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Subject: Thoughts about Agricola - Mainly 2 player with Wife rss

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Mark Baker
Australia
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Hi all!

I'm a relatively new board gamer and have had this game for about 6 months now, played about 20 games of it. My main gaming partner is my wife.

Impressions:

First time I played this was in a group of 5, with a person who was not excellent at explaining board games. (Great guy though he is, explaining board games is not his forte.) The game appeared slow, nothing could get done, and we needed to pack up due to it being time to pack up and an hour and a half had passed.

A couple of us hated it, and didn't get it. But I knew that deep down inside was a little strategic button that could be pushed.. if I got to play it again.

My birthday came around and a generous friend who knew I loved games (and had spoken about Agricola) bought it for me. So my wife and I cracked it out and after reading the rules a few times gave it a go. We had a blast; it took the game but we realised how playing the cards needed to be done in time and how the resources worked out.

But it wasn't until the third game when my wife got collections of pastures and started stacking Animeeples that the glimmer got into her eyes. She began to be the Agricola queen.

I feel that Agricola is nice because it gives you a number of buttons to push. There's enough randomness that you can't always push the button you want, but it promotes forward thinking and rewards planned play.

And then you see your little farm filled with animeeples and wheat, with all your sexless circle people breeding... and you can begin to feel that you have achieved something. Something that you can directly attribute to your own planning. And it is good. The strategy button inside me that desires pressing gets pressed.

Sometimes its not about winning, it's about building something awesome.

And sometimes, you think you have Agricola down to a T, and.. something happens, your plans fall apart and your people starve. So there's more than just following the same pattern, there's an element of adaption to the game that makes it replayable.

That being said, we haven't cracked out Agricola in quite a while (Our gaming group sees a fair few new games, maybe one a month or so) but its definitely a favorite in our group, player numbers permitting.


Agricola Hate:

When I lurk on the forums and geeklists about BGG I seem to see a lot of Agricola hate. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm always a little surprised that people detest it so much. All I can say is that if you are reading this review and deciding to buy (or play) the game, it's worth playing if you like a bit of assembling puzzles and seeing empty land being turned into an Engine of farming.


Final Words:

Agricola is definitely worth the hype about it. It's playable, the rules a little annoying but readable and the actual game of building and achieving building a farm nice.

If you only want to roll dice, or play a theme game where your run from zombies, or win through weakening or attacking others this may not be for you; even the interactive decks aren't that interactive as such. But if you enjoy building an engine from separate pieces and seeing the results of what you made then this game might be for you.
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Paul New
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Some nice love for the game there. My wife and I think it is brilliant. We are at the same ability level too so the game has real balance for us, been playing for about 3 years, must have notched up well over 100 games now.


'Sometimes its not about winning, it's about building something awesome'

You make a very valid point. This is my favourite thing about Agricola. In a two player if my wife has a powerhand and I have a weaker one, if she wins but I still manage to conjure up a great farm from the weak hand, I am just as pleased as if I win with a strong hand. Agricola is extremely special in that way
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Bryan Thunkd
United States
Northampton
MA
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Arrghmark wrote:
Sometimes its not about winning, it's about building something awesome crushing the will to live out of your enemies.
Fixed that for you.

Agricola is an awesome game. Glad we have another fan.
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Andy Kerrison
United Kingdom
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Arrghmark wrote:

And then you see your little farm filled with animeeples and wheat

My one and only issue with Agricola (and it is still my favourite game) is that once you've got the hang of it, this is exactly what *doesn't* happen most of the time.

Typically, without major card support, plowing & sowing fields and building fences to keep animals in are a ticket to last place when played early in the game. Instead you have to focus on wood, reed, rooms, and family growth in the early game, cobble a food engine together shortly thereafter and then go about actually making your farm look like a farm with a mad dash in the last two or three rounds to fence, plow, sow, and collect animals.

Feels like more of a resource collection game than a farming one, but nonetheless it's my favourite strategy game to date and has replayability that surpasses anything else I've played.

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Fernando Robert Yu
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Andy_K wrote:
Arrghmark wrote:

And then you see your little farm filled with animeeples and wheat

My one and only issue with Agricola (and it is still my favourite game) is that once you've got the hang of it, this is exactly what *doesn't* happen most of the time.

Typically, without major card support, plowing & sowing fields and building fences to keep animals in are a ticket to last place when played early in the game. Instead you have to focus on wood, reed, rooms, and family growth in the early game, cobble a food engine together shortly thereafter and then go about actually making your farm look like a farm with a mad dash in the last two or three rounds to fence, plow, sow, and collect animals.

Feels like more of a resource collection game than a farming one, but nonetheless it's my favourite strategy game to date and has replayability that surpasses anything else I've played.


The "Major Card" support element is one the key and fun elements for me. We play using card drafting (except when using the Agricola: World Championship Deck – 2011 wherein we pick a deck then discard down to 7 occs and Minors) and this part of the game really gives the deck construction feel of a CCG/LCG. Of course, being able to use them is another story, but being able to successfully do so in order to build your farm better is so satisfying!
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Shawn Garbett
United States
Nashville
Tennessee
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Arrghmark wrote:
Agricola Hate:

When I lurk on the forums and geeklists about BGG I seem to see a lot of Agricola hate. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm always a little surprised that people detest it so much.
I took it off my interest list due to that. Then a friend gave it too me for my birthday. I first thought, "Oh, hmmm, that game everyone's hating on. Smile, be thankful."

Then we played it. Made a mess of it, and my wife killed us all (36 points I think). But it someone stuck in my head. I wanted to figure out how she got such a score, then the solitaire started. Sadly, I've still not beat her score in solitaire, but I'm getting closer edging upward.

Arrghmark wrote:
All I can say is that if you are reading this review and deciding to buy (or play) the game, it's worth playing if you like a bit of assembling puzzles and seeing empty land being turned into an Engine of farming.

This is an excellent way to state it. It's now a Chinese box for me. Some people hate puzzles, some love them. I wish I'd heard this years ago.
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David B
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Arrghmark wrote:
Hi all!


Agricola Hate:

When I lurk on the forums and geeklists about BGG I seem to see a lot of Agricola hate. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm always a little surprised that people detest it so much. All I can say is that if you are reading this review and deciding to buy (or play) the game, it's worth playing if you like a bit of assembling puzzles and seeing empty land being turned into an Engine of farming.



But...whatever hate there is, there is probably 10 times more love for it. With the oodles and oodles of posts praising it, I'm not sure why the minority negative posts should bother you that much. I personally do not like the game at all and there are complaints that are legitimate. But, name ANY game and there is going to be hate for it. My favorite games receive a lot of hate, too. Any fan of Stefan Feld's games see a LOT of hate in these forums, perhaps more than Agricola. But I will also say that the higher the game is ranked, the more likely you are to see people who hate it voice their opinion. Nobody is going to start a thread stating why they hate a game that is ranked 15,637. But when a game is ranked number 2, you are bound to see the minority negative voice get a little loud. This is not peculiar to the board game world. You see it with music, movies, etc etc.
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Mark Baker
Australia
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Hi Guys!

David: I probably should have figured that. I'm probably just reading into the vehement minority too much.

I've never actually come across a real life person who detests this game, but I don't know that many b-gamers really.
 
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Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
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Of the FtF gamers I've run across who genuinely don't much care for the game, I've noticed that there are two main reasons. One, they don't care for brain-burning worker placement games in the first place, or two, they don't like committing to longer games (anything over an hour).
 
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