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Subject: E Deck Solo Series Game 6--Where Have You Been All My Life Seasonal Worker? rss

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Brandt Fundak
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After feeling that I had misplayed my hand in Game 5 (after a particularly bad performance in game 4) I felt lucky to have come out with two wins to continue this series. My unforced errors in the last two games were trying to maximize the wood in hand before building rooms. After screwing this up twice, I was determined to not let this happen again, as it is now obvious to me that there is nothing wrong with building rooms twice in a game...especially if you use the second build to build the lion's share of your stables.

Game Setup
Held Occupations: Woodcutter, Mushroom Collector, Carpenter, Dock Worker, Master Builder
Starting Hands
Occupations: Seasonal Worker, Master Brewer
Minor Improvements: Dovecote, Ceramics, Turnwrest Plow, Stone House Extension, Canoe, Corn Scoop, Riding Plow

Initial Impression: I haven't been this happy with a draw [thread=5554353]since I saw the Quarry show up in game 3[/thread]. Drawing the Seasonal Worker as one of my two occupations this game is a true stroke of luck. My plan is to get him immediately into play, and if I win, I am holding him over to the next game. Master Brewer is a nice safety valve, and given that I have the Seasonal Worker, I am going to try and get him in play as well, in case I need 3 food during a Harvest. I am also pleased with my improvements. Given the Occupations in hand, my plan is to get the Corn Scoop in play once the Seasonal Worker can take vegetables or grain (after Round 6.) The Riding Plow makes the Turnwrest Plow redundant, but I'd rather have 2 plows than 0 plows. The Ceramics is great, as it will give me 2 food when it gets played, and makes the Pottery free. The Stone House extension plays into my idea to not to build all my rooms at once, so I am happy to see that as well. I am not sure how I am going to use the Dovecote and the Canoe, but they are worth victory points so I know I want to get them into play.

Stage 1
Round 1
Action Revealed: Fences
Resources Available (from game 5): 1 food

Since I am in love with the Woodcutter/Mushroom Collector combo, I take the Wood space for 2 wood and 2 food, leaving behind the 1 wood that will give me food on that space for the
rest of the game. I then play an occupation and play the Seasonal Worker for 1 food. Now I'll have a choice between taking Wood and getting food, or taking day laborer and getting grain.

Round 2
Action Revealed: Sow and/or Bake Bread
Resources Available: 2 wood, 2 food

My goal is to get two rooms of my house built in Round 4, rather than waiting for the Family Growth space to show up. So I take the Wood space again, for 3 wood and 2 food. I then decide to get the Master Brewer into play to have the 3 food for 1 grain safety valve into play. This costs me 1 food, and guarantees I don't need to worry about taking occupations anymore during this game.

Round 3
Action Revealed: Major/Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 5 wood, 3 food

Since I want to build next round, I know my two actions are already committed to taking Reed and Building a Room. With that in mind, I take the Wood space for 3 wood and 2 food, and then I take the Day Laborer for 2 food and 1 grain, setting up the potential for sowing or baking bread in Stage 2.

Round 4
Action Revealed: 1 Sheep
Resources Available: 8 wood, 1 grain, 7 food

My goal is to pounce on the Family Growth space if it shows up in Round 5, so I take the Reed space for 4 reed, and then I build rooms, building 2 rooms for 3 wood and 4 reed thanks to the Carpenter. Now I am ready to grow.

Stage 1 Harvest
Field Phase: N/A
Feeding Phase: 6 food needed (1 food remains)
Breeding Phase: N/A

Stage 2
Round 5
Action Revealed: 1 Stone
Resources Available: 1 grain, 1 food

Since Family Growth isn't available yet, I now want to get my fields going, since the Day Laborer can get me 1 vegetable starting in Round 6. Since I also need food, I take the Wood space for 5 wood and 2 food. I then play a Minor Improvement, the Riding Plow, for 4 wood. This will allow me to get as many fields in play as I am going to need with only two Plow actions.

Round 6
Action Revealed: Family Growth with Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 1 wood, 1 grain, 3 food

Since I have the Stone House Extension Improvement, I want to Renovate to Stone as soon as possible so I can get my fifth room. Since most of my improvements need wood to be played, I take the Wood space yet again for 3 wood and 2 food. Since I know I need reed to get the renovations and the Stone House Extension into play, I decide to do Family Growth, and for my Minor Improvement, I play the Canoe for 2 wood, which will give me a plus 1 food, plus 1 reed bonus when I take the Fishing space. I now have two spaces that will effectively give me reed, and if two or more food have accumulated on the fishing space, I have a mini Day Laborer with reed space to take. This is important, because I am now on the hook for 9 food next turn.

Round 7
Action Revealed: Renovation with Major/Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 2 wood, 1 grain, 5 food

I now have a choice. Do I take the Wood space and the Day Laborer and their associated bonues and get just enough food to feed the family I have, or do I take the Fishing space and get more than enough food to grow yet again, and get a reed I will need to do a renovation to get closer to the Stone House? I decide the latter. First, I take the Wood for 3 wood and 2 food. I then take the fishing space which gives me 8 food and 1 reed, thanks to the plus 1 food, plus 1 reed bonus from the Canoe. I then take Family Growth, and for 1 wood I play the Corn Scoop, hopefully setting up a soon to be realized grain bonanza.

Stage 2 Harvest
Field Phase: N/A
Feeding Phase: 10 food needed (5 food remains)
Breeding Phase: N/A

Stage 3
Round 8
Action Revealed: Take 1 vegetable
Resources Available: 4 wood, 1 reed, 1 grain, 5 food

I now need to get an Oven going, because I need a food engine, and I would like to get Ceramics in play so I can take the Pottery for free. However, I only have 1 grain, I need to get some grain sown, as the Riding Plow has been sitting idle for several rounds, making me regret that I played it so soon. Since I don't want to burn all of my grain when I buy an oven, I take the Grain space, getting 2 grain thanks to the Corn Scoop. I then take the Clay space for 8 clay. I now have enough to renovate, but I need stone to build either Oven. I decide to use the Dock Worker to convert 3 of my wood to 1 stone, and then Renovate to clay for 4 clay and 1 reed, and buying the Clay Oven for 3 clay and 1 stone, baking 1 of my grain for 5 food. I then decide to take the Day Laborer, and since it is past Round 6, I elect to take a vegetable instead of grain. Now, I can safely grow next turn, as I only need 1 food to feed my family. The question is, can I get enough stone and reed to pull it off next turn?

Round 9
Action Revealed: 1 boar
Resources Available: 1 wood, 1 clay, 2 grain, 1 vegetable, 12 food

I need to get my fields working, so I Plow 1 Field and get to plow 3 fields thanks to the Riding Plow. I then Sow my 2 grain and 1 vegetable to get everything going. Since I am now hurting for Wood and I want to build fences, I take the Wood space for 5 wood and 2 food, and then I decide to take the fishing space for 3 food and 1 reed, as I want to renovate next turn.

Stage 3 Harvest
Field Phase: 2 grain, 1 vegetable
Feeding Phase: 12 food needed (5 food remains)
Breeding Phase: N/A

Stage 4
Round 10
Action Revealed: 1 cattle
Resources Available: 6 wood, 1 clay, 1 reed, 2 grain, 1 vegetable, 5 food

As I churn through the possibilities of how I can renovate to Stone and get the Stone Room Extension played as soon as possible, I realize that I made a mistake in taking the Fishing space last round, as I need 2 reed to renovate AND build the Stone Room Extension, and I am stuck with 1 reed, so I either need to take the Fishing space again, or take the Reed, which is what I should have done last round. There is also not enough stone to renovate and build the Stone Room Extension, but I figure I have enough wood that I can use the Dock Worker to get the 1 extra stone I need to pull this off. Since I know I need stone and reed, I take the Stone space for 6 stone, and then take the Reed space for 6 reed. I then realize that thanks to the Canoe, reed is much more abundant in this game than it usually would be, and I still have a need for fences and stables, so I decide to convert 2 of the reed to the extra 1 stone I need, as there are still 4 more rounds in the game, and I am likely going to be able to get the 5 reed I need to max out the Basketmaker's Workshop, which obviously (to me anyway) is an Improvement I need to get my hands on before this game ends. Now that I have the stone I need, I Renovate to Stone for 4 stone and 1 reed, and play the Stone House Extension for 1 reed and 3 stone. Once the room is built, the Master Builder comes into play, and I get a 6th room for free. Now, I have the room to grow, so I take Family Growth, playing the Ceramics as my Minor Improvement, netting me 2 food, and making the Pottery a free improvement for me.

Round 11
Action Revealed: 1 Stone
Resources Available: 6 wood, 3 reed, 2 grain, 1 vegetable, 7 food

Since I was able to keep my wood last turn, I need to turn my attention to building fences and stables, and getting a bunch of food before the end of the round. I take the Wood space for 5 wood and 2 food. Knowing I need to bake some more bread, I plow a field to set up another space to sow either a grain or vegetable, but I don't use the Riding Plow for more fields, as I want to use the rest of my spaces for animal enclosures. I then use the Sow/Bake Bread bread action to sow my vegetable and bake 1 grain for 5 food. I then take the Day Laborer for 2 food, and then elect to take a vegetable, since that gives me 4 vegetables between my supply and my fields. Since I now have enough food for the harvest, I decide to get my free Pottery, so I take the Major/Minor Improvement.

Stage 4 Harvest
Field Phase: 2 grain, 2 vegetables
Feeding Phase: 15 food (1 food remains)
Breeding Phase: N/A

Stage 5
Round 12
Action Revealed: Plow 1 Field and Sow
Resources Available: 11 wood, 3 reed, 3 grain, 3 vegetables, 1 food

Food is going to be foremost on my mind for the rest of the game, but given that I am going to harvest 2 grain next turn and open up two fields, I am not afraid of baking bread. For my first action, I sow on the newly opened up field space, and bake another grain for 5 food. I then decide that I need to get the Basketmaker's Workshop, since I have enough reed in hand, so I take the stone (2 stone) for my next action and then take the Major/Minor Improvement and buy the Basketmaker's Workshop for 2 stone and 2 reed. I still need food, so I take the wood space for 3 wood and 2 food, and since I now have a reason to hoard reed, I take the Fishing space for 4 food and 1 reed.

Round 13
Action Revealed: Family Growth Without Room
Resources Available: 14 wood, 2 reed, 1 grain, 3 vegetables, 10 food

I need to get the animals, and I now have the wood I need to build the enclosures. With my first action I take fences for 13 wood, creating 2 2x1 enclosures (1 with a stable) and 1 1x1 enclosure. Next, I take the 5 clay, because it's obvious that I am going to cook some sheep to have enough food this turn. I then use the Major/Minor Improvement to buy a Cooking Hearth for 4 clay. I then take the sheep and slaughter 4 of the 10 sheep for 8 food, putting the other 6 sheep in the 2x1 enclosure with the stable. I quickly calculate that I have enough actions to sow and bake bread, take the animals, take the wood and build stables next turn, I take the reed space for 3 reed, giving me the 5 reed I need to get the max bonus for the Basketmaker's Workshop

Stage 5 Harvest
Field Phase: 3 grain, 1 vegetable
Feeding Phase: 15 food needed (3 food remaining)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep

Stage 6
Round 14
Action Revealed: Renovation with Fences
Resources Available: 1 wood, 1 clay, 5 reed, 4 grain, 4 vegetables, 7 sheep, 3 food

I basically already came up with my strategy in Round 13, so now I see it through. I Sow 3 of my grain on the 3 open fields, and bake 1 grain for 5 food. I then take the wood space for 5 wood and 2 food. This now gives me enough wood to build 3 additional stables, so I build those with my third turn. I then finish the turn by taking the 6 boar and the 5 cattle, slaughtering 1 of the cattle for 4 food.

Stage 6 Harvest
Field Phase: 4 grain
Feeding Phase: 15 food needed, 14 food, plus 1 grain converted to 3 food by the Master Brewer. (2 food remains)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep, 1 boar, 1 cattle

Final Results
5 family members
6 stone rooms
4 fields
3 pastures
4 fenced stables
0 unused spaces
11 grain
4 vegetables
8 sheep
7 boar
5 cattle [Edited: I mistakenly put that I had 6, which would not be possible, since I did not have room for 6 and I had slaughtered on for food. But the total score was calculated with 5 cattle and did not change. I just wrote the number wrong in the write up.]
8 VP from the Clay Oven(2), Canoe(1), Cooking Hearth(1), Pottery(2) and Basketmaker's Workshop(2)
3 Bonus VP from 5 reed (Basketmaker's Workshop)

Total score: 67 points for a Win

Final Analysis: Apart from one major misstep (taking Fishing in Round 9 instead of Reed), I feel I played this round well. Howeverm I have a feeling I cost myself the Well, as I left 3 stone sitting on one of the stone spaces, and the abundance of grain meant I had at least 6 food in reserve in the final round (1 grain converted to 3 food and 3 other grain would have still left me with 8 grain.) Had I not taken the fishing space in round 9, I could have used that action a bit more wisely and perhaps scored 70 or higher. Still, this is my second best win of the series.

Looking forward to game 7: I am thrilled that I was able to get the Seasonal Worker this game and can hold it into game 7. In the next game, I will only be dealt one Occupation, and if I determine it sucks, I'll pass on it in an attempt to get a better one in game 8, if I can survive that long. I am wondering if my plan to renovate was a mistake and wonder if I should have built a wooden room and renovated to clay and stone later. I'm assuming I won't get the Stone Room Extension next game, so we'll see if it makes a difference.
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David Grabiner
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Taking wood multiple times when you did not immediately need it was not very efficient, despite your bonuses. On the first three turns, you took wood three times to get 8 wood and 6 food; you could have had 8 wood and 2 food by just taking wood on the third turn, and taking Day Laborer on the first two turns to get the same 4 food and 2 more grain.

 
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Kasper Baack
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If you take 5 cattle in turn 14 and you slaughter one, you dont end up with 6 in the end. So I guess thats 1VP less.
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Brandt Fundak
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Kasper wrote:
If you take 5 cattle in turn 14 and you slaughter one, you dont end up with 6 in the end. So I guess thats 1VP less.


That was a typo on my part and I changed it. However, the score was calculated with the correct number (5) so it didn't change. If I had 6 (which wasn't possible because I didn't have the space and for the reason you cited) I would have had 68.
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Brandt Fundak
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David Grabiner wrote:
Taking wood multiple times when you did not immediately need it was not very efficient, despite your bonuses. On the first three turns, you took wood three times to get 8 wood and 6 food; you could have had 8 wood and 2 food by just taking wood on the third turn, and taking Day Laborer on the first two turns to get the same 4 food and 2 more grain.



Had I taken wood only in turn 3, I would have only received 6 wood and 2 food, as I would have had to leave 1 wood behind. That 2 wood is the difference between building a stable and not building a stable when I built my rooms, so I respectfully disagree.
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James R
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I agree with David that your wood taking is not the most efficient way to get points. By my count you take wood 10 times in 14 turns, gaining 9 extra wood (you have to leave one behind). This wood nets you in total a riding plough (that you use only once) a canoe, a corn scoop and a stable.

So for 10 actions you save yourself 1 with the plow (1 action to get plough, and 2 plows for 4 fields over just plowing 4 times) and gain 2 points in the canoe and stable. The canoe does give you reed, but reed should be plentiful anyway; 14 for 2 builds (4), 2 renovations (2), and a cheap stone room (1) still leaves you 7 to get the basket makers and max bonus. The corn scoop's pointless with seasonal worker as you can set up as much grain as you'll ever need. The stable is useful but I wonder if you could afford it anyway without converting wood to stone earlier in the game?

Overall I think that whilst generating extra resources beyond those on the board is important in a solo game you also need to maximise your actions and you end up using a net 9 actions to generate 2 points.

Anyway, seasonal worker is definitely a useful occupation so best of luck in round 7.
 
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Jarvis
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I read your first session report, and I did end up playing a solo game to try it out. I drew Seasonal Worker and got him down immediately. Before the first harvest I played Day Laborer three times and Plow Field 3 times and also sowed my 3 grain. At this point I was way ahead, able to collect both ovens and eat food at an average price of ~4.5 food per grain. I scored 64 points in in game 1, which seemed pretty nice.

I'd have to agree with the other folks that taking advantage of Day Laborer early would be more efficient than taking wood so often. However, you did win, so more power to you!
 
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Kasper Baack
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One other thing, I dont have the names of the plows in english in my head, but if you plan to use it only once. Isnt the other plow the better option as it costs only 3 wood?
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Brandt Fundak
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Kasper wrote:
One other thing, I dont have the names of the plows in english in my head, but if you plan to use it only once. Isnt the other plow the better option as it costs only 3 wood?


Yes it is, and I had intended to mention that as one of my mistakes. Good catch.
 
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Brandt Fundak
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JamesR wrote:

Overall I think that whilst generating extra resources beyond those on the board is important in a solo game you also need to maximise your actions and you end up using a net 9 actions to generate 2 points.


Obviously, maximizing my actions is an area where I can use improvement in this game. You always have good feedback for me James. It shows me two things--one, I need to be better with my action selections and two, I never want to play a mulitplayer game of Agricola with you, because I would likely get crushed!
 
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James R
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No problem, I enjoy rehashing passed games to see what might have been and I'm sure in an actual game my 20-20 hindsight wouldn't be quite so useful
 
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