Puerto Rico: What to add to do a 6 player expansion...

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Richard Hutnik

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Jan 16, 2003, 6:31:30 PM1/16/03
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If Puerto Rico were to go 6 players, it would need:
1. At least one more raw good to harvest.
2. At least one more role.
3. Some more buildings, to go with the raw good harvesting for
processing, and also other buildings.

I think the idea of the revised Noble I proposed, in another post,
would be good:
Privilage: Taxes each player except themself of one gold that would go
into a distribution pool. The player with the Noble character would
draw one gold from the bank instead of themselves.
Action: Starting with the Noble player, each player would take one of
these gold from the distribution pile and place it on any role, except
the Nobel, whether it was claimed yet or not. Players who were unable
to give any gold to the distribution pile are unable to participate in
this distibution of Gold. A role which had received a gold coin may
receive another one, with the Nobel being an exception.

The Noble role serves several purposes:
1. It helps redistribute the wealth a bit.
2. It allows players to have an influence on which roles will be
taken.
3. It only would inflate the total gold in the game by one gold at
most. In cases where players have no gold.
4. It adds another aspect of the game that players can influence, the
distribution of gold. In addition, it offers a way to screw with
people's money supplies.

Feel free to comment and tweak away at this. Another variant here is
people can choose to add more than one gold into this distribution
pile in order to distribute it as they will to certain roles in the
game.

This character, in fact, could replace the prospect character.

- Richard Hutnik

Eric Nielsen

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Jan 16, 2003, 7:17:57 PM1/16/03
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How about using the Governor as a ninth role card?

Toss it in with the rest and let it collect bribes as usual. If it is
taken, whoever takes it is governor the next round. If it is not taken, the
current governor starts the next round again.

Possible balance rule: During game setup, one doubloon is placed on the
Governor role card.


Brent Ross

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Jan 16, 2003, 8:21:48 PM1/16/03
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In article <37bc9e37.03011...@posting.google.com>,
Richard Hutnik <richar...@hotmail.com> wrote:
// If Puerto Rico were to go 6 players, it would need:
// 1. At least one more raw good to harvest.

I've also thought this. You really do want to increase the size of
the trading house when you get to six players, otherwise selling is
going to be a mess. You'd probably also want to keep more goods
in the game than slots available (just to make sure it works smoothly
and doesn't get gummed up to easily).

Two obvious ways to do this:

(a) a good that sells for about 2 (fruit?) with tile and barrel
distributions similar to the existing goods. Basically,
a second sugar to keep the game from being too crowded.

(b) a good that sells for 5 (gold?), but plots are rare (5-6),
plants are expensive (7), barrels are very limited (5-6),
and ships sail even when half-full (otherwise it'd be too
good for clogging shipping).


// 2. At least one more role.

Not really needed. We could probably live with 3 prospectors.

// 3. Some more buildings, to go with the raw good harvesting for
// processing, and also other buildings.

This can be simple. Add one of each large production building
and small violet. Add the two big violets from the expansion
set if you want to. This should loosen the buildings enough.

// I think the idea of the revised Noble I proposed, in another post,
// would be good:

The other description was cleaner, this one is a mess. You should just
make the action manditory instead of trying to get around the "action
of a role card is optional"... after all the captain does this already.
Forcing the creation of a distribution pile which can only be used
by the people who added to it is a horrible kludge.

Go for simple:

Privilege: +1 dubloon for distribution (should be short to fit on card)

Action: Starting with the Nobel, each player in turn *must*
put one dubloon on a role if possible. This may be a role
already taken this round. A role which has received a dubloon
may receive another one (exception Nobel).

One thing I notice with this is the ability to take the Nobel
with no cash on hand, and then refuse the privilege. Thus,
you can avoid adding money into the game while forcing others
to share if you want to. With your description, if I take Nobel
and refuse the privilege it becomes a null action... no money
is "taxed", and so no one gets to distribute.

Note that the "for distribution" is actually an overkill
clarification in the above... so long as the privilege is
specified as being before the action for this case.

// Another variant here is
// people can choose to add more than one gold into this distribution
// pile in order to distribute it as they will to certain roles in the
// game.

This can be done a number of ways without the ugliness of forming a
distribution pile. Just have players either distribute all the
money they want on a single action, or have repeated rounds of
distribution.

// This character, in fact, could replace the prospect character.

Personally, I don't really know what to make of the "Nobel"... I'd
have to play with it. I know that around here we've talked about
creating a set of optional replacement roles (a la Citadels) that
this one could potentially fill the prospector slot (although
I doubt I'd want two of them on the table). It does at least
fill the "add one dubloon to the game" role (maintaining that
cash flow role).

Brent Ross

Don Woods

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Jan 16, 2003, 9:02:56 PM1/16/03
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bwr...@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Brent Ross) writes:
> Personally, I don't really know what to make of the "Nobel"... I'd
> have to play with it.

I'm not sure what I think of it either as far as the idea goes.
But I _do_ know that I'm getting tired of seeing it misspelled
in this thread! The word is "Noble". "Nobel" is the name of a
well-known prize.

-- Don (who also gets tired of Titan players summoning "angles")

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Don Woods (don...@iCynic.com) Note: If you reply by mail, I'll get to
-- http://www.iCynic.com/~don it sooner if you remove the "hyphen n s"

Jordan Wolbrum

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Jan 17, 2003, 12:26:47 AM1/17/03
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Brent Ross wrote:

>(b) a good that sells for 5 (gold?), but plots are rare (5-6),
> plants are expensive (7), barrels are very limited (5-6),
> and ships sail even when half-full (otherwise it'd be too
> good for clogging shipping).
>
>

How about simply making that rare good not be eligible for shipping, and
not count as a good for discarding at the end of the captain phase? Or
make it a good that sells for zero or 1 and is wild for shipping purposes.

Of course you'd need to specify what happens with a factory and 6
different types produced.

-JW

Brent Ross

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Jan 17, 2003, 1:05:58 AM1/17/03
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In article <ruMV9.230324$FT6.37...@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,
Jordan Wolbrum <jwol...@optonline.net> wrote:
//
// Brent Ross wrote:
//
// >(b) a good that sells for 5 (gold?), but plots are rare (5-6),
// > plants are expensive (7), barrels are very limited (5-6),
// > and ships sail even when half-full (otherwise it'd be too
// > good for clogging shipping).
// >
// >
// How about simply making that rare good not be eligible for shipping, and
// not count as a good for discarding at the end of the captain phase?

That would be incredibly good (ie broken). There must be
some defense against the money making potential of the good.
Shipping is the standard tactic against early tabacco and coffee
(often I see people produce coffee three times before they get
a chance to sell).

After posting my note, it occured to me that perhaps it should have
a wharf ship of its own (ie the Old World taxes all the gold away on
every shipping phase). This would certainly help keep it from upseting
the monetary balance (it'd be hard to hold long enough to sell).

// Or make it a good that sells for zero or 1 and is wild for shipping purposes.

Actually, it also occured to me that maybe gold should be wild (ie
shipping gold back is important enough to take any empty space).
This would also tend to clear it out of people's hands (although
they'd have a bit of defence by being a generalist). Gold should
certainly be rare in this case (as in no more that 4 tiles, 4 units).

// Of course you'd need to specify what happens with a factory and 6
// different types produced.

Pattern says "8" (fibonacci numbers), but that seems crazy.
I say 5 should be enough non-selling bonus for anyone, although 6
or 7 might not be so bad (since that can be done by the lighthouse
and specialty factory).

Brent Ross

Jordan Wolbrum

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Jan 17, 2003, 4:17:49 AM1/17/03
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Brent Ross wrote:

>// How about simply making that rare good not be eligible for shipping, and
>// not count as a good for discarding at the end of the captain phase?
>
>That would be incredibly good (ie broken). There must be
>some defense against the money making potential of the good.
>Shipping is the standard tactic against early tabacco and coffee
>(often I see people produce coffee three times before they get
>a chance to sell).
>
>

Well, the idea behind it was that it would be a good even more
"advanced" than the coffee, with a rarer plantation type and a more
expensive refinery-building. By the time someone is able to get one of
those running, the guy who goes tobacco/coffee should have had a selling
opportunity. Another possibility is to make it tougher to produce (like
requiring two colonists on the building for one plantation, or a similar
drawback). I mean, if you are spending, say, 6 or 7 doubloons for the
building and 3 colonists total to produce a single gold, it might very
well be pretty balanced if it's protected from other players stopping
you. After all, there's no way to really stop a factory or a wharf once
it's populated.

Sort of a premium for the anti-screw factor.

Alternatively, you could make it a building that produces without a
plantation, (sort of the anti-corn)? Maybe it just makes a single
doubloon for you on each craftsman phase, and it's a decent 2nd level
building.

>After posting my note, it occured to me that perhaps it should have
>a wharf ship of its own (ie the Old World taxes all the gold away on
>every shipping phase). This would certainly help keep it from upseting
>the monetary balance (it'd be hard to hold long enough to sell).
>
>

Well, then it would be nearly impossible and terribly underpowered. At
least the tobacco guy gets the benefit of locking up a ship with
something only he (or maybe one other player) can ship for a while. The
gold producer basically ends up with something that goes away and also
doesn't provide any blocking.

>// Or make it a good that sells for zero or 1 and is wild for shipping purposes.
>
>Actually, it also occured to me that maybe gold should be wild (ie
>shipping gold back is important enough to take any empty space).
>This would also tend to clear it out of people's hands (although
>they'd have a bit of defence by being a generalist). Gold should
>certainly be rare in this case (as in no more that 4 tiles, 4 units).
>
>

The idea that there's a good that can't easily be blocked from shipping
is pretty powerful. On the other hand, it's much harder to hoard. But
still, that can't be more expensive for selling than coffee or it's way
too versatile.

>// Of course you'd need to specify what happens with a factory and 6
>// different types produced.
>
>Pattern says "8" (fibonacci numbers), but that seems crazy.
>I say 5 should be enough non-selling bonus for anyone, although 6
>or 7 might not be so bad (since that can be done by the lighthouse
>and specialty factory).
>
>

I don't think 8 is as bad as it looks. After all, my experience has
been that when the factory is cranking with 5 good types, that player
rarely has any significant money issues. At that stage in the game,
where people are producing 7+ goods per craftsman phase, the utility
difference of an extra doubloon is pretty small.

(Interesting experience. The last time I played Puerto Rico, I had the
small market, large market, and a factory, and when the game ended in
the turn where I purchased my second large building, I had nine
doubloons left. After my purchase. If we weren't short on indigo
because of a nearly full ship, it would have been 11.)

-JW

>Brent Ross
>
>

Brent Ross

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Jan 17, 2003, 2:07:25 PM1/17/03
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In article <1TPV9.232674$FT6.37...@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>,

Jordan Wolbrum <jwol...@optonline.net> wrote:
// Brent Ross wrote:
//
// >// How about simply making that rare good not be eligible for shipping, and
// >// not count as a good for discarding at the end of the captain phase?
// >
// >That would be incredibly good (ie broken). There must be
// >some defense against the money making potential of the good.
// >Shipping is the standard tactic against early tabacco and coffee
// >(often I see people produce coffee three times before they get
// >a chance to sell).
// >
// >
// Well, the idea behind it was that it would be a good even more
// "advanced" than the coffee, with a rarer plantation type and a more
// expensive refinery-building.

Yes, that would be the plan. The thing is, even with only four
plantations you can expect to see a plantation pop up in the first
two rounds of a six player game (which is why we were doing this).
And the building has to be very expensive, 7 is too easy (from my
personal experiences with factory play)... more so if you plan
to start six player games with 5 dubloons (I'd just start them with
4... 5 might warp the first build too much).

// I mean, if you are spending, say, 6 or 7 doubloons for the
// building and 3 colonists total to produce a single gold, it might very
// well be pretty balanced if it's protected from other players stopping
// you.

Probably not enough. The cost is pretty much the same as coffee, and
the colonist requirement just means drawing a mayor is a must. For a
$5 good that can't be shipped and doesn't rot. That's a bit good.

Besides, if the good is worth this much, I'm sure the old world
wants us to ship as much home as possible (ie the spanish liked
grabbing all the gold they could from the new world). It should
ship. A non-shipping, non-rotting good should probably be a cheap
good.

// After all, there's no way to really stop a factory or a wharf once
// it's populated.

Tell that to the factory and the other wharf player in my last
game. Other than the obligitory hitting of the appropriate phase
before the building is manned, I also got them regularly with
double craftsman and double captain. I also used my warehouse
for hording (including skipping the use of my own wharf) to
further impact their ability to produce goods. These buildings
lose a lot of their power when you deny them the ability to
produce (I cut the factory down to $1 from $5). Additionally,
the wharf isn't particularly useful if you double ship regularly
(since a wharf player will probably not have anything left from
the first shipping)... this can be really effective if you've
gone the warehouse + harbour route (you'll be able to grab lot's
of bonus on the other players as well as retagging ships).

In short: A factory still needs a lot of goods in the supply,
or the factory player needs to be able to draw the craftsman
(both of these can be affected by the other players). A wharf
needs goods already produced. Drawing the buildings phase when
these conditions aren't met, or doing things to prevent those
conditions being favourable for a while effectively cuts these
buildings out.

// Alternatively, you could make it a building that produces without a
// plantation, (sort of the anti-corn)? Maybe it just makes a single
// doubloon for you on each craftsman phase, and it's a decent 2nd level
// building.

Interesting... I believe I saw someoone suggest a building that made
quarries produce dubloons during craftsman.

[gold ship wharf]
// The
// gold producer basically ends up with something that goes away and also
// doesn't provide any blocking.

The thing is that since there's less barrels of gold than the size of
the ships, you need something to keep the ships moving. My original
method where the gold does take a ship but always leaves does at least
provide temporary blocking.

Coming back to the six player question... I don't think we want
an extra ship, or to make the ships any larger. The extra good
will probably mean a bit more rotting, and warehouses will be
more important. I can see both large going on a regular basis.

// >// Or make it a good that sells for zero or 1 and is wild for shipping
// purposes.
// >
// >Actually, it also occured to me that maybe gold should be wild (ie
// >shipping gold back is important enough to take any empty space).
// >This would also tend to clear it out of people's hands (although
// >they'd have a bit of defence by being a generalist). Gold should
// >certainly be rare in this case (as in no more that 4 tiles, 4 units).
// >
// The idea that there's a good that can't easily be blocked from shipping
// is pretty powerful. On the other hand, it's much harder to hoard. But
// still, that can't be more expensive for selling than coffee or it's way
// too versatile.

The thing is that it's not a versatility you want. You really
want to keep your money goods on hand, with this one you'd be
forced into shipping it away whenever there was an empty slot
available (also, if you have two you'd be forced to take a ship
with at least two slots left... the rules already force that).
The "harder to hoard" is what's going to be dominate, precisely
because it is worth more than coffee. In the end game, the
versitility will kick in, but we're talking about 3 or 4 units
available, of which a player might produce two (I imagine the
other players will grab a plot of two).

My biggest concern with a wild good is with the harbour/lighthouse.
The captain rules keep the harour down to 4VPs (one per ship).
Wild goods would give the possibility of almost doubling that
(seven since the wharf ship can't be double used). In practice,
this is probably only worth 1 or 2 VPs a shot, but that's a lot.
So maybe any "wild" good should be harbour restricted (either
no bonus, or no more than 1VP per captain phase).

// >// Of course you'd need to specify what happens with a factory and 6
// >// different types produced.
// >
// >Pattern says "8" (fibonacci numbers), but that seems crazy.
// >I say 5 should be enough non-selling bonus for anyone, although 6
// >or 7 might not be so bad (since that can be done by the lighthouse
// >and specialty factory).
// >
// >
// I don't think 8 is as bad as it looks.

It might not be, but personally, I'm happy with a cap at $5.
$8 is a ticket to buy any building... I'm wary of such big scores.

Brent Ross

Marco

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Jan 18, 2003, 5:51:26 PM1/18/03
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I came up with an alternate 6th role idea, I'd like to have your opinion
about it.

Role: Tax Collector
Action: Each player must cede a doubloon. If a player doesn't have a
doubloon, he must cede a barrel of his choice. If the player doesn't have
neither doubloons nor barrels, he's unaffected by the Tax Collector.
Privilege: the Tax Collector doesn't pay the tax.
Note: no doubloons are ever put on the Tax Collector, even if it isn't
selected in a turn.

The Tax Collector could even substitute the second Prospector in a 5plrs
game.

Ciao
Marco

Marco

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Jan 18, 2003, 6:06:50 PM1/18/03
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> Role: Tax Collector

I just discovered that on BoardGameGeek Larry Levy proposed his version of
the Tax Collector.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/viewarticle.php3?threadid=3989

Ciao
Marco

Christopher Dearlove

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Jan 18, 2003, 6:52:36 PM1/18/03
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In article <OTkW9.20181$YG2.5...@twister1.libero.it>, Marco
<mis...@libero.it> writes

>Role: Tax Collector
>Action: Each player must cede a doubloon. If a player doesn't have a
>doubloon, he must cede a barrel of his choice. If the player doesn't have
>neither doubloons nor barrels, he's unaffected by the Tax Collector.
>Privilege: the Tax Collector doesn't pay the tax.

I don't like negative actions in a game such as Puerto Rico because
(a) almost always positive actions are what you want, it's better to
improve your own position and (b) occasionally negative actions have
a disproportionate effect, and they add an element of chaos to a game
which not just doesn't need it, but positively doesn't want it.

>Note: no doubloons are ever put on the Tax Collector, even if it isn't
>selected in a turn.

This distorts the money flow into the game, especially if

>The Tax Collector could even substitute the second Prospector in a 5plrs
>game.

Note that in this case there is a now a net zero flow of cash into
the game, assuming both the prospector and the tax collector are
chosen, instead of five (three, plus prospector minus four for
tax collector). Horrible.

(I haven't been impressed by any new job suggestion I've seen, but
I really don't like this one.)

--
Christopher Dearlove

Bill Barksdale

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Jan 18, 2003, 11:33:41 PM1/18/03
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Christopher Dearlove wrote:

> In article <OTkW9.20181$YG2.5...@twister1.libero.it>, Marco
> <mis...@libero.it> writes
>>Role: Tax Collector
>>Action: Each player must cede a doubloon. If a player doesn't have a
>>doubloon, he must cede a barrel of his choice. If the player doesn't have
>>neither doubloons nor barrels, he's unaffected by the Tax Collector.
>>Privilege: the Tax Collector doesn't pay the tax.
>
> I don't like negative actions in a game such as Puerto Rico because
> (a) almost always positive actions are what you want, it's better to
> improve your own position and (b) occasionally negative actions have
> a disproportionate effect, and they add an element of chaos to a game
> which not just doesn't need it, but positively doesn't want it.

My problem with the idea of a negative action in Puerto Rico is that it
seems so off-theme. You can force other players to ship, but they receive
VPs for doing so. Any "negative" action in PR should really only be a
less-than-optimal choice.

--Bill Barksdale

Richard Hutnik

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Jan 19, 2003, 2:49:33 PM1/19/03
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"Marco" <mis...@libero.it> wrote in message news:<OTkW9.20181$YG2.5...@twister1.libero.it>...

If you read my version of the Noble, you see this take place. The
difference is that, with the Noble role, the resources go to some
other positive purpose in the game, that being the distribution of
gold onto different roles. It redistributes the wealth without
screwing up the amount of gold in the game.

- Richard hutnik

Richard Hutnik

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Jan 19, 2003, 2:55:07 PM1/19/03
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Bill Barksdale <wc...@cornell.edu> wrote in message news:<b0d9r4$99i$1...@news01.cit.cornell.edu>...

In Puerto Rico, there can be negative side effects from forced
actions, such as the loss of good, or earning potential. My problem
with the Tax Collector, as discussed in this thread, is that there is
nothing positive that comes from it. In the game, there can be a
"screw you" factor, but it should be one that motivates people to do
something to benefit there end, rather than just hammer everyone.
This is why I suggested a form of my "Noble" character, which does do
a Tax Collector thing, but also has the resources gathered play a role
in the game.

- Richard Hutnik

Christopher Dearlove

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Jan 19, 2003, 5:13:04 PM1/19/03
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Hutnik <richar...@hotmail.com> writes

>This is why I suggested a form of my "Noble" character, which does do
>a Tax Collector thing, but also has the resources gathered play a role
>in the game.

I've implied (but will here state) that I wasn't convinced by the Noble,
but not to the extent I felt compelled to comment on it. However I do
think that your motivation expressed above is right not only for the
reasons you indicate, but also to keep the game cash flow correct.
(I didn't analyse the Noble to see what its exact effect is however.)

It's easier to be critical than constructive, so to give you a chance
to be unconvinced in return here's a sketch of a possible additional
role for 6 player PR. (Mind you I think 6 player PR is a mistake, and
you'd be better off playing 2x3 player PR, but I'm joining in.) The
design feature is that it ought to bring 1 cash into the game to
balance the prospector. I'm calling it the Smuggler (although that
name doesn't exactly fit the concept, I haven't seen it suggested
before - all now chime in and point out where it was - and you
might end up preferring the name to the role).

The Smuggler. A player may ship one goods (not corn or indigo) for 1 VP.
This does not use the normal ships in any way. Privilege: may also ship
one corn or one indigo for 1 cash. (In my current thinking must use the
main action to use the bonus action, but I'd be flexible on that. I'd
also consider modifying the interaction with main ships to only allow
shipping goods which cannot currently be shipped, wharfs aside, or
- subtlety different because of empty ships - for which no ship is
currently assigned.)

--
Christopher Dearlove

Clay Blankenship

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Jan 22, 2003, 3:19:40 PM1/22/03
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Here's an idea...

Role: Work Supervisor (needs a better name)
Each player may move up to 2 colonists (or maybe just one?).

Privilege: Set aside one of your plantations or quarries with the discarded
plantation tiles. Draw a new plantation from the face down stacks to
replace it.

It lets people do limited reassignment in between mayor phases, and allows
the chooser to cycle unwanted plantations.

--
Clay Blankenship Change 'Z' to 's' to reply
Monterey, CA

Brent Ross

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Jan 22, 2003, 4:06:05 PM1/22/03
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In article <b0mu9p$rai2g$1...@ID-174442.news.dfncis.de>,
Clay Blankenship <blan...@nrlmry.navy.mil> wrote:
// Here's an idea...
//
// Role: Work Supervisor (needs a better name)
// Each player may move up to 2 colonists (or maybe just one?).
//
// Privilege: Set aside one of your plantations or quarries with the discarded
// plantation tiles. Draw a new plantation from the face down stacks to
// replace it.
//
// It lets people do limited reassignment in between mayor phases, and allows
// the chooser to cycle unwanted plantations.

This and the Smuggler have pretty much convinced me that my
initial feelings about there bing no real room for new jobs were
correct. The original set gives one job for each step of the
game engine (from obtained plots to scoring VPs), and each step
is done efficiently with the priviledge being "one more dubloon/VP"
(the Settler can be looked at as one more dubloon). Even the
Prospector is efficent in it's role: it adds extra job tiles and
keeps the dubloon influx equal to the number of players.

Both of these roles seem to be weak versions of a job
(Mayor/Captain), with the privilege being a weak version of
another (Settler/Trader). They just don't sound like real jobs,
but rather building effects that are being forced into jobs.
Sure buildings don't "leak" their effects, but a building that
does these kinds of things isn't really overpowered enough to
require such a downside. In short, the other jobs are better
than buildings (they do all the real work in the game), but the
Work Supervisor and Smuggler are better as buildings (at least
buildings typically reduce the need to take jobs).

The only decent job suggested is the Noble. It provides a service
that deals with a part of the game where player's typically have
limited control (ie putting dubloons on jobs).

In the end, the only real way to add new jobs would be to expand
the game engine. By this I mean adding new steps to the game flow
(ie Captain isn't the VP end, it just moves goods to the old world
where another step is required), or new cogs to the wheels* (ie a
second level of goods (goods made from goods: eg. rum from sugar)
could require a new job to happen (or perhaps two craftsmen)).
It doesn't seem worth it to do this to Puerto Rico, though... it's
simple and not broken (and I'd like to see it stay that way).
This sort of thing can be saved for some later game.

Brent Ross

* I look at the PR development as two gears. The first gear is
settler, builder, mayor. It spins faster at the start of the
game and results in production capability. The second gear is
craftsman, trader, captain. It spins faster as the game goes on,
but drags the other wheel along (since it produces money which
goes back into builder, which will produce a mayor... so it's
unlikely that the production wheel will spin more than 2:1).

Don Woods

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Jan 22, 2003, 7:05:10 PM1/22/03
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bwr...@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Brent Ross) writes:
> [ideas omitted] have pretty much convinced me that my

> initial feelings about there bing no real room for new jobs were
> correct. The original set gives one job for each step of the
> game engine (from obtained plots to scoring VPs)...
> ... Even the
> Prospector is efficent in it's role: it adds extra job tiles and
> keeps the dubloon influx equal to the number of players.

Good analysis. I agree that it's wrong to shoehorn in new roles
that are just rehashes of things (or parts of things) players
already get to do during other roles. And I agree that the one
part of the game engine that does not yet have an associated role
is the choosing of the roles themselves.

As you note, the Noble tries to fill this niche by letting (or
perhaps forcing) players to put doubloons on the roles, thereby
affecting subsequent role choices. Someone else suggested making
the Governor itself be a role; presumably one could choose it in
order to go first the next round. That has merit, but I think it
would tend to screw over other players too much; you might find
that you have to give up an action and grab the Governor in order
to stop going last or nearly last each round.

One of the players in our group had an idea similar to mixing in
the Governor. I don't recall the details, but it may have been as
simple as a role whose effect was that you get to choose before
the Governor in the next round. So, in general, the choosing of
roles continues to rotate around the board, but if you think it's
worth giving up your role choice this round, you have first pick
next round. And of course, this "pick first next round" role may
have doubloons on it, making it more attractive. I forget what
name he gave it; maybe the Patron?

On a related note, I'll point out that it's not required that a
6th role add a doubloon to the game. Sure, the original game
sort of adds 1 doubloon per player per round, but only sort of.
In a 3-player game, you add 3 doubloons to the roles each round,
and larger games add another doubloon per player via Prospectors.
But the Prospector doubloons only enter the game if those roles
are chosen (unlike the 3 per round, which accumulate), and on the
flip side the roles of Trader and Builder sort of add a doubloon
whenever they're chosen, provided the chooser gets to exercise
the role's privilege. And that's not even counting Factory money.
So the 3-player game really adds a bit more than 3 doubloons
per round on average, and the larger games don't quite add a
doubloon per player on average. So I don't see it as an obvious
requirement that a 6th role adds a doubloon when used.

-- Don.

Christopher Dearlove

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Jan 22, 2003, 7:01:07 PM1/22/03
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In article <b0n13t$ch9$1...@tabloid.uwaterloo.ca>, Brent Ross
<bwr...@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> writes

>This and the Smuggler have pretty much convinced me that my
>initial feelings about there bing no real room for new jobs were
>correct.

As the author of the Smuggler (which I should note I threw in
just for amusement, I've already said better to play 2x3 player
than 6 player) I quite agree. (The Smuggler incidentally was
trying to find a hole that isn't quite there as just a little
something for the player shut out of the main ships, with a
bodged privilege to put an extra 1 money into the game. The
bodge indeed shows, quite badly.)

>The only decent job suggested is the Noble. It provides a service
>that deals with a part of the game where player's typically have
>limited control (ie putting dubloons on jobs).

However I don't agree with this assessment, I think the Noble also
isn't a good idea.

>In the end, the only real way to add new jobs would be to expand
>the game engine.

>It doesn't seem worth it to do this to Puerto Rico, though... it's


>simple and not broken (and I'd like to see it stay that way).

And we're back in agreement.

--
Christopher Dearlove

Tom Lehmann

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Jan 22, 2003, 7:35:47 PM1/22/03
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I believe Don Woods is referring to an idea of mine for a possible sixth role
in Puerto Rico: the Messenger.

Action: none.
Privilege: Choose and resolve a role before the Governor on the next round of
play. Doing so is your role choice for that round.

Comments:

This is a subtle role, but potentially a useful one in various situations,
especially late in a round when the Prospector(s) have already been chosen.

For example, you're trying to get to a 10 cost building, you're two doubloons
short, you're last to go, and the Builder hasn't been taken yet. Take the
Messenger, let the end of round doubloon go to the Builder and then choose
the builder on the following round to get the building you want.

In this situation, it was like choosing a Prospector and Builder together;
with clever manuvering you can sometimes get this to work. But, in general,
its cost is high since you're giving up an action.

Other uses include trying to alter the turn order so that you're ahead of
someone that you're normally behind (useful when trying to sell a good you
both produce) or to leverage a warehouse by Captaining a second time in a
row when others can't gain much benefit from doing so (say, when you're
next to last and you're pretty sure the last player will call Captain if
you don't and the boats don't currently favor you but if you do something
else, those pesky factory types will call Craftsman before you could
Captain normally on the next round).

And so on. Enjoy! Feel free to substitute the Messenger for the second
Prospector in a 5-player game if you want to give it a whirl.

Take care,
tom
Tom Lehmann


Brent Ross

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Jan 22, 2003, 8:02:23 PM1/22/03
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In article <0aOc4OHD...@mnemosyne.demon.co.uk>,
Christopher Dearlove <ch...@mnemosyne.demon.co.uk> wrote:
// In article <b0n13t$ch9$1...@tabloid.uwaterloo.ca>, Brent Ross
// <bwr...@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> writes
//
// >The only decent job suggested is the Noble. It provides a service
// >that deals with a part of the game where player's typically have
// >limited control (ie putting dubloons on jobs).
//
// However I don't agree with this assessment, I think the Noble also
// isn't a good idea.

We're probably not really in disagreement here either.

The Noble is a decent suggestion because, like the Prospector,
it sits outside the production cycles of the game. It also
works with mechanisms that already exist in the game (putting
money on jobs). It does add some depth in the concept of wealth
redistribution. So, overall, it doesn't set off any alarms,
and is the closest thing I've seen to a "valid" new job (IMHO).

So might be worth playing once or twice (for some variety).
The "taxing" aspect of it bothers me as too un-PR-like to say it's
correct as a regular feature.

Of course, if someone came up with Cosmic Encounter PR, I'd
probably play that once or twice too... even though it'd probably
destroy game balance and warp the game, it'd be silly enough to
potentially qualify for "fun".

Brent Ross

Richard James Dore

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Jan 22, 2003, 8:25:57 PM1/22/03
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This is IMO the best suggestion yet.
It keeps in line with not adding engine mechanisms, etc.
It also doesn't harm another player directly, it just messes with
ordering, etc.
It has a lot of interesting uses - Just wanting to get a role that was
already pciked this round. (most likely captain) seems like a good
example. Or to guarantee another craftsmen before X, etc.

Besides, my biggest peeve with PR is that you are successful or damned
largely by what your neighbors do and this shakes that bit up some.

- Richard

Brent Ross

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Jan 22, 2003, 8:27:52 PM1/22/03
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In article <7w4r80p...@ca.icynic.com>,
Don Woods <don...@iCynic.com> wrote:
//
// One of the players in our group had an idea similar to mixing in
// the Governor. I don't recall the details, but it may have been as
// simple as a role whose effect was that you get to choose before
// the Governor in the next round.
// roles continues to rotate around the board, but if you think it's
// worth giving up your role choice this round, you have first pick
// next round. And of course, this "pick first next round" role may
// have doubloons on it, making it more attractive. I forget what
// name he gave it; maybe the Patron?

Actually, on a related note. I came up with the idea of
Governor's priviledge, where the Governor can choose when to take
their phase in the round. This is aimed at offseting the large
time lag between a Governor's choice and their next choice...
if they don't need any particular job immediately, they could just
take the last choice in the round. Yes, it is kind of scary,
which is why it might be best to have the Governor declare when
they'll take their job from the top of the round (otherwise
the ability to snipe the slot after a Craftsman might be far
too good).

// On a related note, I'll point out that it's not required that a
// 6th role add a doubloon to the game. Sure, the original game
// sort of adds 1 doubloon per player per round, but only sort of.

Yeah, it's more of a guaranteed potential influx (other money
sources like trader and factory are above and beyond that).
If the game is money rich, the prospectors will sit for a round
or two; if the game is poor, they'll be grabbed more often...
so money influx can increase to keep the game moving. Changing
that potential may shift things, so it's good to be careful.

Brent Ross

Eric Nielsen

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Jan 22, 2003, 9:54:05 PM1/22/03
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> This is IMO the best suggestion yet.
> It keeps in line with not adding engine mechanisms, etc.
> It also doesn't harm another player directly, it just messes with
> ordering, etc.
> It has a lot of interesting uses - Just wanting to get a role that was
> already pciked this round. (most likely captain) seems like a good
> example. Or to guarantee another craftsmen before X, etc.
>
> Besides, my biggest peeve with PR is that you are successful or damned
> largely by what your neighbors do and this shakes that bit up some.

I tried out my own suggestion of using the Governor as another job. We
replaced a Prospector with the Governor card and tried it with the following
rules:

If the Governor role is taken, that person will begin the next round.
If the Governor role is not taken, a doubloon is placed on the card as
expected, and whoever started the last round starts the next one.

We liked it...the game was wilder and more unpredictable, but each
individual player felt like they had _more_ control over the game than
before. If you really needed to go first next round, you can make it
happen. Also, if you think everybody will be too busy doing more important
stuff in the next few rounds, taking governor over prospector can pay for
itself since you may be going first for the next couple of rounds.

It also fixed the one of the problems of a five player game where one player
gets into a slight rut and really can't make any headway on other players.
Being able to just take the governorship can really shake things up and help
you out of a slowly losing position.


Anthony Simons

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Jan 23, 2003, 4:02:42 AM1/23/03
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"Eric Nielsen" <e...@attbi.com> wrote in message news:<hPIX9.4103$6G4.1990@sccrnsc02>...

>
> I tried out my own suggestion of using the Governor as another job. We
> replaced a Prospector with the Governor card and tried it with the following
> rules:
>
> If the Governor role is taken, that person will begin the next round.
> If the Governor role is not taken, a doubloon is placed on the card as
> expected, and whoever started the last round starts the next one.
>
> We liked it...the game was wilder and more unpredictable, but each
> individual player felt like they had _more_ control over the game than
> before. If you really needed to go first next round, you can make it
> happen. Also, if you think everybody will be too busy doing more important
> stuff in the next few rounds, taking governor over prospector can pay for
> itself since you may be going first for the next couple of rounds.
>
> It also fixed the one of the problems of a five player game where one player
> gets into a slight rut and really can't make any headway on other players.
> Being able to just take the governorship can really shake things up and help
> you out of a slowly losing position.

I like the idea of this one, and might just give it a try (whether as
six or five-handed I haven't decided yet). It sounds like this could
really make the game interesting without any real threat of imbalance.
The only problem I would have with this, is that since the order in
which the Governor role is taken can vary, something might have to be
altered in the setup (perhaps by giving everyone the same initial
plantation type); because excepting the very first turn the play order
could change rapidly and (relatively) chaotically.

Eric Nielsen

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Jan 23, 2003, 5:41:03 AM1/23/03
to
> I like the idea of this one, and might just give it a try (whether as
> six or five-handed I haven't decided yet). It sounds like this could
> really make the game interesting without any real threat of imbalance.
> The only problem I would have with this, is that since the order in
> which the Governor role is taken can vary, something might have to be
> altered in the setup (perhaps by giving everyone the same initial
> plantation type); because excepting the very first turn the play order
> could change rapidly and (relatively) chaotically.

This was my original thought also, but it actually did not affect anything.
Going first early in the game is a pretty slight advantage, small enough
that some people would prefer a corn position. Taking governor early on
means giving up a much more valuable early doubloon, quarry, colonist, or
shipping control.

About 3-5 rounds into the game, when the players are fighting for some key
trades, the play order starts becoming chaotic. Until then, the governor
role is too weak to worry about.


Mike Bialecki

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Jan 23, 2003, 9:45:55 AM1/23/03
to

> We liked it...the game was wilder and more unpredictable, but each
> individual player felt like they had _more_ control over
> the game than
> before.

I like your idea, but I find the above statement to be a bit confusing.
You found the game to be "wilder and more unpredictable", and yet you
feel you had more control?

I haven't followed many of these Puerto Rico threads, but has anybody
suggested a variant similar to above, but instead of going first next
turn, you get to determine whether that turn proceeds clockwise or
counter-clockwise? It seems like it might alleviate the "don't
duplicate your right -hand neighbor's strategy" problem a bit.

Mike Bialecki
http://www.mikenikki.com

--
Direct access to this group with http://web2news.com
http://web2news.com/?rec.games.board

Jordan Wolbrum

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Jan 23, 2003, 6:09:00 PM1/23/03
to

Eric Nielsen wrote:

>About 3-5 rounds into the game, when the players are fighting for some key
>trades, the play order starts becoming chaotic. Until then, the governor
>role is too weak to worry about.
>
>

If it's the 4th round and the Governor role hasn't been chosen, it's got
3 doubloons on it. I can't imagine ever seeing that get passed up (it's
3x as the trader, builder, or prospector priviledge).

-JW


>
>
>

Anthony Simons

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Jan 24, 2003, 8:58:13 AM1/24/03
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Jordan Wolbrum <jwol...@optonline.net> wrote in message news:<gC_X9.337411$FT6.64...@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net>...

Yes, I can see that. I now have to decide whether or not to add to
the number of colonists, ship sizes, plantations and buildings if I am
going to add a sixth hand.

Personally, I think the game will remain interesting if the set-up for
a five player game were used; (obvious alterations such as the number
of face-up plantations goes without saying).

This may alter the distribution a bit, and maybe force the game
towards an early finish because of an increase in the rate of resource
use; but I don't think a slight increase in, say, the number of
colonists will improve things significantly.

Besides this, do you think that keeping the resources limited for a
six-handed game might place a bit more importance on choosing
Governor?

I suppose basically I am looking for a way to play PR six-handed
without having to add anything or buy a second set; but then why not?

I am going to have to give this a try...

Eric Nielsen

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Jan 24, 2003, 2:00:58 PM1/24/03
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> This may alter the distribution a bit, and maybe force the game
> towards an early finish because of an increase in the rate of resource
> use; but I don't think a slight increase in, say, the number of
> colonists will improve things significantly.

An earlier finish does slightly change relative strengths of the various
buildings. Buildings like the large market and factory may not get an
opportunity to pay for themselves in a shorter game. It will be much harder
to end the game on buildings, and building multiple endgame buildings will
be difficult, even for a dedicated builder

You might consider only using 10 building slots on each card instead of 12.
Normally this carries the danger of an early corn shipper making the game
finish extremely quickly by building all the cheapest buildings, but with 6
people, all the cheap buildings will be spread out among all the
players...no one person will have access to them all

Richard Hutnik

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Jan 24, 2003, 8:50:44 PM1/24/03
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I am inspired. How about Nomic meets Puerto Rico? :-) People
declare new roles in the game, and then people vote on them in and
whatnot.

YES! YES! YES! Start the madness!
- Richard Hutnik

bwr...@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Brent Ross) wrote in message news:<b0neuv$ibm$2...@tabloid.uwaterloo.ca>...

RRI1

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Jan 25, 2003, 12:03:39 PM1/25/03
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>I am inspired. How about Nomic meets Puerto Rico? :-) People
>declare new roles in the game, and then people vote on them in and
>whatnot.
>
>YES! YES! YES! Start the madness!

I have played "Deviant Diplomacy" in an old PBM Dip zine which essentially
combines Nomic & Diplomacy.

Actually I didn't start the game, but was voted into it when the Russian
Revolution was approved and I became the Mensheviks. The game developed a
second map (based on Lord of the Rings) that the players could jump to. At one
point the game developed a rule that changed the adjacencies on the map to
something based on common letters in the province names. (That rule repealed
on the next turn) We changed voting rules.

In the end, the GM won the game in a solo with 2 centers.


Richard Irving rr...@aol.com
Made with recycled electrons!

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