Ramping up my reviewing.
Happily playing games for many, many years.
This game of Agricola, Farmers of the Moor was played between myself (getting quite experienced), Pat (played a few times) and Popey (relative newbie). Colourwise, I played my normal green, Pat played blue and Popey played purple.
The first stage saw Popey assemble the makings of the first addition to his house, as did Pat. I had high hopes for the game based on that - it's the hardest thing for new players to understand: how important building your family is. My chief early game plays were gaining the fireplace and the peat-charcoal kiln. Pat also went and cleared a lot of his land. Too soon? Possibly.
I went on a field-plowing excursion in the next stage (slash and burn forest), and planted some grain. I also got a *lot* of wood, enough to expand my house, although the reed for the roof was harder to come by. Popey dashed my early hopes for his game by "squandering" the wood he'd gathered on a fence. A very nice fence it was, and he put a lot of sheep in it, all ready for the pot on his cooking hearth. Pat was the player to expand his house twice and gain the first new family member, but Pat had forgotten one of the key rules of Agricola: you need to feed your family! He had enough food for this turn, but for future turns?
Astonishingly, I still hadn't expanded my family or house when the third stage came to an end, despite having all the makings of a bigger house. I had constructed the Stone Oven, however, and thus my food problems were a thing of the past. Popey expanded his house, if not his family, and Pat upgraded his house to clay to cut the heating bills. He had a couple of fields, unsowed: a key mistake of a novice Agricola player. He really should know better!
My next stage was frantic: adding two rooms to my house, upgrading it to clay, and gaining an extra family member. Pat went backwards: a fourth family member, but he couldn't feed them all and so got two Begging Cards. You need to grow food, Pat! Popey added another large paddock to his farm.
It was finally time for me to get serious. By the end of the fifth stage, I had a large herd of horses, some good paddocks, vegies planted in my fields, and five family members. Yes, my game was going well now. Pat added some fences and a couple of animals - but he had to eat the rest and couldn't keep them. At least he now had five family members!
Popey plowed fields and sowed vegies, but found he couldn't heat his house enough and for the final round, both of this family members were ill in bed! Not a good result, although his farm didn't look too bad.
With Popey unable to take action, Pat and I dominated the board. I didn't really do much of note, although I had enough fuel left to gain bonus points from the Peat-Charcoal Kiln. Pat was concerned with feeding his family, and although he was able to do that, his animals were living in absolute luxury - and not a little loneliness by game's end.
Merric 50 (4 fields, 4 pastures, 4 grain, 2 vegies, -1 sheep, 1 boar, -1 cattle, 5 horses, -1 unused, 1 stable, 8 house, 15 family, 7 cards, 2 bonus)
Pat 24 (2 fields, 2 pastures, -1 grain, 1 vegie, 1 sheep, 1 boar, 1 cattle, -1 horse, 8 house, 15 family, 1 card, -6 begging)
Popey 11 (1 field, 2 pastures, -1 grain, 2 vegies, 4 sheep, 1 boar, -1 cattle, -1 horses, -3 unused, 6 family, 1 card)