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Subject: Unbeatable strategy ? rss

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Julien Robert
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I have had some 4 players game (3 i can remember of) and I used the same base strategy which seems to work very well.

Get Corn as often as you can (3 at least)
Build Small and Large Market
Build the Office
Sell your Corn for 4 doublons !
Try to get some others ressources in order to break craftman's power
Use your doublons for building the most expensive.

What do you think ?
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Nick Case
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Meanwhile the other players notice your actions and ship like crazy. You won't have any corn to sell.

Also the build up to achieve this engine is quite protracted. If the other players are on top of their game they will have a significant lead that your set up will struggle to catch.
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Julien Robert
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But if you don't sell them, you dock them then it's valuble for VP's..
For the building purposes, you don't need them all at beginning, first take the small market and first corn will be sold for 2 doublons.
Then start the engine as others will probably try to sell corn just to avoid you doing it.
 
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Stefan W.
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Definately unbeatable.
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James Faulkner
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Since Puerto Rico first came out there have been many suggestions of extremely strong strategies and whilst some are fairly strong none are unbeatable as they all depend on the approach adopted by your opponents.

As an aside, I've played and played against a similar strategy to the one you suggest which i think is stronger but still far from unbeatable:
Corn, Indigo and Sugar with Small and Large Markets.
Why it may be better than the one you suggest:
- Indigo and Sugar are generally easier to pick up than multiple Corn as good opponents will value Corn highly (at least once they have a cash crop).
- You don't need to buy an Office as you are unlikely to be blocked too much in the trading house with 3 non-coffee/tobacco crops. This saves a colonist and much needed cash for better buildings.
- You have more options on shipping.
- You have the potential for larger trades getting between 3 and 6 cash
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Julien Robert
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This does not save any colonist as you will need them to produce your sugar and indigo whereas it's not useful for corn.
Everybody has either Corn or Indigo such you can find easily a way to be screwed in the trader phase if you don't have the Office...no ?
the only point which seems better to me is the shipping purpose but as mentionned this is not the aim of this strategy, i only planned to get as many expensive buildings as possible.
 
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Matt Boehland
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But the real question is what happens if he plays that strategy against someone using the Halifax Hammer or starvation strategies.
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James Faulkner
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YoshiFR wrote:
This does not save any colonist as you will need them to produce your sugar and indigo whereas it's not useful for corn.
Everybody has either Corn or Indigo such you can find easily a way to be screwed in the trader phase if you don't have the Office...no ?
the only point which seems better to me is the shipping purpose but as mentionned this is not the aim of this strategy, i only planned to get as many expensive buildings as possible.

Agreed on the colonist. The main points are the saving on buying the office and the potential for larger trades. Also sets you up to make better use out of a Factory or Harbour purchase. Personally I wouldn't be so concerned about being blocked from the trading house with this approach.

 
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Pieter
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YoshiFR wrote:
I have had some 4 players game (3 i can remember of) and I used the same base strategy which seems to work very well.

Get Corn as often as you can (3 at least)
Build Small and Large Market
Build the Office
Sell your Corn for 4 doublons !
Try to get some others ressources in order to break craftman's power
Use your doublons for building the most expensive.

What do you think ?

First of all, the success of any Puerto Rico strategy depends on the strategies used by the opponents. Your proposed strategy is reasonable but definitely not strong, and will work only against weak opponents.

What you propose is a Building strategy. Personally I think that Building strategies can be really strong, especially if the other players use Shipping strategies (which most beginning players do). The goal of the Building strategy is to score points by constructing buildings, and end the game on a full board before the Shipping strategies really take off.

Is the Building strategy that you propose any good in general circumstances? I'd say no. I'll give you some reasons:

(1) You need a LOT of doubloons to pull it off. Small Market + Large Market + Office cost 11 doubloons -- you start with only 3. How are you going to get the other 8 doubloons? You suggest selling corn for 2, but you can do that only once until you have got the Office, and the Office is expensive.

(2) You need three buildings, one of which you might not get at all because it is in high demand (Small Market), and one which might be unavailable if other players are following Building strategies too (Large Market).

(3) You need far too many actions before your strategy starts working: 3 Builder actions, at least 2 Settler actions, probably 3 Mayors, some Prospectors and Traders (you need to get money from somewhere), and probably 2 Craftsmen.

(4) Even when you get it working, it does not work as efficiently as it could: you trade a Corn for 4 doubloons, but if you had invested in Coffee, you could have traded a Coffee for 8 doubloons. And because everybody has Corn at some point and because you need two Corn trades to equal one Coffee trade, to be able to generate the amount of money that Coffee brings with Corn trades you need the Office and you need more Trader actions.

(5) If your opponents have any brains, they will either take the Trader before you can and trade something more valuable than your Corn, or they ship your Corn away. Note that Shipping is NOT optional: if someone picks the Captain and you can ship, you have to.

All in all, what it comes down to is that your strategy is relatively slow in generating money. Building strategies rely on speed.

If you want to try out a more efficient Building strategy, realize that it is all about money. Invest in a Quarry, probably two, before taking more Corn. Invest in a diversity of resources so that you do not need the Office to trade. I suggest you try to get Tobacco or Coffee (preferably one that nobody else has, and definitely one that your right-hand neighbor does not have), and besides the Small Market not to buy any other building until you have the corresponding production building. Usually you can get it out in round 3. If your opponents manage to start shipping, and you have got at least three resources which you produce, buy a Factory so that you also get money when they produce. And after you have got your production building, do not hold out for the big buildings: if you CAN build, you should, even if it is a small building that you will not use.

Note that investing in a lot of Corn, as you propose, is actually leading towards a Shipping strategy.
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Julien Robert
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First, thanks for your analysis, i must admit i did not think about everything you mentionned but here are some additional thoughts

Small market can be bought in round 1, after that you can always sell your corn for at least 2 doubloons.
It is often easy to collect some doubloons with roles that are not chosen in the beginning. (sorry my english is not that good)
Mayor is not that important in the beggining of the game for this strategy as i don't need workers for Corn production, and i guess some of the players are going to take the mayor and i will such get workers.
By the time you will be able to sell your coffee, i will have sold a large amount of corn without spendig any money for the production tile, and eventualy buy some other buildings for VP's.
The fact that it is used for a shipping strategy is not a problem to my mind as it can offers you a different path to victory if at some point you feel you're not going to do it through the building one.

Last, i must admit that it is highly dependent on how many players get Corn. The fewer the better...
 
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Chris Berger
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YoshiFR wrote:
Small market can be bought in round 1, after that you can always sell your corn for at least 2 doubloons.


You mean, at least 1 dubloon. You can't count on getting the trader every time. If the trader has a dubloon on it, people will choose it as if it were a Prospector role, even if it lets you trade a Corn.

More importantly your "strategy" involves getting 3 things that are heavily contested: Corn plantations, Small Market, and the Trader Role. And then, you're not even planning to use Corn for what it's best at - shipping.

Quote:
By the time you will be able to sell your coffee, i will have sold a large amount of corn without spendig any money for the production tile,


Where large amount = maybe 2. In your outlined sequence, the Office is your production building.

Quote:
(sorry my english is not that good)

Actually, it's pretty good. Your entire post is better worded than any single sentence I could construct in French. So no worries there.

Flyboy Connor wrote:
(3) You need far too many actions before your strategy starts working: 3 Builder actions, at least 2 Settler actions, probably 3 Mayors, some Prospectors and Traders (you need to get money from somewhere), and probably 2 Craftsmen.


Yep. And by that time the game is probably 1/3rd over. Especially for the Builder actions, because you won't have enough money to buy both the Office and Large Market by turn 3 - without the Large Market you're only getting 1-2 dubloons per corn, and without the Office you can only sell one Corn until everyone else has established a trade good and probably sold for more than you. Good luck turning that "huge" 4 dubloons for your Corn into buildings fast enough. Especially when you're relying on being able to take the Trader action yourself to get even that much.
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Chris Berger
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Closer to an unbeatable strategy is:
1) Get every Corn.
2) Ship it.

Part 1 is the sticking point.
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Paul King
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YoshiFR wrote:

Small market can be bought in round 1, after that you can always sell your corn for at least 2 doubloons.


The Small Market may be bought in turn 1 - unless the other players buy both of them first, but you can only sell Corn for two if YOU take the Trader - if someone else takes it you will only get 1 Dubloon, if that.

Quote:

It is often easy to collect some doubloons with roles that are not chosen in the beginning. (sorry my english is not that good)


That doesn't really affect the point that the strategy is relatively slow. It's cheaper to get going on Sugar than it is to buy a Large Market, for instance.

Quote:

Mayor is not that important in the beggining of the game for this strategy as i don't need workers for Corn production, and i guess some of the players are going to take the mayor and i will such get workers.

Of course you do need workers on the plantations to produce Corn, but your need for workers is relatively low so maybe you can get away with it.

Quote:

By the time you will be able to sell your coffee, i will have sold a large amount of corn without spendig any money for the production tile, and eventualy buy some other buildings for VP's.


No, you won't. Don't forget that a Coffee Roaster only costs 1 more than an Large Market and your income probably won't ahead of anybody else's until you get a Large Market - Indigo alone is as good as Corn plus Small Market and doesn't cost any more to get or use any more workers to produce.

Quote:

The fact that it is used for a shipping strategy is not a problem to my mind as it can offers you a different path to victory if at some point you feel you're not going to do it through the building one.

Last, i must admit that it is highly dependent on how many players get Corn. The fewer the better...


Corn is in high demand amongst experienced players because it is so good for shipping. Expect other players to take it when they have the chance.
 
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Julien Robert
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I am fully aware of the mass-corn shipping strategy.
I just like the idea to offer an alternative if some other guys are playing mass-shipping...
Anyway, the word "unbeatable" was much more about marketing than a real conviction...
But believe it or not, i played this way the last three times and i win, not by far the last time but stilla win.
Not to mentionned that it was the same opponents... maybe not a good point for them ;p
I also do agree that there are relatively few strategies that work efficiently in any occasion but i am sure a solid corn production is the best way to offer multiple paths to victory, of course if you are able to produce sthg else besides (such as tobacco or coffee).
Basically two main strategies are coming to my mind, shipping VS building, and as i don't like the shipping way of winning, i am always searching the best way to ensure a consistent mechanism to allow fast and expensive constructions...
 
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Ed Sherman
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Sure, if all the other players totally cooperate with your strategy and don't try to stop you, it's unbeatable.
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Ben Bateson
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Food for thought: I have had three of the 10-point buildings in a 4P and still lost the game.

Unbeatable unschmeatable.
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Len
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Matt Boehland wrote:
But the real question is what happens if he plays that strategy against someone using the Halifax Hammer or starvation strategies.


Don't forget the "Big Money" strategy.
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LSMB wrote:
Matt Boehland wrote:
But the real question is what happens if he plays that strategy against someone using the Halifax Hammer or starvation strategies.


Don't forget the "Big Money" strategy.


Good old Rock. Nothing beats that.
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Aaron Bohm
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You know that buying Tobacco Storage and going Tobacco vs. Small+large market and corn is cheaper and yields as much cash, right?

And there are no "10 pt buildings," those are 10 cost buildings with a base of 4 points and the possibility of earning bonus points.

Either way, for an income strategy:
full factory strategy > a trading strategy
 
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Julien Robert
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Cheaper for doubloons purposes but not for workers for instance and the timing for the strategy seems to be slower for tobacco to my mind as you can begin the game with one corn as you probably won't be able to produce any tobacco before at least turn 2, besides you are so lucky that in turn 1, everything goes so smoothly that you have peasant, mayor, builder and so on...
 
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Julien Robert
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ousgg wrote:
Food for thought: I have had three of the 10-point buildings in a 4P and still lost the game.

Unbeatable unschmeatable.


How is that possible ?
I guess you should have taken others buildings...
To avoid any further discussion, you are talking about 10-cost buildings ? right ?
as the Vp's are 4 plus bonus
 
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Paul King
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I really wonder if you are playing the game correctly.

Tobacco takes two workers to produce (one on the plantation, one on the production building) and sells for 3 base in the market.

To get the same for Corn you need one worker on a Corn plantation, one on a Small Market and one on a Large Market. That's three workers.

Two is LESS than three, not more. So how is Tobacco more expensive in terms of workers?

(And I'd guess that losing with 3 10-cost buildings is easy if none of them are manned at the end...)
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Julien Robert
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Paul King wrote:
Two is LESS than three, not more.


that must be the part i missed...
Thanks for help
 
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Jimmy Superfly Snuka
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best strategy is learn and perfect 3 strategies and learn when they should be deployed.

Learn a shipper, builder and half/half shipper/builder

Strong players never go into a game with the "I'm doing this" mentality.

While the TC's strategy is sound, there are to many holes in it and I won't get into them as they have been identified by many other people.

TC, I think you saved yourself from major flaming by putting a question mark at the end of your subject.
 
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Justin Woods
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I'm shocked your strategy works in a 4 player game. As somebody who really focuses on what crops other people are building, and blocking off the largest boats possible with Tabacco/Coffee, I can't see how you'd win so consistently.
 
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