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Subject: The horrors of war or you take the read and I, well don't rss

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Greg Udvari
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Budapest
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This 2p game took place on Boite-a-Jeux a couple months back. It was remarkable for a complete reed denial strategy employed by my opponent. Lacking any reed substitute, I ended the game with my original two room wooden hut. The game can be viewed here: http://boiteajeux.net/jeux/agr/partie.php?id=770154.
I wrote a tool for generating Agricola reports and used it to create this one. See: Agricola Report Generator


Round 1 - Fences
Reinardo - 3W(3)
Gregski - Occ / Woodcutter
Reinardo - 1R(1)
Gregski - Day Labourer

When my opponent spikes the reed, I smell a medium sized rodent, but am not aware of the horrors that will await me in the next 13 rounds.

Current Status
Reinardo - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1 Occupation

Round 2 - Sheep
Reinardo - 3W(3)
Gregski - Occ / Bricklayer
Reinardo - SP + Landing Net
Gregski - 1C(2)

I realise that I might suffer in the reed department, though my game is still on course with a 2nd occupation and an eventual first cookery.

Current Status
Reinardo - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2 Occupations

Round 3 - MIMI
Reinardo - 1R(2 + 2fd)
Gregski - 3W(4)
Reinardo - Occ / Clay Mixer
Gregski - SP + Stone Exchange

I am happy to take the augmented wood, but my opponent ensures I remain reedless.

Current Status
Reinardo - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1 Occupation
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2 Occupations

Round 4 - Sow&Bake
Gregski - Fishing(4)
Reinardo - 3W(3)
Gregski - Occ / Wet Nurse
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)

I grab the fireplace, but eventually decide not to grab the lone reed, instead I play a never used Wet Nurse, strengtening my opponent's reed resolve.

Current Status
Reinardo - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1 Occupation
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 5 - Stone
Gregski - 3W(3 + 1)
Reinardo - Rooms(1) + Stables(2)
Gregski - MIMI / fp2
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)

Reinardo builds a room and takes a reed and I am only saved by the late appearance of family growth.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1 Occupation
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 6 - Renovation & MIMI
Gregski - Sheep(4 burn3)
Reinardo - 1C(4 + 2)
Gregski - SP + Goose Pond
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)

Stuff happen, but me getting reed is not one of them. Of course, my opponent has plenty of food from the reed spike, so is not too miffed at losing a lot of animals.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1 Occupation
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 7 - Family Growth Gregski (1fd)
Gregski - 3W(6 + 1)
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - 1S(3)
Reinardo - FG + Corn Storehouse

Reed, family growth for Reinardo. I take 7 wood and 3 stones in consolation. By now, my plan is starting to shift towards fencing and animals.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1 Occupation
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 8 - Boar Gregski (1fd)
Gregski - 3W(3 + 1)
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - Fishing(4)
Reinardo - Occ / Clay Plasterer
Reinardo - Ren>Clay + fp3

Apart from the reed, Reinardo occs then renovates. I go wood chopping and fishing.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 9 - Vegetable Gregski (1fd)
Gregski - 1C(3)
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - Fences(15)
Reinardo - Sheep(3)
Reinardo - SP + fp3>CH

With a cookery under his belt, Reinardo takes the woolies and the button with a cookery upgrade. I grab three bricks then complete my fence array.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 10 - Cattle Gregski (1fd)
Reinardo - 3W(6)
Gregski - Boar(3)
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - MIMI / Well
Reinardo - 1C(3)

Reinardo prepares for a fourth room while I set up my department of bacon plus dig a well for good measure.

Current Status
Reinardo - 3 Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 11 - Stone Gregski (1fd)
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - SP + Spinney
Reinardo - Rooms(1) + Stables(1)
Gregski - Sheep(2)
Reinardo - FG + Turnwrest Plough

Reinardo adds a fourth room and peep as expected (plus the reed, but you don't have to be told). I grab the button post haste in the desperate hope of family growth next round, plus grab all the sheep I can find.

Current Status
Reinardo - 4 Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 12 - Family Growth w/o Gregski (1fd)
Gregski - FG w/o
Reinardo - 1G
Gregski - 3W(6 + 1)
Reinardo - 1V
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Reinardo - SP + x

Relieved, I place my counter of fgwo before the page stops loading. Reinardo then decides to pursue farming before taking the button to deprive me of a fourth peep. Maybe I should have left the forest in peace, but seven wood is too much to surrender.

Current Status
Reinardo - 4 Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 13 - Plow & Sow Gregski (1fd)
Reinardo - FG w/o
Gregski - PF + Sow
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - Cattle(3)
Reinardo - Boar(3 burn 2sh)
Gregski - PF
Reinardo - 1V

Deprived of growth, I plow, moo moo enable my farm then plow again, mostly to annoy my opponent who is waiting to use his plow. I know I can't stop him, but still.

Current Status
Reinardo - 4 Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Round 14 - Renovation & Fences Gregski (1fd)
Reinardo - PF + PF + PF + Sow 1 grain + 2 veg
Gregski - PF
Reinardo - 1R(1 + 2fd)
Gregski - MIMI / Joinery
Reinardo - 1S(7)
Gregski - FG w/o
Reinardo - Ren>Stone + BasketMaker's Workshop
Reinardo - Cattle(1)

Reinardo plows to great effect, renovates and grabs the reed processing plant, while I plow, build a joinery, then add a fourth peep.

Current Status
Reinardo - 4 Stone Rooms, 5 Peeps, 2 Occupations
Gregski - 2 Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 3 Occupations

Scores
Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus Total
Reinardo 3(2) 0(-1) 1(1) 4(4) 1(1) 1(1) 1(1) -5(-5) 0(0) 4S(8) 5(15) (4) (1) 32
Gregski 3(2) 4(4) 0(-1) 0(-1) 6(3) 3(2) 4(3) -4(-4) 0(0) 2W(0) 4(12) (9) (3) 32


As always, comments, suggestions welcome, especially in combating the reed menace.
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Benjamin Kerenza
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Well done for not loosing under that onslaught.
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Makis
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That is impressive to say the least. No room upgrades and two babies? Didn't know that was possible, especially against what your opponent was rolling out there.

Now that I think about it, aren't you suppose to have 4 rooms for 4 people?
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Greg Udvari
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markaaronmassey wrote:
That is impressive to say the least. No room upgrades and two babies? Didn't know that was possible, especially against what your opponent was rolling out there.

Now that I think about it, aren't you suppose to have 4 rooms for 4 people?

Family growth without room came out in round 12. I played it in rounds 12 and 14, thus four peeps.
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Nice report of an impressively dumb strategy on his part. Yes, denying reed can be a good strategy. Literally taking 14 actions to stop you from getting reed, much of the time as his first action of a turn (thus giving you the first 1-2 best spots left otherwise), is just stupid.

Even with the extra rooms, renovation, and FG, he had:
-10 extra actions
-14 actions spent on reed
-3 extra actions on building rooms and family growth.
-2 extra actions on renovating.

So, in effect, he spent 9 actions more than he gained on you, for all that effort, which netted him:
-2 points for covered up unused spaces
-8 points for a stone house
-3 points for an extra person

So 9 actions for 11 points. And that's not even taking into account the opportunity cost of what he did:
Round 5: Lets you take the stacked sheep
Round 7: 3 stone
Round 8: 4 fishing
Round 12: I don't know what was available, but SOMETHING had to be better than that
Round 13: 3(!) Cows


If, after he had gotten his 2nd room added, he laid off the reed just a little bit, that might have worked for him. This? This was just painful.
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Bryan McNeely
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I've been focusing a lot on fence-less development.

Early on, I get my fields plowed, sowed and generating a bunch of grain for me for the sake of loosening the grip on fishing and day laboring. Once I feel comfortable with that, I start on the house; adding rooms and upgrading to stone as fast as possible.

As for animals, I don't go for a full stable or pasture of critters. I get myself three stables in open areas, one sheep, boar and cow and that's it. In other words, I avoid the negative points for animals and let my fields and home get me my points.

Hopefully, I've gotten myself some cool Occupations and Improvements to build from to make this all work out, but regardless, I'm really liking not worrying about fences.
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Makis
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Gregski wrote:
markaaronmassey wrote:
That is impressive to say the least. No room upgrades and two babies? Didn't know that was possible, especially against what your opponent was rolling out there.

Now that I think about it, aren't you suppose to have 4 rooms for 4 people?

Family growth without room came out in round 12. I played it in rounds 12 and 14, thus four peeps.


I knew there was that card. For some reason I always thought it was only a one shot deal. I'm most likely wrong on that account. I think any time we've played it most people are usually close to maxed on people and housing so I've never seen it used that way. Nice strategy.
 
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Allen OConnor
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A draw! Never had one of those in this game.
 
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Derakon Derakon
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Occupy Boardwalk wrote:
I've been focusing a lot on fence-less development.

Early on, I get my fields plowed, sowed and generating a bunch of grain for me for the sake of loosening the grip on fishing and day laboring. Once I feel comfortable with that, I start on the house; adding rooms and upgrading to stone as fast as possible.
The conventional wisdom around here is that you're best off working on rooms early on; getting fields with crops in them just takes such a massive action investment that you really want to put it off until a) you have more family members, and b) the harvests are closer together (so you recoup your investment faster).

Ideally you should be growing your family in Stage 2 (rounds 5-7), which means spending at least some of Stage 1 on gathering wood and reed. Assuming your opponent isn't blocking you, of course!

As for whether to pursue fields or fences, of course ideally you want to do both. Plowing fields is a reliable 2 points per action, which is pretty decent; fences can potentially get you a lot of points too, though. For example, if you do nothing but a 2x2 pasture, then that's 3-4 actions for gathering wood and building fences, for 5 points plus room for 2-3 points of animals, assuming you don't eat them! Fences also give you a lot of flexibility: you have a point-generating way to use up spare wood you've gathered, you can take animals without having to cook them right away, you can subdivide large pastures later to eke out a few more points, etc.

The main thing about fences, though, is that if you don't take that wood, then your opponent will, and they'll make points out of it. Anything you "don't have to worry about" is something that you're giving to your opponent for free. You really don't want your opponent getting lots of cheap wood.

(On the flipside, worrying too much about letting your opponent have things can result in games like the one the original poster showed...)
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Geoff Burkman
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Nice report of a great game. Your opponent was extremely fortunate that you didn't have Clay or Brushwood Roof (or something similar) or he would have suffered dramatically for his inefficient play. Great job battling him to a draw!
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Paul Oakes
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Derakon wrote:
Occupy Boardwalk wrote:
I've been focusing a lot on fence-less development.

Early on, I get my fields plowed, sowed and generating a bunch of grain for me for the sake of loosening the grip on fishing and day laboring. Once I feel comfortable with that, I start on the house; adding rooms and upgrading to stone as fast as possible.
The conventional wisdom around here is that you're best off working on rooms early on; getting fields with crops in them just takes such a massive action investment that you really want to put it off until a) you have more family members, and b) the harvests are closer together (so you recoup your investment faster).

Ideally you should be growing your family in Stage 2 (rounds 5-7), which means spending at least some of Stage 1 on gathering wood and reed. Assuming your opponent isn't blocking you, of course!

As for whether to pursue fields or fences, of course ideally you want to do both. Plowing fields is a reliable 2 points per action, which is pretty decent; fences can potentially get you a lot of points too, though. For example, if you do nothing but a 2x2 pasture, then that's 3-4 actions for gathering wood and building fences, for 5 points plus room for 2-3 points of animals, assuming you don't eat them! Fences also give you a lot of flexibility: you have a point-generating way to use up spare wood you've gathered, you can take animals without having to cook them right away, you can subdivide large pastures later to eke out a few more points, etc.

The main thing about fences, though, is that if you don't take that wood, then your opponent will, and they'll make points out of it. Anything you "don't have to worry about" is something that you're giving to your opponent for free. You really don't want your opponent getting lots of cheap wood.

(On the flipside, worrying too much about letting your opponent have things can result in games like the one the original poster showed...)


Strongly agree with all this analysis except a 4 space pasture is worth 6 points if it's the first one you build.
 
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pan koko
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seems block you but just block himself ,for it will give you so nice goods replace for 1R
 
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Tony L
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Geez, it's a little weird responding to something more than a year old.~whistle

I've tried Landing Net reed denial many times, but most of the time I don't go to such extreme unless I also have something like Fishing Trap/Net Fisherman/Wood Distributor.

Reed denial can be a valid strategy, but I believe he made a mistake of taking it too far. With only Landing Net in play, I would never spike the lone reed as my first action after the first harvest (Eg, Round 7 shown here). Ideally I would stop doing it all together after renovate to clay or after building my second wooden room, as there are simply too many good things to pass up otherwise. The opponent still has to use 3 actions to grab reed-build-growth, which gives me tones of time to better my farm.

Having said that, sometimes your opponent might indeed have a very strong and legit reed denial combo. In this case I think it's wise to realize that you will never get a 2R grab, and the best response is to take the 1 reed ASAP (eg, Round 5 in this game) as long as you are not giving up something too good like 3+ sheep, 6 wood, etc. If the person playing the denial is rational, he cannot/will not always take 1R as first action. You will have decent chance to get the second reed early enough, and making future denial largely meaningless.

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