[Home]PuertoRico

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A BoardGame in that intriguing genre where luck plays zero or minimal part, yet every game is different. In this case it's because there are only two of most buildings available, and also due to the game dynamics the opportunities you get are particularly affected by the actions of the player before you. A number of strategies are possible and none of them seem to have yet emerged as most powerful, although there are certainly some notably strong buildings. For all these reasons, it tends to be rather popular at GamesEvening.

Luck does play a reasonable role, since the success of your strategy depends on the strategies that others choose in a sort of ScissorsPaperStone type way.  The nice thing about PuertoRico that sets it apart from other games is the large number of permutations that strategies have (each of which may or may not be useful in various cirumstances), and the ease with which you can switch to a slightly different strategy if your current strategy is not working as well as hoped. --Angoel
Well, luck indeed plays a role but only in a kindof emergent way. In the same way as Diplomacy?, which has zero randomness in the rules but sometimes you have to make a 50/50 guess. --AlexChurchill
(PeterTaylor) Luck plays a broader role than that. Consider the settler phase.
That was the reason for the original paragraph including the words "or minimal". There is a tiny amount of randomness inherent in the game setup, agreed; but a far more significant (IMHO) source of "pseudorandomness" is the actions of the other players, particularly those to your left and right. And once one choice has diverged (from a previous game or from what some player was expecting), often the divergence very quickly snowballs into making the game completely different from expected in a ButterflyEffect? kind of way. --AlexChurchill

Incidentally, I was 2003 Cambridge PuertoRico champion in the MindSportsOlympiad.  Not that I'm showing off or anything. --Angoel

A card game version that incorporates similar mechanics called SanJuan has been released.

There is lots and lots written on PuertoRico online. Of paticular note is the BoardGameGeek page [here], though this should come with a CategoryTimeSink warning (he says ruefully).

There's apparently an official expansion from RioGrande?, which can be seen in PDF? form [here]. It's fascinating and good fun, although the basic game is still perfectly playable on its own.
Is this a purchasable expansion, or a free download-and-print-me thing? If the former, what's it called? --CH
Not directly purchasable, as far as I know.  It was given away free with purchases of over 20 Euro at the stand at Spiel this year, but I haven't seen it availiable elsewhere. --Angoel
When I looked into this, it turned out that RioGrande? do indeed give people official permission to download and print it. --AC
Oh, you can certainly download it and print it.  Indeed, I think that there's an official 'create a building' generator, that you can type ability and costs into to get properly formatted self designed buildings.  --Angoel

As with many other games, certain people love to create additional expansion cards/buildings for PuertoRico. The [Dark Side of Puerto Rico], with a load of seedy or disreputable buildings, is entertaining, but the most prolific creator seems to be a guy called Yehuda Berlinger. As well as some [additional roles] for the sixth player or instead of the second prospector in 5 player, he loves making new buildings. You can see a summary of all his seven expansions' worth of creations [here], see his [reports from playtests], or see those which his playgroup have deemed to be the /BestFanBuildings.

Also as with other games, certain people love to create generators to randomly create additional buildings... See BNF: AlexChurchill/PuertoRicoBuildingGenerator.

WikiPedia tells us [here] that as of 2003, PuertoRico was ranked number 1 in Internet Top 100 Games List, as rated by the Internet board games community. It has also been the #1 ranked game by the BoardGameGeek community for a while.

Apparently one can play online at http://www.brettspielwelt.de/ . This sounds like *far* too much of a CategoryTimeSink to even be investigated in the absence of CopiousFreeTime, however.

If you speak German well enough to know what's going on... --K
I've found that at least one person in a game is likely to speak reasonable English - and you can always resort to [Babelfish], which is usually good for a laugh in any case. All remarks about CategoryTimeSink are fully endorsed.  - StephenClark

For instructions on how to find English-speaking people to play with and to explain the online game, search [this document] for "Playing Online". I've still avoided trying this myself, but it looked like a good guide. This file also suggested these Other Variants:


To re-ask the question I asked on /BestFanBuildings (I'll remove it from both if it gets answered) - I've seen references to the 2-player game. Does anyone know how to play the 2-player game? --CH (who has suddenly realised he hasn't tried the almighty power of Google on this yet. He'll get back to you.)
I believe there are multiple propositions for 2-player rulesets on the BoardGameGeek page linked above. Which one is in the mind of the fan buildings author, I don't know, but his BGG name is Shade_Jon so I guess you could look out for his comments there.  --AlexChurchill (at work so not going looking myself right now)

[This] is a very succinct summary of four 2-player variants. It's in French, but requires only fairly basic French to read (hint - Carrières is not (as bablefish suggests) "careers" in this case - it's Quarries). I'm inclined to give variants C and D a try first (if I get round to it) - if others give any of the variants a go, perhaps they could record their thoughts. I suggest /TwoPlayerVariants, to be Reified when someone has something to post. --CH


(ChrisHowlett is continuing with the long series of long tests at work)

It occurs to me that, since PuertoRico is a game of perfect knowledge (with the exception of the face-down plantation tiles and VP chips), it is actually playable on the ToothyWiki. We simply have a textual representation of the central game board, and each player has a text representation of their own game board. Players edit the page in turn to note their game action - we wipe this text after each (role? round?) so facts can't easily be inferred from it. Each player uses the signature server to encrypt their own VP total, and there is a centralised repositry of signatures for plantations. One player has a list of the signature-plantation mappings, other players pick signatures to be "flipped over" after each Settler phase.

Of course it would take a close approximation to ages, and you'd have to be mad to try it.

So - anyone willing to question their own sanity? If there's a reasonable show of interest, I'll take the time at some point to set up the needed bits of ASCII Art (or AsciiArt, or ASCIIArt?) on WikiGame/PuertoRico (or some better page if you can suggest one).
Wonderful! Am totally up for that. --Rachael. (Psst, StephenClark - even in Taiwan, GamesEvening comes to you!)

Another thought - do we really need ASCII art as such? When you say that I picture huge grids of carefully lined-up squares; but it might be simpler (and a lot easier for inexperienced ASCII artists like me to edit during play) if each player's game board looked something like this:

Rachael


Buildings: Hacienda [*] Tobacco storage [*] [ ] [ ] Hospice [ ]
Plantations: Quarry [*] Tobacco [*] Indigo [*]
Doubloons: 2

and so on. --Rachael
Valid point. That's kinda what I had in mind anyway - I'm not sure why I used the term ASCII art, TBH. Obviously, the central board will need rather more info, because of the sheer amount of Stuff on and around it; but that format is certainly sane. --CH

Sounds great; I'd definitely be up for it. It'll probably take a year a game, but none the worse for that. --StephenClark

Well, three is sufficient for a game, so I shall make preparations. I'm currently signing plantations. --CH
Wouldn't you need a really big pen in order to do that? --K

The game ensued on page WikiGame/PuertoRico.


SeeAlso PuertoRicoOnline, which is qqzm's online implementation, including AI bots.
CategoryGames

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