Paul, Andy, Oggie, Steve and Tel sat down for a game of Puerto Rico.
Steve went out after is usual tactic of hoarding as many corn plantations as possible, picking up a second high valued production for trading, this time coffee. Tel followed his usual opening gambit of looking for as many different plantations as possible (despite vowing to try someting different earlier in the day). Paul also seemed to be after a variety of plantations, with an early hacienda helping. Andy went pure quarry, building 4 in the first 5 settler phases. Oggie went for an early sugar monopoly. Andy’s concentration on quarries found him short on early goods and wasn’t until he got a hacienda out that he started to produce goods and hence get some cash. After a couple of early traders to generate some cash Paul switched to a captain strategy. He was aided in this by Tel to his right who had managed to get a factory so was keen for the craftsman to get chosen each turn. Andy had managed to get over his early money shortage and built 2 very early 10 cost buildings, but then stalled as his lack of goods diversity prevented him from participating in the trading or captaining roles. Oggie had branched out from Sugar to also have a strong presence in the indigo market. Steve’s plans hit a setback when he was pipped to the wharfs by Tel and Paul, forcing him to be reliant on the communal ships to offload his corn mountains. Paul overtook Andy as favourite for the game when he managed to build a harbour to ensure the VPs kept rolling in. Despite his 4 quarries, Andy failed to end the game in his usual manner by filling his building space, instead the end game was triggered by the depletion of colonists. Paul managed a comprehensive victory, 14VP ahead of Tel in second with Steve just an additional point behind. Despite (or possibly because of) his 2 early big buildings Andy had to make do with fourth, leaving Oggie to bring up the tail.
Some of us have recently hit 70+ games of San Juan and this has made us realise just how much we have to learn of how to play PR well. In SJ it took 10+ games to see beyond the one card strategy (guild hall), and move onto the 3-4 card combo of building. It then took a further 40+ games advance again to realise that all the buildings could be combined into winning decks, and no one strategy now predominates. I suspect that exactly the same would happen with more playes of PR. The more games that are played the more players would appreciate the interaction of the various buildings. This was one of the main attractions of the one time favourite the CCG Magic, discovering the interplay between the various cards. The only drawback I have with PR, is to get the full enjoyment from the game I suspect we need to play many more games, and finding time for this is nigh on impossible. Despite this PR is still in most members of the groups top 5. It’s just a little frustrating to think that an even more enjoyable game is just around the corner if only we could find time to play it much more often.
Paul 56, Tel 42, Steve 41, Andy 36, Oggie 31
Ratings /10 (for this session)
Paul 9, Tel 9, Steve 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8