Puzzle for February

The Game: Puerto Rico

By Marcy Morelli, Puzzle Editor

About the Game

Puerto Rico is a classic Economic game created by Andreas Seyfarth. Although originally released in 2002,  it continues to remain a top ten game in the BoardGameGeek rankings.

Most players appreciate that there is very  little luck in Puerto Rico. Each player starts the game with one plantation and 3 doubloons. Each turn a player selects one of the available roles and executes it. Then in turn order each other player also executes the role. The player who selected the role also gets a bonus. The goal of the game is to build an engine of plantations and buildings that allows you to accumulate victory points. At the end of the game, each  player counts the number of victory points collected during the game, and also gains points for the buildings they have purchased.

Your position

This game occurred at Congress of Gamers in late 2016.


It is a little less than halfway through the game. On your turn, you were the Governor,  selected the Trader and accumulated a handsome sum of doubloons.

The next player selected the Builder action and purchased a tobacco storage.

Now it’s your turn to build something.

Here’s what your board currently looks like:

Other Players


The situation


Your Decision

You are a big fan of the 4 point building Guild Hall because you feel it is easiest to obtain the maximum bonus points. With your quarries, you have enough to buy it now. However, it’s a bit early to purchase it. Another alternative would be to buy a good three point building that would help you earn more victory points. This will set you back on funds, and it might take a bit to get more doubloons to purchase a 4 point building.

You consider the following buildings:

Which would you purchase?

  1. Factory
  2. Harbor
  3. Wharf
  4. Guild Hall

2 thoughts on “Puzzle for February”

  1. In this position, I’d grab the factory. I have 2 goods up and running right now; an indigo plant that could be running in a few turns, and I’m guaranteed a sugar in the next settler phase, so it’s not hard to imagine I’d be running 3 doubloons every Craftsman phase very shortly. With that money, I should be able to purchase one or two of the other buildings in short order.

  2. (More info on the puzzle would be nice. Really, I’m curious about how much money is on which tiles – how likely is it that Settler is getting called this phase? Mayor? Captain? Explicit turn order would also be kinda nice to have, but we can assume top to bottom. )

    About the factory… Eh.. I don’t know. It’s kinda tempting… except it looks like there’s already a player with Corn/Indigo/Sugar set up, and $6 + Quarry, and a large market – they’re getting the factory, and they’re going to profit off it, and they’re not going to lose out much on the trading phases – you’re basically going to be playing catch-up to that guy. Also, this was your governor phase – you don’t have much control over the next couple rounds to get set up. Looks like no one is going to builder for you to get your sugar started… so if you go the factory route, that is probably your next action. Then it’s two settlers and a mayor before your factory has 4 goods? And I’m not convinced you get the guild hall under this plan (unless you forgo the sugar build, and jump straight to GH, which slows the factory down even more).

    Wharf… that doesn’t seem to be your game.

    GH.. It does feel too early, but it might be now or never.

    The harbor is always somewhat tempting.. Similar to the factory, you’re likely to get most goods up and running soon… except for tobacco, which is on the big boat. And the factory player is holding a sugar, and if there’s enough money on Captain, maybe he ships instead of mayoring, or maybe the builder/other player captains instead of prospecting.

    So, ya, back to the request for more information. What does the rest of this round look like? Is it going to end with mayor/prospector? Or mayor/captain? or mayor/settler? Mayor/craftsman!? (I assume not, and that it was called last round). I guess factory is the preferred choice in two of those? But depending on how much money the other factory player is about to pick up, you may be ceeding the guild hall to them, which is going to make it hard for you to catch up on points.

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