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Subject: Lord of the Ugoi: the Gaming of the Four, or No, This Isn't Golf rss

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Geoff Burkman
United States
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A month or so ago, the four original Ugoi managed to be in the same place at the same time, and the opportunity for a 4-player farming match couldn’t be resisted. Standard deal ten, drop three, with G-Deck included. Brian gets the button by random selection.

Round One/Fences
Brian – Occ/Tax Collector
Geoff – RSf
Ron – 2C(2) ?
Skyp – 3W(3)
Brian – PF
Geoff – SP + House Goat
Ron – DL(2f)
Skyp – 2W(2)

Much to my chagrin, Brian opens with a G-Deck Ock that is rapidly working its way up to banishment status, and with nothing in hand that I want to play that requires wood, I hit up the thrift store.* Ron now debatably stumbles out of the gate with a clay heist; given his eventual first Ock (in Round Five), I would opine that he should have paid the food to get it out now, rather than later. Skyp hauls timber, Brian settles for a field, and I take the button to put out the Goat and set up my Ock play. Ron tops supplies to overflowing, while Skyp spikes the 2Wood. Other than Ron’s clay speculation, no one seems to have overtly started out poorly.

*”They” tell me it’s the best spot on the 4-player board. I’ll take it eight times this game, in no small part thanks to the Ocks I’m about to play.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 1 PF, 1 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 1R/1S, 1 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 2C
Skyp – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 5W

Round Two/Sow & Bake
Geoff – Occ/Understudy
Ron – 1R(2)
Skyp – RSf
Brian – 3W(3)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Freeloader
Ron – 2C(2)
Skyp – SP + Wooden Oven (-3W/1S)
Brian – DL(2f)

I’ve decided I want to test drive the Understudy again, an interesting G-Decker that allows its owner to use any action space already occupied by a single one of that player’s Family Members (thus, no growth spaces and no tripling up). I’ll get fine use out of it. Ron takes the reed, Skyp thrifts, Brian nabs a few cords, and I put the Understudy to immediate use to bring its cousin into play, another G-Decker that allows duplicate use of a space.* Ron dallies with more clay, Skyp snags the button to play a Minor oven, perhaps ruing his lack of grain, and Brian snacks, biding his time.

*Only with this guy, it’s only good with your first worker, which is now prohibited from taking the button, and it only works on spaces that other players have already occupied. I’ll get excellent use from it as well.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 3W, 1 PF, 1 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 1R/1S, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4C/2R
Skyp – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 2W/1R, 1 MnImp

Round Three/MIMI
Skyp – Occ/Storehouse Keeper
Brian – RSf
Geoff – RSf
Ron – 2W(4)
Skyp – 1G
Brian – 1C(3)
Geoff – RSf
Ron – MIMI/CH4 (-4C) [Brian – (2C-1f)]

Skyp pops his first Ock, and it’s one he might well have sprung for the premium back in Round One, especially given his recent play of the Wood-fired Oven. Brian thrifts, and I put the Freeloader to immediate task to thrift as well. Ron hauls lumber, Skyp gathers a day-late-dollar-short grain, and Brian scoops up clay. I thrift again, working the Understudy, and Ron buys his cherished hearth, triggering Brian’s Tax Collector. This will prove to be quite timely for Brian.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 3W/5C/1R/1S, 1 PF, 1 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 3R/3S, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4W/2R, 1 MjImp
Skyp – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 2W/1R, 1G, 1 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Four/Sheep
Skyp – 3W(6)
Brian – 1W(4)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Grump (4W)
Ron – 1R(2)
Skyp – RSf + 1G
Brian – MIMI/Fp2 (-2C)
Geoff – SP + Stone Crane (-2W/2S)
Ron – Fish(4f)

Skyp and Brian quickly clear the accumulated timber, while I spring for another one of those bonus-granting wood Ocks that always seem to nip at my posterior.* Ron hogs reed, a rude tactic that doesn’t work nearly so well in 4-player games, and Skyp gets first use from his Keeper. Brian picks up the cheap cookery, and I retake the button to unleash a highly utile G-Deck Minor from which I’ll extract excellent results.** Ron closes the Stage by emptying the pond; we all feed as per normal, with my House Goat saving me a spare food.

*The Grump, a G-Decker, grants two bonus points to the player(s) with the least Family Members at game’s end.

**The Stone Crane allows its owner to piggyback room-building and renovation on opponents. The downside, of course, is that you lose out on the extra Improvement action. Btw, attention Eugene!!, the Compendium incorrectly lists the costs/requirements of this Minor.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 7W/3C/1R/1S, 1 PF, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 2W/3R/1S, 3 Ock, 2 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4W/4R, 1 MjImp
Skyp – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 8W/2R/1S, 2G, 1 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Five/Renovation + MIMI
Geoff – TP(5f)
Ron – Occ/Late Sleeper °
Skyp – Occ(-1f)/Conjurer ?
Brian – RSf
Geoff – 2W(4)
Ron – 2C(6)
Skyp – BR(1) + 1s (-7W/2R) + [Geoff – BR(1) (–4W/2R)]
Brian – SP + Extra Effort> + Clay Oven (-3C/1S/1f)

I’m sorely tempted by the 4Wood (on the off chance that Skyp elects to build a room with his first action), but the Players are far more tempting; a 5food is just too good at this point to pass up. Ron then plays the contentious G-Deck Ock he should have gotten out back in Round One for best effect; as it is, he’ll use it twice to little effect.* Skyp commits his first major faux pas by ocking another grain source, a redundancy that just isn’t worth the bother. Why not just thrift, as Brian quickly does? Happily, I gather in the lumber I’d let slide before, Ron hauls major clay, and Skyp builds his room (and vestigial stable), and I put my Crane to work with alacrity. Brian then regains the button, picking up the oven enabled by Ron’s hearth purchase. Nice.

*Late Sleeper lets the player take an extra move each Round, if and when that player elects to “sleep late” and thereby play all their peeps after everyone else has finished taking their actions. Apparently, the debate rages within the play-agricola online community as to whether this Ock is broken or not. At least in this instance, Ron will demonstrate that it is not. whistle

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 7W/2R/1S, 1 PF, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 6f, 2W/1R/1S, 3 Ock, 2 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4W/6C/4R, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp
Skyp – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 1W/1S, 2G, 1s, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Six/Stone
Brian – 3W(6)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Animal Holder (3W)
Skyp – 1R(2)
Brian – Sheep(3)burn3
Geoff – 1C(3)
Skyp – RSf + 1C
°Ron – 2W(2)
°Ron – BR(1) + x (-5W/2R) + [Geoff – BR(1) (-5W/1R)]
°Ron – SP + Stone Exchange> (2C>2S)

Ron elects to sleep late, and Brian hauls the obvious. I now tempt the fates even further with another bonus-generating wooden Ock, the G-Deck’s reward for most animals at game’s end. Yes, it was a dangerous move, but Constant Reader will shortly see why I did it. Skyp appropriates the reed, Brian torches the woolies, and I swipe clay. Skyp thrifts again, opting for a clay as his Keeper payoff. Ron then cashes in, picking up needed lumber, building a room (triggering second use of my Crane), and then grabs the button to swap off clay for rocks.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 6f, 13W/2R/1S, 1 PF, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp
Geoff – 4Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 3C/1S, 4 Ock, 2 MnImp
Ron – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 1W/4C/2R/2S, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp
Skyp – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 1W/1C/3R/2S, 2G, 1s, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Seven/Family Growth + MI
Ron – FG + Pine Forest
Skyp – SP + Reed Sale> (1R>3f)
Brian – BR(1) + 4s (-13W/2R)
Geoff – FG + Lettuce Patch
Ron – MIMI/Basketmaker’s Workshop (-2R/2S) [Brian – (2S-1f)]
Skyp – 2C(4)
Brian – RSf
Geoff – 3W(3)

Threatened by yours truly, Ron adds a worker and a G-Deck Minor that will do him no good.* Skyp smartly takes the button, passing along the temp Basketmaker, while Brian knocks out a room and all four stables. My Freeloader allows me to add my third worker and a nice Minor that will eventually serve me well. Ron grabs the Workshop, a move that likely benefits Brian more than him, Skyp hauls bargain clay, Brian thrifts, and I spike the major coppice for lack of anything better to do.** Harvest is by the book; the stage is now set for the midgame.

*In retrospect, I’m surprised that he didn’t get it out with a button grab as his very first move of the game. Had he done that, and followed up with ocking the Late Sleeper, this game would have proceeded along a radically divergent path.

**Constant Reader may well disagree; plowing might have been better.

Current Status
Brian – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 1R/4S, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp
Geoff – 4Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 3W/3C/1S, 4 Ock, 3 MnImp
Ron – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 1W/4C, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 1W/5C/2R/2S, 2G, 1s, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Eight/Boar
Skyp – FG + Chicken Coop (6f> -2C/1R)
Brian – SP + Reed Sale> (1R>3f)
Geoff – FG + Extra Effort> + Fp3 (-3C/1f) [Brian – (1C)]
Ron – 1S(3)
Skyp – Ren>C (-3C/1R) + Carp Pond (3f>
Brian – 1W(4)
Geoff – Fish(4f)
Ron – 1R(2)
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn2
Ron – 2W(4)

Skyp grows his family and builds a nice Minor, Brian reclaims the button, burning off his reed for supplies, and I hire on again, using the pass-along action to build a cookery, which will unfortunately benefit Brian in the endgame. Ron claims the bargain rocks, Skyp renovates and pops another decent Minor, and Brian clears timber. Aware of my depleted stores, I fish. Ron hauls reed for another room (or possibly his Workshop), I toast the woolies for insurance, and Ron completes his preparations for construction. I’d have to say it’s been a profitable Round for all concerned.

Current Status
Brian – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 4W/1C/4S, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp
Geoff – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 8f, 3W/1S, 4 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 5W/4C/2R/3S, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 1W/2S, 2G, 1s, 2 Ock, 3 MnImp

Round Nine/Vegetables Skyp – (2f)
Brian – 3W(6)
Geoff – 2C(4)
Ron – Boar(2)burn2
Skyp – TP(4f) + 1G
Brian – FG + Seed Spreader (-1W/1C)
Geoff – RSf
Ron – MIMI/Stone Oven (-1C/3S) [Brian – (1C)]
Skyp – PF
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Field Warden
Ron – BR(1) + x (-5W/2R)
Skyp – S&B (1Gf + 6f-2G)
Geoff – RSf

Brian liberates another 6Wood, and I haul bargain clay while the hauling is good. Ron resupplies with bacon, Skyp does likewise with a Players visit, and Brian finally adds his third worker, better late than never, plus a middle-of-the-road Minor he’ll use all of once, barely worth its cost. I thrift, Ron picks up a toothless Stone Oven, affording Brian a key brick of clay, and Skyp plows his first field. I play a last Ock, which will come in handy but probably wasn’t worth the cost. Ron builds his fourth room, Skyp farms to good effect, and I double up on thrifting, despite being almost certain what Brian will do to lead off the Tenth. Meanwhile, harvest is again by the book.

Current Status
Brian – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 9W/1C/4S, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 2 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 3W/4C/2R/3S, 5 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 3C, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 6f, 1W/2S, 1G, 1 PF(2g), 1s, 2 Ock, 3 MnImp

Round Ten/Cattle Skyp – (2f)
Brian – MIMI/Well (4f> -1W/3S)
Geoff – RSf
Skyp – SP + Holiday Present> (1W>1c)
Brian – 1R(2)
Geoff – 2W(4)
Skyp – 3W(3)
Brian – Sheep(2)burn1
Geoff – 1C(4)
Skyp – Occ(-1f)/Reed Collector (4R> )
Geoff – RSf
°Ron – Cattle(1)burn1
°Ron – 1S(2)
°Ron – FG + Extra Effort> + Pottery (-2C/2S/1f) [Brian – (2C-1f)]
°Ron – Occ(-1f)/Seasonal Worker

Ron declares late sleeping again, and as I expected, Brian immediately snags the Well, knowing that I will if he doesn’t. Dang him anyway! I thrift, Skyp regains the button, sending another pseudo-useful traveling Minor on its way, and Brian picks up renovation reed. Skyp and I clear the wood, Brian harasses the woolies, and grab more clay, what the heck. Skyp activates yet another Ock he likely should have played much, much earlier for best effect, and I thrift yet again. Ron now wakes up, torches the beef, nabs some stone, adds a worker and the Pottery (again giving Brian access to critical clay), and pops an Ock that will essentially translate into a downstream 5food.* The action count shows Ron and me leading with 25 each, while Skyp and Brian trail with 22 and 21 respectively. As always, appearances can be…misleading.

*That’s nothing to sneeze at, but would have been far more useful if played in Stage One, of course.

Current Status
Brian – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 8W/3C/2R/1S, 1sh, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 4f, 7W/8C/4R/5S, 5 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 1C, 2 Ock, 4 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 7f, 3W/2S, 1G, 1c, 1 PF(2g), 1s, 3 Ock, 3 MnImp

Round Eleven/Stone Skyp – (2f/1R) Brian – (1f)
Skyp – 2C(4)
Brian – Boar(2)
Geoff – MIMI/Joinery (-2W/2S) [Brian – (2W-1f)]
Ron – 3W(3)
Skyp – 1W(3)
Brian – SP + Holiday Present> (1W>1c)
Geoff – PF
Ron – Cattle(1)
Skyp – 1V
Brian – Ren>C (-3C/1R) + Fp2>CH5 + [Geoff – Ren>C (-3C/1R)]
Geoff – RSf
Ron – DL(2f +1G)
Geoff – 1V
Ron – 2W(2)

Skyp now scuttles his game by pursuing another room*; he hauls clay. Brian herds the piglets, I grab the last remaining multi-point Major—a probable mistake, and Ron and Skyp clear timber. Brian now does what Skyp should have done, and passes along the Present. I finally get started on plowing, Ron herds a doomed cow, and Skyp nabs a veggie. Brian upgrades on two fronts, and I keep the Crane busy copycatting, and then thrift. Ron breaks even, sort of, on his Seasonal Worker, I exercise the Field Warden, and Ron nabs a few sticks. At harvest, I burn off a wood, Brian roasts his wooly and bully (sorry), and Ron parts with a clay and his cow. The endgame awaits.

*Why not just grab the button and keep fingers crossed for growth? Even if “Plow & Sow” shows up, he’s ready to rock.

Current Status
Brian – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 9W/1R/1S, 3b, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 4W/5C/4R/4S, 1V, 1 PF, 5 Ock, 2 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 5W, 1G, 2 Ock, 4 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 3f, 6W/4C/1R/2S, 2G/1V, 1c, 1 PF(1g), 1s, 3 Ock, 3 MnImp

Round Twelve/Family Growth w/o Skyp – (1f/1R) Brian – (1f)
Brian – FG w/o
Geoff – FG w/o
Ron – 3W(3) ?
Skyp – 2C(2) ?
Brian – Cattle(2)
Geoff – 1G
Ron – PF
Skyp – BR(1) + 3s (-6W/5C/2R) + [Geoff – BR(1) (-4C/2R)]
Brian – 1V
Geoff – SP + Reed Sale> (1R>3f)
Ron – Boar(2)burn1
Skyp – FG + Reed Pond (2R> )
Geoff – 1V
Ron – DL(2f +1G)

Unsurprisingly, Brian and I hire on new workers. Ron stumbles, very uncharacteristically letting the fatted calves slide in favor of a weak wood draw. Skyp tops off construction requisites, Brian briskly ushers the beef into his two available stables, and I nab grain seed. Ron gets his own late start on plowing, and Skyp knocks out his new room and triple stables, which allows me to build a clay room of my own, thank you very much. Brian erases the veggie negative, I snap up the button, sending Reed Sale on its merry way, and Ron settles for chivvying pigs. Skyp adds the hard-fought-for worker and another Minor that screams, “Why didn’t you play me earlier?” I double my veggies, and Ron gets second use from the Seasonal Worker.

Current Status
Brian – 3Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 9W/1R/1S, 1V, 3b/2c, 1 PF, 4s, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 5Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 3f, 4W/1C/1R/4S, 1G/2V, 1 PF, 5 Ock, 2 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 7f, 8W, 2G, 1b, 1 PF, 2 Ock, 4 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 4f, 1C/2S, 2G/1V, 1c, 1 PF(1g), 4s, 3 Ock, 4 MnImp

Round Thirteen/Plow & Sow Skyp – (1f/2R) Brian – (1f)
Geoff – P&S (PF + 1Gf/2Vf)
Ron – PF ?
Skyp – SP + x ?
Brian – 2W(4)
Geoff – Sheep(4)burn4
Ron – FG w/o
Skyp – Boar(1)
Brian – 1G
Geoff – 3W(3) ?
Ron – Fences(8) (-8W)
Skyp – Occ(-1f)/Basketmaker
Brian – 1S(3)
Geoff – 1V
Ron – DL(2f +1V)
Skyp – Cattle(1)
Brian – S&B (1Vf)
Geoff – P&S (PF + 1Vf)

I promptly farm for effect, and Ron mysteriously plows instead of adding his final worker. Skyp even more mysteriously also passes on growth in favor of a bare-naked button heist; I am then utterly flabbergasted when Brian trebles the snub in favor of a wood haul.* I shrug and cook up a mess of mutton. Ron now goes for the gusto,** Skyp herds a piggy, and Brian erases his grain shortage. I now stumble with a questionable wood haul,*** Ron fences a 2x2 pasture, and Skyp trips up a bit with an Ock that admittedly yields a 5food for otherwise meaningless reed, but he could have just as well baked to equal benefit, or snagged a veggie and then baked.**** No matter; Brian hauls the bargain rocks, I take a veggie, Ron works his Worker, Skyp takes the bull, and Brian doubles down on his veggies. I keep the Understudy busy with more farming, and it’s harvest-time. Skyp sloughs a reed and a grain, Brian roasts two boar, and I cash in a Lettuce Patch veggie for a 4food. Cattle multiply, and it’s almost done.

*As it turns out, one of them has his eye on the Grump bonus; Constant Reader will find out which one very shortly.

**Obviously, it wasn’t him.

***Herding the cow may well have been more efficacious.

****He might have also swiped the 3Stone and then thrifted, with an eye toward renovation.

Current Status
Brian – 3Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 13W/1R/4S, 1G/1V, 1b/3c, 1 PF(1v), 4s, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 5Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 6f, 7W/1C/1R/4S, 1G/2V, 3 PF(2g/2v), 5 Ock, 2 MjImp/3 MnImp(1v)
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 2G/1V, 1W, 1b, 2 PF, 1(2x2)p, 2 Ock, 4 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1C/1R/2S, 2G/1V, 1b/3c, 1 PF, 4s, 4 Ock, 4 MnImp

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences Skyp – (1f/2R) Brian – (1f)
Skyp – P&S (PF + 1Gf/1Vf)
Brian – PF + 1Vf
Geoff – P&S (PF + 1Gf)
Ron – Cattle(1)
Skyp – Sheep(1)
Brian – Ren>S (-1R/3S) + Fences(13) (-13) + [Geoff – Ren>S (-1R/4S)]
Geoff – 3W(3)
Ron – 1R(3)
Skyp – FG w/o
Brian – Boar(2)
Geoff – 1W(3)
Ron – 2C(4)
Skyp – TP(5f) + 1G
Brian – Fish(6f)
Geoff – Fences (13) (-13W)
Ron – Ren>C (-4C/1R) + Reed Sale> (1R>3f)
Geoff – P&S (PF)
Ron – S&B (1Gf/1Vf + 4f-1G)

Skyp happily farms, Brian follows suit (cf. Seed Spreader), and I prove that three can play at that game. Ron and Skyp erase animal negatives, while Brian executes the classic endgame renovation gambit, allowing me to piggyback my own renovation to the finest homestead in the game. I then doggedly gather lumber. Ron nails down critical reed, Skyp now opts for a last worker, and Brian herds the pork. More wood for me, clay for Ron, and supplies for Skyp and Brian. I pasture-ize five spaces, Ron renovates and gets last dibs on the Reed Sale; then after I plow under my last empty yard, Ron farms for proper effect. He sloughs another reed at harvest, as does Skyp, and I burn off my second veggie from “da patch.” Sadly, Skyp’s calf runs away, but that’s what you get when you forget to build pastures. It is done, to steal a well-worn phrase.

Current Status
Brian – 3Stone Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1S, 1G/2V, 4b/4c, 2 PF(1v), 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 4s, 1 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 5Stone Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 1C, 2G/4V, 5 PF(3g), 2(2x1)1(1x1)p, 5 Ock, 2 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 1G/1V, 1W, 1b/1c, 2 PF(2g/1v), 1(2x2)p, 2 Ock, 4 MjImp/1 MnImp
Skyp – 4Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 1C/2R/2S, 3G/1V, 1sh/1b/3c, 2 PF(2g/1v), 4s, 4 Ock, 4 MnImp

Final Score (Ocks Played, Minors/Majors Played)(Wood taken/bonus)(Rounds as Starting Player)(Total Primary(Special) Actions)(PPA*)(Food Spent)
Primary Actions are those 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. * - Points per Primary Action.

Brian – 42 (1 Occ, 4°^*/3)(27/2)(5)(35)(1.200)(40) °-All used Reed Sale
Geoff – 41 (5 Occ, 5°^/2)(20/5)(3)(43)(0.953)(50) ^-used Extra Effort
Ron – 28 (2 Occ, 4°^/4)(18/1)(1)(41)(0.683)(44)
Skyp – 27 (4 Occ, 6°*/0)(17/0)(5)(36)(0.750)(40) *-used Holiday Present

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Brian 2(1) 3(3) 1(1) 3(3) 0(-1) 4(2) 4(3) 4(-4) 4(4) 3S(6) 4(12) (7) (5)
Geoff 5(4) 3(3) 5(2) 4(4) 0(-1) 0(-1) 0(-1) 0(0) 0(0) 5S(10) 5(15) (6) (0)
Ron 2(1) 1(1) 3(1) 2(2) 0(-1) 1(1) 1(1) 5(-5) 0(0) 4C(4) 5(15) (8) (0)
Skyp 2(1) 0(-1) 5(2) 2(2) 1(1) 1(1) 3(2) 5(-5) 0(0) 4C(4) 5(15) (5) (0)

Bits & Pieces
So much for the theory that a big stone house will win you the game. It’s also worthwhile to note that, once again, the player who grew last managed to win the game. And, for those who enjoy the repetition, its noteworthy to be reminded that early play of the bonus point wood Ocks can be a dangerous gambit.

Ron’s poor showing rested on two things: one, a failure to grasp the power of the Late Sleeper, and two, the weakness of wasting valuable early actions on establishing a food engine. Ron burned off three Stage One actions acquiring a hearth, but never used it until Round Nine. Moreover, his delayed play of the Late Sleeper cost him the opportunity of up to four or five extra actions in the first half of the game. This would have easily allowed him to generate a grain machine that would have made firing up an oven far more feasible. Constant Reader will also note the misuse of Pine Forest. The only way to extract value from this G-Deck Minor is to get it in play early, and then purposefully avoid taking wood until you’ve cashed in on it (or only take wood that you’re going to immediately spend). Ron’s self-hobbling underscores the importance of making careful decisions in the early game.

Skyp’s woes were similar. He, too, should have ponied up the premium to get out his first Ock, and then put it to work to justify his play of the Wood-fired Oven. The Conjurer was a redundancy that merely diffused his efforts. Additionally, wasting actions to build that fourth clay room put him out of contention; he shoulda/coulda nailed down the button, played Reed Pond and followed up with his Basketmaker to much better effect.

Needless to say, Brian played well, making excellent use of his cards and profiting handsomely from Ron and Skyp’s miscues, as well as several missteps on my part. I can’t really fault anything he did; I think his PPA speaks for itself, along with winning while taking the least actions of the four players. Nice job, Brian!

Next report: a 5-Player extravaganza in which chaos rules and everyone struggles to break thirty (and the player with the most actions comes in dead last!) As usual, thanks to Constant Reader for constantly doing just that, and whatever transcription/editing errors there may be are, of course, mine, mine, mine. Happy gaming to all, and my latest recommendation to all you engine-building geeks out there is A Castle for All Seasons.
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Eugene van der Pijll
Den Haag
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United States
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Enjoyed the report! Almost another draw, too

How do you feel about Grump and Animal Holder and how they benefited you? Grump seems like a fine play to me, as the 2 point bonus is simply a consolation prize to whoever grew the least. Animal Holder, on the other hand, seemed to have worked against you. Thoughts?

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Geoff Burkman
United States
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jarviskj3 wrote:
Enjoyed the report! Almost another draw, too

Heh. It's funny; the Ugoi have been experiencing a good number of those recently. Karma, I'm guessing.

How do you feel about Grump and Animal Holder and how they benefited you? Grump seems like a fine play to me, as the 2 point bonus is simply a consolation prize to whoever grew the least. Animal Holder, on the other hand, seemed to have worked against you. Thoughts?

The Grump I had no qualms about playing, really, since the player with the fewest Family Members is usually not in contention to win anyway. The Animal Holder was a calculated risk I took, knowing that Ron was about to build a room, enabling me to piggyback. I had every good intention of assemling animals, but found myself continually sidetracked. In addition, I neglected to consider the "Skyp factor," wherein he made a number of plays that indirectly aided Brian. Them's the breaks, and at any rate it was still an entertaining game, and always good to have Skyp back in the fold, so to speak. He hasn't been gaming much in the past several three months, and we'd missed his wild and wacky ways. whistle

P.S. to Eugene: you're welcome. Also, I forgot, the Compendium's listing for the Grump says it awards "binus" points. I presumed this was a typo, but perhaps I'm overlooking something.

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Frederic Bush
United States
San Antonio
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Entertaining as always!

The consensus is that neither freeloader nor understudy is a good card on its own. They allow opponents to have more choice of actions and leave more resources on the board for them to take. Tax collector, on the other hand, is good, but probably not worthy of the banhammer.

You ended up with scads of options, possibly too many! I think you forgot that you had field warden in R13 and R14, which resulted in you using your first and last peeps on plow+sow rather than your second-to-last and last peeps. (It's not clear that all of the playing-on-occupied-squares you can do with stone crane, freeloader, field warden, and understudy really gives synergy... unless you had Ron's late sleeper in which case you'd've won in a landslide.)

Starting around R8, I think you should've focused more on wood, fencing, and animals, deprioritizing things like RSW. Taking 4w whenever available would've been strong, starting on R8 when you took two food moves. You weren't in food trouble; with your field warden and lettuce patch you would've always had options. You also built a 5th room, which was inefficient given that you were planning to use fg w/o for your 5th guy; you ended up using 4 clay, 2 reed, and 1 stone for 3 points, while a comparable amount of wood would've been worth significantly more in fencing and animal breeding ability.
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