As promised, we got to play a game of Puerto Rico in the evening. The players were me, Rachel, Nadine, and Ben.
I introduced another special building which I had not yet tried:
MARBLE WORKS (2 CIRCLES) 7 3 Special
You may take a marble quarry. For each two occupied marble quarries and one worker in your Marble works, you receive one Marble good during craftsman. Marble can be sold for 5 GP. During the captain phase, when you ship a type of good, you may add one marble good to The Hold for 2 VP. If you store one type of good in a warehouse, you may add marble. There are 6 marble goods available in the supply. Marble may not be chosen as your extra good as craftsman privilege.
It's sister building, Gold Mine, is a good building (cost 8, slightly different rules). Unfortunately, Marble Works didn't work quite as well. It just wasn't enough reward to make up for the lost plantations, building opportunity, and colonist cost.
I had to try it, since I was the one who suggested it. Meanwhile, the rest of the buildings also presented fewer money opportunities and increased shipping opportunities. As a result, Rachel took heavy shipping and won the game with 45 shipping points, and a total of 59. Nadine also managed heavy shipping and got one big building for a total of 55. I ended with 47 and Ben had 45.
I will note one more time: the best solution to solve the advantage of the corn players is to remove Small Market (replace with just about anything else), and add Small Fashion District (2/1, trade Indigo at +2). Indigo players and corn players will now be on even footing.
The next day, my brother and his wife played some Settlers of Catan while I took their kids out for a walk. Tal, Levana (age 6), and I threw a ball around, and on one throw, Tal bounced the ball to me with her forehead. Levana decided to try that as well, thus becoming the first person I have even met who repeatedly threw a ball at her own head and missed every time.
Link: Bernie DeKoven talks about "deeply played games", both in audio and a PDF of his keynote address for the North American Simulation and Games Association. NASAGA 2006 is Oct. 11 to 14 in Vancouver, BC.
NASGA links to:
The Game Group, a site about games in education
thiagi, games in professional training. thiagi links to a whole lot of other places which I will have to explore.
Serious Games UK
and SAGE, Simulation and Advanced Gaming Environments of Learning.
All look like interesting groups studying games for serious purposes.