29 May 2011

Puerto Rico

The guy who lives next to me over here in the desert is a board game fanatic. He plays them, he designs them, he loves them. He works the same job I do, but on a different shift, so we don’t hang out much. He’s recruited a group of people to play a game called Puerto Rico in the evenings, when I am sleeping, but he came in the other day while I was on shift and talked me and the Lieutenant into trying it out. It’s a typical resource management game, with players trying to colonize an island, build infrastructure, grow crops, and ship those crops out for victory points or sell them for money to buy more buildings. I’m sure the website for the game offers a decent summary of gameplay, but you have to balance out all of the different actions you can take and eventually build more buildings and ship more goods than the other players. If you get out of balance with your resources, it is possible for the other players to lock you out for a turn or more based on what they choose to do when they lead a turn off. It seems like an okay game, but I haven’t quite grasped all of the rules or even all of the objectives yet. We may play again sometime soon, if he pops in again during my shift.Here's the game description from the Board Game Geek site:

The players are plantation owners in Puerto Rico in the days when ships had sails. Growing up to five different kind of crops—corn, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and coffee—they must try to run their business more efficiently than their close competitors: growing crops and storing them efficiently, developing San Juan with useful buildings, deploying their colonists to best effect, selling crops at the right time, and, most importantly, shipping their goods back to Europe for maximum benefit.
The game system lets players choose the order of the phases in each turn by allowing each player to choose a role from those remaining when it is their turn. No role can be selected twice in the same round. The player who selects the best roles to advance their position during the game will win.

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