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Subject: Caverna or Agricola (new release) rss

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Sven Nilsson
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Hej everybody,

if you would not have Caverna or Agricola in your collection yet, witch one would you recommend? Both games seems to be quite similar, what do you mean? If Agricola, the original one or the new release?

Regards
Sven
 
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Paul DeStefano
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I went Caverna.

Mining is more fun than farming.
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Andy Pymont
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AdMan2015 wrote:
Hej everybody,

if you would not have Caverna or Agricola in your collection yet, witch one would you recommend? Both games seems to be quite similar, what do you mean? If Agricola, the original one or the new release?

Regards
Sven

I'd pick Caverna. I played Agricola around 200 times, but I think Caverna is a better design. It fixes some of the problems of Agricola, particularly in the "family growth queue" that was evident in 4-player Agricola (considered a feature by some, I will admit). It also reduces the efficacy of family-growth slightly to the extent that 3-family-member wins are very possible and can maximise use of the new weapons/adventuring path. At the very least family growth becomes a route to victory, not "the" route.

That said, I know some people don't like Caverna because of its fixed set-up. There are still so many actions available that the game-state rapidly becomes unpredictable, but some people just prefer the variety of starting positions given by the Occupation and Minor Improvement cards and this has been an oft-cited criticism of Caverna. So if you strongly prefer variable set-up in your games, Agricola may be the better choice for you: in this case I'd try to see if you can play both at a local games club if possible and see which you prefer.
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Paul DeStefano
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NormandyWept wrote:
That said, I know some people don't like Caverna because of its fixed set-up.


We fix that by randomly choosing which side of the boards of available tiles to use.
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Ryan Langewisch
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I think it is important to realize that one is not strictly better than the other, some will prefer Agricola and some will prefer Caverna. I haven't played Caverna myself, but Agricola is my favorite game. Trying not to let that bias me too much, here is what I have gathered is the main distinction:

Do you like tight constraints and variable setup that provides a unique puzzle in figuring out the best strategy? Then you might prefer Agricola.

Do you like more open-ended options where the game allows you to choose the strategy you feel like pursuing? Then you might prefer Caverna.

For me, the tough constraints and variability of the cards in Agricola are what I love about it. Others feel like it is a relentless beat down that sucks the fun out, and would much rather explore the vast options in Caverna. Both are great games though, just different strokes for different folks.
 
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Andy Pymont
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Legendary wrote:
Do you like tight constraints and variable setup that provides a unique puzzle in figuring out the best strategy? Then you might prefer Agricola.

Do you like more open-ended options where the game allows you to choose the strategy you feel like pursuing? Then you might prefer Caverna.

I would also argue that it is not this simple. Agricola used to be my favourite game, and I loved the tension, but I still see that in Caverna's design. Yes, it's a bit more open-ended, but for me it's also a better game.

So whilst I agree that it's a matter of opinion, I think it's not as simple as whether you like a tight or open game. Caverna is still a Uwe Rosenberg design, it's not a utopia where you get every action space that you want, even if the actions in general "give more" than they did in Agricola.
 
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Lawrence
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We have both and play both. For a while, Agricola had Caverna beat, hands down. The variable setup was EVERYTHING and it gave Agricola level of replayability Caverna couldn't beat. As an open sandbox, we found ourselves settling into the same strategies in Caverna - I would focus on animals while my girlfriend would focus on adventuring.

Additionally, we really enjoyed the stress of Agricola. It always felt like a struggle to feed our families, which added a good amount of tension and made our decisions that much more meaningful.

This all changed when we started playing with the Fan Expansion Race Packs. We also draft gold tiles as "personal objectives". These two changes really changed up Caverna and put it back into our favorites. Although Agricola has a lot of cards, a lot of them either grossly overpowered or complete crap. Some games, I never built more than 1 occupation or minor improvement. With the Caverna Race Packs and tile drafting, every ability becomes meaningful.
 
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corum irsei
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My vote goes to Caverna.
 
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Virginia M.P.
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mavericklancer wrote:
This all changed when we started playing with the Fan Expansion Race Packs. We also draft gold tiles as "personal objectives". .... With the Caverna Race Packs and tile drafting, every ability becomes meaningful.

Wow, so interesting! Thanks for mentioning this, I will definitely look into those race packs. thumbsup
 
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Gerry Daigle
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I was just recently in the OP's position wanting to expand in to the Uwe game design. I did a lot of research and was tempted to get Agricola Revised, but ended up with Caverna.

There are a few reasons, first I had a hard time swallowing the tight feeling that surrounded Agricola. Everything I watched and read put such a tight hold on feeding and being good a getting everything, where as in Caverna I felt the ability to see how you can get food from your different animals freely was refreshing and stress-free. Also, while you want to completely expand your farm and get all animals to avoid negative points, it didn't feel as forced as Agricola where it seemed more of a constant battle to set up the farm and fences and then animals...

We mostly play as 2 and really enjoyed Caverna (though I think we enjoyed Fields of Arle a little bit more). I think the decks help with Gric in the replayability factor, but they also add complexities that we weren't looking for. Though Caverna cost a little bit more, I am happy I went that route.
 
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Sven Nilsson
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Thank you guys, such an interesting discussion! I'll ask again in autumn when "Feast For Odin" is out!
 
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Simon Fradette
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I think it also depends on how many players you usually have. Overall, I prefer Agricola, but that's in part because I play mostly 2 players, and Agricola is a much better 2-3 players game than Caverna, while Caverna really shines at 4-5.
 
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Gerry Daigle
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AdMan2015 wrote:
Thank you guys, such an interesting discussion! I'll ask again in autumn when "Feast For Odin" is out!


Feast for Odin is a totally different beast which could slightly resemble Fields of Arle in terms of choices, though its seems to be a quite large game.
 
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