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Agricola (AGR) PBeM Reports Updated December 7, 2020

2020 PBeM Tournament

Congratulations to Allan Jiang, who straight-up crushed the the 2020 Agricola PBEM, winning all 4 of his final round games. No one else won more than once and his 40 points were fully 17.5 ahead of the only other player who managed to finish with an above average point total for the final round.

AJ insists that the finals were much closer than his record indicates, with 3 of the wins coming by just 1-2 points. However the GM can't help but note that AJ could have taken 2nd in all 3 of those close games and he STILL would have won the event! I'm gonna stand by "straight-up crushed." That said, the details are still worth looking into:

In game 7, DJ and Sam both managed to build big stone houses while also having reasonable farms. Jon set up a crazy wood engine with Berry Picker, Wood Cart, and Spinney all on the table by round 6 and a Pig Catcher joining them later. However it was AJ's Educator that proved crucial, fueling his 43-42-42-39 victory in the closest game top to bottom of the entire 60-game event.

Game 1 was a nail-biter between AJ and Keith, and this time it was AJ's turn to play a Wood Cart game. Between that, Reeve, and Sawhorse he wound up with so much extra wood that he could eat 14 of them via Turner and Joinery. They went into the final turn tied on points and also tied at 5 occupations each for the Reeve points. Each of them played one last occ so they continued to share the Reeve points, but AJ's Yeoman Farmer was worth one point more than Keith's Lord of the Manor and that was the difference in the game. Keith actually finished 2nd in all 4 of his games in the final round, and that was enough to take 2nd place laurels overall.

Game 5 saw AJ run Social Climber and Stone House Extension for some nice value, but he struggled to put a good food engine together, scraping by with one-shot influxes of food from Well + Flagon, Brick Oven, and then Basketmaker's Workshop. Luckily, all those improvements are also worth lots of points, enough to defeat Robb's 5-room Half-Timbered House by 2. Condolences go out to Robb, who had a rough final round and finished last in his other 3 games to wind up 7th overall - the only finalist who didn't win any laurels (and that's despite coming in as the #1 seed after winning 3 of his 4 semifinal games).

Meanwhile, game 4 went pretty much perfectly for AJ, starting with a Braggart in his opening pack. Widely considered the best (unbanned) card in the game it likely could have won AJ the game by itself, but in addition he was the only player to build a room in Stage 1 and so when Family Growth flipped in round 5 he got to grow first as well. The result was a 10-point win 55-45-41-40.

Sometimes it seems like AJ wins everything, but the reigning Caesar and Consul did not yet have an Agricola shield. He had been to the final table at WBC, and had come about as close as you can to winning last year's PBEM without winning it, coming 2nd to Terry Borer on tiebreakers. This time around AJ left no doubt. Congratulations to Allan Jiang on adding another title to his collection!

2019 PBeM Tournament

45 gamers signed up to play the first-ever BPA PBEM tournament for Agricola, and the field was stacked: Fully 19 of the competitors had already won laurels in this game in its 11-year history, including 7 of the 10 different players who have ever claimed 1st place laurels. However, when the dust settled it was a newcomer who claimed the crown. Terry Borer had cut his teeth primarily in online games of Agricola at boiteajeux.net (including but by no means limited to Meeple Leagues), but he was able to parlay that knowledge and experience into a victory over all the tabletop titans who had assembled.

7 of the 45 players made it to the final round, and the format was to have everyone play 4 games, with each other finalist appearing in 2 of them (aka, a Meeple League group). 10 points for a win, 6 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, and 1 point for finishing last in a game. Manic managed to win 2 of his 4 games.

In one of Terry’s wins he managed to do just about everything and wound up with 51 points and a comfortable 4-point lead over 2nd. Storehouse Keeper let him feed himself by buying both ovens early. Then Pig Breeder helped him fill a Forest Pasture full of boars and Cattle Whisperer set up an Ox Team in addition to end-game points. Terry had only managed to be the 3rd person to grow his family, but he made up for lost time in round 10 when he managed to both Family Growth to 4 with a full-strength Ox Team and then take Start Player with Clay-Hunt Extension as his minor so he could grow to 5 in round 11. All 5 of those rooms wound up Stone by the end of the game and he only needed 2 bonus points from cards to break the always impressive 50-point mark.

Terry’s other win was much closer. Terry had nice early food thanks to Fish Trap and Charcoal Burner. He also got some extra wood from a House Steward, which he did also manage to convert into bonus points by eventually growing to 5 rooms. However, Riley Kimminau also got the bonus points, and he did it with 5 Stone Rooms. Riley wound up with a total of fully 13 bonus points for cards as he also hit the Reeve that he played (thanks to Writing Desk and the lure of Animal Pen) and the Constable as well. Terry made up for some of this with a 5th family member and more with his card points – Well, Dovecote, and Strawberry Patch all contributing large chunks. In the end it came down to Terry’s Market Woman, which threw off enough Grain and Veggies to eke out a 52-51 win.

Allan Jiang did also win two games, and in fact Allan and Terry both wound up with exactly 29 points from 2 1sts, 1 2nd, and 1 3rd place finish. However, Terry had done better in the earlier rounds of the event and that gave him the tiebreaker edge he needed to claim 1st place overall.

All in all, it was a fun event with a lot of great games and I expect this will stick around and become an annual event moving forward.