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Subject: Yoke: who builds it and why? rss

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bob lawblaw
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Do you build the yoke? If so, why?

In my games (~10 of which I've won ~9 of them), I've never built the Yoke. With the grande worker I generally find it pretty easy to navigate the main board to get to what I want. I actually vastly prefer the game at even numbers of players because it makes for more interesting decisions from this perspective. Disclaimer, some of this almost certainly has to be quality of competition related. Thus, I'm curious as to the prevalence of the Yoke in other people's games.

Jamey: if you see this, can you explain some of the thought process behind the Yoke from a design perspective? Obviously uprooting is a remedial task, so outside of that, in the best of situations it provides more accessible harvesting. Was harvest seen a more significant "choke point" in the Viticulture wine-making process than the other steps?
 
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FxO ༼ ༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ༽
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I do! So I can always know for sure that I will be able to harvest every year. Playing with a higher player count can take that away from you very easily.
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Molokov (AU)
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I've built the yoke in quite a few games, because it can be useful, plus it's cheap compared to other structures.

a) you can harvest during summer (definitely a key point)
b) you can harvest when all the 'Harvest' spots are blocked and you've already used your Grande worker, or:
c) you can harvest a second field if there's no more 'Harvest' spots or you missed on out on the +1 bonus.

Uprooting I have rarely done, but it's possible that doing uproot/plant when you have the Windmill is a good way to earn an extra VP every year.

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Mark Palframan
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If you harvest in the summer, you can jump right into crushing grapes in the winter!
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Eric Hogue
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The Yoke also allows you to delay harvesting, if you already have grapes of that value, so you can crush first, without using a Grande.
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David Chapman
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Molokov wrote:
Uprooting I have rarely done, but it's possible that doing uproot/plant when you have the Windmill is a good way to earn an extra VP every year.



I've seen someone go all in on that strategy before the Tasting Room received errata, building the Windmill and Tasting Room and getting a VP from both plus a grape sale and the wake-up bonus. I don't think it works now we know the game better, though; our games almost always end in Year 6 and you don't have time to hit 20 VP without filling an order.
 
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Chris Laudermilk
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I think I've built the Yoke once. It very rarely is seen in my group.
 
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mfl134
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May of the reasons I see have been mentioned.


Advantages:
- Don't need to worry about wake up order as far as harvesting is concerned
- Can Harvest in the Summer, which gives you tempo in the winter
- Occasionally uprooting can help with regards to the windwill (but this is very rare)
- In a 2 player game, the yoke makes it more reasonable to plant in a second field, when planning to harvest 2 fields each turn.

Disadvantages:
- I'd rather be building something else.


I generally only build the yoke when it costs me very little, especially when it doesn't cost me an actions. I might do it when visitor cards give me free builds. I might build it if playing with Mamas and Papas and the the cost is only $1.

But the yoke is by no means an auto buy.
 
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Rich Charters
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It can be important in a 2P game where blocking spaces is a bigger part of the gameplay....you generally want to play a winter visitor every year so if you aren't going first, you're probably saving your Grande worker to play a winter visitor.

I never build the yoke, but my son generally does and he is better than 50% against me.
 
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Flight Doc
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Also, if you have the harvest machine, you can harvest all fields on that spot. If you have the Mafioso special worker, you can harvest 2 fields in any season using him. Some cards require a certain number of grapes to get an effect, so that might be a way of getting grapes outside the fall.
 
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