Working in the Factories of Puerto Rico
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Puerto Rico is a fun board game that rates very highly with many gamers. There are several roles from which you can choose each turn, and the order in which those roles are selected will vary from turn to turn.
- Settler – prepare fields for planting
- Mayor – employ workers in fields and factories
- Builder – spend cash on buildings
- Craftsman – produce goods from fields and factories
- Trader – sell goods for cash in the market
- Captain – ship goods off the island (for points)
Each role has a benefit that is only beneficial to you as selector, but your opponents have the option to perform that role after you. A key to success then is to select a role that will help you more than the other players.
Along your path to victory, you build various production buildings for processing crops – indigo, sugar, tobacco, and coffee. You can also produce corn, but it doesn’t require a building to be of value. You also build other types of structures that aid your plantation. In essence you’re building a city totally for your own profit.
You employ workers to perform the tasks in those buildings and to harvest the crops in the fields. Sometimes you’ll trade one of your goods for cash. Often you’ll ship your goods off the island of Puerto Rico for greater profit – actually, for victory points.
Puerto Rico has many paths to victory. I think that’s part of the reason it gets better with more plays. You want to come back again and again to discover more ways to win.
Puerto Rico isn’t often thought of as a city building game, but neither is Masons – even though both games do have that mechanic as one of their features. Check out Masons here.