Sunday was the day of decisions in Farming Simulator 19. I was up early after entertaining family visitors the previous afternoon/evening and took advantage of a quiet house to do some in-depth looking at my map options. I mentioned 3 possible maps. The first is Marwell Manor Farm which is our Hampshire option and another map by OxygenDavid – author of the Oakfield Farm map on which I was playing Oak Glen Farm. I ruled this one out early because if you are playing in any mode other than New Farmer the buildings are removed which I think is unrealistic – it’s also why I don’t like playing on the maps supplied with the game. Additionally, the pricing of the land strongly pushes you down the road of playing the main farm. I may play this map in New Farmer mode sometime in the future as the scenery is excellent. The other options I had in mind were Six Ashes in Shropshire and West Newton Farm in Ayrshire.

West Newton Farm is a very interesting option. It is the first map by NM Modding and is reputedly a model of his uncle’s farm and the surrounding area. On this map the main farm comes with a lot of equipment, some of it in good condition and some needing repair. The modelling of the land is pretty good, especially as this is a first attempt. I looked at some different land purchase options to start on this map but all that equipment at the main farm becomes the elephant in the room. If you start elsewhere you would probably either sell that equipment (which would be unrealistic as it’s not really yours) or leave it there until you buy the main farm later on. So this map too is auto-suggesting that you should start at the main farm 😉 The only issue for me is that the main farm is a dairy farm and I’m not really wanting to be farming Heilan Coos just now. I will definitely have a go at this map in the future though.

So that leaves us with Six Ashes – a brand new map that released just a few days ago. The map is located along the A458 with the hamlet of Wooton near its centre……and the author, GBModding, has given us a challenge :-

“Welcome To Six Ashes.
You have just been left a house and small overgrown yard with limited equipment and money by your late grandfather.
You will need to clear the yard to get at some of the machinery.
Can you build the farm into a profitable business and even extend into one of the nearby farms?”

If you decide to take on the challenge you will be buying this plot of land……which comes with some run-down equipment, a small barn with lean-to, a silo and workshop. There is a farmhouse too (which in real life is called Wooton Farm House). After buying the land (if you’re playing in Start from Scratch mode) you’ll have £264k left to buy equipment or repair the existing machinery. You can sell the old items if you want and that will boost your money up to around £350k. The good news is that the one field you get has a good crop that’s ready to harvest. The bad news is – It’s a very big field for small equipment!

There are other options of course, for example Pine View Farm……with its small fields and very cramped yard. You will have more money in the bank but a quick look at this option convinced me that you’d need to buy some more land and build a bigger barn for equipment and a silo for storage not long down the road of owning this one, especially as it has a piggery! There are three other farm options but as two are beyond the Start from Scratch budget and the other wouldn’t leave enough money for equipment, I have to rule those out. Two of them would be good options for the Farm Manager mode and the largest one is probably best played only in New Farmer mode.

So – I’ve accepted the challenge and have my grandfather’s farm at the crossroads on Duken Lane. Unlike Pine View Farm across the way, it doesn’t have an in-game name so I’m going to call it ‘Boundary Farm’ as Duken Lane forms the Parish Boundary and I suspect I’ll be owning fields on both sides of the road. Boundary Farm will be the title for my new Farming Simulator 19 series which should start appearing tomorrow.

Plans are always likely to become victims of events. At least in Farming Simulator 19 it’s more driven by realisation of a potential opportunity than by circumstances beyond your control. That said, if it wasn’t for taking the decision to go for Pigs on the farm early, I wouldn’t have pushed myself into the current situation. When I last posted I’d just got the pigs and I was planning to diversify into Sugar Beet as a crop. For that I knew I’d need to spend around £120k to buy the necessary harvesting equipment but I recognised it as a necessity if I was going to get the best out of our porky friends. I’d taken the decision that Alehouse Field was best suited to handle this crop as I would have to plough every time I grew Beet or Corn.

I quickly built up a good amount of money with some successful harvests so that I could afford to get the tractor driven root-crop harvester, the Grimme Rootster and its associated top removal tool. It’s a bit of a beast……and I’ve had to shuffle some other equipment around to house it! I bought it because I had the money available. That was a little early and may have been an error – after all, I still had a crop of Canola in the intended field to fertilize and eventually harvest. I found myself with only £30k in the bank and a lot of essential things to do before my next crop income would be available.

As you would expect, I struggled through the bad times, got some harvests done and sold things like eggs to get the balance back on an upward trajectory. This time, silage wasn’t coming to my aid 😦 But I did some delivery work……and also a harvest for another farmer…

Then it was back to my own fields. I hit some problems harvesting the Canola in Alehouse Field – the harvester cut out on me on several occasions resulting in a small amount of crop loss. The cause of this appears to be the sharp gradient changes at the edge of the field. Also, in this field that I created myself from one of the grass fields, I have noticed some invisible artifacts that may be coming into play now – they are hidden but when I was looking at possibly placing a sheep pen in this field I found some places where I couldn’t put it because of existing ‘structures’. You can see a number of unusual dips in the field too……roughly where those structures appear to be. Perhaps we need an archaeoligical dig to ascertain whether I’ve found a Roman Villa? 😉 Anyway, to combat some of the issues when harvesting I’ve chosen to leave some of the more troubled areas un-cultivated……so the yield from Alehouse field will be slightly reduced in future. I’ve now sown it with Sugar Beet.

The voracious appetite of the pigs (I have 12 of them now!) has raised the question of how I’m going to make a money from crops when they are consuming quite a high percentage of anything I grow other than Oats and Grass. I think that the time is upon us to buy another, larger field. The only problem with that is the cost. Almost all of the fields that are under cultivation at my end of the map cost in excess of £300k. While I was harvesting the crop in field 27 I took a look at field 47 opposite. You can see both on the right of the map……Field 47 is probably a third bigger than my current largest. It’s the only field at a reasonable distance from my farm that costs under £200k – but only just under 😦 It has a mound with trees which will make it a little tricky to farm……quite possibly a tumulus or barrow, so I won’t be disturbing that! I think that is our only viable option currently but I will need to earn well from some crops to be able to afford it. Oh for another Silage price rise!

Those who looked closely at the green areas of the map will have noted that I appear to own the large field to the north of Field 47 – it was part of the ‘spare’ land that you can buy for £0 and which I bought to allow me to expand Field 4 into what I now call Spinney Field. Why don’t I use that? Firstly, there’s no direct access without driving across other fields. There is a hedge all around the field with the exception of a gate at the boundary with Field 31……It doesn’t open! The implication is that the map designer does not wish us to use that field and I’m going to abide by their wishes.

That’s brought you up to date. Now I’d better get back in the tractor and do some work – that field isn’t going to buy itself!

In most computer games there is an ‘End Game’ – a final scenario or a last boss to defeat. This is not true of simulation games. You just play until you either tire of the game or you reach a point where you are satisfied with what you achieved in the game. It’s a lot more complicated than that of course! I got to thinking, what do I think is my ‘End Game’ for Oak Glen Farm – at what point will I feel that I have reached my target for this Farming Simulator map? Currently I have Three fields under crops and two more dedicated to silage production……With the exception of Triangle Field up by the stables, my fields are to the west of the north-south road. Field 14, now known as Coberley Field and Field 13 – Manor Field, form a southern end to my territory whilst Ale House Field sits opposite my farm buildings with Spinney Field to the south. The glaring gap in my field ownership is 36, currently owned by Mason. I think that field defines my initial goal and my stretch target would be owning field 34 to the west of my farm buildings, also one of Mason’s although he never seems to have a crop in it! If I reach my target then current experience tells me that I will be too busy managing the fields that I own to expand the farm further. That, then is my end game for this map.

I’ve reached a point now where I will need to do a lot of rinse and repeat farming to get the £550k I need to purchase field 36. Ultimately, that field will need bigger machinery for ploughing and harvesting than I currently own although I did take on the corn harvest for Mason with my current harvester and my new Corn Header……This showed that it is possible to work that field with my current equipment, albeit somewhat slowly! I think ploughing that field would need a much bigger plough which in turn means a much more powerful tractor – something I might choose to hire at least to start with. A bigger trailer would also be desirable to reduce trips to the stores when harvesting and that raises the issue of where I’d park it – it’s a struggle manoeuvring the Anderson RBM 2000 around the farm yard as it is!

Anyway – with a lot of repetitive farming ahead, I’m going to reduce the regularity of the Oak Glen Farm posts again. I will post updates and screenshots from time to time. Last time I promised some Sunflowers – Here they are……And, yes, they do follow the sun! Now it’s time for an early morning harvest in Ale House Field……Then I’m going to plant Corn 🙂 See you all a few furrows down the road 🙂