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Caverna: The Cave Farmers» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Farming Vs Mining Vs Adventuring. rss

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Roman Bode
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I suppose this is really a question to the people who are out there. What have you found to be the most successful strategy for achieving points and gaining victories. There are 3 clear ways to win via Farming, Mining and Adventuring.

A word on points. My group plays an extra turn. We allowed a beginners free turn, a turn of game placements before the turning of the first card turn. This allowed new players to get into the idea of worker placement without the stress that follows as the choices increase. This rule was so well liked, it is not a part of every Caverna game in our group.

Farming crops and breeding animals. The largest score I have achieved here is 158. This was focusing on cavern upgrades like Weaving Parlor, Breeding Cave, Fodder Chamber, Milking Parlor and Beer Parlor. Of course, I also targeted the Office first and possibly Prayer Chamber after. In some games I do also try to develop the inside caves (mainly without overhang) but most actions are on building up the farming area with overhang. I have also toyed with adventuring for the 'breed 2 types of animal' reward. I normally aim for 4 dwarfs and get all the animal types early on so I can get the advantages from breeding. I have on occasion grabbed 'Breakfast Room' and 2 rubies to turn into cows before the first harvest to allow me to be breeding cows by the first harvest.

Mining. Largest score 147. Again focusing on the Office first for overhang I then focused on making ore mines and ruby mines too to place donkeys in for the benefit of Mining Cave. Often I don't have to feed my dwarves on harvests in this method and focus on points scoring. Big hitters are 'Stone Storage' (combined with Stone Carver), 'Ore Storage (combined with Miner) and 'Treasure Chamber'. I tend for a fully armed family of 5 or 6 including improvements like 'Supplies Storage, Broom Chamber, Weapon Storage. I like this approach, but I don't do as well and in multiplayer games there is a lot of competition for the build ore mine, Drift Mining and Excavation spaces tiles. This means I get less stone and might have to focus on other things. I almost always build new chambers using the adventuring reward by paying 2 wood and 2 stone.

Adventuring. Largest score 106. In the games when I have focused just on Adventuring and then a 'general' approach (i.e. Not the 'Office') building other options when adventuring was not available. I use 'Peaceful Cave' to eliminate a weapon if I need to feed my people and almost always went for 2 gold as one of my adventuring options. Other chambers developed were 'Weapon Storage, Writing Chamber, Supplies Storage, Seam and Ore Storage.' Often I cannot take them all. I find this the hardest approach and again, often with lots of competition from others for the key places, meaning I have to waste an action going for 'first player'. Without the free turn that my group uses I will often fail to get the 100 points requirement for a 'game win'.

Now, I am aware this is my play style and I am more experienced with the animal approach from Agricola. So, I am asking what approaches are you using to win and how effective are they?
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Bastian Winkelhaus
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Are these scores for solo or multiplayer games? And if solo, are they also achieved with the extra turn?
 
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Roman Bode
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Without checking my booklet scores, I think they are solo games, but I think one of them is a 2-player game (the mining one).

All are including the extra turn. All of my top scores are made using the 'Office' card. In multi-player games here it is a sought after card, so it is no guarantee that I would get it. I have played games of upto 6 people, but I rarely get over 110 points in these games. There is too much competition.

I find the harvest after every turn from turn 5 often more of an advantage than a problem, as long as there is a mechanism in place for the food.

What strategy do you go for?
 
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David Jones
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I've only played this game twice, so I would treat my comments with some caution, but nonetheless...

I think the problem here is that Adventuring is not really a scoring mechanism in the game. Certainly its a strategy you can use as a means to an end, but it is not the end itself. There is no "Take five point for going an adventure" mechanism in the game. The closest you get to this is the tile that awards you bonus points for weapons, but thats it. Adventuring simply allows you to gain extra actions when you take certain places on the board. Observe....

Quote:
Mining. I tend for a fully armed family of 5 or 6 including improvements like 'Supplies Storage, Broom Chamber, Weapon Storage.


By taking a fully armed family, you are using the adventuring action to further your mining capabailites. In some sense, this is a circle as it allows you get more ore which allows you to arm more family members, but the point here is that you have a goal - mining, and you adventuring to supplement that with extra actions in the game. In contrast....

Quote:
Adventuring. In the games when I have focused just on Adventuring and then a 'general' approach


A "general" approach is not a strategy. I suppose you could say that diversified scoring is a strategy, but I've not played enough games to figure out how feasible this really is. But the bottom line here is that you are not focused. You're taking whatever seems available at the time. This probably (?) means you abandon strategies that require a three or four turn buildup to pay out. Kind of like a chess game, the further ahead you are thinking, the best moves in the game require long term planning. It doesn't seem like the strategy you are using here provides you with any clear way to go and so you flounder by making a point salad in a game the requires a full course meal.

Just my two cents.
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Peter Delmeby
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romanbode wrote:
Mining. Largest score 147. Again focusing on the Office first for overhang I then focused on making ore mines and ruby mines too to place donkeys in for the benefit of Mining Cave. Often I don't have to feed my dwarves on harvests in this method and focus on points scoring. Big hitters are 'Stone Storage' (combined with Stone Carver), 'Ore Storage (combined with Miner) and 'Treasure Chamber'. I tend for a fully armed family of 5 or 6 including improvements like 'Supplies Storage, Broom Chamber, Weapon Storage. I like this approach, but I don't do as well and in multiplayer games there is a lot of competition for the build ore mine, Drift Mining and Excavation spaces tiles. This means I get less stone and might have to focus on other things. I almost always build new chambers using the adventuring reward by paying 2 wood and 2 stone.


Played the game for the first time last weekend, twice
Have been poking around in some other thread where people posted pics of their high scores. Noone seemed to focus on mining so hearing you managed to get this good a score was refreshing. How many mines vs furnishings were you having when making the "high score"?
 
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Roman Bode
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Looking at the score cards I tended to go for 3 or 4 coal mines with equal number of ruby mines. Each mine holds a donkey and went for the Mining cave to feed my dwarves.

I normally go for the double room for 4 dwarves or another room for 3 dwarves...but I prefer the double room. I would also try to ensure I have at least 4 fields for the double planting of grain and vegetables.

In solo play, the turns are tight but with the Mining Cave, you don't worry about harvests - they are a bonus for you allowing animals to breed and crops to harvest. In 2-6 players play, sadly I get competition for the Mining cave as others like to go for it. So, if I don't get it, I try for another food cave.
 
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