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Subject: Limited numbers of bulidings rss

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L S
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One dynamic that I'm having a tough time handling is the limited number of buildings in the game. The more popular buildings are generally pretty scarce, so it's tough for me to figure out when I should actually get them. Sometimes I buy them prematurely because I'm afraid they won't be available by the time I really need them. Examples are guild hall, harbor, sm warehouse. How do advanced players deal with this? For example, with sm market, I'm told people usually buy this in first building round just because it is scarce. What about for tings like deciding between buying a big building early versus something that might be more immediately helpful (e.g. guild hall vs., say, factory)?

There's plenty of times when I've had enough for, say, a harbor and decided to wait off on it because there's something more immediatley beneficial such as a coffee roaster; I try to watch other players' incomes carefully so I can get harbor later but sometimes luck will run against me and both players will end up having enough money on a round where I am building last.

On a related note, one of the tough things I deal with often since I play 3 player games is that by end game, there are usually two shippers (i.e. whoever picked up harbors) and one builder (i.e. whoever couldn't get it). In early and mid game, I'm not so concerned if one player has harbor and is getting VPs since, as someone pointed out in my last thread, that person needs to alternately craftsman and captain in order to generate VPs, meanwhile I can take advantage of his craftsman to, say, trade; and I can pick up other roles that have bribes. But once two people have harbors, this becomes tougher because I'm the odd man out. As a builder, I try to end the game as early as possible by grabbing the bb's etc., but meanwhile every round they're each shipping for major points.

Do advanced players buy buildings pre-emptively, or you tend to just get buildings when you need them, and adjust if they become unavailable? And how often is a good idea to defensively take a building away from someone else? For example, when someone is racking up VPs and I think they may eventually have enough for custom's house, I sometimes buy that instead of, say, guild hall in order to stop them. Is that ever a good idea? I understand that probably I should weigh the bonus I'll get from guild hall versus the bonus they'll get from customs house, etc., but is there a general intuition about this?
 
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Matthew M
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Re:Limited numbers of bulidings
shockwaveXPOW wrote:
One dynamic that I'm having a tough time handling is the limited number of buildings in the game. The more popular buildings are generally pretty scarce, so it's tough for me to figure out when I should actually get them. Sometimes I buy them prematurely because I'm afraid they won't be available by the time I really need them. Examples are guild hall, harbor, sm warehouse. How do advanced players deal with this?


This is one of the beautifully subtle parts of Puerto Rico's design - the limited number of important buildings makes the competition for them a bit of an auction of tempo. If you wait too long then they won't be available, but if you get them too soon you sacrifice too much of your game and open a window for other players to pull ahead of you and negate the good effects of your purchase.

It becomes another part of the game - another non-obvious point of interaction. Now that you are aware that it exists you need only develop a feel for when the different purchases are appropriate so that you can let a player who is going for that Guild Hall too early make that mistake, or you can snatch it up yourself when the time is right.

-MMM
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Limited numbers of bulidings
This is one of the things that makes early money important...if you have more of it than your opponents, you can buy the buildings you need before them. You can think of the game as a race to set up infrastructure first, so that you get the best infrastructure and have more time o use it effectively.

Now, if you reach the point where you are able to buy those buildings at the same time as your opponents (common in games with strong players), you will have to make the decision of whats the best way to go. Buy the guild hall you figure will give you +8 or better, before someone else does, or buy the harbor now?

I would generally go with the harbor in this case, at the time I can first afford it. Better harbor now, lesser large building later, than guild hall now, and then the production buildings for points.

Of course, on turn 10, I would go Guild Hall in this situation where its good. Turn 8, probably harbor.

By the way, I personally dont tend to go for factory, and then harbor. If I get factory, its because I see my shipping chances this game as poor, and my next targets are the large buildings (or prod. builds for points, preparing guild hall). If I see that shipping will be good, I just go right to the harbor and start the shipping. Some others do this differently.

I tend to see factory as a concession that I wont be shipping much, or crafting much, and my priority will be to build and gather money, and when others craft, tax them for it and trade for money to get a large. And I see harbor (especially a relatively early harbor like turn 7), as a declaration that I will be choosing captain over and over and over, and trying to control the boats all game.
 
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L S
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Re:Limited numbers of bulidings
Yep, I guess it is just experience then that will help me determine which buildings to choose in which situations. I'm getting gradually better but have still only played maybe a dozen games.

I played a 5-player last night where neither factory was taken up. Factory could have conceivably been helpful but most players were getting at least a mediocre income source. So if I spent early money on factory, then by the time that started paying off such that I could afford big buildings etc., there was a risk that those would already be taken. Your advice on when to choose factory over harbor makes a lot of sense, I'll keep that in mind when I have to make this sort of decision again.
 
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Jim Campbell
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Re:Limited numbers of bulidings
shockwaveXPOW (#37508),

I view factory as a remedial building, either compensating for less income early (e.g. corn/indigo/sugar) or compensating for not having small warehouse and/or harbor. It isn't really a pure point generator like small warehouse, harbor or the larges; it requires a significant extra effort to convert those extra doubloons into points, and success is partially dependent on availability of enough good buildings.

Jim
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re:Limited numbers of bulidings
Loren, go play a couple hundred games on BSW, and then you'll develop an intuitive feel for which one to buy, lol!
 
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