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Subject: Common opening for 2-player game rss

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MsgMe MsgMe
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*update* for lazy people who dont read the full thread

A1: Occ
B1: 3w
A2: DL
B2: SP

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original topic as reference
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I'm trying to list some of the common opening for 1st turn. I'm aware some are situational based of what is the 1st card revealed/ occupation/ minor improvements.

I'm not implying those are not all good start. I'm just saying I saw them and trying to figure out which one clearly are giving an advantage to a player and which are just bad. Feel free to add an openening and rate it.

Assumption : 2-player game

Actions i've never seen taken on the 1st turn:
Sheep,sow/bake,fence
but i understand the earlier sheep appears, the higher the sheep count wiil be in the game so it might force you into something if its reveal 1st

#1
A1: Wood
B1: Grain
A2: Clay
B2: Plough

#2
A1: Wood
B1: Grain
A2: Clay
B2: Starting Player + minor(he got a relevant minor)

#3
A1: Wood
B1: Clay
A2: Occupation
B2: Starting Player + minor(he got a relevant minor)

#4
A1: Occupation
B1: Wood
A2: Clay
B2: Starting Player + minor(he got a relevant minor)

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Ben Bateson
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A1/B1 should always be Ock/Wood (in either order) unless there's a really pressing reason for something else happening.

A2/B2 will usually be SP/1R (again, in either order), in order to block an easy 2R for the other player.

If you are second to play, it's generally a good idea to take SP even without a Minor.

The only reason I can think of for Grain/Plough is if you are trying to build the straw-thatched roof. 1C has a few followers, but I don't see them win many games.
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MsgMe MsgMe
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ousgg wrote:
A1/B1 should always be Ock/Wood (in either order) unless there's a really pressing reason for something else happening.

A2/B2 will usually be SP/1R (again, in either order), in order to block an easy 2R for the other player.

If you are second to play, it's generally a good idea to take SP even without a Minor.

The only reason I can think of for Grain/Plough is if you are trying to build the straw-thatched roof. 1C has a few followers, but I don't see them win many games.


interesting. do you imply A would retake SP just to be sure to take 2 clay or 2 reed on the next turn ???
 
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Ben Bateson
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Absolutely. 2R means getting in first with room-building and family growth; that and food is all that really that ought to concern you up to the second harvest. If you've a free minor, it's a no-brainer. If it's the House Goat, then you can start celebrating your win (well, almost )

2C is a pretty good grab too in the 2P game, where Clay is hard to come by, but I'd never take it in Round 2 if 2R was still available.

OK, there may be some super combos where you'd want to do something different (rushing out 4 Ocks to get the Animal Pen, for example)
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Mike T
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The most frequent round 1 in the games I play:

A: Occ
B: 3w
A: DL
B: SP

I don't like the 1r "block" much. 1r is pretty useless, and if you don't block it, 2r and 2c are both available in Round 2. I value them about the same, so it's no big deal going second in Round 2.
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Adrian Sperling
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smcmike wrote:
The most frequent round 1 in the games I play:

A: Occ
B: 3w
A: DL
B: SP

I don't like the 1r "block" much. 1r is pretty useless, and if you don't block it, 2r and 2c are both available in Round 2. I value them about the same, so it's no big deal going second in Round 2.


This is pretty much what I always see, sometimes a slight variation from DL on A2, usually motivated by the occ played.
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David Boeren
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As a beginner in the game (just played our first Family game last night) I'm trying to follow the reasoning here so let me lay this out and see if I've got it right.

1. 3 Wood is the most valuable resource for the first move, as this is what puts you on the road towards growing your house and hence your family first. Plus, wood is just valuable all through the game anyway.

2. An Occupation is likely to be very valuable as well, but it depends on what you get of course. But, the earlier you get it out, the more times you'll be able to use whatever ability it provides.

3. Day Laborer is valuable because you get your food requirement out of the way - taking that pressure off and allowing you to compete for other spaces. Besides, you've got to grab food sometime.

4. Starting Player is valuable because it allows you first pick next turn (likely taking whichever of 3 Wood/Occupation you didn't this turn) as well as to deny your opponent the same. In addition, you may have a useful (and hopefully cheap/free) Minor you can play at the same time depending on your hand.


5. Regarding the Reed block. The intent here is to delay or increase the expense of your opponent getting his first house growth, and thus his first family growth. ie - letting him take 2 Reed in one action is letting him get off "too easy". This assumes he would take the 2 Reed early next turn. But, it seems like you could do the same thing better by taking Start Player yourself and using YOUR first move to take 2 Reed. You end up with an extra Reed doing it this way. But what if you have something better to do than 2 Reed? That's the catch. If you do, then so does your opponent and the whole line of reasoning collapses - Reed block probably wasn't such a good idea then after all. Also, it seems to me like you're stalling yourself too as you got little of worth for that action.
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Paul New
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Mike, why dl in round one? That can be grabbed at any point in the first 4 rounds. Taking it in round one passes up better actions. I agree on reed v clay. Reed is only a burning issue if your opponent has the wood to grow and fg is due.
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Paul New
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boardpaul wrote:
Mike, why dl in round one? That can be grabbed at any point in the first 4 rounds. Taking it in round one passes up better actions. I agree on reed v clay. Reed is only a burning issue if your opponent has the wood to grow and fg is due.


To elaborate a tad further. If I am first player at the start of round 1, then if my second action that round is to take DL, then yes admittedly food is resolved for the stage (4 fd). However, between then and the end of the stage there are several opportunities to bag the same food or more:

1) If sheep shows early, a 2+ sheep grab
2) If fishing accumulates to 3+
3) DL but later on as a riskier last resort as in round 1 I do not feel that food pressure is great enough to justify that expensive action.

By taking the risk, you are able to then do other things, e.g. take 1 grain, plow a field. If by some way you manage to land the clay oven pre-harvest then that 1 grain is worth 5 food. Yes you have wasted your grain but at the same time you have gained a valuable oven along with its VPs and you have gained 3 extra food. Also, should you wish to lay down another occ in stage 1, where is your 1 fd coming from without eating into the 4 you need for the harvest 1?

I might try the DL out of curiosity in round 1 as I imagine that your rationale might be that you are resolving the first harvest before more tempting resource grabs appear from round 2 onwards. To date after playing an occ as A1, if the opponent B1 took the 3w, I would then choose from 1 grain, plow one field or retain sp and play a good minor...

With regards to the original poster's proposed sequence, reed and / or clay grabs are from round 2 only for me in 2 player. Exception being if I have the simple fireplace minor

Great thread
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Mike T
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I won't say that DL is always the best second move for A, but I do think that it is usually better than any of the moves you have listed Paul.

You are underestimating the value of getting to 4f, and overestimating the value of pretty much everything else. You HAVE to get to 4f. You don't have a choice. Your opponent knows this. In Round 1, there is no reason to think that you will be able to get 3 fish or the sheep. If you don't get 3 fish or the sheep, you will have to take Day Laborer at some point regardless. Better to do it now, when there is nothing worthwhile on the board. All of your later actions are more valuable than this action.

Plow a field is a bad idea. What good is a field to you in the short term? None.

Grain, maybe, if you have some sneaky way to play the Clay Oven very early. You probably don't.

SP, sure, if you have a worthy minor. If you led with an occ, you probably don't.


One more word on 1r or 1c: they are occasionally useful, and I'm sure there are some standard lines that employ one of these moves. I just don't bother with them.
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Lukas E.
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To the DL-Topic:

If you take DL in Round 1 you are in advantage of 1 action for the next 3 Rounds, because your opponent needs at least this one action.
And, like Mike said, an action in R3 or 4 is worth more than an action in R1.
This advantage lets you bring pressure on your opponent, since you can block him from DL or fishing - you don't have a problem with more than 4 food, but he has a problem with less than 4.
For example, he has to push straight to the 3f fishing in R3 with his first action, letting you at least the 3 wood. If he doesn't bother about being blocked from fishing and takes his missing food from DL, he lost an action in R3 or 4 where you can take advantage of his need to take DL: maybe a 6w/2-3r/2-3c in R4/5 by taking SP -> all options should be better than a 1c/1r/1g/1field in R1.
(i don't need to say that all depends on the cards too )
 
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James Klemm
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However, don't assume your opponent will take day laborer in round 4 when in possession of 2-3 food. He may have mendicant etc. and use this tempo to great effect.
 
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Paul New
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Mike, Lucas, I buy your DL argument, I just hadn't thought that way before. I did rightly expect your rationale to be along the lines of 'get the less efficient DL grab out in round 1 early, when the spoils are slim'.

I guess it just seems psychologically a touch safe. But hey, I will test this one out in my openings.

Of course, yes the cards as you say, can alter the whole dynamic. I would still consider following an A1 occ with an A2 sp retention and a minor if that minor combo'd to good effect with the occupation. Similarly if my opponent goes for a round one 1 clay grab, it tends to throw me until they then go and play the Simple Fireplace and I see why.

 
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Rich P
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1 Clay can also be an option if you intend to play Kindling and buy the cheapest Fireplace.

As others have said, the most common openings are Occupation/3 Wood, followed by Day Labourer and Start Player. Any other moves with your second Family Member would be on account of cards in hand. I don't think I've ever seen anyone take 1 Reed with their second move in Round 1, so that suggestion surprised me.
 
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Justin Dee
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Regards reed, I often see

A1: 3wA
B1: Occ
A2: SP
B2: 1r

with the 1r being specifically to prevent the SP from getting the 2r drop. But often in 2p both players just accept their opponent getting a 2r action and focus on better development, or wood denial. Reed denial seems far more relevent in 3p, where there's still only 4 or 5 reed available in the first stage if the 1br tile gets blocked (usually for stone, or one player trying to get 3+ reed for improvements or double room)
 
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Lukas E.
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Idle Muse wrote:
Regards reed, I often see

A1: 3wA
B1: Occ
A2: SP
B2: 1r

with the 1r being specifically to prevent the SP from getting the 2r drop.


I would - in your example - NEVER trade one action for 1r/1c except i have landing net or a simple fireplace.

In this case A takes another 3w or 2c and waits for the next possibility to take 2r - you cannot block him every round and taking 2reed with 2actions isn't such a good deal when getting a 1 action advantage due to an earlier FG, since a stage 1 action is more valuable than a stage 2 action.
Above all, it's not THAT certain 2r will be the first action in R2 (another 3w or 2c are also playable i think) and you would deny yourself a 2reed for 1action.
 
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Mike T
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Reed denial is very relevant in 2p, but starting it off with a 1r grab isn't necessarily going to work.

To deny reed off a 1r grab, you will either have to be SP in Round 3, or take 1r AGAIN in round 2. Obviously, 2 1r moves is awful. Getting SP for Round 3 is fine, if you can do it. If your opponent sees you take 1r, though, he may take SP to retain it in Round 2.

R1:

A: 3w, SP
B: Occ, 1r

R2:

A: 2c, SP
B: 3w, ??

R3:

A: 2r
 
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Ben Bateson
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Which, in turn, means you are FORCING SP on your opponent. Which opens up 3F on Fishing, and does double work if opponent doesn't have a suitable Minor or one that depletes his wood prematurely.

I still think it's a pretty good move.


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Jeff Hannes
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You want a really UNcommon opening involving 1R? How about using your FIRST action to take 1R?

1A: Occ
2A: 1R
1B: 3W
2B: SP

Here's the log of a 2-player game I played not too long ago where I decided to try a first-turn Landing Net just for the hell of it. I think the motivating factor here was that I knew I could get Carpenter/Church Warden out (enough for my first room) so I wasn't too concerned about giving up the early wood grabs.

Still, the game was scary as hell because the opening seemed SO sub-optimal that I wasn't sure it was ever going to pay off. As it turned out, I won the game 42-38. And if my opponent hadn't had the Pieceworker the margin would have been much higher, as I'd really have been able to put the screw down on reed denial.

Anyhoo, you can see the full log here:

http://www.boiteajeux.net/jeux/agr/historique.php?id=107245

NOT a recommended opening though, and certainly not for the faint of heart.
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Paul New
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I just played a 2 player where I was intent on giving the DL opening a whirl. The cards unfortunately warped the dynamic.

My opponent opened with Pilgrim from G deck (now there is a very interesting card in the context of this thread!!). My brain couldn't handle the ramifications in terms of what had been discussed in this thread. Also I had a decent sheep farmer draft, so was adamant that the sheep sweep would be mine, and it was.

My occs were average but I managed to bag a nice 53 pt win using Wood Collector, Gluton, Axe, Loom, Spindle and Paved Road.

Happy gaming!



 
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xanalor wrote:
You want a really UNcommon opening involving 1R? How about using your FIRST action to take 1R?

1A: Occ
2A: 1R
1B: 3W
2B: SP

Here's the log of a 2-player game I played not too long ago where I decided to try a first-turn Landing Net just for the hell of it. I think the motivating factor here was that I knew I could get Carpenter/Church Warden out (enough for my first room) so I wasn't too concerned about giving up the early wood grabs.


Giving your opponent the Occ _and_ 3W space is yuckier than them being denied 1 Reed, I think. I don't think it's a good plan at all. Landing Net was your only saving grace in that situation and could let you continuously deny Reed. Without it, not recommended at all (and possibly even with)

 
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David Shin
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There is only one scenario I can think of where playing something besides occ and 3w with your first action might be acceptable. That situation is when your opponent starts with Occ, Sheep appears in Round 1, and you have Pine Forest in hand. Then you can take SP + Pine Forest as your first action, intending to take 2c with your first action of Round 1. If your opponent's first occupation was Pilgrim, then that puts him in even more of a bind.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Heh. When I get the chance to do something like that, MIMI inevitably refuses to show up until Round Four, and meanwhile I get sussed out of the woolies or the cookery, or both. Never fails.
 
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Kastore -
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I almost always take 1r with my 2nd action as starting player of an Agricola 2er.

In competitive play reed is the most scarce resource. Food is also scarce, but can be gained in a number of ways.

I don't consider 1r a blocking move at all. The 1r reed move is taken to secure some reed for groving you own family.

Regards Kastore
 
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Ben Bateson
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Kastore wrote:
In competitive play reed is the most scarce resource. Food is also scarce, but can be gained in a number of ways.


Clay is actually more scarce in a 2-player, given the average player will need about 6-8 clay but only 6 reed tops.

This is offset somewhat by the large number of Ocks that give extra clay, though.
 
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