Thursday, February 08, 2007

Session Report, and a Puerto Rico Report

The latest Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club session report is up here. Games played: Saboteur, Magic: The Gathering, Cities and Knights of Catan, Netrunner, Zertz, Princes of Florence, Tichu.

Puerto Rico Playtest with Rachel

Which reminds me that I plum forgot about the two-player game of Puerto Rico that I played on Tuesday evening.

For newcomers to this blog, Puerto Rico is the best multi-player board game in the world. If you think otherwise, you're judging on ignorance or nostalgia. Or you think differently than I do. Which I don't allow here.

I play-tested three of the buildings from my eighth expansion to the game. The new buildings we tried were:
  • Poorhouse (2/1/Builder): +1 GP if you have 0 or 1 GP after building
  • Commodity Exporters (5/2/Captain): +1 VP when shipping indigo or sugar
  • Mercantile District (5/2/Trader): +1 VP per trade
These replaced Hacienda, Office, and Large Market. Rachel noted that this would slant the game to a high victory point earning game.

The results were pretty positive. I initially thought that Commodity Exporters was going to prove to be under-priced, but even in a two-player game with three ships and potentially two wharves, Rachel managed to block the ships I needed so that I was only able to take advantage of one bonus point per Captain phase.

Meanwhile, she took Poorhouse and also only managed to successfully use it about two or three times. It creates an incentive to waste money on bigger buildings than you need. Bigger buildings are better in general, anyway, but sometimes not what you need.

All in all, they served well. Although no one took Mercantile District, these two choices look like my best buildings yet for those difficult to fill five-cost slots, something I have not been too successful with until now.

Neither of us got coffee going. I was concentrating on Indigo and Sugar, but both of us had corn and tobacco, as well, Rachel more successfully. Once again, she also had a masterful Hospice working. In fact, she plays it so well, I'm starting to reconsider playing Hospice in regular games, as I feel it is more powerful and not as debilitating cash-wise as most people believe.

Rachel won 45 to 42. She ended the game without filling her big building, in order to prevent me from buying another one of my own in the next round. But she was ahead ten points in shipping.

Game News

The NY Times has a neat little review of the video game Hotel Dusk: Room 215, emphasizing its artistic qualities. I'm actually rather pleased to see the industry focusing more on the artistic qualities of their games.


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