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Subject: Puerto Rico or San Juan rss

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Kris Eve
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
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Puerto Rico sounds like my type of game, but I buy the games and I'm the one who explains the rules. My group likes strategy games, but not too heavy. So I'm leaning towards San Juan so that I'll get the same feel as PR, but just in a smaller scale. Comments please
 
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Kevin Moody
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Puerto Rico was far more impressive to me when I first played it, but it doesn't leave the shelf anymore. San Juan does.
 
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Ryan Lee
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i actually do have puerto rico up for trade. With all the hype ihtought it would be better It takes time to setup so maybe that is why i would go with san juan
 
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Nate Sandall
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Do not fear Puerto Rico! If you're unsure about learning to play from the rulebook find some gamers near you who would be willing to teach the game.
 
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Justin Robben
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Spring Hill
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No brainer here, imho.
Puerto Rico is king.
San Juan is a watered down version, that is only useful because it can handle (weakly at that) 2 players.

PR is an easy choice over many, many games...let alone SJ.
 
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Joseph Cardarelli
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Tucson
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Puerto Rico, hands down. San Juan is weak.
 
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Wilson Tan
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San Juan is more "stream-lined" than PR, taking away the complications but yet still just as fun. Actually, i had much more fun playing San Juan than PR. Both are good games, true; eventually you should get both in your collection. San Juan is much more portable, easier to introduce to unsuspecting guests at a party, easy to teach and for newbies to understand. My current favorite. try out the pc version, but i must say that nothing beats playing with human opponents.
 
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Stephen Z
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The truth is, both are great, but, as evidenced by the replies above, liking one does not necessarily mean you'll like the other. I'm glad I own both but if forced to pick only one I'd go with Puerto Rico which is overall superior. San Juan is great for a quick, light card game.
 
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John Mitchell
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I'd echo what Wilson says above about the merits of SJ. It's a very good and versatile game and I think it works fine for 2, though better with 3 or 4. Note that it doesn'y play 5, unlike PR. Without knowing your gaming group I can't say how it would go over with them, but I recommend it as something for your general game shelf.

Though, if you get PR, you and your group would have the advantage of all starting out at the same level of experience. I think the game is much more fun all round if that's the case.
 
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Kris Eve
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Thanks for the feedback.
 
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Will (JR) Todd
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He's probably more confused now than before.
 
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Matthew M
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Allow me to throw some additional support behind San Juan. I've long felt that SJ has unfairly lived in PR's shadow due to the instant comparisons that get drawn. It is a fantastic game and rewards a different set of skills than PR does.

As for your specific question, though I agree that there is no reason to fear PR, I also think that your group would be better served by SJ. By your description, your group sounds rather like the people I most often play games with. While PR will come out on occasion, SJ is one of the first games mentioned as an option when someone suggests playing a game.

-MMM
 
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Paul Kidd
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I would say I'm fairly impartial in that I've played both of them about half a dozen times. I personally don't have a strong preference between them, but I really like both.

There is the obvious point that SJ is 2-4, while PR is 3-5. The only combination of those I haven't played is SJ with 4, but I can say that all the others work well, if a little differently.

I would say that the main difference (apart from the setup and play time) is that SJ doesn't seem to require as much direct hurting of the other player(s). There is definitely the same aspect of choosing the role to give you a greater relative benefit than the other players, but you can't really make them cry as in PR when you ship goods such that someone else has to dump theirs in the harbour.

I would choose PR if I had the option at the beginning of a game night, but SJ is easier to tackle with a shorter time or more tired players.

By the way, my wife is not a serious gamer and much prefers SJ.
 
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Alex Bove
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eveman wrote:
So I'm leaning towards San Juan so that I'll get the same feel as PR, but just in a smaller scale. Comments please


San Juan is a perfectly o.k. game, but it does not have the same feel as PR. At all. All the competition that makes PR so great is absent from SJ. Everyone can sell resources, no matter what has been sold before. There's no competition for buildings (other than who can build them first). Shipping is completely absent from SJ. Need I go on?

San Juan has many PR buildings (but many have different functions) and shares PR's role choice mechanic, but the consequences of decisions in SJ are radically different than the consequences in PR. For me, this makes PR one of the all-time greats and SJ a nice diversion.
 
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Corran Horn
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Chevy Chase
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to be honest, it's not a great comparison-they aren't as similar as you would think. If you like lighter card games-then SJ. If you like heavier, deeper games-then PR. It depends more on your preferences.
 
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David Boeren
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If you like quick light games, especially ones with special power cards, pick San Juan. If you like deeper games that are interesting enough that you will think about the strategy after the game is over, pick Puerto Rico. If you still aren't sure, go with Puerto Rico. San Juan is fine, but it just doesn't have the richness of Puerto Rico. Also, PR should be regarded as 2-5 player, since it has a very good 2p variant.
 
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Joe Everton
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My wife and I own neither, but have played both with another couple (the same couple, actually. They introduced us to both.)

I really enjoyed both. My wife, who only enjoys lighter strategy, said she enjoyed San Juan and would play it again, but I think she would turn down Puerto Rico.
 
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Fraser
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Puerto Rico for me. There are plenty of other light games out there other than San Juan/Puerto Rico lite
 
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Patrick Dignam
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Lithia
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These are two seperate kind of games and really can't be compared.

PR is a good sink-your-teeth-in-to boardgame and SJ is a light "filler" card game. Other than sharing similiar graphics, they are way different.
 
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Jorge Montero
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Flameproof suit on!

I own both, and I'm a big fan of heavy games, just look at my ratings. Still, I'd rather play San Juan 9 out of 10 times. Puerto Rico breaks the second of my gaming commandments: It punishes the bad play, but it doesn't really reward the good one.

As far as I can see, after 20+ plays, there are no brilliant and unexpected moves in Puerto Rico. There are few gambles that pay off: Every option can be easily compared with any other, there are no intangibles. Most of the time, looking back to a game session, I only remember a list of blunders by different players that shape up the game. Player X should have picked captain to get rid of Y's coffee. Player Z shouldn't have picked craftsman. Player Y bought the wrong building. Some people might like the feeling of having to figure out what the 'right' action is, knowing that a single mistake early on can make you a non-contender. I'm really not into that kind of thing.

San Juan, on the other hand, has a lot of hidden information. From deck order to wht is everyone holding in their hand, it's clear that the best move is always out of your reach. It becomes a game of probability, hunches and guesses. You can actually try to read people, instead of just wait for them to make a mistake. Good play can be beaten by luck, but it doesn't lose to a third player's incompetence. Sure, this makes the game way more random than most heavy games, but I'll take San Juan's more 'positive' nature over PR any day.
 
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Paul Kidd
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hibikir wrote:
Flameproof suit on!


No need.

I think I agree with you to some extent, although I do enjoy PR. Hard to put my finger on it, but while I'll always agree to a game of PR it doesn't get me excited like some games do. Not sure why, although it might be for similar reasons to you.

San Juan I feel very happy about, but maybe it's because it's a two player game my wife will happily play!

 
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Mark Campo
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I had same question a day ago and went for...
I bought san juan will arrive in a day or too i hope.

that one becuase I hope it will be a lighter one i can introduce to people with out a set long up time or explination that may intimidate my unadvetorous allmost but not quite gammer friends.
 
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Dave Daring
United States
Palatine
Illinois
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SJ is light and quick.
PR has a horrible learning curve. Out group booted it. yuk
 
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Patrick Dignam
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davedaring wrote:
...PR has a horrible learning curve. Out group booted it. yuk


That's too bad. I think one of the learning obstacles in this game is the whole role concept of the game. One person chooses a role, then everyone gets to do something related to that role. The next guy then gets to choose a role until everyone had choosen a role. After all of this the Governor gets moved. Many people get lost with this switching of turn activity and it doesn't feel "right" to them.

The next obstacle is what the buildings do and it's too much information to go in to detail about them before you play other than a general discription. The best thing is to just dive in and play the game, learning as you go, you quickly get the idea.
 
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Nomadic Gamer
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Sorry, that was just one criticism of PR. That role mechanism is
,IMHO, screwed. It's a time waster. Nothing to do?- Take a prospector.
It's smoke and mirrors and I've critiqued the game elsewhere for other flaws.

Too much learning curve downrates a game, for sure. 'Jumping right in' makes for wrongly played games, which our group won't do.
 
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