Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Agricola is one of my first Eurogames and I have played it countless number of times with my Significant Other as well as with our friends. It is one game I truly enjoy and I’m always looking for opportunities to share it with people around me.cool

Last June (2011), I had the opportunity to introduce a gateway game, Blokus, to my non-gaming family and it turned out to be a success. I have since introduced Ingenious and Carcassonne to my family. These games are nowhere near the complexity of Agricola, but this was about to change. My brother expressed his interest in coming over to our house for a spot of gaming over the weekend and I thought that would be a good chance to introduce Agricola to him. whistle

My Significant Other is usually the rules explainer when it comes to Agricola, and I must admit he is becoming quite an expert in it. I decided to give it a try on my brother for a change. Halfway through the explanation, my brother seemed to be getting overwhelmed by the amount of information. We assured him that this is normal for a new player, especially one who has not been exposed to heavy euro gaming. I must confess that we threw him into the deep end of the pool by diving straight into the base game with the occupation and minor improvement cards. devil No family game in our house.

As my brother was reading through his dealt occupation and minor improvement cards, I could tell that he was at a loss on what they meant and how to go about using them. I explained some of the cards to him and he got excited over the “Shared Wall” minor. It was probably because I was exclaiming “Wow, you have the Shared Wall!” I liked this card because I thought this was an interesting idea but not necessary a powerful card. On hindsight, my brother may have interpreted it as a must play card.

He started his turn by playing an occupation “Stone Carrier” and began collecting stone in his supply. My Significant Other advised him to utilise the stone to purchase some of the major improvements which are sources of food and victory points. My brother eventually bought the “Joinery” and “Pottery”. With food secured, he expanded his house by a room. Keeping in my mind that he may still want to play the “Shared Wall”, I highlighted the importance of the position of the room in order to maximise the benefit from the card. We allowed him to “shift” his new room to another unused space, so as to maximise the potential “wall fences”. ninja

After the third harvest, my brother proclaimed that he needed to play another occupation card, which turned out to be “Early Riser”. I suspected it was more of to meet the pre-requisite of the “Shared Wall”, though he had the “Duck Pond” as well.

We were now in stage 4 and there were only 2 rounds to each harvest. All of us were scrambling for food. Before long, we found ourselves in round 13 and there were still quite a number of empty spaces on my brother’s farm. He eventually gave up on the “Shared Wall” idea and built his fences normally. Fortunately for him, he had accumulated quite a number of wood and was able to do so.

He finished the game with a score of 28, which I thought was a fair result for a new player. I won the first game, primarily due to the bonus points from major improvements played and the “Village Elder” occupation.

Results of first game:
My brother: 28 points. (Played Stone Carrier, Early Riser, Worm Bait, Joinery, Pottery and Fireplace)
My Significant Other: 40 points (Played Gem Hunter, Mother of Twins, Saint Nicholas, Private Forest, Holiday Present, Cooking Hearth and Basketmaker’s Workshop)
Me: 42 points (Played Village Elder, Bible, Clay Oven, Stone Oven, Well and Fireplace)

My brother surprised us by asking for a second game! surprise He seemed more confident after having a game under his belt.

In the second game, I had the “House Goat”, which I happily played whilst grabbing the starting player kiss (I was the last player and my brother was the first player). My brother snatched it back the following round by playing the “fishing rod”! I can still remember the smirk on his face as he said,“Haha, I want it back!” yukGuess he realised the advantage of having more choices when going first. Amongst the mayhem, my Significant Other looked on nonchalantly and commented that my brother and I could continue fighting over the starting player while he was content to work on his farm.

In this second game, my brother certainly plowed his field more diligently. He had 5 empty farm spaces during the first game and that must have motivated him to work harder this second game. He then played the “Gardening Tools” minor during his family growth. Hmm…now I see some strategy forming. He could have been plowing his fields in preparation for this minor. Whenever either of us took the sow action, he would pay one food to do likewise with a look of satisfaction. Recall that he had played “fishing rod” to ensure he always had some food on hand to take advantage of that.

In the meantime, my Significant Other has been quietly playing out his hand of minor improvement cards with the help of the “Wintercrafter”. I had not been paying attention to what he was playing until he declared that he could feed his family of 4 with a grain and a vegetable during the fifth harvest.surprise By then, he had played 6 minor improvement and 3 occupation cards. He had spotted the combo from his “Wintercrafter” and hand of minor improvements, most of which carried victory point(s). shake Imagine a free action for victory point(s) every harvest! In addition, his “Beehive Oven”, “Crop Rotator”, “Stone Kitchen” and “Carrot Cake Baker” provided him with eight food during the final two harvests. He continued to play “Keys” during the last harvest and ended up playing all 7 of his minor improvements! Those were worth 9 victory points at the end of the game, an equivalent of 3 family members! angry

Both my brother and I managed to fill up all of our farmyard spaces, whilst my Significant Other had one empty farmyard space.

Results of second game:
My brother: 33 points. (Played Carpenter, Fishing Rod, Gardening tools and Cooking Hearth)
My Significant Other: 42 points (Played Wintercrafter, Crop Rotator, Carrot Cake Baker, Helpful Neighbors, Beehive, Meat pie, Strawberry patch, Stone kitchen, Dovecote and Keys)
Me: 42 points (Played Greengrocer, Smallholder, House Goat, Clay Oven and Fireplace)

My brother improved upon his previous score whilst my Significant Other and I ended up with a tie (not a common occurrence). I believe there will be another game between us to break this tie. whistle

Below are pictures of our farms at the end of the second game:

My brother's farm

My Significant Other's farm
My Significant Other was jokingly saying that he could have gone through another harvest with the amount of food he had left!

My farm


Edit: I forgot to mention that the games were played with the E, I, K, Z, O, Cz, G and Wm decks (NL deck excluded because we dislike it). Yeah, I know we own quite a few decks!
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Scott Wheelock
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Those are great scores for a new player, especially when they've not played the Family version.
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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Both my Significant Other and I are friendly players when it comes to Agricola. We enjoy it better when playing in this manner.
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Scott Wheelock
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tinang wrote:
Both my Significant Other and I are friendly players when it comes to Agricola. We enjoy it better when playing in this manner.


I totally agree. I try to point out good plays, or help players reconsider less-than-optimal ones. Sometimes I get a little control-freakish, unfortunately, so I try to make it more about exposing possibly unseen options than just suggesting plays. On the whole, it's definitely more fun for me if everyone is a contender.

Still, even with help, I would be surprised to see a 30+ score on someone's second game. Your brother played well, helped or not.
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Geoff Burkman
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Kettering
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Looks to me like all your brother may need to do is learn to pursue second growth a little more aggressively. Great report!
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Sky Zero
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I just recently discovered Agricola and have enjoyed my limited solo games so far. I'm really looking forward to finding others I can challenge to a bit of farm building! Great report!
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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swheelock wrote:
tinang wrote:
Both my Significant Other and I are friendly players when it comes to Agricola. We enjoy it better when playing in this manner.


I totally agree. I try to point out good plays, or help players reconsider less-than-optimal ones. Sometimes I get a little control-freakish, unfortunately, so I try to make it more about exposing possibly unseen options than just suggesting plays. On the whole, it's definitely more fun for me if everyone is a contender.

Still, even with help, I would be surprised to see a 30+ score on someone's second game. Your brother played well, helped or not.


Yup, actually I also find myself getting a little control-freak at times on my brother and my Significant Other had to remind me to let him carry out his strategy as he may already have some plan in mind. blush
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Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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tinang wrote:
Yup, actually I also find myself getting a little control-freak at times on my brother and my Significant Other had to remind me to let him carry out his strategy as he may already have some plan in mind. blush


...shake...gulp...
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Fernando Robert Yu
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skyzero wrote:
I just recently discovered Agricola and have enjoyed my limited solo games so far. I'm really looking forward to finding others I can challenge to a bit of farm building! Great report!


Ditto!
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