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Puerto Rico
alea's game about 16. Century colonial plantation and trade.Game Info

This description is based upon the prototype played at Spiel '01 in Essen. Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, but they were taken in my hotel room a late night under the light of my bed lamp! The look and play of the game may change in the finished version. Rio Grande Games will do the English edition.Mik

 
Testgame in progress
Player Board with 3 Buildings (Habour, Small Market, Indigo Factory), 3 Plantations (2 Indigo, 1 Coffee), a Stone Quarry, 7 red Colonists, a Golddigger Character card plus a stock of 2 Indigo Goods and 2 Dubloons.
Components:
1 Central Board (with spaces for available Buildings and the Money pool).
 
5 Player Boards (with room for 12 Buildings, 9 Plantations and a Player Aid).
 
1 Governor card (First Player marker)
 
8 Character cards (Architect, Captain, Mayor, Merchant, Overseer, Settler and 2 Golddiggers).
 
1 Colonist Transport Ship.
 
5 Merchant Vessels.
 
1 Trade Store.
 
58 Plantation tiles (8 Quaries, 8 Coffee, 9 Tobacco, 10 Corn, 11 Indigo, 12 Sugar).
 
56 Goods markers, wooden blocks (8 dark brown Coffee, 9 light brown Tobacco, 10 yellow Corn, 11 blue Indigo, 12 white Sugar).
 
49 Building tiles (4x small Indigo, Sugar.
3x large Indigo, Sugar, Tobacco, Coffee.
2x Quarry, Hacienda, small Market, small Warehouse, large Warehouse, Trade Office, Hospital, large Market, Manufactor, University, Harbor, Shipyard.
3x Residence, Town Hall, Fort, Guild, Custom).
 
100 Colonist (red wooden discs).
 
50 Dubloons (40x1, 10x5).
 
54 Victory Point chits (36x1, 18x5).

 
Game Overview
Governor cardThe game is played over 15 rounds or so. Beginning with Governor (first player) will each player in seating order take one of 8 Character cards. The Character will generally allow all players to perform a specific action with a special bonus for holder. When the last player has selected a Character and everybody have been given the option to perform any action linked to this person, will the first player hand the Governor card to the player on his left and a new round will commence.
 
The game ends when one of the following conditions are met:
- If there are not enough passengers to fill the Colonist Ship.
- If a player has a fully occupied Town at the end of the Mayor's phase.
- If all Victory Points have been awarded at the end of the Captain's phase.
 
The winner will be the player who has accumulated the most VP's.
The largest stock of Dubloons plus Goods is used as tie-breaker.

 
Golddigger cardCharacter cards
There are 7 different Characters, with the two Goldsucher cards being the least useful, although they can get quite valuable during the game. Any Character not chosen will recieve a Dubloon at the end of the round. These are accumulated each round and will be rewarded to the player taking the card.
 
A Golddigger simply gives the player a single Dubloon from the pool.

All other Characters will initiate a special phase for all players, when chosen. The active player must perform as much of the chosen action as he can (although he may choose an action he cannot perform), and when he is done will each of the other players in turn decide whether they want to perform the action or not.
 
This part of the game is very clever and the seating order is very important for some of the actions. The active player will usually benefit from being the first to perform the action - beside receiving the bonus connected to the card.
 
 
Settler card The Settler will initiate the Settlement Phase, where all players may build a new Plantation. Stone Quarries are special tiles which are available from a separate stack. The 5 types of Plantation tiles are mixed together face down and stacked.
 
A number of these (# of players +1) will be put on display, and these are ones which may be picked by the players. The display is not refilled until the end of the phase. Quarry - Coffee - Sugar - Indigo - Corn - Tobacco
 
The active player may choose to take a Stone Quarry instead. These are particularly useful towards purchase of Buildings and will normally be the active players pick unless the available Plantations have a particularly interesting offer.
 
 
 
Mayor cardThe Mayor will greet the arrival of new Colonist and initiate the Colonial Phase. A passenger ship arrives with exactly as many Colonists as there are players. Each player will receive one, and the active player will take an extra Colonist from the supply.
 
Colonist ShipDuring this phase may each player distribute (and rearrange) all his available Colonist among his available Plantations and Buildings. Each tile has one or more white circles indicating how many Colonist can be placed on the tile - only manned tiles are productive.
 
At the end of the phase is the Colonial Ship resupplied with passengers. The game ends at this point if there aren't as many Colonist on the ship as there are players.
 
 
 
Overseer cardWhen the Overseer is chosen comes the Production Phase. Each player may produce as many products as he can. The number is determined by the players active Plantations and Buildings. Normally this will be 1 Goods marker per Plantation. The Overseer will let the player produce 1 additional marker of his choice. Turn order is very important in this phase as the number of available markers is very limited - especially if trading has been slow the last couple of turns. And a player should beware buying too many Plantations of the same kind as the player(s) on his immediate right, as the market will most likely be cleaned for that type of goods before he gets to it.
 
 
 
Merchant cardThe Trading Phase begins when someone takes the Merchant. The player may sell a single Goods marker to the Trading House for the fixed price given on the card. You will notice that the most common commodity is sold for 0 Dubloons, but you can still make money on it as the Merchant has the special benefit of receiving 1 Dubloon extra.
 
Trading HouseAfter the Merchant may each other player in turn sell a single Goods, with the caveat that there is only room for 4 Goods in the Trading House, and that it will not buy more than a single unit of each type.
 
At the end of the phase will the House be cleared only when full. If there is less then 4 markers on the card will they stay until next round, which is why a single Dubloon for a Corn doesn't seem such a bad deal after all.
 
 
 
Captain cardWhen the Captain is picked may the players load their Goods onto the 3 ships waiting in the habour. Their capacity depends on the number of players: With 3 players are the 4,5 and 6 Cargo ships used. With 4 players are the 5, 6 and 7 Carho ships used. And with 5 players are the 6, 7 and 8 Cargo ships used. The picture below only show four of the five Ships as the prototype was only equipped for 3 or 4 players.
 
 
Each Ship may only take one type of Goods, and they must carry different type of Goods. Each player in turn must load as many Goods of one type as he can onto one ship, but he may choose a ship which cannot cannot carry the whole lot (ie. a player with 5 Corn may load 4 of them onto the small 4-ship if he so chooses). This is important as this enable the player to block the larger ships from carrying Corn and block the other players from selling their Corn this turn.
 
The 4 Ship cards
The players will continue to load Goods onto the Ships until they are fully loaded or no player has suitable stock available, and the players will receive 1 VP per Goods loaded. The Captains bonus is just a single extra VP.
 
At the end of the phase will every fully loaded Ship "return to the Old World" (= be emptied). Partially loaded ships stays in the habour until fully loaded. Each player must now save any one type of Goods markers only (or 2 or 3 different types if he has the appropriate Warehouse). All other unshipped Goods are lost!
 
 
  
Architect cardThe Architect initiate the Building Phase. Each player may buy 1 Building from the display at the center of the table. Buildings of the same type are stacked together and the price is stated by the number within the first Colonist circle.
 
Column 3 of Building displayThe display is divided into 4 columns, and the number of Stone Quarries above each column indicate the rebate you can get on the price when buying. Looking at the picture to the left you will see that a Universität cost 8 Dubloons, but you can reduce the price by one Dubloon for each active Quarry you own, up to a maximum of 3. The Architect himself automatically reduces the price by one, so the University could be bought for just 4 Dubloons if the player control the Architect and 3 Quarries.
 
Each Building has special benefits. A number in the top right corner indicate the number of Victory Points the Building is worth at the end of the game. Corn may be harvested without use of a special building, the other four Plantation-types need the corresponding Building before production can begin. The Tobacco factory shown on the left has room for 3 Colonists, allowing production from up to 3 Tobacco Plantations while the Coffee roaster below it only can accomodate one or two Coffee Plantations.
 
Ownership of the Workshop (Manufaktur) yields a bonus of 1, 2, 3 or 4 Dubloons during the Production phase when producing 2, 3, 4 or 5 different types of Goods.
 
A University will include 1 free Colonist with every new Building purchased.
 
A player with a Small Market will receive 1 Dubloon more than normal for his combined trade, and a Large Market will get him 2 Dubloons.
 
A Hacienda allow the player to draw one additional Plantation from the hidden stack before choosing one from the open display.
 
The Stonecutter allow the player to take a Stone Quarry instead of a Plantation.
 
Normally may a player only store (keep) one type of Goods between turns (after the Captains Phase). However, with a Small warehouse may a player store one additional type of Goods - or a total of three types with a Large Warehouse.
 
The Hospital will automatically supply 1 free Colonist with any one Plantation or Quarry acquired in the Settlement Phase.
 
A Trade Office allows the player to sell a Goods marker already available in the Trading House.
 
The Harbour will give the owner +1 VP per Captains phase if shipping.
 
Ship Yard. The owner has his own imaginary ship which allow him to ship any number of any one type of Goods to Europe without using the normal Ships. He simply returns the markers to the pool and receives 1 VP per marker. He can only do this once per phase and must still ship other Goods acoording to the normal rules.
 
 
The final 5 Buildings are special double-sized tiles which give the owners special benefits at the end of the game - if they are activated by a Colonist:
 
Residence: The player earns 4-7 extra Victory Points for having 9 to 12 tiles on the Plantation island. The tiles need not be active.
 
Town Hall: 1 VP per small/2 VP per large Building owned (need not be active).
 
Fort: Receives 1 VP for each 3 Colonist markers on his board.
 
Customs Office: +1 Victory Point for each 4 VP-chits owned (notice: does not include VP's printed on Buildings).
UP

© Mik Svellov 1997-2004editor@brettboard.dk11. mar 2002