Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Dutch Championships, preliminary round, game 2 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eugene van der Pijll
Netherlands
Leidschendam
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I reported earlier on the first game I played for the Dutch Championship Agricola. As we finished after barely 75 minutes, we had to wait a while for the next round. Two of the players at table 2 joined us after 10 minutes for a game of Wizard, which we would break off as soon as table 3 was done. It turned out that we had enough time to finish Wizard; the third game took almost 2.5 hours. I made all of my bids until the final round; it looked like my lucky day.

I needed the luck, because joining me in round 2 was J, the winner at table 2. If one of us would win this game, he'd be sure to be one of the 2 qualifying players for the finals in Zwolle. The fate of the 2nd place finisher at our table would depend on the result at the other tables.

My other opponent was M, who played the game only once before today. We didn't expect any competition from her, though it is of course always dangerous to underestimate anyone at the table.

The second round was played with the I-deck, and my cards were even worse than last time.

Round 1: Fences
M: 3W (3)
J: Occ/Wood collector
Eu: PF
M: DL
J: 1G
Eu: 2W (2)

Not a very exciting start of the game. M surprises us by taking the Day Labourer; usually the worst action space in the game. Not a good choice when we're this far from the next harvest. J's occupation is useful, but not very exciting.

I have a bad hand, so I just start by building up my food engine: as usual, I want to bake. Unfortunately, I don't really have any cards that support that. Best card is maybe the Straw-thatched Roof, but I need 3 grain fields for that. A tough requirement, but I have to sow grain anyway.

Unfortunately, J takes a grain; I may have competition.

Round 2: MIMI
M: Occ/Businessman
J: 3W (3)
Eu: 1R (2)
M: 1C (2)
J: PF
Eu: 1G

M hires Al Pacino (start player action: extra improvement); a bad sign for me, as she sits to the left of me. Like in the last game, I take two reeds in the second round. I'm the favourite again to have the first baby, and I decide to aggressively go for family growth again, instead of focussing on the Straw-thatched roof. After all, if I have reed, I don't need the straw.

Round 3: Sow & Bake
M: 1R (1)
J: 2W (4)
Eu: 3W (3)
M: 1C (3)
J: SP/Shepherd's Crook
Eu: PF

The Shepherd's Crook is not a favourite of mine; it's just too hard to make these gigantic pastures. Of course, J has a large supply of wood. I have enough resources for a room now, and hope that family growth is early this game. Neither of the other players looks like having enough resources for a room soon.

Round 4: Sheep
J: Fish (4)
Eu: DL
M: SP + Punner + FP2
J: Fences (8W > 2x2, +2 sheep)
Eu: 3W (3)
M: MIMI/CH(4) (-FP)

M and J both use their occupation; M chooses to build only a fireplace, even though she has enough clay for a cooking hearth. Effectively, she saves 2 clay at the cost of an action; not a good exchange in my opinion.

J and me struggle to get enough food. As nobody else is close to building a room, I take some resources so that I can play a minor improvement when I grow my family; it's always good to use those extra actions.

Round 5: Family Growth

M: Sheep (1 sheep + 2f)
J: 1C (3)
Eu: BR (1) + 1s
M: Occ/Well Builder
J: 1R (2)
Eu: FG + Rake

Hooray! The first card in the second stage is FG, and I'm prepared. I only have enough resources for the rake; I would have liked to play it later, when I have more fields, but it's a gamble I'm willing to take. M plays the Well Builder; I ocnsider this good news, as I have the Water Carrier. If she builds the Well soon, I will profit more of it than her.

Round 6: Renovate
M: Occ/Clay Hut Builder
J: 2W (6)
Eu: 3W (6)
M: Ren
J: 1C (3)
Eu: DL
Eu: Fish (2)

J and me both expect M to go for 6 wood, but she plays the Clay Hut Builder, so she's more interested in clay. Of course, she renovates immediately. No other surprises. I still don't have a food engine, and want to wait for more clay and stone to become available to build some ovens, so while I have nothing better to do, I prepare for the coming harvest by grabbing 4 food.

Round 7: 1 Stone
M: 3W (3)
J: MIMI/CH5
Eu: 1R (2)
M: Sheep (4f)
J: BR (1) + 2s
Eu: Occ/Cabinetmaker
Eu: 1G

Harvest 2:
J: 1 sheep > 2f
Eu: 1W > 2f

Maybe it's time to start worrying about food, so I play my first occupation. Also, the availability of another 2 reed starts me thinking about getting a second child.

Round 8: Vegetable
M: SP/Wood Cart
J: PF
Eu: 1S (2)
M: Veg
J: FG/Flagon
Eu: 2W (4)
Eu: 1C (3)

Excellent! I get all I need to extend my hut, as well as build an oven, so I shouldn't have any food problems for the rest of the game. And I'm not the only one waiting for the Well to be built, it appears.

Round 9: Wild Boar
M: Sheep (4f)
J: 3W (6)
Eu: MIMI/Clay Oven (1G > 5f)
M: Occ/Farm Steward
J: Fences (6W -> 2x2 + 2 sheep)
Eu: BR (1) + 2s
J: Veg
Eu: FG

Harvest 3:
M: 1V > 3f
J: 3 sheep > 6f
Eu: 1G > 1f; 1 beg

Now at this point I thought I had miscalculated. I spent all my wood on stables, even though I was planning to eat them with my Cabinetmaker. Also, I had decided not to play a minor improvement after my family growth; if I had played my Handmill, I could have converted my grain to 2 food instead. Reconstructing the game, I see that I should have had exactly enough food to feed my family; but during the game, I took a begging card. Hmpf.

In other news, J has managed to use the Shepherd's Crook for a second time

Round 10: 1 Stone
M: FG/Guest
J: 1R (3)
Eu: 1S (2)
M: 2W (4+2)
J: Occ/Animal Dealer
Eu: 3W (3)
J: Wild Boar (2+1)
Eu: 1G
Eu: MIMI/Well

If M doesn't want to build the Well, I will. It's probably my favourite improvement in the game... M is not amused, but J is happy to finally distribute the food from his Flagon. J plays anothr occupation that will turn out to be very profitable, and it's already clear that I'm unlikely to win this...

Round 11: Cattle
M: 1S (2)
J: 1C (5)
Eu: Fish (5)
M: Fences (6W > 2x1)
J: Occ/Cowherd
Eu: 1G
M: Cattle (4f)
J: Ren + Guest
Eu: SP + Harrow
M: Sheep (2)
Eu: 3W (3)

Harvest 4:
M: 1 sheep > 2f
J: 1 WB > 3f
Eu: 1W > 2f

I'm fortunate to take 5 fishes home; I've already been photographed taking one begging card, and don't want that to happen again. J now has a nice "cow engine", but M takes away his first chance to start a herd. J has only 2 unused spaces left, so I decide it's safe to play the Harrow, the only improvement I can afford. M is happy because she may get to use her Punner after all.

(From this point, my notes about slaughtering animals are incomplete, but none of us had any trouble feeding our family in the remaining rounds.)

Round 12: Plough & Sow
Eu: P&S (2 fields; sow 2G). M: PF
M: 1R (2)
J: 1C (4)
Eu: Wild Boar (2)
M: Ren
J: 2W (4)
Eu: 3W (3)
M: Occ/Manservant
J: Cattle (1+1+1) (3 sheep > 6f)
Eu: 1G
J: BR (1) + 2s

M decides to renovate to stone, even though she has a large store of clay left. The reason becomes clear at her next turn, when she plays the Manservant (3 food per round, when you have a stone house). J takes cattle for the first time, and immediately receives 3 of them for only 1 food. With 2 stables in both pastures, he can now house 65 animals in total.

Round 13: Family Growth without room
Eu: 1S (3)
M: 1S (2)
J: Occ/Harvest Helper
Eu: 1G
M: Cattle (1)
J: FG + Cooking Corner
Eu: 1C (2)
M: Sheep (2)
J: FG w/o
Eu: MIMI Stone Oven (2G > 9f)

Harvest 5:
J: Harvest Helper (Eu: 2f)
Eu: 1W > 2f

J plays the Harvest Helper; it's nice of him to help me feed my family, but not really necessary now that I have a second oven. J's family grows from 3 to 5 in one turn.

Round 14: Renovate & Fences
Eu: 3W (6)
M: 2W (4)
J: Veg
Eu: Fences (11W > 3x 1x1)
M: 3 stables
J: P&S (PF; sow 1V + 2G)
Eu: S&B (sow 1; 1G > 5f)
M: MIMI/Pottery
J: Occ/Church Warden (1 cattle > 3f)
Eu: Occ/Hide Farmer
J: Cattle (1+1+1)
J: WB (2+1)

Harvest 7
M: 1 sheep > 2f
J: Harvest Helper (Eu: 2f); 2WB + 1Cattle > 11f)

I'm just in time with building fences; if M had taken that spot, I would have had a hard time to get enough clay to get the renovate and fences spot. J plays the Church Warden; if only I had played the Guest last round... I build fences around all of my 3 stable; this leaves me with 4 unused spaces. When I bake bread, J says I should have sowed that grain; after all, I have enough food for the hrvest already. My next turn shows why he's wrong, but also why the Rake and the Harrow were probably not worth playing for me this game.

In his last two turns, J uses his Animal Dealer and Cowherd to full effect, to seal his victory.

J: 46
Eu: 28 (should be 31 without the begging card)
M: 13

A clear defeat this time. One reason for this is that I had no good cards, but it's true as well that I did not use my cards well; I should have planned for the Hide Farmer, and that meant that ploughing fields was not that valuable for me. Both the Rake and the Harrow were not useful to me in the end, and I should not have played them.

With his victory, J qualified for the finals of the Dutch Championships; one other player also had 2 victories, which meant I'm out of the running. Maybe next year again!

More info about the Dutch Championships (in Dutch) here. J has also posted a session report elsewhere (in Dutch).
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another fine report. Question: do you feel that having an inexperienced player (M) upstream from your more experienced opponent (J) had anything to do with J's winning performance?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike T
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
Avatar
MisterG wrote:
Another fine report. Question: do you feel that having an inexperienced player (M) upstream from your more experienced opponent (J) had anything to do with J's winning performance?


It certainly looks like J was gifted a lot of wood.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lord Chambers
msg tools
pijll wrote:
I have a bad hand, so I just start by building up my food engine: as usual, I want to bake.
We all have tendencies, but it makes more sense to tend to animals since they are shared between all players. The grain square and baking actions are shared as well, but animals accumulate whether someone takes them or not. This benefits the player who relies on them even without his acting, therefore you will almost always want to give him some competition. Tend toward competition. Only allow the other players freedom when you have card support for it.

Baking without card support should be a last resort, and this game where J went an animal route demonstrates why. Given more competition for wood and animals he may not have run away so wildly.

I base these comments more on my own theories than having gone over the details of the game very closely though, I admit.

pijll wrote:
M: MIMI/CH(4) (-FP)

What does this mean? She built a FirePlace or a Cooking Hearth?

pijll wrote:
I still don't have a food engine, and want to wait for more clay and stone to become available to build some ovens, so while I have nothing better to do, I prepare for the coming harvest by grabbing 4 food.

Four food with two actions is bad, as I'm sure you know. If by round 5 you couldn't forsee being able to feed your family at the end of round 8 without 2f actions then you probably shouldn't have grown. Build Room(s) blocks the development of your opponents for round 5, and Family Growth in round 6 blocks the second player again (and in turn the third player). Growing later frees up a Round 5 action which may not have made a difference in your game. Its hard for us to know without seeing your hand, but it's also hard to imagine not being able to get some sort of sheep cooking, grain baking, or vegetable eating by round 8.

Not to harp on the point, but for the reader who may not agree with my earlier assertion that the baking route, with its plowed fields and grain baking, is not as viable as the alternatives (essentially competing for animals), we see how M and J, by taking clay, have reduced the early grower to fishing and day laboring. If you had seen your lack of card support and tended away from baking, you may have gotten more clay in the first stage, which would give you more options in the second. I grant that as the last player to go, plowing fields and taking grain can seem like reasonable actions. They're risky though, since fields and grain without an oven do not play nicely with family growth the way that a little clay and a fireplace do.[/q]
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eugene van der Pijll
Netherlands
Leidschendam
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Lord Chambers wrote:
We all have tendencies, but it makes more sense to tend to animals since they are shared between all players.

In my opinion the baking strategy is clearly better. Let's just agree to disagree.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eugene van der Pijll
Netherlands
Leidschendam
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisterG wrote:
Another fine report. Question: do you feel that having an inexperienced player (M) upstream from your more experienced opponent (J) had anything to do with J's winning performance?

I don't think it had that much of an impact. If you look at the wood in particular: some of the times when M didn't take wood when she went first, there were two good wood spots. In those cases, I profited from her inexperience.

It could be that a detailed analysis of the game would show that J had an unfair advantage, but it was clear to me then and now that J was the better player, so I'm not going to complain.

We determined the seating order randomly, by the way.
 
 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.