When we talk about Puerto Rico, a golden beach, a clear sea, the “relaxing” Caribbean come to mind for those who have chosen the blue pill.
On the other hand, a governor, a sugar factory to run, workers to use well, a race against time while ships full of exotic goods set sail for Europe, come to mind for those who have chosen the red pill. There is no Mr. Smith, but if you know what we are talking about, then go on, and find out how deep the rabbit hole is.
Like at the North Pole in July, the sun never sets even on the Puerto Rico that we know, the one in the box. Since 2022 when it appeared on the first tables until today, it has always been the Game, the one we all refer to when we talk about serious play with alleged neophytes, with the classic question “Ok, have you played Monopoly? Have you played Risiko? Do you know Puerto Rico? ” followed by looks like in Masterchef at the end of a trial for elimination.
In short, Puerto Rico is to the playful landscape as the “Office package” is to the curriculum.
Like it or not, hated or loved, this masterpiece by Seyfarth is the necessary step towards the boundless horizons of the modern board game landscape. Workers are placed, an area is managed, the strategies do not depend on a dice roll. It can be unsettling for those who have only been used to moving troops in Kamchatka or to choose whether to build on a short or narrow alley. And that’s right. Educating to the modern board game means getting out of the comfort zone, and we’ve all been through it a bit.
Ok, so you have gathered your group, or you are starting unconscious adepts, you go and take the box of your brand new 2020 Edition. You are under the magnifying glass, eyes on you and at the delirium inside the sublime package. You count the workers, check the manual (were they 25 or 28? Add 5 or 10 for the 4 players? Wait! Let me recount …), remove the plantations and the ships from the bags, do I have to use the one with 5 slots? How did the nobles work? Ah but there were 3 tobacco plantations! And where is the space for the pier, next to the small warehouse or above the office? This was part of expansion though!
Time ticking, the eyes keep staring, and you begin to get nervous. Someone says “but isn’t there a way to prepare it in a more human way?”. Answer no. But you know that, actually, the answer is a damn yes.
In the Dicetroyers’ forge we experienced it, we understood it, and we jumped through hoops to solve the problem. Not only for the good old 2011 edition, but also, and above all, for the flamboyant 2020 edition. In our organizer, the containers are designed for the differential setup, engraved with the number of worker pieces, victory points and piles of plantations to use. Barrels and coins will never fly around again. The bridge for ships, trading house and recruiting room has a double layer so as not to lose the precious pieces and barrels placed above. And above all, the buildings are divided into slots by type, in a dedicated box. There is a dedicated space for the four expansions: from the nobles, to the festival board, to the buildings of the expansions also divided by type.
Is that enough? Obviously not. Because for this game we went a little further, and we crossed the Pillars of Hercules of the organization (otherwise , how would have we found find Puerto Rico, heck?). In our all in version, we have modeled a board in which to place all the buildings, to be placed as it is on the game board. In a single, simple gesture, aeons of time to position the structures in the right spaces are wiped out, leaving, among other things, single slots in the base organizer container to individually position the structures of the expansions.
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