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Puerto Rico» Forums » General

Subject: New Puerto Rico Player - Impressions rss

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MrW0nka
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Elk Grove
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First I have to say this truly is a great game. I put of buying it for a long time since it seemed like a game with a lot of rules and setup. I surprised to find out how smoothly it played.

The one question I have though is regarding the buildings. The strategy threads pretty much list about half the buildings in the game as worthless. As I play the game more it is becoming more obvious that some buildings are clearly better than others. So I guess the question is - why is this game held in such high acclaim when there are so many 'useless' buildings?

This is by no means an attack on the game but I'm curious. My hope is that I will find out all buildings are useful in their own right at some point in the game. Would most people agree with that?


BTW, this is my first post ever on BGG - long time reader though. This place is great.
 
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Jason Sadler
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Olney
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Reading strategy articles about this game ruins it. Save them until after the exploration period is over and you've decided to be a merciless competitor.
 
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Kai Peters
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As always, some options in Puerto Rico are more viable than others. And some of the options have an eye-catching value while others need some thinking and/or experience before their value becomes clear.
And some options are admittedly pretty weak compared to others.

Most strategy guides are about the strong (be they obvious or more obscure) options, as they are the ones to aim for. But to make things interesting, those are in limited supply, so you might not get to use them. So from the perspective of a strategy, some buildings are 'worthless', as they are not quite strong enough to build a strategy around them.

But even so, the weakest building can be of some use to some player, and that player might even win with it. They are just of a more tactical value instead of a strategic value.

So, I'd not say there are many 'useless' buildings. There are some that are pretty weak most of the times, some that are not as strong as they seem to be and a few of really questionable value.
 
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Jason Sadler
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Olney
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Hear Hear!
 
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David
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We have a house rule (as do many other players) that the University is built pre-populated with a colonist, to make it a little more useful. However I have never seen anyone actually build it...

However even the 'weak' buildings may be useful in certain situations. You have to keep your mind open to such tactical uses and sometimes experiment a bit.
 
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Jonathan Tang
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Hey, welcome to the forums!

I'll agree with the earlier statement that you shouldn't read the strategy articles. For every guy that swears by a winning combination of buildings, there are five others who will disagree.

But when you have grown bored with the standard buildings, do give the expansion a try. It messes up most "standard" strategies. arrrh
 
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Nick Case
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Just to piggy back the theme flowing here, 'useless' is a bit strong. The University tends to be left unsold in most games but it is a great source of amusement when someone does buy it so its worth keeping for that reason alone.

The best advice I was given with PR was to adapt your game dependant upon what is going on around you. Deciding you will adopt a shipping strategy pre-game is missing the rythmn and potential of this great game. As the game unfolds various buildings will become of more or less use to different players. A building may not maximise your victory points but if buying it stops your #1 opponant scoring big then its a valid strategy to get it and block them. In this scenario there is no such thing as 'useless'.
 
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Ralph Reinert
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As a relatively new Puerto Rico player, I'd like to defend the oft-maligned university. True, it is expensive, and I have usually found a more valuable use of my dubloons. But I have several times done quite well and even won by building a university. In the proper circumstances , of course.

I found it particularly useful, late in the game, in making sure my newly built large building will be manned without relying on someone else choosing a mayor phase or even having to choose to be mayor myself. And when I have also bought the fortress, gaining the exra colonist for every new building has been extremely valuable. (And having a hospice as well can be very sweet.)

So, yes, I have found that the university is usually NOT a wise purchase, but it can be quite effective given the proper planning and observation of my opponents' strategies.

But that's just me.
 
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Chris Hawks
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To me, half the fun of Puerto Rico is seeing what you can do with different building combinations. It's one of those games that's fun to "experiment" with.
 
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MrW0nka
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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm a pretty analytical person and usually good at finding ways to 'break the game'. I've done some design in the past usually mods for realtime games such as Warcraft 3 so I'm definately a deep thinker when it comes to game balance and such. I really don't have enough experience with Puerto Rico yet to really decide what buildings should be changed but I do find the University very useless. Just the fact that you have to wait until its manned and then another builder phase to even make some use out of it seems terrible.
 
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Sean Franco
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We always considered the Office to be a useful piece, but one that you never got when you needed it. Last game, tho', two people were going hard on coffee. One of them got the Office early, as soon as he realized that coffee was worth too much not to possibly trade. He won, too, perhaps from the Office...
 
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mike tauman

New Jersey
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logopolys wrote:
We always considered the Office to be a useful piece, but one that you never got when you needed it. Last game, tho', two people were going hard on coffee. One of them got the Office early, as soon as he realized that coffee was worth too much not to possibly trade. He won, too, perhaps from the Office...


The Office is almost always left on the board in our games. I admit it has a use on some occasions, and once my Dad put it to great use as he was making 2 coffee early he was able to quickly get one into the trading house (b/c my g/f didn't captain his coffee out immediately, which is a must) and used that money to buy the office, enabling him to sell another coffee maybe a couple turns later.

The problem is even with that strategy look at the investment. Coffee Roaster costs 6. Office costs 5. Coffee sells for 4. If you sell 2 coffees (barring markets and taking the trader role) you get back 8, you spent 11, but the buildings net you 5 VP which is pretty decent. More or less you have broken even at that point. However you MUST sell 2 coffee to break even, must do it early enough that laying out 11 dubloons for the roaster and office doesn't cripple you the rest of the game, and for the office to be worthwhile your 2nd sale of coffee has to be when there is no coffee in the trading house already (it hasn't cleared yet) otherwise the office was a waste.

Instead of getting the office, make something else (sugar is often overlooked in 3-way and still cheap to make) or even a corn just to get it into the trading house to clear it and sell your coffee later.

It takes so long to set up the coffee/office combo and so many dubloons, and you spend probably 2 turns taking just the Trader JUST to basically break even means that in that 4-5 turn span you haven't really generated any points. Meanwhile your opponents may be producing and shipping like mad. Furthermore if they are good players, when you have coffee and there are open boats they Captain and try to make sure you are forced to ship your coffee, further setting you back.

So yes maybe there is a use for the Office but for the most part I view it as a very weak investment.

I would much rather just have the Trading Post from the expansion, if you are playing with it.
 
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