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Subject: Ridiculously high scoring game rss

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Waffles? Arooo!
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I managed to get some of my friends to play Puerto Rico the other day, and was pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it (none of them are boardgamers at all.) 3 of them came round today, and we had another game of it.

Player 1: Ri (2nd game)
Player 2: Ra (2nd game)
Player 3: La (2nd game)
Player 4: Me (lots of games)

It started out fairly regularly, with Ri choosing Settler/quarry. Mayor, craftsmen and builder were then taken, with people setting out for different strategies from the outset. I took a small sugar mill, Ri took a construction hut, Ra bought an hacienda, white La saved her money planning to buy an early coffee roaster.

From then on things progressed rather slowly. Some questionable plays from La led to her shipping the two corn she'd produced, while I managed to build a small market and trade some sugar to get an early cash injection. Ri was going all out for the quarries, trying an unusual strategy, while Ra was picking up lots of corn, but never really got round to manning the plantations.

La bought herself a coffee roaster on about the 4th turn, but didn't make very good use of it (due to her inexperience), and didn't get the good early cash flow she needed. With my sugar-money I managed to get a tobacco storage, while both Ri and Ra looked towards getting coffee as well, giving me a temporary monopoly in both tobacco and sugar.

By midgame things were progressing nicely. Both Ra and La had bought offices and markets each, and so were trading their coffee regularly, filling the game with money. Ri had 4 quarries, but hardly any production as a result, and was just making coffee and indigo, leaving the trading house free for me and my tobacco whenever someone traded. With all the cash coming into the game, it wasn't long before we started picking up some of the more expensive buildings. I managed to get myself a factory relatively early, and expanded my operations to include indigo.

This was the point where their inexperience really started to show. Ra had 3 or 4 corn plantations, but spent too much of her time trying to do the same as me, and branch out in to 4 different kinds of goods along with a factory. Ri had left himself way down on production, due to the quarries he'd got with his construction hut. La started playing better, but I'd managed to get a sugar ship all to myself, and was starting to cramp them.

As the game started nearing the end, the big buildings were snapped up quickly. I managed to grab myself a harbour and the customs house, La got the guildhall and the residence, and Ri took the fortress. Then it was just a case of how the game would end. The others spent too much time trying to build up their productions at a late stage in the game, and I was able to capitalise on the shipping, as I'd managed to procure a small warehouse, and no-one had gotten around to it yet. The shipping started in earnest, as by this point everyone (except Ri) was getting 6 or 7 goods per craftsman phase, but they lost out when it came to throwing away the excess.

In a strange turn of events, the game ended on all 3 conditions on the same turn...we filled up the buildings, ran out of VPs and ran out of colonists all at the same time. The final scores worked out at the highest total I've seen.

Ri: 58
Ra: 55
La: 62
Me: 92

Ri's quarry strategy left him short of production for most of the game, and he couldn't make effective use of the harbour he bought himself.

Ra took too long getting her factory out, which came 2 or 3 turns after mine...she probably would have been better off manning her corn plantations instead and using her money to get a relatively early harbour.

La made some mistakes early on that helped me a lot, as I was to her left. She didn't make the most of her early coffee roaster, and kind of lost her way in the middle of the game by not really having a cohesive strategy.

Things couldn't have really worked out better for me. I had a monopoly on sugar for the entire game, and tobacco for quite a lot of it. I wasn't competing with anyone for selling goods, thanks to both Ra and La buying themselves offices. I was able to get the important buildings early enough for them to be effective, and the right big building to suit my strategy.

Fortunately, they still seemed to enjoy it, so I'm sure I'll be able to get them to play again sometime
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Corin A. Friesen
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I scored 100+ one time. I think it was a fluke of the 2 player variant mixed with terrible n00b play. We have since fixed both the variant and the play.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Are you sure you got the numbers of vps and colonists right? 100 vps for a 4-player game and 75+4 colonists. Your total score seems very utopic. The utopic maximum score in a 4-player game with people playing weirdly would be about 320.
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Mike Nelson
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Wow, you won by a ridiculously high margin. Maybe the other players just didn't have enough games under their belt to know what to do. The games that we play are generally only decided by about 1-3 points at most.

Sounds like the other players just didn't try to stick to one strategy and instead branched out into too many directions, thus they weren't really good at one area but average to below average in multiple areas. Sounds like you were just overflowing with money the whole game with trading tobacco and sugar with no one else really trading those goods. And then you correctly switched to victory point conversion near the end when they were still trying to get money going. Nice work! Though I hope that your friends will still want to play Puerto Rico next time since you won by so much - hopefully they viewed this game as a learning experience for how to play next time.
 
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Waffles? Arooo!
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Ponton wrote:
Are you sure you got the numbers of vps and colonists right? 100 vps for a 4-player game and 75+4 colonists. Your total score seems very utopic. The utopic maximum score in a 4-player game with people playing weirdly would be about 320.


Yeah, I was wondering if we'd done something wrong, but we definitely had 100 vps and 75+4 colonists at the start. We put the excess back in the box.

I don't know how it really happened...I think it was a bit of a freak in the fact that all three of the game end conditions came on the same round. We really did get the maximum out of everything. Going into the last captain phase there were about 8 vps left...we overshot that by at least 20vps. The game was so full of money we'd completely run out of all the 4vp buildings, the 3vp buildings and most of the 2vp buildings, as people just starting building the most valuable ones at the end, and everyone had 1 empty space max.

gopher37 wrote:
Wow, you won by a ridiculously high margin. Maybe the other players just didn't have enough games under their belt to know what to do. The games that we play are generally only decided by about 1-3 points at most.


Yeah, things just went right for me. Obviously, playing lots of times before was a major help. Everyone elses' scores were pretty close, I was just a runaway winner. They were definitely making some mistakes, but I wasn't helping them as much as I did the first game, since they wanted to try things on their own (like the crazy quarry strategy)

gopher37 wrote:

Sounds like the other players just didn't try to stick to one strategy and instead branched out into too many directions, thus they weren't really good at one area but average to below average in multiple areas. Sounds like you were just overflowing with money the whole game with trading tobacco and sugar with no one else really trading those goods. And then you correctly switched to victory point conversion near the end when they were still trying to get money going. Nice work! Though I hope that your friends will still want to play Puerto Rico next time since you won by so much - hopefully they viewed this game as a learning experience for how to play next time.


Yes, they were all a bit of a mixed bag...no-one really had a clear strategy. They spent too much time getting money and not enough time concentrating on using it to build up an engine etc, and then when they did switch to shipping it was too late. But that's something that'll come with more play.

Thanks. They didn't seem too demoralised that I beat them. It wasn't a particularly competitive game, they're not really board gamers, so it more just for fun and as a break from watching Battlestar/playing on the Wii (which we had been doing most of the day). I'm pretty sure they want to play again, and now they have even more of an idea of how the game works. They were definitely much improved over their first game.
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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In this case, respect, mister, this is the highest score in Puerto Rico I've ever seen - and it's unimportant that you've achieved it with relative newbies.

I've once had about 80+ and this was also a game that ended in all three conditions. I guess this will always be the case if all players score high.
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Waffles? Arooo!
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Ponton wrote:
In this case, respect, mister, this is the highest score in Puerto Rico I've ever seen - and it's unimportant that you've achieved it with relative newbies.

I've once had about 80+ and this was also a game that ended in all three conditions. I guess this will always be the case if all players score high.


Thanks Ponton

If you want a breakdown of my final score:

55 points in vp chips
+ 13 from the customs house
=68

4 customs house
3 wharf
3 harbour
3 tobacco storage
3 factory
2 large indigo plant
2 large sugar mill
1 small ingigo plant
1 small sugar mill
1 small market
1 small warehouse
= 24

68 + 24 = 92

Oops, misremembered. 92 not 93 *goes and edits*
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Matt Davis
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I blame Ri. The person with the quarries is supposed to end the game on buildings long before letting a Factory strategy get a harbor AND a wharf. Well done on the game, and the sucking in new victims spreading the joy of gaming.
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Mike Nelson
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Luthrin wrote:
Ponton wrote:
In this case, respect, mister, this is the highest score in Puerto Rico I've ever seen - and it's unimportant that you've achieved it with relative newbies.

I've once had about 80+ and this was also a game that ended in all three conditions. I guess this will always be the case if all players score high.


Thanks Ponton

If you want a breakdown of my final score:

55 points in vp chips
+ 13 from the customs house
=68

4 customs house
3 wharf
3 harbour
3 tobacco storage
3 factory
2 large indigo plant
2 large sugar mill
1 small ingigo plant
1 small sugar mill
1 small market
1 small warehouse
= 24

68 + 24 = 92

Oops, misremembered. 92 not 93 *goes and edits*


wow, you seriously bought every building perfectly (every building you bought basically directly contributed to income or VP generation), if you could take a picture of a perfect Puerto Rico game this would be it. You had huge income from tobacco and sugar and factory, and huge shipping from sugar and indigo, and likely tobacco as well. Then you capped it off with customs house. That is just amazing that you got 55 VPs from shipping, that is insane. Like others have said on here, much respect.
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Waffles? Arooo!
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gopher37 wrote:

wow, you seriously bought every building perfectly (every building you bought basically directly contributed to income or VP generation), if you could take a picture of a perfect Puerto Rico game this would be it. You had huge income from tobacco and sugar and factory, and huge shipping from sugar and indigo, and likely tobacco as well. Then you capped it off with customs house. That is just amazing that you got 55 VPs from shipping, that is insane. Like others have said on here, much respect.


Thanks gopher!

I wasn't really producing much sugar and indigo, I only bought the large mills for them towards the end of the game for points scoring purposes. I think I had 1 quarry, 3 tobacco fields, 2 indigo fields, 2 corn fields and 1 sugar field come the end of the game. I think my shipping was so high because I was throwing so little of it away thanks to my warehouse. No-one else had one until really late, so I was basically able to ship twice as often as them, and stretch the game out as long as I possibly could as no-one seemed to be in a rush to end it.
 
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Eric Larson
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Luthrin wrote:
Player 1: Ri (2nd game)
Player 2: Ra (2nd game)
Player 3: La (2nd game)
Player 4: Me (lots of games)

Ri: 58
Ra: 55
La: 62
Me: 92

This is why I don't play PR much anymore. The learning curve is just too steep for the casual gamer. It's even worse in a game with only one noob player. The person downstream from the noob player always wins.
 
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Joel Hedlund
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Thanks for the very interesting and detailed session report. I rarely see games with the winner scoring in the 50s or even 60s but 92 is very rare.

About a year ago I played a 3-player game of PR with two very inexperienced newbies. What made this game exceptional was that I chose an Hacienda and everytime a settler came up, I got a random corn. I started in the 3rd position and at the end of the game had 12 plantations: 7 corn, 1 sugar, 2 tobacco and 2 quarries. My buidings in approximate order of purchase were:
Small market
Hacienda
Tobacco storage
Small sugar
Factory
Harbor
Small warehouse
Warf
Customs house

My partners never were able to develop a steady income since with the factory I rarely needed to trade. The trading house stagnated. I usually like to use the balanced strategy with diversity of goods, but with all the corn, concentrated on shipping. On the penultimate round there was one VP chip left, I was the last to go, crafted and then chose captain on the last round.

In the end I had:
70 VP chips
20 VP from buildings
17 VP with the customs house bonus

107 total.

Puerto Rico is a game of very little luck. The unlikelihood of pulling corn with an Hacienda every time made this possible, that and playing with inexperienced players. I've never come close since and probably never will.
Joel
 
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Tibs
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I scored in the 90s once with a Small Indigo Plant as my only production building. I had a lot of "building-geared" buildings, such as a Construction Office helping me get the small buildings out of the way, and a nobleman on it later helping me get 3 or 4 large buildings.

Wish I kept note of my exact combo of buildings. With a score of 90+ I probably pulled off a harbor.
 
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Eric Nielsen
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Highest possible combined score in a 4-player game (non expansion)

Techniques:
-All shipping is done by P3, except for the final captain phase, when P4 also ships one barrel on each boat and 11 barrels on a wharf.
-Only P2 takes the Mayor. Colonists are arranged to place exactly 5 colonists on the boat every time. P2 uses the university and hospice for maximum effect and to pluck all of the colonists off the last boat before the game ends.
-All of the 2VP,3VP and 4VP buildings are purchased. The bonus buildings are distributed among the player in a manner that allows them to all be maximized.

Shipping:
+99 VP
+1 captain
+5 boat
+6 boat
+7 boat
+11 wharf
+4 harbor
+11 wharf
+4 harbor

BB Bonus:
+10 Guild Hall
+11 City Hall
+13 Fortress
+7 Residence
+32 Customs house

Buildings:
+22 P1: City Hall, University, Factory, Lg Warehouse, Office, Lg Market, Hospice, Sm Warehouse, Hacienda, Construction Hut, Sm Market
+25 P2: Fortress, University, Factory, Coffee, Tobacco, Hospice, Lg Sugar, Lg Indigo, Hacienda, Construction Hut, Sm Market.
+27 P3: Customs House, Wharf, Harbor, Coffee, Tobacco, Lg Sugar, Lg Indigo, Lg Warehouse, Office, Lg Market, Sm Warehouse
+26 P4: Guild Hall, Residence, Wharf, Harbor, Coffee, Tobacco, Lg Sugar, Lg Indigo, Sm Indigo, Sm Sugar

Max combined score in a 4p game: 321

If you include the expansion:
The Church increases the maximum score by 4
The Library gives an extra VP for the final shipment and can make the colonist distribution more lopsided towards the Fortress owner, but must replace either the Harbor (+4VP) or the University (+2VP)
The Black Market can make the colonist distribution even more lopsided by returning colonists to the pool to be redistributed.
The Small Wharf can give P3 an additional 7VP for shipping, and an additional +2VP for shipping.
The Union Hall can provide a maximum of 23VP if one holds all the goods, but the 2 wharfs are better for increasing the total score (+24VP)
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LV
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92 VP, and a 30 VP margin of victory over 2nd place?!? Wow, that's scary. shake

Most I've ever done is 85 VP, with that same 30 VP MoV. I played lights-out in a 3P while the other two folks both simultaneously played about their all-time worst.

I don't expect it to ever happen again. Sadly. cry

 
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