Weekend games, Saturday: Monopoly, Puerto Rico

Saturday began with a surprising game choice: Monopoly. I’ve been wanting to play it for a while now and finally I got the opportunity. I played with Oskari and Severi. Oskari was the first one to be dropped out, when he went bankrupt on my houses. I got a nice bunch of mortgaged properties, most important of which were the green properties. At this point I already had the red and the yellow. Severi had lots, especially Park Place and Boardwalk and the orange group. Unfortunately (for him) he has a bit wrong idea about the purpose of the game. He was in it for the money. At some point he had over $1000, but he didn’t buy any houses. After some pressure from me he finally bought hotels for Boardwalk and Park Place. However, even three houses on each of the orange properties would’ve bankrupted me soon… but no, I continued to pay $28 or whatever it was.

Meanwhile I used all the money I could get (and that wasn’t much, because Severi had lots of luck with the dice) to buy houses on the yellow and red properties. As soon as I had enough money, I un-mortgaged the green properties and built houses there. Finally the money started flowing my way. Severi hit $500+ properties few times and I was even able to survive hitting the Boardwalk once (while I visited the orange properties about every second turn!). Finally, after two hours, the game ended as my victory when Severi couldn’t pay anymore. What’s the moral of the story? How much money you have doesn’t matter in Monopoly, it’s how you use it to get money from other players that counts. It was fun, but had loads of very boring die-rolling. Two hours is too much. I’d still like to play a “proper” game with more mature opponents.

And then we played proper games. Puerto Rico! From my notes, looks like I played Guild Hall and managed to buy a second large building, too. I won the game with 39 points. There was definitely less shipping than the last time. My mother came second this time, as she was now able to get a large building. Last time she didn’t and came last at least partly because of that.

After that it was time to introduce the kids to Mamma Mia!. They loved it! It wasn’t too difficult for them and they loved the theme (there’s something about food they like, it seems).

Then it was time for sauna and Survivor, after which the kids were sent to bed and we played a three-player game of Puerto Rico. This time it wasn’t a tough fight. I dominated the game with Harbor shipping. 38 shipping points! Many small shipments of various goods with an early harbor (it was my third purchase) meant victory. Final point spread was 67-48-36 so there was no question about it.

I had brought Land Unter with me and now was a good time to try it — teach the adults first, then play with the kids seems like a good pattern. It was fun, but I lost the game. That seems to be rather typical. I guess I didn’t have any hands I could play right.

After that my mother was so tired she couldn’t play anymore, but I stayed up with Ismo to play two games of Balloon Cup. We both won one game. The second one was pretty close, but in the end it became obvious Ismo would win — if I got the red cubes, he’d use them to get the blue and if I got the blue cubes, he’d use his blue cubes to secure the red. In the end he got both. Both games were immensely enjoyable. I’ve still rated Balloon Cup as 9 — boredom may bring it down to eight, but we’ll see about that.

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5 responses to “Weekend games, Saturday: Monopoly, Puerto Rico”

  1. You’ve never played Monopoly before!?! It’s not a bad game. You can see why it was such a huge hit at the time. There are some modern developments that look interesting. Reiner Knizia has a board game and a card game based on it, for instance.

  2. No! Wait! I’ve played Monopoly before, I’ve even owned it. I just haven’t played in almost ten years. That’s why I’ve wanted to play it… I don’t think it’s a bad game, not at least as bad as people seem to think it is.
    It’s too long, that’s for sure. Faster start-up would make it better.

  3. Were you playing it with the right rules? Auctions if no one buys a property and no money at Free Parking?

  4. Yes, that was one point of it. The boys wanted to play it all wrong, of course — they wanted to put money at Free Parking and probably loan money and whatnot. I was strict, though. Correct rules or no game at all.