Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Farmers and hoplites

Two quick game accounts:

(c) Z-man Games.  Used by permission
Farmers of the Moor
Last evening, Kathy and I played Agricola: Farmers of the Moor (designer Uwe Rosenberg, artist Klemens Franz, publisher Z-Man Games).  We used the "Advanced (F)" deck of minor improvements.  We took completely different approaches to our farms.  Kathy was immediately disgusted with her hand and dismissed the idea of pursuing any of her minor improvements.  In fact, the only major improvement she paid for was a fireplace, which she later upgraded to a cooking hearth.  She was the first to build an extra room and grow her family.  She built fences like crazy and had quite the sheep/boar farm going before long.

I went in a completely different direction.  I got a horse at my earliest opportunity.  I focused on improvements both minor and major.  In particular, I made a point of acquiring the Forester's Lodge and the Peat Charcoal Kiln, which in combination with the horse made subsequent "cutting peat" and "felling trees" actions considerably more efficient.  But that set me behind in establishing a food source, so I spent a lot of time fishing and taking other food-source actions.  We were both slow to plow and sow grain and vegetables.  In the end, she had a three-room stone house with five family members to my three-room clay hut and three family members, but I had so many points from major improvements (including the well) that I won by the very narrow score of 43 to 42.

Battle Line
I misplayed my Yellow 7 with the Yellow 8,
forgetting that I'd already played the
Yellow 6 and that Kathy had played the
Yellow 9, rendering the Phalanx
formation impossible.
This evening, we sat outside in the beautiful weather and played our Reiner Knizia two-player favorite, Battle Line (designer Reiner Knizia, artists Rodger B. MacGowan and Mark Simonitch, publisher GMT).  I think this was the first time that we went through the entire tactical deck.  I played Darius early, which meant when I drew Alexander later that I was stuck with it in my hand and couldn't get rid of it.  (The Scout card allows you to unload unwanted cards, but I'd already played that.)  I made one tactical error where I played a yellow Light Cavalry ('7') on top of a yellow Heavy Cavalry ('8') in hopes of building a phalanx formation (sequence of three cards of the same color), forgetting that both the yellow Hypaspists ('6') and Chariots ('9') had already been played elsewhere, making my phalanx impossible to complete.  Kathy played to strong positions throughout the game, so much so that she ended up not only with an envelopment (five flags captured out of nine) but a breakthrough (three consecutive flags) on the same card play.  I had only captured two flags, so it was a decisive victory for Kathy the Destroyer.

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