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Subject: My first game of Agricola rss

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Daniel Persson
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Gaming conditions

Having gotten Agricola for Christmas by my girlfriend there was no doubt that it had to played straight away on Christmas eve. The only people around to play with were my brother and my sister. My brother likes board games but he never has anyone to play with and therefore essentially never plays anything. But at least he’s rich in spirit A lot of good things can said about my sister but being a gamer is not one of them. A month or so ago one of her friends tried to introduce her to Settlers, which to her at the outset seemed to be pretty much the same game as Agricola, and it ended up with my sister getting bored out of her mind after about 10 minutes and just leaving the game to the others. However, being promised that it was okay to leave if it was really boring, she agreed to play. And while I tried to set the game up, my brother enjoyed playing with all the pieces, making up almost otherworldly scenarios which really didn’t help that much at all. But he calmed down after being bribed with some Christmas candy and the gaming could start. We quickly decided to play the family version since we had never played the game before and also since our sister would leave us to ourselves in a heartbeat if we decided otherwise. (By the way, my brother is 24 and my sister is 22...)


Enlistment

Galenochfarlig - Wood
Sister - Red
Brother - Purple


Starting out

The first two rounds were largely characterized by all of us trying to gather as much resources as possible. With the small exception of our sister we realized, after the second round, that we had to acquire 4 food each in no more than two rounds. We then also realized that there really wasn’t that much food freely available and up for grabs and that it was share and share alike (thanks to the start player action space). There were clearly no paddles for us this time and the boat was severely crowded. Thus, panic broke out on a large scale and the panic was to stick with us for some rounds before things got better. During these rounds we furiously fought over the measly amounts of food that was directly available for us via the action spaces. This resulted in disaster during the first harvest. Both Wood and Purple had to take a begging card while Red barely made her 4 food with ease. Red and Purple then started hoarding resources not knowing what to do with them. Purple plowed a field during round 5 followed by Red the next round. Myself, I found the competition for grain and vegetables (at this time not even available) a bit too tight to be at all profitable and thus decided to head down another path. Hence, Wood then early expanded his hut with another room, passing however on the opportunity to put up stables at the same time. Red and purple showed no apparent interest in expanding their domestic facilities. Not until round 5 did it occur to wood that there must be another way, my brain just suddenly started to function again..

I was getting seriously tired of relying on the board for my food production. Hence I spent round 6 building a 3-space pasture and acquiring a fire place for my last resources. Since Red realized the benefit of a fire at the same time as I wanted to get one but was ahead of me I had to pay 3 clay for mine which itched me somewhat. All the while silently praying that my opponents wouldn’t figure out what I was up to and try to sabotage me... Always nice playing with a pair of unscrupulous complete bastards... ninja

By round 7 no less than 5 sheep had accumulated on the sheep action space and they soon came to be my sheep. I also jumped on the opportunity to enlarge my loving family and thus accidentally became pregnant which came as quite a surprise to all of us, I can tell you. Red and Purple just made 4 food each in time for the harvest feeding. I had two food, five sheep and a fire place. Not wanting to miss out on the breeding, I made the worst decision in the history of extremely poor ideas and decisions. I only turned one sheep into food and took my second begging card instead since this meant that I’d start round 8 with 6 sheep instead of 4 and I somehow got to thinking that this would be worth -3 points in the end. This shame I will have to live with forever.. cry

My two unholy opponents who failed miserably in their attempts to hide their pleasure when I got my second begging card now started to see the enormous benefits of independent food production as well as having a larger family. Their race now started and Red built a new room for her wooden hut during round 8 and her offspring arrived during the following round. Purple started round 8 with building a 2 space pasture and then nicked 2 wild boars and secured a cooking hearth first thing round 9. Red and Purple then also had realized that their Wooden huts were worth absolutely nothing as far as scoring goes and thus had to renovate which took its toll on their moods at the very least but they were pretty well stocked. Wood now renovated his wooden hut and bought a Basketmaker’s Workshop in order to turn his small pile of reed into pig piles of food every harvest. This together with my now very large collection of sheep made certain that my family never had to go hungry. The remaining rounds were therefore spent pursuing damage prevention on a massive scale with the scoring summary card as a handy to-do-list. I turned my poor clay hut into a nice little stone house, which added to points as well as comfort. I built more pastures leaving 5 unused spaces and then acquired two fields and a fourth family member in round 12 using the enlarge family without extra space action, which Purple also used in round 11 to finally get 3 family members and expand his range of options. Red spent round 14 gathering large amounts of wood and then fencing in as much empty farmyard as possible with the fences left to her.

Final Scoring
Wood Red Purple
Fields 1 1 1 (2 each)
Pastures 2 2 1
Grains/Veg. -1 1 -1
Sheep 4 (12S) -1 -1
Wild Boars -1 -1 2 (3WB)
Cattle 2 (2C) -1 -1
Unused farmyard -3 -3 -9
Fenced stables 1 1 1
Huts/Houses 6 (3S) 3 (3C) 2 (2C)
Family members 12 9 9
Cards 3 1 1
Begging Cards -6 0 -3
Total 20 12 3


SummaryIt was so great to finally play Agricola after having wanted to do so for pretty much a year. But the outcome wasn’t all encouraging.. We all choked in the early stages of the game, being pretty much in awe at the sight of the options available, and waited far too long before we started to produce our own food. Red and Purple, being new to gaming not only neglected to produce their own food but also to take steps against enlarging the work base. They also realized the worth of renovation rather late in game which clearly disturbed their by then laid plans for the remaining rounds of the game.
One of the greatest things of this session was that my sister actually played the game through. She was surprised herself, but she was also very glad to have done it. It is always fun to play games with my siblings, and this was no exception. My brother is already talking about playing it again and it gives me great hope for the next few days of this Christmas vacation. We have learnt our lessons and will now pursue scores that are actually worth mentioning. And while I may not have gotten a very big score, it was at least enough to win the game which after all is the object so.. I WON!!

Session time: just under two hours.
Impression of the game: Great! Simply great, but anything than simple..


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Adam Daulton
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20 is higher than I scored on my first time. I'm sure you will enjoy it even more once you get to use the cards. Merry Christmas!
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Torsten Denke
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galenochfarlig wrote:
Gaming conditions
With the small exception of our sister we realized, after the second round, that we had to acquire 4 food each in no more than two rounds.



I guess you missed the part that each player starts with 3 food(2 for the starting player) in the manual. Happened to me too in my first gamne :P
 
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Chris Boote
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galenochfarlig wrote:


I only turned one sheep into food and took my second begging card instead since this meant that I’d start round 8 with 6 sheep instead of 4 and I somehow got to thinking that this would be worth -3 points in the end.


Afrsid you made a mistake here
You only get ONE extra animal if you have TWO OR MORE of that animal - not one per two
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I'm glad that you got to play. And now that you're comfortable with the dynamics, adding the cards can add a lot of possibilities. Cards can definitely make your life easier, but remember the basic principles you learned about having food production, a little of each scoring category, an upgraded house, and a larger family.
 
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Daniel Persson
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Seelenfeuer wrote:
galenochfarlig wrote:
Gaming conditions
With the small exception of our sister we realized, after the second round, that we had to acquire 4 food each in no more than two rounds.



I guess you missed the part that each player starts with 3 food(2 for the starting player) in the manual. Happened to me too in my first gamne


Yup, missed that one. The thing was that I thought that I had read something like that in the rules beforehand.But when I had a quick read of them last night I just couldn't find it. This will ease the pain of the first few rounds considerably Thanks man!
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Daniel Persson
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Chrisboote wrote:
galenochfarlig wrote:


I only turned one sheep into food and took my second begging card instead since this meant that I’d start round 8 with 6 sheep instead of 4 and I somehow got to thinking that this would be worth -3 points in the end.


Afrsid you made a mistake here
You only get ONE extra animal if you have TWO OR MORE of that animal - not one per two


Haha! Another one?! This is turning out to be embarrassing - the deluxe edition cool But it did get a bit too easy, food management-wise, playing the way we did, you know... in hindsight.. Thank god for feedback!
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Daniel Persson
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indigopotter wrote:
I'm glad that you got to play. And now that you're comfortable with the dynamics, adding the cards can add a lot of possibilities. Cards can definitely make your life easier, but remember the basic principles you learned about having food production, a little of each scoring category, an upgraded house, and a larger family.


No, screw the basics! I'm a high tec-man from now on!

On a serious note, thanks man! I really love this game and I think that many a night will be spent with it henceforth
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Maybe I should get a pink avatar, to indicate I'm a girl. (I understand that my name and avatar are gender neutral, and nobody checks everybody's profile for every post). Hmmm... *pondering*
 
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Daniel Persson
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oops... sorry! That one is on me.. please keep the avatar I guess I was a bit sloppy not checking your profile.. But I promise to better my ways, and seeing how it's Christmas - it has to be true Seriously, I am a fair bit ashamed... but still, merry Christmas to you! meeple
 
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DMSamuel
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LOL - don't be ashamed. I can attest that she is not a man, but I can also attest that she isn't really upset about it :)
 
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Daniel Persson
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lorddillon wrote:
LOL - don't be ashamed. I can attest that she is not a man, but I can also attest that she isn't really upset about it


Haha! Good to hear!
 
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Daniel Persson
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ooogene wrote:
20 is higher than I scored on my first time. I'm sure you will enjoy it even more once you get to use the cards. Merry Christmas!


Really? I was beginning to think that it was the history's lowest gric score, after having checked the sessions forum... So, thank you, this is actually very comforting! And a merry Christmas to you to!
 
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Geoff Burkman
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galenochfarlig wrote:
ooogene wrote:
20 is higher than I scored on my first time. I'm sure you will enjoy it even more once you get to use the cards. Merry Christmas!


Really? I was beginning to think that it was the history's lowest gric score, after having checked the sessions forum... So, thank you, this is actually very comforting! And a merry Christmas to you to!


Check this thread out, Daniel: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358353. I think you'll have to work really, really hard to do worse than my crew!

Good session report, btw. I hope you enjoy the many, many games of Agricola you're going to be playing in the future! And a Happy New Year!
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Daniel Persson
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MisterG wrote:

Check this thread out, Daniel: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/358353. I think you'll have to work really, really hard to do worse than my crew!

Good session report, btw. I hope you enjoy the many, many games of Agricola you're going to be playing in the future! And a Happy New Year!


Well, I checked it and I have to say that I am impressed! And I feel much better about it now.. But it must have felt good prior to the final scoring to have outhoused him...ish... (outhouse didn't make as good a combination as I'd hoped...)

It's nice to know that there is still so much to expect from this game!
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