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Subject: I hate everything... but I like this rss

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Josh P.
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I am a born critic. Or maybe I am a born cynic. I can take the most beloved book, movie, game, etc. and rant for hours on all the negatives. After Batman Begins, I launched into a massive argument with friends, family, and anyone else who would listen about how that movie had the exact same problem as every Batman movie since Batman Returns: too many villains. The action keeps shifting focus from Falcone, to the Scarecrow, to Ra's Al Ghul. It's way too ADD for me and it probably makes it incredibly difficult for new fans to follow this reboot. I still think it is a great movie, mind you. I just like to find the negative things that I know are there. I like to argue. In fact, the more everyone else blindly loves something, the more I feel like I have to find a fault with it and point it out to everyone.

With that said, I write this review knowing that some people will argue with me. I am fine with that. I don't need everyone to like my review. I share my opinion because it is an opinion that needs to be shared (at least in my opinion, for whatever that's worth). Let's begin:



I have only played Agricola a few times, but I have a solid feel for it. I didn't start with a watered-down family game. I went full in and didn't look back. While I do have a bit of negative to share about this game, what surprised me most was how much I liked it.


Components:

This is my area of biggest gripe. The first issue is that we have three boards for phases rather than one folded board. This is just laziness on the part of the designers. The next problem is the pieces. There is lots of wood, which is nice, but there are too many components and they are all pretty difficult to distinguish. Looking at the wooden bits for a game like Stone Age makes me realize what this game could have been. I have already ordered the animeeples and some spare Carcassonne-esque meeples to replace most of the discs and cubes that come with this game. There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck. 3/10

Interactivity:


This leads me to my second-biggest gripe. The game feels a bit like multiplayer solitaire. Sure, you can screw your opponents by taking something that they really need. However, there are multiple paths to victory and the options are balanced enough that you can almost always find some actions that will be beneficial to you no matter what has already been taken. If someone is focused on grabbing all the animals and building fences, you should be plowing and sowing. There is always something you can do. A few cards or actions that have a clear goal of screwing your neighbor would have made this much more interactive. 4/10

Complexity:


I do like that there are multiple paths to victory. What I don't like about it is that you have to progress a little in everything and can't pour all your energy into one thing. There is no such thing as a pure farmer or a pure rancher. Everything maxes out in points eventually and you are screwed if you don't diversify. This would be forced complexity.

This lack of career focus is also seen in the occupation cards, which are not nearly as important to the game as they should be. Occupations should have an upgrade path and success should be measured on if you have reached a certain level in an occupation. This would have made the occupations much more complex and interesting.

A lot of what I said for interactivity could just be copy and pasted here too. The game's actions are fairly well-balanced, which makes it seem less complex. There is always something you can be doing that will be valuable to you.

My fiancée's main complaint about this game is the fact that there is too much to focus on. The game seems more complex than it has to be and she has trouble balancing all the things she is supposed to be doing. It took her a couple games to realize that she could not accomplish everything she wanted to do (just like real life!). This greatly altered how she has approached later games.

So, there are definitely lots of pluses and minuses to complexity that will vary depending on what type of gameplay experience you are looking for. 8/10

Replayability:


The sheer number of cards and variety of combinations make this game have a high replayability factor. However, the game time is too long for multiple back-to-back games and the game does require a lot of setup. This will cause the game to get played less than something with a shorter setup time or play time. Not bad, but could be better. 9/10

Rules:


This game features a confusing rulebook that just makes you want to zone out while reading it. However, once you are actually playing the game, many things just "click." Once you know the game, it is easy to teach, and that is much more important than having a well-written rulebook. 8/10

Comparison to other games:


The Pillars of the Earth and Stone Age are two other worker placement games that have been well-received by my family and friends. They each have their own faults as well, of course, but they are very similar to Agricola.

Stone Age is the quickest to play of the three games, and is also the quickest to setup. This might cause it to be played more in my household than Agricola or Pillars, despite my feeling that the other two games are superior.

Out of these three, Pillars is the only game where I feel like my decisions affect other players greatly. It features a much higher level of interactivity than the other two games combined. Similar to Agricola, Pillars also features a set number of turns. However, the time-compression in Agricola (with later turns passing quicker than early ones) is unique and makes the final turns much more intense than the last round in Pillars.

Lastly, scoring for Stone Age and Agricola is largely unknown until the end of the game (unless you really want to stop and figure it all out), while Pillars has a much clearer indication of who is winning throughout the entire game.

1st place: Pillars of the Earth
2nd place: Agricola
3rd place: Stone Age


As you can see, I do have a few gripes about Agricola. I do not agree with its current number one place on BGG. I do prefer other games over it. This does not mean that I don't like the game. What I see here is an enjoyable game that explores its theme well, has great artwork, good mechanics, and high levels of complexity and replayability. I would never turn down a game of Agricola if someone wanted to play and I look forward to playing more of it in the future. It is a highly hyped game, but some of the hype is genuine. It is a fun game -- PERIOD. Give it a try.

Overall score (not an average): 8.5/10
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Sean Dooley
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joshp wrote:


Components:

This is my area of biggest gripe. The first issue is that we have three boards for phases rather than one folded board. This is just laziness on the part of the designers. The next problem is the pieces. There is lots of wood, which is nice, but there are too many components and they are all pretty difficult to distinguish. Looking at the wooden bits for a game like Stone Age makes me realize what this game could have been. I have already ordered the animeeples and some spare Carcassonne-esque meeples to replace most of the discs and cubes that come with this game. There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck. 3/10


The components suck? Really? I mean, I suppose I disagree here, quite a bit. I think people are pimping their Agricola because it's fun and it seems to fit the theme well.

I think the components are VERY high quality. I like that the board comes in pieces... I don't see this as laziness on behalf of anyone. With the board being in multiple pieces, it allows for setup to differ to adapt to any space.

There isn't anything wrong with the original wooden bits. They're nice. They function. I'm curious if you have the same qualms with Stone Age or Pillars--their resources are simple wooden cubes as well.

In addition, the quality of the cards is very high, as are the art production values. I think giving the components a 3/10 is...curious.


Quote:

Interactivity:[/b]

This leads me to my second-biggest gripe. The game feels a bit like multiplayer solitaire. Sure, you can screw your opponents by taking something that they really need. However, there are multiple paths to victory and the options are balanced enough that you can almost always find some actions that will be beneficial to you no matter what has already been taken. If someone is focused on grabbing all the animals and building fences, you should be plowing and sowing. There is always something you can do. A few cards or actions that have a clear goal of screwing your neighbor would have made this much more interactive. 4/10



I think the same can also be said for Stone Age and Pillars, so again I'm curious is this is an issue you share with those two games? Having played all three, I guess I don't get how you see less interactivity in action selection in Agricola than in other games. In addition, Agricola is the only one of the three that feature a card mechanic where people pass cards to others.

Anyways, I think you make an overall fair review. Those were just two aspects that I disagreed with.
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Robert Schwartz
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wittdooley wrote:

The components suck? Really? I mean, I suppose I disagree here, quite a bit. I think people are pimping their Agricola because it's fun and it seems to fit the theme well.

I think the components are VERY high quality. I like that the board comes in pieces... I don't see this as laziness on behalf of anyone. With the board being in multiple pieces, it allows for setup to differ to adapt to any space.

While I won't deign to speak for the original poster, from my reading I got the impression that he wasn't complaining about the *quality* of the components so much as their nature. Wooden discs, for example, could just have easily -- and cheaply -- been meeples of some sort. Wooden discs for wood, clay, stone, etc could have instead been shaped to somewhat resemble their appropriate resource (sticks for wood, bricks for clay, etc; see below).

Quote:
There isn't anything wrong with the original wooden bits. They're nice. They function. I'm curious if you have the same qualms with Stone Age or Pillars--their resources are simple wooden cubes as well.

The only copies I've seen of Stone Age have sticks for wood, bricks for clay, pentagon-shaped blocks of stone, and gold bars. Agricola could have been manufactured this way as well. Perhaps it even will, someday.
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Branko K.
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joshp wrote:
There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck. 3/10


Ooh, what a blunder.

The components are perfectly fine. They are robust, distinctive, functional and abundant concerning the price of the game and what you usually get in today's boardgames. You even got extra card decks which by common sense should have come in an expansion, or a few of them. The wooden bits perhaps lack aesthetic appeal, but that's about it. People pimp the game because they feel the theme is strong enough to warrant more thematic elements, but for a Euro, the components deserve 12 out of 10.

I mean, seriously? 3 out of 10 for components? For Agricola?? Stuff like this makes me want to see thumbs down back.

Xaxyx wrote:

While I won't deign to speak for the original poster, from my reading I got the impression that he wasn't complaining about the *quality* of the components so much as their nature. Wooden discs, for example, could just have easily -- and cheaply -- been meeples of some sort.


Yep, they could have. But this is more then offset with extra decks and the quality of the components itself. I would give a 3/10 for components in a game where half of them are missing right out of the box or they break after the first game, low quality cards, whatever. Saying the components suck just because one would prefer a foldable board and varied shapes is just too much.


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Philip Eve
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baba44713 wrote:
I mean, seriously? 3 out of 10 for components? For Agricola?? Stuff like this makes me want to see thumbs down back.

Attitudes like that are probably the reason thumbs down were taken away in the first place. You're basically saying that you want to be able to rate the review down because you disagree with the conclusion it comes to rather than because you feel it's poorly written or poorly thought out. Why should that be enabled? It wouldn't add to the quality of the reviews on the site for you to be able to do that.

baba44713 wrote:
I would give a 3/10 for components in a game where half of them are missing right out of the box or they break after the first game, low quality cards, whatever. Saying the components suck just because one would prefer a foldable board and varied shapes is just too much.

I think that if I was pressed to rate a game's components, I would give something more like a 1/10 or 0/10 for something in the state you describe here!

Note that I agree with you generally that the quality of components in Agricola is quite good, and wouldn't give it something as low as a 3. I haven't thought about quite what rating I would give specifically, as I don't put any thought into rating the individual "aspects" of a game.
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Philip Eve
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baba44713 wrote:

Yep, they could have. But this is more then offset with extra decks and the quality of the components itself.

In that segment of his review, he's describing his thoughts on the quality of the game's components, independent of all other considerations; why then would perceived negative aspects of the components' quality be "offset" by positive aspects of those other, currently-irrelevant considerations? This is like saying that a child should not be given a poor grade for Geography in his school report, because he is good at Mathematics.

Edit: Here I'm criticising mainly your claim that the (perceived) uninspiring nature of the components is offset by the extra decks, rather than the claim that it is offset by the quality of those components - this is more relevant. However, that the components are good quality, and that components of that type can be considered good quality, is somewhat subjective.
 
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Josh P.
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wittdooley wrote:
joshp wrote:


Interactivity:[/b]

This leads me to my second-biggest gripe. The game feels a bit like multiplayer solitaire. Sure, you can screw your opponents by taking something that they really need. However, there are multiple paths to victory and the options are balanced enough that you can almost always find some actions that will be beneficial to you no matter what has already been taken. If someone is focused on grabbing all the animals and building fences, you should be plowing and sowing. There is always something you can do. A few cards or actions that have a clear goal of screwing your neighbor would have made this much more interactive. 4/10



I think the same can also be said for Stone Age and Pillars, so again I'm curious is this is an issue you share with those two games? Having played all three, I guess I don't get how you see less interactivity in action selection in Agricola than in other games. In addition, Agricola is the only one of the three that feature a card mechanic where people pass cards to others.



No doubt. All three games feature minimal player interactivity. Stone Age is the worst of the three, because it features many good choices to take and there is no such thing as getting locked out of all the good choices. I think the reason I like Pillars more is because the spots are less balanced than Stone Age or Agricola. That sounds weird, I know, but think about it. In Agricola, the actions are balanced well enough that you can take anything and do well. In Pillars, there are far fewer choices and even less "good" choices because not all spaces are as equally balanced. This makes the paying for your turn order in Pillars very important. The entire turn order mechanic of Pillars is genius, and one of the main reasons I love that game. (But trust me, there are things I hate about it too.)


 
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Bob Flaherty
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wittdooley wrote:

There isn't anything wrong with the original wooden bits. They're nice. They function. I'm curious if you have the same qualms with Stone Age or Pillars--their resources are simple wooden cubes as well.


Actually Stone Age has "shaped" wooden bits - sticks for wood (elongated rectangles), bricks for brick (rectangles), octagons for stone, trapezoids for gold.

The Agricola bits could get confusing because they are all the same shape with slightly different colors.

I agree there isn't anything wrong with them and they function. But they are not all they could be.

Bob
 
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Philip Eve
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joshp wrote:
No doubt. All three games feature minimal player interactivity. Stone Age is the worst of the three, because it features many good choices to take and there is no such thing as getting locked out of all the good choices. I think the reason I like Pillars more is because the spots are less balanced than Stone Age or Agricola. That sounds weird, I know, but think about it. In Agricola, the actions are balanced well enough that you can take anything and do well. In Pillars, there are far fewer choices and even less "good" choices because not all spaces are as equally balanced. This makes the paying for your turn order in Pillars very important.

I think I would argue that while there are indeed multiple paths to victory, there are still action spaces that are crucial at particular stages of the game and that the players should be vying to play on. For example, the Build Rooms and Family Growth spaces are desirable in the early-mid game and people should be trying to position themselves to use them when they want. The last three round cards will very often be much in demand, and the reason for a Start Player grab. In that sense, Agricola too has some "unbalanced" action spaces, though it has balanced strategies (some of which are tied in to the use of particular action spaces, which by extension are not among the "unbalanced" spaces that I refer to).
 
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James Bentley
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You're right about one thing.

You're a critic.



(Kidding, only kidding! Please see smiley above.)

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Werner Bär
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Xaxyx wrote:
Wooden discs, for example, could just have easily -- and cheaply -- been meeples of some sort. Wooden discs for wood, clay, stone, etc could have instead been shaped to somewhat resemble their appropriate resource (sticks for wood, bricks for clay, etc; see below).

Cheaply?
Lookout games are selling extra simple wooden bits at 5 cent (euro-cent) per piece. Animeeples and vegimeeples at 15 cent. The game countains >200 such pieces.
The price of the german edition went up 14-20% because they replaced a small amount of the simple wooden parts with animeeples.
Replacing them all would be what? Nearly double the price? no, thanks.
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Eric O. LEBIGOT
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joshp wrote:
I do not agree with its current number one place on BGG.
Yeah, I'm also suspecting that they did not do the math right, when calculating the rating. The other strange thing is that BGG ratings don't always match mine. This should be investigated.

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Josh P.
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Regarding all the fuss I stirred up regarding the components:

It is a very subjective thing to apply a number to a review of anything. It is also very tough to do. I don't know where I got the number "3" from. It seemed like a poor, but not terrible rating, which reflects how these components make me feel.

Try to do it objectively. Start with a "5" being average. Nothing wrong with a "5." Consider it a "C" in school. Can most of us then agree that Euro games are generally below average for component quality? So maybe the average for a Euro game is "4." Well then, how does Agricola compare in terms of quality of the pieces to other games? That's the part that is still entirely subjective. However, based on this scale, I don't think a "3" is entirely off the mark.

Werbaer wrote:

The price of the german edition went up 14-20% because they replaced a small amount of the simple wooden parts with animeeples.
Replacing them all would be what? Nearly double the price? no, thanks.


When I wrote my review, I did not think about the cost-benefit analysis of using more expensive components. Yes, higher quality components would make Agricola more expensive. Does that mean that I should be forgiving on my scoring of the components? Hell no!

I looked at how Agricola has such a demand for after market components and I saw that as a weakness, not evidence of fandom. The poor quality of Agricola's components does not change when you tell me that there are a lot of them or it is more expensive to make them better. They are still poor. They do not complement the theme well and they can cause confusion with people you are introducing to the game for the first time. They could have been done much, much better. For me, cost is less of an issue than quality. That is not true for everyone, and I understand that.

Meeples are better than discs and cubes... 'nuf said.



Edit: Added some clarification of subjective scoring.
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Geoff Burkman
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joshp wrote:
I am a born critic. Or maybe I am a born cynic.


Many people equate the two. Others simply note that most critics are people who can't succeed in the field they choose to critique.

joshp wrote:
I have only played Agricola a few times, but I have a solid feel for it. I didn't start with a watered-down family game.


Well, there's your first mistake right there, especially if you were playing with someone who wasn't a gamer, or not much of a gamer. And I guarantee, if you've only played "a few times," you may think you have a solid feel for it, but you don't. The rest of your thesis proves it.

joshp wrote:
Components:

This is my area of biggest gripe. The first issue is that we have three boards for phases rather than one folded board. This is just laziness on the part of the designers. The next problem is the pieces. There is lots of wood, which is nice, but there are too many components and they are all pretty difficult to distinguish. Looking at the wooden bits for a game like Stone Age makes me realize what this game could have been. I have already ordered the animeeples and some spare Carcassonne-esque meeples to replace most of the discs and cubes that come with this game. There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck.


Your opinion, and you're welcome to it. Difficult to distinguish? Perhaps you need a new prescription for your lenses. Laziness for lack of a folding board? Don't be ridiculous. Did you happen to notice all the boards are back-printed with a variety of helpful information? And why didn't you have anything to say about the relative uselessness of the Major Improvements board? Do you have any idea how much the price of the game would go up if shaped pieces were incorporated? Were you put off by the free ziplock bags enclosed as well? How chintzy, eh?

Y'know, I love seeing pimped-out games as much as the next guy, but have you ever thought about the increased storage problems of those pimped-out Agricolae? Those FIMO families and their livestock sure aren't going to fit in the box, are they? Maybe, just maybe, that's why Lookout and Z-Man Games didn't bother.

joshp wrote:
Interactivity:

This leads me to my second-biggest gripe. The game feels a bit like multiplayer solitaire..... A few cards or actions that have a clear goal of screwing your neighbor would have made this much more interactive.4/10


Now I'm convinced you haven't played this game enough to reliably comment on it. Yes, it "feels like" it, no doubt. Maybe you should play a few family version sessions to get a "better" feel for the interactivity implicit in the mechanics of the game. Play a few 4- and 5-player games, and then come back and tell us how easy it is to "do something else" while the spaces you really want are being taken by other players. See how well you do.

And, I must note, the more screwage you put into a game like Agricola, with its particular mechanics and scoring system, the lower-scoring you will make it. Think about it; what can you do to other players beyond either take actions away from them, or food (which translates to actions) or resources (which translate to actions), or actual points (which also translate to actions). The more you can take away from other players, the slower everyone will progress and the longer the game will take. Is that really what you want?

joshp wrote:
Complexity:[/b]

I do like that there are multiple paths to victory. What I don't like about it is that you have to progress a little in everything and can't pour all your energy into one thing....


May I suggest you try Caylus? It may well be more your style.

joshp wrote:
This lack of career focus is also seen in the occupation cards, which are not nearly as important to the game as they should be. Occupations should have an upgrade path and success should be measured on if you have reached a certain level in an occupation. This would have made the occupations much more complex and interesting.


Now I know you haven't played this game enough to really know it. Sounds to me like you'd prefer to be playing something different. The focus of the game is NOT on anything like advancing along an occupational path; success is NOT measured by how well you master a given occupation (none of which really have much bearing on the exigencies of farming, btw). You should think of the Occupation cards as representing outside assistance rather than something that actually applies to your little Agricola family. I mean, really, how many farmers do you know that are also professional Grocers, or Clay Deliverymen or Tutors or Wood Carvers? At any rate, the Occupations are not what the game is about. The game is about creating a diversified "farm" that has been successfully expanded and upgraded to accomodate a larger "family" than you started with. That you object to the victory conditions of the game is not a fault of the game, since those conditions apply quite neatly, but rather is a fault of your own expectations, which seem to be out of sorts with the realities of the game system. All well and good, and you're certainly entitled to your (informed) opinion, but beyond that you sound like someone arguing for the mere sake of arguing (which, admittedly, you confessed to at the top of your post). Do you object to Risk because victory calls for the utter extermination of all your opponents, instead of something more realistic?

joshp wrote:
My fiancée's main complaint about this game is the fact that there is too much to focus on. The game seems more complex than it has to be and she has trouble balancing all the things she is supposed to be doing. It took her a couple games to realize that she could not accomplish everything she wanted to do (just like real life!). This greatly altered how she has approached later games.


It sounds like she's doing a better job of adapting to the game mechanics than you are. Give yourselves another score or so of games, and perhaps you'll both have significantly different opinions as to its quality. Also, try playing more than just 2-player games; there's a lot there that you simply haven't experienced yet.

joshp wrote:
Replayability:[/b]

The sheer number of cards and variety of combinations make this game have a high replayability factor. However, the game time is too long for multiple back-to-back games


How many is "multiple?" Seems to me you should have no problem playing three 2-player games within about 3.5-4 hours, assuming a minimum of analysis paralysis. I strongly recommend 50-ct. plastic trading card boxes for storing pieces. It'll make set-up a breeze. Keep the cards in the handy plastic ziplock bags. Replace when the bags finally wear out. Easy!

joshp wrote:
Comparison to other games:[/b]

The Pillars of the Earth and Stone Age are two other worker placement games that have been well-received by my family and friends. They each have their own faults as well, of course, but they are very similar to Agricola.


Again, I recommend you try Caylus, or even Puerto Rico.

joshp wrote:
As you can see, I do have a few gripes about Agricola. I do not agree with its current number one place on BGG. I do prefer other games over it.


The last sentence has no bearing on the second sentence. Your opinion is inarguably yours, and you're absolutely entitled to it (insofar as it remains informed), but you can hardly have any rational reason to "gripe" about its current status as #1 on the Geek. What bearing does that have on much of anything? Does it make the game less playable? Does it make it less enjoyable? Does it alter the mechanics of the game in the slightest, or your ability to master those mechanics? Of course not, so why bother even mentioning it?

When it comes to enjoying a game (or anything, for that matter), who gives a fig what anyone else's subjective rating of it may be? Harking back to your opening comments, do you like a movie less because someone else liked it more? If so, why? Why not just form and hold your own opinion?

Anyway, I don't mean to sound too belligerent, those I will admit that some of your comments sort of irked me. Give the game a bunch more plays, Josh, and I think you'll find that most of your criticisms are just as you described: argument for the sake of argument.

And if you're ever in the Buckeye State, and need an Agricola fix, look me up. My crew and I will be happy to teach you a thing or two about the game.
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Gary Sonnenberg
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joshp wrote:
This lack of career focus....

You are a farmer.


joshp wrote:
However, the game time is too long for multiple back-to-back games and the game does require a lot of setup. This will cause the game to get played less than something with a shorter setup time or play time.

We're just unusual when it comes to playing Agricola, I know. (See the obscene number of times we've played since last fall.) We have played games back-to-back (like last night). If you've played enough times, you can really make it move along.

Setup/takedown used to take us a lot of time. Now we just never take it down. Seriously. Like I said, we're unusual regarding Agricola, which is one of my only two 10s.
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Jimmy Wallace
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Quote:
There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck.


Dead nuts on. They DO suck. We are constantly struggling to discern which is wood & which is clay.
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Nicholas
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Cynicism

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
- George Bernard Shaw

 
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Sean Dooley
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joshp wrote:


Try to do it objectively. Start with a "5" being average. Nothing wrong with a "5." Consider it a "C" in school. Can most of us then agree that Euro games are generally below average for component quality? So maybe the average for a Euro game is "4." Well then, how does Agricola compare in terms of quality of the pieces to other games? That's the part that is still entirely subjective. However, based on this scale, I don't think a "3" is entirely off the mark.


I didn't mean to imply you caused a fuss. I really don't think so.

However, I think this kind of evaluation is unfair as its really comparing apples and oranges. To compare some AT components vs. Euro components is foolish and, quite frankly, unfair to the Euro. I don't think the aim of those games is lavish plastic production. I think when we compare it to other Euros, it compares quite favorably. I think the simplicity in Euro-style components makes sense, too. You're handing a lot of resource "whatevers" all the time, so functionality is a big issue. As much as I love my pimped out components, they don't have the functionality of the original discs (i.e., you can't stack them).

I think the boards are INCREDIBLY well constructed, which means a lot these days when we so often see board warpage and peeling. The boards are robust and sturdy, and they have a ton of information on them.

The assorted chits are of a nice thick, sturdy quality as well. No complaints there.

Same with the cards. Nice finished, great, colorful art. What more are we really looking for from a game like this?

Anyways, no worries. My apologies for forgetting about the different shapes of the Stone Age stuff... I guess we need to play it again!
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Randall Bart
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joshp wrote:
There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck.

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Yet ironically this is now part of the game's mystique.
 
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Jan B.
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My gripe about Agricola is mainly the time it consumes for setup. And the components are a big part of this. But while playing I prefer the discs to meeples, because you can stack them. As Agricola is what it is (best game right now for me) and there's no possibility to reduce the amount of wooden bits (only to sort them by color in tiny boxes), I'm perfectly fine with the overall gaming experience :)
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Branko K.
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I use my FIMO setup mainly to make the game more appealing for newcomers or other players who dig the eye candy.

But in "serious" games I always use default components. They stack and handle easily and the game moves much more quickly.
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David F
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I'm a fan of your reviews, which are succinct and give your thoughts on the game (as opposed to the cookie-cutter rules-explanation reviews), and though you sometimes assert something without elaborating on it, your points do evince quite a bit of thoughtful insight. I especially like how you can like a game despite some flaws which you are willing to overlook.

Quote:
There is a reason people are pimping Agricola so much: the components suck.


to you for daring to speak the truth which many just won't accept. Yes, the money you pay for the game is well worth the sticker price because of the sheer quantity of wood in there, but quantity is not quality. A forest's worth of wood ain't anything to get super-excited about. The components are great value, but not good. I think the people who disagree with you on this point should focus more on that quote, instead of your 3/10 rating (which is but a meaningless number in the grand scheme of things).
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Martin Larouche
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I got the french edition, which comes with animeeples out of the box.

So i guess the components "complaints" depends on the version you buy.
 
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Yeah, I don't really understand the interactive comments in the review... it's like a multiplayer chess game. Most of my thoughts are devoted to trying to predict what everyone else is going to do.

A lot of the time I play with newer players, they'll say something like: "Argh, I wanted to do that", and I'll respond with "Welcome to Agricola"
 
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Agricola » Forums » Reviews
Re: I hate everything... but I like this
I remember reading this review just before I bought this game. Now that it's been bumped up, I'll comment on this:

joshp wrote:
The first issue is that we have three boards for phases rather than one folded board. This is just laziness on the part of the designers.


I thought this initially too, until I played a few 2-player games on a smaller table. With the boards actually separated, they can be arranged however you want. If they were all attached, we would have had boards hanning off the table.
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