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Subject: What is your favourite set-up? rss

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Santa Claus
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Ok, my first post:

I wonder, what is your favourite Agricola set-up:
a) what is the favourite number of players?
b) what decks do you prefer? Beginner / Interactive / Advanced? (I don't like taking the better or worse cards out of a deck, nor mixing decks). So far, I've been keeping playing Beginner and I see no reason to change that unless you advise otherwise.
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Trevor Schadt
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ViskEEE wrote:
a) what is the favourite number of players?
4 or 5. First of all, because I'm a social person and I like playing with as many of my friends as possible. Second, because the increased number of players combined with a (relatively) smaller action space generates extra tension. (You add 4 actions when going from 2 to 3, 2 actions when going from 3 to 4, and none when going from 4 to 5. Hence, smaller action space per player.)

ViskEEE wrote:
b) what decks do you prefer? Beginner / Interactive / Advanced? (I don't like taking the better or worse cards out of a deck, nor mixing decks). So far, I've been keeping playing Beginner and I see no reason to change that unless you advise otherwise.
The E deck is good for people who are just starting with the cards, because there are a lot of things that can help someone without really hurting anyone else. (An example from a game I played on Sunday was the Bread Seller, which gives you 1 Food for each Grain that any player -- including you -- Bakes. It doesn't stop anyone else from Baking, although it might cause experienced players to change their strategies.)

The I deck adds a lot more interaction (as you would expect from the "Interactive" deck), specifically in the form of "if I play this card, you can't do X without giving me Y," and therefore forces you to be far more aware of your other players and how what they've played can affect what you can do. (The first example of this that comes to mind is the Sycophant, which says "Every time another player takes the 'Take 1 Grain' action, they must first give you 1 Food." Which means if they have no food, they can't take that action.) I recommend the I deck, specifically for people who are (a) comfortable with the game and (b) starting to get that whole "this is multiplayer solitaire" vibe.

The K deck brings relatively massive changes to the dynamic of the game, and (in my opinion, anyway) should only be ventured into by people who are very comfortable with the game. Again, as a primary example of this, there is the Reed Hut (a card that many people consider overpowered), which allows a third family member as early as the third round and can give the person who played it a relatively massive advantage.
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Brad Morgan
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ryudoowaru wrote:
First of all, because I'm a social person and I like playing with as many of my friends as possible. Second, because the increased number of players combined with a (relatively) smaller action space generates extra tension.


I totally agree - being a people person, I like to game with more friends as oppsosed to less, so I enjoy 4-5 player games.

That being said, I think it is worth noting, that my wife and I regularly play this 2-player, and it is still a GREAT game - one of our favorite 2-player games in fact.

ryudoowaru wrote:
Second, because the increased number of players combined with a (relatively) smaller action space generates extra tension.


I totally agree with this too - for me, this is the essence of the game. Too many things to do, not enough time to do it all. The constant balancing act of long-term development and immediate need for food. The stress of not knowing if you will be able to procure the food you need.
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Benjamin Kerenza
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ViskEEE wrote:

a) what is the favourite number of players?


I like to be able to offer this to lots of people too but with the people I play with 5 is just too slow and leaves others frustrated. Fortunately I often only have two other people willing to play. I do like the way the game feels different at different sizes though as different resources becomes more or less available.

ViskEEE wrote:

b) what decks do you prefer? Beginner / Interactive / Advanced?


Any, with less than four I'd probably avoid the I deck as it is much better with more people, or rather the cards are 'better'. I would be more inclined to shuffle the E and K together but mostly I would deal out x number of the various decks that I have.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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It's tough for me to say how many players I prefer. I feel like each different number of players is a completely different game. The biggest examples are that solo play is completely different than two player Agricola and two player Agricola is radically different than three payer Agricola. The different setups for different players contribute to that as well. Whether clay is in shortage or if there are multiple build/family growth spots change based on number of players and that drastically changes the game.

I guess how many players I want to play depends on what I haven't played recently. With the notable exception that I'm not interested in solo anymore. Once you hit maximum efficiency in solo play there is no point in doing it ever again.
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Trevor Schadt
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BMinNY wrote:
ryudoowaru wrote:
First of all, because I'm a social person and I like playing with as many of my friends as possible. Second, because the increased number of players combined with a (relatively) smaller action space generates extra tension.
I totally agree - being a people person, I like to game with more friends as oppsosed to less, so I enjoy 4-5 player games.

That being said, I think it is worth noting, that my wife and I regularly play this 2-player, and it is still a GREAT game - one of our favorite 2-player games in fact.
A fair point. I don't get to do a lot of 2p gaming -- my fiancee works odd hours and when it's just the roommate and me, we usually either have other things to do, or it's "who else do we want to call and have come over." I've played a couple of 2p games of Gric, and I agree that it's very well done. On the whole, though, I tend to prefer games in larger groups.
 
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david landes
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- 5 players is preferred
- Mix of E, I, and K decks
- 8 cards (total from both MI and OCC decks) removed for being unbalancing or annoying in our opinions

Cheers

Oops, also, welcome to posting!!
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Ben Bateson
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3P is the sweet spot for me. It feels tighter and with more control than with 4 or 5.

We will generally pick two decks out of E,I,K,G,WM,NL,(+O for free sometimes), deal 10 (five from each) and discard down to 7. It also allows us to play E,I,E,I,O - which is ideal for a farming game.
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Geoff Burkman
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In order, I prefer 4-, 5-, 3-, and 2-player games.

From the base game, I have always mixed all the decks, and have no preference for one over the other. I am from the more-cards-the-merrier school of cardboard subsistence farming.
 
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Derakon Derakon
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We generally play with as many players as we can manage; if we can't scrape together 4 players then we don't bother (there must be a different game we can play that gets more players), and 5 is our usual count. Hooray for having a healthily-large gaming group!

As for cards, we mix in everything except the NL and Z-man decks; NL comes out occasionally for a half-and-half deal (half NL, half everything else).
 
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Kevin M.
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I like 3- and 4-player the best, maybe with an edge to 3-player. Four-player is fun, but often one player gets left in the dust because they can't get their first family-growth until Round 9 or 10. It's not a huge flaw, but it feels unfair sometimes. I like 5-player too, but I don't have much experience with it so I can't say how it compares.

I like all of the decks, though I don't like playing 2-player with the I-deck because some of the cards seem either overpowered or useless with only one other opponent. For example, Field Watchman gives you just too much of an advantage when you're only competing against one other person. The Wooden, Clay, and Stone Roads aren't much fun in 2-player either.
 
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2, 3, or 4. 2 is a brutal pvp one, 3-4 feels very different than 2 (and from each other. 5 just feels too chaotic for me.

After you're used to the game, really, shuffle EIK together, and consider taking out some/all of the banned cards (http://play-agricola.com/forums/index.php?topic=548). Some/all of those are VERY overpowered.
 
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Joe Brown
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We usually go with 4 players.

Normally K and World Championship deck
Deal 10 and draw to 7.
Minors are WYSIWYG.

Oh, we also play the Farmer's of the Moor expansion with the Season's variant.
We start Season's in Round 2 with Spring, so FG comes in Round 5.

And....Lover plays....

It gets crazy!!!!
 
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sgt stiffler
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We always play with the FOTM expansion. While I have all the decks, iv'e really been digging the NL deck. I know it's considered overpowered, but we enjoy it. But we mix and match the decks often. We don't draft, or deal out extra cards. 7 occs, 7 minors, that's it! Otherwise, we would analyze for an hour if we had to deduct down or draft cards. I prefer 3 player, but usually play with just 2.
 
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Santa Claus
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I would have expected a 5-player game would be the most fun, cause the actions should get really tight. I've only been playing 2-/4-player games, so that's why I was asking if 5 would be worthwile to go for. Anyway, I assume that changing the amount of start players is what really changes the game over and over again. Which is why it's so nice to play .


sybrwookie wrote:
2, 3, or 4. 2 is a brutal pvp one, 3-4 feels very different than 2 (and from each other. 5 just feels too chaotic for me.

After you're used to the game, really, shuffle EIK together, and consider taking out some/all of the banned cards (http://play-agricola.com/forums/index.php?topic=548). Some/all of those are VERY overpowered.


Isn't that great, to draw a good card in the beginning? Or you don't like that 'luck'-factor?
 
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Rich P
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ViskEEE wrote:
I would have expected a 5-player game would be the most fun, cause the actions should get really tight. I've only been playing 2-/4-player games, so that's why I was asking if 5 would be worthwile to go for.


5-player also uses different actions than games at other player counts, so you have a "Sheep/Boar/Cow" space and another place to Build Rooms and Family Grow. Some of the resource spaces stack up more than in the 4-player game (4 Wood?). For me, this makes it feel less tight than with fewer players. It's also a bit more unpredictable and chaotic, although this could be due to my relative unfamiliarity with the 5-player specific actions.
 
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Paul New
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I play 2p or 4p. Whilst 4p is social and fun, I prefer 2p I think as the game is tighter, and punishes inefficiency more. Luckily, my regular 2p opponent is more or less at the same level so we have very engaging games where no one usually sails miles ahead or lags miles behind.

Currently 2 from E, 1 from I, 1 from K and 3 from WM. G has been gathering dust on our gaming shelf since the release of WM. 4 WM tends to warp games a tad so we stick with a 3 WM card limit in 7 cards. Used to draft from 10, but have been employing 'you get the 7 you are dealt' policy of late to save on playing time a little. More of a challenge to sculpt synergistic majesty from 7 random cards

Love the E, I, E, I, O reference Ben. Wondered what you meant for a moment
 
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Derakon Derakon
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woodnoggin wrote:
5-player also uses different actions than games at other player counts, so you have a "Sheep/Boar/Cow" space and another place to Build Rooms and Family Grow. Some of the resource spaces stack up more than in the 4-player game (4 Wood?). For me, this makes it feel less tight than with fewer players. It's also a bit more unpredictable and chaotic, although this could be due to my relative unfamiliarity with the 5-player specific actions.

I suspect the lack of "tightness" in 5P comes more from the increased availability of Family Growth / Room Building actions than from the extra resources. 5P has 8W/turn (1 3W space, 1 4W space, and the RSW space), while 4P has 6W/turn (1 3W space, 1 1W space, 1 2W space). In practice this means that over the entire game, in 5P each player gets an extra 1.4W, which doesn't strike me as especially significant. You get a similar ratio for clay (an extra .7 clay per player in 5P), while the ratios actually get worse for stone, reed, and food.
 
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David Larkin
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One of the things I really like about Agricola is the variability. So I like to play with different numbers, people, decks and expansions to give the greatest variety (although I have only played with the X and Fairy Decks once as they aren't really the sort of variety I am looking for)
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James Huang
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I prefer 4p, 3p then 5p. The reason I don't like 5p is:

1) it seems to play very slowly. It should arguably only 25% slower than 4p, but it feels like an eternity to play 5p. Could also be specific to my gaming crew, but nonetheless.
2) With so many extra actions on the board, your actions become pretty bad pretty quickly. After 2 family members have been placed, your 3rd guy is significantly weaker, and the 4th guy even worse.
3) which leads us to SP having a daunting effect on the game, especially in the final few rounds. You could have a very strong position in round 12, but get completely hosed if the guy in behind you takes SP, followed by a quick SP take in round 13 by the person following. Yeah, this can happen in 4p as well, but it doesn't feel as crippling.

Just my 2 cents.
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Mike Stevens
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I think I have played about 15 2-player games, 1 3-player, 4 4-player, and 1 5-player.

2-player and 4-player are my favorites. 5-player is brutally slow even with just 1 or 2 AP playersshake The more I think about it, I really enjoy the one on one brutality of 2-player plus we can finsih a game in 60 minutes
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Agri Fan
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I play way more 2-player than anything else, and it's probably my favourite. I like having more opportunities and choices and don't like continually fighting over starting player. That said I've played 3, 4 and 5 player (not solo - I don't like solo board games) and enjoyed them all. If I had to rank them I'd say 2,4,3 then 5.

I agree with an earlier poster who said that they're really quite different games because of the different actions you get (or don't get) at the start. In 2 player you aren't getting stone until round 5 at the earliest (unless you have an occupation or minor that gives it to you) so some strategies/improvements are less viable.

In terms of which cards to use, I'm quite changeable. I tend to think the basic deck makes things a bit easy to the point that some of the strategy is reduced - e.g. the Baker. That said, we still play with basic quite often because it's the largest of the three decks that come with the game (at least at 2 player) so there's more variety. I think I prefer complex, but both the gamers deck and the netherlands deck are really fun. My current favourite is probably the gamers deck. When we mix we tend to go with something like 2 basic, 2 complex, 3 interactive for both occupations and minors.

 
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