Monday, May 16, 2011

Puerto Rico Tournament

Snakes & Lattes has taken to holding various board game tournaments every month or so. To date the games have been on the easier end of the spectrum with Dominion, Settlers, and 7 Wonders. Today they're running a Puerto Rico event which is certainly wading into the deep end of complexity. (Boardgamegeek gives it a 3.3 on the 'game weight' scale. Dominion is 2.4, Settlers is 2.4, 7 Wonders is 2.2. So, a pretty significant bump if you believe the bgg ratings.)

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this game. It has my second least favourite game mechanic (public-private information) and I often find you play the game for a while and then someone chooses who wins. Because people rarely accurately track the 'hidden' victory points the result can seem pretty random. (And if they are properly tracking points, well, it just becomes king-making entirely.) Also, during the game, the actions people take can drastically impact who does well. I wish I had some numbers in terms of winner's position relative to where craftsman in particular gets called.

On the positive hand it's relatively short, every decision matters, has many feasible strategies, and is pretty fun. Even with it being removed from BSW for years it's still my 4th most played game. (And really it should be 3rd. It counts each hand of Tichu as a full game in the stats.) Only Can't Stop and Backgammon are ahead of it and they're realistically both 2 player games so Puerto Rico is my most played multi-player game by far.

I like to play it and feel I have a decent grasp on how to win. I just get frustrated when I lose for reasons outside my control. Or at least, for what seem to be outside my control. Maybe I need to re-examine how I'm playing after I lose to see if I could have done something better...

At any rate, I'm heading there right after work and could well be there until tomorrow so I'm probably going to miss my weigh-in today. Oh well!

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