Laurie Voisin and Richard Shay
Christian Moffa, Jason Ley and Peter
Despite the temporary drop in status from Century to Trial,
Puerto Rico still received strong support from its many
fans at WBC albeit with its lowest field ever. Whether this was
simply the game showing its age or a reaction to its classification
is anybody's guess. Regardless, with the only variation in each
game being the order the plantations come out and the minds of
the players, there are still plenty of comments about how different
each play is.
Catherine Raymond ended a game with 22 doubloons and still
finished second, but she definitely had the tie-breaker locked.
Friends shouldn't let friends have Harbor AND Wharf, but in at
least seven games, someone sang, "Harbor & Wharf ship,
ship, ship" all the way to victory.
The new GM would like to thank all the players for their patience
and support, especially assistant GMs Barb and Chris. Lexi Shea
was dragooned into doing sign-ins, but wasn't even playing that
round! The first round started with the Newbie and Veteran code
pledges, setting the tone for friendly play. A lack of sociability
and civility has tarnished Puerto Rico's reputation with
new players. That is being fixed right here, at the pinnacle
of the game's play. Thank you all for supporting that.
1st Seat Wins!
In the 4-player round games (no bidding) 1st seat pulled an upset:
1st seat: 16 wins, mostly by building (average points for all
1st seat, 40)
2nd seat: 8 wins, seven by building (avg. 40.5)
3rd seat: 13 wins, ten by shipping, two by building, one mixed
4th seat: 13 wins, six each by building or shipping & one
mixed (avg. 42)
Is this a reflection of the building strategy getting better?
Maybe, but in the elimination rounds, even with bidding, third
& fourth seat won all but two games (Marcy Morelli and champion
Henry Dove beat the odds or just played better). So bid higher
In the games with bidding, third seat crushed:
1st seat: 0 wins
2nd seat: 2 wins, 0 points bid & 36 point average. One build
& one mixed strategy win.
3rd seat: 7 wins, bids ranged from 1 to 2.5, median of 2, 42.4
points average. Only two wins were shipping. Four were building
and one was mixed.
4th seat: 3 wins, bids of 1 to 1.5, 47 points average. one of
So what should folks have made Seat 3 bid? The average win
was by 3.6, but the median was 1.5, that is, making third seat
bid 1.5 higher would have let second place win in half the games
third seat won.
Cast of Characters
Many folks make Puerto Rico a regular part of their WBC
experience and familiar faces were vying for the top spots. Top-ranked
David Platnick almost won for a third straight year. Ben Scholl
(#25) and Chris Moffa (#3) made the semifinal. Barb Flaxington
(#2) made the Quarterfinal. Luke Koleszar (#7) could only join
us for Round 1.
Final Game Synopsis
The Final pit reigning champ David Platnick against three folks
who had yet to make a name for themselves in Puerto Rico
and if betting were allowed, he would have been a prohibitive
favorite. His opposition did not sport a laurel between them.
Despite that, everyone was even for the first three turns, but
in Turn 4, Henry started shipping. His lead over David varied
through Turn 11. Then, David built the Guild Hall while Henry
was just short a coin for his own big building. A mayor phase
in Turn 12 put David in the lead by a point and David was hoping
for an early end. Even though it often does, there were still
12 colonists and only five were needed on the ship. David prospected
to prepare for a build. Henry got to use builder to get the Fortress
for himself. This set him up for the mayor phase he wanted to
both populate his large building and end the game with one more
point for it.
Turn 13 opened well for Eric with a "personal" captain
phase with two coins on it! David needed to build Large Sugar
to capitalize on his Guild Hall. Henry crafted, realizing he
would do well even if David took Captain ahead of him. Paul got
a private trade of sugar, but it wouldn't be much consolation,
even with the building it would buy for him later. David had
a 4-point lead, effectively six with the bidding, but there was
still one more turn.
On Turn 14, David took captain to earn five victory points,
but Henry got six and that was the difference. Henry took mayor,
getting three colonists for a point and
populating the Fortress as well as triggering game end. Paul's
trade and Eric's build finished the game. Henry built a hospice,
completing his comeback from loss of the lead in Turn 12. The
final game looked like this:
Player by Seat
Bid in VPs
For a transcript of the game and more detail about the tournament
see: http://www.playboardgamesbetter.com/2013/08/wbc-2013-puerto-ricotournament/. I
look forward to seeing both new and veteran players next year.
Henry Dove works past Kenneth Horan
and Marissa Bianco in the semifinals.
GM Richard Shay and his finalists.
Top ranked and defending champ Dave Platnick was a heavy favorite.