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Subject: A building strategy with corn plantations and a university rss

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Brad N
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I played a 3 player game of Puerto Rico with my parents and it was pretty interesting.

My dad was heavy into building with a small market and early plantation. My mom was mostly shipping with indigo and corn early, adding sugar and tobacco later with a pretty early factory. I was third player and went mostly builder strategy from the get-go with a Small Market (used once in the game), a Construction Hut, some quarries and more corn.

Quite early on in this game, I purchased a university (for 7 as we set the price here in our games -> see below for more info). Typically, I avoid the university but I had decided to just build whenever possible and it worked out pretty well. I bought all the cheapest buildings with a quarry or two... hacienda, small indigo, small sugar, large indigo, etc. Only once during the game did I choose not to build when the builder was selected and I was selecting it often. With 4 corn plantations, I was almost always able to ship corn and actually took the captain a fair amount to stop the other players from trading... so, I was scoring points in shipping. Just a few rounds from the end of the game, I picked up a tobacco planatation, sold tobacco and traded it a few turns later for enough money to get a big building. My dad had snagged the guild hall just ahead of me so I had to settle for the fortress (which wasn't bad for me).

My dad ended up stuck early on as my mom and I kept captaining to stop him from trading. So, he rarely had goods and those he had were getting him just a point or two here and there. My mom added a harbor and the customs house to go with her shipping points.

Near the end of the game, I continued to just add small buildings to finish the game up fast and it kind of snuck up on the two of them. They were trying their best to ship when possible and buy big buildings but I was able to end the game just early enough. My dad had to take the mayor on the very last turn of the game to get colonists on his two big buildings; we were all sitting on a lot of shipping points. One more round and I would have certainly lost as I was losing points almost every turn...

Final scores were...
Me: 48 points
Mom: 46 points
Dad: 45 points


Regarding the University:
I recognize that this topic has been discussed at great length so I am not really seeking out opinions here. However, I am curious how others are playing this game with the university. Do you keep the price as listed or change it? For a while, we set the price at 6 and soon realized that was too cheap. So, it now sells for 7 and we believe this is a fair price for the University. How much do you charge?
Poll: University Price
How much do you charge for the University when you play Puerto Rico?
Less than 7 doubloons
7 doubloons
8 doubloons
More than 8 doubloons
We replace the University with an expansion building
Other (explain below)
      37 answers
Poll created by bnordeng
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Sean Franco
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I just switch the order of University and Factory on the board to remind us of their reversed prices.
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Babis Tsimoris
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Are you serious? why to change the prices of the buildings?
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Brad N
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Siromist wrote:
Are you serious? why to change the prices of the buildings?
We did it because we found nobody was buying the university and when someone did, they were rarely competitive. I should add that I am NOT one to change game rules... I almost never do it. I've played PR over 50 times and in our games, at 7, the university does get purchased and can be used well if bought early enough. I've heard rumor that the designer has suggested that the factory and university should switch places, but I've never tried to verify that. Can someone verify whether this is true or not (preferably with a link)?
 
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Michael Becker
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"A zillion plays of Puerto Rico later, most people would flip the costs of the University and Factory.

Evidently, two of those people include designer Andreas Seyfarth and developer Stefan Bruck. In an interview, Seyfarth stated that the only change they’d make in the original design would be to flip the costs of those two buildings. This seems like a good change and I’d love to play with a group that wanted to try it someday"

The above was quoted by Larry Levy on the Tao of Gaming website. Hope this helps.

Michael
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Andrew Norgren
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Honestly, there are a few key ingredients that allowed your strat to work:

The builder was picked too frequently. This always favors a builder, as then you don't have to pick it yourself.

Your opponents did not have enough goods to protect their prize money goods from being shipped. The result was a severe shortage of income for those with big cash crops.

The game probably lasted quite a while. The result is that, in combination with an overpicked builder, you were allowed to make way too much use out of your quarries.

As far as university cost goes, I feel it should certainly be worth 6 or 7 rather than 8, however I feel the factory is properly costed. Experienced players mitigate the advantages of the factory too much, and the factory often won't make much more than it's cost before the end of the game and simply delays the harbor points that could be gotten (harbors are beneficial in exactly the same instances as when a factory is - when the game drags, and when the shipper is diversifying).
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Pieter
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I never change the University, and I sometimes buy it; in particular, I buy it when I am playing a building strategy and I am swimming in doubloons. However, I have to admit that against stronger players I usually do not have the cash to spare. So it mainly comes out in a game against weaker players.
 
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Tibs
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I made a price adjust variant that changes building prices based on the number of players, as I've noticed that some buildings get more or less powerful with different player numbers.

But in all cases, these are the permanent price adjustments I use:
University: 7 doubloons
Factory: 8 doubloons
Large Warehouse: 5 doubloons
Trading Post: 6 doubloons
 
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Eric Nielsen
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My preferred adjustments:

University: 6db, 2vp, 2nd column
Small Warehouse: 5db, 2vp, 2nd column
Large Market*: 7db, 3vp, 3rd column (*changed to +3 on trades)

Harbor: 9db, 3vp, 3rd column
Wharf: 8db, 3vp, 3rd column
 
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