Rachel and I had dinner with Peter and Susan Pitzele. Peter is the originator of bibliodrama, a form of roleplaying used to explore the deeper meaning in biblical text. Of course, roleplaying is as much about exploring the explorers as it is about the text itself. If you teach biblical text you may be interested in exploring this as a form of learning. It may also be applicable to other subjects.
Anyway, Rachel and I know another practitioner in Israel, and Rachel has also started dabbling in it during some of her lessons.
But that's not what I came here to tell you.
Peter was also interested in my game knowledge, and intimated that his daughter may be interested in hearing what I have to say about games and education, particularly with regards to ecology. I can give lots of general info about games and educational aspects thereof, but I had to sent off a few messages to the Geek and some game buddies asking for specific info about games for teaching ecology. I got a few answers and suggestions so far, such as Terra and Industrial Waste.
In the meantime, I gave him some suggestions for games he might like to try himself. Susan sounded particularly interested in learning Go. I hope they try it out.
After dinner, Rachel and I played two games of Puerto Rico, both of which I won by a few points. Some interesting buildings:
Aqueduct - not my favorite building, but I'm willing to play with it once in a while.
Forest House - changed to 1,3,5 instead of 2,4,6. Also, does not discard a plantation while picking forest, and cannot take two forests if using Hacienda (you're stuck with your Hacienda pull).
Hospice - changed to allow you to move a colonist onto it when you first buy it (from colonists you already have).
Large Warehouse - moved to 5/2
Beachfront - Also allows you to take forests, and gives you a wharf with a size equal to the number of forests you have. Even with this building and the enhanced Forest House and Hacienda, the combo, while good, is not overpowering. It's just one strategy out of many.
Large Warehouse - -1 to all building costs, +1 VP (once) during Captain phase.
Large General Workhouse (2 circles) - produces any goods along with occupied plantations, like a wild production building.
Port Privileges (I think that was the name) - Load once a set of barrels onto any ship. Yes, this is almost strictly better than Wharf, but once in a while you won't be able to use it well. In any case, we never buy Wharf in 2-player so I needed something stronger (we don't buy it because we don't play the official 2-player with only 2 ships. Instead we play with 3 ships. Undoubtedly both Wharf and Harbor could be returned to play if we played the official way. I may do that some day.)
Cathedral - 1 VP for every 3 red building points. Still bought almost as quickly as Guild Hall, with slightly less payoff, but more versatility.
Distillery (10/5) - +2 VP per sugar plantation (max +8).
In the first game Rachel did the Forest House/Beachfront/Hacienda but she picked the Hacienda too late in the game. I had an early Factory and then Port Privileges. Neither of us took any quarries.
In the second game, Rachel went more conventional with Coffee and Hospice (manned quarries and corns) while I picked early sugar, tobacco, and Large Market. I got Large Business, and then ended the game soon thereafter. We thought she may have won, but it wasn't to be.
Meanwhile, I am also working on fleshing out my world before the D&D campaign begins. I'm still brushing up on the rules needed for DMing, such as combat bonuses and so forth.