Archive for July, 2010

San Juan

July 19, 2010

San Juan is a card game similar in style and feel to Puerto Rico. It’s set in the capital city of the island, and you are given the task of creating this city.

It’s a quick game to learn, and quick to play once everyone knows the rules. Each round every player takes on a role: Prospector, Builder, Producer, Trader, Councillor. As with Puerto Rico, the roles chosen give you a benefit, cheaper buildings, more production and so on.

The game is directed around managing your hand of cards. Trading, Prospecting and the Councillor allow you to draw more cards. Building requires you to discard cards from your hand to pay for a building to be created (another card from your hand). More expensive buildings are worth more at the end of the game, but are obviously harder to build. When a player has built 12 buildings, the game ends.

There are five production buildings, corn has been replaced with silver to give a fifth producible resource. When the producer is selected, only one of your production buildings creates an item, with no shipping this limits the number of items available to sell whilst trading.

Other than the role cards, all the components are simply cards from the deck, production is represented by face down cards on your buildings, and money is cards discarded from your hand. This makes the game very portable, easy to set-up and tear down, and means it doesn’t require much space to play.

All in all, a good quick game when you’ve not got time or inclination for a full session of Puerto Rico, or if you’ve only got two players.

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