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Subject: Solo Game with SoloPlay Expansion and Variable Resource Cards rss

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David Arlington
United States
Summerdale
AL
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I am doing a game of Agricola with the SoloPlay Variant that includes these Agricola Resource Cards that generate variable number of resources each Round depending on how many resources a space generates and how many resources are already on the space. They also affect Breeding in Harvest rounds. The SoloPlay variant also limits you to a selection of four random Major Improvements available instead of the usual full 10, BUT gives you a MUCH larger selection of Occupations, making almost the whole set available for Solo play, even the ones that normally are only used in 3+ or 4+ player games.



Like Suburbia, I found the official Solo version of Agricola to be kind of boring. Other than the limited set of occupations and the minor improvements, every game felt the same to me. You always have the same production and all spaces available. I saw articles posted on BGG about optimal plays for the solo game to get highest scores, which made it seem like a math exercise. You had special rules to remember about food. It just didn't feel like the multi-player game.

The SoloPlay variant with the variable Resource Cards and the regular conditions (2 food to start, 2 to feed each family members at Harvest) and the ability to use a LOT more of the occupations makes it WAY more fun to me.

I haven't played Agricola in a long time. I was not/am not very good at it, in my opinion. But last night, I actually got a score of 52, which is a high for me and considered a Major Game Victory using the SoloPlay rules. I actually chalk this apparent success to a good selection of Occupations and Minor Improvements AND all the practice I've been getting at engine-building games I've played so much of this month like Terraforming Mars and Race for the Galaxy. OR I could have just been doing something wrong. I haven't played in a while.

Here is my ending farm and the round by round play (if I did something wrong - assuming anyone reads it all - let me know):



I used only the 'E' Deck for this game.

Major Improvements Available - 2-Clay Fireplace, 5-Clay Cooking Hearth, Joinery, Basketmaker's Workshop.

Occupations Available - Greengrocer, Brushmaker, Carpenter, Plow Driver, Clay Mixer, Thatcher, Chief's Daughter.

Minor Improvements Available - Animal Yard, Cattle Market, Millstone, Baking Tray, Stable, Helpful Neighbors, Manger.

Round 1 - Sow and/or Bake Bread:
(1) Occupation - Greengrocer (free) (When you do "Take 1 Grain" action, also take 1 Vegetable)
(2) Take 1 Grain (+ 1 Vegetable)

Round 2 - Sheep:
(1) Occupation - Clay Mixer (1 Food) (When get only Clay from a space, get 2 more Clay)
(2) Take 1 Grain (+ 1 Vegetable)
NOTE: Thanks to the variable resource cards, I still had NO resources on any of the "Add 1" resource spaces, so only Wood was available so far.

Round 3 - Fences:
(1) Occupation - Carpenter (1 Food) (When adding rooms, use only 3 of a Resource instead of 5, e.g. 3 Clay and 2 Reed to add a Clay room)
(2) Get Clay (1 + 2 from Clay Mixer)

Round 4 - Major/Minor Improvement:
(1) Get Clay (2 + 2 from Clay Mixer)
(2) Major Improvement - Cooking Hearth (5 Clay)
NOTE: After two rounds of 0 and one of one, 2 Clay showed up on Round 4 in the empty Clay space.

1st Harvest Round:
Use Cooking Hearth to convert 2 Veggies to 6 Food. Feed Family 4 Food.

After Harvest: 2 Clay, 2 Grain, 2 Food

Round 5 - Stone:
(1) Occupation - Thatcher (1 Food) (For adding rooms or renovations, pay 1 less Reed - so with Carpenter, I can add rooms for 3 resource + 1 Reed and Renovate with no Reed cost)
(2) Take Wood (9 Wood)

Round 6 - Renovation then Minor/Major Improvement:
(1) Take Reed (2 Reed)
(2) Build Rooms and/or Stables - (I build 2 rooms for 6 Wood and 2 Reed using Carpenter and Thatcher and build one Stable for 2 Wood.)

Round 7 - Family Growth then Minor Improvement:
(1) Family Growth then Minor Improvement Helpful Neighbors (convert one of my Clay to one Stone)
(2) Take 1 Grain (+ 1 Vegetable)

2nd Harvest Round:
Use Cooking Hearth to convert 1 Veggies to 3 Food. Convert one Grain to one Food. Combine with one leftover Food to feed Family with 5 food (since third family member was added this round).

After Harvest: 1 Wood, 1 Clay, 1 Stone, 2 Grain, zero Food.

Round 8 - Take 1 Vegetable:
(1) Family Growth then Minor Improvement Stable (1 Wood)
(2) Plow Field
(3) Take 1 Grain (+1 Veggie)

Round 9 - Wild Boars:
(1) Take 1 Grain (+ 1 Vegetable)
(2) Plow Field
(3) Sow (2 Veggies) and Bake Bread (1 Grain -> 3 Food)
(4) Take Clay (1 + 2 Clay)

3rd Harvest Round:
Harvest 2 Veggies. Convert to 6 Food, Feed Family 8 Food.

After Harvest: 4 Clay, 1 Stone, 3 Grain, 1 Food.

Round 10 - Stone:
(1) Take Wood (10 Wood)
(2) Build Fences (10 Wood)
(3) Renovate to Clay House (4 Clay - Thanks to Thatcher) and Minor Improvement Millstone (1 Stone) (when you Bake Bread, get 2 extra Food)
(4) Plow Field

Round 11 - Cattle:
(1) Plow Field
(2) Sow (2 Grain) and Bake Bread (1 Grain -> 5 Food)
(3) Take Cattle (3 Cattle)
(4) Take Boar (3 Boar)
NOTE: The variable resources help me here as the newly arrived Cattle shows up with 3 instead of just 1.

4th Harvest Round:
Harvest 2 Veggies and 2 Grain. Convert 1 Veggie to 3 Food, 1 Boar to 3 Food + 2 Food, Feed Family 8 Food. Breed 1 Boar and 1 Cattle.

After Harvest: 4 Clay, 2 Grain, 1 Vegetable, 4 Food, 3 Boar, 4 Cattle.

Round 12 - Family Growth without Room:
(1) Family Growth without Room
(2) Plow Field
(3) Take 1 Grain (+1 Veggie)
(4) Sow (2 Veggies, 1 Grain) and Bake Bread (1 Grain -> 5 Food)

Round 13 - Plow Field and Sow:
(1) Plow Field and Sow (1 Grain)
(2) Take Wood (4 Wood)
(3) Build Fences (3 Wood)
(4) Take Sheep (4 Sheep)
(5) Take Stone (4 Stone)

5th Harvest Round:
Harvest 2 Veggies and 4 Grain. Convert 1 Veggie to 3 Food, 1 Sheep to 2 Food + 5 Food, Feed Family 10 Food. Breed 1 Sheep and 1 Cattle (no room for Boar).

After Harvest: 4 Stone, 4 Clay, 1 Wood, 4 Grain, 1 Vegetable, 2 Food, 4 Sheep, 3 Boar, 5 Cattle.

Round 14 - Renovate then Build Fences:
(1) Take Wood (4 Wood)
(2) Renovate to Stone (4 Stone again, thanks Thatcher) then Minor Improvement: Animal Yard (2 Wood) (Store 2 animals here of any kind.)
(3) Take Cattle (2 Cattle)
(4) Occupation: Chief's Daughter (Get 3 Bonus points at end of game for Stone House)
(5) Minor Improvement: Cattle Market (1 Sheep -> 1 Cattle)

Final Harvest Round:
Harvest 2 Veggies and 4 Grain. Convert 1 Boar to 3 Food, 1 Cattle to 4 Food, 1 Grain to 1 Food + 2 Food, Feed Family 10 Food. Breed 1 Sheep, 1 Boar and 1 Cattle.

FINAL SCORING:
FIELDS: 6 - 4 points
PASTURES: 3 - 3 points
GRAIN: 8 - 4 points
VEGETABLES: 3 - 3 points
ANIMALS:
4 Sheep - 2 points
4 Boar - 2 points
9 Cattle - 4 points
UNUSED SPACES: 0 - 0 points
FENCED STABLES: 2 - 2 points
4 ROOM STONE HOUSE: - 8 points
FAMILY MEMBERS: 5 - 15 points
CARDS POINTS: 2 points, 1 from Animal yard, 1 from Cooking Hearth
BONUS POINTS: 3 points from Chief's Daughter

TOTAL POINTS: 52 - MAJOR GAME VICTORY SOLOPLAY
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