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Subject: Thousands of BGG’ers are Wrong…Cuba is MUCH harder than Puerto Rico rss

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Melissa Welborn
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Anderson
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This afternoon we just had a marathon gaming session with Cuba, followed by Puerto Rico. I noticed that playing Cuba puts my nerves completely on edge. I have difficulty choosing a strategy and spend a good portion of the first part of the game completely befuddled about what to do.

The strategy I chose at last was to farm tobacco, convert them to cigars with the cigar factory, and have fun with them in the cigar café. That worked fine, but it was a very cash-poor strategy. I considered adding a bank or some other cash-generating machine, but needed two tobacco fields, and with the placement of the café and factory, I had few options to add another building.

In the end, I did well, scoring second. But how do I explain this overwhelming feeling that what I was doing wasn’t good enough? With Agricola, I know I need to fill all the spaces, have at least one of each animal, grain and vegetable... With Puerto Rico, I know I need to have an engine to generate coin to buy more buildings to earn points...With Cuba, there are so many ways to earn money and get points, I get overwhelmed.

So, from someone who can play Dominion with the best (Larry, of course), do marvelously well at train games, average at Stone Age and Agricola ... Cuba leaves me frustrated and stressed.
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David Hoffman
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I vastly prefer Cuba over Puerto Rico. It's definitely one of my favorite games -- though I don't get to play it nearly as much as I'd like.
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Michael Denman
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I've only played Cuba once and Puerto Rico many times. What irked me about Cuba was that all of the buildings were singletons. I had a plan and another player snagged the building I needed. I had to suddenly come up with a Plan B. Maybe if I played the game some more, this wouldn't bother me and I'd understand how to be prepared to be flexible, but it was irritating at the time. Despite this, I don't think I can say that Cuba is harder than Puerto Rico. The role selection... and letting everyone else follow and do the same thing... really makes Puerto Rico a bit tougher to sort out. Also, Cuba is clearly more graphically appealing so that's going to make it easier to play as well. That's the point of having good layouts and icons, of course.
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Troy
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This overtext is far more interesting than I am.
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I haven't played this yet. The board looks beautiful.

The point of stress you are explaining is very intriguing to me. How do you think players with tendencies towards AP would handle it? I have a couple in my group that I am concerned about.

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Melissa Welborn
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Trump wrote:
I've only played Cuba once and Puerto Rico many times. What irked me about Cuba was that all of the buildings were singletons. I had a plan and another player snagged the building I needed. I had to suddenly come up with a Plan B. Maybe if I played the game some more, this wouldn't bother me and I'd understand how to be prepared to be flexible, but it was irritating at the time. Despite this, I don't think I can say that Cuba is harder than Puerto Rico. The role selection... and letting everyone else follow and do the same thing... really makes Puerto Rico a bit tougher to sort out. Also, Cuba is clearly more graphically appealing so that's going to make it easier to play as well. That's the point of having good layouts and icons, of course. :)


I agree that the fact that there is only one of each building is frustrating. The previous time I tried Cuba I failed at the cigar strategy because someone else bought the cafe. And it's not that I dislike the game...but it really stresses me out.
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Melissa Welborn
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1nf1n1ty wrote:
I haven't played this yet. The board looks beautiful.

The point of stress you are explaining is very intriguing to me. How do you think players with tendencies towards AP would handle it? I have a couple in my group that I am concerned about.



I think you have nailed the reason why this game stresses me out...There are so many options that I just don't know what to do. For example, if you make cigars, you can sell them in the market, put them on the ship, convert them to victory points in the cafe....Then if you are specializing with one thing, such as tobacco, it's hard to get the wood and stone needed to build a building. Then if you get the wood and stone from your land instead of growing tobacco, then you still don't have the money to buy the tobacco. Do you see where I am going with this? (Cackle insanely)
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girlgamegeek wrote:
1nf1n1ty wrote:
I haven't played this yet. The board looks beautiful.

The point of stress you are explaining is very intriguing to me. How do you think players with tendencies towards AP would handle it? I have a couple in my group that I am concerned about.



I think you have nailed the reason why this game stresses me out...There are so many options that I just don't know what to do. For example, if you make cigars, you can sell them in the market, put them on the ship, convert them to victory points in the cafe....Then if you are specializing with one thing, such as tobacco, it's hard to get the wood and stone needed to build a building. Then if you get the wood and stone from your land instead of growing tobacco, then you still don't have the money to buy the tobacco. Do you see where I am going with this? (Cackle insanely)


Um yeah... backs away slowly....



See, that kind of choice makes my gaming juices flow. I love to be pressed with a thousand choices and try to figure out the best combination. It is just others in my group when faced with that will sit and stare at the board for days (or so it seems.)

Good luck with the neurosis btw.
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In PR, the buildings may not be singletons, but they're still limited in quantity. IIRC, it scales to the # of players, but even then, the # of violet buildings aren't necessarily enough. Not everyone will want to get a Harbor or a Factory, but if there's a mindset towards them, there will be at least one broken heart.

One thing about Cuba that's NOT in PR is geography/spatial deduction. In PR, you can place the buildings and plantations in any way you want. If you need to rearrange buildings to make room for a big building, you're allowed to do that. In Cube, you need to be careful about where you move your worker, and where you build buildings... lest you don't get full benefit from the actions you choose.

I still enjoy PR, but Cuba is much rarer to get played, that I will spring for it if given the choice.
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Hahn Arama
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I had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me 'Abu el Banat'. And whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as Abu el Banat. And the Bedouin would laugh and laugh and offer me a Pint of beer. (cont below)
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And I'd go to pay them for the beer and they wouldn't let me. "Abu el Banat" means "father of daughters." They thought the beer was the least they could do.
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Root canal or Cuba? I chose Root canal.

Thousands of us are not wrong.
 
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Michael Denman
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hahnarama wrote:
Root canal or Cuba? I chose Root canal.

Thousands of us are not wrong.


How come? Like I said, I've only played once, but I'm curious to play again if I ever get the chance. Are you saying that my curiousity is better used elsewhere?
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Wolf Wittenstein
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Talking about stressed out: have you tried out the expansion El Presidente, adding another 2 rounds to Cuba (and another hour of play) and more brain wrecking? That I do call "stressed out". Usually I bring a couple of spare t-shirts to the extended Cuba gaming session ;-)
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Olav Fakkeldij
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When I started reading your title I expected to read: "Thousands of BGG’ers are Wrong…Cuba is no fun at all"
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Patrick Nickell
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Cuba is a great game and when I am describing it to gamers who haven't played it before I describe it as Princes of Florence meets Stone Age with a parliament mechanic. I am going to play this a lot and find it to be quite fun and enjoyable. I would highly encourage people to play it a couple of times and mke sure you have a good grasp on the rules to play it right. It is unique and different from any game I have played while reminding me of several that I have.

FYI, thousands of people are wrong about thousands of things.
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Tony Chen
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I am not an expert on either, but for me Puerto Rico is more interactive, whereas Cuba is more solitaire-puzzle-like. In Puerto Rico there is more depth in the way one's action affect other players. With Cuba the hardest part is figuring out which buildings to build where on one's mat, and how to get resources to build those and get it running. Other than rushing to certain limited stuff before others, it's logistic crunching on your own.

I like both about the same. In fact I may like Cuba a little better. But I wouldn't say it is "harder" per se. I'd say it is "crunchier."
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