T.J. Condon
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Pittsburgh
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Time and again, I've wanted to try drafting Gric just to see the madness that would ensue from our band of Johnnies. We've been responsible for some downright absurdity playing with pat hands, so the potential for madness was at an all-time high when we decided to put our hands in the hands of others.

Four players enter, one player exits. (Or, at least, that's what SHOULD happen.)
Starting with Chris, order continues with myself, Trevor, and Jackie. Ten Occs are dealt to each player, keep-one-pass-remainder-clockwise, 'till everyone has 7. Do the same for minors.

And awaaaaaay we go!


R1: MIMI
C 3W(3)
N 2W(2)
T Occ (Patron)
J Occ (Field Warden)-1f
C Rsf
N 2C(2)
T SP+Building Material (+1W)
J 1C(1)


Chris starts this mess by NOT TAKING AN OCCUPATION. All marvel at the strange wood grab. All marvel once again at my even stranger wood grab immediately afterward. Trevor, not about to let the discount Occ pass him, jumps on it and makes with the Patron, announcing “My food engine is MORE OCCUPATIONS!” Jackie gets her garden going with the Field Warden, Chris shops at Walmart, and I leap for the button, about to play... wait, since when did it have that 2-Occ prerequisite? Curse my not reading the card, the whole card and nothing but the card (and applicable errata), so help me Reiner. Instead, I snaffle some clay, Trevor absconds with the button and picks up a log in the process, and Jackie settles for a brick.

R2: Sheep
T Occ(Charcoal Burner)
J SP+Simple Fireplace (T:+1f1W)
C MIMI(Axe)
N Occ(Tutor)-1f
T 1R(2)
J Grain
C RSf
N Fish(2)


Trevor opens with the Charcoal Burner, who will see extensive use over the course of the game. (As he put it, “I know who I'm playing with.”) Jackie slides the button one notch clockwise and plays herself the Simple Fireplace (And the burner pays off for Trevor!). (I just copied that last parenthetical, as I get the feeling I'm going to be using it. Often.) Anyway, Chris MIMIs up an Axe (Again, which will see plenty of use). I take the other Occ slot to drop the Tutor, portending things to come. Trevor takes a couple reed, Jackie a grain, Chris an assortment of goodies, and I settle for AN 'ALIBUT. (Or two.)

R3: Fences
J Occ(Baker)-1f
C 3W(6)
N Occ(Reeve)-1f
T 2W(4)
J 2C(4)
C SP+Fishing Rod
N MIMI(Fp2)(T: +1f1W)
T Plow


Jackie introduces us to the Baker, plenty, use, etc. Chris can't pass up half a dozen logs, while I get lumber from a different source altogether: The Reeve! Four lumber for me, and “i see wut u did ther” stares from everyone else. Trevor takes a third-dozen wood, Jackie a third-dozen clay. Chris regains the button and deploys a fishing rod. I MIMI up the discount fireplace (And the burner pays off for Trevor!), and Trevor (overjoyed at the bounty) simply plows a field.

R4: Sow/Bake
C Occ(Stone Carrier)
N SP+Writing Desk
T 1W(4)
J MIMI(CH4)(T: +1f1W)
C 1R(2)
N Sheep(3 burn 2)
T RSf
J TP(4)

Chris enlists the Stone Carrier, say it with me now, WHO SEES EXTENSIVE USE THROUGHOUT THE GAME. I take the button and drop the Writing Desk, further facilitating my “zomgOcc” strat. Trevor takes another third-dozen wood, Jackie upgrades her Simple Fireplace to the CH4 (And the burner pays off for Trevor!), Chris takes a couple reed, and I bring home the “woolies” (to use true MisterG parlance), leading one to the foyer and the other 2 to the fire. Trevor heads to Walmart on intelligence that there's a sale there (when, in fact, it's the same low prices everyday), and Jackie makes good for the harvest by paying the Traveling Players a call.

Feeding goes like... people eating.

R5: FG
N Occ(Grocer)-1f
>N Occ(Shepherd)-2f
T BR(1)+2Stbl.
J 3W(6)
C Fish(3)+1f
N SP+Animal Pen (->18f)
T FG+Wood-fired Oven(+1f1W)
J RSf
C 2C(4)


I open by spending a total of 3 food to enlist the Grocer and Shepherd, who don't see much action but who come through in the clutch. Trevor builds a room and throws together some stables in the yard, Jackie goes for the stacked wood, and Chris puts that pole to work with a fishing action. Cracking my knuckles, I make good the first part of my devious plan by squatting on the button and deploying... THE ANIMAL PEN. 4 Occs by Round 5 reeks of an ulterior motive, and here it is: 18 food, delivered two-per-round for the duration of the game. Unfortunately, this Crowning Moment of Awesome isn't enough to make my opponents concede on the spot, so play continues with Trevor adding a farmhand and playing the Wood-Fired Oven (And the burner pays off for Trevor!). (I knew I'd be glad I copied that.) Jackie heads to Walmart, and Chris takes a number of bricks.

“One sheep counts as a 'Pen!' We taxidermied the other ones after we removed the meat!” - NBHS

R6: Stone
N 2W(6)
T Occ(Cook)-1f(+2f)
J Occ(Breadseller)-1f
C BR(2)+1Stbl.
N Plow
T SP+Minipasture
J MIMI(Riding Plow)
C FG+X
T 1C(5)


I can't pass up half a dozen wood, thus freeing an Occ space (for now) which Trevor uses to press the Cook into service, netting a food from the Patron. Jackie follows suit with the Breadseller, and – alles zusammen – SEES LOTS OF ACTION, I think you get the point. This was our first draft, and MAN did we find synergy. Anyway! Chris adds two rooms to his domicile, and a stable for the heck of it. I plow a field, Trevor heists the button and passes the Minipasture along, and Jackie uses the MIMI to deploy the ever-formidable Riding Bean... erm. Riding Plow. Chris visits the Maternity Ward, and Trevor's new addition is sent to fetch five-a-penny bricks. With one penny. So he gets five.

R7: Ren->MIMI
T Sheep(3)
J Plow(3)
C Fish(2)+1f
N 3W(6)
T 2C(4)
J Grain
C 1S(2)+1S
N Occ(Hobby Farmer)(+1V)(+1VF)-1f
>N Occ(Academic)-2f
T Ren(W>C)+3Fp(+1W1f)
C RSf


Trevor opens by bring home the lamb shanks, and Jackie gets on her John Deere and goes to work on the North 40. Chris heads to the fishing hole, I make for the lumberyards, Trevor the claypits, Jackie the grain... whatevers. (Silos? Merchants? Sacks?) Chris heads for the stone, while I take the Writing-Desk Augmented Occs, dropping the Hobby Farmer (for the magical appearance of a Veggie Field) and the Academic, cementing myself at least a share of the Reeve bonus. Trevor clays over his wooden home, taking the remaining fireplace in the transaction (And the burner pays off for Trevor!). Chris, right dumbfounded by the madness what immediately preceded him, gives us the ol' “Nuts to this action!” and heads to Walmart for Doritos and canned peaches.

Trevor eats real food, Jackie bakes twice (and benefits from the breadseller), Chris eats real food, I eat a veggie-sheep kabob. Trevor's sheep was holding a lamb! We don't know how it got there, but we want him to have it. (Bonus points to the first person to get this reference. ^^)

R8: Boar
T 1R(4)
J Grain
C Occ(Conservator)-1f
N Fences(15)
T 2C(2)
J RSf
C Fish(1)+2f
N SP+Clay Roof
T BR(1)
C Ren(W>S)+X


On the button, Trevor takes a treasure trove of reedy goodness, followed by Jackie's return visit to Big Walt's House o' Grain. Chris decides to spare the bricks by making use of the conservator, while I get all of my fencing done in one go, creating a 2x6 pasture and two 1x1s alongside it. (Reasoning behind this to be divulged later!) Trevor grabs a couple bricks, Jackie runs out of paper towels and heads to Walmart, and Chris tries out his time-upgraded fishing tackle to the tune of three food. I snatch the button and deploy the Clay Roof (Which doesn't see much play at all, but costs 0 resources and gives a veep), Trevor adds a room onto his adobe abode and Chris puts his new friend to work, jumping from a wooden home straight to stone.

R9: Veg
N Sheep(2)
T FG+Shepherd's Pipe
J 3W(6)
C TP(5)
N Boar(2)
T DL
J BR(1)+1Stbl.
C Occ(Quarryman)-1f
T 2W(6)
C 1S(2)+1S


I jump at the chance to actually put this Shepherd to work, and grab myself a breeding pair of woolies. Trevor brings on another hand and claims the Shepherd's Pipe, improving the capacity of his lonely little minipasture. Jackie brings home a respectable claim of lumber, Chris clears out the Players, and I decide to occupy another pasture with a breeding pair of boar. Trevor sends the now-big brother (Dmitri, right?) to go earn his keep (and his brother's, after the Cook figures into it), Jackie adds a room/stable combo, and Chris, playing his stoner strat to the hilt, brings on the Quarryman. Trevor takes the remaining stand of lumber, and Chris puts said Quarryman to work immediately with a three-stone grab. (Which is... a 52-pound grab? Britgeeks, check my math on this one.) 4:20, my brothah.

I feed with real food this time! Trevor throws two woolies on the fire and augments with two real food, Jackie and Chris feed straight up. Trevor welcomes a lamb, Nerd welcomes a lamb and boar.

R10: Cattle
N Occ(Pastor)-1f
T 1W(6)
J FG+Carp Pond(>2f)
C RSf(-1f+1S)
N Plow
T SP+Corn Scoop
J Grain
C Fish(2)+2f
T Cattle(1)
C Sheep(1)
T Occ(Master Shepherd)-2f(+2f)(>3Sheep)


Now that Jackie's extended her home, I can enlist the Pastor to collect alms from the General Supply, to the tune of 3 wood, 2 clay, a stone and reed. That's all my Occs; the Tutor has been one busy fellow! Trevor collects another half-dozen logs, Jackie welcomes a newborn by digging a Carp Pond (for only two food, but a victory point's a victory point), and Chris turns the Reed-Stone-Food into Reed-Stone-Stone. I plow another field, Trevor takes the button and deploys the Corn Scoop (Ovens don't cook themselves, y'know!), Jackie jumps on the Grain before Trevor gets the chance, and Chris strolls uncontested down to his favorite fishing hole. Trevor takes a cow, Chris a sheep, and finally Trevor says hello to the Master Shepherd, deploying three woolies down the board.

R11: Stone
T Grain(2)
J 3W(6)
C Occ(Mason)-1f
>C BR(1)
N SP+Drinking Trough
T Boar(2)
J Veg
C Cattle(1)
N 2C(6)
T MIMI(Baker's Oven)(+1W1f)
>T Bake(1>5f)(J: +1f)
J Sow(2GF+1VF)
C FG+Dovecote(>3f)
T Plow


Trevor uses the button to get to Big Walt's just as they open the doors, Jackie takes a stand of lumber, Chris continues his stone-crazy machinations by employing the Mason (Immediately building his free room), and I acquire the button and an improved animal-hydration device. Trevor takes himself a breeding pair of piggies, Jackie invests in turnip futures, Chris brings home a cow, and I take a load of bricks (only to be stuck with them at game's end). Trevor MIMIs for the Baker's Oven (And the burner pays off for Trevor!), instantly converting a grain to five food. Jackie plants two fields of grain and one of turnips, Chris continues his parade of progeny and celebrates the occasion with a dovecote, and Trevor plows a field.

I feed straight up, as does Trevor, Jackie bakes once for 4 to add to two, Chris eats 3 food and 2 stone. Trevor and I each welcome a new lamb and piglet.

R12: FG w/o
N FG w/o
T Grain(2)
J 2W(6)
C 1S(3)+1S
N SP+Stable
T Plow
J Fences(13.1)
C Veg
T 1C(6)
J Sheep(2)
C 1S(2)+1S
T MIMI(Market Stall)
C FG+Half-Timbered House


Payoff! Soon as the card is flipped, Mrs. Tan-meeple jumps at the chance to progenate. Trevor makes for the grain again, Jackie collects more wood, and Chris hauls off 4 stone. I take the chance to maintain control of the button, making use of the meandering Stable minor in the process. Trevor plows another field, and Jackie lays out thirteen fences.

“That's unlucky!”
“But I'm out of wood. Else, I'd gladly build another!”
“...”
(Jackie stands one fence segment on end)
“Very good. 13.1 fences.”

After the laughing dies down, Chris takes a lonely radish, Trevor a half-dozen bricks, and Jackie populates her new pasture with a breeding pair of sheep. Chris makes off with -another- three stone, Trevor MIMIs the Market Stall to get in on this Vegetable rush, and Chris closes the round by adding his fifth farmhand and playing the Half-Timbered House, adding a point to the value of each room in his house.

R13: Plow/Sow
(T: burn 1 sheep)
N Plow/Sow(+1GF +2VF)
T Plow
J Plow(3)/Sow(+1GF +1VF)
C 3W(6)
N FG w/o
T Grain(2)
J Cattle(2)
C Occ(Master Builder)-1f
>C BR(1)
N Ren(W>C) + CH5 (T: +1W1f)
T Veg
J Boar(2)
C 1W(3)
T Fence(11)
C Fish(3)+2f
C BR(0)+2Stbl.


Trevor's hit the capacity of his pasture, so the Master Shepherd's addition goes right to the roaster. I take the Plow/Sow combo, adding a grain field and two veggie fields (after buying said goods from my local Grocer.) Trevor plows, and Jackie puts the Field Warden to good use, taking the action space I'd already claimed in order to get back on her John Deere and work on those fields. Chris takes a stack of wood, and I can't believe my eyes that the FG w/o slot has passed around to me. So I take it. Trevor collects Grain, Jackie cattle, and Chris enlists the Master Builder, adding yet another room to his mansion on the cheap. I upgrade to a clay home, hoping to use this surfeit of clay to build another room in the last round, and upgrade my fireplace to a Cooking Hearth for improved pig-and-carrot-roasting potential. Trevor takes an RHUBARB, because I feel like saying RHUBARB! Jackie continues her pasture-filling with breeding boar, Chris continues to snaffle lumber in hopes of a fence build next round, Trevor makes his fencey dreams come true today, and Chris closes us out with another Fishing expedition and construction of two stables.

I eat two pigs and a grain, Trevor 6 food, Jackie does some baking magic (I've honestly lost count, it's obscene), and Chris continues to gnaw on stones, thinking there's nutritive value. (He may just be right.)

R14: Ren+Fences
N 2W(4)
T BR(1)+2stbl.
J RSf
C 3W(3)
N Plow+Sow(+1VF)
T Sow(+2GF +2VF) + Bake(1>5f)(J: +1f)
J (burn 1 boar) Ren(W>C)+Lettuce Patch
C Boar(1)
N Cattle(1)
T FG w/o
J Plow(0)+Sow(+1GF+1VF)
C Grain
N MIMI(Manger)
T Sheep(2)
C Plow
C Fences(8)


I start by grabbing Wood, much to Chris' consternation. I tell him it's all part of the plan... even if the plan is “Throw a wrench at Chris.” Trevor adds a room and two stables, Jackie invades Walmart one last time, and Chris settles for the smaller woodpile. I take advantage of the available Plow/Sow to fill my last farm space, since Trevor denied me the chance this round. (Curse his little paper hat!) Trevor sows four fields, two each grain and RHUBARB, and makes with the baking (as Jackie collects her carbohydrate tithe). Jackie upgrades to Clay and deploys the Lettuce Patch, thus robbing me of that -other- thing I wanted to do this turn... Oh well. Chris takes a lone pig, I a lone steer, Trevor a lone Human, and Jackie again presses the Field Warden into service to sow another field each of grain and turnips. Chris takes a two-point grain, I MIMI a three-point Manger, Trevor collects another pair of sheep (capping his score on them), and Chris finishes the game with a fresh field and new fences. (One square shy of filling his entire farm, though!)

I eat Pig, Veg, and 2 food, Trevor a pig, grain, and his 5 breads, Jackie feeds straight-up, and Chris' family subsists entirely on stone.

N T J C
Fld 4(3) 4(3) 6(4) 1(-1)
Pst 3(3) 4(4) 3(3) 1(1)
Grain 2(1) 6(3) 7(3) 1(1)
Veg 4(4) 4(4) 4(4) 1(1)
Sheep 8(4) 8(4) 4(2) 1(1)
Boar 3(2) 4(2) 4(2) 1(1)
Catl 1(1) 1(1) 4(3) 1(1)
F.Stb 0 4(4) 1(1) 0
Fam. 4(12) 5(15) 3(9) 5(15)
E.Fld 0 0 0 1(-1)
Rooms 2C(2) 5C(5) 3C(3) 6S(12)
B.P. (17) (4) (3) (8)
Total 49 49 37 39


Yes, 17 points. One each from the Cooking Hearth, Writing Desk, Clay Roof, Drinking Trough, and Animal Pen; three from the Manger, three from the Reeve, and a SIX-POINT Tutor. Yes, I had to sacrifice significant infrastructure-building in the early game to make some of it work, and I still only ended up with a tie. (My second tie-for-first with Trevor. We really must have a head-to-head 10-draft-7 K-deck throwdown at some point in the near future to decide these ties...) Chris made an admirable attempt to cover his bases, after going whole-hog at the Stone House Strat.

I went to sleep, breaking down the last round in my head. I should've noticed Jackie taking the reed and taken the Ren+MIMI a turn earlier, thus allowing me to save an entire action. Had I not fixated on getting that cow, I could've played the Pottery -and- the Manger, giving me the points to come out ahead.

I suppose, in a way, that's what's great about logging these games. It allows for thorough breakdown of the plays that really changed the game. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, folks!
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Chris Aumiller
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Really Nerd, isn't the plan ALWAYS throw a wrench at Chris?

I should learn to add more wrenches to throw at Nerd...

-WF
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Trevor Schadt
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Glenshaw
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Wrench
Minor Improvement
Cost: 1 Stone

When you play this card, Chris must announce (truthfully!) what Action space he plans to take with his next Family member. Then pass this card to the player on your left (unless Chris is the player on your left, in which case, pass this card to the player on Chris's left) who then adds it to his hand.
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Mike T
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Nice report.

Quote:
I get all of my fencing done in one go, creating a 2x6 pasture and two 1x1s alongside it.


That has to be a record, a pasture longer than the game board!

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Bryann Turner
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Portland
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Wow. Nice report, it's so interesting to see different groups play styles.
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Geoff Burkman
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Kettering
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Indeed! I haven't seen so many 6Woods ignored in a long time. And nineteen Ocks played in a 4-player game. Wow! Great report, had me laughing a lot. Sounds like you all had a great time! Lookin' forward to more!

Edit: Oh, yeah, and the guy who tied for first didn't add a worker until Round Twelve. Outstanding!



Woolies! Well, of course, what else would you call them?
 
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Trevor Schadt
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MisterG wrote:
Sounds like you all had a great time! Lookin' forward to more!


I tell you, Geoff, it's only about 4 hours or so from where you are to here in Pittsburgh. We need to get our respective 'Gric groups together for a weekend marathon of "let's play against another group's play styles and see how we do, laughing our collective asses off in the process." Sometime after the snow subsides, though, so I'm thinking... June? How does June work for you?

Barring that, do any of you guys go to MarCon? I'm planning on being there again this year and would love to meet up and put faces and such to some of the names.
 
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I wish I could do that, but I'd need 1) a regular Agricola group to play with (which I sort of do, but they play everything) and 2) be closer to the East Coast, since I'm currently on the West Coast (as in, "Snow? What snow?").

That being said, some things:
1) Is 1C a good play to grab the Simple Fireplace? Jackie was trying to do 2 things at once here, and I'm convinced she should have delayed trying to setup her baking engine a bit to grab sheep instead. Worst of all, she could have denied you the sheep on the 4th turn if Chris hasn't done the timely SP. (She could have also denied you Clay to get a Fireplace monopoly.)
2) Is playing the Wood-Fired Oven without a bake in the middle of the game really that great (Since it's trading 2W 1S for 1f 2pt)? I hate wasting actions like that, and would have preferred to delayed playing it. Was there any other minors that could have been played?
3) Jackie seems to have forgotten she had the Field Warden, since she keeps taking Plow actions with high picks.
4) Chris' Renovation without playing anything is even without enough resources to do it, renovation isn't a highly contested enough action to warrant doing it without playing a Major or Minor.
5) I too, am surprised at how often Wood is taken at 6 instead of being nabbed at 3 or 4.
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Mike T
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I think it's safe to say that most of the players in this game don't have a ton of experience under their belt. They make a lot of moves that just are just suboptimal. Looking at just the first round, there are 3 moves that you'd basically never see an experienced player make: the 2 wood grab, playing the Field Warden, and the 1 clay grab. That being said, games are not meant to be played "optimally," they are meant to be enjoyed, and it looks like this one was a ton of fun.
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Geoff Burkman
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ryudoowaru wrote:
MisterG wrote:
Sounds like you all had a great time! Lookin' forward to more!


I tell you, Geoff, it's only about 4 hours or so from where you are to here in Pittsburgh. We need to get our respective 'Gric groups together for a weekend marathon of "let's play against another group's play styles and see how we do, laughing our collective asses off in the process." Sometime after the snow subsides, though, so I'm thinking... June? How does June work for you?

Barring that, do any of you guys go to MarCon? I'm planning on being there again this year and would love to meet up and put faces and such to some of the names.


I don't know MarCon from margarine. Got a link? Got a when? Man, I haven't been to a gaming convention in one very long time. This year just might be the year.
 
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Trevor Schadt
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http://www.marcon.org/

Memorial Day weekend, Columbus, OH
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