Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Pina Colada, I'm on a Roll!

We played Puerto Rico at Book Realm again tonight. I was feeling good and invincible. We had 5 players, 3 of whom were newbies. I was selected as first player so the newbies could see what happened a bit before they had a turn, so with an indigo plant to work with I chose Settler and took a quarry. The game soon developed with player 4 (Ness) and player 5 (Pat) developing shipping strategies based on corn and sugar, and Brett and Mark diversifying their production over tobacco, indigo and something else.

By the time I had a couple of quarries and a hacienda (to make up for all the quarries I was taking), everyone was producing except me. I was way behind in production. As I had a few empty plantations and needed to catch up on production, I took a hospice as well. I eventually started producing indigo and even managed to ship it once, to finally get a VP. Ness probably had more than 10VPs at the time, and Mark and Pat were doing well as well. Eventually I got a good role choice, maybe Prospector with 3 doubloons or something, and became cashed up. Someone chose Builder, and I took a coffee roaster. I'd accumulated a couple of coffee plantations, so soon I was producing coffee as well.

That was the turning point. One of the shippers blithely took Captain and I put coffee in the biggest ship. It was mine and mine alone, mwahahaha! I managed to trade coffee a couple of times as well, earning myself 4 or 5 doubloons and sometimes even a bonus that was sitting on the role. With that much cash and 4 working quarries, I built a wharf, a harbour, and the residence. At this stage I was producing 2 coffee, 1 indigo and 1 corn. However I could ship those for 7VPs, whereas the shippers who had to share 2 ships between them were getting only 3 or 4 VPs. I made lots of progress very fast. The hacienda (known in our game as "the gay bar" after a well-known hotel) had filled up my island, so the residence provided 11VPs for me, and I paid 6 doubloons for it. I also paid 1 doubloon for a large indigo plant which was worth 3 VPs. The quarries had at last paid off.

The shippers stopped shipping. Pat had most of the corn in one of his warehouses, and a lot of sugar in the other. They started talking about ending the game while they were ahead. At the time, I had 48 VPs and doubted that they were ahead. One last round of shipping ended the game, and the scores were me 55, Ness 52, Pat 46, Brett and Mark 30-something. My quarry strategy had come through just in time.

Although I get this game, and really enjoy it, I don't think I am very good at it yet. I'd like some comments from experienced players on what I did right and wrong, and what should have been done to stop me.

5 comments:

OzGamer said...

I think you were probably let off a bit by newbies. If you had put coffee on the largest ship and had a coffee monopoly, they should have, at the least, forced you to keep shipping it until it sailed and also deny your coffee trades.

Still, it sounded like you had a good game. Pretty unusual to get four quarries - I would kind of doubt that four is worth it as you only get the benefit of the fourth one for large buildings. i.e. you would have only used it once.

Still, I am no expert.

Friendless said...

OzGamer, the problem with forcing me to ship the coffee was that I was out-earning them in VPs once I had the wharf and the harbour. I was crafting two coffees and putting them on the 8 berth ship, so it took 4 captains to get me out of there. I'd made sure that I got the first two coffee plantations, so it was difficult to break my monopoly. Good point about the four quarries, I might have had time to get sugar going if I'd not gone for the last one. My initial plan was to get a factory, but by the time I could afford it I had 3 quarries and didn't think there was enough time left in the game to make money out of it.

Mr Snuffalupagus said...

You know, I used to feel bad living with the dark secret of having been a Dungeons and Dragons player in high school. But watching the antics of you board games guys has worked miracles on my self-esteem. My tip for you guys: wake up and discover women, booze and internet porn before it's too late. For extra sexiness, try playing online Counter-Strike. The only thing hotter than a CS player is a free subscription to the Met Art porn site. Just keep repeating to yourselves, "Booze and porn! Booze and porn!" Say it until you get it.

Mr Snuffalupagus said...

And stop deleting my freaking comments! Censorship is a poor substitute for intelligent response.

Friendless said...

Snuffy, an inane comment is a poor catalyst for an intelligent response.