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Subject: 3-Player Online, or My House Has Many Rooms rss

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Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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This 3-player online game finished up a week or so ago, after taking nearly a month to play. Such is the nature of Agricola at boiteajeux.net, most particularly in contests involving three or more players. My worthy opponents, both of whom are also engaged in other multi-player games with this scribe, go by the cognomens, Boffo and planeswalker (which, for aesthetic reasons, will be hereafter shortened to Walker in this report). To be honest, I don’t recall whether the cards were drafted or randomly distributed; perhaps either Boffo or Walker can confirm which, should they actually read this report). At any rate, the results were somewhat out of the ordinary, which is why I chose to report this clash of farming implements in the first place. I had the button…

Round One/Fences
Geoff – Occ/Reeve (4W)
Boffo – Occ(-2f)/Seasonal Worker
Walker – 3W(3)
Geoff – DL(2f)
Boffo – 1G
Walker – SP + Raft (-2W)

I open with the trusty ol’ Ock-encourager, and Boffo takes a leap of faith by coughing hard for an Ock he should have known would be blocked out of the gate. Walker hauls the timber, and I clamp down on the DL, though truthfully more to keep my larder full than to block Boffo.* Boffo settles for a grain, and Walker nabs the button to enhance future fishing expeditions. So far, so relatively normal.

*Serendipity is what we call it, mostly to avoid guilt.

Current Status
Boffo – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 1G, 1 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 4W, 1 Ock
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 1W, 1 MnImp

Round Two/Sow & Bake
Walker – 2W(4)
Geoff – 1R(2)
Boffo – Occ(-1f)/Clay Deliveryman (9C> )
Walker – 3W(3)
Geoff – 1C(2)
Boffo – 1C(2) ?

Walker hauls in the obvious, I confiscate the equally obvious, and Boffo likely miscues with a premature Ock. Walker continues woodhogging, I swipe clay for what will hopefully be first cookery, and Boffo again seems to miscue with a duplicate clay heist that isn’t likely to do him much good, not unless he’s got something up his sleeve.

Current Status
Boffo – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 2C, 1G, 2 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 4W/2C/2R, 1 Ock
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 8W, 1 MnImp

Round Three/Sheep
Walker – Occ/Ploughman
Geoff – 3W(3)
Boffo – DL(2f) + 1G
Walker – Fish(3f + 1R)
Geoff – 1BR(1S)
Boffo – SP + Helpful Neighbors> (1C>1R)

Walker gets out a lead Ock that he’ll have cause to regret,* I get construction lumber in order, and Boffo puts his lead Ock to task. Walker empties the pond, I pick up a lone rock,** and Boffo buttonizes, passing along a peripatetic Minor of minimal consequence.

*What is it with these plow-enhancing Ocks recently?

**Why, yes, I do have a reason.

Current Status
Boffo – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 1C/1R, 2G, 2 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 7W/2C/2R/1S, 1 Ock
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 6f, 8W/1R, 1 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Four/MIMI
Boffo – 1R(2)
Walker – 2W(4)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2 (-2C)
Boffo – 3W(3)
Walker – Occ(-1f)/Wet Nurse
Geoff – SP + Axe (-1W/1S)

Boffo trebles his reed, Walker piles up the lumber, and I nab the fireplace, happy to have a food engine. Boffo starts in on wood, Walker unleashes the furshlugginer Wet Nurse, and I retake the button to unlimber the deadly Axe, which is going to get a serious workout this game. Boffo sloughs his grain at harvest; all else is copasetic.

Current Status
Boffo – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 3W/1C/3R, 2 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 6W/2R, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 12W/1R, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Five/Family Growth + MI
Geoff – BR(1) + 2s (-6W/2R)
Boffo – 3W(3)
Walker – Fish(2f +1R)
Geoff – Sheep(3)
Boffo – SP + Milking Stool (-1W)
Walker – DL(2f)

I am thrilled to see FG pop up, although I have no immediate plans to use it. Thanks to my handy Axe, I can afford breeding stables with the new room. Boffo sets himself up for the next build, Walker empties the pond again, and I summarily confiscate the woolies, being in no danger of being sussed for growth. Boffo reclaims the button, popping another premature Minor, and Walker tops off his larder. The queue has pretty much been established.

Current Status
Boffo – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 5W/1C/3R, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 3sh, 2s, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 5f, 12W/2R, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Six/Renovation + MIMI Boffo – (1C)
Boffo – BR(1) + x (-5W/2R)
Walker – Occ(-1f)/Hedgekeeper ?
Geoff – FG + x
Boffo – 1C(4)
Walker – 1R(2)
Geoff – 2W(4)

Boffo puts up a room and hauls clay, I hire on and haul wood, and Walker pops another Ock and gathers reed for the inevitable double build. The only potential miscue is Walker’s ocking; will it gain him anything?

Current Status
Boffo – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 0f, 6C/1R, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 4W, 3sh, 2s, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Walker – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 12W/4R, 3 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Seven/Stone Boffo – (1C)
Boffo – MIMI/CH4 (-4C)
Walker – Fish(2+1f)
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn3
Boffo – DL(2f + 1V)
Walker – BR(2) + x (-10W/4R) + FG(2) –2f
Geoff – 3W(6)
Geoff – 1C(5)

Boffo cranks up his food engine, Walker reels in supplies in preparation for sudden growth, and I pillage the woolies to assure a comfortable harvest. Unable to grow, Boffo has to settle for restocking his larder. Walker executes the expected supercharged double build, leaving me the leisurely clean-up of bricks and lumber. You won’t hear me complaining about that. Boffo burns off a veggie at harvest, and poor Walker absorbs a Begging Card. Sic semper extra mouths to feed. The midgame beckons.

Current Status
Boffo – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 3C/1R, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 10W/5C, 3sh, 2s, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 2W, 3 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Eight/Vegetables Boffo – (1C)
Boffo – 1R(2)
Walker – 2W(4)
Geoff – (b1sh) Occ(-1f)/Reed Collector (4R> )
Boffo – FG + x
Walker – 1V
Geoff – SP + Duck Pond (3f> )
Walker – Fences(6+3) (-6W)
Geoff – MIMI/Fp2>CH5
Walker – 1G

Each player pretty much attends to business: Boffo restocks reed and then hires on his much-needed third worker; I ock downstream reed, retake the button while bolstering my supply lines, and upgrade my cookery; Walker hauls wood and preps for the future by gathering comestibles and fencing a pair of pastures. The next few Rounds promise to be critical in the prosecution of our aims.

Current Status
Boffo – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 4C/3R, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 10W/5C, 2sh, 2s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1G/1V, 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 1 MnImp

Round Nine/Boar Boffo – (1C) Geoff – (1R/1f)
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn2
Boffo – 3W(6)
Walker – 1S(3)
Geoff – DL(2f)
Boffo – 1V
Walker – 1C(3)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Thatcher
Boffo – Boar(1)
Walker – MIMI/Clay Oven (5f –3C/1S/1G)
Walker – Fish(2+1f)

The lure of the 6Wood is strong, as is that of the 3Stone, but I am not about to overlook the pending harvest; I torch the woolies. Boffo and Walker promptly remove temptation from the board, and I visit the DL.* Under harvest pressure, Boffo finishes off his Round gathering foodstuffs, while Walker acquires a function oven and goes fishing once again. At harvest, Boffo’s veggie and boar disappear into the maw of his family; that 6Wood turns out not to have been such a bargain after all.

*Yes, this rudely blocks Boffo, but that’s not my real motivation, as will be shortly seen.

Current Status
Boffo – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 6W/5C/3R, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 10W/5C/1R, 3sh, 2s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 2S, 1V, 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp

Round Ten/Stone Boffo – (1C) Geoff – (1R/1f) Walker – (PF –1V)
Geoff – BR(2) + x (-4W/2R)
Boffo – Ren>C (-3C/1R) + Sawhorse (-2W)
Walker – 1G
Geoff – 2W(4)
Boffo – 3W(3)
Walker – 1C(3)
Geoff – FG + Loom (-2W)
Boffo – PF
Walker – SP + Simple Fireplace (-1C)
Walker – DL(2f)

With Boffo threatening, it’s time to expand; I put my axe to work on a double build. Boffo responds with renovation and a time-tested Minor from which he’ll extract slim utility. Walker reloads grain, while Boffo and I strip wood from the board. Walker restocks clay, I hire on, activating a handy Minor I’ve grown to appreciate immensely, and Boffo gets started on plowing. Walker nabs the button, playing a Minor he likely should have tried to get into gear much earlier, and then visits the DL for safety’s sake. The action count: Boffo – 22, Geoff – 24, Walker – 26, a spread that suggests Boffo is in trouble, although greater deficits have been known to be overcome.

Current Status
Boffo – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 7W/3C/2R, 1 PF, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 5Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 8W/5C, 3sh, 2s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 2C/2S, 1G, 1 PF, 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Eleven/Cattle Boffo – (1C) Geoff – (1R/1f)
Walker – Boar(2)
Geoff – 1R(3)
Boffo – 3W(3)
Walker – 1G
Geoff – Sheep(2)burn3
Boffo – Cattle(1)burn ?
Walker – 1V
Geoff – FG + Beehive (4f> )
Boffo – DL(2f + 1V)
Walker – S&B (1Vf +5f-1G)
Geoff – PF

As the old saw tells us, it’s time for the going to get tough and the tough to get going. Walker herds piglets, I confiscate the cheap reed, and Boffo swipes lumber. Walker dallies with a grain, I torment woolies, and Boffo cooks up hamburger.* Walker erases the veggie negative, I add my last peep and a still potent Minor, and Boffo justifies his Seasonal Worker. Walker farms, and I finally plow a field. The Loom grants me slight relief at harvest, while Walker sloughs a raw veggie to keep things on the up and up. Let the endgame begin…

*A few jots of geek gold to the first person to tell us why this was a minor mistake.

Current Status
Boffo – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 10W/4C/2R, 1V, 1 PF, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 5Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 8W/5C/4R, 3sh, 1 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/4 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 2C/2S, 1G, 3b, 1 PF(1v), 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Twelve/Plow & Sow Boffo – (1C) Geoff – (1R/2f)
Walker – P&S (PF + 1Gf)
Geoff – PF
Boffo – BR(1) + (1s) + 2s (-4W/5C/2R)
Walker – SP + Horse
Geoff – 2W(4)
Boffo – Fences(9) (-6W)
Walker – 1G
Geoff – 1S(3)
Boffo – FG + x
Walker – 1V
Geoff – 1S(3)
Geoff – 3W(3)

Walker farms for effect, clinching field points, I eliminate the field negative as well, and Boffo knocks out a new room and a trio of stables (cf. Sawhorse). Walker steps on the button to guarantee himself growth in the penultimate Round. I spend the rest of the Round gathering lumber and stone in preparation for fencing and/or renovation, while Boffo fences a 3Wood profit out of the Sawhorse and then hires on, and Walker gamely adds comestibles, presumably as much to block his opponents as anything else.* As we enter the Thirteenth, I am primed and ready for double renovation and full fencing, a solid 20+ points that the opposition can do little to hinder.

*It’s somewhat apparent, though, that he’s suffering the slings and arrows of having adopted a baking strategy.

Current Status
Boffo – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 1V, 1 PF, 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 5Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 3f, 15W/5C/5R/6S, 3sh, 2 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/4 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 2C/2S, 1G/1V, 3b, 2 PF(3g/1v), 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp

Round Thirteen/Family Growth w/o Boffo – (1C) Walker – (PF –1f)
Walker – FG w/o
Geoff – Cattle(2)burn2sh
Boffo – PF + 1Vf
Walker – Fish(4f +1R)
Geoff – Boar(2)burn1+1c
Boffo – Sheep(2)
Walker – S&B (1Vf + 5f-1G)
Geoff – 1V
Boffo – DL(2f +1V)
Walker – Occ(-1f)/Traveling Salesman
Geoff – 1G
Boffo – PF
Geoff – MIMI/Pottery (-2C/2S) !!

Walker adds the expected fifth worker, and I corral the beef, burning off excess woolies to do so. Boffo farms, erasing his field negative. Under pressure, Walker fishes, taking what may be a superfluous reed.* I now herd the pigs, cooking one along with a cow, thus providing me all three animal types and a grossly overflowing larder. Boffo quickly hustles the remaining woolies into his pasture, and Walker farms for effect. I snag a veggie, Boffo does likewise at the DL, and Walker pops yet another Ock. I obtain my first (and only) grain, Boffo plows, and I am left to contemplate my situation. I can’t be blocked from fencing or rooms/stables unless one of my opponents draws wood next Round, and I can’t be blocked from renovation, especially if I upgrade to clay right now. What to do, what to do? However, I have two Ocks in hand that seem to rarely get much use, and a strange and interesting thought enters my brainpan. Much to the probable bewilderment of my opponents, I buy the Pottery, burning off a clay at harvest; there will be no renovation in my future after all. Boffo sloughs a veggie and wooly; Walker burns a replaceable boar. Can Constant Reader guess what’s on my addled mind?

*I imagine he has plans for potential renovation.

Current Status
Boffo – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1C, 1V, 1sh, 3 PF(1v), 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 5Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 7f, 15W/2C/5R/4S, 1G/1V, 1sh/1b/1c, 2 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/4 MnImp
Walker – 4Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 2C/1R/2S, 1G/2V, 3b, 3 PF(2g/1v), 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 4 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences Boffo – (1C) Geoff – (2f)
Walker – P&S (PF + 2Vf)
Geoff – BR(5) + x (-10W/5R)
Boffo – Cattle(1)
Walker – 1C(5)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Wooden Hut Builder
Boffo – DL(2f +1G)
Walker – Ren>C (-4C/1R) + Quarry + Helpful Neighbors> (1C>1R)
Geoff – Fences(4) (-4W)
Boffo – Boar(1)
Walker – S&B (5f –1G)
Geoff – 1V
Boffo – PF
Walker – Sheep(1)
Geoff – MIMI/Well (-1W/3S)

Walker locks up prime farming with two more veggie fields, and I go for the gusto, doubling my already sumptuous domicile to a sprawling ten rooms.* This is, I believe, the largest hut I’ve ever seen built in a competitive game. Boffo meekly hits up the DL, and Walker upgrades, popping out a strong Minor that’s far too late to be of any help, and a peripatetic one that may be best termed vestigial. I fence in my one remaining empty space, coincidentally eliminating my last negative. Boffo restocks pigflesh, Walker bakes, and I nab another veggie. Boffo plows, Walker herds the wooly, and I show some small degree of mercy by claiming the Well instead of unleashing the Constable, my last hidden weapon.* I slough another clay at harvest, Boffo burns off a veggie and his wooly, and Walker cooks a boar/veggie combo to stay afloat. It’s over.

*The points would have been the same for me, since playing the Constable would have required me to burn off the veggie I just appropriated, although Walker would have lost three points by virtue of no longer qualifying for the Reeve bonus.

Current Status
Boffo – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 2C, 1G/1V, 1b/1c, 4 PF, 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 3s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 10Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 1C/1S, 1G/2V, 1sh/1b/1c, 2 PF, 1(1x1)p, 2s, 4 Ock, 3 MjImp/4 MnImp
Walker – 4Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 2C/1R/2S, 1G/2V, 1sh/3b, 4 PF(1g/2v), 1(2x1)1(1x1)p, 4 Ock, 1 MjImp/4 MnImp

Final Score (Ocks Played, Minors/Majors Played)(Wood taken/bonus)(Rounds as SP)(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.

Geoff – 46 (4 Occ, 4/3)(24/28)(4)(43)(1.070)(48)
Walker – 35 (2 Occ, 5°/1)(18/3)(6)(43)(0.814)(42)
Boffo – 24 (4 Occ, 3°/1)(18/3)(4)(36)(0.667)(39) ° both played Helpful Neightbors

Player Fields Pastures Grain Veg Sheep Boar Cattle Unused Stables House Peeps Pts Bonus
Geoff 2(1) 1(1) 1(1) 2(2) 1(1) 1(1) 1(1) 0(0) 0(0) 10W(0) 5(15) (10) (13)
Walker 4(3) 2(2) 2(1) 4(4) 1(1) 3(2) 0(-1) 4(-4) 0(0) 4C(4) 5(15) (3) (5)
Boffo 4(3) 2(2) 1(1) 1(1) 0(-1) 1(1) 1(1) 3(-3) 2(2) 4C(4) 4(12) (1) (0)


http://www.boiteajeux.net/jeux/agr/partie.php?id=85692

Bits & Pieces
For all its geek value (ten bonus points out of one card is pretty awesome), the Wooden Hut Builder wasn’t even instrumental in the win; that honor belongs to the deadly Axe, combined with my opponents’ failure to deny me wood. To be honest, though, had I chosen to go the double renovation route (necessitating upgrading to a clay hut instead of taking the pottery in Round Thirteen), I’m pretty sure the win would have still been mine, though possibly by a lower margin. I simply couldn’t resist a 10-room hut!

Boffo set the tone for his game by getting off to a wobbly start with an Ock that didn’t merit a 2food premium, and then compounding the error with premature play of the Clay Deliveryman. As a result, he fell to third in the growth queue and never could recover.

Walker, I think, was a little too enamored by his cards. Ploughman got defanged, Hedgekeeper provided minimal return, and even Wet Nurse led to an unfortunate Begging Card (admittedly causing no alteration of final standings). His play also revealed the inherent weakness of the baking strategy without good card support.

As usual, this report showcases the critical nature of opening moves and how their effects concatenate downstream. Consider what might have happened had Boffo opted for wood instead of ocking at a premium in Round One, or if Walker had gotten the Simple Fireplace out in good order, or refrained from double-building with the Wet Nurse. The possibilities are…well, if not endless, fairly staggering.

My thanks to both Boffo and (planes)Walker for an instructive and entertaining contest, and—as always—to Constant Reader for his/her attention to this report. Next report: up in the air. I’ve got a boatload of online games to pick from, and the usual assortment of ftf games as well. I’ll think of something, no doubt. On the gaming front, I was recently introduced to Uwe Rosenberg’s latest creation, Ora et Labora, with mostly positive results. I got thrashed in a 3-player game, but the experience still left me with a desire to play the game again. As reviewers have so far noted, there is a distinct resemblance to Le Havre without the game feeling like a retread, and the decision tree appears to be wide enough and variegated enough to withstand multiple plays and numerous strategies. Definitely recommended for worker placement fans. Now, where are those new Agricola cards that are supposed to be out soon? I’m still jonesing.

I also finally caught up to A Few Acres of Snow (catchy title with absolutely no bearing on the game itself), in which I also got thrashed. Well, not thrashed, but definitely beaten. It’s a Martin “Automobile” Wallace design that successfully mimes the French & Indian War in North America with a clever card-driven mechanic that hinges on hand management. As an ex-grognard, I am loathe to label it a wargame, as it doesn’t even pretend to be a simulation, but it’s surely not a Euro, and I found it to be far more entertaining than CDGs like “Dominion.” Recommended, despite my learning that (in its original form anyway) it’s apparently broken (in favor of the British) by what is known as the Halifax Hammer.

All the usual mea culpas related to typing, proofing, and so forth still apply. Geek gold still available for the discovery of egregious mistakes. Meanwhile, thanks once again for reading, thumbing, and/or commenting; I’ll take what I can get! Happy gaming to all!

Edits: just tidying up a bit.

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Ben Bateson
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Thanks for the analysis and pointing out all the areas I went wrong. My usual 'Gric group will be laughing themselves silly.

Funnily enough, I am just pulling a 10-room game to a close myself. I went one better and got them all in clay!
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Geoff Burkman
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Ah, Mr. Boffo, I presume?
 
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Ben Bateson
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Indeed. I find that having 90-odd games of Agricola running concurrently leads to some pretty poor mistakes. I don't think depriving you of the wood was obvious at the time though.
 
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Chris F.
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MisterG wrote:
To be honest, I don’t recall whether the cards were drafted or randomly distributed...

Hey Geoff - you can see what decks were used in a match, and whether it was random or draft, by using the search function on the left side of the main BAJ screens. Search for your own screen name, then choose 'Finished' from the drop-down menu. I think the games are listed in the order they were started, not the order they're finished.
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david landes
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Well done report as always!! If you are indifferent as to your next write-up, I always enjoy the 4 or 5 player contests most..

Happy belated new year. Cheers.
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Geoff Burkman
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ousgg wrote:
Indeed. I find that having 90-odd games of Agricola running concurrently leads to some pretty poor mistakes. I don't think depriving you of the wood was obvious at the time though.


I should have qualified that statement with "later in the game." Note that it was Walker who was woodhogging throughout the first half; he'd amassed his total of 18 by the end of Round Eight, and then pretty much focused his efforts on sowing and baking. Had he (or you) persisted in acquiring lumber, I would have been forced into another direction.

I hear your pain vis-a-vis playing too many games concurrently. It's a bit of an addiction, isn't it? I've almost 50 running (although I'd say about a quarter of those are stalled--including one in which the inviter got SP and has yet to make his first play), and it's very easy to lose track of one's intentions in a given game. I suspect this is why so many 2-player games are played; they tend to go faster and it's a bit easier to remember what one was planning without keeping copious notes.

 
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Geoff Burkman
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dklx3 wrote:
Well done report as always!! If you are indifferent as to your next write-up, I always enjoy the 4 or 5 player contests most..


I will bear that in mind.

Quote:
Happy belated new year. Cheers.


Thank you, and likewise!
 
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I don't think it's ever horrible to take wood. I just played a f2f game this weekend where I just plopped Berry Picker and Woodcutter (with the 2f spot even I think) and just took giant stacks of wood most of the game. That combo is nuts.

Of course, I still only won by a mere 4 points, even though I grew first twice and built 2 rooms at once. My friend who was 2nd dominated Clay by using Clay Roof and somewhat monopolized the Fireplaces (not totally, but I did have to get the 3 Clay fireplace because he tended to take Clay at 3. I couldn't get 4 Clay in 1 move, so I didn't take the CH until later.)

I enjoyed having all 4 pastures and 4 stables, and a crapload of animals. I also had a plow out that got me a few field points. I have it recorded (though I'm missing one of my own moves for some reason) and will post it later.
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Jarvis
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Enjoyed the report as always.

I'd really like to get in one of the games played over multiple weeks. I'll shoot you a message!
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Hey Geoff, thank you for the Report.

I am a not-so-experienced Gric Player, but while reading your session i was wondering: Why are you all plow field so late in the Game? Is this common sense for experienced players?

In the Agricola Games i played (i think it was round about 10), we have tended to plow fields early, mostly before the first harvest, and we set up many fields. IS this no good strategy? Is getting Resources in the beginning so important? Or was that low Plowing just because of the cards that you and your Playmates had drawn. Really Want to learn about that. I like Gric... want to play at optimum.
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Derakon Derakon
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It takes a lot of actions to get crops into the ground -- you have to plow a field, take a grain, and sow that grain, and then you don't get the payoff until two harvests later! (Well, you get your initial grain back in the first harvest, but you aren't ahead of the game until after two harvests)

In the first two stages you want to be taking as many "accelerator" actions as you possibly can. Agricola rewards being in a strong position, so every action you take that makes you a bit stronger will make every future round a bit more effective too. Plowing and sowing crops does not help your position until significantly later in the game, so it's usually avoided. By comparison, getting the resources to build a new room is a huge accelerator. So can playing occs and minor improvements, though of course it depends on what exactly you're playing. And of course, getting a fireplace or cooking hearth can be a big accelerator by giving you better food options.

The exception is when you have good card support. For example, Field Watchman lets you get a field every time you take grain, so if you wanted to get three sown fields down in the first stage you'd only need 5 actions (one to play Field Watchman, three to take grain, one to sow) compared to 7 without the cards. And then you might have an improvement like Straw-Thatched Roof or Sleeping Corner (both of which are very powerful and have a pre-req of multiple sown grain fields) to take advantage of those fields.

Later in the game, harvests come more often, making sowing a more effective strategy. You also need to start looking at points, and fields are a big source of points, worth about 2VPs each. And of course you have more actions to spare, since you devoted your earlier actions to getting more family members and setting up your occupations and improvements.
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Geoff Burkman
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Necryl wrote:
Hey Geoff, thank you for the Report.


My pleasure, glad you enjoyed it!

Quote:
I am a not-so-experienced Gric Player, but while reading your session i was wondering: Why are you all plow field so late in the Game? Is this common sense for experienced players?

In the Agricola Games i played (i think it was round about 10), we have tended to plow fields early, mostly before the first harvest, and we set up many fields. IS this no good strategy? Is getting Resources in the beginning so important? Or was that low Plowing just because of the cards that you and your Playmates had drawn. Really Want to learn about that. I like Gric... want to play at optimum.


I trust that derakon's reply suitably answered your questions. He's pretty much on the money. In a nutshell, early plowing tends to be counterproductive, although in games of "Farmers on the Moor this is much less the case.
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Ben Bateson
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You don't need to be a good Agricola player to lose to Geoff. This Sesh report is testament to that.
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Geoff Burkman
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ousgg wrote:
You don't need to be a good Agricola player to lose to Geoff. This Sesh report is testament to that.


In fact, you likely don't even need to be a good player to beat me! Wiseguy! laugh

Quote:
Funnily enough, I am just pulling a 10-room game to a close myself. I went one better and got them all in clay!


I trust you will eventually share this one with us, btw.
 
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Ben Bateson
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Er...does it matter that I lost that one too?

Good close game, though, 46-45-42

It was a combo of Clay Supports, Thatcher and Frame Builder. I was building clay rooms for 2 wood each.
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Thank you Derakon for your explanation. I will try those strategies in the next plays. Hope i dont overpower my gf!

But still, i like fields and sowing so much! Plowing makes gric nice in my opinion. I think about a way to improve fields...

Thank you!
 
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Necryl wrote:
Thank you Derakon for your explanation. I will try those strategies in the next plays. Hope i dont overpower my gf!

But still, i like fields and sowing so much! Plowing makes gric nice in my opinion. I think about a way to improve fields...

Thank you!


If you really like Sowing, prioritize Occupations/Minors like Field Watchman, Acreage, Bean Field, Lettuce Patch, Turnip Field, Migrant Workers and Plows (also Plow Maker and Plow Driver). But you'll still Plow late in the game with most of these, unless you had baking as a way to utilize the early Grain.

If you like baking, btizo is the guy to talk to. Look at his games on play-agricola.com.
 
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Bryann Turner
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zeroth hour wrote:
If you like baking, btizo is the guy to talk to. Look at his games on play-agricola.com.


Just don't look at my Win Percentage...

Also, I still rarely plow early unless I'm going for something silly like Straw Thatched Roof or Sleeping Corner.
 
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Andrew Foerster
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I'm not trying to accuse you of padding your stats, but I read all these session reports as they come out, and you seem to report a lot of victories, but not all that many losses. Unless you are, indeed, this good.... whistle
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Derakon Derakon
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Really, if you want to encourage actually building up your farm in the early part of the game instead of racing to get a fireplace and your third family member, play Farmers of the Moor. It adds "special actions" that can be taken once or twice per round without using up a family member, one of which gets you fields. Being able to plow fields without using a "real action" is a big help in encouraging crop growing. FotM also encourages fencing a bit more by adding the lucrative Horse animal type -- 1 point per horse, and there are several Major Improvements that are further enhanced by owning horses, giving you incentives to be able to hold and breed horses early.
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Geoff Burkman
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andrewfoerster wrote:
I'm not trying to accuse you of padding your stats, but I read all these session reports as they come out, and you seem to report a lot of victories, but not all that many losses. Unless you are, indeed, this good.... whistle


This is a very good point, and I unabashedly admit that I do tend to favor posting reports of games I win. In my defense, I've also posted a fair number of losses, although I've never bothered to go back and tally things up, which would take a fair bit of time since I've posted more of these things than I care to admit. My win percentage on boiteajeux is currently only 40%, mostly due to having played a good number of 2-player games against the sharks, the 2-player game being my weak suit.

However, I just played a ftf 4-player "FotM" contest that I'll be putting into the queue that I think you'll enjoy.*
















*Wow, who'da thunk a fellow Tarheel could be so mean?
 
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Ben Bateson
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I'm currently in a 3P with Geoff that I don't think he's in with a chance of winning, unless he's got some crazy combo up his sleeve. So he's not THAT good.

Any session analysis is better than no session analysis, even if it does show me up to be an incompetent fool.
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ousgg wrote:
I'm currently in a 3P with Geoff that I don't think he's in with a chance of winning, unless he's got some crazy combo up his sleeve. So he's not THAT good.

Any session analysis is better than no session analysis, even if it does show me up to be an incompetent fool.


Don't be so hard on yourself.

I would consider you to be competent...
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Curiosity got the better of me, so I went back through my reports and tallied the wins and losses reported. Here are the brief results:

10 Most Recent Reports - 5 Wins, 4 Losses, 1 Tie
50 Most Recent Reports - 22 Wins, 23 Losses, 4 Tie, 1 NA*
100 Most Recent Reports - 48 Wins, 47 Losses, 4 Tie, 1 NA*

* - This was a game in which I served as reporter only.

I feel better about myself now. blush
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