Posted 04 October 2014 - 10:17 PM
Hi, when I first started learning this game, I found playing the single player game a good way to get used to how to build your farm up using the cards that you have been dealt. A few tips/things that I try to keep in mind are:
- the bigger your family, the more actions you can take. Being the first player to grow your family is quite often the biggest advantage you can get. If you have 3 family members and everyone else has two, you are often able to get extra resources that have piled up.
- having a fireplace early can help with a quick food pickup if no one else has one and there are a pile of animals available. Ideally you would want to have room to keep at least 3 animals so that you can keep two for breeding and have an extra two food after each harvest from converting the offspring to food in future rounds.
- I find with the iOS version, the computer opponents seem to love taking lumber every chance they can, which hasn't been my experience when playing with human opponents. If there happens to be 6 lumber built up, then it is likely a great grab. Or if you are currently last player and there is still lumber available, I will often grab starting player so that I can grab 6 the next round. This does a few things, you become fist player, can play a minor improvement and get 6 lumber (which is very handy early on). You may then get a round or two as start player before another player has the chance to take it away.
- As you get more familiar with how the occupations and improvements work together, it is important to try and accomplish multiple tasks with a single action.
- A few well used improvements and occupations are usually more useful than playing many improvements/occupations only once each.
- Depending on the competitiveness of the group you are playing with, there are opportunities to play a little dirty. For example, if you see your opponent is building a fireplace early on and is relying on the stockpile of sheep to feed his family, you can swoop in and grab the sheep without converting to food and just keep one in your house (or more if you have animal tamer or pastures already built). This then could leave them short food for the harvest and scrambling to catch up. Of course if you have a cooking implement, you would want to convert to food.
- I am sure that by now you know that having a source of food is crucial for success, so building a stable food source is also important. Using the quick fix of animals at the beginning can work well while you plant your grain/veggies for the later rounds. Keeping a couple of each animal on your farm with room to breed helps dramatically, especially with the cooking hearth. If you breed one of each animal each harvest, you will be generating 9 food, which is almost enough to feed a full family in the later rounds.
- Try to anticipate the resources you need and when you will need them so that you will be ready to take family growth and play the minor improvement, or sow and bake bread, or plow and sow, or etc, etc etc.
One of the consistent complaints I hear from friends and family about Agricola is that it never feels long enough and ends just as you are getting going. At first it may seem like this, but after awhile you will occasionally find that you have extra actions at the end of the game, but no way to get any additional points...it doesn't happen every game, but when it does you know that the actions were lining up good for you.
This has been my favourite game since I started playing years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the iOS version. I hope some of these tips/suggestions help in your quest to succeed.