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Subject: One man went to plough, went to plough a meadow... rss

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Neil Cook
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Having been looking forward to this one for some time, and managing to get my hands on an English translation of the rules and cards, I settled down to a solo game with the intention of learning the rules and gameplay….

As this was only a learning game, I left out the “Interaktiv” and “Komplex” cards.

Opening Deal

7 occupations gave me…

Baumeister (Brewer)
Hauptlingstochter (Chieftain’s daughter)
Hauslehrer (Tutor)
Lehmlieferant (Clayman)
Renovator (Renovator – yes really!!)
Steinschlepper (Stone carrier)
Zimmerman (Carpenter)

And my 7 minor improvements….

Angel (Fishing rod)
Floss (Raft)
Holzofen (Wood oven)
Holzpantoffel (Clogs)
Steinklaue (Stone grip)
Wagenpflug (vehicle plough)
Wendepflug (manual plough)

Disclaimer... This is in no way autobiographical devil

With my wife and I safely housed in our 2 room wooden hut, we set off on our mission with the ultimate goal of wealth and prosperity. Truth is, I fully expected survival to be the best we could expect.

Round 1

Action card – sheep.

A sheep each round on to this card. Gotta be good I figure… We can eat sheep…but we have no pastures to keep them in, nor an oven to cook them in. Maybe it’s too early to keep animals yet.

Instead, my wife learns a profession. She takes the Hauslehrer. It’ll give us a victory point for each further profession we get, as well as one for itself.

Wow!! One action used and we have a victory point already. We're good at this game

My second action collects a grain. I have the brewer ready to play, who is able to turn one grain into 3 food at each harvest. That’s gotta be useful…

Round 2

Action card – Fencing

There's the fences to be able to build the pastures to keep the sheep in now. Hmmm... I need wood to build them though, so....

The wife collects the 4 wood on offer. One piece is used immediately by me to build...
The fishing rod (using the improvement on the start player action). An extra food when fishing has gotta be good.

Round 3

Action Card - Improvement

Nothing too exciting there. Although it would allow me to build a major improvement should I wish. But I don't have anything like enough resources for that. Yet. I've only got one more round after this to find enough food too, so maybe that should be priority now.

Therefore, my wife uses that nice new sparkly fishing rod to collect the 3 food available on the action space, and take a 4th from the supply due to the rod.
I then use my extra food to get another profession. I take the Baumeister (I can't let her brew the beer, right??). I have the grain available already, so if my sums are right, we'll have the 6 food we need come harvest time.

Round 4

Action Card - Sow and/or Bake

Well having no fields to sow, and no oven to bake in, this is not too useful to us at the moment. Still, it will be...

Our first action, therefore, takes the 4 clay that have built up over the turns, which we use with our second action to build a major improvement. We take the cooking hearth.

1st Harvest

Using the grain collected earlier to give us 3 food (via the Baumeister), we now have the 6 food required to feed us. No begging for me (or her)
Looking at our farmyard though, it still looks exactly the same as it did at the start of the game. Hmmm.... Not much progress there then.

Round 5

Action Card - New Family Member

A little too early to think about additons to the family. We don't have the room. We cant afford it. Heck, we're even in seperate rooms!!

I choose to get a minor improvement. I take the 'Wendepflug', which gives me a single use option to plough 3 fields instead of just 1 when I take the plough action. Costs me 3 wood though.
So my wife is collecting some more wood. 6 pieces come back to our supply.

Round 6

Action Card - Renovation

This one is tempting... we can renovate our little wooden hut to a clay one instead. It'll be more secure, better built, more cosy. But we need clay to do it. And I have the renovator in my hand which will make it cheaper. Perhaps we should wait...

First up is the grain. That Brewer sure was useful last harvest, so I reckon he's got a job for life. Besides. Beer.... Goooood

Second action sees me use the plough and get three fields. We now have something other than our little 2 room house on the farm at least. We can plant stuff...

Round 7

Action Card - Stone

One for the future there. Once the amount of stone on offer increases, I'll certainly be interested. But not yet.

I build some fences for my first action. 6 wood means I create a 2 field pasture. The amount of sheep has built up since the first turn, and I want some.
So, suprisingly enough, my wife rounds up the sheep with our second action. There are 7 available, but we only have space for 4 without a stable, so 3 go straight to the abattoir!! devil

2nd Harvest

My Baumeister again keeps us happy, supplying 3 food for a grain. We also use 2 sheep (via the cooking hearth) to give us 4 more food (where's the mint sauce), and pay the 6 we need to to keep from begging again. We even have a food left over for next time!! Woo Hoo
As an added bonus, our 2 remaining sheep have bred and presented us with a new lamb.

Round 8 - Vegetables

We're now presented with the option of becoming vegetarian. Our conscience pulls. But we have sheep already. And they taste so good...

Having made such a good job last time out, my wife goes back out with the fishing rod. There are 5 food in the pond already, plus an extra one for the rod means she gets 6 food to add to the one we have left. As long as we dont increase our family, we'll have enough food for the winter..
Meanwhile, I take all 8 reeds in preparation for extending our home..

Round 9 - Wild Boar

After the temptation of the vegetables last time round, our belief that meat is good returns. And its a whole new flavour to try too...

My wife goes out, and returns home with another stockpile of wood. 8 more hits our supply.
I'm taking on another profession (gotta keep them victory points clocking up). I take the Zimmerman. He'll come in useful shortly as it's now cheaper to extend our home. And we have all that wood we've just collected ready to do it too

3rd Harvest

We already have 7 food stockpiled so just use 6 of them to feed us. Another lamb comes our way too...

Round 10

Action Card - Stone

Another stone card means there'll always be a good supply of it.

It's time to use that carpenter, so I use his ability to extend our little wooden hut by 2 rooms. I also build a stable in one of our empty fields. I consider building it in the pasture, but figure I'll be better giving us one less empty field.
My wife, meanwhile, collects another grain. That brewer's gonna be used again pretty soon...

Round 11

Action Card - Cattle

Another meat. We have nowhere to keep them all though We need more pastures. But first, we need more than 2 actions per turn. So...

Our first action sees a new family addition. We've extended our home, so now we feel ready. Besides, we'll make sure the little one earns their pocket money!! Once the labour is over, I'm off collecting 6 clay. We're ready to renovate I think.

4th Harvest

We now need to find 7 food.
The Baumeister gives me 3 for the grain. Again (they have AA in medieval times?), and we cook 2 sheep to give us 4 food to make sure we don't need to beg again. And we still have the one food left from last time round too... And we get another lamb from breeding too.

Round 12

Action Card - Family Growth

This one allows a new family member even if you dont have the room in your house. Not a problem for us though. We have a spare room. I wanna make it into a games room, but my wife objects...

My wife learns another profession. She decides on the renovator. It means that the house will be cheaper to renovate. Excellent idea.
As a result, she insist that I renovate the house. Now she has been trained in the art of renovation, she insists on telling me how I should do it and what I've done wrong. Whilst watching. She calls it "supervising", but it's watching.
Our daughter is sent out to collect 6 wood while we bicker about the decor. This new addition thing has its benefits...

Round 13

Action Card - Plough/Sow

The ability to plough a field and sow it in the same turn is a good one. But we have 3 fields already, and haven't planted a single one of them yet.

After the hassle of the renovation, we look for an all round easier time this time round. I begin the round by collecting the 7 stone available. Meanwhile, my wife goes fishing again and collects 6 food. Our daughter, however, decides that she's gonna take a profession, and becomes the Hauptlingstocher. I'm happy being promoted to chieftan (in my daughters eyes if nowhere else).

5th Harvest

Now our daughter is an adult, we need 9 food.
We have 5 already. The other 4 come from cooking 2 more of those sheep. That means there's no new lamb this season, as we only have one lone sheep in the field

Round 14

Action Card - Renovate and fence

The last round. We need to make better use of our farmland I think..

With this in mind, we try and forget the difference of opinion last time round, and go for another renovation - this time with the added benefit of being able to build fences afterwards. Our 4 room clay hut becomes a 4 room stone house for the cost of only 2 stone (thanks to the renevator) and 1 reed. We also build another pasture around a stable with 4 wood.
Into this pasture, our daughter rounds up 5 wild boars.
Finally, we extend our newly renovated house. The zimmerman allows us to build another stone room (surely now that games room is gonna be approved by my wife!!) , and as an added bonus build 2 more stables in empty fields to prevent negative scores there..

Final Harvest

We have no food to carry over, and no grain to brew beer with. So the cooking hearth is used again, this time taking 3 of our wild boar and converting into 9 food, ensuring our family is fed again, and has not had to beg once in the entire game

Score

3 fields +2
2 pastures +2
1 sheep +1
2 boar +1
0 cattle -1
0 grain -1
0 vegetables -1
1 fenced stable +1
1 unused space -1
1 major improvement +1
3 family members +9
5 stone rooms +10
Hauslehrer Bonus +5
Hauptlingstochter Bonus +3

Total 31

Not really sure if this is a good score or not. But I know I was happy just to score in double figures!!

I'm sure I made some glaring errors on the journey, as well as some not so obvious ones, but I now have something to aim for - as well as a knowledge of how the game works. Next thing to do is get some multi-player games in. Who's first?
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Bas van der Meer
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Pallet Ranger wrote:

Not a problem for us though. We have a spare room. I wanna make it into a games room, but my wife objects...


Did you notice that there is a room tile with a table where a game of Bohnanza is going on?
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Wot!
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Does the game provide for good interaction between players?
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Neil Cook
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dilago wrote:

Did you notice that there is a room tile with a table where a game of Bohnanza is going on?


There is?!?!

I haven't noticed that.... but I'll go check it out for sure...
 
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Neil Cook
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dwrigley wrote:
Does the game provide for good interaction between players?


To be honest I've only played solo at the moment.

Having read the rules though, it sounds as though there is a fair amount of "screwage". Each action, once selected, is then unavailable to other players for the rest of the round.

As for direct interaction though, aside from my comments above, I'm not sure. Once an opponent has carried out their action, there is nothing you can do to prevent or alter it. Although you can, of course, select an option that you believe they're looking to pick next time round.

I'm hoping to write a review of the game once I've got a couple of multi-player games under my belt...
 
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Chris Boote
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I think you may have made a mistake or two

Pallet Ranger wrote:


Round 4

So, suprisingly enough, my wife rounds up the sheep with our second action. There are 7 available, but we only have space for 4 without a stable, so 3 go straight to the abattoir!! devil

Shouldn't they have been turned into 2 food each immediately?

Also, you never seemed to use the ability to keep one animal in your house as a pet (Haustier)
Was that deliberate?
 
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Neil Cook
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Chrisboote wrote:

Shouldn't they have been turned into 2 food each immediately?


Perhaps. But I assumed I'd need space to keep them in my pasture before making them food. Just made more sense logically to have to have somewhere to keep the animals before putting them in a stew!! May be wrong of course... Perhaps we need a ruling from someone?

Chrisboote wrote:
Also, you never seemed to use the ability to keep one animal in your house as a pet (Haustier)
Was that deliberate?


Not deliberate as such. At first I wasn't too sure about the 'pet' rule. Do I keep it in the house? After the first couple of turns I forgot all about the rule anyway.

Besides, if I can't convince my wife a games room is a good idea, how on earth am I gonna convince her a wild boar in the house is the way to go!!
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Melissa
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What a fantastic autobiography, Neil.

Thanks for this
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Neil Cook
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melissa wrote:
What a fantastic autobiography, Neil.

Thanks for this


Not at all. Thanks for your work with the translations.

And not a single curse all evening....
 
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Melissa
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Pallet Ranger wrote:
melissa wrote:
What a fantastic autobiography, Neil.

Thanks for this


Not at all. Thanks for your work with the translations.

And not a single curse all evening....


Well, phew.

But the most important question: How much fun did you have playing? Answer honestly:

o A bucketload
o More fun than a barrel of monkeys
o w00t!
 
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Neil Cook
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How many monkeys?

Seriously though, it's a great game, and a load of fun. I'll certainly be pushing it at my group, in the hope that I can get at least a couple more players for a game of it.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Bring it along to Spirit Games one Wednesday then.
 
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Neil Cook
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RDewsbery wrote:
Bring it along to Spirit Games one Wednesday then.


I'll be there on Wednesday...
 
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Nick Pitman
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Pallet Ranger wrote:
Chrisboote wrote:

Shouldn't they have been turned into 2 food each immediately?


Perhaps. But I assumed I'd need space to keep them in my pasture before making them food. Just made more sense logically to have to have somewhere to keep the animals before putting them in a stew!! May be wrong of course... Perhaps we need a ruling from someone?

I am pretty sure that when we played it in Essen under Hanno's watchful eye you could chuck livestock straight in the oven if you had no room for them elsewhere.

 
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David Smidt
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...I wanna play!
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A. B. West
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Has anyone caught the similarity between Agricola and Harvest Moon? Especially so because you can play it solo.
 
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Justin
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Great session report!

Quote:
Has anyone caught the similarity between Agricola and Harvest Moon? Especially so because you can play it solo.

Yep. That's why today I'm most likely putting this game on preorder. The Harvest Moon qualities and the animeeples pushed me over the edge. Also, I can't say I don't want to play the game solo :)

Next up, Animal Crossing: The Boardgame!
 
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