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Puerto Rico (PRO) Links Email GM Last updated May 23, 2019
Class B: Beginning Players Welcome You may play if you have read the rules, played previously, or participated in a scheduled demo. Be on time for the scheduled demonstration. The GM will remain for only 15 minutes if no one is present.
Schedule  GM: Richard Shay (7th Year)
Round Day Start Time Duration Location
Demo 1/1We181Exhibit Hall Annex 4
Heat 1/3Th192Seasons
Heat 2/3Fr202Seasons
Heat 3/3Sa152Seasons
2019 Tournament Format HMW

Puerto Rico ... Prospector, captain, mayor, trader, settler, craftsman, or builder? Which roles will you play in the new world? Will you own the most prosperous plantations? Will you build the most valuable buildings? Your goal: achieve the greatest prosperity and highest respect! A unique game system from Andreas Seyfarth lets players choose the order of phases every turn. We play with 3-4 players in each 90-120 minute game.


The event will have three preliminary heats, a semifinal and a final. In the heats, players will be paired at random in 4-player games. If we have an odd number, the remaining games will be 3-player (no 5-player games). Players with games are urged to bring them to the heats to assure that we have enough copies. We will not be using any expansion buildings.

Because Puerto Rico is classified as a B event, new players must attend the demo if they expect to be taught how to play. No instruction will be available during the event. Do NOT expect to learn the game as you play in the event.

The only significant change is that there will be no quarterfinal round.

Because it is a MESE event, the standard HMW rules for advancement will apply. The following additional game-specific tiebreakers (see HMW Tiebreak Rule 6) will also apply:

  1. Number of seconds
  2. Fewest points behind the winner in the best game; a low number is best (i.e., losing on a tiebreak yields a 0 result, losing by one a 1, etc.)
  3. Head to head results among tied players, if appropriate
  4. Random plantation draw or coin flip (if needed).

The semifinals will consist of four 4-player games. There will be bidding for seating position starting in the semifinal and final round. See Bidding for Seat Position below.

These are the official game rules for the WBC Puerto Rico tournament.


Players with games will be asked to set up at designated tables as instructed in the preliminary rounds. All table assignments will be random in elimination rounds. The remaining players will select a card with a table number on it and go to that table. Your card is your voucher to play; please do not mark or write on them as they will be re-used.

Each table will be provided with a scoresheet that you should start filling in once the seating is determined (that player’s name and badge information should go in seat 1, then around to the left, etc.). Please make sure to write players’ names and badge numbers LEGIBLY on the score sheet so that the appropriate player(s) will be credited with wins, seconds, etc.


All pairings and seat positions in the preliminary heats will be random except as follows. Players should not play with teammates, particularly if one of them has selected Puerto Rico as their team game. Please see the GM before pairings are made. If you are randomly paired with a teammate ask the GM to switch you to another table.

Optional pairing rules used in previous years are no longer allowed. You must play at the table assigned.


The rest of the information on the score sheet should be completed at the end of play. The score sheet will be used to track results and to compile statistics on the game. All information, particularly players’ names, badge numbers and final positions, must be LEGIBLE so that the appropriate result will be entered. Please add comments about the game on the back, and return completed score sheets to the GM. This is the only way you will receive credit for playing in the tournament. Games should be completed in two hours or less. If a game is running long, players will be asked, about 15 minutes before the end of the two-hour round, to complete one more turn and determine scores as if the game had finished.


Players are free to play in every preliminary round game. Advancement to the next round will use the mandatory tiebreakers adopted by the BPA for all HMW events, which are:

  1. Most Wins
  2. Win in first heat entered
  3. Win in second Heat entered
  4. Win in third Heat entered
  5. GM specific tie-breaker, the following game-specific tiebreakers will be used to break any remaining ties:
    1. Number of seconds
    2. Fewest points behind the winner in the best game; a low number is best (i.e., losing on a tiebreak yields a 0 result, losing by one a 1, etc.)
    3. Head to head results among tied players, if appropriate
    4. Random plantation draw or coin flip (if needed)


There will be a semifinal and a final. The semifinal and final games will be 4-player games.

The top 16 attending players will advance to the semifinal round. An Alternate list will be prepared in advance of both the finals and semifinals and posted at the tournament kiosk; any player eligible to advance who will not continue in the elimination rounds is urged to notify the GM/assistant GM and/or post such information on the tournament kiosk.

The four winners of the semifinal games (or alternates as needed) will advance to play a 4-player final, and the two leading players (based on fewest points behind their semifinal game winner) among the remaining 12 semifinalists who do not play in the Final, will be awarded fifth and sixth place (otherwise qualifying finalists not actually attending the Final cannot place in the top 6).

Ties among runners-up for advancement to the semifinals and/or the fifth or sixth place laurels will be broken by:

  1. Any prior head-to-head results among the tied players
  2. Overall prior record in prior rounds of the tournament
  3. Coin flip or random plantation draw


All semifinal and final round games will use mandatory bidding for the seats.

Each player will randomly draw a plantation good from a set of one each of four types. The trading house values determine initial bid order, highest to lowest. Going around in plantation order value, coffee goes first, each player will place a matching good on a bid value ranging from 0 to 5.0 VP (in increments of 0.5 VP) on a chart to be furnished by the GM. Bids may be zero but in all instances must be higher than any previous bids for a particular seat. Any player who has been outbid will have his marker removed and will, when his turn comes, bid again; either a higher value for the same seat or a different amount for another seat. A player whose bid is not topped by another bid does not get another bid; instead the bidding goes around to the next player without a bid marker on the chart. The process continues until all players bid markers are on a different seat, with the resulting bids representing the VP handicaps to be assigned for that particular game. These VP handicaps will be noted at the top of the particular seat position (1, 2, 3 or 4) on the scoresheet above the player’s name and will be subtracted from that player’s VP total at the end of the game.

To assist players in determining choice of seats and an appropriate bidding range for each seat, consider the following statistics collected from 633 4-player tournament games played from 2002-2010:

  • Seat #1 (indigo): 41.82 scoring average, 128 wins (20.0%)
  • Seat #2 (indigo): 41.00 scoring average, 123 wins (19.2%)
  • Seat #3 (corn): 43.89 scoring average, 195 wins (30.5%)
  • Seat #4 (corn): 43.83 scoring average, 194 wins (30.3%)
  • NOTE: Total wins equals 640 because of double winners in seven games


In the preliminary rounds, if two or more players are tied in points and in both doubloons and goods (published rules tiebreaker), then all such tied players will be awarded the tied position. Other players behind them do not move up a position.

However, in the semifinal and final round games if there is a tie for points and remaining doubloons plus goods, the player who accepted the higher VP handicap will be awarded the position. If still tied, the tie shall be broken in favor of the player with the best result in all prior round games, all wins counting equally. If still tied, then go to a coin flip or random plantation draw. Please note that this is a change from previous years.


The 2002 Rio Grande standard game rules, in English, will apply.

The following serves to clarify some situations that might raise questions:

  1. There is an error on the printed Guild Hall; the rules are correct, its bonus applies only to non-violet production buildings
  2. Use of a manned violet building (including the wharf) is always optional. If you opt to use the wharf, then you must ship all goods of the selected type, however. If you opt not to use the wharf, you must ship per the normal rules if an appropriate ship is available
  3. When order within a phase or sub phase is important (i.e., placement or movement of colonists in a Mayors phase, or warehousing at the end of a Captain’s phase), you start with the person who selected the mayor or captain and go clockwise around the table. Any player has the right to call the order during a Mayor phase. NOTE: Anyone playing in the Final should expect that this will be done in all Mayor phases in part because we will be keeping track for a likely Series Replay. If this is the case, players should expect that no more movement of colonists will be allowed once the decision is passed to the next player in sequence
  4. Remember if one of the three game-end triggering events occurs, you play until the end of a complete round (which means until everyone has had an opportunity to select a character card and all phases triggered by those cards are completed).\
  5. VP chits are to be kept secret by turning them face down; all other items in the game are public
  6. If you are playing a 4-player game, be sure to follow the Rio Grande Rules for 4-player games. When removing colonists, remember a 4-player game has 21 fewer colonists in total, 20 less in supply but also one fewer on the ship (75 and 4 for a total of 79 versus 95 plus 5 in the 5-player version). Similarly, there are 21 fewer colonists needed for a 3-player game compared to a 4-player game, and also remember to reduce the number of VP chits available depending on the number of players as stated in the rules
  7. If a player has an active harbor and a wharf, when shipping during the Captain phase it is permissible for that player to ship a type of good to fill a regular ship (thus obtaining the harbor VP bonus) and then in a subsequent shipping round to load the remainder of that same type of good on the wharf (again obtaining the harbor VP bonus for the same type of good)
  8. Use of all roles and privileges is always optional, with the exception of shipping during the Captain phase (which is mandatory unless using the Wharf)
  9. CHANGE FROM PREVIOUIS RULINGS: In the event a player declines colonists, during the Mayor Phase, such colonists are available to be distributed to other players. A player planning to refuse colonists should ask that colonists be distributed one at a time as described in the rules. Refusing a colonist just passes the next choice to the next player
  10. Hacienda use: Although you may opt to not take the action, if the player flips a plantation, they must place it if a space is available. Please remember to take the Hacienda action before selecting a face-up plantation/quarry.
  11. Finally, if the VP chits run out on the last turn, be sure to record the number of virtual VPs on paper and add them to the score of the appropriate players. Also, in any game with bidding for seat position (mandatory in the semifinal and Final games), please remember to subtract out the VPs bid to arrive at a player’s final score for the game.
  12. Hacienda use: Although you may opt to not take the action, if the player flips a plantation, they must place it if a space is available. Please remember to take the Hacienda action before selecting a face-up plantation/quarry.