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Thread: Agricola (iOS)

  1. #1
    World's End Supernova
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    Agricola (iOS)

    Screw it, new thread. I figure I'll be chatting about this game quite a bit, and I don't want to take over the iOS Games Thread.

    For those just joining us: the game is $7, it's universal, it's excellent other than a couple minor interface quirks. (I barely notice them after 10 games.) There are a lot of options for solo play, or against the AI, or multiplayer. I mentioned in the other thread that it includes a Solo Series "campaign" where you play a series of solo games without AI where you must reach a higher score threshold each game, but you get to carry an occupation card (like a bonus or head start) with you each time.

    I haven't even made it past solo play yet. I like the puzzle aspect of it, and it helps me learn the flow of the game without other players getting in the way. I started the Solo Series and I'm on my 6th game. It's so satisfying to build up a super powerful farm thanks to the occupation cards. But I'm starting to realize that to play this indefinitely, you need to be lucky enough to draw good occupation cards each time.

    I almost blew it in my last game because I thought I'd check out the Master Builder to construct a 6 room house and get my 5th family member early. But with the head start you get from the carryover occupation cards, points are more valuable than actions. I didn't have enough wood and room to build my usual pastures, stables, and fields. Since I got the Lord of the Manor card (in the first game!) I get a bonus point if I max out those things. The extra rooms in my stone house weren't enough to make up for it.

    Anyway, I'm just about ready for a casual multiplayer game. You don't need to be a newbie, but I'd prefer not to play any hardcore veterans of the boardgame. GC name is tooler975.

    Does anyone know the ideal start for a solo game? I usually do 3 plows, 3 grains, sow them all, and grab 4 fish before the harvest, where I consume 2 grains inefficiently. I feel like I need to get ahead of the curve on planting grain because you only get two cycles through the field before the game ends, and I always shoot for 8+ grain for the 4 points. Google wasn't much help, other than this thread about a 123 point game using hand-selected occupation cards and carefully calcaulated moves. Cute.

  2. #2
    Mad Chester
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    I tried to invite you to a game but you do not show up in my Agricola friends list. Did you register an Agricola online account?

  3. #3
    Social Worker tylertoo's Avatar
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    How feasible is it to play this on an iPhone? I can handle Warhammer Quest on the phone, but is this tougher to read/control?

  4. #4
    Spinning Toe Syzygy's Avatar
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    I can play, too. Tim is showing up on my list but I don't think Bruce is. Definitely not a "hardcore" boardgame player but I have probably 15 plays under my belt since it came out (over a period of several years). My GC name is "Circuitous Syzygy"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooski View Post
    I tried to invite you to a game but you do not show up in my Agricola friends list. Did you register an Agricola online account?
    I see you in there. There is some weird nonsense about the Playdek accounts. I skimmed over it and now I can't remember. They said something about logging into one of their other games if you have one (Ascension, Summoner Wars, Nightfall, Penny Arcade) to link the accounts together. I don't know if that's related.

  6. #6
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    Here is my Solo Series so far. I'm on game 13.



    I don't think I'll be able to get the 90 point achievement because I'm starting to crest the power curve. I get no new occupations, and I rely on minor improvements to try to boost my points at the end. I don't always have enough stone to max out the major improvement bonuses (pottery, basketweaver, and joinery). It's also hard to maintain concentration each game. I blew game 5 big time to cause that big dropoff in the middle.

    My two best cards are the first two. Lord of the Manor gives me a bonus point for maxing out a score column. I can usually get almost all of them, so that's 7 or 8 free bonus points right there. The Baker is also great. You can do a free baking action at harvest rather than wasting a turn to bake. Once I get a Clay or Stone Oven up, I use them once or twice each harvest for maximum grain efficiency. I just have to pick up the fishing tile or single grain once or twice a game and I'm set with food.

    I thought the Conservator was pretty awesome because it lets me skip the clay house upgrade to go straight to a stone house. But there is a renovate + improvement action that I could probably take advantage of since I already burn an action or two to make major improvements. I save 1 reed this way, but it'd be better in the long run if that was a different card.

    The Clay Deliveryman gets me extra clay for the pottery, and the Hedge Keeper and Stablehand ensure I have leftover wood for the joinery (if I can get the stone for it). The Mendicant gives me two free begging cards. It's come in handy every now and then when I don't want to waste grain at the Cooking Hearth (only 3 food instead of 4 or 5 in an oven). But I'd much rather have another bonus point card. I don't think I'll get to 90 without one.

    I discovered you don't have to carry an occupation if you get a bad hand of them. I skipped the occupation after game 7, and ended up with the Stablehand next game (free stables!) I don't know if it's supposed to work like that, or if you get a full hand of occupation cards. I only tried it that one round.

  7. #7
    Neo Acoustic
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    Im in for asynch play! Gc: dreamshadow1977. Im familar with the family game, but the ipad version is where im learning to use the cards, so i know to play but im no expert.

  8. #8
    Spinning Toe
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    Quote Originally Posted by tylertoo View Post
    How feasible is it to play this on an iPhone? I can handle Warhammer Quest on the phone, but is this tougher to read/control?
    It's surprisingly good on the iPhone. I have mainly been playing on the iPad, but played a bit last night on the phone, and it was fine.

  9. #9
    Spinning Toe
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    I never played the board game, but I hope you have the option of a solo mode that plays exactly like the board game solo rules (without modification). I'm a purist when it comes to board game translations: More options are fine, but I always want to be able to play the "pure" game.

  10. #10
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    Great game, Bruce! I learned a lot. There is definitely a different strategy for 2 player games vs. solitaire. You kept grabbing the wood but I thought I'd be fine in the end. I forgot about empty pasture squares.

    Well played blocking me on the renovate and fences square. I was going to do that, then grab some sheep and boar. But I miscalculated the number of wood anyway, so I wouldn't have been able to make 2 pastures unless they were tiny.

  11. #11
    Mad Chester
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    Thanks for playing, Tim - that was a lot of fun. I actually think I stopped blocking you on wood one round early. Your having the extra family member for two rounds almost got me. I got saved by the Family Growth No Space card, as I had boxed myself out.

    Two-player definitely goes differently than solo. I haven't done three-player but I'm guessing that is very different from two.

  12. #12
    Administrator World's End Supernova Tom Chick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim James View Post
    Great game, Bruce! I learned a lot. There is definitely a different strategy for 2 player games vs. solitaire. You kept grabbing the wood but I thought I'd be fine in the end.
    Heh.

    -Tom

  13. #13
    World's End Supernova
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    You're welcome to join in! Send me a game.

    That goes for everyone. I'll be around for live games tonight and tomorrow evening EST. I want to knock out a few quick games to learn the flow of 2 player.

  14. #14
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    I just picked it up. I've played the board game a few times but going to brush up with some games against the AI over the next few days. Should be ready to play some games later this week.

  15. #15
    Spinning Toe Syzygy's Avatar
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    I agree with BGG's assessment that Agricola is "best with 3,4 players" so I'm eager to get some 3+ player games going!

  16. #16
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    Me too, but I'd prefer to do more than one turn per day like our game. Are we in different timezones? I am EST in the US.

  17. #17
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    I'm in EST and can probably play some semi-live games in the near future.

  18. #18
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    Dude, Syzygy, I really need to resign this game. I played my first two turns way back before I played my game against Bruce, before I realized I don't need to get grain going as much as I do in solitaire. So I've been 1 or 2 turns behind the entire game. I'm just sitting here waiting for you to drag your pieces to the work zones I want. I'll finish it out if you want to see your farm through, but I'm pretty much done.

  19. #19
    Spinning Toe Syzygy's Avatar
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    Sure, no need to continue if you aren't enjoying it. Is there a way to resign?

  20. #20
    Spinning Toe Syzygy's Avatar
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    How about a 3 player with Bruce?

  21. #21
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    Sure. I made it. Bruce, if you want to play the family game instead, just make a new one.

  22. #22
    Mad Chester
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim James View Post
    Sure. I made it. Bruce, if you want to play the family game instead, just make a new one.
    I just upgraded my iPad to the latest gen and am downloading everything. Taking a while. You can set a game up - I'm available tomorrow evening/night.

  23. #23
    New Romantic Mysterio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooski View Post
    I just upgraded my iPad to the latest gen
    Off topic, but I thought I'd ask: did you use Apple's recycling program, or did you just purchase a new one? Is there a preferred method for transitioning from a previous gen to the newest gen?

  24. #24
    Mad Chester
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mysterio View Post
    Off topic, but I thought I'd ask: did you use Apple's recycling program, or did you just purchase a new one? Is there a preferred method for transitioning from a previous gen to the newest gen?
    I don't know if there is a preferred method or not - I just bought a new one and restored it from a cloud backup. Then I gave the old one to my wife.

    Tim and Syzygy, looks like we are underway.

  25. #25
    New Romantic Vesper's Avatar
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    I picked this up, but have never played the board game. Really like what I've seen so far in the tutorials. I'll be up for some async after I get a few solo games under my belt.

  26. #26
    New Romantic
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    I could see it being hard to follow multiplayer async play in the same way you can in the physical game. A big part of competitive play is hinged on determining what your opponents need to do and outmaneuvering them, in a way that's very similar to Puerto Rico. However, I've definitely found it harder to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing and keeping track of what strategies they're going for because it's quite a bit of drilling down. For what it is though, great port, and I am finding the Solo Series gameplay interesting.

    I'm really looking forward to the release of the K and I decks though; I find the E deck occupations boring and it's been quite a while since I've bothered playing with them as a result, and this hasn't changed my opinion at all.

    The solo series is going to come down mostly to luck of the draw on occupations. My current series gave me +1 grain when you take Day Laborer and +1 Plowed Field when you Plow a Field in my first two games. As a result I have 4 plowed/planted fields and quite a bit of excess food by the first harvest every game, which sets me up for absolutely insane amounts of food production by turn 8. If I can get something to reduce the reed cost of expanding my house I should be able to manage a consistent 4-5 family members by second harvest every game. I think breaking 90 will be based on whether you get these:

  27. #27
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    That may or may not be true about async games. But the score breakdown and game state interface Playdek created may be the best implementation for async worker placement games that we're going to get.

    Stone is definitely the roadblock in the Solo Series. You want to be able to build all the improvements that provide a bonus for stored resources, since you can usually max them all out. Well, I can with my wood and clay occupations. But I needed a stone occupation.

  28. #28
    Mad Chester
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    Why does the game take so many clicks to start an online game? Start the app. Ok. Then Play Online. Great. But now Log In? Why can't I be continually logged in? It's not like I'm afraid someone is going to grab my ipad and make a bad move in my online Agricola game. And it remembers everything anyway, so that Agricola hijacker could just do the same thing. Then I get the online lobby, where I need to select Game List. Couldn't my in-progress games be on this screen? Finally on the next screen I can play.

    It's a wonderful port in so many ways (the way he animals wriggle when you pick them up always makes me feel just a smidgen badly when I cook them) but this game lobby thing seems even more clunky compared to the rest of it.

  29. #29
    World's End Supernova
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    My solo series ended on game 24. I needed 83 points but only got 82. I could've restarted to try to be more efficient, but I figured that's good enough. I got my 90 point game achievement thanks to some lucky +stone minor improvements. A few weeks ago I was tempted to start a new solo series with even better occupation cards. I think I'm done now.

    I'll probably try to grab those singleplayer achievements against the AI just for something fun to do. My multiplayer game has stalled since Bruce has been out this week, so once again anyone is welcome to send me a game.

  30. #30
    Hustle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim James View Post
    That may or may not be true about async games. But the score breakdown and game state interface Playdek created may be the best implementation for async worker placement games that we're going to get.

    Stone is definitely the roadblock in the Solo Series. You want to be able to build all the improvements that provide a bonus for stored resources, since you can usually max them all out. Well, I can with my wood and clay occupations. But I needed a stone occupation.
    I tend to agree. Async strategy games that involve any depth greater than move-something-here are always going to be somewhat difficult to follow, but this game handles it better than most I've seen.

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