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Subject: Town phase broken? rss

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Jeremy Mease
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Maybe we are playing incorrectly but do you seriously only get one action in town per turn?

We have four players (in game now) and everyone is griping that all the good actions are blocked most of the time or at least what you want to do is taken most of the time, and I tend to agree with them.

So, town seems to be a double whammy. If you are last to move because you are closest to the town hall everyone else takes their spot and 9 times out of ten the one action you wanted is now blocked. Say you pass because oh what luck!!! You are now the player farthest from the town hall so next turn you will go first.

It gets back to you and you pick up your pawn to move it but now that you are first everyone is still sitting on those same spots and so now you have been blocked two rounds in a row. So you pass again and the other players move or pass as well and again most likely the spot you want will be taken by another player who wanted it.


It seems odd that we keep being blocked for multiple rounds (only 8 actions in town per game!!) and that being first is actually the worst place due to all the spots from the last round are still blocked. There is no advantage. Being last is not great due to other people taking spots before you so somewhere in the middle seems at least decent to have a chance to do something.

Are we playing something wrong and misjudging this game?
 
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Jason Reid
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
Maybe we are playing incorrectly but do you seriously only get one action in town per turn?


Yep.

Quote:
We have four players (in game now) and everyone is griping that all the good actions are blocked most of the time or at least what you want to do is taken most of the time, and I tend to agree with them.


You need to find another action, then.

Quote:
If you are last to move because you are closest to the town hall everyone else takes their spot and 9 times out of ten the one action you wanted is now blocked. Say you pass


I've played this game dozens of times, many of which with 4 players. I don't think I've ever passed. I suggest not doing that...it sounds like a bad move. Honestly, I didn't even know it was legal. I had to check the FAQ to make sure!

Quote:
because oh what luck!!! You are now the player farthest from the town hall so next turn you will go first.

It gets back to you and you pick up your pawn to move it but now that you are first everyone is still sitting on those same spots and so now you have been blocked two rounds in a row.


Confirmed. Passing was definitely a bad move.

Look, you only get 8 town actions in the whole game. You can't keep passing, hoping to get the ONE action you really want at the moment. If you're going last, you need to take the best action you can, and consider positioning yourself better for the next round. What are your opponents likely to take? What's likely to be open, and when? Where do you need to end up in turn order to take advantage of that? And what's your backup plan?

But mostly, just take the best action you can. You only get 8. And be prepared to pay 2 coins some rounds to loop around the whole town for a faraway action.
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Michael Denman
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
So, town seems to be a double whammy. If you are last to move because you are closest to the town hall everyone else takes their spot and 9 times out of ten the one action you wanted is now blocked. Say you pass because oh what luck!!! You are now the player farthest from the town hall so next turn you will go first.

It gets back to you and you pick up your pawn to move it but now that you are first everyone is still sitting on those same spots and so now you have been blocked two rounds in a row. So you pass again and the other players move or pass as well and again most likely the spot you want will be taken by another player who wanted it.


It seems odd that we keep being blocked for multiple rounds (only 8 actions in town per game!!) and that being first is actually the worst place due to all the spots from the last round are still blocked. There is no advantage. Being last is not great due to other people taking spots before you so somewhere in the middle seems at least decent to have a chance to do something.


This has never been a big problem in our games. You ARE starting on opposite sides of the town, right? So you probably only have one other player hanging around with you for a few turns at least.
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1 Lucky Texan
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passing is rare, I think I did it twice out of 2-3 dozen games. Just to block someone else late in the game.

there's so many actions in town, even the post office or the charity.

try to have a plan A and a Plan B.

resources are tight in WG, everyone is poor!
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Karl Bunyan
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
Are we playing something wrong and misjudging this game?

I can't work out what you might be doing wrong from that description (except passing, but I mean rules-wise), but it sounds like it must be something.

Given that there are two spaces to get free cubes and three spaces to convert cubes into coins - which are at worst a wildcard cube - I can envisage no situation where I'd ever want to pass. I'm not sure that the rules allow it anyway.
 
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Jason Reid
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pilgrim152 wrote:
ReluctantFr0g wrote:
Are we playing something wrong and misjudging this game?

I can't work out what you might be doing wrong from that description (except passing, but I mean rules-wise), but it sounds like it must be something.


I doubt this, but perhaps they're not paying a coin each time they pass one of the two tax spots? Assuming players start spread out, those should be serving to keep people from bunching up together.
 
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Jeremy Mease
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I guess the main issue is you get blocked twice. Once if someone takes what you want and twice if you go before them next round. the rules say you can't take an action spot if you don't have the goods to perform it. So positioning yourself for the next turn can be difficult when you don't know where everyone else will be moving or lack one item.

Not complaining but I would say that at least half of the town actions are generally just biding your time or positioning yourself and doing something you don't want. The fact that you keep coins in your open barn slots makes selling goods very difficult because you don't use up your goods until after town actions. Most of the time I had to move stuff to the barn from the fields to keep from losing it. So I am blocked from getting coins. And if you can't get a barn up quick you have little space. And then if I don't have the right materials he rules say I can't use an action. So most people take the free goods action. We all took one extra worker eventually but it's super hard to feed and heat more than three... With 4 players We passed a lot.

It really is Agricola light!!!
 
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Jeremy Mease
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pilgrim152 wrote:
ReluctantFr0g wrote:
Are we playing something wrong and misjudging this game?

I can't work out what you might be doing wrong from that description (except passing, but I mean rules-wise), but it sounds like it must be something.

Given that there are two spaces to get free cubes and three spaces to convert cubes into coins - which are at worst a wildcard cube - I can envisage no situation where I'd ever want to pass. I'm not sure that the rules allow it anyway.


Maybe this is the key. Maybe we need to convert more but losing a bunch of gold coins seems bad.
 
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Jeremy Mease
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I tried to maximize and focus on one or two goods. Mostly wheat and wood and hire only yellow workers. I didn't get fish or dairy at all so I was limited like the rest of us who did a similar thing.

Is this bad play? You can't get that much land. 9 tiles to be exact. And bad winters etc make it foolish to go easy on food tiles. Am I wrong?

Why waste a tile or two on fish just to feed a blue when I can focus on yellow and make a huge field?


Any better strategies with only 9 tiles up for play?
 
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Jonathan Chaffer
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
I guess the main issue is you get blocked twice. Once if someone takes what you want and twice if you go before them next round.

This makes me think you are determining play order incorrectly. The rules on this are written confusingly, and there have been multiple discussions on it (see https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/965027/who-furthest-town-ha... for example).

The person who is in "first place" on the track (if you were racing, and Town Hall is the finish line) goes first. This means that what you describe rarely happens; usually, if you are late in the turn order, people will have moved out of your way by the time it is your turn to move. If you are early, people haven't blocked you yet.

You still do need to build some flexibility into your actions, so that you have something useful to do if your first choice is blocked, but it sounds like you might be making blocking more frequent that it should be.
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Karl Bunyan
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ReluctantFr0g wrote:
Most of the time I had to move stuff to the barn from the fields to keep from losing it.

Goods in fields remain from one turn to the next. Were you playing that part right? Only use a barn to store goods if you make too many (or use one of the free one spots).

Also JonBob's point about turn order sounds like another possible rules mistake.
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1 Lucky Texan
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I don't think it's been mentioned, but you are also allowed to jump over another player in the town. Indeed, you can effectively jump everyone and stay in place if you pay the 2 coins (tax and church)

excellent reminder above, you may keep goods on tiles, up to the number of squares shown.

Think of each new disk as a sort-of Farmer's Almanac, with predictions for the coming year. Try to take advantage of either extra production, or higher prices for certain goods. Don't waste a worker overproducing wood if it isn't necessary. But, if you DO overproduce something, the neighborly help tile effectively lets you exchange 3 goods. And you can literally pay it off at anytime.
 
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