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Subject: 2-Player Freezepop, or Why Swedish Clay make the best houses! rss

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Josef Disby
Sweden
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Intro
Well you know in Sweden we have polar bears in the streets and there's snow all the year around so when it's to cold outside Swedes usually sit inside and play Euro-style games...not. We don't have polar bears, the snow melted like ages ago and Sweden doesn't have a euro-game culture, we just play Yahtzee or UNO or any other kinds of games except for euro-style games.

So, my friend Roger and I were home for the holidays and since we usually play Agricola at school down in southern Sweden and now wouldn't have the opportunity to since we live far apart we decided to play online and through Skype. None of us had actually played online before so we looked up boiteajeux and registered. I would consider us both veterans with well over 50 plays and we know each others playing styles, the game would be interesting and considering we’re fast players we had a great game ahead of us.

Hand: (forgot to ask Roger about his hand afterwards)

Josef
Occ: Forester/Wet Nurse/Wood Deliveryman/Layabout/Chruch Warden/Clay Mixer/Bricklayer
Min: Raft/Market Stall/Outhouse/Ox Team/Crooked Plough/Straw-thatched Roof/Duck Pond

Comments: I’ve never actually had the Wet Nurse but I know it’s powers to I want to utilize it. At the same time I can combine Clay Mixer/Bricklayer/Straw-thatched to build clay rooms for three clay each. This is going to take a couple of extra rounds but using the combination with Wet Nurse should work for a profit. Layabout and Church Warden should come in handy since I’m planning to expand my family to 5 before the last round.

Time to play:
Roger is famous for rolling sixes when we decide who goes first back at school and he was chosen to go first by the generator as well.

Round 1 - Fences
Roger: 3 Wood (3W)
Josef: Occ – Clay Mixer
Roger: PF
Josef: 1 Grain

3 Wood and Occupation goes first as usual but then Roger picks Plow a field which surprises me because he never does that the first turn. I’m the one who usually do those moves so I decide to take a grain instead and will wait to plow until the next round.

Round 2 – Sow and/or Bake bread
Roger: 1 Grain
Josef: PF
Roger: Sow
Josef:Occ (-1f ) – Bricklayer

Well, I have no idea why Roger doesn’t pick the wood but apparently he’s very keen on sowing. I don’t like this since I’m the one who usually go with the sowing food-machine. I plow a field anyway and then since there’s no better actions than getting out another one of my key occupations. I did think about getting reed making an early up-grade even though I have the straw-thatched roof but I decide to call it off to fuel my strategy instead.

Round 3 – Improvement
Roger: 3 wood (6W)
Josef: 1 Clay (3+2C)
Roger: 1 Reed (3R)
Josef: PF

Yea, I’m not so keen on wood in my strategy so Roger I let Roger get 6 wood which means I get the Clay which gives me 2 clay extra with the Mixer. The plan was 3 clay for a room and 2 clay for a renovation. Then Roger grabs the 3 reed and I plow another field towards the straw-thatched roof. Here I just realized I won’t be able to get both enough food for the harvest and sowing two fields…

Round 4 – Sheep
Roger: Occ – Master Brewer
Josef: Fishing (4f)
Roger: Build Rooms (1) (-5W/2R)
Josef: 1 Grain

So that’s why he got the early field he usually never plows. I’m really happy for that pile of 4 food, I was certain Roger was gonna take it but he didn’t. He builds a room which I really didn’t see coming but definitely a good move. I take a grain and plan on sowing in the Stage 2 instead.

Round 5 – Family Growth
Roger: Family Growth (+1FM) + Minor – Lasso (-1R)
Josef: PF
Roger: 3 wood (6W)
Josef: 1 Grain

An early room pays off for Roger and there still a lot of time to left to get those two extra food for the new member. I keep fueling my strategy by plowing the last field and taking the last grain. Roger takes another obvious 6 wood.

Round 6 – Renovate also Improvement
Roger: Fences (-10W)
Roger: Sheep (x3) “Lasso”
Josef: Sow
Roger: 1 Clay (3C)
Josef: Starting Player + Minor – Straw-thatched Roof

Roger moves ahead by fencing 6 squares into a 3x2 pasture and grabbing the sheep with the help of the Lasso. I’ve never actually seen the Lasso in effect so I never thought of it. I sow three grain to complete the requirement of Straw-thatched and after Roger grabs three clay I take the starting player along with the roof. I’m getting a bit worried here though because there’s still a lot of things to be done before I can utilize my Wet Nurse and meanwhile Roger can push ahead with his 3 members.

Round 7 – Stone
Josef: Fishing (3f)
Roger: 1 Clay (1C)
Josef: Occ (-1f) - Wet Nurse
Roger: Improvement (-4C) - Cooking Hearth
Roger: PF

Now I grab the food to be able to play Wet Nurse and to fill up with food for the harvest. Roger obviously makes an error last round when he grabs 3 clay and doesn’t wait until it fills up to four this round to save an action. Then I get the Nurse since I’ve got no better options in my strategy (waiting for the stone to fill up to 3 for renovation combines with the Stone Oven). Roger then gets the Cooking Hearth and a field. Harvest-time passed without any troubles. But I still need at least three moves before I can get the Nurse going.

Round 8 – Wild Boar
Josef: 3 Wood (9W)
Roger: 1 Grain
Josef: 1 Clay (1+2C)
Roger: PF
Roger: Sheep (x2)

You just don’t let 9 wood go, I still need fences y’know. Roger apparently wants to do something with the grain and I decide that why not grab clay with the mixer to be able to make two clay rooms, whenever that happens. Roger finishes the round by plowing and recruiting some sheep for his silly army of sheep.

Round 9 – Vegetable
Josef: 1 Stone (3S)
Roger: 3 Wood (3W)
Josef: Renovate (-1C) + Improvement (-3S) – Stone Oven + Baking (-2G/+8f)
Roger: Fences (-2W)
Roger: Wild Boar (x2)

Get to grab my precious stone and then renovate into clay while buying my beloved Stone Oven with which I bake bread at once. Roger apparently has some idea of fencing just two pieces to make a pasture for his new Wild Boars giving the boars a 1x2 pasture within the 2x3 which now becomes a 2x2 for sheep. Harvest coming up and I’m left with 4 food for future use.

Round 10 – Cattle
Josef: Build Room(s) (-6C) + Wet Nurse (-2f/+2FM)
Roger: Sow
Roger: Cattle (x1) (Lasso effect)
Josef: PF
Roger: Occ (-1f) – Schnaps Distiller

Took me all the way to Round 10 to get the nurse going. Now I speed towards the lead with 4 family members and a plan for enough food. Roger Sows and admits he does a terrible move by grabbing 1 cattle along the way with the Lasso. I plow a field to take away some pressure later on and Roger finishes the round with the Schnapps Distiller.

Round 11 – Stone
Josef: 3 Wood (6W)
Roger: Starting Player + Improvement (-1W) - Milking Stool
Josef: 1 Clay (3+2C)
Roger: 1 Vegetable
Josef: Sow and/or Bake bread (Sow 1G and (-2G/8f))
Roger: PF
Josef: Build Room(s) (1) (-3G/-1 f/+FM)

Collect the last amount of Wood needed for fences and Roger does something Random I’m sure he could have been without but at least he gets the Starting Player. I grab some clay planning to build another room and grow the family. Roger collects a Vegetable for his Schnaps Distiller and then I sow and bake bread to get enough food for my huge family and filling my grain stocks. Roger plows and I get my fifth and final family member. Probably my best round in this game, 15 actions left and after this Harvest I’ll be able to use my Layabout to skip the next one.

Round 12 – Family Growth w/ Space
Roger: 3 Wood (3W)
Josef: Fences (-14W)
Roger: Sow (One of each)
Josef: Sheep (x4)
Roger: Starting Player + Improvement (-1W) - Rake
Josef: 1 Stone (3)
Josef: 1 Stone (2)
Josef: Renovate + Improvement – Duck Pond

Points come rolling in this round for me. Roger takes the three wood while I go fences apparently ruining his plan a little. I fence three 1x1 pastures and one 1x2 pasture giving leaving me one space left on my board for a field. Roger grabs another improvement which I actually ignore because I’m too much into my own strategy to care (turns out it’ll give him 2 bonus point though. Roger sows and I grab the Sheep for a nice boost of 3 points. Then I collect 5 stone in two moves and renovate to a stone hut and adding Duck Pond that’ll give me food for an occupation next round.

Round 13 – Plow and/or Sow
Roger: Fences (-2W)
Roger: Cattle (x3) “Lasso”
Josef: Wild Boar (x4)
Roger: Family Growth w/ room (+1FM)
Josef: Occ (-1f) - Layabout
Josef: 1 Vegetable
Josef: Plow
Josef: Sow and Bake bread (sow 3G and 1V) (bake 2G)

Roger does one of those strange fencings again (creates a 1x2 withing the 2x2) but he grabs the cattle along the way with another one of his family members. I’m content with the Wild Boar and then he grows his family to four (Family Four is a Swedish band from the Seventies). I get my well-placed Layabout and then grab a vegetable, plow a field and then Sow and bake bread to finish up my food for the harvest after round 14.

Round 14 – Renovation also Fences
Roger: Plow and/or Sow (1 field + sow 1V)
Josef: Cattle (x1)
Roger: 1 Clay (3C)
Josef: Occ – (-1f) Church Warden
Roger: 1 Reed (11R)
Josef: 1 Stone (2S)
Roger: Renovate (-3C/-1R) + Improvement – Carp Pond
Josef: 1 Stone (2S)
Josef: Improvement (-3S/-1W) - Well

It’s finally the last round. Roger plows and sows a vegetable. I grab the single cattle (first in case Roger decides to take it) so that I can to get me some extra points. Roger takes the clay and reed to get three extra points by renovating and then throws in the Carp Pond for an extra point. I play the Church Warden so I can grab 3 bonus points in one action. Then I use two actions to pick the last stone and grab the Well for some final 4 points.

Scores:

Roger – 3 Clay Rooms, 4 People, 0f, 10R, 6G/3V, 4sh/4b/5c, 5 PF, 3(1x2)p, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/4 MnImp = 40 pts
Josef – 5 Stone Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 3C/1S, 4sh/5b/1c, 5 PF, 3(1x1)1(2x1)p, 5 Ock, 2 MjImp/2 MnImp = 57 pts

http://www.boiteajeux.net/jeux/agr/partie.php?id=168294

Comments on the game
I can hardly complain, I set a new personal best by 5 points in a multiplayer game. I managed to utilize my combination pretty well but I’m sure there’s one or two details that could have been done in another way. I got my regular strategy going as well and being able to get all the wood I needed in 2 action and not needing reed saved me time to get some extra touches on my farm done, like the fancy Duck Pond and a decent amount of Wild Boars.
Roger obviously had some bad actions like taking singular animals, think the Lasso tempted him to do some strange stuff. I’ve never seen him score more than 40 though so I would conclude that this is his best game.

Final Thoughts
So that’s it guys, this is how we roll in Sweden and it’s my first report so I’m still developing my writing style of session reports so if you have any tips on how to improve it; feel free to comment. I can't find a good way to display the results and stats, suggestions?








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Matt Shields
United States
Portland
Oregon
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First off, very good session report. It's quite clear and easy to read.

As far as the game goes, I think by far the biggest mistake Roger made that game was leaving you that 9 wood. He could have taken 6 wood with his 3rd action, but instead he just plowed a field and let you have 9. I cannot stress enough how valuable that wood is. (In truth I think both of you are undervaluing wood somewhat.)

Honestly, I'm not sure why he was spending all this time plowing and taking grain and so forth. He never got much out of that. If he spent that time just building more rooms I think he will beat you. He got a very good start, and got first family growth. He was well fed with a cooking hearth and he had a lasso to grab animals. But it seems like he squandered his lead by wasting time plowing instead of just building a bigger family.

Bigger Family = More Actions = More points. You can plow later.

Anyway, again good session report. Thanks!
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Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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Excellent report! Coding the colors is a pain in the tuchis, isn't it (but sure enhances readability)? Yeah, poor Roger's downfall was definitely Round Seven, although I'll admit the game took some rather strange paths up to that point; that you both let the reed and clay slide in Round Two was just nuts!. That point aside, wasting an action on a 1Clay to secure the hearth was a terrihle waste; at that point a fireplace is just as good. Compounding it by letting the 6Wood slide by was just about insane. Roger essentially squandered a 5-action advantage, and sadly got what he deserved. You both seem terribly averse to swiping the button, btw, a major tactical weakness in my book. Maybe you guys are just too polite for your own good.

No matter. Great report and I'll be looking forward to more massacres accounts down the line! whistle

As for compiling/reporting stats, do please feel free to steal my template, or if not, just create one of your own. You might give this article a read if you haven't already: On Session Reporting. Maybe it'll give you some good ideas.

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Josef Disby
Sweden
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Matt: The reason I disregarded wood this round was that I really didn't need it for anything but the fences. I have however noticed during game-play that I sometimes wished I had some extra wood to build some neat Minors.

Geoff: Yea, the colour coding was really annoying. I actually started out colouring the text on Word just to find out that you have to code it when you post on BGG. I read your article on reports and I liked it (thanks!). When you columnize the scores, do you adjust everything by adding extra spaces when writing to get it in straight columns? I mean isn't that one heck of a job to have to preview it all the time?

Letting the clay and reed slide on my part was because I needed to plow for the straw-thatched and Roger did unusual choices this time around. I don't think I've realized the importance of grabbing them early. Sure, 2 reed for the building of a house and 2 clay for the fireplace but none of my game group have realized that the fireplace is better than Cooking Hearth (I ain't telling them). I tend to go towards the stone oven anyway when I head for the grain food machine which sure is a waste of turns in 2/3 player but it's my style and I win more than 50% in my game group.

Then it's the starting player button, I never take it more than once in a game when I really need it. With my play-style it's a tad inconvenient because I can always choose other actions that work toward my strategy. But I'm not very experienced in 2-player settings and I realize the starting player is more important here. The online version is a great way for me to play against other players though so I still have a lot to learn even though I've played it a lot already. I'd be very happy to play anyone here to get some variation in settings.
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Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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Crystal Joe wrote:
Geoff: Yea, the colour coding was really annoying. I actually started out colouring the text on Word just to find out that you have to code it when you post on BGG. I read your article on reports and I liked it (thanks!). When you columnize the scores, do you adjust everything by adding extra spaces when writing to get it in straight columns? I mean isn't that one heck of a job to have to preview it all the time?


Yeah, it's a pain, although I have gotten accustomed to it (and must again thank
Chris F.
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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for his advice in this regard); I suppose one could do it in Word if you're handy at that sort of thing, but that seems like even more work than the previewing routine when posting. I also kind of realized that color-coding looks good for 2-player reports, but less so for 3+ reports, so I decided not to bother with it anymore.

Looking forward to your next report!
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Björn -
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Crystal Joe wrote:

...

Then it's the starting player button, I never take it more than once in a game when I really need it. With my play-style it's a tad inconvenient because I can always choose other actions that work toward my strategy. But I'm not very experienced in 2-player settings and I realize the starting player is more important here. The online version is a great way for me to play against other players though so I still have a lot to learn even though I've played it a lot already. I'd be very happy to play anyone here to get some variation in settings.


Ok, you'll get an invite from me.
I think i'm a good but not a superb player. But at least i think i'm good enough to promise the following:
You won't win any game with me, where you don't take SP more often than once in a game. You're free to convince me of the opposite.cool

Btw, the game with Roger was non-draft EIK. Is that your prefered game mode? It'd ok for me, but we could play draft and/or tournament mode as well. Your choice...(let me know, so i can invite you)

Just if you don't know. Tournament mode on this site means that some cards are banned (Lover, Wet Nurse, Chamberlain and Wooden Hut Extension. Taster, Ratcatcher, Reed Hut and Broom aren't implemeted yet anyway, so that's a kind of ban, too)
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Josef Disby
Sweden
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Well, I'm into the regular EIK-game actually. I'm ok with draft as well if that's your preferred mode. I also need to know your timezone so we can synch our game.
 
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Björn -
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Agricola » Forums » Sessions
Re: 2-Player Freezepop, or Why Swedish Clay make the best houses!
I'm living in Germany so my time zone is GMT+1. But my personal day-night-rhythm is different so i can play best from 11 pm to 6 am, which fits best with people from Chicago (GMT -6) playing from 4 pm to 11 pm.

But i think it's not so important as we are playing on BAJ where it's play-by-move-mode.

I'll give you an invite then on EIK-random-tournament. If we play more than one game, we can mix it up.
 
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I'm not an expert, but this seems to be a very odd game to me....

-The whole game (but ESPECIALLY early game), I really don't see more than 6 Wood gather on the 3 Wood spot, ever. 6 is even a rarity.

-8 total actions taken to plow a field, not a single one to actually Plow + Sow. That's.....a lot of time spent plowing.

-Plow and/or Sow and Renovate and Fences were both completely ignored, and Family Growth w/o room was used once, and not even the first action of that turn. That's quite amazing to me, being that those 3 spots are usually highly contested and can be worth multiple actions each.

-Taking a Grain or Plowing a Field, normally fairly simple actions taken at the ends of turns until late in the game, were taken 1st or before the last 2 actions 3 times early on, and Sowing was taken 2x before the end of a round (without baking bread, and in a non-harvest round).

-3 of the first 6 rounds, Occupation wasn't taken.


I'm not saying either of you executed a strategy which is poor, I'm just not sure what would have happened if either of you tried this against opponents who valued wood/family growth higher.
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Björn -
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Crystal Joe wrote:
Well, I'm into the regular EIK-game actually. I'm ok with draft as well if that's your preferred mode. I also need to know your timezone so we can synch our game.


Why did you give up our game?
 
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Josef Disby
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Terribly sorry, I should have excused myself of course. Well the reason behind that is that I'm going to Estonia tomorrow and won't be able to bring my computer and figuring that our time-zones were so different and that I was actually losing the game i felt that it was no point in continuing the game. To relieve both you and me from a game. I'm definitely up for a rematch when I get back though. Once more I'm terribly sorry!
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