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Subject: Looking for expert advice rss

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Mr. D
United States
Oneonta
New York
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My wife and I like the game very much, but the wife is getting frustrated due to some card hands that have not given any obvious path.

So based on our last game, I'm wondering how the experts would play her hand.

2-player using E and I decks.

Occ: Stone Carver, Plow Driver, Manservant, Fence Builder, Fence Deliveryman, Plow Maker, Master Builder

Min Imp: Clay Path, Private Forest, Tavern, Basket, Plane, Clogs, Builder's Trowel

thanks so much,

-TR
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Mike T
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Maryland
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This is a crap hand. There are two things to do with it.

1. Nothing. Focus on the board, ignore the cards. Consider playing Fence Deliveryman, Plow Maker, or Stone Carver, but don't worry about them if something better is available. Play Private Forest early, but know that you'll need to play catch-up on food. Clogs and Clay Path are both worth playing, if you can.

2. Early Reno. If stone shows up in Round 5, you might be able to use Builder's Trowel to get to a 3-room stone house by Rounds 7, 8 or 9. If so, Plow Driver + Manservant is very nice. This is a risky move, of course, because it will limit you to a 3-room house, but the efficiencies of Driver and Manservant may be enough to balance this.
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Chris F.
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It depends of course on whether I start with SP, what my opponent is doing, and the order of the round cards, of course, but I would probably play a wood-denial strategy:

Occupations:
I wouldn't play any occs except Plow Maker and maybe Fence Deliveryman. Only FD needs to be played quickly, so I'd use Stage One to for good resource grabs instead (especially wood).

Minors:
If I'm not SP, I'd play Private Forest to take it. I'd play Basket and try to sit on the wood spot - Private Forest would help provide room-building wood. I always play Clay Path - 3vp for 3c is a good deal (and if my opponent has Paved Road and wants to play it, more power to them). I'd play Clogs with family growth.

Even if I were getting a decent amount of food from basket, I wouldn't leave the animals for my opponent. In rounds where I suspected my opponent was about take SP, I would take all the wood instead of getting food.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Mountain View
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You could also try dealing each player 10 occs/10 minors and having them discard 3 each. Or doing a draft...
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Bjørnar Løseth
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Bergen
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I second doing a draft. Equals out most of the differences in the hands. Does take a bit of extra time, though.
 
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Matt Shields
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Portland
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Tubarush wrote:
My wife and I like the game very much, but the wife is getting frustrated due to some card hands that have not given any obvious path.


Both Mike and Christopher had good suggestions, so I won't repeat that.

The more general thing to remember though, is that if you're just playing with 7 randomly dealt minors and 7 randomly dealt occs, most games you're probably going to play less than half of these. Don't sweat that. Most new players get themselves in trouble trying to play too many cards.

The way you figure out what to play is mostly by looking for cards that work together. For example if you have a card that gives you extra grain, and you have another card that lets you do something useful with that grain, that might be a card combo you want to try to get into play.

In your case, your wife had the plow driver and the manservant. Both of these cards do good things if you have a stone house early. (They each do their thing once per round once you're in stone, so obviously the earlier you get to stone, the greater the benefit.) So when you see two cards that trigger off the same thing, that's a sign that you should think about using them. In this case whether she *really* wants to do it is hard to say, because she needs to get a few stone to get it going, but you get the idea.

The other thing to look for are free or very inexpensive minor improvements that give you some nice benefit. You don't necessarily want to go out of your way to play them, but if you can play them by going to start player that's usually a good plan. In her case Private Forest is actually a good card. It does cost two food, but because it has no occupation pre-req, nor any other cost, she can play it on turn one. That's usually worth doing. On the other hand, what you don't want to do is play a bunch of occupations that you don't really need just to meet a prerequisite. If you have a powerful minor with a high occ pre-req, but you don't really have several good occupations, you may be better off simply ignoring the card.

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Mi Myma
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Fountain Valley
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Good advice here. If you're going to do a lot of farming, Plow Maker can save you an action or maybe two.

Tavern could potentially be useful toward the end of the game - two points for one action could well be the best thing to do when you can't do much else.
 
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James Klemm
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Concord
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There are some good suggestions here, but many of them get a C-minus grade at best for missing at least one important point.

The key idea is that your cards DO have an obvious path. This is a very nice hand that will allow you to satify your goals and deny your opponent's at the same time.

Your #1 Early-game occupation is the Fence Deliveryman. You need to get the Fence Deliveryman in play within the first 4 rounds to get 2 sets of fences. If you are the start player, drop the Fence Deliveryman and then play the Private Forest with your second move (after your opponent takes 3 wood) in order to take the 2 clay.

If you are not the start player, your opponent will likely play an occupation first. If so, take the three wood and IGNORE the private forest, taking start player with the Builder's Trowel. As your first move in the second round, take the 2 clay.

Although counter-intuitive that you would decide to play a minor improvement that costs 2 food when you start with 2 food as opposed to 3 for second player, this is the best way to effectively take start player in order to grab the clay in round 2.

The next part of the plan is to get the fireplace if possible, and 3 fish in round 3 if you can. Food is going to be very important to feed your family as well as the occupational food costs of Fence Deliveryman AND...

Plow Driver. Fence Deliveryman will cost you 2 food per set of fences, and the Plow Driver will get you about 5 fields at a cost of 1 food each if you manage to get the first batch of 3 stone in round 7, 8 or 9. Along with the first batch of stone you will attempt to take as much of the clay as possible, every 2 or 3 rounds because you will need 2 for the fireplace, 3 to renovate and 3 for the Clay Path (for an easy 3 VP) After you renovate to stone, you will decide whether to play the Plow Driver or the Manservant first. Prefer the plow driver if possible.

You will along the way gather materials for 1 room. You will need about 4 reed for the whole game. 2 for 1 wooden room and 1 for each renovation. Thus, reed is rather low on the priority list. The builder's trowel gets you a kickstart on renovation, because it allows you to renovate whenever you like.

The key ideas: 1: take start player in round 1 to grab the clay in round two. 2: that the Private Forest is less crucial since you will need very little wood in the game. Perhaps 5 for 1 wooden house, and maybe 4 to 8 for additional fences. 3: Hog the Clay and 4: Quick Reno for Plow Driver.

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Derakon Derakon
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That sounds like a pretty fragile strategy, IMO. If you miss out on one of the stone grabs then your stone renovation is pushed way back, costing you most of the benefit of Plow Driver and Manservant. Guaranteeing that you get that stone means spending extra actions on it, which introduces inefficiencies. Not to mention getting the trowel out early is tipping your hand that you want to renovate ASAP.

In short, if you can get that to work, great, but I would expect it to break down and to need to have a backup plan.
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James Klemm
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The backup plan is plow maker. It is likely that your opponent will have trouble supporting a large family because the clay hogging will make getting a cookery difficult. I don't really think the trowel tips your hand, especially if you aren't drafting. It is kind of a typical minor to play early on since it has no occ requirement and only costs wood.
 
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sonny sonny
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Tubarush wrote:
My wife and I like the game very much, but the wife is getting frustrated due to some card hands that have not given any obvious path.
try different rules for getting your cards. we played something like deal 10, discard 3 for a long time. we also removed many cards from the decks that were never played. you can also try drafting.
 
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Rattus rattus
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this thread is worth reading just to see who pipes up when an expert is requested!!
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Rob Murray
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Wow... are any of you guys near NJ? We need to play. I'll play the hand discussed in this thread.
 
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