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Puerto Rico» Forums » Variants

Subject: Random building setup (2nd copy?) rss

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I am the odd duck that worked his way back from Race/Roll for the Galaxy back to Puerto Rico. And as fun as those 2 games are Puerto Rico is not only the best implementation of the concept but also one of the best games in my library--and that is saying a lot because the art is a turn off, we cannot play 2 player (wife and me) or 6-8 player (we have a lot of children who love board games!), and the theme is meh.

But the gameplay... wow.

I love to mull over game design and concepts and the only issue I see with Puerto Rico is the setup is fixed. I LOVE the perfect knowledge setup, which alone pushes it head of Race/Roll, but it is always the same. So while our strategies change we have had a number of games where 2 or 3 players get into a fixed cadence that is highly predictable because any other choice would be sub-optimal, at least in the short term.

I believe the strategies and angst would increase if there were 2 sets of each small violet building and either (a) 8 of 16 were drawn for each column or (b) 24 drawn of 48 total. I don't have a second copy to try this out so I am wondering if others have tried this? Or see major issues with it?

Variable setup would add a degree of, "Dominion" puzzle solving to the set up but unlike that game Puerto Rico offers so many strategies due to the rotating governor, variable phases, and omitted phases each round that even with a fixed setup Puerto Rico already doesn't feel "solved" in the way Dominion is with certain card combinations so variety in setup would only further prevent such. This could be a disaster but it could be like how Chess 960 breathes life into standard Chess by destroying the massive opening knowledge bases and force each player every game to assess the board state anew and conceive and execute a strategy with a variable setup but still perfect knowledge of the board state.

If others think this is a good idea--or if others have already done this--let me know. Especially if you know how I could get a 2nd copy of buildings!

I have not thought through the ramifications of doing the same thing to the small production buildings, plantations, or the large violet buildings. Thoughts?
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Vic R
Tomares (Seville)
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Pure mathematics is the world's best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It's free. It can be played anywhere - Archimedes did it in a bathtub
To get random building setup you need the expansionPuerto Rico: Expansion I – New Buildings which comes in the Treasure Chest (I dont think you can buy it alone).

Also the game can be played with 2 players quite well. Search the forums for it, as it was made an official variant. I dont remember the exact details right now, but I think it was like alternating turns 1-2-1 2-1-2 , where 1 means the player q take a role and 2 means the player 2 take a role so 3 roles are chosen every turn
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