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Subject: i find it hard to farm in 2 player games rss

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Dan Schwab
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in my last 2 player game i had 3 cards that made me want to try farming a lot of veggies. i don't remember any of the names, but this is what they did:

- veggies come from supply instead of off of fields (occupation)
- turn one veggie into 5 food at feeding (occ)
- swap 3 grain for 2 veggies (minor imp)

my plan going in was to start farming grain quickly, and use the two occupations and maybe the minor imp as well if i got a lot of grain and wanted to start on the veggie plan.

but instead i found myself "forced" to do stuff that was partially designed to block my opponent, taking wood and reeds, and then i couldn't let him have free reign over the sheep, so i got clay and the other fireplace, etc. in a 3+ player game it seems easier to assume the other players will "keep each other honest" and not let tons of resources build up while i focus on farming. in the end i wound up playing my normal 2-player game of getting a quick 3rd room and family growth and not getting farming till mid- to late-game and not getting fences till round 13 or 14.
 
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David Kahnt
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My wife and I have played over 30 games just two players. In about 85% of them we have no issue farming.

If you wanted veggies, I would have played the minor improvement then sowed more or less right away.

Remember you only need 4 veggies for max points.

-DK
 
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Dan Schwab
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i probably shouldn't have have confused this discussion of 2-player farming with the gimmicky veggie strategy i was thinking of trying. the main point is that i needed 3 grain before i could even start this veggie strategy, and i didn't get any grain going because there kept being something else that seemed too critical. (and the reason i wanted to make more than 4 veg was for food.)

as an aside, i'm waiting for players on the online agricola site if you want to play a 1v1.

edit to add url: http://math.ucsd.edu/~cdeotte/Games/Board1/Agricola.html
 
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Dylan Shakespeare
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My brother and I love two player Agricola mostly because it's so brutal; but it doesn't have to be. You don't NEED to prevent the other person from getting a resource he needs if you need to get something that you need more! We played a game where we were giving minimal attention to the other player's farm. It was interesting, and we both scored high (and I won ).
 
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Homo Ludens
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we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?
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David Kahnt
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cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?


yup... that's along what I feel.

-DK
 
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Blue (She/her)
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cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?


Absolutely. Meanwhile, Reeds and Stone sometimes build up to 5 or 6 before anyone bothers to take them, unless they have an improvement they're eyeing.
 
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Scott Mikula
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Sounds like this is one of those cases where letting your cards dictate your strategy is risky. If I were in your shoes I would have ignored the three grain for two veggies card, and just tried to get vegetables planted right away once the vegetable action space appeared. As you discovered, spending a lot of time getting an early agrarian strategy going costs too many actions that need to be used for resources.

Now, if I had the Market Stall (I think that's the one that lets you trade one grain for one veggie) then I could totally see the early vegetable strat working.
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Dan Schwab
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StatSig wrote:
cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?


Absolutely. Meanwhile, Reeds and Stone sometimes build up to 5 or 6 before anyone bothers to take them, unless they have an improvement they're eyeing.


i would say reeds are even more desired than wood in the beginning.
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Corin A. Friesen
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cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?

Yes, but reed is extremely hard to get, probably the scarcest resource.
 
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Tim Seitz
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StatSig wrote:
cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?


Absolutely. Meanwhile, Reeds and Stone sometimes build up to 5 or 6 before anyone bothers to take them, unless they have an improvement they're eyeing.


Holy cow! You guys must be playing the game wrong. Reeds are as much in demand as wood since you need them to expand.
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Jason Sherlock
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StatSig wrote:
cvandyk wrote:
we've found that in the 2 player game the resource that is in most demand is wood. Anyone else found this?


Absolutely. Meanwhile, Reeds and Stone sometimes build up to 5 or 6 before anyone bothers to take them, unless they have an improvement they're eyeing.


Stone tends to pile up in a 2-player since there are two spaces and thus you don't feel the pressure to snag it before your opponent can.

However, I have never seen reed get above 2. It and wood are the two hotly contested resources. Controlling wood shuts down your opponent's ability to expand their house before renovation, prevents ranching, and stops the playing of a lot of very useful improvements. Controlling reed keeps your opponent from expanding or renovating his home. It usually happens that if one player is hording the wood, the other will inevitably be taking the reed.
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Homo Ludens
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Yes, early on reed is in high demand, but later in the game it often builds up quite a bit. Wood on the other hand... I sometimes pick my occupation and minor improvements simply to get around the wood problem (for instance by letting me renovate needing only 3 resources instead of 5, or needing fewer wood to build fences).

(It also depends on what cards you're playing of course, and whether they provide you with additional resources.)
 
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Eric Rampson
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I find that new-ish player tend to greatly under-value Reed since you "only" need 2 per Room, 1 per Renovation. Wood seems much more important at 5 per Room and a minimum of 4 for Fences. And for the most part, Wood is more important and more hotly contested in a 2-player game. If Reed ever gets to 3, you sort of kind of have to take it, though (unless you know your opponent so well that you can, with 100% accuracy, know that s/he will not take it for another round or two and you can let it build up - in that case, do so). I think that taking 1 Reed with one action is a mediocre trade-off, 2 Reed with one action is an even trade-off, and 3+ Reed with one action is a strong trade-off.

As for farming in a 2-player...unles you have an Occupation/Minor Imporvement that gives you extra (or additional ways to get) Grain or makes Veggies available earlier and therefore you plan to eat crops, I always try to plow four fields and collect 3 Grain and 2 Veg prior to turn 12. Then, as soon as possible after Plow/Sow comes out, I take it, Plow one more field, and sow 3 Grain and 2 Veg, giving me full points. It seems, so far, to be the "safest" farming strategy I have found. It also has the added benefit of being long-term enough that your opponent may not see qhat you're doing.
 
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Dan Schwab
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yeah, i usually do something similar or possibly scaled down (although i don't see how the opponent could possibly "not see what you're doing"). generally i sow once in the game or possibly twice, but almost never more than that.

my 2-player game is pretty much always scrounging for food with fireplace/hearth + animals and then at the end throwing down fences and a plow+sow for points. what i should've said originally was that i find it hard/rare to use farming as a food engine.
 
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Adam Berkan
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I think there's two reasons farming-for-food doesn't work 2-player.

First, to efficiently use your crops, you need an oven. You can't trust that any stone will come out before turn 7, and you need at least one stone for any oven. You'll starve before then, so you'll probably end up with a fireplace "just until your oven arrives".

Second, you can't let your opponent take all the animals that pile up. He could get 14 sheep, 7 boar, and 5 cattle, + breeding. Since you have a fireplace anyway you end up taking some meat anyway.

The other concern with the grain strategy is your opponent can starve your entire family by taking the bake-bread square. This can put you in uncomfortable spots where you have to take it early even though your opponent doesn't want it.

It is a more viable strategy with more players because there's some stone available early, and your opponents will split the animals.
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