Geoff Burkman
United States
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Brian was itching for another game after being torn up in the Reforestation Chainsaw Massacre the week before. U.S.D.* deal ten, drop three Improvements; may the slyest farmer win…

*Ugoi Standard Draft

Round One/MIMI
Geoff (#2) – 3W(3)
Brian (#7) – FT(2W)
Geoff – 1H –1f
Brian – DL(1f+1S)
Geoff – MIMI/Stone Wagon° (-2W)
Brian – SP + 1f

As I examine my hand of Minors, I can see that my fate will be predicated on one particular card, and thus I open with the wood heist. Brian gathers kindling, and I am given pause: do I put this key card into play for a premium, or take the cheaper route? I hem and haw and then make what may well be a first mistake; I buy a horse.* Brian seizes the opportunity to DL a rock, and I hastily use MIMI to get out the Stone Wagon.* Brian responds with the button heist to complete the Kiln strategy.

*I could have easily used Black Market to put this baby out and still had a shot at cashing in on it immediately, but there was no way to block the Kiln gambit short of surrendering both specials to Brian, which I am loathe to do this early, and Brian’s DL play was virtually a given (knowing his play style as I do), and the follow-up button grab equally so, thus the horseplay.

Round Two/Sheep
Brian – MIMI/Peat-Charcoal Kiln
Geoff – 1C(2)
Brian – 1H –1f
Geoff – CP(3fl)
Brian – 1R(2)
Geoff – DL(1f+1C+1S°)

Consequently, knowing my play style, Brian foregoes the special route to simply claim the Kiln via MIMI, since I’m quite obviously going to go for either the clay or the reed*; I take the clay. Brian powers-up the Kiln, I promptly fuel up, Brian liberates the reed, and I send the Wagon on its merry way to raid DL for the first stone payoff and spare clay.

*Admittedly, Brian could have likely had his pick of clay or reed first and still gotten the Kiln without much trouble. As it turned out, it didn’t really matter; we each got one of the stacked resources (although he essentially gave me first pick) and he saved a fuel.

Round Three/Fences
Brian – 3W(6)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2
Brian – CP(3+2fl)
Geoff – BM/Tool Shed (1W/1C)
Brian – Fish(3f)
Geoff – DL(1f+1R+1S°)

Brian claims the lumber, I nail down the fireplace, Brian fuels up hi-test, and I get the Tool Shed into play for the second time in as many games, only at a slightly more useful juncture in the proceedings. Brian fishes, and I work the Wagon again.

Round Four/Sow & Bake
Brian – BM/Swamp (1M:R12)
Geoff – SP + 3f
Brian – SB(PF)
Geoff – MIMI/Arid Field*
Brian – Bs&B (1s)
Brian – DL(1f+1S)

Brian ponders, then swaps off a fuel for a downstream Moor tile, a fine deal with a fully functional Kiln in his possession. I’m tempted by the other special, but opt for the larder-stuffing button grab. Brian turns a field, I MIMI a modest downstream food/fuel bonus, and Brian pops out a cheap stable and DLs a rock. I can see where this is going. Harvest is routine.

Round Five/Stone
Geoff – 3W(6)
Brian – 1C(3)
Geoff – SB(PF) + CP(3fl)*
Brian – CW/Museum of the Moors
Geoff – DL(1f+1R+1S°)
Brian – 1R(3)

It’s my turn for stacked cords, Brian gloms clay, and I put the Tool Shed to first use, simultaneously triggering Arid Field (on the space nearest my hut). Brian specials the Museum, I flog my Wagon* at DL again, and Brian clears the reed. All in a day’s work…

*That sounds vaguely indecent, doesn’t it? Apologies…

Round Six/Renovation + MIMI
Geoff – Sheep(5)burn5
Brian – CP(3+2fl)
Geoff – BM/Taps
Brian – BR(1) + 1s
Geoff – SB(PF) + CP(3fl)* -2f
Brian – Fish(3f)
Geoff – DL(1f+1C+1S°)

Much as I’m tempted, I simply can’t continue to ignore the risk of letting all those woolies pile up, only to see Brian shooing them into the wilds of Agricoland™, thus the stench of mutton fills the air as I consign them all to the flames. Brian fuels up again, I waste a fuel on a Minor that I sadly never use* (but at least I kept open options!), and Brian bangs out the first expansion of the game, along with a stable for breeding. I cough hard to put the Tool Shed to task again (and another Arid Field deposit), Brian empties the pond, and I get fourth use from the Wagon. Things are about to get…busy.

*For those who may not know, Taps allows its owner to use a special action after they’ve played all their family members, so long as it’s still legitimately available. That can be very handy, but especially in games of 3+ players.

Round Seven/Family Growth + MI
Geoff – 3W(6)
Brian – 1S(3)
Geoff – CW/Joinery
Brian – FT(2W)
Geoff – MIMI/Furniture Stall
Brian – FG + Oak Bark (2W-1f)

I mentally tick off options, ultimately settling on the lumber. Brian shrugs, hauls cheap marble, and we quickly dispense with the specials, me for the Joinery and Brian for kindling. I then grab the Wood=Clay Major, and Brian seizes first growth, adding Oak Bark to his holdings.* Harvest is again by the book, and the action count stands at Brian – 22 and Geoff – 21. It’s anybody’s ballgame, far as I can tell…

*Sadly, he’ll never use its unique powers, matching my stillborn Taps, so all he really did was swap a food for a 2Wood.

Round Eight/Vegetables
Geoff – CW/Forester’s Lodge
Brian – MIMI/Riding Stables
Geoff – FT(2+2W)
Brian – SP + 4f
Geoff – BR(1) + 3s **
Brian – 1G
Geoff – FG + Pastoral Letter

I open the midgame by seizing the Lodge; Brian counters by commandeering the Stables. I clear a copious (sorry) Forest tile, Brian reclaims the button and supplies, and I build a room and triple stables, using the expansion to claim one Arid Field bonus and a stable the other. Brian takes a grain, and I hire on my third dude, bumping the Well beneath the Village Church, a move that gives me no pause, since Brian’s rock collection poses no immediate threat.

Round Nine/Boar
Brian – 1H –1f
Geoff – 3W(6)
Brian – 1C(4)
Geoff – FT(2+2W)
Brian – MIMI/Clay Oven (5f)
Geoff – 1S(2)
Brian – Ren>C + Oven Damper (3fl-2S)
Geoff – DL(1f+1C+1S°)

Much to my amazement, Brian leads off with a horse purchase, by no means a bad play (his pair of roans will breed to six by game’s end so long as he makes proper room), but his bypassing of the 6Wood I snare is still somewhat unusual*. Unfortunately, he then commandeers the clay pile, so I counter by razing another Forest tile. Wood is good. Brian fires up the Clay Oven, I clear the stone, and Brian happily renovates, activating a pointed Minor. I thrift at the DL again, and it’s harvest time, all of which goes like clockwork.

*Especially since he knows that wood = clay for me.

Round Ten/Cattle
Brian – FT(2W)
Geoff – DL(1f+1C+1S°)
Brian – 1R(5)
Geoff – MIMI/Furnace(2fl) + Village Church(2f)
Brian – BM/MoM>Living History Museum
Geoff – CW/Fp2>CH4 –2f
Brian – 1G
Geoff – Boar(2)
Brian – Fish(4f)

Brian hacks underbrush (possibly trying to distract me), so I thrift for needed materials. Brian yields to temptation and sweeps up the budget reed. Hello, Workshop! I use MIMI and the Pastoral Letter to grab the Furnace and the Village Church at the same time, after which Brian remodels the Museum. I pay the vig to upgrade my cookery, Brian reloads his oven, I herd the pigs, and Brian clears the pond again. He still has a slim action count lead, 34 – 33, but for whatever reason, I almost feel like I’ve got him on the ropes.

Round Eleven/Stone
Brian – 3W(6)
Geoff – FT(2+2W)
Brian – HF(1f)
Geoff – DL(1f+1R+1S°)
Brian – S&B (1Gf)
Geoff – Ren>C + Furnace>Built-in Oven
Brian – Fences(7)
Geoff – SP + 3f

Brian hauls the lumber, I grab what I can from my last Forest. Brian marks time, my Wagon rolls again, and Brian gets his grain in the ground. I possibly stumble by renovating (there’s no rush) and “upgrading” the Furnace (2VP sacrificed for minimal fuel savings). Brian pops out a pair of pastures; I swipe the button. My piggies breed the first baby animal of the game, harvest is otherwise normal, and we move into the endgame. I tithe a fuel to the Church.

Round Twelve/Family Growth w/o
Geoff – FG w/o
Brian – Cattle(3)
Geoff – 1S(3)
Brian – 1C(3)
Geoff – CW/Well (2fl>
Brian – CW/Fp2 –2f
Geoff – Sheep(6)burn6
Brian – FT(2W)
Brian – SP + 1f

I hire on my fourth peep, and Brian herds the obliging cattle. I confiscate the stone, Brian gloms clay, I turn the stone into points, and Brian turns the clay into a fireplace. My next move is forced, as I am not about to cede a 12food to the opposition. Brian gathers a few flinders and then retakes the button. Both of us are doing well, but mistakes remain to be made…

Round Thirteen/Plow & Sow
Brian – FG w/o
Geoff – CW/Furnace (2fl)
Brian – 3W(6)
Geoff – 1S(3)
Brian – CP(3+2fl)
Geoff – 1R(3)
Brian – Bs&B(1s +5f)
Geoff – DL(1f+2S°)
Geoff – Ren>S + Basketmaker’s Workshop

Brian adds the obligatory worker, I repurchase the Furnace (once again wondering if I shouldn’t have just ignored the Built-in Oven), Brian hauls timber, and I claim the bargain stone. Brian fuels up, I sweep the reed, and Brian bakes and grabs another point. I thrift for rocks, and blinded by the light, make a horrendous error*: I renovate and pick up another crafting Major. What, pray tell, was I thinking? I toast a replaceable piglet at harvest, swapping off another fuel for a point.

*See if you can identify it before reading Bits & Pieces below.

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences
Brian – Fences(8)
Geoff – 1V
Brian – Boar(4)
Geoff – P&S (PF +1Vf)
Brian – CP(3+2fl)
Geoff – PF
Brian – DL(1f+1S)
Geoff – CW/CH4>Cookhouse
Brian – MIMI/Museum of the Moors
Geoff – FG w/o

Brian turns in the last of his timber for fences almost before the board’s been restocked, and I glumly survey the situation, finally opting for the 4-point swing play. Brian possibly stumbles over boar herding, and I quickly farm for effect. Brian now definitely stumbles with a final fuel-up (he has no reason to do it now, since I can’t block it), and I promptly cut his plowing off at the knees. He DLs for a rock, I swap a fuel/food for a point, and Brian repurchases MoM. I add a last worker, and it’s over. I tithe a spare wood at harvest for a last bonus point, and Brian’s newborns scatter to the winds. Let’s see who won…

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.

Brian – 44 (0 Occ, 4/6*)(26/2)(8)(52(16)/5/4)(0.846)(43) *acquired Museum of the Moors twice
Geoff – 44 (0 Occ, 6/9°)(27/6)(6)(51(14+2)/5/14)(0.863)(48) °acquired Furnace twice

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Brian 1(-1) 4(4) 2(1) 0(-1) 0(-1) 4(2) 4(3+6) 5(-5) 3(3) 3C(3) 4(12) (15) (3)
Geoff 4(3) 0(-1) 0(-1) 2(2) 0(-1) 3(2) 0(-1+1) 5(-5) 0(0) 3S(6) 5(15) (18) (6)

Bits & Pieces
Interesting to note that neither of us felt any great need to jump the specials as our first move; Brian did it five times, while I did it three. Likewise, neither of us was much motivated to pay the vig for second use; Brian did it once, and I did it twice. Nonetheless, I managed to use Clandestine Work six times, and Black Market twice, while Brian hit them up twice each. As I said, interesting…
My major mistakes were twofold: in Round Eleven, I shouldn’t have bothered with the Built-in Oven. The fuel payoff simply wasn’t worth the point loss. The more grievous error, though, was the foolish renovation to stone at the end of Round Thirteen—I simply wasn’t paying proper attention. I should have simply MIMIed the Workshop, which would have left me fully capable of renovation with fences in the final Round. Object lesson to Constant Reader: keep your eye on the ball; you can’t afford to lose focus at all.
That Stone Wagon is one hefty little Minor. I possibly overused it a bit, but a 2Wood>8Stone swap is hard to beat. I almost can’t help but wonder, though, how things would have gone if I’d opened with a visit to the DL for a Kiln-insuring rock, and then brought out the Stone Wagon a Round or two later.
Is there anyone else out there who’s attached the sobriquet “Mom” to the Museum of the Moors? To the Ugoi, it just seemed like the thing to do.

Thanks for reading, once again, and I trust Constant Reader enjoyed the account. Next report: most likely a 3-player base game, although I’m not sure which one, since I have several interesting ones on tap. Until then, hoe, hoe, hoe, and happy gaming to all!

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