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Subject: AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! rss

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Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
Friesland
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I'm slowly starting to be convinced that I must be stupid.


Bought this game for Christmas, mainly because of the name.

Yesterday was going to set it up and play with my eldest.

Setup took me about 30 minutes and this while I had the components sorted into baggies, so imagine how long it would have taken if I'd simply dropped it in the box.
Great components by the way.

Main problam was the village tile and what to do with the tiles etc you have to place on it.
Rulebook was not help as it was shown on the player aid sheet.
Ahwell, I'll know for next time.

So we sat down and the plan was to go through the rules and start playing. After all we know Agricola and this seem simulare so shouldn't be much of a problem.

Now I full well realise that this isn't a complicated game.
If you know what to do and how to play it must be simple, so that's why I started by saying I must be really stupid.

Dove into the rule book and in not time we both were very confused and at a loss asto what to do.
Too much information.

I would have prefered if it had started with a simple example of play.
We read the first pages, expected to be eased into the game.
But instead there were more pages with loads of info and we figured we'd only get more confused.

For sure this would be information which we could look up when we needed it.
So lets start.

You place a family member on one of them squares and than stuff happens.
So let's do what it says in the example.
You place one on a fishthingie and you get a.... sheep?
Confusion, why a sheep, was it swimming there and got caught in the net?
Weird.

We fumbled on for a while and got ever more confused.
There are so many options, so what are you going to do...
Err, what were we supposed to do to win this game again?

Neither of us remembered and at that point it seemed like a better idea to give up on it.
Lets first find a video.

Allready had a quick look and it did make things a bit clear.
As expected it's not a complicated game once you get it.

So am I stupid or are there others who struggled with the rules.
I realise they probably think they are explaining things very well, so it's probably a case in the way they explain it is not the way I understand it.

I soon felt overwhelmed with information.

So what I want to do is become rich i.e. get the most points and in order to achieve this there are, what feels like, a kazzilion options.

It's like someone tels you to mend a fence and give you a tool box with a thousand different tools.

There must be an easier way to grasp this.
My best bet for now is on the videos.












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gary smith
United Kingdom
Salisbury
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Firstly I'd like to say don't give up. Its a great game.

However I have to confess that I was also very confused to start with. After many plays I've only recenlty realised there are only two possible ways to build a plough, first is to build a peat boat then flip it later, second is to take the farming action (I think that's the name) to build a plough then place fields (wheat/flax) equal to the number of ploughs you have. Stupid me.

keep going.
 
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Oliver Paul
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Yeah, I would also recommend to keep going.

I found Rahdo's video of this very helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjBRjFA8BA
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Freddy Dekker
Netherlands
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Thanks for the encouraging words.

I agree, the game is a feast for the eyes, a joy to behold.

It's just the rules felt overwhelming.
Some games are like that, they explain what to do and then you suddely start to wonder WHY you'd want to do all this, and what was I hoping to achieve again?

Have given up on it for now - the boys and I went on a journey to Andor instead, another GREAT game - and want to watch some videos - suggestions?- so at least I know what I'm doing which will make it easier to explain.
 
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Freddy Dekker
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murksofus wrote:
Yeah, I would also recommend to keep going.

I found Rahdo's video of this very helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjBRjFA8BA


Ha you must be pshychic, question and your reply came at the same time.
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Don Quichotte
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As already stated, it's a wonderful game indeed! My suggestion for you would be to treat it like a toy, for starters. Just explore what you can do with it, without paying too much attention to the final score. This is because when you start a game that final score is far away and it is very difficult to relate your actions to an objective that is so remote in the future. You need to discover / create some short term objectives such as:
- have a vehicle built by the end of the first winter
- have at least a pair of animals breed by the end of the first winter
- build this green building and start using it
- build that blue building as soon as possible
- set yourself up for a good buildings or building / actions combo
(For example, there's a blue building that increases your Fish Traps by 2 and then gives you as much wood as your Fish Traps position. In one game I visited the Fish Traps right away during the first summer, then imitated myself, getting 3+4-2=5 food in the process. The third move was to get this blue building. The result: plenty of wood for a nice, big vehicle, a couple of sheep, the Fish Traps maximized (3 points bonus) and 4 points from that blue building. The next objective was to get the wonderfully synergistic yellow building that allowed cutting as much peat as your Fish Traps, and which was luckily available in this game. A very satisfying combo!)

Every move you make has short and medium term consequences. Just explore the game and learn to recognize these consequences. Become aware of the timing constraints of the game (say you wish to postpone that peat cutting until the second part of the game - alright, but then you will have to do something about those November heating requirements). Discover combos. Improve your position - think of chess: good players don't choose each of their moves with the single objective of capturing the opponent's king, but rather have shorter term positional objectives in mind like developing their pieces, gaining space advantage, controlling important squares etc.

So, once again: play with it like it's a toy. And don't do the same thing over and over again once you've discovered something that seems to work, always try to find new ways. Solo is a very good option in this regard, too.
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Oscar Sodani
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I also got it for Christmas, to play solo and with my 11 year old son. I was definitely confused by the rulebook and the oh so many options.

Rahdo's videos cleared EVERYTHING up for us and our first 2 plays went beautifully and smoothly. I highly recommend watching both the Runthrough and Extended Gameplay videos before you try again. It's well worth it!

 
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Murr Rockstroh
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Fleming Island
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Go watch these two videos, it really helped me. Then go read the rulebook again.



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Sam Cook
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Denton
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I wish I could tell everyone that is learning this game to play it solo first. Unlike most of Uwe's other games, the solo version is identical to the two player except for one single tiny thing you cannot do (you can't play off season). I think it is a good way to learn!
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Alex Nguyen
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Expectations maybe. :-)

Also I kind of love reading rules. I already had the expectation in my brain that since I'm the rules reader and explainer of my little crowd I'd get cozy with the rulebook before even setting up the game.

For setup I use a Plano style box which makes things pretty easy. It also helps that I think setting up a large boardgame to have some cool zen feelings.

For folks who don't like the above: 1. best is to get an explainer and then just dive in. Arle really is "easy" to dive into. 2. Barring that like you said a video sometimes helps.

Stick with it; Fields of Arle is SO worth it.
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Darryl with one "R"
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Shouldn't the title of this thread be, "AAAAAAAAAAAAARLE!" ?
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Paris

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A note on themeing and fishing... if you pay attention to the kind of fish traps that one is using they're traps for putting out on the shallows just beyond your dikes and, traditionally in the area, sheep were also kept on dikes so I get the feeling that while one is out maintaining one's fish traps, one also deals with any issues regarding sheep, giving them some attention while one is out there.
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Freddy Dekker
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Reading the rules there was one thing which made me wonder concerning the breeding of animals.

It says that if you have 2 animals you get a 3rd.
Am I correct in understanding this 3rd animals also finds a place in the stable? I supose you have to remove it if you want more?

Anyway, it also says that if you have a larger stable, what's it called? stable house [Dutch rules] you can have more animals in there.

So if you have 5 animals you get one newborn.
But is also say you have to look upon it like the big barn is two barns in one wich means that 4 animals would get you 2 newborn.

So is this a mistake in the rulebook.
I mean 4 animals allows for 2 newborn, 5 only gets you one.
Or does it have something to do with the space in the barn.
Hm, I'm guessing that is the logical answer but await your confirmation.

 
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Israel Waldrom
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sagitar wrote:
Reading the rules there was one thing which made me wonder concerning the breeding of animals.

It says that if you have 2 animals you get a 3rd.
Am I correct in understanding this 3rd animals also finds a place in the stable? I supose you have to remove it if you want more?

Anyway, it also says that if you have a larger stable, what's it called? stable house [Dutch rules] you can have more animals in there.

So if you have 5 animals you get one newborn.
But is also say you have to look upon it like the big barn is two barns in one wich means that 4 animals would get you 2 newborn.

So is this a mistake in the rulebook.
I mean 4 animals allows for 2 newborn, 5 only gets you one.
Or does it have something to do with the space in the barn.
Hm, I'm guessing that is the logical answer but await your confirmation.



Breeding only occurs in Stalls, Stables, and Double Stalls, and you have a space on that tile for the newborn. Of course, once they are born, you are free to arrange your animals however you wish, so you can make space for another newborn next winter.

Stall has 3 spaces - if you have 2 animals in there you get a third.
Stable has 6 spaces (new tile, upgraded from stall) - if you have 2-5 animals in it you get a third.
Double Stall is on the reverse side of stable, and can only be obtained by flipping the tile with (Dike) Warden. It has two separate stalls on the tile, so if you have 2 pairs of animals on it you will get 2 newborns.
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Paris

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You missed out that if you have four animals in a stable then you do indeed get two new ones, yes. The reason you don't get two new ones if you have five is because of space; you're right about that. If you want two new animals you need to move your fifth animal out somewhere else; if you can't, i.e., if you don't have the space well then of course you're not going to be able to have two new animals - you' haven't got the space!

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