Replayable Episode San Juan

San Juan

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San Juan is an engaging card game that transports players to the colonial era of the Caribbean, offering a well-honed blend of role selection, city-building, and resource management. Designed by Andreas Seyfarth and published by Ravensburger, it reuses the familiar role selection mechanic found in the award-winning game Puerto Rico.

The game challenges players to construct thriving settlements while navigating the complexities of trade and development. Each round begins with the starting player assuming the role of governor, and getting first choice of the available roles. The governor gets a bonus for choosing, and then the other players get to follow using only the base action for the role. Then the next player chooses a role, earning its bonus and then allowing the others to follow.

The heart of this game lies in its ingenious use of cards as buildings, goods, and currency. This simplified economy results in agonizing decisions between saving a card you want to build versus using it to build something else. It also keeps the action brisk and accessible, even for newcomers.

San Juan offers a delightful balance between short-term tactics and long-term planning, encouraging players to adapt to changing circumstances and timing their actions. With its rich pedigree and streamlined mechanics, San Juan is a classic game that we still enjoy playing to this day.

In this episode David, Todd, and Megan talk about our fondness and concerns for San Juan, going all the way back to learning how to play on BrettSpielWelt. Give us a listen!

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