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Subject: I Deck Solo Series Game 8--Dad's Drunk AGAIN! rss

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Brandt Fundak
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So once again, I come to the end of the road with an Agricola deck. I think I've had a much better showing than I did with the E deck (a fact that will likely have me revisiting the E deck) but can I finish it off?

Previous Games in the Series
Game 1
Game 2
Game 3
Game 4
Game 5
Game 6
Game 7

Game Setup
Held Occupations: Well Builder, Chamberlain, Field Watchman, Bricklayer, Gardener, Wood Collector
Starting Hands
Occupations: Farm Steward
Minor Improvements: Village Well, Ladder, Cooking Corner, Corn Storehouse, Alms, Tavern, Goose Pond

Initial Impression: My strategy of ignoring the Fence Deliveryman in game 7 pays off and I get the Farm Steward in Game 8. I also get the combo that had me holding on to the Well Builder after game 1 instead of the Church Warden (who never made a return appearance.) Of course, if I can get the Ladder into play I will likely try to get the Basketmaker's Workshop and the reed bonus. I'm also looking to see if I can use the Tavern as effectively as I used it last game.

Stage 1
Round 1
Action Revealed: Major/Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 1 wood (from Wood Collector), 5 food (from game 7)

Thankfully, having 5 food in hand to start this game makes it easy for me to try and get some fields into play. I take grain for 1 grain and 1 plowed field, and then decide that I don't feel like sweating food at all this harvest, so I take the Major/Minor Improvement and play the Goose Pond, which requires 3 occupations and will get me 1 free food for the next 4 rounds. No foraging for me this stage!

Round 2
Action Revealed: 1 Sheep
Resources Available: 2 wood, 1 grain, 6 food

Since I have now taken care of food for this stage, I play my Farm Steward for 1 food so I don't have to worry about it the rest of the game. I then take the Major/Minor Improvement space and play the Ladder for 2 wood, which will give me reed discounts for the rest of the game.

Round 3
Action Revealed: Sow and/or Bake Bread
Resources Available: 1 wood, 1 grain, 6 food

In the past few games, I've bought a cheap Fireplace and then later upgraded it to a Cooking Hearth in order to maximize the yield on my vegetables, which are abundant thanks to the Gardener. This game I've got the Cooking Corner, so I decide to take the Clay space for 3 clay and then take the Major Improvement to take the Hearth outright for a discounted 3 clay, thanks to the Bricklayer.

Round 4
Action Revealed: Fences
Resources Available: 2 wood, 1 grain, 7 food

I would like to sow this round, but I think it makes more sense to take 1 grain and plow a field, and worry about sowing next Stage, since I am good on food. Instead of sowing, I take the Reed space, which has 4 reed and thanks to the Ladder is 1 more reed than I need to renovate twice and build 3 rooms.

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: 3 wood, 4 reed, 2 grain, 2 food

I'm glad to see the Stone space appear, and decide to spend the round building so that I can prepare for a hopeful family growth in round 6. I take the Wood space for 10 wood and then follow that up by building a Wooden room for 5 wood and 1 reed, and 3 stables for 6 wood.

Round 6
Action Revealed: Renovation with Major/Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 2 wood, 3 reed, 2 grain, 2 food

So the Family Growth space doesn't pop up, so instead of my first plan (which was to take growth and upgrade to the Cooking Corner) I decide I will use the turn to get the Well into play instead, so that when I grow in round 7, I can immediately upgrade it to the Village Well. So I take the Stone space for 2 stone, and then take the Major/Minor Improvement space and pay 1 wood and 1 stone for the Well (coincidentally leaving 1 wood and 1 stone in hand in case I should want to buy it again) and getting a free food for the next 5 rounds.

Round 7
Action Revealed: Family Growth with Minor Improvement
Resources Available: 1 wood, 3 reed, 1 stone, 2 grain, 3 food

I immediately take Family Growth and upgrade my Well to the Village Well, adding 1 free food to the next 3 rounds. While those food bonuses are nice, I still need to eat this turn, so I take the Sheep space for 6 sheep, slaughtering 3 of them for 6 food.

Stage 2 Harvest
Field Phase: N/A
Feeding Phase: 7 food needed (2 food remains)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep

Stage 3
Round 8
Action Revealed: Take 1 Vegetable
Resources Available: 1 wood, 3 reed, 1 stone, 2 grain, 4 sheep, 4 food

Now that I have grown to the limits of my current house, it's safe for me to renovate and use the Farm Steward's power. I take the Clay space for 5 clay. I then renovate for 2 clay thanks to the Ladder and Bricklayer and since I want to save the 3 clay for building a room, I re-buy the well for 1 wood and 1 stone, getting an additional 1 food for the next 5 rounds (and 3 on each of the next 2 round spaces thanks to the Well-Village Well-Well combo.) I then take Family Growth thanks to the Farm Steward and for my Minor improvement, I upgrade my Hearth into the Cooking Corner, achieving the goals I had set before my first Family Growth action in round 6.

Round 9
Action Revealed: 1 Boar
Resources Available: 3 clay, 3 reed, 2 grain, 4 sheep, 7 food

I decide to get my fields going this turn, so I take 1 vegetable and then follow that up by taking 1 grain and plowing a field. I then sow 2 of the grain and the vegetable. Since I need to slaughter 1 sheep to have space for breeding and will be getting a vegetable from the supply during the harvest, I decide to set up to take the Stone Oven and grab the Stone space for 3 stone.

Stage 3 Harvest
Field Phase: 2 grain, 1 vegetable from the supply
Feeding Phase: 12 food needed, 7 food plus 1 sheep slaughtered for 2 food, 1 vegetable converted by the Cooking Corner for 4 food (1 food remains)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep

Stage 4
Round 10
Action Revealed: 1 Cattle
Resources Available: 3 clay, 3 reed, 3 stone, 3 grain, 4 sheep, 3 food

Since I am sitting on 3 grain, I decide that this is the turn I should use to not have to worry about food any more this game. I take a vegetable and a grain, plowing a field. I then take the Major Improvement Stone Oven for 3 stone thanks to the Bricklayer's clay discount and bake 2 grain for 8 food. Then I Sow the 1 vegetable and bake the other 2 grain for additional 8 food. I now have enough to eat for the end of the harvest, now to use the next round to make sure I don't need to worry about the stage 5 harvest either.

Round 11
Action Revealed: (11) 1 Stone, (12) Plow 1 Field and/or Sow, (13) Family Growth without Room, (14) Renovation with Fences
Resources Available: 3 clay, 3 reed, 4 sheep, 21 food

The Clay space finally has enough clay on it for me to build two rooms, so I take the Clay spot for 3 clay and then take the Wood space for 12 wood, in case I want to build a stable. However, I do some quick math and figure out it's either a stable or the Tavern, so I skip on the stable and just build 2 clay rooms for 6 clay and 2 reed. I think about growing for the last action, but I decide to hold off, as I can't make use of the Minor Improvement to get the Tavern into play, because I have no stone. So I take the Fishing space for 11 food instead, essentially guaranteeing I won't have to worry about food the rest of the game since I will have at least 4 vegetables by the next time I need to worry about it.

Stage 4 Harvest
Field Phase: 2 grain, 2 vegetables from the supply
Feeding Phase:12 food needed. I slaughter 1 sheep to make room for breeding for +2 food (21 food remains)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep

Stage 5
Round 12
Resources Available: 12 wood, 1 reed, 2 grain, 2 vegetables, 4 sheep, 22 food

Since we are getting to the end of the game, and I want to see if I can get the Tavern in play and use it for bonus points, I grab the Stone space for 3 stone. I then do my last Family Growth and play the Tavern as my minor. I avoided growing last turn because taking getting the extra action a turn early would not have helped me any, as I would have had to take 2 actions (Family Growth without Room and Major/Minor Improvement) to accomplish the same thing. So in effect, the extra action would have cancelled itself out. Once the Tavern is in play, I take Grain and plow a field, and then, setting up for the Basketmaker's Workshop, I take the Reed space for 8 reed.

Round 13
Resources Available: 10 wood, 9 reed, 1 stone, 3 grain, 2 vegetables, 4 sheep, 23 food

This is the turn to build fences, as there isn't enough stone to renovate AND play the Basketmaker's Workshop this turn. I take the Wood space for 4 wood and build fences for 13 wood, creating 2 2x1 enclosures each with a stables and 1 1x1 enclosure with a stable. I then take the Cattle (4 cattle) and Boar (5 boar) and place them in the 1 and 2 exclosure pastures respectively. I then realize that if I try to get the sheep, it would only be worth 1 extra point for me based on the breeding that will be happening in the next two harvests, as opposed to the Tavern, which gives me 2 points. So I tie one down for 2 bonus points.

Stage 5 Harvest
Field Phase: 2 grain, 2 vegetables from the supply
Feeding Phase: 15 food needed (8 food remains)
Breeding Phase:1 sheep, 1 boar, 1 cattle (in house)

Stage 6
Round 14
Resources Available: 1 wood, 9 reed, 1 stone, 5 grain, 4 vegetables, 5 sheep, 6 boar, 5 cattle

Now I need to renovate, so I take both of the Stone spaces for net 6 stone. I then Renovate for 5 stone and play the Basketmaker's Workshop for 2 stone and 2 reed (leaving me with 7 reed and a max bonus.) I then Sow 3 of my grain and bake 1 grain for 4 food. Having nothing left to do, dad heads to the Tavern again to get wasted for 2 VP.

Stage 6 Harvest
Field Phase: 3 grain, 2 vegetables from the supply
Feeding Phase: 15 food needed--12 food plus 1 cattle slaughtered for 4 food (1 food remains)
Breeding Phase: 1 sheep, 1 boar, 1 cattle

Final Results
5 family members
5 stone house rooms
5 fields
3 pastures
3 fenced stables
0 unused spaces
10 grain
10 vegetables
6 sheep
7 boar
5 cattle
20 VP from Well(4), Stone Oven(3), Basketmaker's Workshop(2), Cooking Corner(3), Village Well(5), Tavern(2), Goose Pond(1)
7 Bonus VP from Basketmaker's Workshop(3 VP for 7 reed) and Tavern (4 VP from 2 visits)

Total Score:80 points for a resounding win



Final Analysis: By far, this is the best I've played in either series and I was finally able to crack the 80 point threshold. Fortunately I was able to get every one of the Minors except the Corn Storehouse into play and I felt I did the best I could with the animals, since I was one action short of maxing out the sheep, but was still able to get 3 points for them. Now the question I have is whether or not the I deck is super powerful, or if I am just a better player today than I was when i did the E Deck Solo series. Perhaps I should revisit the E deck to find out...
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Anthony Boydell
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these reports have been really interesting - many thanks for sharing this with us!
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Agreed. I don't much care for solo Agricola (on the rare occasions when I do play the game solitaire, I usually solo a 2-player game), and in truth, even 2-player Agricola is my least favorite competitive configuration, but your reports have been quite entertaining. I look forward to some eventual reports from you on competitive sessions of the game.
 
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Brandt Fundak
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MisterG wrote:
Agreed. I don't much care for solo Agricola (on the rare occasions when I do play the game solitaire, I usually solo a 2-player game), and in truth, even 2-player Agricola is my least favorite competitive configuration, but your reports have been quite entertaining. I look forward to some eventual reports from you on competitive sessions of the game.


i'm working on that as we speak...
 
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Dave
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Nicely done. These have been good. Will you be doing a 'K' series?
 
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Brandt Fundak
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dlewis2 wrote:
Nicely done. These have been good. Will you be doing a 'K' series?


Just started it last night. I'll have a write up soon.
 
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