13th May - Puerto Rico

This week and old classic, Puerto Rico. Now I'm not about to describe this game to you because if you're reading this blog the chances are that you know all about Puerto rico, it's been number one on the boardgamegeek website for as long as I can remember.

It's been at least a year since I played this game and I was a bit rusty, there were a few things that I wanted to do that I left too close to the end, and of course the end came about too quickly. Watching Steve and Richard I kinda figured that Richard was out in front and Steve and I were fairly close to taking 2nd place. Well I was wrong, somehow Steve had carefully managed to stash away more VPs than we'd thought, and of course I ended up in last place again. Puerto Rico is an excellent game and is number 1 deservedly so, I really need to play it more often.

Steve 56, Richard 45, Garry 42

We had some time left over so had a few hands of Flaschentufel. This is a really neat trick taking game where you try to avoid the lowest card in the pack. If you end up with it in you hand you score minus points (eekk!).

Steve and Richard had both played it a week previously and I was a bit rusty (well this is my excuse). After 2 hands I had managed to avoid the 1 card so became and instant target for the last round.

Steve 56, Richard 54, Garry 40


Steve Cox said...

My score was made up of 10 points for buildings (small indigo plant, small sugar mill, small warehouse, harbour and customs house), 37 VP chips, and 9 bonus points.
This was easily the fewest buildings I’ve ever had, and probably the most VP chips. How did I get so many?
For most of the game, I was only producing 1 corn, 1 indigo and 1 sugar, of which I normally only managed to get two on the ships in the captain’s phase. However, with the captain and the harbour (which I bought early on, before the warehouse), that is still 4 VPs per captain phase – and still 4 if someone else was the captain, as I often had an extra barrel from taking the cfaftsman - so 9 captain’s phases were all that I needed. That is no more than the minimum number of builder phases there must have been (because Richard filled his mat and had 9 buildings). And of course, the barrel(s) that I didn’t get on a ship in one phase usually went on in the next.
Basically I was playing the corn strategy without much corn, but having three types of good and choosing the captain whenever I could meant that I was able to limit the cargo slots available for the others, so that their plants’ large outputs of tobacco and coffee didn’t gain them much except money, of which Richard for one had far more than he really needed anyway.
In retrospect, I am quite surprised that Garry didn’t do better, as he had a harbour, like me, and a factory likeRichard. I think he ended up producing all 5 types of goods, so he shouldn’t have been hurt by my shipping squeeze, and sitting to Richard’s right, he had the advantage in the trading house. I can only guess that he didn’t pay enough attention to how his actions might help me. For my part, I was conscious of giving more thought than usual to my choice of job in the round before I became governor (to ensure that the job that was due to have the best bonus payout would also be the most profitable in itself), and despite being chronically short of money, I didn’t automatically take the job with most money on it the rest of the time – in fact, I sometimes left it deliberately, and chose another job that would set me up to profit when my money grubbing opponents pounced on the bait. In the end, even the bonuses from their last bought 10’ers, which they weren’t able to man, wouldn’t have helped them.

Richard Minson said...

I have to admit going in the final round - I thought steve had more vps than he was letting on - but I suspected Garry was closer to me in points - a preconception I hasten to add that Steve was happy to let both garry and myself continue with. Basically I had miscalculated the effects that the Harbour had had on his score.

However I think my main error was not closing down the game earlier - basically with a money strategy (which is what I was doing) you have to finish the game before the shippers can really make it tell - the simple fact that I ended up with a huge amount of unspendable money at the end of the game meant I had not gauged things correctly. I think that purchasing the factory was probably a mistake - as I was probably getting sufficient cash from the the trader to purchase as many large building as I could as quickly as I could.

Anyway Steve went home with a big grin on his face - I guess I will have to try harder to make sure that does not happen again :)