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Subject: Defeating the 2 wagon/2 red buildings strategy. rss

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K Wilkinson
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I have played the game 6 times now with my wife and she has won every game. She focuses on getting the two larger wagons. Then she builds up her animals and resources so she ends up with 2 of the 3 red buildings, she also maximises the travelling aspect. I really want to win but feel that there is no way to beat the 2 wagon/2 red buildings strategy . My wife has even said that she wants to try a different strategy next time as she is bored :o of winning this way.

Anyone have any tips or thoughts on this? I need a win to get me out of the rut.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Why not focus on blocking her ability to get the two wagons?
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Andrew Brooks
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Large vehicles are strong and from what I can tell you'd be hard pressed to win without getting at least one. I don't think it's absolutely necessary to get one by the end of the first winter but it's a pretty obviously useful opening strategy. Along the same lines 2 vehicles gives you added flexibility (visiting locations for food and upgrading resources for points/buildings) but I'm not 100% convinced you need 2 to win. Fortunately both players can get 2 large vehicles easily so it's a bit of a wash whether it's advantageous or not.

What I will challenge is the notion that you need 2 of the 3 red buildings to win. I played a game today where I only got 1 red building and still scored 140 points which was enough to win. The subtle downside to the red buildings is that they take a lot of effort to build and I'm not convinced they're always worth that effort. Sure they provide a big payoff but for the same effort you can build 2-3 orange/blue/yellow buildings and get a similar (or better) return. This is especially true if some of those buildings synergize, even more so with useful green buildings in the mix.

Here's a quick example of two orange buildings that combo well:
Mill (1 Timber, 8 Flax/Grain) -> 6 points, +8-12 Food
Waterfront House (2 Bricks, 25 Food) -> 10 points, +10 Food, 2 Dikes, Fish Trap +3

Total Cost: 1 Timber, 2 Bricks, 8 Flax/Grain, 3-7 Food
Return: 16 points, 2 Dikes, Fish Trap +3

It's not quite as good as a Red building but much cheaper and this combo is always available as long as you plow at least one field. Depending on the blue/yellow buildings that are in play there are some very strong building combos that I would easily take over a Red building. I can propose an interesting setup that enables multiple strong strategies if you want to try something that might lead to more interesting games.
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Scott Seifert
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That said, why not _also_ get two large vehicles and go for red buildings? There's still plenty to do outside of that, and I don't think the game would be weaker if there was some primary goal that both players "must" do (in the same way that players "must" get at least three family members in Agricola).
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K Wilkinson
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Thanks for the tips folks. After another play this morning and another loss this time she used a different strategy we realised we had some rules wrong. We were letting all animals breath not just the ones in stalls, we thought the carts with the seats could not carry any goods where the seats were.

We got to play a few more games but i am getting a bit frustrated we have now played 7 times and i have lost 7 games i do not know what i am doing wrong.
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K Wilkinson
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dotKeller wrote:
Large vehicles are strong and from what I can tell you'd be hard pressed to win without getting at least one. I don't think it's absolutely necessary to get one by the end of the first winter but it's a pretty obviously useful opening strategy. Along the same lines 2 vehicles gives you added flexibility (visiting locations for food and upgrading resources for points/buildings) but I'm not 100% convinced you need 2 to win. Fortunately both players can get 2 large vehicles easily so it's a bit of a wash whether it's advantageous or not.

What I will challenge is the notion that you need 2 of the 3 red buildings to win. I played a game today where I only got 1 red building and still scored 140 points which was enough to win. The subtle downside to the red buildings is that they take a lot of effort to build and I'm not convinced they're always worth that effort. Sure they provide a big payoff but for the same effort you can build 2-3 orange/blue/yellow buildings and get a similar (or better) return. This is especially true if some of those buildings synergize, even more so with useful green buildings in the mix.

Here's a quick example of two orange buildings that combo well:
Mill (1 Timber, 8 Flax/Grain) -> 6 points, +8-12 Food
Waterfront House (2 Bricks, 25 Food) -> 10 points, +10 Food, 2 Dikes, Fish Trap +3

Total Cost: 1 Timber, 2 Bricks, 8 Flax/Grain, 3-7 Food
Return: 16 points, 2 Dikes, Fish Trap +3

It's not quite as good as a Red building but much cheaper and this combo is always available as long as you plow at least one field. Depending on the blue/yellow buildings that are in play there are some very strong building combos that I would easily take over a Red building. I can propose an interesting setup that enables multiple strong strategies if you want to try something that might lead to more interesting games.


Always interested to hear exciting things.

Cheers for the tips.
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Dave P
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I'll trade ya wives...that might help.

-Dave
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Pieter Falun
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A strategy I like is to plow fields during the first three summers. It's a strategy that becomes stronger the more you plow (but three times is enough), furthermore it makes some buildings available that you otherwise couldn't easily build (e.g. mill). I try to combine this with two carts.

One thing that I haven't tried so far is the extensieve production of cloth, leather, etc. I don't see a way to gain more thans 100 points with that strategy. Furthermore the 'animal strategy' seems also a little weaker than the other strategies mentioned (I usually end up with max 105 point that way).

Btw: Why not play the game solo a coupl of times? That also helps tot see how buildings, goods, peat, wood etc. interact without your wife obstructing you
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