Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Sessions

Subject: MisterG vs The Ronbo, or If At First You Don't Succeed... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A week or so after our first 2-player contest, Ron and I had the opportunity for a rematch. Since we’d been less than satisfied with the scoring results of our last game, and blamed it somewhat on a straightforward random deal of Ocks and Minors, we decided to go with the ol’ deal-ten-drop-three routine for both sets of cards. Regrettably, the cards we ended up with were no great improvement, but at least we had some small say in what we had available. I went first, thanks to having won the first game…

Round One/Sheep
Geoff – Occ/Forester
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – PF
Ron – DL(2f)

Historically, I’ve always disdained the Forester as an Occupation. It strikes me as worth little more than a long-term 6Wood, maybe 9Wood, and needs an additional sowing action taken to be worth even that, but having nothing better in my hand, I decide to give it a shot. Out it comes. Ron clears the ready wood, I plow, and Ron bolsters his food supply. Pretty mundane play, all in all, but we’re off and running.

Round Two/Fences
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1G
Ron – 1C(2)

Mindful of building, I snag the reed, and Ron counters by sweeping up the wood again. I now make my first error of the game by taking a grain, prepping for a multi-task sowing action, instead of nabbing clay for a fireplace. As it turns out, I should have taken the clay, which is exactly what Ron does. The sheep look at each other and bleat, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Round Three/MIMI
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – MIMI/Fp2
Geoff – 3W(3)
Ron – Sheep(3)burn3

MIMI struts her stuff onstage, and for safety’s sake, I fish. Ron does the obvious, I take my first ration of wood, and a wary Ron torches the sheep. I know full well he was worried about me taking them next Round, though it seems readily apparent he could have precluded that by simply taking the button and popping out his Mini Pasture four Rounds earlier than he did, leaving four sheep at his mercy at the top of Round Four. However, Ron is at times impetuous, and I’m not about to correct him.

Round Four/Sow & Bake
Geoff – 3W(3)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – S&B(1Gf/3Wf)
Ron – BR(1)

Now the time comes to force an issue or two, so I grab wood to threaten a room build. Ron sneers and cops more reed. I decide to ignore the possibility of early Family Growth in order to plant trees and grain, giving Ron the opportunity for first expansion. So now I’ve got an extra 6Wood coming down the pipeline, but Ron has a temporary jump on increasing his actions. We both feed with fingers crossed.

Round Five/Renovation + MIMI
Geoff – 1C(3)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – Occ/Clay Deliveryman (9C>
Ron – Sheep(2)burn2

Happily for me, Family Growth doesn’t show. Unhappily for me, I’m hit with a vicious case of the stupids. Instead of expanding my hut, I grab clay for a cookery. Ron clears the wood again, and my bout of the stupids worsens as I ock a long-term 9Clay. Ron, secure in a first shot at growth, gobbles up the sheep again. Certainly if I’d built a room, Ron would have nabbed the button, but that’s no real excuse. Unfortunately, my affliction is due to intensify.

Round Six/Stone
Geoff – Occ(1)/Market Woman
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – 1R(2)

With the revelation of stone, do I wise up and build a room? No, I do not, instead playing another Ock, one that I don’t even utilize for another six Rounds, and then only once. I’m beginning to feel like Forrest Gump. Ron keeps on hogging wood, and instead of building my own fireplace, I fish. Stupid is as stupid does, indeed! Ron swipes the stacked reed again, and I’m starting to feel like I’ve forgotten how to play this game.

Round Seven/Family Growth + MI
Geoff – 3W(3)
Ron – Occ(1)/Merchant
Geoff – SP + Copse
Ron – FG + Mini Pasture> (Fences(4) –2f) + Boar Breeding> (1b-2f)

Do I build now, forcing Ron to take Family Growth with his first dude? No, no, no! That would be a little too forceful! I settle for another 3Wood, with vague plans for a double build in mind. Unpressured, Ron gets out his first Ock, which he uses all of twice. Why he didn’t build another room is beyond me, given his awesome food surplus. Now do I build, knowing full well that I’ve fallen an action behind Ron? Oh, no, that would be asking far too much! Far, far better to waste time getting out a redundant Minor that I never use! Oh, yeah, that’s the ticket! Sheesh! Ron now lowers the boom, adding a third peep and passing along two Minors that essentially swap his surplus food for a 4Wood, an early boar, and a free fencing action. It’s a pricey move, but not outside the realm of worthwhile. Our family’s hunger is sated, though I’m forced to use a grain to feed mine. Now, can I get any stupider? Oh, yes, I can!

Round Eight/Boar
Geoff – Ren>C + CH4
Ron – 1S(3)
Geoff – Sheep(3)burn2
Ron – 3W(3)
Ron – Fences(9)

Having ceded Ron the distinct advantage of an extra action per Round, I latch onto the spurious inspiration of renovating to clay so as to secure a hearth. This plan is not utterly without merit, but pretty close. I could have as easily taken the stacked reed and then built two rooms, or simply built one room and a few stables, and then renovated and grabbed the other fireplace. Purposefully handicapping oneself in Agricola (or, for that matter, in any other game) is not the way to win. Ron gathers up the bargain stone, which surprises me; I thought for sure he’d roast the sheep. I do it instead, pleased to utilize my new hearth. Ron then appears to catch my disease, deciding to rather impecuniously gather more wood and fence, instead of doing something else like plowing a field and then swiping the button to secure a 6Wood and fence next Round. Thank goodness for small favors, but I’m still in deep doo-doo regardless.

Round Nine/Vegetables
Geoff – 1R(3)
Ron – Boar(2)
Geoff – 1C(4)
Ron – Fish(3f)
Ron – 3W(3)

Desperation now being my middle name, I grab the stacked reed; I need to build a clay room (or preferably two) as soon as possible. Ron herds the swine, I glom the clay, and once again Ron evinces symptoms of mutual stupids infection by failing to take the button to guarantee himself a 6Wood next Round. Wow! Do either of us remember how to play this game? This is getting to be just downright embarrassing! Ron sacrifices a boar (which reincarnates, so not much of a sacrifice) to feed his family, small comfort to me, and we move deeper into the midgame.

Round Ten/Stone
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn2
Ron – 1S(2)
Geoff – BR(1) + 4s
Ron – 3W(3)
Ron – SP + Lumber (1S>3W) +Windmill (-1f)

Crying over spilt blood is no better than crying over spilt milk, so I fry the woolies. Ron snags more stone, greedy bugger that he is, and I finally regain some rationality and crank out a room, along with four stables. Inexorable Ron hacks away at the forest, takes the button for the first time, swaps off a stone for more wood, and builds the Windmill. I’m not sure why he doesn’t let the wood accumulate, but that’s his business; I suppose he wants first dibs on the stacked boar next Round. Given my substandard level of play, he certainly hasn’t needed the button at all.

Round Eleven/Cattle
Ron – Boar(2)
Geoff – SP + Beehive (4f>
Ron – BR(1) +1s
Geoff – FG + Boar Breeding> (1b-1f)
Ron – PF

Ron hustles the boar home to their ultimate displeasure, and I regain the button to get out the Beehive. Woo-hoo! Ron builds another room and a stable, forcing my subsequent Family Growth (as if…!) and miniscule Minor. Ron closes out the midgame with his first plowed field. I’m still not sure I’m going to lose, but I’m not feeling very thrilled with the way things have gone. By hook and by crook, we feed our families and move on to the endgame.

Round Twelve/Plow & Sow
Geoff – Cattle(2)
Ron – 3W(6)
Geoff – 1V (+2G)
Ron – 1G
Geoff – P&S (1Gf +1Vf)
Ron – FG + (burn1b) Boar Breeding (1b-1f)

I jump the cattle (Sheep? I don’ need no steenkin’ sheep!) for the eventual four points, and Ron compulsively grabs up a 6Wood for which he has almost no use. Yes, he eventually uses one measly stick to claim the Well, but the wasted wood remains just that: wasted. Ron simply didn’t want me to have it. I cash in the Market Woman for a meager spare grain, and Ron grabs one for himself. I plow and sow for a few points, and Ron closes out the Round hiring on another peep and the perplexing maneuver of frying a boar to pay for a replacement, a net gain of one food! I can only guess he didn’t have any other Minor to play.

Round Thirteen/Family Growth w/o
Geoff – 1S(4)
Ron – 1C(4)
Geoff – SP + Mini Pasture> (Fences(4)-2f)
Ron – 1R(4)
Geoff – Ren>S + Clay Oven (5f)
Ron – 1V
Ron – P&S (1Gf +1Vf)

Low on food, I snag the bargain basement stone; Ron does likewise with the clay. The stupids have yet to release their grip on me, and I fail to swipe the Well from under Ron’s nose, settling instead for denying him the button (big deal!) and getting out a semi-cheap pasture. It is perhaps the ultimate, crucial error of my game. Ron may or may not have been able to renovate twice by game’s end, but at what sacrifice elsewhere? Surely I could have blocked one or more negative cancellations on his part, while my Mini Pasture was still available via MIMI. Drat this 20-20 hindsight! No matter; Ron scoops up the teeming reed, and I dutifully renovate to stone so as to A) prevent Ron from getting any closer to doing so, and B) claim the appropriate oven and its baking action. Ron then picks up veggie seeds and proceeds to plant crops. Further sacrifices are made and families fed.

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – Sheep(4)
Geoff – Fences(11)
Ron – Cattle(2)
Geoff – FG w/o
Ron – Ren>C + Well
Ron – P&S (1Vf)

All that’s really left for me to do is claim the 6Wood, max out my pastures, and hire on a last dude for points. Ron rustles up various livestock, renovates, seizes the Well, and takes his final points with Plow & Sow. It’s all over but the scoring. Ron’s failure to upgrade his fireplace costs him several points in animals and veggies, but nevertheless his farmyard is looking just a hair better than mine, and the Well has most likely tipped things in his favor.

Final Score (Occupations Played, Minors/Majors Played)(Wood taken/bonus)(Rounds as Starting Player)(Total Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Actions)(Points Per Primary Action)

Ron – 34 (1 Occ, 5/2)(27/4)(1)(37/5/2)(0.919)
Geoff – 31(3 Occ, 4/2)(15/10)(13)(31/7/1)(1.000)

Despite a superior efficiency score on my part, Ron’s six extra actions prove to be more than enough for him to prevail. Looking back, it’s clear to me that my lack of aggression in expanding my hut back in Stage Two was my key failure. My play of the Market Woman was pretty much a fool’s errand; that action could well have been better spent on something else. I also find it interesting that going first for nearly the entire game meant little; Ron’s action advantage clearly counterbalanced the minor handicap of going second. Again, I’m struck by the altered dynamics of the 2-player game, and will be looking forward to the tiebreaker, whenever the occasion may arise. I hope Constant Reader has enjoyed this report, and possibly even learned a thing or two.
4 
 Thumb up
7.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryann Turner
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another solid report!

I have played MANY two player games of Agricola and I can tell you that it is a whole different ball game than 3-5p games. If I may be so bold as to offer some advice, here it is:
PEEPS. Even horrible plays can be made up for with extra actions.
BLOCK. The 2p game is so cutthroat it's crazy. Halting your opponent in a 2p game will usually help you as well.
SHEEP. He who cooks the most sheep will win a lot of the time. It's the easiest source of food in a 2p game.

I hope you keep playing it 2p, though, as it teaches you a lot!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks, Bryann, glad you enjoyed it. Oddly enough, Ron and I managed to squeeze in our tie-breaker the night before I posted this report, and I think you're going to get a kick out of the results: your second line of advice is particularly well demonstrated. I'll try to do my best to document my thought processes during the contest. Also, many animals gave their wooden little lives, possibly as many boar as sheep, so I'm tending to agree with your third line as well. Your first line I have no argment with (especially since the report above illustrates it), though in our third game, the stupids decided to stay at Ron's house instead of mine. Mostly, I was pleased to put a few Ocks into play that I'd never had the opportunity to benefit from before. I'll bore everyone with that report sometime after the upcoming holidaze.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.