an easier way from Norwood. The baseballers were still in game 2, so we decided on Puerto Rico. There are few gaming groups where Puerto Rico isn't a satisfying option.
We drew plantation tiles at random to determine starting positions, as we usually do, and Eric started us off with a Quarry. Dan scooped up a Tobacco, Mike Corn, and Evan and Dave took Indigo, leaving two Coffee as discards. Dan Built for a Tobacco facility, Mike took an Indigo plant, and Evan and Dave took Small Markets while Eric saved his money.
Normally you'd expect an early Tobacco producer to be forced to ship, but Dave got Sugar going, and the first three boats were the cheaper goods. Eric used his stash to get Coffee going before Dan could sell, and Eric and Dan were early money leaders. However, Dave sold Sugar to raise cash for his own Tobacco, and this hurt Dan while Eric continued to enjoy a Coffee monopoly for a while. Evan became the Corn lord and shipped like mad, and Dave and Eric benefited from the fallout. Many large production buildings were built, increasing the colonist drain, and the game ended on a colonist shortage. Mike and Dave each had two large buildings while Eric had one.
Ship Bldg Bonus Total
---- ---- ---- ----
Eric 28 25 9 62
Dave 21 23 10 54
Evan 34 17 0 51
Mike 16 18 11 45
Dan 17 17 0 34
Dan finished the game with a huge pile of Indigo and Tobacco which he was never able to convert into points. Eric finished with six Corn that had been sitting in a Small Warehouse for several turns; he didn't get the points, but he did slow down the Corn shippers both by hoarding Corn and by discouraging the creation of Corn boats. This game was notable for a lack of defense; there were a number of cases where a player had a chance to make a play that benefited him and another player; Eric got to be on the other side of those transactions more than anyone else, and that made the difference.
Eric's rating: 10. This game moves along even more quickly now that so many people are familiar with it. A year ago we still needed a rules refresher before many games, but that's no longer the case. Of course, if you haven't played Puerto Rico, you're welcome to visit MVGA and try it; we're a good group for learners.