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Puerto Rico» Forums » Rules

Subject: Selecting Captain or Trader rss

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Michael Randolph
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Do you have to have a good to ship or sell in order to select the Captain or the Trader? The description in Trader reads "may" while the Captain does not. I understand that if you select Captain, you have to ship if you have a good that fits on a ship. I also understand that you would not get the role privilege if you are unable to ship or sell.
 
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Garry Rice
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I don't believe so. In my limited experience playing PR, I could see taking the Captain without having any goods myself to possibly force others to ship goods they don't want to ship or force them to lose goods if there isn't room on the ship...but I don't know why you'd take trader without a good (unless there's a stack of gold on there!), and give others a chance to earn money.
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Jeff Chunko
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You do not need any goods. The most common reason to select a role that you cannot use is to gain the coins on the role, but frequently people will choose it to deny others the privilege of the role. Less often you can foil others plans by forcing them to ship or trade when they don't wish to do so.
 
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miker7716 wrote:
Do you have to have a good to ship or sell in order to select the Captain or the Trader?


No you do not. If this is the case the only benefit you would get would be any money that has accumulated on the role card. This may be enough reason to take it, especially if you are certain the next player would take it anyway, thus you could be depriving them of the money and the privilege devil
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Adam Smiles
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garry_rice wrote:
but I don't know why you'd take trader without a good (unless there's a stack of gold on there!), and give others a chance to earn money.


1. You don't have an office and you want the trading house to empty so you can sell your expensive coffee or tobacco next turn.

2. There's limited space left in the trading house and it's more important that player B not use it, than player A be allowed to use it.

3. It's important that Player A gets enough cash to buy the last bonus building, so that player B doesn't (for either pure VPs or for game end timing reasons).

etc....
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John Weber
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If you dig through the files at BGG and find some of the early strategy articles that contain specific examples of recommending opening play in both 3-player and 4-player PR, you will find that the standard "opening lines" involve players taking the Trader or Captain with one doubloon and no goods on it in Turn 2. The thinking behind these plays is that (1) it's no different than taking a one dollar prospector, plus (2) you are denying that extra doubloon to another player who might benefit from selecting that role in Turn 3.
 
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Jim Campbell
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John Weber wrote:
The thinking behind this plays is that (1) it's no different than taking a one dollar prospector, plus (2) you are denying that extra doubloon to another player who might benefit from selecting that role in Turn 3.


This is true, because during the first few rounds of the game the three bonus doubloons added each turn are something like half of the total income. Also, the production-oriented roles are not very effective due to the very small barrel output. So it often pays to use roles like the captain and trader in counter-intuitive ways, just to prevent imbalances in the money distribution. As the overall skill of the participants increases and these moves become more common, early income goes down rather than up. This makes those income denial techniques more important, not less.
 
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Michael Randolph
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Thanks for all of the input. It looks like we were unknowingly playing with a house rule.
 
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