Game Agricola 20100105

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Played 20100105 2300-2515PST 2hr15min Phuong (32) Steve (35) Daniel (14) Stephanie (24) Me (38). Stephanie first. I won.

My Board
Approximate game time, 11 pm to 1:15 am. Though the pre-game was about from 10 pm to 10:30 pm. So I thought it was a good idea just to do a pre-game, which was up until the first harvest. While it isn't all encompassing, since you don't completely realize how the scoring works until you finish your first game, it seems like it's helpful. Better to sacrifice 30 minutes than add an hour to your main game, which won't be as fun for those who don't understand. If Michael was here, he would have mentioned that the game praises the balanced player over the specialized player. However he wasn't and as such, Daniel and Stephanie created farms that were slightly skewed under the game's current scoring. I lucked out as Phuong played the card that benefited me last time, most occupations gets a bonus 3 points. Otherwise I would have only tied with Steve. Note: I made at least two mistakes during the game. One, the bigger mistake, there is an option of major improvement when you renovate. I forgot this, and so I just made a minor improvement I didn't really need. So the next round I wasted a turn to crunch out a major improvement I needed, instead of doing it together with the renovation. Also, major improvement with renovation and then next turn starting player with minor improvement is much better than minor improvement with renovation and then next turn with major improvement. My last one or two round were carefully calculated in terms of animals, but I realized it might have been better to have built one stable in the pasture, which would have given me a point, and when it game up, I could have plowed and sowed, for having another field and an extra vegetable. This would have been another two points. For a total of three points at the cost of one point, having one less cattle (I would keep three cattle in the stable, all the sheep in the fenced pasture, and a boar in the house). Had I not had two turns taken away from Steve's occupation (on rounds 10 and 12 all players except for Steve don't get to use their kids) I would have been able to get 3 more wood, and build 3 fences, to separate my three by three into a three by two and three by one. Of course I'd have the three by one close off the one with the stable.

I made fairly quick moves most of the time, sometimes before Stephanie was even done collecting goods or placing her improvements and/or occupations. However, sometimes I would think something through... this especially true during the first three or four actions when I'm still analyzing my cards. I had decided early that I was only going to have three stone rooms, because of the cards I had. Unexpectedly, at the end of the game, there was a lot of clay. This could have used one of my unplayed cards, but not a big deal. I realized that my choice of stable position was bad. Next time, I place my first stable next to the house. So that if I should play a three by three pasture, it wouldn't be next to the house. Leaving it possible to expand the house. The easiest situation, is to use twelve fences to make a three by two and three by one. Or to have the occupation that lets you have any animal in one pasture. Early game, plow and grain.

Subject to modification depending on your improvements and/or occupations. Round 1: plow, grain. Round 2 or 3 or 4: sow, wood, reed, build room and stable. Round 4: starting player. End of round 4, harvest one grain. Round 5: growth. Round 6: plow, sow, clay, fireplace. Round 7: wood, fence, two sheep, two boar, two cattle.

Now... how would you have three pastures with the twelve fence. The best configuration is a two by two window, i.e., two by two with a plus inside for four pastures. With a house of four and a two fields, you would have used ten spaces out of fifteen. A house of five and three fields means you used twelve spaces out of fifteen. You have four stables... three outside and one in a pasture, means you have room for fourteen animals, very flexible with which animals. Ah... but instead, you can do a three by two, split in half! (Oh wow, I just notice you get fifteen fence pieces!) That's six spaces, twelve animals total, plus one in the house. A house of three. Three fields. And three stables outside. Or a house of four, three fields, two stables outside, two inside.

Fifteen fence pieces means... more possibilities... Three two by ones can be made using fourteen pieces. It's silly... but you can put farms inside your pastures... I should remember to exploit this silliness... So you have a 3 by 3 split into a 3 by 1 and 3 by 2. You place three stables outside the farm and your three room house. That's all the spots on the board. One stock goes into your 3 by 1 for 6 or 12 animals should you build a stable inside that pasture. One stock goes into your 3 by 2, but use only 4 spaces for 8. And two spaces for two fields. Then the third stock goes into the three stables and house for 4. Now... This I say only because those are the rules under which were described to me by Steve. I shall have to double-check on placement of fields and fences. The previous paragraph involved a misinterpretation of rules. Furthermore, a newer analysis has been presented at 20100114's pasture analysis.

Original score sheet for 20100105.
02 -1 01 03 01 Fields
03 01 01 01 01 Pastures
01 01 01 04 -1 Grain
02 02 01 -1 -1 Vegetables
02 03 -1 02 -1 Sheep
03 01 01 01 -1 Wild boar
-1 03 03 01 -1 Cattle
-1 00 00 -3 -8 Unused spaces
00 00 01 01 00 Fenced stables
03 00 00 00 00 Clay hut rooms
00 06 00 08 06 Stone house rooms
09 12 12 12 09 Family members
01 04 05 05 05 Points for cards
00 06 07 01 05 Bonus points
24 38 32 35 14 Total

MISTAKE WE MADE IN RULES (I got the information from here and from a copy of the rule book):
Stables – A player can only have one stable on any farmyard space, but can have two or more stables in a pasture - each stable doubles the capacity again. A fenced stable doubles the capacity of the entire pasture (not just the farmyard space it is on). An unfenced stable can be fenced later. When scoring, a farmyard square with just a stable is considered occupied, which allows a player to avoid the -1 penalty for an empty space (an unfenced stable is not worth any positive points, however). Also during scoring, one pasture is a single fenced in area, regardless of the number of farmyard squares in the pasture.

Fences may only be built if they will create a fully enclosed pasture, with fences on all sides. The edge of the farmyard board, stables, fields and rooms do not count as fences.

Like rooms and fields, all of a player's pastures must be orthogonally adjacent. If a player has already built pastures, any new pastures must border the existing ones.

Fields and rooms may not be completely surrounded with a fence. You may subdivide an existing pasture by adding a fence or fences. Enclosed farmyard spaces are considered to be used (See Scoring).

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