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Caverna: The Cave Farmers» Forums » General

Subject: Thematic accessability? rss

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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
Surrey
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I am a game addict in a world of non-gamers, so am always looking for games that might appeal to normal people.

Agricola is a game I have pondered for a while, because although it isn't my favorite style, I might be able to drag non-gaming family members to the table with the theme - ie making a farm.

Caverna, at first sight, seems to be a richer version of Agricola, so appeals to me as a gamer. But what had been a farming game - ie, normal - appears now to be game about dwarves with weapons going on quests - ie, geeky and off-putting to the majority of humankind.

Has anyone out there tried playing this with non-gamers? What kind of reception did they get? How easy is it to mask its dwarfiness? Interested to hear how the general public respond to this one.
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Nick ChemE
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Kalama
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MrMT wrote:
I am a game addict in a world of non-gamers, so am always looking for games that might appeal to normal people.

Agricola is a game I have pondered for a while, because although it isn't my favorite style, I might be able to drag non-gaming family members to the table with the theme - ie making a farm.

Caverna, at first sight, seems to be a richer version of Agricola, so appeals to me as a gamer. But what had been a farming game - ie, normal - appears now to be game about dwarves with weapons going on quests - ie, geeky and off-putting to the majority of humankind.

Has anyone out there tried playing this with non-gamers? What kind of reception did they get? How easy is it to mask its dwarfiness? Interested to hear how the general public respond to this one.


Can't speak for Caverna, but I can say that Agricola definitely will not appeal to the non-gamer. It is pretty complex, punishing, and has a lot of moving pieces. You might have a shot with the family game leaving out the cards, but YMMV.

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Patrick Meyer
Switzerland
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caverna is a haevy euro and the thematic isnt that strong or important.

But i would difinitely NOT recommend it to people who are non-gamers. I think Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne would be a better choice for first timers.
 
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John Shepherd
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Ovington
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MrMT wrote:
How easy is it to mask its dwarfiness? Interested to hear how the general public respond to this one.


You could kind of gloss over the dwarfiness, but it's definitely not something you can hide completely. For example, right off the bat the starting space on everybody's player board states "Entry Level Dwelling - Room for Two Dwarfs"... and all the other dwelling tiles have references to Dwarfs too.
 
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f s
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Quote:
It is pretty complex, punishing, and has a lot of moving pieces.


That should be about it. There are many many games that will work better as introduction games for about everything.
 
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Josiah Leis
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Merino
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I spent 100 GG and all I got was this stupid overtext.....
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I have not played Caverna, so I cannot comment on that at all.

I would however like to offer a different opinion on Agricola as an introductory game for non-gamers. I have had excellent success with that on multiple occasions (using the Family game only of course). In fact, it has never actually failed me when I am teaching it to "non-gamers". I.e. everyone has always had a good time and\or asked to do it again.

You are right that the theme draws people in (Farmvilleish if you will), and the rules (though not the strategy) are relatively straight-forward (you put your worker here and you get to do that thing).

On a side note, do not introduce people to games with Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne. The point is to show them that board games are fun and both of those games are well.....incredibly boring .

All of this is of course YMMV, IMHO, etc.
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Vincent Lalyman
France
Strasbourg
France
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I am not sure "agriculture" is the theme that makes Agricola interesting - I think that the seducing theme is rather "a family lives and grows". It works for Agricola, Village, Caverna, Legacy : the Testament of Duke de Crecy, etc.

Edit : it would also explain the very succesful The Sims computer games.
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