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Subject: Multiplayer Campaign idea: Five Generations of Farming rss

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Christopher Melenberg
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I've searched high and low and seen that there is interest in a multiplayer campaign, but nothing very concrete. I'm planning on trying one out with a friend over the course of the next few months. Here is the idea, some of the parts were stolen from the posts I've been reading.

Five Generations of Farming


Theme:

Farming throughout history has been a generational undertaking. Learning from the fathers and mothers about the land and animals has always been key, but the broader community's knowledge has always been important. Surviving can be challenging and stealing ideas from what is working for others is necessary. With each passing generation what surviving is continues to change and keeping up with the Farmer Jones' is a very real thing.

Overview:

In this variant players will play 5 games of Agricola and be able to keep occupations, improvements, and resources from game to game. Additionally, it will become harder and harder to supply for the need of your family.

Set-up:

1. Find any number of players to play and commit to 5 games of Agricola.
2. Set-up for all games is normal unless stated otherwise.

Rules Changes:

wheat At the end of each game tally all player's scores. The winner of the game will be the player who has the highest total score over all 5 games. Count the fifth and last game's score twice as this is the culmination of all you've been working towards.

wood At the end of each harvest phase a player may store up to one resource of their choice for the next game (includes all round resources, not animals). Place this resource on any farm space - all resources placed must now be placed here. Nothing else can be built on this space. This counts as a used farm space for end game scoring. Players will need to make note of which resources they stored for the next game.

brick At the end of each of the first 4 games each player may simultaneously choose to keep one of their played occupation cards and minor improvements. The two cards chosen in this way will permanently be under the control of the player for all future games. For games 2-5 it is important to note which cards cannot be stolen as they are now permanently part of that player's starting game tableau. This will mean in game 2/3/4/5 each player will have 1/2/3/4 for both starting occupations and minor improvements.

ore In player order from lowest score to highest at game end will pick any occupation and minor improvement left from those available that players played during the game. These cards will be added to their starting hand after drafting 6 out of 8 cards for occs and minors in games 2-5.

sheep At game end package up all occupations, minor improvements, and resources into a container for each player to keep for the next game noting which minor and occ is to be added to the draft.

Extra Rules:

1. All occupations and minor improvements that a player starts a game with are not considered "played", so "when played" abilities are considered void. Additionally, when any card states "add X to the current round and do Y..." consider these abilities trigger and the current round is round 1 not 0.

Specific Rules Changes for Game Progression
Feeding:
Game #1-2 - normal
Game #3-4 - 3 food/person (babies 1)
Game #5 - 4 food/person (babies 1) & one building resource(W/C/S/R) per harvest. One additional building resource may be played for luxuries. Receive 1VP/extra resource paid at game end.

Please let me know if you see any glaring issues. And if anyone should try this I'd love to hear it. I'll report back if I change anything and once I've played through a full campaign.

EDIT: I've adjusted the above rules based on a first full play through.
The main points to note are brick and ore as well as Game 5 food requirement has increased to 4food/person.

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Stephen Woll
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good idea, I like it!

I will mention 1 thing. In game 1, if I had a move to come in 1st by 1vp or 3rd/4th by 1-5vp, I would absolutely take the lower score for the best played occupation that game. "Stealing" an occupation that affects 4 more games is just too good.

Maybe you could instead make it 2 occupations each of the next 4 games, so each game lowest score chooses 1 first like you mentioned, but they don't carry over more than 1 game.

Another note: Would you still draft 7occs/7imps each game? Several occs would need house rules. Tutor for example.

Overall, again, I like it. I could see this being good 2p. We have a regular 4p/5p that I think we could do something like this with. I'll run it by them to see what we come up with, and let you know how it goes if/when we try it.
 
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Christopher Melenberg
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sandswoll wrote:
good idea, I like it!

I will mention 1 thing. In game 1, if I had a move to come in 1st by 1vp or 3rd/4th by 1-5vp, I would absolutely take the lower score for the best played occupation that game. "Stealing" an occupation that affects 4 more games is just too good.

Maybe you could instead make it 2 occupations each of the next 4 games, so each game lowest score chooses 1 first like you mentioned, but they don't carry over more than 1 game.

Another note: Would you still draft 7occs/7imps each game? Several occs would need house rules. Tutor for example.

Overall, again, I like it. I could see this being good 2p. We have a regular 4p/5p that I think we could do something like this with. I'll run it by them to see what we come up with, and let you know how it goes if/when we try it.


Thanks for your comments!

I was really torn on giving such a powerful ability to the loser (want to avoid run away leader). BUT, I've changed it so that all players first choose one of their own occupations to keep and then the lowest player begins picking from his own or others for the second card.

Yes, you draft 7/7 at the beginning of each game.

Also I looked closely at the occupations and minor improvements. I made a couple rules that should make it so no house rules aren't required except for cards that are discovered to be too powerful. The starting occupations and improvements are not considered to be played, so "when played" abilities do not trigger. The current round is 1 for all starting cards.

I've updated the above thread with these ammendments.

I do wonder about Mansion and Half-Timbered House. Mansion seems way too powerful even if you have to take a hit in game 1 to benefit from it for the next 4... Other than that I didn't see anything that looked ridiculous. Though there is potential for some neat combos.

 
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Todd Parker
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sandswoll wrote:
I will mention 1 thing. In game 1, if I had a move to come in 1st by 1vp or 3rd/4th by 1-5vp, I would absolutely take the lower score for the best played occupation that game. "Stealing" an occupation that affects 4 more games is just too good.

Yeah, the concept of losing the game to get a better ongoing bonus might be a problem. Maybe add bonus points for winning the game.
Coming in first gives you 10 bonus points, second = 7, third = 4... Perhaps more points for earlier games, and fewer bonus points for game 3 and 4.
Even tho the ongoing campaign score is the most important, I might place some emphasis on winning each game.
 
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Andreu P.
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I was thinking about a similar concept (although I still need to find someone willing to try it...) and I love some of your ideas, but I'm not really sure about the huge amount of cards that you intend to carry over. These are some of my thoughts:


- I agree with the idea of keeping one occupation and one minor improvement as your 'family legacy', and then starting subsequent games with them already in play. However, the second occupation bothers me, because it just seems to much. In a thematic sense, I'd consider adding the second occupation (the one you take from another family) to your starting hand in the next game, simulating that it's just something you could eventually learn from your neighbors if you want to, whereas the one you inherit from your parents (the one you start with) is something you already know. Your starting hand would then be completed with a draft of just 6 new cards.

- I intend to use different decks from game to game, simulating progress in the form of more complex cards. First game with E deck, games 2-3 with I deck, games 4-5 with K deck.

- You can carry over a single animal (your pet) for the next game.

- I'm not sure about this one, but I'll consider starting your next game with a bigger house (i.e. one extra room already built) if you inherit enough materials (5W + 2R) to build it. It just makes thematic sense to build a bigger starting farm if you're able to. This wouldn't carry over, since your sons will have to build a new farm for them in the next generation and you won't be able to save again 7 materials for them in just 6 harvests.

- At some point, due to technical advances, farming should be more efficient. Being able to sow a second grain/veggie in each tile starting from game 4, for example; but you can't mix them up in the same tile.
 
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Vincent Lacroix
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toddpark75 wrote:
sandswoll wrote:
I will mention 1 thing. In game 1, if I had a move to come in 1st by 1vp or 3rd/4th by 1-5vp, I would absolutely take the lower score for the best played occupation that game. "Stealing" an occupation that affects 4 more games is just too good.

Yeah, the concept of losing the game to get a better ongoing bonus might be a problem. Maybe add bonus points for winning the game.
Coming in first gives you 10 bonus points, second = 7, third = 4... Perhaps more points for earlier games, and fewer bonus points for game 3 and 4.
Even tho the ongoing campaign score is the most important, I might place some emphasis on winning each game.


Well, the last player power can be huge, since it can anable him to snatch a card to complete a powerfull combo. In itself it is not a problem, bu in this game controling your score is doable in a certain range. All ou need is transform animals/vegetables via a cooking just to be behind the others by 1 point...

To mitigate this, either make a rule that on the last turn transformation of ressource to food is only allowed to meet costs (harvest mainly, but also activation of some cards).

As for giving fixed point each game depending on the classment, it is both a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing since it will push player to gain every points, bad since it doesn't really reflect the point range (imagine you win by 10 points other the second, you will get the same as someone winning through tie-breaker...)
 
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Stephen Woll
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DarkVaati wrote:

- I intend to use different decks from game to game, simulating progress in the form of more complex cards. First game with E deck, games 2-3 with I deck, games 4-5 with K deck.


- I'm not sure about this one, but I'll consider starting your next game with a bigger house (i.e. one extra room already built) if you inherit enough materials (5W + 2R) to build it. It just makes thematic sense to build a bigger starting farm if you're able to. This wouldn't carry over, since your sons will have to build a new farm for them in the next generation and you won't be able to save again 7 materials for them in just 6 harvests.

- At some point, due to technical advances, farming should be more efficient. Being able to sow a second grain/veggie in each tile starting from game 4, for example; but you can't mix them up in the same tile.


For the decks, that is interesting. I happen to own all the published decks so we won't be doing that.
Keeping "up to" 2 occs after the first game is probably fine, but only 1 every game after that.
Hoarding resources to carry over is a good idea, and I like it should be room oriented only. (Otherwise I hoard 3s1w most of the time) Having people help you build a house on your new farmland you've purchased is valid.
I own Farmers of the Moor as well, and am considering adding some elements of that after the first game or two. You learn how to keep your house warm in the winter and must heat it according to the FotM rules.

If anything gets out of control or too powerful for the people playing, maybe have starting the 3rd game everyone needing to send a family member to the hospital for 1 round. Ie everyone lose an action at a point of their choosing.

Just throwing thoughts out there.
 
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Christopher Melenberg
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DarkVaati wrote:
I was thinking about a similar concept (although I still need to find someone willing to try it...) and I love some of your ideas, but I'm not really sure about the huge amount of cards that you intend to carry over. These are some of my thoughts:


- I agree with the idea of keeping one occupation and one minor improvement as your 'family legacy', and then starting subsequent games with them already in play. However, the second occupation bothers me, because it just seems to much. In a thematic sense, I'd consider adding the second occupation (the one you take from another family) to your starting hand in the next game, simulating that it's just something you could eventually learn from your neighbors if you want to, whereas the one you inherit from your parents (the one you start with) is something you already know. Your starting hand would then be completed with a draft of just 6 new cards.

- I intend to use different decks from game to game, simulating progress in the form of more complex cards. First game with E deck, games 2-3 with I deck, games 4-5 with K deck.

- You can carry over a single animal (your pet) for the next game.

- I'm not sure about this one, but I'll consider starting your next game with a bigger house (i.e. one extra room already built) if you inherit enough materials (5W + 2R) to build it. It just makes thematic sense to build a bigger starting farm if you're able to. This wouldn't carry over, since your sons will have to build a new farm for them in the next generation and you won't be able to save again 7 materials for them in just 6 harvests.

- At some point, due to technical advances, farming should be more efficient. Being able to sow a second grain/veggie in each tile starting from game 4, for example; but you can't mix them up in the same tile.


You have some good ideas here!

I do really like the idea of only keeping one occ and then getting the second for the following game. It may be that playing this way would need to be extended to 7 games. Personally, I'll have difficulty getting 5 games in, so I'll probably leave it as is and report back on if it was TOO much, but getting 3 food/worker I suspect will be somewhat challenging in game 3 as is.

I also think the pet idea is neat and simple to implement. Would you say it must be the animal in your home at game end? Or has to be a baby from the final harvest? (thematically makes more sense).

Not sure about an extra room. I think I'll try without and see how it goes. It should be easier to get a room out early with saving resources and extra occs/minors.

I've convinced a friend to try this out and will have game 1 Sat. Not sure how long it'll be before we can complete a campaign. Hoping before the end of summer.
 
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Christopher Melenberg
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A friend, Christian, and i completed a trial of this campaign style game and really enjoyed it. We'll playing another one again soon. Below I outline each game with some comments related to it and then go into some overall comments.

Pre Game Changes:

Prior to starting the game we decided to only keep 1 occ and 1 minor as we thought it would be too valuable to permanently possess 2 of each after each subsequent game. Instead we picked a second minor and occ that we would add to our hand of 6 drafted cards in the next round. The losing player from each game would be able to draft the second occ and minor first. While the first one to be kept was always from your own occs and minors.


Game 1:
VanderKlassen (Christian): 27, Ludd (me): 38.
In this game we saw our first score in the 20s since as long as we can remember. We attributed this in part to storing resources for our own future success in addition to pulling sheep 4th and family growth 7th. We both stored a total of 5 resources.

Game 2:
VanderKlassen: 46, Ludd: 60 (-10) = 50. I realized at game end that I had reaped a grain and veg in the first round despite playing The Layabout. I opted to take a 10 point penalty despite protesting that it couldn’t possibly have affected the game that much.

Being able to sow grain and vegetables in the first round of the game is VERY powerful. Not sure yet if it is too powerful. Also being able to keep a minor and an occ into the next draft was helpful, but did not prove to be as useful as we had thought.

Game 3:
VanderKlassen: 55, Ludd: 55
Three food/family member for the third game felt right. It was challenging, but not too challenging and with some combos going we made it work and were able to score well. With the tie we decided to each pick a second occ and minor from our own.

Game 4:
VanderKlassen: 62, Ludd: 72
I managed to build the mansion this game, which I kept for the final game which was the definitive nail in the coffin for the VanderKlassen family. However, we thought this card was too powerful and thought it might be better as a major occupation available in any game along with the half-timbered house.

Game 5:
VanderKlassen: 76, Ludd: 96
I was just flying this last game getting a great draft that included tutor and scholar as well as a number of bonus point minors. I scored 27 in bonus points!

OVERALL:
We really enjoyed this variant. The key things that made it fun is being able to build up some very awesome combos. It was interesting trying to make choices about going for REALLY valuable minor improvements or occupations that would benefit future games. The balance of cards changes and creates a new meta which is quite fun to discover.
We both had a blast and will play this again soon.

FUTURE CHANGES:
E Put the minor improvements “Mansion” and “Half Timbered House” in the major improvements section available for any game.
E In game 5 make it so that each family member also requires 4 food (babies 1)

OUTSTANDING ISSUES:
E We tied one game and I’m not sure how to resolve a tie when there are more than 2 people playing for picking second occupations and improvements.
E Being able to store vegetables may be TOO strong, but was also very fun… We may remove this option
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