Geoff Burkman
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Kettering
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My 2-player FotM experience is still limited, though I’m beginning to form a few opinions of it, at least as far as Level 3 play goes. This was another (10/7/6)-3 draft, with regular boards. Oddly enough, I have at least two Ocks in hand that were used in my last game, one by me and one by Brian; I’m going to refuse to use them in this game. One is the Grocer; the other is the Clay Deliveryman. No doubt I’ll regret shunning them…

Round One/MIMI
Geoff – Occ/Clay Worker
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1C(1+1)
Ron – SP + Swamp (1M>

I open with the Clay Worker, a decent Ock to work with, especially in conjunction with a clay-denial strategy. Ron fells trees, and I counter with a visit to the Fair. Ron takes wood, I grab enhanced clay, and Ron predictably swipes the button, putting out a cheap Minor that gives him a free Moor tile near game’s end. So far, so good.

Round Two/Sow & Bake
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – CP(3fl)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Fieldsman
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2

Still predictable, Ron takes the reed. I fuel up, and it’s Ron’s turn to visit the Fair. I put out a second Ock, this one designed to boost sowing production. Ron takes wood again, and I pick up my fireplace. This may have been a mistake, since sheep don’t manifest for another two Rounds.

Round Three/Fences
Ron – Occ/Fence Deliveryman*
Geoff – FT(2W)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – SP + Grain Cart

Ron gets out his first Ock, one that he has come to appreciate with experience; it will serve him well in this game. We do the specials dance, and I go fishing. Ron hogs wood yet again; I counter by retaking the button to get my grain machine set up.

Round Four/Sheep
Geoff – SB(PF)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – CP(3fl-2f)
Geoff – 3W(3 +1C)
Ron – SP + Ecological Niche> (1fl)
Ron – BR(1) + 2s

I put pressure on Ron by claiming the tile removal action; Ron counters with a visit to the Fair. I grab reed, and Ron returns the pressure by coughing up to cut peat. I have a variety of Minors requiring wood, so I take some. Ron reclaims the button, playing a weak passing Minor, and then daringly builds a room and pair of stables. He’s banking on early Family Growth; I’m praying he doesn’t get it. Harvest is uneventful…

Round Five/Family Growth +MI
Ron – 1C4
Geoff – BM/Agricultural Implement (-1W)
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – 1G +2G
Ron – FG + x
Geoff – SP + Outhouse

Dang it, there's that Family Growth! Ron opens Stage Two hauling in the cheap clay, a very wise move. I special a cheap Minor that I fail to put to use for another six Rounds (rarely a good idea), Ron replies with felled trees, and I utilize my Grain Cart. Unsurprisingly, Ron adds a worker, and equally unsurprisingly, I retake the button, playing a favored 2-point Minor. Ron’s early growth is disturbing, but not insurmountable, or so I hope.

Round Six/Stone
Geoff – 3W(6 +1C)
Ron – Sheep(3)
Geoff – SB(PF)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – BR(1) +1s
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Clay Plasterer
Ron – 1R(2)

Greed overwhelms me, and I rake in the augmented 6Wood. Ron promptly corrals the woolies. Oops! Another specials dance ensues, and I then build a room and stable. Ron gets out his Clay Plasterer, grabs reed, and suddenly I’m thinking things aren’t looking so good…

Round Seven/Renovation + MIMI
Geoff – Fish(4f)
Ron – CP(3fl)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – MIMI/CH4
Geoff – CP(3fl-2f)
Ron – SP + Canoe (-2W)
Geoff – S&B (2Gf/4 + 2f)
Ron – 1S(2)

I make the safety play of fishing, we do the dance again, and Ron secures his cookery. I tithe for fuel, Ron repossesses the button to boost his fishing output, I finally get my grain fields going, and Ron spikes stone to dissuade me next Round. His sheep go up in smoke at harvest, and it’s on to the midgame…

Round Eight/Boar
Ron – 3W(6)
Geoff – FT(2W)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – SP + Clapper
Ron – Sheep(2)burn1
Geoff – FG (+2G) + No-Till Farming
Ron – 1C(3)

Ron commandeers the wood, we dance again, and I regain the button to put out a semi-useful Minor. Ron tortures woolies, and I finally add a new hire replete with Clapper payoff and a Minor that proves itself inconsequential. Ron spikes the clay, and we move into the next Round even-steven in actions. Unfortunately for me, that won’t last long…

Round Nine/Vegetables*
Geoff – 1R(3)
Ron – CP(3fl)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – Boar(2)
Geoff – 1S(2)
Ron – Fish(2+1f+1R)
Geoff – CP(3fl-2f)
Ron – Ren>C + Basketmaker’s Workshop
Geoff – 1G +2G

After Ron buys his four fences, building a pasture, the trebled reed entices; I respond. We dance the dance, Ron herds boar, I nab a bit of stone, Ron fishes for effect, and I pay the vig for more fuel. Ron lowers the boom with renovation, while snaring the Major he suspects I covet. Flummoxed, I settle for a mediocre food grab. Ron’s wooly disappears at harvest, but he gains a boar, and I part with a 5Grain to stay healthy. Ouch! Things are not proceeding as I had originally planned…

Round Ten/Cattle
Geoff – 3W(6 +1C)
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – Fences(7)
Geoff – 1C(2+1)
Ron – (b1b) Occ(-1f)/Farm Steward
Geoff – MIMI/Clay Oven (5f)
Ron – FG + Lawn Turf> (4fl)

Eager to make up for lost time, I pile on the wood. Ron and I do the specials boogie, and then Ron gets his breeding operation in gear. I swipe clay, and after generating some food with a luau, Ron drops the Ock-bomb: early Family Growth without. Ouch, and ouch again! Distraught, I fire up the Clay Oven. Ron adds the easy hire, passing along a handy fuel Minor. “Trouble,” think I, “thy name is Farm Steward.”

Round Eleven/Stone
Geoff – Cattle(2)
Ron – Sheep(3)
Geoff – PF + CP(3fl)
Ron – Boar(2)
Geoff – BM/Lawn Turf> (5fl)
Ron – FT(2W-2f)
Geoff – 1G +2G
Ron – Fish(2+1f+1R)
Ron – BM/Nosebag (–3f/1fl)
Ron – SP + Riding Plow

I take the potential four points in beef; Ron herds woolies, and I finally put that stupid Round Five Minor to work. Fat lot of good it’s going to do me. Ron herds pigs, I send the traveling fuel depot back his way, and he tithes for a few sticks of wood, putting me back on the action defensive. Nonplussed, I hit up the grain space. Ron then quite leisurely fishes, plays a pricey but useful Minor, swipes the button and gets out the John Deereslickest plow in the game. All I can think is, “Uh-oh.” Ron’s animals take the fall for dinner, and on we go…

Round Twelve/Plow & Sow
Ron – 1S(3)
Geoff – PF +FT(2W)
Ron – 1G +1H
Geoff – CW/Basket Stall
Ron – P&S (3PF +1Gf)
Geoff – 1R(3)
Ron – (b1s) FT(2W-2f)
Geoff – Ren>C + Well (2f>
Ron – (b1b) CW/Joinery (-3f/1fl)
Ron – SP + Lawn Turf> (2fl)

Ron gobbles up the cheap rocks, and I finally get the opportunity to put that stupid Implement to work. Ron counters with a Nosebag play, I grab the Basket Stall (which will actually come in handy), and Ron plows and farms. I snap up the reed. Ron torches a wooly to pay for some expensive wood, I renovate and claim the Well, and Ron tops things off with a toasted piggy, a pricey Major, and a button grab that sends Lawn Turf back my way. At this point, suffering a 5-action deficit, I can feel my hopes and dreams being dashed to pieces on the rocks of inadequacy. Sometimes, Agricola can be a real slap in the face…

Round Thirteen/Family Growth*
Ron – 3W(9)
Geoff – 1S(3)
Ron – Cattle(2)
Geoff – PF + CW/Fp2>Ch
Ron – CP(3fl)
Geoff – S&B (2Gf/4 +8f)
Ron – 1G +1H
Ron – P&S (3PF +1Gf)

Ron adds on his last four fences, but is still not about to let a 9Wood go to me; I take stone in recompense. Ron makes the obvious 4-point play, while I plow another field and Implement a cookery upgrade. I’ll mention at this point that we’re undecided as to whether the Agricultural Implement is activated by “Plow & Sow.” The wording on the card is distressingly ambiguous, since it talks about a “Plow Fields” action, rather than “Plow 1 Field.” I suspect I’ve played this wrong, and that the Implement works on either space, but at this point, Ron and I agreed to keep it limited to the “Plow 1 Field” space. Ron fuels up, I desperately farm, and Ron nosebags and farms himself. He loses his wooly to feed his family, but nothing can obscure the obvious: he has this game well in hand.

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences
Ron – 1V
Geoff – MIMI/Stone Oven (13f)
Ron – (b1b) 1H –1f
Geoff – FT(2W)
Ron – BR(0) +1s
Geoff – Fences(11)
Ron – Sheep(3)
Geoff – 1H –3f
Ron – Boar(3)
Geoff – FG w/o (2G)

The final Round is the typical flurry of point acquisition: Ron erases a negative (denying me the same), I grab the Stone Oven and bake to excess, and Ron buys another horse. I grab a last smidgen of wood, Ron builds a last stable, I fence (yay!), Ron herds woolies, I cancel my horse deficit, Ron herds pigs, and I add a final mouth to feed. Despite the ton of card points I have, I know with utter certainty that I’ve been had.

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. In sessions of Farmers on the Moor, special actions are counted as Primary actions, with their subtotal indicated in parentheses. 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 – 51 (2 Occ, 7/3)(34/8)(7)(58(17)/10/6)(0.879)(52)
Geoff – 39 (2 Occ, 7/4)(23/0)(7)(50(16+3)/8/12)(0.780)(41)

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Ron 5(4) 4(4) 6(3) 1(1) 4(2) 3(2) 4(3+5) 0(0) 4(4) 3C(3) 4(12) (6) (2)
Geoff 5(4) 3(3) 10(4) 0(-1) 0(-1) 0(-1) 3(2+1) 3(-3) 1(1) 3C(3) 4(12) (15) (0)


I’ll keep the post-game commentary to a bare minimum, as I’m interested in finding out if Constant Reader can spot the primary (and somewhat glaring) mistake I made in Stage One that irrevocably led to my distant second-place finish. Geek Gold to the first poster who points out the error, with extra credit for explaining how and why it was the grievous mistake it was.

I’d also like to hear any input on the use of the Agricultural Implement and whether or not we were playing it correctly. Also, does Fell Trees trigger the Clay Worker or no?

As always, thanks for reading and, of course, happy gaming to you all. Next report: most likely.

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Eugene van der Pijll
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MisterG wrote:
I’d also like to hear any input on the use of the Agricultural Implement and whether or not we were playing it correctly.

This ambiguity occurs on several cards in the English translation. The German original consistently distinguishes the "Plough 1 Field" action space and a "Plough Field" action, but I don't own the German Moorbauern cards...

Provisional unofficial ruling in the Compendium: "Is activated on both the Plough 1 Field and the Plough and Sow action space."

Quote:
Also, does Fell Trees trigger the Clay Worker or no?

The German Clay Worker (and my own translation in the Compendium) is clear about this: "Whenever you use an action of a person to take wood or clay...". Fell Trees is not an action of a person, so does not activate the Clay Worker.
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Geoff Burkman
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Thanks, Eugene! I'm glad to see that my intuitions for both these cards were "correct."
 
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Alex Chen
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MisterG wrote:

Round Four/Sheep
Geoff – SB(PF)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – CP(3fl-2f)
Geoff – 3W(3 +1C)
Ron – SP + Ecological Niche> (1fl)
Ron – BR(1) + 2s

Round Five/Family Growth +MI
Ron – 1C4
Geoff – BM/Agricultural Implement (-1W)
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – 1G +2G
Ron – FG + x
Geoff – SP + Outhouse


You were supposedly going for a clay denial strategy, but then fail to take clay at 3 (3?!?!) in round 4. This let Ron easily feed his newly grown peep and left you very far behind, since he had the room advantage. Arguably you should have taken the clay at 2 in round 3 or at 3 with a very early action in round 4. But ignoring it altogether is a definite blunder.
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Mike T
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Quote:
Round One/MIMI
Geoff – Occ/Clay Worker
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1C(1+1)
Ron – SP + Swamp (1M>


I love Clay Worker, but he's more of a clay ensurer than a clay denier. I might have passed up HF for 3w+c.

Quote:
Round Two/Sow & Bake
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – CP(3fl)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Fieldsman
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2


I would have gone for the 3w+1c with my first action. With my w/c grab from Round 1, I'd hit that 2 clay threshold first, and have a bounty of wood. I don't like the Fieldsman much.

Quote:
Round Three/Fences
Ron – Occ/Fence Deliveryman*
Geoff – FT(2W)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – Fish(3f)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – SP + Grain Cart


Round Four/Sheep
Geoff – SB(PF)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – 1R(2)
Ron – CP(3fl-2f)
Geoff – 3W(3 +1C)
Ron – SP + Ecological Niche> (1fl)
Ron – BR(1) + 2s

I put pressure on Ron by claiming the tile removal action; Ron counters with a visit to the Fair. I grab reed, and Ron returns the pressure by coughing up to cut peat. I have a variety of Minors requiring wood, so I take some. Ron reclaims the button, playing a weak passing Minor, and then daringly builds a room and pair of stables. He’s banking on early Family Growth; I’m praying he doesn’t get it. Harvest is uneventful…


I'm not sure I understand the 4th round, in terms of "pressure." Why didn't Ron take 2 reed? Wouldn't blocking clay here be pretty sweet for you?
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I like the way you play. Deciding not to play Clay Deliveryman or Grocer because they were "in the last game" had to have hurt; but with your group, winning is nice but not an end-all.

Was that your first-turn mistake? :-)

edit: wrong punctuation mark

Brian
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pijll wrote:
MisterG wrote:
I’d also like to hear any input on the use of the Agricultural Implement and whether or not we were playing it correctly.

This ambiguity occurs on several cards in the English translation. The German original consistently distinguishes the "Plough 1 Field" action space and a "Plough Field" action, but I don't own the German Moorbauern cards...

Provisional unofficial ruling in the Compendium: "Is activated on both the Plough 1 Field and the Plough and Sow action space."

Quote:
Also, does Fell Trees trigger the Clay Worker or no?

The German Clay Worker (and my own translation in the Compendium) is clear about this: "Whenever you use an action of a person to take wood or clay...". Fell Trees is not an action of a person, so does not activate the Clay Worker.


I find the actual quality of the proofreading has dropped a little bit in the expansion... Nature's Fertilizer in the Eng version referenced "Moor Burn-off" but it's called Peat Burn-off in the card title!

There are a few cards that reference "Plow Fields" (but there's only Plow 1 Field and Plow 1 Field and Sow, but it also references the Slash and Burn action too!) so it's tough to figure out some things...
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Geoff Burkman
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vivafringe wrote:
You were supposedly going for a clay denial strategy, but then fail to take clay at 3 (3?!?!) in round 4. This let Ron easily feed his newly grown peep and left you very far behind, since he had the room advantage. Arguably you should have taken the clay at 2 in round 3 or at 3 with a very early action in round 4. But ignoring it altogether is a definite blunder.


Yep. That was the major malfunction. Truth is, it was greed once again that led to my undoing, a common failing in the play of Agricola. There's something about allowing an opponent to take a 6Wood that always rankles, no matter the situation. I may well have to blame my American upbringing, sad as that is to say. I knew for certain that Ron would take the button, and a sudden surge of avarice swept all common sense from my otherwise actively engaged brain. Had I taken the clay instead in the wood, Ron would have been left in a very tight position: his growth would have been impeded, he would have found himself scrambling for food, and most importantly, the sheep would have been mine, not his.

"Definite blunder" is the polite way of saying "colossal boneheaded blunder." Good eye, Alex.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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smcmike wrote:
Quote:
Round One/MIMI
Geoff – Occ/Clay Worker
Ron – FT(2W)
Geoff – HF(1f)
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1C(1+1)
Ron – SP + Swamp (1M>


I love Clay Worker, but he's more of a clay ensurer than a clay denier. I might have passed up HF for 3w+c.


I had debated that very thing with myself, and very probably would have done just that, but then, there's that greed thing; I didn't want Ron getting a "free" special. In retrospect, though, it would have been a reasonable trade-off to slow down his acquisitions while aiding mine. Good eye, as well.

Quote:
Quote:
Round Two/Sow & Bake
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – CP(3fl)
Ron – HF(1f)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Fieldsman
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2


I would have gone for the 3w+1c with my first action. With my w/c grab from Round 1, I'd hit that 2 clay threshold first, and have a bounty of wood. I don't like the Fieldsman much.


I don't much care for the Fieldsman, either, but for lack of anything else wanted to try it out. I think the extra grain actually hindered me, since it left goods on my fields for another harvest, keeping me from re-sowing them. I think you're right that I should have just stuck with gathering more wood/clay. The fuel grab was still okay, since I knew Ron would respond with the Fair visit to keep me from getting it, but yes, the wood haul would have been better than the stupid Fieldsman.

Quote:
I'm not sure I understand the 4th round, in terms of "pressure." Why didn't Ron take 2 reed? Wouldn't blocking clay here be pretty sweet for you?


As detailed by Alex, absolutely. I suspect Ron passed on the 2Reed because he already had what he needed for a room. You, me, brick wall: Ron understands blocking perfectly well, but has a tendency to ignore it in terms of reed. Don't tell him I mentioned that!
 
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Geoff Burkman
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
I like the way you play. Deciding not to play Clay Deliveryman or Grocer because they were "in the last game" had to have hurt; but with your group, winning is nice but not an end-all.

Was that your first-turn mistake?


One could certainly look at it that way, eh? And your perception is on the mark, at least as far as I'm concerned. I like to win the game, yes, but it's not the be-all and end-all; I just enjoy playing the game. I get as much from trying different things and learning from my mistakes as I do from playing "perfectly." And there's the socialization, of course, the "hangin' with the homeboys."

Now if only I could get Ron to expand his gaming horizons...whistle
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zeroth hour wrote:
...There are a few cards that reference "Plow Fields" (but there's only Plow 1 Field and Plow 1 Field and Sow, but it also references the Slash and Burn action too!) so it's tough to figure out some things...


Yep. I think we've pretty much decided that "Plow Fields" means using either of the Plow actions. I'm not so sure about "Slash and Burn," though.
 
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I haven't been playing what I call the modern games for very long; but, I'm the original "What'll happen if I try this?" Of course, if it works, the more experienced players pick up on it, and it never becomes a question of doing it again. :-)

The beauty is, though, that there's always something else new to try.

Brian
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Eugene van der Pijll
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MisterG wrote:
Yep. I think we've pretty much decided that "Plow Fields" means using either of the Plow actions. I'm not so sure about "Slash and Burn," though.

In my opinion, "Plough Fields" also includes cards that allow you to plough, unless (as in the case of the AI) the cards states that you should use an action of a person to plough.

The Slash and Burn special action is specifically excluded on e.g. the Deep Plough, so I would agree with you on that point.
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Mike T
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I just played my first 2-player FotM game, and my first live FotM game, and I now say with confidence that failure to block the clay was a big error. We were playing Level 2, where clay is theoretically more accessible through DL, and yet we found the clay scarcity obnoxious. I stand by my belief that base Agricola is fine, but 2-player FotM really could benefit from the "2 Different Resources" action space. We'll be playing with that from here on out.

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