Three of us gathered at Rich's for an evening of games. Actually, two of us gathered initially, but before Rich and I could figure out the rules to Streetsoccer (what *does* happen if the ball would go out of bounds?), Helen arrived, so we made our selections and voted for the game of the evening. Logistico and Puerto Rico tied for the vote, so there was a runoff, and Puerto Rico won, so we set that up.
We've played Puerto Rico a couple times before here at TVB on October 22 and November 5 of last year, so I won't go into all the rules. But it was a new game for both Rich
and Helen, so we did have to spend some time with the rules before we started play. You know, there are a fair number of rules that need to be covered. Thankfully they all fit together so seamlessly.
We finally got started. Dave was first Governor, and Helen was third, making her the default Corn Queen. Helen started early by producing and shipping corn often in the early part of the game. Dave and Rich, meanwhile, tried to make their indigos work for them. Dave picked up a quarry his first turn, and then very soon thereafter bought a tobacco house, and that gave him his early income. Rich, on the other hand, passed when he had the opportunity for a coffee roaster, and it may have cost him some early flexibility. But he did fill up on indigo and sugar, and in fact he was the only sugar producer this game.
Helen's corn shipments gave everyone the impression that she was the early leader. As the game progressed, though, Dave continued his building strategy. He was able to buy a factory, which netted him two doubloons per production since he produced indigo, tobacco, and corn. He then bought a harbor, which added to his point totals when he shipped. His last major functional building was a wharf, so he wouldn't be shut out during shipping. While he never produced tons of goods (his typical production was two corn, two tobacco, and an indigo), shipment was good for him at this point because he was usually able to get three extra points from his harbor for shipping these items. At this point his holdings were producing pretty smoothly, and allowed him equal claim to the leadership position.
Helen did pick up a factory later on, and since she produced four goods (corn, tobacco, coffee and indigo) she was earning three doubloons per production. It did come out kind of late, though, and she wasn't able to protect herself from the vagaries of shipping: on two or three occasions she was forced to dump goods due to the fact that ships were full, and she didn't have a warehouse or a wharf.
Rich was finally able to generate some cash, and bought himself the second wharf, in order to be certain he would ship all his sugar or indigo. He started to make a run toward the end there.
All through the game the colonist ship was chock-full of new colonists each time the mayor welcomed it to port. It often had five, six, or even seven on board. It ended up meaning that the game ended when Helen chose the Mayor and emptied the colonists. It was a good move on her part, as it populated her big violet building, and she was the last player in that Governorship, meaning that she had the last word. Looking over our player boards, Helen and Dave each was able to buy and populate one big violet building (the Residence for Helen, which, when coupled with all the plantations she gained with her Hacienda, gained her an additional seven victory points. Dave had purchased the Customs House, hoping to take advantage of the victory points he gained with the Harbor. With a rate of 1 point for every four shipping points, Dave's Customs House earned him an additional five points. Rich's renaissance was a bit late, and he wasn't able to get himself a bonus building, which did hurt his final score.
So we tallied up our scores:
Dave: 20 shipping, 20 building, 5 bonus == 45 total points.
Helen: 18 shipping, 17 building, 7 bonus == 42 total points.
Rich: 18 shipping, 12 building, 0 bonus == 30 total points.
A fun and, except for Rich's lack of bonus building, a very close match!