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Subject: 4-Player Face-Off, or It's In The Timing, At Times, Sometimes... rss

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Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
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This 4-player bout took place a month or so ago, and involved a Ugoi-standard deal ten, drop three draft. For those readers unfamiliar with Ugoi session reports, we tend to disdain passing drafts for two reasons: one, they take longer than a culling draft, and two, we prefer the uncertainty of not knowing what the opposition might have in hand. Over time, we’ve found that hands still tend to balance out, even when we go overboard and deal more than ten Ocks and/or Minors per player. Constant Reader’s mileage, of course, may vary. Jimmy’s got the button by random selection…

Round One/Sow & Bake
Jimmy – Occ/Cattle Whisperer (2c> )
Brian – 2C(2)
Ron – RSf
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Understudy
Jimmy – SP + Acreage
Brian – 3W(3)
Ron – 2W(2)
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Wood Distributor° (2W)

Afflicted with a less-than-stellar hand, Jimmy nonetheless attempts to get something going with an Ock that the Ugoi rarely see put into play.* Brian nabs clay, a possible miscue,** and Ron thrifts with skullduggery in mind. I play a favorite G-Deck Ock that will serve me well, and Jimmy steps on the button, getting some slapdash fields into play. Brian and Ron clear timber, and I put Ock #1 to work getting out Ock #2, the furshlugginer Wood Distributor, which I dearly hope to put to good use as well. It’s going to be an interesting game…

*Cattle Whisperer translates into a potential downstream 6-8food or a point or two, but does very little to aid early stratagems.

**If only because it’s a long shot to get a worthwhile early cookery. Given the Minor he eventually gets out in Round Eight, thrifting might have been the better option.

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

Round Two/Sheep
Jimmy – 1R(2)
Brian – Occ/Head of Family
Ron – 3W(3)
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – 1G
Brian – SP + Reed Exchange> (2C>2R)
Ron – Occ(-1f)/Patron
Geoff – RSf

I’m tempted to put the Distributor to task, but refrain; I don’t really see the point, and don’t want to tempt anyone to thrift if I can help it. Jimmy takes the reed, as expected. Brian ocks himself guaranteed access to expansion—nice!—and Ron hauls more wood. Excellent! I thrift. Jimmy takes a grain, with obvious intentions, Brian swipes the button to turn his clay into reed, and Ron parts with the vig to get some ocking assistance in gear. Interesting. Needless to say, I thrift again.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 3W/2R, 1 Ock
Geoff – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 2W/2R/2S, 2 Ock
Jimmy – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 2R, 1G, 1 Ock, 1 MnImp
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 5W/1R/1S, 1 Ock

Round Three/MIMI
Brian – 2W(4)
Ron – 2C(4)
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – 1C(3)
Brian – Fish(3f)
Ron – MIMI/CH4 (-4C)
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – TP(3f)

With stacked goods in abundance, I again see no reason to distribute the wood. Brian and Ron clear best available resources, and I thrift once more. Jimmy hauls the remaining clay, Brian loads up on trout, and Ron buys his coveted hearth. I thrift yet again.

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

Round Four/Fences°
Brian – 1R(2) + 2W
Ron – Sheep(3)burn2
Geoff – 1W(4)
Jimmy – 1G
Brian – Occ(-1f)/Pieceworker ?
Ron – SP + Axe (-1W/1S)
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – S&B (2Gf)

At last there’s a 6Wood to disrupt, and scatter it I do; no need to let Brian or Ron have it. Brian snaps up the bolstered reed, as expected, Ron torments the woolies, ditto, and that leaves the 4Wood for me, thank you. Jimmy takes another grain. Brian now inflicts/infects himself with the Pieceworker, one of the most pernicious Ocks there is, and Ron claims the button to unleash his Axe. I thrift a fifth time, and Jimmy unsurprisingly puts his grain in the ground. Everyone sloughs a 4food by the book; foundations have been set. To what will the next Stage bear witness?

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

Round Five/Renovation + MIMI
Ron – 1C(2) + 2W
Geoff – 2W(4)
Jimmy – RSf
Brian – Fish(1f) + 3W ?
Ron – SP + Reed Exchange> (2C>2R)
Geoff – BR(1) + x (-5W/2R) ?
Jimmy – 2C(4)
Brian – TP(2f)

Ron scoops up the mixed goods, I take stacked lumber, and Jimmy a turn at thrifting. Brian potentially thwarts himself by siccing the Pieceworker on lumber floating in the pond.* Ron steps on the button, swapping off his clay for reed. I put up a room, ignoring the opportunity of stables and also deigning not to double build.** Jimmy hauls the bargain gumbies, and Brian tops off his larder.

*Passing up the clay surprised me

**I’m thinking I need the wood for other things, but retrospectively I’m not so sure this was to my benefit.

Current Status
Brian – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 4f, 12W/4R, 2 Ock
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 5W/3R/5S, 2 Ock
Jimmy – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 2f, 7C/3R/1S, 2G, 1 Ock, 1 MnImp(4g)
Ron – 2Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 3f, 6W/3R, 1sh, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp

Round Six/Stone° Jimmy – (1c)
Ron – 1R(2) + 2W
Geoff – SP + Reed Sale> (1R>3f)
Jimmy – RSf
Brian – Fish(1f) + 2W ??
Ron – BR(2) + 2s (-8W/4R)
Geoff – MIMI/Well (5f> -1W/3S)
Jimmy – 1C(1) + 2W
Brian – BR(2) + 1s (-12W/4R)

I’m not about to leave a 6Wood that I can’t get myself; the Distributor does its duty. With the Axe weighing heavy in his mitts, Ron falls all over himself snapping up the reed/wood combo, and I quickly respond with a button heist and a jolt of food. Jimmy thrifts again, while Brian—lulled by Head of Family—re-empties the fishing hole to pick up a lousy 2Wood. Ron doesn’t have to be asked twice; he knocks out a pair each of rooms and stables. I claim the Well, Jimmy settles for the last resource combo, and Brian effects his own double construction, plus stable. It’s only later that he’ll come to regret his generosity to Ron.

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

Round Seven/Family Growth + MI Geoff – (1f)
Geoff – FG + Rake (-1W)
Jimmy – RSf
Brian – Sheep(3)runaway1 ?
Ron – 2W(4)
Geoff – 2C(4)
Jimmy – Ren>C (-2C/1R) + Stone Oven (8f –1C/3S/2G)
Brian – FG + Animal Yard (-2W)
Ron – SP + Crooked Plow (-3W)

Needless to say, I take first growth, adding a hopeful Rake. Jimmy thrifts for the hat trick, and Brian co-opts the woolies, shooing one into the wild, a questionable move at the moment that will shortly prove its worth. Ron falls upon the lumber, I abscond with the clay, and Jimmy happily renovates, firing up the prime oven at full bore. Brian now hires on with a handy Minor to accommodate the imminent newborn wooly. Ron regains the button, getting out a handy plow; he roasts his wooly at harvest, while everyone else forks over the usual victuals. Brian’s woolies do their thing, thanks to his latest Minor. The midgame awaits…

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 3sh, 1s, 2 Ock, 1 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 3W/4C/2R/2S, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Jimmy – 2Clay Rooms, 2 Peeps, 8f, 2W/5C/4R, 2G, 1c, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp(2g)
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 2 Peeps, 1f, 1W/1R, 2s, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Eight/Boar Geoff – (1f)
Ron – FG + x
Geoff – 3W(6)
Jimmy – 1W(4)
Brian – 1S(3)
Ron – Occ(+1f)/Stone Carrier
Geoff – MIMI/Simple Fireplace (-1C)
Jimmy – BR(1) + x (-5C/2R)
Brian – RS(2)
Geoff – MIMI/Simple Fireplace>CH5
Brian – FG + Stone Kitchen (-3S)

Forced, Ron adds a worker sans Minor, and the rest of us promptly haul in the stacked goods begging for a good home. Ron then potentially stumbles with a rocky Ock (sorry) that, sadly, he’ll get slim use from. I MIMI the Minor cookery, which I’ll subsequently use the Understudy to upgrade. Meanwhile, Jimmy gets a room built*, and Brian puts the Pieceworker to task thrifting, and then hires on again, adding a favorite G-Deck cookery.

*Undoubtedly hoping I would nab the button, but that was not to be.

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1R/2S, 3sh, 1s, 2 Ock, 2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 9W/3C/2R/2S, 2 Ock, 2 MjImp/1 MnImp
Jimmy – 3Clay Rooms, 2 Peeps, 8f, 6W/2R, 2G, 1c, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp(2g)
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 2f, 1W/1R, 2s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Nine/Vegetables Geoff – (1f)
Ron – FG + x
Geoff – Boar(2)burn1
Jimmy – TP(4f)
Brian – Sheep(2)burn2
Ron – Fish(3f)
Geoff – 2W(4)
Jimmy – Fences(6) (-6W)
Brian – 1V + 1V –2f
Ron – DL(2f)
Geoff – RSf
Brian – PF
Brian – S&B (1Vf)

Again, Ron adds a peep sans playable Minor, risking a starvation attack by the rest of us. I torment the piggies, Jimmy raids the Players, and Brian immolates woolies—Ron’s worst fears seem to be materializing. He fishes nervous as a cat in a dog show.* Unwilling to press the issue, I haul timber, and likewise Jimmy fences a 2x1 pasture. Brian sets the Pieceworker on veggies, and Ron glumly hits up the DL.** I thrift a sixth time, while Brian hurriedly plows a field and sows a veggie. At harvest, he burns off a pair of them with his Kitchen at 4food per, and his woolies fill up the Animal Yard. All else is as it should be (other than Ron’s illusory Begging Card, that is).

*It bears mentioning at this point that somehow Ron has bollixed up his food, and appears to be three short. As it turns out, he’d mishandled the previous Round’s ocking action to his detriment, a mistake that wasn’t caught until I wrote up this report. More on that shortly.

**Like I said, at this point Ron thinks he’s had a Begging Card inflicted on him, as do the rest of us. Only in this recapitulation was the error discovered. Let this be a reminder to Constant Reader, even the experienced one: it’s your obligation as a player to pay attention to what you’re doing, and the various cards that may or may not affect you. As well, it behooves all players to bear witness to what the opposition is doing, if only to help keep similar mistakes from happening. Lord knows I’ve made plenty of them myself. After all, who wants to win a game just because an opponent made a procedural error? Or lose one for the same reason?

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 1R/2S, 4sh, 1 PF(1v), 1s, 2 Ock, 2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Wood Rooms, 3 Peeps, 0f, 13W/3C/3R/3S, 1b, 2 Ock, 2 MjImp/1 MnImp
Jimmy – 3Clay Rooms, 2 Peeps, 8f, 2R, 4G, 1c, 1(2x1)p, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/1 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 1W/1R, 2s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Ten/Cattle Jimmy – (1c) Geoff – (1f)
Ron – 3W(6)
Geoff – 1R(4)
Jimmy – 2C(6)
Brian – 1C(4+1-1f)
Ron – RS(2)
Geoff – Ren>C (-3C/1R) + Basketmaker’s Workshop (-2R/2S)
Jimmy – FG + Carp Pond (2f> )
Brian – 1G + 1G –1f
Ron – Occ(+1f)/Carrot Farmer
Geoff – Fences(13) (-13W)
Brian – MIMI/Clay Oven (5f –3C/1S/1G)
Ron – PF + 2PF + 1V –1f
Brian – 1V + 1V –2f

Shock of shocks, Ron hauls the 6Wood, swiftly followed by my clearing the reed and Jimmy and Brian annexing the clay. Ron gets sole use of his Stone Carrier, I renovate and buy the obvious crafting Major, and Jimmy finally adds his third peep, replete with so-so Minor. Brian pieceworks grain, Ron pops the G-Decker that lets him buy veggies when he plows, and I fence while the fencing is good. Brian fires up the remaining oven, Ron puts his plow and new Ock to work, and Brian doubles down on veggies. That boy surely knows how to spend food! The action count: Jimmy – 20, Ron & Geoff – 23, and Brian – 25. The only thing we know at the moment is that Jimmy is likely in trouble, but you never can tell…like the man said, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 3f, 2C/1R/1S, 1G/2V, 4sh, 1 PF(1v) 1s, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 4R/1S, 1b, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 2 Ock, 3 MjImp/1 MnImp
Jimmy – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 8f, 6C/2R, 4G, 2c, 1(2x1)p, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 7W/2R/2S, 1V, 3 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Eleven/Stone Geoff – (1f) Jimmy – (1f)
Ron – Cattle(2)
Geoff – Boar(2)
Jimmy – 2W(4)
Brian – 1W(3+1 –1f)
Ron – Sheep(2)burn1c
Geoff – Occ(-1f)/Stone Trader
Jimmy – BR(1 ) + x (-5C/2R)
Brian – Occ(-2f)/Hedge Keeper
Ron – MIMI/Joinery (-2W/2S)
Geoff – SP + Lettuce Patch
Jimmy – FG + Private Market (-1W/1C)
Brian – PF
Ron – 3W(3)
Brian – Fences(4+3) (-4W)

Ron sequesters nervous cows, supplants them with woolies, snags the Joinery, and spikes wood, bumming Brian out. I herd piggies, play a near-useless Ock, and then swipe the button for what will prove to be a near-useless Minor. Jimmy hauls timber, knocks out another room, and adds another peep along with his own near-useless Minor. Brian flogs the Pieceworker again, coughs deeply for some fencing assistance, plows, and completes the fencing gambit. Will this, too, prove near-useless? Time will tell. Ron roasts his remaining cow at harvest, I cook a replaceable boar and a reed, and Brian burns off two more enhanced veggies, while adding another wooly to his holdings. We face the endgame with—unknown to us at the time—scores of: Brian – 16, Geoff – 14, Jimmy – 13, and Ron – 9. Three Rounds can see a lot of changes, though.

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 2C/1R/1S, 1G/1V, 5sh, 2 PF, 2(1x1)p, 1s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Clay Rooms, 3 Peeps, 1f, 3R/1S, 3b, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 3 MjImp/2 MnImp
Jimmy – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 3W, 4G, 3c, 1(2x1)p, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 0f, 8W/2R, 1V, 3sh, 3 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/2 MnImp

Round Twelve/Family Growth w/o°
Geoff – FG w/o
Jimmy – 1S(4)
Brian – 1C(3) + 1W
Ron – 2C(4)
Geoff – PF
Jimmy – 1R(2) + 1W
Brian – Fish(2f) + 2W
Ron – SP + Shepherd’s Pipe
Geoff – PF
Jimmy – 1V
Brian – Fences(3+3) (-3W)
Ron – 1G
Jimmy – S&B (2Gf + 8f –2G)
Brian – FG w/o
Ron – Cattle(1)burn1

I opt to distribute the wood again, if only to eliminate any possibility of a 6Wood in the penultimate Round, and then take the obvious growth. Jimmy hauls the bargain granite, Brian swipes clay for renovation, as does Ron, and I get cracking on plowing. Jimmy snags necessary reed, Brian dallies at the pond, and Ron reclaims the button, popping his own near-useless Minor. I plow away the negative, Jimmy erases the veggie deficit, and Brian fences again, leaving Ron to cancel his grain negative. Jimmy farms mightily, Brian takes advantage of his lead Ock to hire on his final peep, and Ron torches the cow.

Current Status
Brian – 4Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 2f, 5C/1R/1S, 1G/1V, 5sh, 2 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 1s, 3 Ock, 1 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 3R/1S, 3b, 2 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 3 MjImp/2 MnImp
Jimmy – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 10f, 4W/2R/4S, 1V, 3c, 1(2x1)p, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp(6g)
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 4 Peeps, 4f, 8W/4C/2R, 1G/1V, 3sh, 3 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/3 MnImp

Round Thirteen/Plow & Sow Jimmy – (1f)
Ron – FG w/o
Geoff – P&S (PF)
Jimmy – PF
Brian – 1V + 1V –2f
Ron – 2W(4)
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – 3W(3)
Brian – Ren>C + x (-4C/1R)
Ron – Boar(2)burn1
Geoff – RSf
Jimmy – Fences(7) (-7W) ?
Brian – 1S(3)
Ron – SP + x
Geoff – P&S (PF)
Jimmy – Sheep(2)
Brian – (b1sh) 2C(2+1 –1f)
Brian – MIMI/Pottery (-2C/2S)

This time I leave the 3Wood undisturbed, just in case.* This, of course, means little to Ron, who tacks on his last worker without hesitation. I preempt prime farming, Jimmy plows his first field, and Brian swoops down on the veggies again. Ron hauls fencing materials, I lock in thrifting, and Jimmy hacks timber. Brian renovates, ruing his inability to piggyback anything, Ron torments the bacon, and I thrift for the eighth and last time. Jimmy now commits what may be a major mistake by fencing, leaving himself vulnerable to being sussed on renovation. After Brian loads up on stone, Ron steps on the button, attempting to play the Sheepskin Rug. When it’s pointed out that this will cost him a wooly, he withdraws the Minor but stands pat on the button. I plow again, Jimmy herds woolies, and after roasting a wooly of his own, Brian completes the Stage by seizing more clay and then the Pottery. He sloughs a spare brick at harvest along with two more augmented veggies, Ron cooks a wooly, and I ditch another boar/reed combo. Animals rejuvenate, and we move into the final Round.

*I’m not really sure ‘just in case’ of what at the time, but I simply fail to see any real reason to distribute it.

Current Status
Brian – 4Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 1C/2S, 1G/1V, 5sh, 2 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 1s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 1f, 4R/3S, 3b, 4 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 3 MjImp/2 MnImp
Jimmy – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 3f, 7W/2R/4S, 2G/1V, 3sh/4c, 1 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 1 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp(4g)
Ron – 4Wood Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 12W/4C/2R, 1G/1V, 3sh/1b, 3 PF, 2s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/4 MnImp

Round Fourteen/Renovation + Fences
Ron – Ren>C (-4C/1R) + Fences(12) (-12W)
Geoff – Ren>S + x (-1R/3S)
Jimmy – P&S (PF + 1Vf)
Brian – (b1sh) 1V + 1V –2f
Ron – Cattle(2)
Geoff – PF
Jimmy – S&B (8f –2G)
Brian – TP(5f)
Ron – Occ(+1f)/Field Warden
Geoff – FG w/o
Jimmy – Boar(1)
Brian – 1C(2+1 –1f)
Ron – PF + 1V –1f
Geoff – Sheep(1)
Jimmy – Occ(-1f)/Cattle Breeder (1c)
Brian – 2C(2+1 –1f)
Ron – P&S (PF + 1Gf/2Vf)
Brian – DL(2f)

Ron renovates, fencing his little heart out, and I follow suit, albeit more lamely. Jimmy eradicates a key negative, and Brian fries mutton to pay for another veggie haul. Ron herds cows yet again, I plow, and Jimmy dashes Brian’s farming hopes; he’ll have to settle for raiding the Players. Ron now pops the Ock that saves his game, certainly enough to propel him out of last place* While I add a last peep and cancel a final negative, Jimmy erases one of his own and maxes out his cattle, Brian scoops up the clay and a last smidge of food, and Ron quite happily plows and plants. It’s over. Brian burns off another wooly/clay combo, I immolate a pair of pigs and a reed, and Ron cooks up a cow/veggie/double wooly stew. Like I said, it’s over. Let’s see what’s what.

*Field Warden allows the use of either plow action as well as access to veggies even if they’ve already been taken. In the right circumstances, such as right now for Ron, that can be very handy. I’m a little bemused that taking grain isn’t included as well.

Current Status
Brian – 4Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 0f, 6C/2S, 1G/3V, 4sh, 2 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 1s, 3 Ock, 2 MjImp/2 MnImp
Geoff – 3Stone Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 2R, 1sh/1b, 5 PF, 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 3 Ock, 3 MjImp/2 MnImp
Jimmy – 4Clay Rooms, 4 Peeps, 2f, 2R/4S, 2G/1V, 4sh/1b/6c, 2 PF(1v), 1(2x2)2(1x1)p, 2 Ock, 1 MjImp/3 MnImp(2g)
Ron – 4Clay Rooms, 5 Peeps, 1f, 1R, 1G/1V, 1sh/1b/1c, 5 PF(2g/2v), 1(2x2)1(2x1)p, 2s, 4 Ock, 2 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 – 37 (3 Occ, 4*/3)(18/2)(2)(37)(1.000)(41) * played Reed Sale & upgraded Simple Fireplace
Ron – 37 (4 Occ, 5°/2)(26/6)(8)(40)(0.925)(49) ° both played Reed Exchange
Brian – 34 (3 Occ, 3°/2)(16/9)(2)(43)(0.791)(65)
Jimmy – 33 (2 Occ, 3/1)(14/0)(2)(35)(0.943)(36)

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


Bits & Pieces
I think this session provides a few salient observations reinforcing things learned in other reports. One: wood-hogging is no guarantee; note that even though Ron managed to tie for the lead, he did it primarily on the last-minute strength of the Field Warden—without that he might well have finished last. Two: Action totals are likely the strongest indicator of doing well, but still must go hand-in-hand with decent efficiency. Pieceworker actually lowered Brian’s efficiency by forcing him to use more actions to generate food, which doesn’t score points. It’s as if the more food you spend per action, the fewer points you score; the game has a distinct tendency to penalize surpluses (which one might argue is a thematic weakness).

Understudy certainly proved its potential utility; I used it seven times to excellent effect, including double thrifting three times, and double plowing twice. Yet Constant Reader will surely note that I was still only able to manage 37 points and a tie victory. I have to wonder if the single room build in Round Five was the key to this.

Jimmy, I think, pretty obviously suffered the slings and arrows of a grain strategy and subsequently being the last to make it to three peeps, and being stuck with a fairly weak hand of cards assuredly didn’t help. He did what he could with what he had, and very nearly pulled it off.

That’s it this time around, with the usual mea culpas for transcription errors and typos, and my continued appreciation of Constant Reader’s perusal. Next report, I swear, will be an online match, and I’m thinking it’s going to be one with a most unusual finish. Until then, happy gaming to all!
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RJJ Zwiers
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First of all an excellent report again, with some interesting details!

Quote:
note that even though Ron managed to tie for the lead, he did it primarily on the last-minute strength of the Field Warden—without that he might well have finished last.


True, but I assume he actually based his actions and strategy on this aspect of his hand, which makes it a very strong play on his count and not a luck based tie for first place!

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Two: Action totals are likely the strongest indicator of doing well, but still must go hand-in-hand with decent efficiency. Pieceworker actually lowered Brian’s efficiency by forcing him to use more actions to generate food, which doesn’t score points. It’s as if the more food you spend per action, the fewer points you score;


That might very well be the case, and although it is implied by the games mechanics, I've never thought about it that way! Probably my bad! blush

Quote:
The game has a distinct tendency to penalize surpluses (which onemight argue is a thematic weakness).


That's one of the reasons why I like to play with FotM. In FotM there are many options to deal with surpluses:
- Food surplus leads to buying more actions (or using the Pieceworker efficiently )
- A resource surplus is no problem since there are more Improvements to be bought, and more actions to buy them with
- A particular resource surplus might be used in combination with any of the major "Stalls" to convert these to other resources...


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Greg Richardson
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Understudy appeared to be way more helpful than I thought it would be. It seems like the kind of card that's designed for games with 4+ players, since the RSf/RSW spot is a high-value spot that doesn't accumulate. That gives Understudy an early game benefit, and its ability to double plow&sow late in the game makes it a strong play. But with fewer players, it only seems helpful if combined with another power occupation on a non-accumulating spot; something like Field Watchman or Market Woman.

(As an aside, I'm a firm believer in taking RSf as often as possible. In my gaming crowd, folks have named it after me, calling it the G Spot.)

I think you missed a chance to power up your double plow&sow action by not taking grain or veggies. Hindsight being 20/20, I'll bet you wished you traded the Stone Trader or the Round 12 PF for a veggie, and one of the RSf grabs in Round 9 or Round 13 for a grain.

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Geoff Burkman
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Roja wrote:
Quote:
note that even though Ron managed to tie for the lead, he did it primarily on the last-minute strength of the Field Warden—without that he might well have finished last.


True, but I assume he actually based his actions and strategy on this aspect of his hand, which makes it a very strong play on his count and not a luck based tie for first place!


Very true, and I apologize for not making that clearer. Ron's a good player, and I have no doubt he had this gambit in mind from the start. If I would fault anything, it would be that he waited so long to get the Field Warden in play; any one of his opponents could easily have had a late-game Ock ready to go as well. In retrospect, of course, he likely should have dispensed with the Stone Carrier and bumped up the appearances of Carrot Farmer and Field Warden.

Quote:
That's one of the reasons why I like to play with FotM. In FotM there are many options to deal with surpluses:
- Food surplus leads to buying more actions (or using the Pieceworker efficiently )
- A resource surplus is no problem since there are more Improvements to be bought, and more actions to buy them with
- A particular resource surplus might be used in combination with any of the major "Stalls" to convert these to other resources...


Yep, same here, and this despite the "musical chairs" nature of the special actions.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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gregrich wrote:
...(As an aside, I'm a firm believer in taking RSf as often as possible. In my gaming crowd, folks have named it after me, calling it the G Spot.)


Say, that would work for me, too. I might have to steal that...whistle

Quote:
I think you missed a chance to power up your double plow&sow action by not taking grain or veggies. Hindsight being 20/20, I'll bet you wished you traded the Stone Trader or the Round 12 PF for a veggie, and one of the RSf grabs in Round 9 or Round 13 for a grain.


Yep, good observation. Stone Trader was a case of letting my cards play me, as I was mostly interested in getting Lettuce Patch into play (3 Ock requirement), if only to legitimize the button grab (although I likely had other Minors to play with that, I don't recall what they might have been). But, yeah, a double veggie heist would have just about as good, and likely led to a more useful Plow & Sow.
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Derakon Derakon
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gregrich wrote:
Understudy appeared to be way more helpful than I thought it would be. It seems like the kind of card that's designed for games with 4+ players, since the RSf/RSW spot is a high-value spot that doesn't accumulate.
In 5P the R portion of RSW does accumulate, so you'd be stuck taking SW with subsequent actions; nowhere near as strong as RSf. That leaves you without any strong double-actions without card support or a double build (for double FG) until the late game. Mind you, if you had card support to power up a non-accumulating spot (e.g. DL, grain, PF) then Understudy could let you abuse that power until the cows come home. Understudy has good combo potential, in other words, but outside of 4P I agree it's not all that great on its own, not until the endgame.
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Geoff Burkman
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Derakon wrote:
gregrich wrote:
Understudy appeared to be way more helpful than I thought it would be. It seems like the kind of card that's designed for games with 4+ players, since the RSf/RSW spot is a high-value spot that doesn't accumulate.
In 5P the R portion of RSW does accumulate, so you'd be stuck taking SW with subsequent actions; nowhere near as strong as RSf. That leaves you without any strong double-actions without card support or a double build (for double FG) until the late game. Mind you, if you had card support to power up a non-accumulating spot (e.g. DL, grain, PF) then Understudy could let you abuse that power until the cows come home. Understudy has good combo potential, in other words, but outside of 4P I agree it's not all that great on its own, not until the endgame.


It should be noted that Understudy is a 1+ Ock, and definitely has its usefulness in 2-player games (although admittedly I've never experienced that), even in the early Stages. Double ocking is the most obvious 2-player utility in the early game, but I agree that the card's strength is magnified in the later Stages, in combos with certain cards (i.e. Field Watchman, etc.), and in games with more than two players.
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RJJ Zwiers
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Quote:
In 5P the R portion of RSW does accumulate, so you'd be stuck taking SW with subsequent actions; nowhere near as strong as RSf. That leaves you without any strong double-actions without card support or a double build (for double FG) until the late game. Mind you, if you had card support to power up a non-accumulating spot (e.g. DL, grain, PF) then Understudy could let you abuse that power until the cows come home. Understudy has good combo potential, in other words, but outside of 4P I agree it's not all that great on its own, not until the endgame.


Yeah, but you're not allowed to take double family growth, as it only works on spaces which are occupied by exactly one family member...
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Derakon Derakon
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Robert: D'oh, good call. So much for that idea!

Geoff: I don't deny that Understudy has its uses; just that 4P is the only level at which there's an obviously exploitable action just waiting to be used by it right from the start of the game.

Double-ocking can be good, if you have enough occs that you want to get out early on, and you think you'll be able to recover the food costs. I do admit that the ability to get out two occs in the first round is interesting.

On the note of food costs, 4P and 5P have the most food per player in the first four rounds, not counting DL and cookeries: 4P has 12f, assuming RSf is taken once per round, and 5P also has 12 but you need to do the sheep+food zoo action. Of course, cookeries are easiest to get in 5P what with the 3C space -- assuming MIMI comes out in time. If MIMI came out in the first round then you could have three players with cookeries by the first harvest! 2P and 3P only have 4f unless I'm misremembering something, which means that digging yourself into a food hole is much riskier in those games.

...I think there's a few too many abbrevs in the above paragraph. whistle
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Trevor Schadt
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Derakon wrote:
...I think there's a few too many abbrevs in the above paragraph. whistle
Yeah, but they're all obvious enough (to those of us who have played the game, and especially those of us who regularly follow Geoff's session reports) that I don't think any of us are confused about the meaning.

Now, if there was a resource that was abbreviated to "P" we'd all be pretty screwed...
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Brian Bastage
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Quote:
...I think there's a few too many abbrevs in the above paragraph.


I think I've been playing this game too long. Until you made the above statement, I read that paragraph without even noticing........
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