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Agricola» Forums » Strategy

Subject: EDIT! HELP. 5 Player game! Are all bets off in a 5 player game? rss

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Scott O'Dell
United States
Nebraska
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I would like some good opening strategies to try to get done on turn 1 and before the first harvest.

What different strategies are usually used?

I know that I need to have more than one option but just want to make sure I know what to expect.

Our there a couple main "strategies"

Does they strategies depend heavily on the occupations I get?

EDIT. I JUST FOUND OUT. 5 player game. Does the game and strategy change with 5 players?
 
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Ken Dilloo
United States
Bothell
Washington
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Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
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The Ginger Ninja
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Re: I am about to step into the Lions Den.
The first stage, you want to start setting up your food engine. This will depend largely on the cards you have. Better to go animals, or bread? Also, if you have any card combos to prioritize. Anything that can help you build/renovate is nice.

That said, don't plan on playing more than a handful of cards, and certainly don't force them out. Prioritizing improvements that give VPs is also a smart play.

Happy Gaming. Hope this helps a bit.
Ken
 
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Scott O'Dell
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Nebraska
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Re: I am about to step into the Lions Den.
Thanks for the reply.

I just realized it will be a 5 player game! Any advice for a 5 player game?
 
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Bryann Turner
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Portland
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Yes. Family Growth happens in ROUND 5 ALL THE TIME (the second Occupation space has "or Family Growth from Round 5".

So, building in Round 4 is important.

My advice. Go for a Fireplace and a room as fast as you can. After that get going on anything else you want (like occupations, fences, etc)
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Ken Dilloo
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The Ginger Ninja
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Pretty much all that just ramped up a bit. With 5, it is really tough to get much of anything done, so you really need to make hay (no pin intended) where you can. I typically play this with smaller groups (although I do have several 5-p games in), so others here can probably give better advice.
 
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Adrian Sperling
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Coquitlam
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btizo wrote:
Go for a Fireplace and a room as fast as you can. After that get going on anything else you want (like occupations, fences, etc)


This is basically what I go for in the first round of almost any game of Agricola, regardless of the number of players. Even if you end up going with more of a baking strategy, it's never a bad thing to have a fireplace as a backup and to put pressure on those who are focussing on ranching. With a 5-player game, there won't be enough FP's / CH's for everyone, so getting your cooking pot becomes more urgent than building and growing.
 
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Derakon Derakon
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We practically always play 5P in our group, so here's my thoughts:

1) Anyone can snag either fireplace with ease, thanks to the 3 Clay action space. On the flipside, being able to cook sheep is somewhat less valuable because there's four other players who can take them (though the "zoo" action space is an easy 3 food in a pinch, if you have a cookery). Take a look at your cards, and decide if there's a good food engine in them. If not, you should try to get a cookery.

2) The Reed/Stone/Wood space is always an excellent pick. You will need all three resources. If you don't know what to do with your extra stone, buy the Well, Pottery, or Joinery -- the food is quite useful and the points certainly don't hurt either.

3) There can easily be a bit of a food squeeze in round 4. Especially if someone decides to spend round 3 taking TP and Fishing. arrrh (probably not your best move though)

4) As noted, FG is always available starting from round 5. Since there's two FG spaces (one of which, granted, may not show up until round 7) and two "build room" spaces, it's really hard to get blocked from growing. If you can build in round 4, great; otherwise, get your room down when you can and follow up with FG. The worst case has you three actions' worth behind the leader, which is not remotely insurmountable.

5) Plowing fields becomes increasingly difficult towards the end of the game. Many players will try to put off plowing until rounds 9+ -- but at that point, there's only a smattering of plow actions left. You can easily find yourself blocked from plowing entirely, which will hurt your score significantly. I'm not saying you should plow early, but when you have spare actions it's definitely worth considering, and you should take it earlier rather than later in the round, in the endgame.
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david landes
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oak hill
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As you point out, strategy will need to be malleable and dependent on what others are doing and what your cards enable you to do. Having said that, some key considerations that are slightly unique to 5 versus smaller games:

- As Family Growth begins Round 5 every time, an earlier focus on 5 wood/2 reed (or equivalent with card support) becomes useful to get the room and first growth in Round 5.

- Card Support - with more players trying to get there cards out, it can be tougher to do so. This is a multi-edged sword. You really do want to put out cards which help pretty quickly, as opposed to delayed rewards. Additionally, if you have reasonable, supportive cards, playing them can really interfere with others who really want to get their cards out also. The flurry of cards should die down during the mid-game and you can select your timing more easily for late game points.

- Reed/Stone/Wood is rarely a bad play if you are not sure what to do.

- A late MIMI can really cause havoc in the food engine creation. If you see this coming, be aware that food may become a real tough find in Round 4 and through the second harvest.

- Don't be 5th (or really even 4rth) 2 turns in a row, particularly early in the game. If it is your second worker placement in the round in the 4rth or 5th position and nobody has taken SP, do so. If you have no Minor to make it a better play, you are probably out of luck anyway.

- Plowing fields becomes more premium. There will be 15-17 plow actions which, divided by 5 is about 3 per player. To the extent that plowing is ignored early, and the average per player drops, it may become quite hotly contested.

- Encourage the player to your right to want to go first...

Anyway, not comprehensive, but some thoughts.
 
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Kasper Baack
Netherlands
Enschede
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Your 4th and 5th peep if you manage to extend your house cheaply, arent worth that much as the board gets crowded very soon. So any cards that help you enhance mediocre actions can be good in a 5P game.
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