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Subject: Thoughts on Apples? rss

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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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West Virginia
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"Play is an essential component of Wholehearted living." Brené Brown
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After reading the review by pjmj12345, I'm curious to know if anybody else has found using Apples a little too powerful? (I haven't come across this in the games I've played yet, but the Apples hasn't always been an option.)

Has anybody else stacked a bunch of water towers around an Apple field to make it extremely useful?
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Vangelis Bagiartakis
Greece
Athens
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I was planning to comment on that review but it turns out I never did.

I think the reviewer there may have been playing something wrong. In order to build that many water towers around an Apple field you "waste" many actions to do it and you pay a lot of money in the process. On top of that, you also need to spend a few more actions to get more Silos since you will have to store all that food (you get all the card produces at once - if you can't store it you lose it). I'm not saying it's not powerful - it definitely is a good field. I just don't think it's broken.

(interedted to know what others think though )
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Francois LC
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I think pretty much the same here. Apples are indeed powerful, but not overpowered or broken. IMO, every cards seem well balanced.

In my first few games, I was always taking Apples and putting a few water towers around it. In one of my game I was able to have 2 Apple fields with a bunch of water towers around them (around 4 if my memory is good). It was really productive food wise, but as Vangelis as just told, I had to use several turn building all these water towers. To do so, I had to trash a lot of cards, but at least I was hate drafting, but again, in the end, even thought I was producing like 10-16 food per harvest (like 8 from the 2 Apples and some more with other fields, like Rice at least one time that I remember because I pumped all that water to these fieds) my wife was producing around the same amount differently (like with more fields, maybe like 6-7 fields, instead of my 3-4 fields, but I had to "skip" 2-3 turns putting more water towers).

I find this game really captivating because everyone seem to find a different "overpowered" strategy or cards, but in the end it is not so. For example, at first, I really didn't like the non-harvest field, as I thought they were pointless. But by putting a lot of these non-harvest cards out, which only pay out once instead at every harvest phases, you end up with a really larger farm which will score more points with certain end-scoring building types (and without mentioning that these non-harvest field are often cheaper for more victory points).

So, in the end, I find this game surprisingly well balanced and really tight too as the scores, at least at the 2-player count, are really tight, often the winner winning by only 1-3 points. And the span of point of all our games played so far is also somewhat narrow, like between 48 and 66 if my memory is correct. So it's really a game of optimizing your engine to get the most of what available while making sure to keep the tiny edge on your side.

Great game! Definitely a Top3 of 2016 for me.

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Peter MYerscough-Jackopson
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Just thought I'd chime in. I played again on Friday, two player. I went first and took apples. The rest of the cards were poor in terms of building harvest actions, most were immediate, so you couldn't build an engine. It meant I could ignore the cards and build water towers, playing almost only blocking drafts. Round two I went heavy on livestock, with four crop already in my silo. Round three and I got a Harrow which went on my apples, which from round 1 had been producing four food for two water, so I was not losing any due to silo space, and my apples was enabling eight food production with no water worries.

I ended/won the game with 63, which was a lower score than the last few times, but we had forgotten to hand out coins at the beginning of a few rounds, which we replaced later, but the timing affected our plays.

I think one of the issues is you can spam water towers ignoring the draft, and because you don't care what you are taking you are free to block/hate draft, rather than another player that has to consider that the best card for their opponent is worse for them, so taking it from the draft is probably a bad choice.

Later in the game my opponent took the second apples so I did not, because I could of placed it generating 4 food for 2 water.

Apples also guarantees that you can add 1 food with any card even without a field card.

I have only played apples once where I had six water towers around the apples, and I had two silos and lots of livestock. I may have had the Harrow again on that one too, and/or a second apples field producing 4-5 crop.

The flip side against apples is that to produce 16 food, 4 per round, with other cards you would probably need two or three fields, consuming three water. This would need a water tower to sustain it throughout the game. This means you are laying three or four field cards, compared to laying four cards with apples, but you are not dependent on the draft except for the apples.

The only thing against using apples this way is that it is probably a round one card, round two maybe.

I'll shut up now....

Peter

Edit: Ps. the theme is brilliant, I love rabbits increasing round on round, companion planting with the fields, pigs being able to eat a bit more, nothing seems forced.
 
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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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I wanted to chime in on this thread again as well.

This morning I took the opportunity to play 3 solo games, following the rules created by GladitorGr.

In the third game, an Apples Field showed up early in the first year. So I thought I'd try to take advantage of that. I discarded a couple more times in the first round to make the Apples field worth 3 food during the first harvest.

As the game progressed, I added a few more water towers nearby so that it was worth 6 food by the time of the Harvest after Year 4.

Based on the buildings I was able to build, including a Hydroponic Garden near the water towers, I was able to end the solo game with 62 points. (That's currently the highest anybody has scored on the GladitorGr rules.

I've had as high as 58 with his variant, but couldn't break the 60 mark until this time around. (My other 2 games this morning ended at 46, and 48, which means I definitely didn't create a good engine.)

Nevertheless, this did show me that Apples may have an advantage, especially if purchased during the first year.

Granted, the data available at this point in time is pretty limited. But at this time, I've also found some success with Apples.
 
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