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Subject: Going from San Juan to Puerto Rico rss

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Rich Farrington
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My wife is not the gamer I am, but when I got San Juan in a recent trade, I found something she really likes (as I do). The varying roles, the buildings with multiple uses, and the balance of how to acquire points all appeals to us. It seems San Juan is billed as a kind of Puerto Rico's little brother, but I was wondering if anyone has started with San Juan and then tried PR. Though I've bought eight games and five expansions over the past year, when I described what I knew of PR to my wife and told her it was the number 2 rated game on BGG, she DIDN'T reply, "We don't need another game." So, we have San Juan and like it a lot. Is PR a step up that we would probably like?
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True Blue Jon
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Yes
 
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Carc >> BSG
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No
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Ian Klinck
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Yes, this would be a good "next game".
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Laurence Parsons
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If there's only 2 of you going to play, then probably no. I'm not a fan of the special 2-player variant. I don't think you get the full benefit of the game and it may put you off from playing 3-5 players (as it was designed).
PR is at the top of the charts for a very good reason, but that's primarily on its 3-5 player version. I happen to think that SJ is the better game if there are only 2 of you.
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Mi Myma
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I really like both games, and even though there are similarities, there's one big difference: Luck. You can be greatly helped or hurt by luck in San Juan, but there's almost no luck in Puerto Rico. If your wife gets a really unlucky card draw in San Juan, that might be a perfect time to suggest Puerto Rico.

Yes, PR is a bit more complex, but if you've got SJ pretty well down, PR shouldn't be a problem.
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Steve Tidwell
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My wife and I started with PR and later played SJ. For me both games scratch the same itch; my wife doesn't feel quite the same way. Though we both like both games, she likes PR much more.

I would suggest that when you get PR in you read over the rules many times and maybe run a little simulation game yourself to make sure you have everything down and your wife will love it.

Happy gaming! :-)
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Josh P.
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I agree with freduk. 2p PR is a great learning experience, but the game is really meant for more players. If you are feeling limited by SJ, try Race for the Galaxy next. It is similar to SJ and has many of the same paths to victory, but there are much more options available.
 
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True Blue Jon
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It looks like a lot of of people are assuming you're only playing 2-player. Is that a correct assumption? If so, were you planning on playing Puerto Rico mostly 2-player also?
 
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Gordon Adams
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It was only recently that I got hooked on San Juan and I am now playing Puerto Rico. I thank SJ for getting me interested in PR

PR has much more depth than SJ and is a truely wonderful game. It has so much to offer and so much more thinking to be done than SJ. I simply love it.

As a 2 player: I play this variant. It is not as good a 3 player (which I really enjoy much more), but I will not give up playing it with just two.

Enjoy.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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For 2 player, Race for the Galaxy is definitely a better choice for a similar-but-more-complex version of San Juan. For more players...well, I still might go with Race, but Puerto Rico is at least in the discussion...
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Rich Farrington
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quozl wrote:
It looks like a lot of of people are assuming you're only playing 2-player. Is that a correct assumption? If so, were you planning on playing Puerto Rico mostly 2-player also?


I could have been a bit clearer. My wife and I play a fair amount of two player, but our one son who is still living with us is always up for a game (of anything) when he is home. So I'd say it's about 70% 2 player, and 30% 3 or more players.

I don't mind buying a game meant for a minimum of 3, but I do prefer to at least have a variant that can work for two. Thanks for all the input! I'll have to read up more on RFTG also, now.
 
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Dylan Shakespeare
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Buy PR, scrap SJ (and don't buy RFTG).
 
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Gordon Adams
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Correct me if I am wrong but Rich already has San Juan.
 
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Chris Dunbar
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Your story and question are very apropos! I introduced my wife to San Juan about 3 months ago and she loved it! We've since played about 8 or so games of SJ together. Then, just this weekend, I introduced her to Puerto Rico when we had company visiting, and she really enjoyed it!

She mentioned the obvious, like there's far more going on in PR than in SJ and you have to pay closer attention. She also mentioned that having played SJ first really helped her understand PR and she thinks PR would have been too much to get a handle on if she went into it cold.

I definitely agree with franktidwell! Read the rules several times and play a few mock turns by yourself to make sure you understand it. PR is very straight-forward, but just keep an eye on the details. Things like the Craftsman receiving their 1 extra good after everyone else gets their goods, and resupplying the Colonist Ship with the appropriate amount of colonists, are subtle, but very important rules.

Getting her to love a new game is awesome. Getting her to love a new game using the wrong rules and then correcting them on the 3rd or 4th play could spoil it for her.

Good luck!
 
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Rich Farrington
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HenryFatass wrote:

I definitely agree with franktidwell! Read the rules several times and play a few mock turns by yourself to make sure you understand it. PR is very straight-forward, but just keep an eye on the details. Things like the Craftsman receiving their 1 extra good after everyone else gets their goods, and resupplying the Colonist Ship with the appropriate amount of colonists, are subtle, but very important rules.


Thanks. I am one for details, to the point that I've generally read the complete rules several times over even before buying a game, even if I can't understand everything without having the components. And I already do play things out myself a bit before teaching others. Good advice.

I have to say that when I first saw the first two replies from Jon and Eric (one simply "Yes" and the other "No, it gave me a good laugh. Taken together, I thought, "That helps a lot!" (Not belittling them, it just struck me funny to get such opposing answers without the reasons.) If it was intended as humor, it worked.
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Dylan Shakespeare
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Ok: if you want a very satisfying gaming experience; if you want a lot bang for your buck; if you want San Juan without the luck; then Puerto Rico is right for you. I highly recommend it, because there's a reason that it is the #2 rated board game on BGG! (Sorry for being so non-specific before, but I don't like SJ or RFTG because it leaves one wanting when they're over. gulp )
 
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Steve Duff
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Though I love San Juan and PR, I don't think this is the best choice for you.

First of all, the way you describe your wife as not the gamer you are. And two, your collection size is still quite small.

I'd fill out your collection with more varied games, games that are a little lighter and more accessible for her.

Things like Stone Age, Pandemic, a Ticket to Ride game, Thebes, Valdora, etc.

I'd add PR some time later.
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I think that its a great choice. PR ups the level of complexity, but not by that much. There is still a very similar decision matrix with very similar concepts and ideas.

For a 'heavier weight' game, PR isn't that heavy, especially if she like San Juan. Go for it. You won't regret it! And the 2-player variant is exceptionally playable as well.

 
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Matt N

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To resurrect an old thread:

Puerto Rico is not a two player game, and it plays poorly with a beginner (a lot of the time), so this would be best if you had a consistent set of friends that you could play it with. Puerto Rico is a lot of fun with the right group of people, but it doesn't sound like you have that group set up.

I would be more inclined to recommend Race for the Galaxy, Citadels, or even Glory to Rome. All three of the games have role selection and multiuse buildings (although Citadels is a bit marginal for the buildings). Race for the Galaxy is a more elegant version of San Juan with more depth, less text, and a much steeper learning curve. So, read some reviews before you try it, and make sure you'd be willing to play three games while being confused; otherwise, leave it behind. Citadels has more stabbing and conflict, with less of the pure optimization. I've never played Glory to Rome, but apparently it's a game where every card is potentially overpowered and finding and exploiting a good card combo is the core of the game. I prefer Race for the Galaxy over the others, but all of them might suit you.
 
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