Well, it was going to be Power Grid with 6 or Puerto Rico with 5. In the end it was Puerto Rico with 4! So, Puerto Rico plus expansion, Steve and I had played this version before, but Neil and Garry had not. I should imagine most people have played the classic version of Puerto Rico so this is a quick resume of what the expansion adds.
The expansion adds the forests and the following new buildings to the game: Aqueduct, Forest House, Black Market, Storehouse, Guesthouse, Church, Trading Post, Small Wharf, Lighthouse, Library, Speciality Factory, Union Hall, Cloister, and Statue.
Before the game starts proper there is a set up phase where players choose which buildings populate the board, so you get a mixture of old and new, this choice can be interesting. So you could end up with no markets or warehouses for example. This obviously affects the strategy you will employ during the course of the game. Usually certain players have a favourite strategy and you can take an educated guess as to what way they’re going to go, but with the expansion thrown into the mix it stirs things up a bit.
I managed to get some coffee plantations and a roaster, but made the mistake of not manning the roaster as soon as I could. This led to a pinch on the money for me early on. After the game Steve explained why he goes for sugar, people, he said go for indigo and corn because that’s what you get to start and it’s cheap, then they go for the tobacco and coffee for the big bucks they generate. That leaves sugar in the middle, which is relatively cheap and can be traded for 2. Money is the key early on, get as much as you can. This Steve certainly accomplished, he had wads, and the lighthouse paid off big time for him. Consequently the game finished really quickly, in just over an hour, certainly too quick for me to build a decent score.
I like the expansion, it adds a new twist to the game and makes you think just a bit more.
Steve 53, Colin 33, Neil 30, Garry 27
As that finished so quickly Steve suggested that we give Boomtown a run out. This is a brief description from BGG.
In Boomtown, you start as a gold digger and try to end as a tycoon.
To do this, you must first buy the best mining concessions, hoping to find gold veins. You can also try to become the Mayor of Whiskey River or San Narciso, in order to get a small cut on concessions sales, or build a saloon where lucky prospectors will spend their nuggets in moonshine whisky. If business is really bad, you can still rely on bank or stagecoach hold-ups to reestablish you. A well placed stick of dynamite can also solve some minor problems.
Steve quickly ran through the rules and off we went, I f ound this game quite entertaining. A bit to think about, when to bid, what to bid, and if you win the auction which card to take or leave. We soon rattled through the deck and Steve’s previous plays showed through as he took an easy win.
Steve 141, Colin 85, Neil 79, Garry 65