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Subject: 2-player Wood distributor recommendations rss

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Brian Prewitt
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Rolling Meadows
Illinois
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Apologies if I'm naming the wrong card, but over the last few days, my wife and I have played about 5-6 games 2-player. We've had the game just over a month, so we're still learning. We were trying the K-deck for the first time this week, and the card that popped up for me 2-3 times was the Wood Distributor (I think). It's the one where the player gets to distribute the wood to the clay, reed, and food spots at the beginning of each round.

Both games where it showed up, it resulted in a really lopsided game in my favor. Essentially, with variations each time, I controlled wood early by grabbing the 3, or distributing it and grabbing clay. When she took starting player from me (once), I took it back, and was able to control it the rest of the game. Essentially, I pretty quickly got my stables up, got some family support, and by the fourth harvest or so had a self-sustaining supply of animals to keep me fed while I finished off my farm. In those games, I ran scores in 40's or 50's, while she struggled to break 20.

We haven't played it where she's had the card, so I haven't had to figure out how to combat it on the other end. Unfortunately, the lopsided games really soured her (and thus, me) on the experience, so I'd like to share some thoughts about the card that might help if we try the K-deck again.

Does anyone have any advice on countering wood distributor in a 2-player game?
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Geoff Burkman
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Kettering
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Good question. Never having had to deal with the problem, I'm waxing a bit theoretical here, but I'd say your wife should have been taking the button from you more often, as well as working hard to deny you reed. Of course, this all depends on what cards she might have had as well. As soon as you played the Wood Distributor, she should have taken the button and hit the reed on Round Two. If you take it back, she clears the clay to inhibit your Round Three start.

I suspect she was simply letting you get away with murder, and trying to do her own thing without paying attention to what you were up to.
 
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Eric Miller
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Upwey
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MisterG wrote:
Good question. Never having had to deal with the problem, I'm waxing a bit theoretical here, but I'd say your wife should have been taking the button from you more often, as well as working hard to deny you reed. Of course, this all depends on what cards she might have had as well. As soon as you played the Wood Distributor, she should have taken the button and hit the reed on Round Two. If you take it back, she clears the clay to inhibit your Round Three start.

I suspect she was simply letting you get away with murder, and trying to do her own thing without paying attention to what you were up to.


Definitely easier said than done, my wife and I have come across the same thing. There have been times when I haven't been able to take over first player even though I knew it was what was needed; the cards just didn't allow me to. We always draw 7 occupation and 7 Minor improvements at random so quite often it's just the luck of the draw.

 
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Geoff Burkman
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edmil wrote:
MisterG wrote:
Good question. Never having had to deal with the problem, I'm waxing a bit theoretical here, but I'd say your wife should have been taking the button from you more often, as well as working hard to deny you reed. Of course, this all depends on what cards she might have had as well. As soon as you played the Wood Distributor, she should have taken the button and hit the reed on Round Two. If you take it back, she clears the clay to inhibit your Round Three start.

I suspect she was simply letting you get away with murder, and trying to do her own thing without paying attention to what you were up to.


Definitely easier said than done, my wife and I have come across the same thing. There have been times when I haven't been able to take over first player even though I knew it was what was needed; the cards just didn't allow me to. We always draw 7 occupation and 7 Minor improvements at random so quite often it's just the luck of the draw.



Ah, I see, said the blind man. Be very careful about letting your cards dictate your play. Certainly it's a good thing to have a Minor to play when you snag the button, but there are times when you can't let the lack of same deter you. When you let your cards determine your play, then the game is playing you rather than vice-versa.

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James Caddick
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That's a good question. If you are denied wood by someone operating the wood distributor then you have a few options, that may or may not be made more viable by your minors and occupations:

1) If you can't get wood, consider switching to clay. Renovate before you build a new house, then build clay rooms. Cards like the following will help you out here:
* Farm steward: Family growth without a room when you live in a clay hut.
* Clay deliveryman: Clay on future round spots
* Clayhut builder: Clay on future round spots once you live in a clay hut
* Clay plasterer: Discount on clay rooms, improvements and renovation
* Clay worker/Clay mixer: +1/+2 clay when you take wood or clay/clay

2) As Geoff said deny your opponent reed. Your opponent can't deny you wood and deny you reed at the same time. So if they choose to not distribute and then take 3w, you should immediately take the reed. Some cards that make this strategy a little less painful:
* Landing let: +2f when you take reed.
* Reed hut: minor improvement that gives you an instant extra family member

3) Get wood from other sources like:
* wood collecter,
* copse minor (sow 2 wood)
* forester occ (sow 3 wood).

4) Reduce your dependecy on wood. There are plenty of cards that should let you build with less wood e.g:
* wood carver (1 wood discount per round)
* axe (rooms cost 2 wood and 2 reed)
* hedge keeper (everytime you build 1 fence you get 3 free).

5) Starve 'em out: If your opponent has the upper hand in wood, then why not try to monopolise food? If you do it well enough it will mean they might have to stop worrying about wood hoarding for a couple of turns. Especially if they've used the early wood advantage to get ahead in rooms and family members. They'll have a big family that needs feeding.

You'd be fairly unlucky if none of these sorts of cards were avaialble.

But remember you should be picking up at least some wood from the clay and reed spots after it has been distributed. And also if your opponent is spending a lot of their time hitting SP and then snagging the wood, other opportunities should be opening up for you like big reed, stone, food or sheep grabs. I have found Agricola to be a well balanced game - if one player is exploiting one particular advantage this usually opens up other avenues for the other player.
 
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Frederic Bush
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Narberth
Pennsylvania
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Yeah, if they distribute the wood then generally just take the reed. Or the fishing if it's built way up there, but 1r + 1w is a perfectly good move, and 2r + 1w is awesome.

Taking the first 2c+1w is also a powerful move, it locks the first fireplace and generally the first sheep.
 
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Frederic Bush
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Narberth
Pennsylvania
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edmil wrote:


Definitely easier said than done, my wife and I have come across the same thing. There have been times when I haven't been able to take over first player even though I knew it was what was needed; the cards just didn't allow me to. We always draw 7 occupation and 7 Minor improvements at random so quite often it's just the luck of the draw.



Hmm. Are you aware that playing an improvement is optional when you take starting player/family growth/renovate?
 
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