Rachel and I were able to play two games after shabbat.
I decided to mix things up a bit and play with a few buildings that we haven't often used. The buildings:
Assembly Line (1/1): All your production buildings have an optional additional circle.
Captain's Quarters (2/1): You may add a colonist into the Hold while shipping for an additional VP (the Hold on any ship can only contain one item).
Hacienda (2/1): standard.
Scavenger Yard (3/1): Receive 1 GP from the bank for each barrel you toss, other than corn barrels.
Guesthouse (4/2, 2 circles): expansion.
Developer (5/2): a) You have no quarry limitations. b) You may trade in a building in order to reduce the cost of another building by its value. Any colonists on the old building transfer to the new one. Excess colonists move to San Juan.
Office (5/2): standard.
Small Wharf (6/2): expansion.
Lighthouse (7/3): expansion, except that I don't give a bonus GP for taking Captain.
Large General Workhouse (8/3, 2 circles): Each circle produces any goods along with a filled matching plantation, like a production building of any type. You may decide which goods each time you produce.
Large Business (8/3): a) +1 VP once during the Captain phase if you ship at least once. b) -1 cost to any building.
Union Hall (9/3): expansion.
Fashion District (10/5): +2 VP/indigo plantation (up to +8).
Distillery (10/5): +2 VP/sugar plantation (up to +8).
City Hall (10/4): standard.
Fortress (10/4): standard.
Custom's House (10/4): standard.
The most interesting building here that we don't generally play with was Developer. I had always toyed with it being too weak, even with the addition of the quarry bonus. However, the ability to move the colonist over is a huge plus. I used it to end the first game with four large buildings, which was enough to beat Rachel who was shipping furiously. The final score was 69 to 60.
Nevertheless, I didn't take it in the second game. While nice, it restricts your play options, and I knew that Rachel, now having played against it once, would find the right counter-strategy.
The second game was somewhat marred in that Rachel didn't have a complete understanding of the building rules. She missed that the Small Wharf could ship any type of barrels, not only pairs of the same type. And she missed that you couldn't get GP for dumping corn on the Scavenger Yard. Even failing all that, she still beat me by two points.
Convicts are paid to play Scrabble and other board games. Makes one want to go to jail.
And as long as we're on the Cosmic Encounter topic, did you ever stop by the CE store? An impressive selection.