Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Ronbo vs. MisterG: Match4 Game3 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Standard game, 10-3 draft, I go first, having won the previous meeting. As Constant Reader will quickly discern, this is one of those infrequent games where the winner played no Occupations. Admittedly, Ron’s performance was not up to his usual snuff, for which I can offer no explanation other than (possibly) the lateness of the hour in which we played, and our still relative inexperience with the 2-player game. Eh, enough preamble, on with the show….

Round One/Sow & Bake
Geoff – 3W(3)
Ron – Occ/Clay Mixer
Geoff – SP +Private Forest (7W>-2f)
Ron – PF

This being another one of those games in which I have no Occupations clamoring to be played immediately, I settle for the opening wood. Ron gratefully gets out the Clay Mixer (but only ends up using it twice), and I decide to go for the gusto with the problematic bounty of the Private Forest, which leaves me an empty larder but does, at least, nail down the button. I intend to keep reed and/or clay out of Ron’s grasp as much as possible for as long as possible. Meanwhile, he settles for an early plowed field, ignoring the obvious clay haul; I can only wonder, will he be pursuing a very uncharacteristic baking strategy, and if so, why did he pass up the clay?

Round Two/Fences
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1C(2)
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Clay Worker

I sequester the reed, and immediately see that Ron is torn: does he pop another Ock, does he use the Mixer for the hefty clay grab and favored early cookery, or will wood mania take hold? Column C it is, and I quickly scoop up the clay. Ron now puts out the Clay Worker, which ends up benefiting him more than his Mixer! Perhaps he should have played that one first…

Round Three/MIMI
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – 3W(3)+1C
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2
Ron – 1C(1+2+1)

With only four actions left in the Stage and non-existent food stores, I fish. Ron hits up wood for the bonus, I claim a fireplace, and Ron makes a first strike on the clay. I can already see how the next Round is going to play out.

Round Four/Sheep
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – MIMI/CH4
Geoff – Sheep(1)burn
Ron – DL(2f)

Again, I take the reed; Ron will not build early if I can help it. As expected, he buys his hearth (Constant Reader will note that if he didn’t do this, I would take Day Laborer and he’d be forced into a Begging Card); I then grab one 2food, and Ron grabs the other. Dudes home, feed faces; now let the real farm-building begin!

Round Five/Renovation +MIMI
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – 1C(2+2+1)
Geoff – BR(2)
Ron – SP +Greenhouse

My moves are both givens: first, secure the wood, and second, build two rooms. If Family Growth shows up next Round, I’m a happy farmer. If not…well, if Ron takes reed off the bat, I’m going to make harvest time very difficult for him. Meanwhile, Ron rakes in another load of clay, nabs the button, and gets out the Greenhouse, a marginally utile Minor if ever I’ve seen one. Somehow, a 2wood and 2food for two vegetables doesn’t strike me as much of a bargain. As it turns out, that bargain for Ron isn’t. I rarely try to play this one unless I’ve got a strong food engine established.

Round Six/Family Growth +MI
Ron – Sheep(2)burn2
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – FG +Stone Tongs

Ron cooks up lamb stew before I do, so I settle for fish, much as I’d love to block Ron’s subsequent reed acquisition. I then hire on a new worker with a very handy Minor. I only use it twice (thus effectively swapping a 1wood for a 2Stone), but each usage has a strong payoff. The Stone Tongs is one of my favorite Minors to have on hand, even if I never end up playing it, because that means no one else has it.

Round Seven/Stone
Ron – 3W(6)+1C
Geoff – DL(2f)
Ron – SP +Grain Cart
Geoff – Sheep(1)burn
Geoff – FG +Broom +Field> (PF-1f)

Ron confiscates the 6Wood and bonus clay, I scrounge for food preparatory to further growth, and Ron grievously miscues, wasting an action (and a 2Wood) on a primo Minor that he uses all of once…six Rounds later! Unfortunately for him, his final score will reflect the error. Meanwhile, I fry the lone wooly, add another peep to my payroll, play the mulligan Minor, and follow up with the peripatetic Field, which I just so happen to be able to afford. Sweet. Everybody home, and suddenly Ron and I find ourselves food-poor once again. Still, Ron knows he’s in deep trouble. I’ve just added fifteen actions to my game by the end of Stage Two and boosted my probable score into the low 40s, if not better, whereas he’s yet to add a room to his hut. To steal an apt phrase, he’s got a hard row to hoe ahead of him.

Round Eight/Boar
Ron – BR(1)
Geoff – 1C(3)
Ron – FG +Fishing Rod
Geoff – 1S(2+1)
Geoff – SP +Gypsy’s Crock
Geoff – 1G

While Ron hurriedly expands his housing and workforce, I stock up on augmented clay and stone, retake the button, add a Minor point and downstream food, and pick up a grain for next Round’s business. I’m feeling pretty good with four dudes throughout the entire second half of the game. It’s good to be the ki—ah, um, that is…uh....the farmer!

Round Nine/Vegetables
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – Boar(2)burn2
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn2(+1f)
Ron – Fish(3f+2f)
Geoff – 1R(3)
Ron – 1V
Geoff – MIMI/Stone Oven (4f)

Regrettably, Ron has no food for his first Greenhouse veggie. Bummer. I snag the obvious wood, Ron smokes bacon, I go for lamb stew, Gypsy style, and Ron puts his Fishing Rod to use. Food has been cleared from the board, Day Laborer not withstanding. I now choose to snipe the reed, delaying Ron’s ability to grow again for at least two precious Rounds. Ron responds as best he can by interdicting the veggie stand, but I’m just as happy to claim the Stone Oven and bake bread. Weed, feed, and breed as we plow into the heart of things…

Round Ten/Stone
Geoff – 1S(2+1)
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Hedge Keeper
Geoff – 1C(2)
Ron – 3W(3)+1C
Geoff – 1G
Ron – SP +Field> (PF-1f)
Geoff – MIMI/Well (4f>

I tong the stone, and Ron lets his food surplus go to his head, playing another Ock that turns out to be a 3Wood in disguise. The Hedge Keeper is a fine prop for the early breeding gambit, but rarely saves much in the way of actions. It just turns fencing into a wood source; the later you play it, the less it’s worth. I take advantage of the slip by swiping clay again. Ron counters with the enhanced wood—the last he’ll see for four Rounds—and I rearm my oven. Ron sends the Field back my way with a button grab, and I claim the Well. It would have been nice to do that by way of renovation, but…

Round Eleven/Cattle
Ron – Boar(2)burn2
Geoff – 1G
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn2(+1f)
Ron – SP +Clay Path
Geoff – 3W(3)
Geoff – S&B (1Gf+4f)

Ron cooks up boar again, and I grab another grain, not only for myself but to also keep Ron’s Grain Cart inactive. I no longer care that he can take the reed. After he does just that, I immolate the woolies. Desperate, Ron nails down the button to play what will turn out to be a 3-point Minor. I snipe the wood to keep Ron from getting a 6Wood next Round, and then do some farming and baking to keep things copasetic. Both of us feed easily, moving into the endgame…

Round Twelve/Plow & Sow
Ron – (1V-1f) BR(1)
Geoff – P&S (PF+1Gf)
Ron – 1S(3)
Geoff – 1C(2)
Ron – FG +Carp Pond (1f>
Geoff – SP +Field> (PF-1f)
Geoff – Cattle(2)burn2(+1f)

This time Ron has the wherewithal to pick up his Greenhouse vegetable, and follows that up with another room. I plow another field and plant more grain. Ron hauls in stacked stone, which pretty much squelches any hopes I have of renovating to that level, and I counter by swiping the clay yet again. Ron grows, adding a Minor point, and I finish off the Round with a button heist, the always convenient Field, and a 7food to keep my peeps happy. I can see that the game is well in hand, but sometimes you can’t be too careful…

Round Thirteen/Family Growth w/o
Geoff – 3W(6)
Ron – 1G+2G
Geoff – P&S (PF)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – Fences(15)
Ron – FG w/o
Geoff – Ren>C +Fp2>CH5
Ron – S&B (1Gf/1Vf +6f)

Ron’s fencing hopes evaporate as I take the 6Wood, but he does finally remember his Grain Cart. I immediately interdict Plow`n’Sow, despite the lack of anything to plant. Ron takes the reed needed for renovation, I max out pastures, and Ron adds a last, futile worker. I renovate, belatedly upgrading my fireplace. Ron does some farming, though if I’d been him, I’d have planted both veggies. We both feed with comestibles to spare; the suffering and deprivation are near an end.

Round Fourteen/Renovation +Fences
Geoff – 1V
Ron – 3W(3)+1C
Geoff – P&S (PF +2Gf/1Vf)
Ron – Boar(3)burn3
Geoff – Cattle(2)
Ron – Ren>C +Fences(1+3)
Geoff – Sheep(3)burn2(+1f)
Ron – MIMI/Joinery
Ron – PF

I eliminate a negative, Ron scrambles to fence at least something, and I farm with a vengeance. Ron chars pork; I blithely herd the cattle. Ron renovates, putting out a lonesome pasture with the Hedge Keeper’s help, and I chow down on mutton, retaining one poor wooly to eliminate the negative. Ron closes things out with a Major and a final plowed field, but he knows as well as I do that his clock has been thoroughly cleaned.

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.

Geoff – 41 (0 Occ, 6*/3)(24/7)(9)(43/9/6)(0.953)(47) * Field played twice
Ron – 24 (3 Occ, 6/2)(18/3)(5)(37/8/11)(0.649)(41)

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Geoff 5(4) 4(4) 9(4) 2(2) 1(1) 0(-1) 3(2) 0(0) 0(0) 4C(4) 4(12) (9) (0)
Ron 3(2) 1(1) 3(1) 3(3) 0(-1) 0(-1) 0(-1) 7(-7) 0(0) 4C(4) 5(15) (6) (2)


Not to belabor Ron as a punching bag, but this game nicely illustrates a number of common errors in the play of Agricola. First—and this bears the repetition I’m giving it—don’t play Occupations that you don’t intend to use properly. Ron played two Ocks that gave him the upper hand in clay acquisition. In combo with the Grain Cart, this should have led him to pursue either A) a baking strategy, or B) early renovation to clay and subsequent expansion with clay rooms. He did neither, relying far too much on inefficient animal cooking to feed his crew. Had he played the Grain Cart in Round Five and set up a proper grain machine, I believe he’d have done much better. The Hedge Keeper was another mediocre play that diverted attention from his clay edge.

Beyond that, I always like presenting evidence that Occupations are far from necessary to score decently; Improvements can be far more rewarding, in my opinion. My Broom put a few serendipitous Minors into the mix, but I can’t say its utility was overwhelming, if only because at this point I can’t recall what Minors I discarded when I played it. The Stone Tongs were key to my timely acquisition of the Stone Oven and the Well; things would have gone much differently otherwise. The critical juncture of the game, though, was my double build in Round Five, followed by rapid growth. The ensuing advantage in actions left little doubt about who would prevail.

Ron and I now stand tied in 2-player best-of-three matches, although the record stands six games to five, Ron’s favor, due to his sweep of the second match. Next report: Match 5 Game 1. Thanks for reading, as always, and happy gaming!


7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Deifel
United States
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Always a good read. What are your summed 2P point totals?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Gische
United States
San Carlos
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice report, as usual.

I have to say, you're group really really loves to cook the animals. With everyone else ignoring the baking option, I'd think it would be easy to pull off successfully, even without much in the way of card help. And then, hey, maybe you could actually get some points out of those animals.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Chen
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Baking is usually pretty bad in 2-p.

1. No early stone (obviously). Unless you have something like the Baking Tray, you're going to have to gamble on the stone spot coming out early to efficiently bake before the second harvest.
2. If you don't buy a fireplace, you are ceding ALL of the animals to your opponent, which is an almost insurmountable advantage. Letting your opponent get 6-8 food with one action is just asking to lose.
3. Getting a fireplace and a clay oven can be hard given the scarcity of clay, and splits you two ways when you really just want one primary food engine.

For those reasons I don't like baking very much at all in 2-p, and in 3-p I usually avoid it as well for similar (but less drastic) reasons.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
badalchemist
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
vivafringe wrote:
Baking is usually pretty bad in 2-p.

1. No early stone (obviously). Unless you have something like the Baking Tray, you're going to have to gamble on the stone spot coming out early to efficiently bake before the second harvest.
2. If you don't buy a fireplace, you are ceding ALL of the animals to your opponent, which is an almost insurmountable advantage. Letting your opponent get 6-8 food with one action is just asking to lose.
3. Getting a fireplace and a clay oven can be hard given the scarcity of clay, and splits you two ways when you really just want one primary food engine.

For those reasons I don't like baking very much at all in 2-p, and in 3-p I usually avoid it as well for similar (but less drastic) reasons.


I don't seem to have much of a problem baking in 2p. I do try to make sure that I snag the 2C in round 2 to get the fireplace first. Then I can get the best of both worlds, cooking animals while I get my fields set up to be ready for free bake actions when the oven comes out and when i sow/bake.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SoloPlayGames
United States
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've gotta start with the 1st turn given the past game's events ...

Question#1:
Geoff, you stated that you can guess Ron's moves 9 out of 10 times so ... if you had done anything else but take the 3wood would Ron have taken it?

I interject what should be a known by all experienced Ag players with my opinion. The best spaces on the board in the 1st round (2-player) are: (in the order that I prioritize)
1. Occupation - if you have one of the must play early ones (you must plan to use the occ at least twice also)
2. Plow field
3. Take grain
4. Take 3W
5. Start player (once again only if you have a must play early minor or your opponent leaves the wood)
6. Day laborer (only if your occ/minor changes the function)

All other options are too weak or should not be chosen.

The reason for the sequence that I present is based on point possibilities for the choices and that everything is at its base level which means that at any time during the game if the resource spaces offer nothing more than 1 (or 3) now is a good time to play an occ, plow a field or take a grain.

My actions would change dependent on the occ or minor that my opponent played.

Back to the session:

Ron appeared to be trapped between animals and a stinky place because it did not appear that he was aware of what he had and how to use it. Your actions of take clay and reed!!! in round 2 set up round 5.

Ron, "Take the 2 clay and forget the occ." Geoff telegraphed that he had no "good" occs when he didn't play one in Round 1.

This allowed you to move right into the 2clay FP, which denies the other player the ability to control clay although Ron should have had little trouble. Note:The round cards fell in the best sequence to play the board and to block your opponent, (Sow/Bake, Fences - both unusable), MIMI and then sheep. This is also the sequence where, if both players recognize this, the "luck of the draw" can have a major factor.

Question#2:
Geoff would you have taken 3W in round 2 if Ron had taken the clay?

For rounds 3-7, you had all the right stuff that end in the 2 room build and then double FG. Devastating stuff. All setup by Ron not taking the clay and then taking having to take clay when reed was needed for the room which would have denied you the 2nd room. Ron left round 5 with the 6-9 wood split which is expected but a 0-4 reed split was bad news.

Question#3:
Geoff, before round 9 you would have had enough wood to build fences and then take both sets of animals for possible breeding in round 9. Why not? I know we have had a similiar conversation in the past. You do tend to bypass the fences action until the later game.

The rest of the game was just burn baby burn, animal inferno with you cookin' in the actions. This really excellerated your scoring which fell just below the watermark of 1 per primary action.

Of course you make the typical stone oven buy which will ultimately cost stone renovation but you make up for that in part by getting the well which nets a deficit of 3 points (well + clay oven + stone renovation = 10 points to well + stone oven = 7points). Notwithstanding the food bounty.

Question#4:
Just because I really want to know ... When are you going to give Ron a baking class? He is trying to bake with manure and that ain't working. Does he know his way around the kitchen?

Lastly, good job in getting to 5 peeps. It has been awhile since you have done this.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GameRulesforOne wrote:
I've gotta start with the 1st turn given the past game's events ...
Question#1:
Geoff, you stated that you can guess Ron's moves 9 out of 10 times so ... if you had done anything else but take the 3wood would Ron have taken it?


In this particular game, he would definitely have taken it if I'd played an Ock. If I hadn't ocked (i.e. gone for a baking strategy via PF or 1G), my guess is he would still have taken it, leaving me a second chance to ock or snag the button (which is most likely what I would have done, to get the Private Forest out).

Quote:
Ron, "Take the 2 clay and forget the occ." Geoff telegraphed that he had no "good" occs when he didn't play one in Round 1


Agreed. I was very surprised that he "wasted" his first Ock twice in a row.

Quote:
Question#2:
Geoff would you have taken 3W in round 2 if Ron had taken the clay?


If Ron had taken the clay, I would most likely have re-examined my Occupations to see if any of them were still whispering to me. I vaguely recall having had the Wood Deliveryman (which I typically don't ever try to play until Stage Two, for obvious reasons) and possibly something else semi-decent. Beyond that, I may well have taken the wood, and for two reasons: A) this would discourage Ron from taking the button and claiming a 6Wood in Round Three, and B) it would put me that much closer to the double build.

Quote:
Question#3:
Geoff, before round 9 you would have had enough wood to build fences and then take both sets of animals for possible breeding in round 9. Why not? I know we have had a similiar conversation in the past. You do tend to bypass the fences action until the later game.


Thios is a good question, and to be honest, the answer is probably that I've rarely had much success with "early" breeding. Also, I really only had a few wood going into Round Eight, so even if I'd hit up the 3Wood, I'd only have had six and been able to fence one two-space pasture. Now, if I'd fenced in the Ninth after taking the 6Wood, I'm almost certain Ron (who'd already torched the boar) would have fried the woolies to make feeding difficult for me (and to delay any breeding I might be planning). I would have had to bypass the reed to get the grain to bake properly with the Stone Oven, or else fished and then Stone Oven/baked, again passing up the reed. I simply didn't want Ron to have that reed.

Quote:
Of course you make the typical stone oven buy which will ultimately cost stone renovation...


I tend to avoid worrying about renovation to stone unless I have some card power to back it up. Renovation doesn't deny your opponents anything other than one turn at renovation; snagging majors not only gives you points, it keeps those points out of your opponents' hands.

Quote:
Question#4:
Just because I really want to know ... When are you going to give Ron a baking class? He is trying to bake with manure and that ain't working. Does he know his way around the kitchen?


No comment.

Quote:
Lastly, good job in getting to 5 peeps. It has been awhile since you have done this.


Thank you. I'm especially pleased that I did it in a game without Ocks.

More comments to others after I get home from rehearsal.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Link
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Clay Worker is quickly becoming one of my favorite Occs in 2P. It is arguably a dominantly better one than clay mixer (which I also love owing to the lack of clay in 2P) because A) You take the wood a lot in 2P for offense and defense. The clay bonus encourages this oft correct action. B) It's hard to spend clay without early stone. You can get by with as little as 6 total clay in a 2P game (2 for the FP, 4 for your 4-room clay renovation). With the clay worker, that means only about 1 actual clay grab, which saves actions acquiring things like SP and stone which generally translates into more points.

The clay mixer often leads to buying the pottery just to get something out of that mountain of clay. As already mentioned, if you're going to Occ both the Clay Worker and Clay Mixer, this is crying out for monopolizing clay and reed and going for early renovation, building in clay, and using wood for fences/stables. If you have cards like the Farm Steward or Clay Hut Builder this strategy is even better. If not I probably would not have played both occs at all. The last time I tried this, I got killed as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike T
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
Yeah, I think Ron's decision not grab clay was a mistake. The clay monopoly in 2 player can be so good, and with the Mixer it's not a total waste of your own actions.

On the other hand, 2 player can get really nasty when you start monopolizing clay, and deciding not to play for denial is a reasonable choice to make the game more fun for all involved.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
deifeln wrote:
Always a good read. What are your summed 2P point totals?


The totals are:

Match1 - Geoff 110, Ron 097 (3games)
Match2 - Geoff 060, Ron 072 (2games)
Match3 - Geoff 096, Ron 099 (3games)
Match4 - Geoff 110, Ron 088 (3games)

Totals - Geoff 376, Ron 356 (11 games)

This is pretty daggone close scoring at this point. With a per game average of 34.18 for myself and 32.36 for Ron, we're talking a 1-point swing value in scoring per game, currently in my favor. It'll be interesting to find out the results after another four matches....


*Emended from OP to include Match2 results*
1 
 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.