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Subject: First impressions after four solo games - A review rss

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Qfwfq Piovasco di Rondò
Germany
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I have the German version of the expansion that comes with tea as new resource, some extra boards for boats, extra actions for 2 and three players, some nice new buildings... and of course is missing the 30 wooden Schloote.
But the excellent customer service at Feuerland is working to produce/ship them separately.

I still have to try it with two or three, but so far I have played four times solitaire. In my games I decided to try out the new stuff and used exclusively the new buildings for green, yellow and blue. For the other orange/red buildings you have to use a fixed mix of base game/expansion buildings.
Without talking about the brand new three players version, the expansion change the game on four main fronts:
1. New buildings!
2. Big ships that allows you some new cool conversions, whereas the small ships if left empty provide free food at each seasonal inventory.
3. The Schloote that allows you to use your land more efficiently.
4. Tea that spices up your actions giving extra energy to your workers.

I find very interesting the new abilities provided by the Schloote and the tea.
Schlote impact the game in three different ways. The main idea is that as soon as two Schloote run along two borders of one of your fields you can take advantage of the extra draining power:
1. On pastures you have the opportunity to let two sheep breed. On all my games where I used this combo I had the impression that sheep were popping up everywhere like mushroom, and wool with them!
2. If you have two Schloote running along two borders of a Moor Tile, you can now flip it over!
3. Using the plow action you can now plow two fields instead of one field per plow!

If one of your workers drinks some Tea he can take (once) an action on a workbench augmenting its "level" by one. If she/he drinks one east-Frisian tea she/he can level up to +2.
And if she/he drink two east-Frisian teas she/he can repeat the action twice! Wow!

On my first game I just tried to mess around with the Schloote and a couple of the new buildings/ships and I was kind of scared because I had the impression of not being very focused and nevertheless I reached 111 points. Was the expansion just too powerful? No, in retrospective I think I was focused on maximizing my points as usual, I was just lightheaded by the new stuff.

At the end the scores did level slightly above the 100s as I was used to with the base game:

Game 1: 111
Game 2: 95.5
Game 3: 103
Game 4: 102.5

Trying to summarize the expansion with a concept the best analogy would be with the "power-up" events of some video games. These transient states where your character has some extra-abilities that allows you to explore/do more without breaking the game.
Well, Fields of Arle: Tea & Trade gives you some fancy permanent power-up(s) for the whole game without breaking anything. It is just fantastic and so well oiled. Definitely not suited for first time players of Fields of Arle but for seasoned players it gives some juicy freshness to a masterpiece. For example, I can now try to explore some new paths that I seldom visited before. I scarcely used the ovens in my games, by gut feeling I somehow considered them too expensive.Well, I fell in love with my ovens my last games, I went Schlooting like crazy and plowing grain to the right and to the left. It felt really really good! So much fooood!

Thematically the expansion is rock solid: new buildings that integrate with the new options, get some ships to trade far away or go fishing, dig some Schloote to really pump-up your top soil, give some high quality caffeine to your workers and they will be more efficient and productive... it all makes sense!

It gives a terrific solitaire experience. Another solid board game (expansion) produced by Feuerland Spiele and designed by Tido Lorenz and Uwe Rosenberg.


If my word is not enough then listen to Steph Hodge, probably the number one player of Fields of Arle in the world!! (for number of games)

Click here for a succinct expression of excitement: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/186006854?t=04h57m30s

Steph Hodge
United States
New Hampshire
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
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And here some random pictures from three of my four games, beware that I was playing solo and using the fences from Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small as Schloote.

I thought I had a big dinner table...


End of game 2


End of game 3


Barns and Harbors
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François Mahieu
Belgium
Rhode-Saint-Genèse
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If only I had a translated rulebook.
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Israel Waldrom
New Zealand
Dunedin
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Sounds good. Looking forward to getting a copy to play with.
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Paris

Monforte de Lemos
LUGO
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Thanks for sharing!
Just as a note I can get some great scores with ovens in the base game.
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