Thursday, June 14, 2018

A good offense

I am in a new season of my Agricola leagues and things are going well.  They should go well, since I had some issues last season with UI problems, and also with being an idiot, so I got punted down to the D league at the bottom of the pile.

The players here are noticeably weaker and I have been consistently surprised at how many good actions have been available on each turn.  I regularly get premium actions on my last action of the turn so I haven't been taking start player often because I don't seem to need to!

One thing I haven't been sure about is how aggressive to get about starving.  A lot of my non league games recently have been against a group of players who are a LOT better than me and they consistently delight in punishing me if I take any risks with regards to food.  I don't know that this is a great play for them generally because I come last anyway so punishing me likely isn't that relevant, but I suspect they can't stop themselves.  There is certainly something delightful in watching someone swing in the wind because they took some foolish risks.  These players are a solid 300 Elo points ahead of me so I get mashed every time.

In my league games against much weaker players though I am regularly taking all kinds of risks and it keeps paying off.  On multiple occasions I decided to take an aggressive action to get points knowing that if the other players just took food from the board I would be screwed when it came to feeding time, and in every case the food wheeled around to me and I got out of the situation unscathed.

I suspect this is an issue when it comes to training.  Playing against players who won't punish me for overextending certainly lets me rack up higher scores but when I end up against superior players again I will likely end up falling back into risky plays that end up with me begging for food.

On the other hand taking those risky plays is paying off, and makes it more likely that I will be able to win my games now and move further up the ladder to actually get to those games against the better players. 

One thing that is new this season is I am trying completely different strategies in all my games.  I don't have any occupations the same between my games so it is all different.  In previous season I managed to draft 3 copies of the same occupation so my games were either defined by trying to get to stone house really fast to drop Manservant or taking a lot of day labourer to maximize Seasonal Worker.  This time I just took whatever was the best and ended up with a mishmash, so each game is different.  I think I learn better when I have multiple games with the same profession because I can really dig into what makes it work or not, but I certainly don't get quite the breadth of experience that I am getting this time.

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