I have been trying to get my wife to play other games, but she is a one game woman. The game changes every once in a while, and then stays the same for a long period.
First it was Scrabble, then Bridge, Boggle, Settlers of Catan, Cities and Knights of Catan, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, and now Puerto Rico. It has been PR for about a year now.
We play two player, and have gradually evolved into the best set of buildings from my expansions plus the official buildings (See my building sets for details): Aqueduct (or Assembly Line), Small Fashion District, Hacienda (or Black Market, Bazaar, or Civil Office), Small Warehouse, Hospice (changed so that you can move a colonist onto it as soon as you buy it), Large Market, ??? (no good choices here; Office in two player sometimes. Church is kind of dull. In multiplayer I have a few other choices), Discretionary Hold, Factory, Large General Workhouse, Large Business, Wharf, City Hall, Customs House, Fortress, plus any two of several random buildings from my big buildings, such as Distillery and Cathedral.
We don't play official two player version. We play: one of each violet building, 4/5/6 ships, 1 GP to start, -2 of each plantation and barrel type, 5 quarries, 6 roles, 3 roles taken per turn (governor twice), 50 VP, 35+2 colonists. It works out to a very balanced game, often with all victory conditions filled at once.
Anyway, yesterday's game ...
Rachel starts with Indigo and Small Fashion District, I start with an unusual Hacienda. (I never get anything good with Hacienda, but I keep trying. In this case, because Large General Workhouse is in the game, I can alleviate some of the bad luck.)
Rachel takes Hospice and Tobacco, I take Coffee, Sugar, and then LGW (wierd to take both LGW AND Coffee, but LGW does give more production.)
Rachel takes Large Business, I take Factory (also works well with LGW), big buildings, go back and forth, shipping, etc...
To make a long story short, we play subtly, strategically, tactically, and with a great flourish, we decisively end the game 58 to 58, no gold or barrels each. Perfect tie.
I'm hoping to convince Rachel that it is time to move on to a new game, maybe Go.