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Puerto Rico» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Other players strategy affecting result rss

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Mike Batty
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Hi,

I'm still quite an inexperienced Puerto Rico player but I am trying to improve and have been working my way through the strategy articles on BGG.

Sometimes I finish a game and really struggle to see what I could have done better. My question is how much (if at all) does another player's bad judgement affect the outcome of the game? For example, if a player is inadvertently aiding the player on their left, how much can you do to offset this through your own strategy? Do you sometimes have to accept that you lost because of another player's poor decisions or are losses always down to your own poor play?

I'll give a little example. Player A has the most VPs and it is Player B's turn to ship. Player A has 1 tobacco, player C has 1 sugar, and player B has both. There is only space for one barrel of sugar and one barrel of tobacco. Player B blocks player C by shipping the sugar leaving player A to ship the tobacco. When this sort of thing is happening consistently do you just have to sigh and accept the win is unlikely this time or is there a way of playing differently?

Mike
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Nick Case
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You can't predict what a weaker player will do. The only way to compensate for this is to make sure YOU sit on their left.
 
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Sam Carroll
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Yes, you always sit on A player's left side. You don't always sit at THE WEAKEST player's left side. That's what the OP is talking about.
 
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Mike Batty
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I mostly play online where player order is randomly chosen at the beginning.
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Nick Case
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Ahhhh.
Pedro Pereira
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was so embarrassed by his reply that he's wiped it out.

Shame it was rather funny.
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Len
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Flying Rodent wrote:
Hi,

I'm still quite an inexperienced Puerto Rico player but I am trying to improve and have been working my way through the strategy articles on BGG.

Sometimes I finish a game and really struggle to see what I could have done better. My question is how much (if at all) does another player's bad judgement affect the outcome of the game? For example, if a player is inadvertently aiding the player on their left, how much can you do to offset this through your own strategy? Do you sometimes have to accept that you lost because of another player's poor decisions or are losses always down to your own poor play?

I'll give a little example. Player A has the most VPs and it is Player B's turn to ship. Player A has 1 tobacco, player C has 1 sugar, and player B has both. There is only space for one barrel of sugar and one barrel of tobacco. Player B blocks player C by shipping the sugar leaving player A to ship the tobacco. When this sort of thing is happening consistently do you just have to sigh and accept the win is unlikely this time or is there a way of playing differently?

Mike


If playing face-to-face, you could advise them on how not to aid another player. Table talk is a part of the game.

Online, I am not sure there is much you could do.
 
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M M
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Flying Rodent wrote:
Hi,My question is how much (if at all) does another player's bad judgement affect the outcome of the game?

It can be quite a bit. Someone who is good and knows what they're doing you can generally plan around as you can predict what they're going to do. But someone who is new and/or bad... well, sometimes it's just not worth playing.

Flying Rodent wrote:
For example, if a player is inadvertently aiding the player on their left, how much can you do to offset this through your own strategy? Do you sometimes have to accept that you lost because of another player's poor decisions or are losses always down to your own poor play?

I'll give a little example. Player A has the most VPs and it is Player B's turn to ship. Player A has 1 tobacco, player C has 1 sugar, and player B has both. There is only space for one barrel of sugar and one barrel of tobacco. Player B blocks player C by shipping the sugar leaving player A to ship the tobacco. When this sort of thing is happening consistently do you just have to sigh and accept the win is unlikely this time or is there a way of playing differently?

Sometimes you're just going to lose.

The only thing that you can do to try to help yourself out is that generally, people who play badly, play badly in a consistent direction. I.e., they think that producing is great so will do it every chance they have or they love to sell goods so will do that whenever possible. So you can sometimes anticipate, and pre-plan, for it. But other times the actions just seem totally random and, well, you can't plan for random. Like in your shipping example, there's nothing to do. Next game.
 
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Pedro Pereira
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Ahhhh.
Pedro Pereira
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was so embarrassed by his reply that he's wiped it out.

Shame it was rather funny.


Had obviously misinterpreted the post. Sam was right, so no point in leaving a pointless reply...
 
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Game Guy
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If you are sitting to the left of the "Master Craftsman" (a typical noob mistake), recognize from the beginning that buildings which offset being second-to-last on the ships and in the trading house (office, sm. warehouse, wharf) have increased value.
 
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Duncan P
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This is an unfortunate shortfall for multiplayer Puerto Rico in particular. In a close game the winner is sometimes determined by the decisions made by the losing player.

If all players are acting to best advance their own position this is a part of normal game flow which you can plan for strategically. It's only really an issue of fairness if players put their own game aside and make deliberate decisions to sabotage/favour a particular player. If you want to avoid that play 2-player or play against yourself.

The good thing about face-to-face play is that the strategy is based on open information so you can discuss role choices and their immediate effects with less experienced players without really throwing a spanner in the works for others at the table. Gradually players will be able to perceive the later effects of decisions they (and other players) make this turn.
 
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Game Guy
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After several hundred games, I really think this aspect is overrated. PR strategy is largely about giving yourself multiple "outs" (to borrow the poker term) so that another player's decisions cannot cripple you. I call this "Craftsman-proofing" my game. I have never seen a game where so many players feel justified in saying that they did everything right and lost because someone else did it wrong. Notice that this logic assumes that the other player was "right" if they help the first player win.
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James Faulkner
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What the Game Guy above said.

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