Cardboard Combat: Puerto Rico

A warm-up round of Game of Thrones before Puerto Rico
It's nice to know that boardgames like Puerto Rico exist. Usually me and the gang go to Badbeef's place to wage war with our little plastic soldiers with each one after another's ass building armies and empires through games like Runewars and A Game of Thrones. It's great doing all that but after a while all the aggression soon pents up and most of the time we feel exhausted after a game. Not unless we have some caffeine-laced drinks at hand hehe.

Puerto Rico (the boardgame, but I'd also like to have a go to the place anytime) is one of those Euro-designed games that let you get into each others behinds in a more subtler way. In the game you play as a prospector that landed in the island of Puerto Rico during the age of exploration. You'll be aiming to make big bucks out of the island by bringing in the colonist and make them work for you. But you are not alone as there are other prospectors (enemies, I mean, players) that have the same idea.

The boards. And those are just about 4 of them. 

'Beef and us boys huddled
Aesthetics first, the box is all neat and tight as the game has fewer elements for a game of its type. This allows for the game to be carried around conveniently to a friend's for a day's worth of fun. The markers are colorful and so are the wooden pieces but they tend to be so small so better be careful in handling the pieces when playing. The structure markers and player areas are in heavy stock cardboard designed for some heavy duty play. Overall, Puerto Rico looks awesome.

The game is all about micro-management. Each turn sees a player turn into a governor which makes him the basis of the start of a particular round. Each player then selects a role which the other players should abide, ranging from being a mayor who attracts colonists, a captain that loads goods off the island to the often mistreated prospector that earns a player some money. All a player needs to do is assign colonists their roles, grow some crops to sell them for money or trade them for victory points. Play ends when all the victory points tokens are used up and each one to proceed to count them up. The player with the highest victory point count wins.

Puerto Rico (the boardgame) is relatively easy to learn but the play is intense especially when the game presents limited resources. We find ourselves up each other with me going through the 'agrarian reform' plan while others are going for 'urbanization' (have lots of structures that have neat effects). It's like playing as a cartel boss sans the guns and lackeys.

Such a great game, I recommend it to all those who are looking for a different direction in boardgaming. Next time, I'll be covering the zombie apocalypse boardgame: 'Last Night on Earth'.  
We're still friends after all that. Right guys?

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