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Subject: Ronbo vs. MisterG: Match4 Game1 rss

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Geoff Burkman
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In this one, we went with the deal 10 toss 3 draft, regular game rules. Constant Reader may or may not recall that Ron is currently up two matches to one, and will hopefully note how I failed to capitalize on the Field Watchman. If you play an Occupation, use it, otherwise you’ve wasted your time and action(s).

Round One/Sheep
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – Occ/Field Watchman
Ron – 1G
Geoff – 1R(1)

The nature of this particular contest reveals itself in the very first Round. Ron opts for the wood opening, I follow up with a favored Ock, and Ron promptly blocks its use. Nice. Having no Minor to add to a button grab, I settle for interdicting the reed. I can already tell this isn’t going to be a high-scoring game, Field Watchman notwithstanding.

Round Two/MIMI
Ron – 1C(2)
Geoff – 1G +PF
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – SP + Landing Net

With the appearance of MIMI, Ron quite naturally swipes the stacked clay. I break myself even on the Watchman, Ron snags more wood, and now I take the button, spending my lone reed on the Landing Net. I end up getting fair use out of it, but still wish I’d had something better.

Round Three/Fences
Geoff – 1R(2) +2f
Ron – MIMI/Fp2
Geoff – Sheep(3)2run
Ron – 3W(3)

Use it or lose it; I confiscate the stacked reed and bonus food. Ron picks up his fireplace, I interdict the sheep (yep, it’s definitely one of those games), and Ron stocks up on wood. Neither of us is about to make things easy for the other.

Round Four/Sow & Bake
Geoff – Fish(4f)
Ron – Occ/Seasonal Worker
Geoff – 1G +PF
Ron – DL(2f +1G)

I stock my larder to overflowing, Ron gets out his first Ock, and we then both put our Ocks to work. The only way to get bonuses in Agricola is to take them. Harvest time is uneventful; on we go…

Round Five/Renovation +MIMI
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – BR(1)
Ron – Sheep(2)burn2

Finally I haul in some sticks, but I have to let Ron have the stacked reed. This pretty much forces me to build a room, hoping for Family Growth next Round; I would have rather waited for another dose of wood in order to add stables to the build. Ah, well. Ron torches woolies; my prior pre-emptive strike has rendered him a bit sensitive. My fingers are crossed for the growth.

Round Six/Stone
Geoff – 1C(4)
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Wet Nurse
Geoff – SP +Market Stall> (1G>1V)
Ron – BR(1) +2s +(FG-1f)

Even if I’d known the Wet Nurse was going to rain on my parade, I’d probably have taken the cheap clay anyway. So I do, and she does. In self-defense, I step on the button, swapping a grain for small potatoes. Here it comes: Ron knocks out a room, two stables, and a new “dude for a food.” I know I’m in trouble; I should have grown right then and there.

Round Seven/Family Growth +MI
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – DL(2f)
Ron – Fish(2f)
Ron – Sheep(1)burn

I can’t turn down a major forest; Ron ditto with the reed. My only hope of delaying Ron is squeezing his supply lines, so I hog the odd jobs. Ron is forced into a pair of 2food plays, but all I’ve accomplished is denying him a bonus grain. Better if I’d taken on the new hire, or at the least filled my fields. Thus the danger of interdiction plays—they tend to distract the player from more important things like Family Growth. Not a good thing to be distracted from. Anyway, we feed and field our way onward…

Round Eight/Vegetables
Geoff – 1S(3)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – FG + Flagon
Ron – PF
Ron – SP + Cooking Hearth

In the absence of other targets, a 3Stone is tough to ignore, and I just don’t have the strength of will to do that. Ron clears the wood, and I grow at last, tossing out the Flagon. Ron then plows and retakes the button, upgrading his fireplace. How convenient!

Round Nine/Boar
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1R(2) +2f
Ron – Sheep(2)burn2
Geoff – BR(1) +1s
Ron – DL(2f +1G)
Geoff – MIMI/Stone Oven (4f)

Again Ron pillages wood. I grab the reed and bonus food, Ron fries woolies, and I get out another room, replete with stable. Ron uses his Seasonal Worker, and I pick up the Stove Oven along with more food. Harvest time is no problem for either of us; we wade on deeper into the midgame…

Round Ten/Cattle
Ron – Boar(2)burn1
Geoff – 1C(4)
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Plow Maker
Geoff – 1G +PF
Ron – BR(1) +(FG-1f)
Geoff – SP + Stone Exchange> (2C>2S)

Ron’s never met a pair of beasties he doesn’t like to fry up, although he does allow one of them to survive briefly this time. I grab the budget clay. Ron plays the Plow Maker, which nets him a whopping “free” plowed field for three food, not much of a deal; he’d have been better off just plowing. I utilize the Field Watchman, and Ron builds his next room, exercising the Wet Nurse as well. I can see this is not good, not good at all. I retake the button, swapping off some excess clay for stone. We’ll soon see if it makes any difference.

Round Eleven/Stone
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – Cattle(2)burn1boar
Geoff – MIMI/Clay Oven (5f)
Ron – 1S(3)
Geoff – 1R(2) +2f
Ron – PF +(PF-1f)
Ron – S&B (3Gf)

Needless to say, I claim the wood. Ron herds cattle and plays “Final Destination” with that poor piggy. I claim a second oven, baking a five-spot. Ron hauls in stone, I use my Landing Net for the third and last time (6food for a reed, not too hateful), and then Ron busies his Plow Maker and fills up a trio of grain fields. Cattle die to feed his family, such a pity. I’m wondering to myself if I’m ever going to get around to planting anything…

Round Twelve/Plow & Sow
Geoff – 1S(2)
Ron – 1V
Geoff – MIMI/Well (2f> +(4f) +(1f>r)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1G +PF
Ron – Boar(2)
Ron – SP +Forest Pasture

I take a bit of stone, and Ron eliminates a negative. I now claim the Well, with bonus food from the Flagon distributed to all concerned. Ron pillages wood again, and I get one more shot from the Watchman, realizing post facto that I probably should have just bitten the bullet and added another worker. Ron herds boar, nabbing the button and a victory point. No matter, my game’s about to fall apart anyway…

Round Thirteen/Family Growth w/o
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – Cattle(2)1run
Ron – 1V
Geoff – FG + Manure
Ron – P&S (2PF-1f +2Vf)
Geoff – 1C(3)
Ron – FG w/o

Ron continues with the denial game, seizing the wood, and I commit my major mistake by interdicting cattle instead of the more point-worthy Plow`n’Sow. Ron adds to his veggie stocks and I repeat my mistake, this time growing with a useless Minor that I play just for the fun of it. Somehow, Ron restrains laughter as he puts the Plow Maker to work again, doubling his vegetables and finishing off his fields. Morose, I scrape away the clay, and Ron then leisurely adds his fifth dude. This time the boar die to keep Ron’s clan fed. Meanwhile, onward, onward ride the five thousand, or however many…

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – Fences(4)
Ron – Sheep(5)burn4
Geoff – Fish(7f)
Ron – Boar(2)
Geoff – P&S (PF +1Gf/1Vf)
Ron - MIMI/Joinery
Geoff – Ren>C
Ron – Cattle(1)

Determined to keep me from fencing, Ron absconds with the last remnants of wood. Incensed, I fence anyway, if only a mere one pasture, but still end up with more unused spaces than Ron. Woolies sizzle, fish fry, and boar get hustled into pens. I plow a last field and belatedly fill a pair of them, far too little far too late. Ron snags the Joinery, I renovate, and Ron erases a final negative. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost, but have no idea by how much.

Final Score (Occupations Played, Minors/Majors Played)(Wood taken/bonus)(Rounds as Starting Player)(Total Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Actions)(Points Per Primary Action)(Food Spent)
Primary Actions are those actions first taken when a player claims a space with a family member. Secondary Actions are the “extra” actions allowed by certain spaces, such as a Minor Improvement when taking Starting Player, or Baking after Sowing. Tertiary Actions are all other “extra” actions enabled via card play or the seasonal rules of the “Through the Seasons” variant. Note that the “TtS” variant has two Action Spaces that allow Secondary Actions: Spring and Autumn.

Ron – 33 (3 Occ, 2/2)(24/0)(6)(41/4/6)(0.805)(49)
Geoff – 30 (1 Occ, 5/3)(18/0)(8)(35/9/8)(0.857)(34)

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Ron 5(4) 0(-1) 8(4) 4(4) 1(1) 3(2) 1(1) 4(-4) 0(0) 4W(0) 5(15) (4) (3)
Geoff 5(4) 1(1) 3(1) 2(2) 1(1) 0(-1) 1(1) 5(-5) 1(1) 4C(4) 4(12) (9) (0)


So, the Wet Nurse definitely did her damage above and beyond my reluctance to take on workers, but it was that failure to grow that lost me the game, not the Wet Nurse herself. Both Ron and I had poor efficiencies of play, particularly my failure to take advantage of the Field Watchman (by sowing early), and only Ron’s preponderance of actions put him over the top. Needless to say, neither of us has come close to mastering the 2-player game yet, but we’re not about to stop trying.

Next report: Match4 Game2, in which MisterG redeems himself somewhat. Comments, observations, pithy remarks, and so forth all welcomed. Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
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Bryann Turner
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Umm... you can't upgrade your Fireplace to a Hearth with Starting Player unless you have Traveling Salesman or Businessman.

You're right about the Field Watchman. He's best to take early and often to get food/grain going.

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Kasper Baack
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Looks like the minor improvement card cooking hearth to me.

You build a room in round 9 and only grow your family in round 13. Surely with that stone oven and field watchman, you shouldnt have trouble feeding them in round 11 if you grow in round 10 already?

Always nice to read the reports though! Its been awhile since I played 2-player.
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Craig Liken
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Good to know that even experts sometimes go missing when playing this game.

I notice that you don't log your plays on the geek, though you must have had a fair few by now - do you know how many?

My impressions from this game were that even with playing a draft you had a frustrating hand of minor improvements, such that you had trouble with getting value from taking the "button" and you were in a similar way reluctant to take FG + minor as early as you perhaps should have.
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Michael Link
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liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:

My impressions from this game were that even with playing a draft you had a frustrating hand of minor improvements, such that you had trouble with getting value from taking the "button" and you were in a similar way reluctant to take FG + minor as early as you perhaps should have.


I second that observation. The only way I've found to keep up with the Wet Nurse in 2P is to keep pace with the growth and deny your opponent food. Geoff had the opportunity to grow and inexplicably failed to do so, perhaps it was a bad hand of minors.

In fact, if you can keep pace with the WN via standard FG, you nearly always are doing better because...
A. You have a better infrastructure that allowed you to grow
B. You save the food spent on playing the Occ and using the WN's power to actually feed your workers.
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Frederic Bush
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Btizo: presumably Ron had the minor improvement Cooking Hearth.

MrG: you've already remarked on your failure to grow, which was a big mistake. However, I also think you erred in round 6 with your 2nd action. Ron has just put out the wet nurse, and has material to build a room. Clearly his next play is going to be build room + grow family. You are already start player, and since Ron isn't going to grab it (he is not in competition with you for the family growth spot) even if you take a normal board action you will still get to go first next round and be able to take both 6w and fg.




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Geoff Burkman
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btizo wrote:
Umm... you can't upgrade your Fireplace to a Hearth with Starting Player unless you have Traveling Salesman or Businessman.

You're right about the Field Watchman. He's best to take early and often to get food/grain going.


As others have noted, Ron's upgrade was accomplished with the Minor Improvement cooking hearth. Sorry, I should have been a little more clear about that, in the commentary if nothing else.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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fbush555 wrote:
Btizo: presumably Ron had the minor improvement Cooking Hearth.

MrG: you've already remarked on your failure to grow, which was a big mistake. However, I also think you erred in round 6 with your 2nd action. Ron has just put out the wet nurse, and has material to build a room. Clearly his next play is going to be build room + grow family. You are already start player, and since Ron isn't going to grab it (he is not in competition with you for the family growth spot) even if you take a normal board action you will still get to go first next round and be able to take both 6w and fg.


By and large, yes. Knowing Ron's play as I do, though, I was well aware that he might delay growth a turn in order to nab the button and guarantee the 6Wood for himself. It's just the sort of thing he'll do. The bigger mistake, I think, was in the next Round, the punitive Day Laborer play. That's when I should have grown, since he'd have still been under food pressure and forced into two food plays. I didn't really think that one through completely.
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Geoff Burkman
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liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
Good to know that even experts sometimes go missing when playing this game.

I notice that you don't log your plays on the geek, though you must have had a fair few by now - do you know how many?

My impressions from this game were that even with playing a draft you had a frustrating hand of minor improvements, such that you had trouble with getting value from taking the "button" and you were in a similar way reluctant to take FG + minor as early as you perhaps should have.


Craig, my play count for Agricola is in the vicinity of 200 or so, but admittedly, I stopped counting a while back. It's only recently that I've played any significant number of 2-player games, though, and 2-player is definitely a different beastie. I'll admit, I still feel like a beginner with that one.

You are correct, my Minors were no big shakes, and I think I probably penalized myself by making the effort to get them into play. I should have stuck with exploiting the Field Watchman in the early Stages to get a prime grain engine going, but the appearance of Ron's Wet Nurse discombobulated me. Let that be a lesson to all: don't let your opponent's actions distract you from what it is you want to do.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Kasper wrote:
Looks like the minor improvement card cooking hearth to me.

You build a room in round 9 and only grow your family in round 13. Surely with that stone oven and field watchman, you shouldnt have trouble feeding them in round 11 if you grow in round 10 already?

Always nice to read the reports though! Its been awhile since I played 2-player.


Yeah, I'm really not sure why I was so hesitant in Round Ten, other than greed for the Clay Oven. However, I'll be the first to admit that I'm still prone to over-reaching in the game, and ignoring my own admonitions about good play.

I'm sure I'd do better if I played for money. devil
 
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j n
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MisterG wrote:
I should have stuck with exploiting the Field Watchman in the early Stages to get a prime grain engine going, but the appearance of Ron's Wet Nurse discombobulated me.


I've played quite a few 2-player games with my wife, and I've come to the conclusion that the Wet Nurse isn't all that big a deal if your opponent is focusing on early expansion as well. Sure, she saves you an action or two on Family Growth, but using it also leaves that FG space open for your opponent every turn. She's still a pretty good occ, since you don't have to take SP to get your growth on, and devastating if played as a surprise against someone who's let you get a lot of early wood and reed.
 
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Bryann Turner
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Thanks for the Cooking Hearth Clarification.

Additionally, I notice a lot of people are commenting about poor minors as a reason to not Family Grow. What? The extra action you get will far outweigh a minor if you must delay the Growth in order to gather resources for the minor. I would rather FG + Nothing than delay it a round or two in order to play a minor.

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Frederic Bush
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MisterG wrote:
fbush555 wrote:
Btizo: presumably Ron had the minor improvement Cooking Hearth.

MrG: you've already remarked on your failure to grow, which was a big mistake. However, I also think you erred in round 6 with your 2nd action. Ron has just put out the wet nurse, and has material to build a room. Clearly his next play is going to be build room + grow family. You are already start player, and since Ron isn't going to grab it (he is not in competition with you for the family growth spot) even if you take a normal board action you will still get to go first next round and be able to take both 6w and fg.


By and large, yes. Knowing Ron's play as I do, though, I was well aware that he might delay growth a turn in order to nab the button and guarantee the 6Wood for himself. It's just the sort of thing he'll do. The bigger mistake, I think, was in the next Round, the punitive Day Laborer play. That's when I should have grown, since he'd have still been under food pressure and forced into two food plays. I didn't really think that one through completely.


If Ron passes up growth on round 6 to grab the 6 wood on round 7, he won't be able to grow on round 7 either. (He won't have enough food to both grab 6 wood and build a room/use wet nurse.) So that would be a decent turn of events for you.

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Geoff Burkman
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fbush555 wrote:
...If Ron passes up growth on round 6 to grab the 6 wood on round 7, he won't be able to grow on round 7 either. (He won't have enough food to both grab 6 wood and build a room/use wet nurse.) So that would be a decent turn of events for you.


Wow, this just got embarrassing. Y'know what? I just noticed that we forgot to put out another sheep in Round Seven. There should have been two there. Oops. I would have grown in a heartbeat with that situation looking at me. blush
 
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Geoff Burkman
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btizo wrote:
Thanks for the Cooking Hearth Clarification.

Additionally, I notice a lot of people are commenting about poor minors as a reason to not Family Grow. What? The extra action you get will far outweigh a minor if you must delay the Growth in order to gather resources for the minor. I would rather FG + Nothing than delay it a round or two in order to play a minor.


Given the sheep-wrangling mistake we made, I can only concur with you. Mea culpa, no question.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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lactamaeon wrote:
MisterG wrote:
I should have stuck with exploiting the Field Watchman in the early Stages to get a prime grain engine going, but the appearance of Ron's Wet Nurse discombobulated me.


I've played quite a few 2-player games with my wife, and I've come to the conclusion that the Wet Nurse isn't all that big a deal if your opponent is focusing on early expansion as well. Sure, she saves you an action or two on Family Growth, but using it also leaves that FG space open for your opponent every turn. She's still a pretty good occ, since you don't have to take SP to get your growth on, and devastating if played as a surprise against someone who's let you get a lot of early wood and reed.


I still tend to feel that the more players there are, the less of a threat the Wet Nurse is, since there are more players motivated to block/harass/interdict her play. But I still see your point, that it frees up FG. From this game on, though, Ron and I have agreed to banish her from 2-player games.
 
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Mike T
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Quote:

I still tend to feel that the more players there are, the less of a threat the Wet Nurse is, since there are more players motivated to block/harass/interdict her play. But I still see your point, that it frees up FG. From this game on, though, Ron and I have agreed to banish her from 2-player games.


I have to agree with Lactamaeon. In 4 player games, particularly, the FG spot is hotly, hotly contested. While BR is also contested, not many people in a game that size are willing to really sacrifice their own efficiency to block one opponent, particularly early in the game. A lot of the value of Wet Nurse is getting out family members without having to duke it out for FG. In 2 player, I just don't see FG as quite as big of a deal. On the other hand, in 2 player it can be much harder to either build rooms or feed your family, depending what flavor of bastard your opponent decides to be.

I might be wrong though. I have only played a few 2 player games, and the fight almost always seems to revolve around either clay/food or wood/reed (or both, where one player blocks clay and food, and the other blocks wood and/or reed).
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j n
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MisterG wrote:
I still tend to feel that the more players there are, the less of a threat the Wet Nurse is, since there are more players motivated to block/harass/interdict her play. But I still see your point, that it frees up FG. From this game on, though, Ron and I have agreed to banish her from 2-player games.


Oh she's brutal if the other player is distracted from expansion by cards or just misplays. But assuming the 21 wood and 7 reed created by round 7 gets split close to equitably among the two players, she's good but not overpowered (IMO).

It's not so much that you shouldn't worry about the Wet Nurse as you probably shouldn't have worried too much about the Wet Nurse in these circumstances, especially since the Landing Net gives you extra incentive to block Reed.

He'd have been at least as well off at that exact moment by taking SP instead of playing Wet Nurse and taking FG in round seven (when it first appeared). He's up two food over playing and using the Nurse (which matches the two-food action his extra peep had to take round seven) as well as blocking you from FG (not that you took advantage of his oversight) and saving himself the round 8 SP action (or forcing you to take SP an extra time). There's also extra Sheep (or fish, but probably sheep) on the board (maybe both if you're less panicked without the Wet Nurse and end up not blocking DL - which puts him up a Veg as well), which, admittedly, could go either way, but at that moment he was the only one with cooking capability.

The Wet Nurse also saves him another action in round Ten (for the cost of another food), but that's a long wait for an occ to pay off. Nobody raves about how the Fence Deliveryman is broken .
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j n
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Also of note: That DL Grab in round 7 was more crucial than you think - Seasonal Worker would have offered Vegetable in lieu of Grain, which Ron could have cooked on his fireplace to avoid a second food grab had he so desired.

Oops, never mind, I didn't notice your sheep mistake until just now.
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Michael Link
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I play this game almost exclusively 2P with my wife. The Wet Nurse is now a whopping 1-3 over the last four times it has come out. Why? Because neither of us are awesome at establishing a food engine early but we are both savvy at getting huts built and families grown by standard means. If you try to exploit the WN, you have to both grab the wood and reed AND have a reasonable food engine both to pay for the workers themselves and then to feed them. Like a cancer, it is quite easy to outgrow your food supply. Plus you had to spend an action on the Occ in the first place. The non-WN player is taking the corresponding "extra" action by taking the FG space--and since the WN player isn't going to take it, it can't be blocked! Oh, and you get to play a minor imp to boot. In my last game (where I did not have the WN), I played the sawhorse for that minor imp which aided my acquisition of 4 pastures, 15 fences and 3 fenced stables. I won by 15 points.

IMHO, this is why the Wet Nurse is in the K deck. Most of the K-deck cards are rather difficult to use: if you can use them right they're devastating, but their hidden costs make them difficult to use right.
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SoloPlayGames
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I have been try to get my thoughts in order to add my 2 cents on the 2-player game.

The number of grabs by Ron of wood is concerning and offsets his "gain" with the wet nurse. 8 grabs of wood is optimally 3-4 too many times which equals 2-3 wasted actions.

As mentioned above, 2 player games come down to battles over wood and clay predominately. Clay is more important in a 2 player game since only 14 are available +cards. Its collection is needed for major improvement and renovation meaning that you have to get at least 5-6 clay to score decent and feed your family effectively.

This game has the battle focused on wood, primarily due to Ron's over the top wood grabs. To beat a lumberjack you take the clay and reed when the play is effective (3 clay generally especially if build the 2-clay FP and 2 reed). To do any less you fall in the trap of ineffective actions much like over taking start player to play excessive minor improvements that don't provide immediate benefits or high end game points.

With this it is important to focus on a couple of points:

You should plan to accumulate 21 wood, this achieves a balance and should get you easily to a base goal of 2 extensions and 3 pastures. Stables are weak in the 2 player setting due the lack of wood and the points they ultimately earn. This is demonstrated in this game. Optimally you should expect a 3,6,6,6 grab and if you can take start player less than 3 times you will be saving actions and wood for many of the minors.

You will need 6 clay to achieve a base goal but getting 9 can really put your opponent at a big disadvantage especially if the clay is taken early. Clay has more use early and tails off as the game goes on.

You should plan to take 5-6 stone for renovation and a major or 2 if you can increase your grab to 7.

You should target 6 reed, to take more than that is strictly to block or to fill some card need. I wouldn't plan on more as reed has little use outside building. Rarely do I play the fishing rod unless I happen to have the extra reed laying around.

Keep track of what you are taking and see if you are using it efficiently. Geoff tracks wood but I would also suggest tracking the other items.

I have a basic matrix of actions that I use that reminds me of the counter moves that are needed in the 2-player game. While this does make it a bit programable, it helps to keep the game in perspective. When I experiment with other cards I am usually playing an "alternate" game trying out wild ideas to make the game more interesting.
Note: I generally play with the reduced player variant that I have posted on the geek to keep things fresh. I haven't played the "normal" way in some time. This is where the majors available are reduced increasing competition for them.

Using the normal rules try this: you have 40 actions to score 45+ points for both players. Never let wood rise above 6, reed above 2, clay above 3, stone above 2, sheep above 3, boars above 2 and cattle above 2. You have 2 FM until round 6 and add 1 in round 12. See if you can create the balance and note how you are able to adjust to your needs and still get everything done. Keep the occs to a minimum and minors are nice but only if they provide points or reduce actions. Replay Geoff's game with a lumberjack and note how the clay, stone and reed come available for you while the "other" player blocks wood. You have to be willing to delay your play for the long term good. You need to get at least 6 wood by round 5 for expansion and the reed shouldn't be a problem.

If you play this out using 2 "players" you will see how "easy" it is to score well even when someone is hogging a particular good.

This in an oversimplification to be sure but it does add perspective.

I am glad to see that others have been adding insight to Geoff's session reports. Hopefully through this shared knowledge others less familiar will see that the game is not as "complicated" as it may seem.

Edits:now that I am off my mobile I can correct some errors and oversights from the small screen.
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Geoff Burkman
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GameRulesforOne wrote:
...I am glad to see that others have been adding insight to Geoff's session reports. Hopefully through this shared knowledge other less familiar will see that the game is not as "complicated" as it may seem.


I'm always happy when one of these reports prompts discussion. That makes the effort more worthwhile than any number of thumbs or GG. Not that I don't like GG; the more I get the more I can give away to others.
 
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Frederic Bush
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Soloplay: it's been a while since i've played 2er, but getting 6 wood a lot of times seems optimistic. I don't remember that being the norm in games I've played.

If your opponent takes 3 wood a lot with his 2nd and lower actions, thus foiling your plans to take 6 wood, you'll probably both end up with lower scores than if you were working together to optimize your combined scores, but he should have the advantage.

Even ignoring minors, there's a highly efficient use for 25 wood (two rooms and 15 fences), and only 42 wood available.
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Frederic Bush
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Geoff, I also notice that you never managed to sow during the game til the final turn... with that many fields and that much grain passing through your hands that seems like a definite error.
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SoloPlayGames
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In this game session Geoff took 18 wood in 3 actions, Rounds 5, 7 and 11. This is fairly typical. Not seeing 6 wood at least 3-4 times may be group think situational. I see it happen often. I would rarely take 3 wood, I've got other things that I need to do. If both players have the same idea then I agree that it can severely reduce the scoring.

How I would approach this game (in hindsight, of course):
1. Build a room in round 5, reed in hand. Geoff did this.

2. Keep the 1 wood until the next grab. Geoff did this.

3. With the next 6 wood + 1, depending on your opponent build a room or fence in preparation of getting boar to get the breeding space. Ron did not take family growth (wet nurse) a second time until round 10. I would have built fences (7 for 2 pasture). Given Ron's tendencies to burn the animals you have to put pressure on his "lack" of a food engine. I consider taking animals to cook equivalent to taking food straight up. This action alone severely depresses scores by about 4-6 points or so. Getting a breeding pair against a player like this will benefit you in the end because any points you lose to the lack of wood is made up in animals. He won't have many, in this case he had a net 1 point. This is due to his stable purchase in round 6 and the need to feed his budding family. While he had the wood to spare, he limited his ability to store animals and had to continuously pick them up until game's end. Many wasted actions, IMO. Breeding is desirable and should be encouraged.

4. The next grab of wood came in round 11 which is perfect to either build the room and grow the family or fence more and just use the FG w/o room. This decision is dependent on the clay that I have picked up. Geoff picked up 11 clay. If clay was coming this easy either the other player has the conservator (ban it) or has no intention of renovating and is simply going to deny wood. The latter appears to have been Ron's plan. I would use the clay for expansion and the wood for fences. For the remainder of the game wood is irrelevant. This negates Ron's strategy. I would use the 6 wood to complete 4 pastures using either the fence action or the renovate with fences. This is dependent on the need for a major/minor. Since the other player was not picking up the needed material for renovation the round 14 action should be open and counted on to use. Optimally you would want to be at a clay house by then. Could Geoff had renovated and then extended with a clay room?

Oddly enough Round 1 set the tone when Geoff "let" Ron take the 2 clay this setup Ron's ability to keep taking the wood. He picked up the cheap fireplace. Turn this around and he would have needed 3 clay to get to cooking up the animals. Now you can really play the clay game. I think it would have been a much different game.

Hindsight is always 20/20 of course and I am not addressing every situation nor replaying every action in this session but focusing on the 2-player ideals. I have played a good share of them. I make sure that I account for the wood that I use and unless I have a way to get more, I need to make sure that I get at least 18 wood preferably in 3 actions to get to the mid 40 scoring.

In a 2-player wood is not necessarily king unless all players believe it. I don't. Shooting for 20+ wood seems like a risky approach. With more players things are often much different.

Good discussion.
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