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Subject: How good is the Puerto Rico expansion? rss

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Michael
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Hello,

I am only interested in the expansion for Puerto Rico. So, how good is the new stuff for this game? Worth the whole box?

Thanks,
Michael
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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The Nobles thing is really good. The other expansion are the new buildings you most probably already have. I'd say no, for one single expansion, it's not worth to buy the whole box.
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Tibs
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First of all let me say that unless you don't mind spending money for far more components than you'll likely use, you probably shouldn't buy this expansion for only the Puerto Rico components. However, buying this Treasure Chest may be a good motivator to buy and learn the other games it expands. The San Juan cards all look really cool, and I will likely buy this box even though it will only be expanding my PR and SJ.

Anyway, about the Puerto Rico components...

The noblemen are a cool idea, and the removal of the endgame condition where colonists run out certainly makes setup easier. The new buildings are also quite neat.

However, in my opinion, there are some glaring problems with the expansion:

Problem:
The new buildings are supposed to be used with EVERY game, in addition to whichever combination of 12 small purple and 5 large purple buildings you use. I don't like this idea, as it supports the same nobleman-based strategy EVERY game.

Solution:
I definitely like a random set a lot more, and have re-designed the center board to accommodate a random draw of all the buildings, while still allowing more buildings to be used overall. Currently the board is being uploaded to the Puerto Rico files section; I'll start a thread there when it is up. It's up! Check out the following thread for all the information:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/423055

Problem:
Specifically, the Jeweler/Villa combo is FAR too broken. I get the impression that the combo wasn't well tested despite the fact that it is supposed to be available in every game: the Jeweler offers one doubloon per nobleman you own whenever you craft goods. However, it is virtually effortless to gain more than 3 noblemen during the course of the game (you get one if you choose Mayor instead of your first colonist). Compare that to the Factory, where to get 3 doubloon during Craftsman you have to be making four different goods. Furthermore, if someone owns a Villa, they will be getting a nobleman EACH mayor phase, in addition to the one they get if they choose mayor themselves! Owning 9 noblemen and getting 9 doubloons each craftsman phase out of your Jeweler is a frighteningly common occurrence when owning the Villa.

Solution:
I've desperately come up with a number of ways to tackle this problem, none of which were satisfactory. Luckily, BGG user rulemonger came up with a simple rule that doesn't require any of the buildings to be changed: only use 4 noblemen per player in each game, rather than all 20 provided. Therefore, all 20 noblemen will only be available in a game with 5 players. In a 3p game, there will be 12, etc.

So far this solution has held up pretty well. It is certainly possible to still hoard the noblemen and produce a ton of doubloons out of the Jeweler, but it's a bit harder with this limitation. After a number of tests, we may need to limit them to 3 noblemen per player; or maybe even give a specific number each game (9/12/14/15 for 2/3/4/5 players). It is difficult balancing the need to make Villa useful, while also making Jeweler fair.
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Stephan Valkyser
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Are noblemen fully functioning equivalents of a colonists?

In other words: Is it possible to use a noble on a corn plantation to produce corn or can noblemen only be used on buildings that specifically describe their use?

I couldn't detract this from the rules as the wordings support both interpretations.
 
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Yes, Noblemen are just like Colonists if used on any sort of building, plantation or quarry that doesn't explicitely give them another function. The new buildings that come with the Noblemen expansion, however, say explicitely what the building does when occupied by a Colonist or Nobleman. You can't place a Nobleman on them if you want the Colonist's ability. This leads to a little additional decision-making during the Mayor phase.
 
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Are the new buildings in this expansion the same new buildings that came in the original (now oop) expansion?
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Brad N
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Riptcord wrote:
Are the new buildings in this expansion the same new buildings that came in the original (now oop) expansion?
I haven't seen an answer to this question posted anywhere, but I am also curious about this. I think it has been implied that, yes, they are the same. However, I'd like someone to state it clearly if possible.
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Tibs
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Riptcord wrote:
Are the new buildings in this expansion the same new buildings that came in the original (now oop) expansion?

I think you posted this question in another thread, but I can't find it.

The Puerto Rico expansion includes all the buildings from the first expansion, and a bunch of brand-new buildings that interact with the noblemen pieces. The new buildings are mostly good, but the Villa/Jeweler combo is broken.
 
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Nick Knutsen
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Regarding the Jeweler/Villa combo: Are you counting all nobles, or only those on the island? Se this thread.
 
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PunchBall wrote:
Regarding the Jeweler/Villa combo: Are you counting all nobles, or only those on the island? Se this thread.

I count all of them, but as I said in that thread, counting only plantation noblemen still can be easily abused.
 
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