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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small» Forums » General

Subject: 3 land expansions = unbalanced point advantage? rss

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Peter J
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I've only played 10 games so far, but in 4 of those 10 games, one player was able to get 3 of the 4 land expansions and they proceeded to win the game.

Having to populate the expansion for the 4 bonus points is a relatively easy task as it is a natural progression of the game anyway. If you take a 3rd expansion then not only are you getting +4 points, you are also denying the other player 4 points. A typical score for example 40-40 would instead become 44-36, and the second player has an 8 point deficit that needs to be compensated somewhere else. 8 points is a lot to make up!

Even if player 1 takes a 3rd expansion and does nothing with it, it still represents 4 easy points lost for player 2, at the cost of one turn from player 1.

I am not saying getting 3 expansions is an auto win condition, but an 8 point swing will almost certainly help you get there.
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Ben Bateson
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Advantage, yes. Unbalanced? No.

You have 24 actions in a game, and should be aiming score an average of 2 points with each one. Populating a board takes a minimum of three actions for 4 points, and that's before picking up any animals (which will, of course, generate their own points).

I think people are too keen to take the expansions based on recent posts in this forum.
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Chad Weaver
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Supposing your theory is correct:

When someone takes expand, you take start player and take expand next turn. If someone takes start player, you take expand. Then you can never do worse than 2-2 in expansions.
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Yes it's very advantageous to have 3 ET, but I don't think it's broken enough to be called "unbalanced"

24 actions, and you used 3 to grab the tiles while your opponent used 1. From then you'll have to spend actions on fences to fill up the 3 ET, while your opponent, due to the lack of space, would require less fencing actions and could/should be relying on building stalls & stables more for spaces. 4 points per stable + a timber house can get you quite a lot of points as well.

Also there's also the method of denying. 3 ET is a lot of space, and the easiest animal to fill up those spaces with are sheep. So what I would do( and did in 1 game) is go for the sheep myself. I went for both sheep/reed and sheep/pig spaces before him, and even had to let a few run away just so that he could not have them. I ended with barely any cows and horses, but the sheep provided me with tons of points while he sat with some pastures that aren't filled completely.

I'm also interested in whether a full construction strategy (stables, storage buildings and timber house with just little animals) could work against this strategy. Have all the ET you want, I'm building my wood/stone farm showroom
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Ben Bateson
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genesyx wrote:

I'm also interested in whether a full construction strategy (stables, storage buildings and timber house with just little animals) could work against this strategy. Have all the ET you want, I'm building my wood/stone farm showroom


We've ventured down this line and the -3 penalty points for animals makes it difficult to pull off.

But I'm hoping a few bonus/promo tiles (and surely there are some, hmmm, Uwe/Hanno?) will help to rectify this.
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Brent M
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Any games I've played with my wife, where one of us has grabbed 3 expansions, hasn't resulted in an imbalance. It's rare that the person with 3 expansions is able to fill them out and get 4 victory points each for doing so.
 
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ousgg wrote:
genesyx wrote:

I'm also interested in whether a full construction strategy (stables, storage buildings and timber house with just little animals) could work against this strategy. Have all the ET you want, I'm building my wood/stone farm showroom


We've ventured down this line and the -3 penalty points for animals makes it difficult to pull off.

But I'm hoping a few bonus/promo tiles (and surely there are some, hmmm, Uwe/Hanno?) will help to rectify this.


Well obviously you still need to fulfill the "4 animals of each type" requirement to negate the penalties
I haven't tried it myself, but it shouldn't be that hard to get 4 of each animals assuming you're not aiming high on the animal bonus points no?

But yeah I'm looking forward to what the game's expansion (if there ever is one) will birng
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Ben Bateson
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It's not particularly easy to get 4 horses and 4 cows in a 'normal', 2-boards-each game. I'm still working out whether it's profitable to ignore one animal type altogether.
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Martin G
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ousgg wrote:
It's not particularly easy to get 4 horses and 4 cows in a 'normal', 2-boards-each game. I'm still working out whether it's profitable to ignore one animal type altogether.

I got my best score yet today (54) without any horses.
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Chris Flood
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I don't think it's unbalanced, as it's easily stopped. But (with a whopping four games under my belt) I will say it's strong enough to be my de facto strategy for now. I started prioritizing expansions in my second game and secured three blow-out victories in a row. I imagine effective use of troughs might be a way to ignore getting more than one expansion, but my opponent was unable to pull in off in any of these three games. Small sample size, I know, but still...
 
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Chris Flood
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I just played again, deciding to ease up on the land-land-land strategy, opting instead to build the automatic-game-winning Half-Timbered House, which I'd been mostly ignoring up till now. I lost. Needless to say, I will be returning to the triple-land approach the next time I play.
 
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