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Subject: Spices and the Grocer rss

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Kevin Brown
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Spices is pretty weak, as minor improvements go, just giving an extra food every time you cook a vegetable. With a Cooking Hearth, you can get four food for the veggie. Like most people, I don't like to cook vegetables very often. They're worth too many points to eat. On the plus side, Spices are free to play so you don't lose anything by dropping it out there if you can't afford or don't want to pay for whatever other minor improvements you have.

The Grocer is a pretty nice occupation, allowing you to pile (from bottom to top) 1 vegetable, reed, clay, wood, vegetable, stone, grain, reed on the card and purchase from the top at any time for one food each.


So, what do these have to do with each other? Suppose you have both played and a cooking hearth. If you take a vegetable from the board (or anywhere else) you can cook it for four food, then trade those four food for the top four items on the Grocer, one of which is a vegetable. But wait, there's more. You can then cook up that veggie for four food and trades those four for the other four items on the grocer, one of which is a vegetable. For the action of taking one vegetable you've gotten a vegetable, a grain, a wood, a clay, a stone, and two reeds. That's quite a haul, and not something that takes you far away from standard strategy. A cooking hearth is unquestionably valuable. The Grocer is generally considered a worthwhile occupation. Spices are played as a minor improvement, something to go along with family growth or start player or renovation, and costs nothing.

It's not a major deal, but something to keep an eye out for when you're playing the E-deck.
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Philip Thomas
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If you want to push this a little further, consider the Cooking Corner. It replaces the Cooking Hearth, is worth 3 VPs (to Cooking Hearth's one) and the only difference between it and a Cooking Hearth in cooking terms is that you can cook vegetables for 4 food on a Cooking Corner.

With Spices, that is five food. More items from the Grocer. Of course, its more difficult to get the combination working (the Cooking Corner can't be built with Resources, you have to have a Cooking Hearth), and it now involves a K deck card.

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Geoff Burkman
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Anyone happen to know the odds of receiving both of these cards together in a typical random distribution of Occupations and Minor Improvements? Either playing just the one deck and/or all of them?

I'm thinking it's pretty slim odds.
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Marc Thompson
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I think spices is pretty good on it's own actually - it's free after all.

There are a whole host of cards that support a "vegetables for food" strategy, not just the one (some infact, that are way better then grocer)

Occs
Grocer, Piece Worker, Market Crier, Gardener, Serf, Smallholder, Hobby Farmer

Minor Imp
Green House, Cooking Corner, Manure, Planter's Box, both the "trade
grain for veggie cards", any of the "veggie field" cards

Plus any of the plows help a bit.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff, those are just the cards off the top of my head.





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Kevin Brown
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MisterG wrote:

Anyone happen to know the odds of receiving both of these cards together in a typical random distribution of Occupations and Minor Improvements? Either playing just the one deck and/or all of them?

I'm thinking it's pretty slim odds.


Probably not that high in a random deal. However, if you're doing a card draft of the E-deck you should have a decent shot at them. Spices isn't anyone's first choice of minors. The Grocer is nice, but not exactly a world beater.
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Michael Turian
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MAPLE VALLEY
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MisterG wrote:

Anyone happen to know the odds of receiving both of these cards together in a typical random distribution of Occupations and Minor Improvements? Either playing just the one deck and/or all of them?

I'm thinking it's pretty slim odds.


While I don't know the odds, I played a game with all the occupations and minor improvements today, and had them both.

The best part about Spices is that it is free to play (no cost, no pre-req). A great card to improve your starting player position in the early game.

Mike
 
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Philip Thomas
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Yeah, its what I call a 'gimme'- a card you can play as your first action of turn 1 to get Start player. The best gimmes are free, but cards which cost food also count since you have food at the start. If you're drafting, picking up a 'gimme' is a good idea, since the competition for the Occupations spaces is likely to be high. If the 'gimme' happens to work well with the rest of your cards that is a bonus.

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sonny sonny
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pilight wrote:
For the action of taking one vegetable you've gotten a vegetable, a grain, a wood, a clay, a stone, and two reeds.

correctly this should read for the actions of playing an occupation and one vegetable...

it's a good move but what you really get is those 6 resources for one occupation.

one could also argue that spices don't matter fot this move because a duck pond (receive 3 food) - or anything similar - will do the same.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Playing an occupation and a minor improvement and a vegetable yes.

I would choose Spices over a Duck Pond even without the Grocer, but yes there are lots of ways to buy the Grocer's stuff.
 
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Jacko Lantern
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pilight wrote:
If you take a vegetable from the board (or anywhere else) you can cook it for four food, then trade those four food for the top four items on the Grocer, one of which is a vegetable. But wait, there's more. You can then cook up that veggie for four food and trades those four for the other four items on the grocer, one of which is a vegetable.


This is not the way I'd play it! Waiting for a vegetable from the board wastes practically half the game, and one of the great things about the grocer is it gives you the chance to farm veggies early. If you've got the grocer, you should plow 2 or 3 fields asap, grab some extra food and play the grocer. Then switch the food for the grocer items and sow the grain and vegetables. Hey presto: a food machine.

It may even be possible to do all this in time for the 1st harvest (say 3 actions plowing, 3 getting food, 1 occupation and 1 sowing). But more likely it'll be the 2nd harvest and you'll have managed to buy a cooking device.

If you've managed to sow both veggies from the grocer you'll be getting so many veggies during the game you won't need to be concerned about eating them - even raw - early on. But of course if you also have a way of turning them into schnapps you've got a killer combo and are well on your way to a big score.
 
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