Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Fields of Arle» Forums » General

Subject: Do the venerable Fields of Arle encourage static or dynamic strategies? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been enjoying digging into a variety of worker placement games over the last few years. I've found that they generally fall into one of two types.

The first type requires you to dramatically adapt your strategy from game-to-game in order to be successful. The game will hit you you a variable starting position, in-game events, and/or brutal player interactions that demand a reaction. Games I would put in this category include Agricola, Le Havre, Alien Frontiers, T'zolkin (especially with the expansion), Manhattan Project, Viticulture (with Tuscany) and Caylus.

Games of the second type have a variety of viable tracks you can pursue (in one case literally), but you can pretty much decide your path before the game even begins. Your opponents may be able to hinder you a bit, but for the most part you are best off continuing with the strategy you concocted before the first turn. Games I would put in this category (from my perspective, at least) are Caverna, Kingsburg, Russian Railroads.

Although I have enjoyed my plays of games of the second type, they have limited replayability for me. Once I find a successful strategy, there's not much to keep me from just trying to do the exact same thing every game. I ultimately don't find these games to have long-term replayability. Consequently, I generally prefer games in the first "adaptive" category (although I eventually broke up with MP and Caylus for other reasons).

Without having played yet, I am having a hard time figuring out which category Arle falls into. So, seasoned Arle veterans, what do you think? Does the setup influence your strategy in a major way? Is worker placement conflict enough to knock you off one road and onto another, and can you still be in contention after doing so?

Thanks for your advice!

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Oakley
United States
Brandon
Mississippi
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
drasher25 wrote:
Without having played yet, I am having a hard time figuring out which category Arle falls into. So, seasoned Arle veterans, what do you think? Does the setup influence your strategy in a major way? Is worker placement conflict enough to knock you off one road and onto another, and can you still be in contention after doing so?


I think the setup influences my strategy quite significantly. The conflict for the worker placement spots is, in my opinion, not enough to disrupt your plans to the point that they must be abandoned for other options. However, the race for certain buildings is fairly likely to cause some more significant disruptions. I think FoA allows flexibility enough that missing out on one building will not leave you completely out of the running.

If I were to put the game on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being static and 10 being dynamic, I would probably say it is around a 3 or 4.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Cook
United States
Denton
Texas
flag msg tools
*beep*
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After a few solo plays under my belt, I feel like I need to completely change my strategies based on what buildings are out. Many of the building powers are subtle but powerful, so you can't just go constructing them willy-nilly and expect them to yield points.

There are so many mechanisms in the game that a even having just the few different buildings available kind of have a butterfly effect to the rest of how the game plays out.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Spiegel
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The buildings available can and should affect your strategic plans for the game. Racing to get certain buildings before your opponent is usually more crucial than fighting each other for the action selection spaces.

I've played the game 6 times so far and have yet gotten to the point where I feel comfortable enough with the game to properly plan for the buildings that come out in setup. With that said, I think the replay value is high enough to warrant owning the game. I definitely feel I've already gotten my money's worth.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Unapologetic Continual Troublemaker!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The amount of choice each round in Arle is staggering. I have said this before, but it would literally take you days to calculate the most effective strategy. It is a game that really encourages exploration of different strategies.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Elbl
United States
Framingham
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have played Fields 5x so far, and have been trying a wide array of openings & initial strategies. (None have yet given me a feel of 'best' strategy, but I have a lot still to try. I have done: quick cart opening, heavy animals opening, heavy fields opening, heavy building strategy, heavy animal strategy, heavy goods strategy, and mixed & matched the above)

Something interesting happened my last play-through. I had several fields (6), and was looking to acquire the building turning 3 fields into forests for VP. My son, however, farmed forests for lumber and there was only 1 forests remaining, which meant my goal to capitalize on the fields -> forests on the last turn was rendered moot. I ended up losing the game by 3 points. (after constructing an alternate building.)

This is not a mutli-player solitaire game. Competition for action spaces and joint supply structures will impact the play, but not in an overtly aggressive manner. Not having a "best way" to score VPs adds to the game, imho.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Elf__Man wrote:
I have played Fields 5x so far, and have been trying a wide array of openings & initial strategies. (None have yet given me a feel of 'best' strategy, but I have a lot still to try. I have done: quick cart opening, heavy animals opening, heavy fields opening, heavy building strategy, heavy animal strategy, heavy goods strategy, and mixed & matched the above)

Something interesting happened my last play-through. I had several fields (6), and was looking to acquire the building turning 3 fields into forests for VP. My son, however, farmed forests for lumber and there was only 1 forests remaining, which meant my goal to capitalize on the fields -> forests on the last turn was rendered moot. I ended up losing the game by 3 points. (after constructing an alternate building.)

This is not a mutli-player solitaire game. Competition for action spaces and joint supply structures will impact the play, but not in an overtly aggressive manner. Not having a "best way" to score VPs adds to the game, imho.


Thanks for this! So, when you tried these different strategies, did you sit down with a preconception to go for heavy animals or goods, or did your opening evolve from the game setup and first moves?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Apollo Melo
msg tools
mbmbmb
I play most of my games solo, and I too was worried that without something akin to Agricola's plethora of cards or Glass Road's countless buildings, the game would get stale. It really hasn't, at least not yet. Often my first couple of moves will be similar to something I've done in the past. For example, when playing solo I don't think there's a single game where somewhere in the first summer I didn't chop wood. Except for those small similarities, each game has played pretty differently from past ones.

Simply put, there are far too many choices to stick to one strategy. Unless you're writing down each move in an attempt to "solve" this game, it won't be likely that you retain a strong memory of which moves you want to take in what order. The slight variation in buildings between games ensures this a little more, too.

There are so many moves for your workers! Then, you also start thinking about which resources you want to load up in your vehicles, and whether you want to trade away some stuff to stock up on food by traveling. Of course those choices ultimately influence your choices with workers, as well. You see where this is going - there are simply a staggering number of combinations to work through.

More than that, it's just plain fun to start with a farm and set about building the best farm you can. My games that seem to go "well" have ended a little over 70 points, and 110 is the solo game goal so I've got quite a distance to cover. My favorite feature so far is that almost every move you make feels GOOD. While I love the way Agricola pressures you to make the "right" move, in Fields of Arle everything seems like a pretty good option. It's a welcome relief, and that sense of calm makes it ideal for sipping tea and watching Star Trek on Netflix while I spread this out on my coffee table.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benjamin Tieman
United States
Simi Valley
California
flag msg tools
designer
Gamer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
raika11182 wrote:
in Fields of Arle everything seems like a pretty good option.


Yes. I love the feeling of so many choices, but without the stress of wondering if I'm making the "correct" ones.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Rizzo
United States
Hershey
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We quit half way though. It felt very solitaire. You can always pick a good action space, or pick the imitate space. The only things that are limited are buildings. So maybe 1-2 times a game you will feel interaction.

If it's not a solitaire based game, the rules for Solo would be more than 1-2 sentences which basically say "play the game as you would normally, and just skip turn order."

It was just boring. If you like math, you might like it. Since you have 36 exact turns in a game and an open map of options, you can math out what you can do. I do not like that style of game. I like open ended victory trigger conditions - depletion of an item, VP goal reached, completion of an item...etc.

We did prefer it to Agricola, because that annoying feed your people was not as difficult to do.

IMO Viticulture + Tuscany EE is a much better game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Damon Asher
United States
Jefferson
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just to round out on my own thread here...

I ended up trading away Arle shortly after playing Feast for Odin. Feast is, for me, the pinnacle of Rosenberg games, everything I like about Agricola and Le Harve refined. The cards provide the variability and direction I was looking for, and I actually find them nicely powerful (vs. Agricola). Feast also plays great with 2.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.