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Subject: 4-Player Animal Question rss

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David Pontier
United States
Oak Forest
Illinois
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I just played a 4-player family game for the first time last night and we had wood and clay pouring out of our ears, but very few animals. Thinking back on the game, it was probably due to poor planning from the other players (it was the first time most of them had played, and the didn't do well), but I also think it is just difficult in a 4-player game.

In 5-players, there is an action card that alows you to get animals right at the begining, bit in 4-player you have to wait for the apropriate phase card. For cattle, it could come up with only 4-turns left, meaning, each player has to take turns taking cattle on each of the last 4 turns in order to get any.

Now you might say, "That's the way it should be. If you don't prioritize it, don't expect to get it." But, frankly, that seems a bit too harsh a strategy for the "Family" version. I'm guessing, with the cards, ranching becomes easier, but I'm wondering why they didn't include an additional way to get animals in the 4-player game like they did the 5-player game.
 
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Geoff Speare
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Bedford
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Farming is harsh.

It's a valid point, and I can see how it would come across as harsh in Family (it does in the full game, sometimes, especially when cattle cards don't show).

I would also say, however, that if cattle shows up in round 11, then it is going to be competing with the Round 12-13 cards that get you at least as many points (Family Growth is 3 points plus actions; Plow and Sow is a lot of points), so that people who take cattle are not taking those actions. Sure, the person who takes cattle first gets an advantage; but since you know at the start of round 10 that cattle are going to be extra-rare, the start player action becomes that much more valuable, right?

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B C Z
United States
Reston
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And a single cow doesn't reproduce.

First one is worth 2 points though, since you jump from -1 to +1.
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