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Subject: Agricola vs Le Havre rss

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Chip Black

Winter Park
FL
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I have been wanting to get Agricola for a while. I was talking to someone at the game store that since I have Lords of Waterdeep I may want to look at Le Havre. I know Agricola and Lords of Waterdeep are a lot different but I am still a noob so my collection is still small. He was saying since I have a worker placement game Le Havre might be better to get since it has a less worker placement feel to it. Agricola just looks like it has so much more replay-ability than Le Havre. Both look good but so far I am still leaning towards Agricola. What are your opinions?
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Ruud
Netherlands
Amsterdam
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Caverna: The Cave Farmers
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tim thorson
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First they are both great games from the same designer. I would watch a video or two to see if ine strikes you more than the other. I have both. I like them both a lot. If I had to choose one.....it might be agricola. That's a very tough choice though.

Agricola has three decks of cards that can change the game drastically. Each deck can be played many times before even looking at another. Lots of options. There is also lots to do in this game. So depending on if your strategy is farming or animals or a mix, it plays different.

Le Havre you have less plays per round. But you take resources to build buildings and ships. Building can convert goods or give you more goods. Ships help with feed at the end of the round.

I don't know if this helps at all. But they are both great games

Other great worker placement games: castles of burgundy, bora bora, dungeon petz
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chad winters
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First off welcome to BGG. I would say both games are a big step up from Lords of Waterdeep, but both are great games. If at all possible get Caverna. But since that game is hard to get right now not to mention pretty costly, go with Le Havre. For some reason it is slightly more appealing to people. Shipping over farming I guess. But also it has something a little different from other worker placement games. You can find quit a few games that play similar to Agricola with a different theme later if thats what youre looking for. That being said I still like Agricola more but with you somewhat new to the hobby make sure you check into other worker placement games. There are tons out there that might be slightly easier to sink your teeth into right now and some great themes to boot. Which ever way you decide to go good luck, and Im sure youll have fun.
 
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David Callahan
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Ruud2009 wrote:

Sorry, Caverna has not lived up to the hype of replacing Agricola so far IMHO. It's nice and I'm glad I have it, but Agricola is a better game.
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Steve Erwin
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My wife and I are huge fans of Agricola.

I played Le Havre on iOS and barely made it through the first game. One action per turn feels really dull compared to the amount of thought you can put into building your farm in Agricola. Once you get up to 5 family members, you're making a lot of choices in a single round and you really start to feel like you're accomplishing something.

I was really surprised at my reaction to Le Havre, given how highly ranked it is. I never felt like I was accomplishing anything in Le Havre. I was just trading X for Y and it seemed more like a math puzzle than anything else. "What can I convert this one thing into to get the most return for my action?"

I've watched Radho's review of Caverna and he brings up some good points about the differences between Caverna and Agricola in his Final Thoughts.

I haven't played Lords of Waterdeep, but I've heard a few people mention is as a gateway worker placement game. The expansion should add a little more depth to it, but it sounds like it's not as deep as Agricola out of the box. It's on my list to check out, though. Not everybody wants to think as much as I do.
 
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Chip Black

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Caverna is just too expensive and to me it doesn't look a whole lot different from Agricola but I could be wrong.

I have watched videos for both and I am leaning towards Agricola still. Just wanted to get peoples opinions. It is my birthday in a few days and my fiance told me to get a list of games I wanted I am wanting Pathfinder, Agricola, and Legendary the most right now. And Robinson Crusoe if it ever goes on sale at Cool Stuff.

Im going to Cool Stuffs board game night today so hopefully I can try some new games
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Chip Black

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That is why I got Lords of Waterdeep. My fiance was hesitant to play board games because she thought they would be boring or too complicated. But I picked that and she loves it......because she beats me all the time at most of our games lol
 
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tim thorson
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I've found pathfinder more fun than I was originally expecting. And Robinson Crusoe is one of my favorites. Great game even when you lose terribly
 
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Yao-ban Chan
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Personally, I like Le Havre and dislike Agricola (as much as I can dislike any game - which is not much). I think this might have something to do with some or all of the following:

- Le Havre has a much less strict food requirement
- Blocking is much less of a factor in Le Havre
- The scoring system in Agricola enforces diversification, but Le Havre's does not.

However, you asked about replayability. I think Agricola has a much higher replayability than Le Havre, because of the Occupation/Minor Improvement cards. They really have a bit of a combo feel to them. Of course, for me this doesn't matter, since many plays of a game I don't like so much is still not a great thing, but for you it might be different.

On the other hand, Le Havre tends to devolve into a coke/steel strategy every time. Yes you often end up doing different thing with the steel, but the fact remains that there is a certain "pathway" that players do tend to get channeled along.

gildedrain wrote:
I never felt like I was accomplishing anything in Le Havre.
Funnily enough, I have this exact feeling when playing Agricola, probably because of the food requirement. Whereas I do get a feeling of accomplishment in Le Havre!
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Jeremy Sydik
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As others have said, you're really not able to make a BAD choice here - both games are excellent. In my case, I give the edge to Le Havre. The extra variability that comes with the Agricola E/I/K decks is nice, but it still comes down to variations on how to prevent starvation, get a little of everything (the game doesn't encourage diversification, it enforces it with point penalties), and maybe more of something else (family first / stone house second / etc).

The food option is not that big of a deal in Le Havre on the other hand. You can always take (repayable) loans if necessary or desired (it might be better to use the resources to build your infrastructure now to more easily feed and pay off the loan later. I also prefer the ability to specialize more, or at least choose the weight of the balance. I've had success in the past with the obvious Coke/Steel/Big Ships path as well as by heavily targeting buildings or trade - though most of the time you will be finding the best balance of all three based on the order that buildings come out - while less than the Agricola decks, the variable order that the buildings come out combined with the ability to manipulate the order give enough variability, and the special buildings add to this (recent versions also come with Grand Hameau, so there are plenty of combinations to run through)

But don't just take my word for it, watch some gameplay videos. I like the Rahdo Runs Through ones for Agricola and Le Havre (though keep in mind that he plays Agricola with the Farmers of the Moor expansion)
 
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chad winters
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dmcallahan wrote:
Ruud2009 wrote:

Sorry, Caverna has not lived up to the hype of replacing Agricola so far IMHO. It's nice and I'm glad I have it, but Agricola is a better game.

I love both games but I have to give the edge to Caverna because Agricola forces you to do everything in the game and spread too thin rather than specialize. I have seen every strategy win in Caverna and being dealt the best cards is no longer the deciding factor. I know you can draft or take out certain cards but just because they increase the replay value does not make them good. A hand of just two great cards will decide the game.
 
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Shane Larsen
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Salt Lake City
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checkrazor76 wrote:
dmcallahan wrote:
Ruud2009 wrote:

Sorry, Caverna has not lived up to the hype of replacing Agricola so far IMHO. It's nice and I'm glad I have it, but Agricola is a better game.

I love both games but I have to give the edge to Caverna because Agricola forces you to do everything in the game and spread too thin rather than specialize. I have seen every strategy win in Caverna and being dealt the best cards is no longer the deciding factor. I know you can draft or take out certain cards but just because they increase the replay value does not make them good. A hand of just two great cards will decide the game.

I've been playing Agricola off and on over several years now and I remember feeling very much the same way you do about it. However, I've recently purchased the iOS app. Because of this, I've been able to play a lot of games quickly. I'm learning that there actually is quite a bit more specialization involved than I had thought all along.

I'm beginning to discover that the player who specializes really well, but manages to do alright in everything else, is often the winner.

My last game, I was dealt cards that encouraged me to specialize in planting fields and growing crops. I went all out on that. What I discovered was that in the final rounds, I was using essentially zero actions for food, filling in my lots, and I was able to easily fill in all other scoring categories with those extra actions.

Without turning this into a strategy thread, let's just say I'm learning the importance of specializing more in a game that I previously thought was all about not specializing.
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Michael Carter
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They are completely different games. While they are both about optimizing, Agricola is more about creating a food engine and Le Havre has more of an economic feel.

Agricola scales better for different player counts, but it is a pretty brutal game and you can often get completely screwed over by one move.

Le Havre is a 3 player game. I don't care what the box says, it should only ever be played with 3 players.
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Rachel Tannahill
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Orntt wrote:
gildedrain wrote:
I never felt like I was accomplishing anything in Le Havre.
Funnily enough, I have this exact feeling when playing Agricola, probably because of the food requirement. Whereas I do get a feeling of accomplishment in Le Havre!

I agree, I usually feel more satisfaction with the actions in Le Havre. With proper timing you can make some big moves like converting tons of cattle into hides/meat all at once.

However, I think it takes a few plays of Le Havre for it to be fun because you really need to understand the whole game and all the buildings in order to plan.

Agricola, you can still have some fun "winging it" at first, but even when you know what you want to do, it feels constraining. I get more AP prone in this one. It's an awesome game though.
 
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Thomas Lang
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I have Agricola, Le Havre and Caverna and I'm not going to part with any of them anytime soon since they're all totally awesome. Le Havre however is a really fantastic game. I'd get that one first (you know you'll get Agricola sooner or later anyway )
 
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Andrew Carter
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Agricola is a great game, very well designed and tight. But it is the definition of brain-burner for me. It's the most stressful game I have. Now Le Havre isn't stressful at all, and is still very satisfying. However, like some others have said, it helps to know the buildings and how they work together. Another plus for Le Havre is how easy it is to teach/learn.

 
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Chip Black

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hmmm starting to think about Le Havre. I guess another thing I should ask is what is better with 2 players since I will be mostly playing with my fiance
 
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Shane Larsen
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cblack0215 wrote:
what is better with 2 players since I will be mostly playing with my fiance

Agricola.

It's one of the best scaling games available.
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Giovanni
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Chip,

I started my board game collection about 3 years ago, and have probably 70 or so games now. One of the first games I bought was Agricola, and I still rank it as my favorite. As others mentioned, there is a ton of replayability out of it because of all the cards. Each game gives you a different feel based on what role and minor improvement cards you draw, so one game I might focus on producing grain/bread, another I might have a great set of cards to go fishing and build my house up.

I've played Le Harve on iOS and wasn't quite as fascinated by it, but it seems like a solid game too. If I were you, I would choose based on the theme you like best. I think it's possible you might enjoy both games equally. I'd bet many people have them both in their collection and play both, they're both have quite a bit different feel.

I'd definitely recommend Agricola though, it offers solo play, great replayability, and plays well with just about any number. The only downside to Agricola was that since it was one of my first games I thought the rules were super confusing and had to watch a video play to get the hang of it.

Anyway that's my two cents!
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Tyson K
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I would get Agricola. I have both but found Le Havre dragged so much near the end we just wanted it to be over. We have played Agricola maybe 20 times and still use the easy deck because I still don't think we have played with all the cards. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
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Jonathan Challis
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I think that Le Havre is the better game, but Agricola has a lot more replayability. If you are only going to play a dozen games a year, then it's no problem, but if you are going to play it 50 times, then Agricola has a clear advantage.

I'd skip Caverna...
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Thomas Dunagan
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Replayability - Agricola
Scalability - Agricola
Accessability - Agricola

Better Game Design - Le Havre

If I had to keep one and only one, it would be Le Havre hands down. However, they are both excellent games and will never leave my collection.

Oh, and Le Havre works great with 2...for those that keeping saying it is only a 3-player game.

I enjoy Caverna also, but its replayability, in my opinion, is MUCH lower than Agricola. I enjoy Caverna, but it just feels a little bit samey if I am comparing it to the variety of Agricola.
 
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Samo Oleami
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You have Lords of Waterdeep - I suspect this means you like theme in your worker placement. In which case I definitely suggest Agricola. (perhaps Caverna, don't know, haven't played).

First: Agricola has much more theme than Le Havre.
Secondly: Agricola is a much shorter game (I'd say 2/3 of lenght of Le Havre)
Thirdly: Agricola has more focus. Some like this feature some prefer Le Havre. In Le Havre allmost all options are equally good and you can adapt and play tactically. In Agricola you have to decide on a food producing strategy and stick with it. I prefer this, some find it "restrictive".

Compared to LoW - both games are from "harvest" trilogy and have the same feature where you have to feed your people and demand is increasing throughout the game. The game is punishing you. Again - I like this (gives me focus) but other prefer a game less punishing, like Caverna.

So yes Agricola is a good heavier worker placement.

Another thematic worker placement I enjoy is Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery (not sure how easy is it to get as it's an older game, but has neat theme implementation and a bit of area control).
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Michael Carter
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Carthage wrote:
Replayability - Agricola
Scalability - Agricola
Accessability - Agricola

Better Game Design - Le Havre

If I had to keep one and only one, it would be Le Havre hands down. However, they are both excellent games and will never leave my collection.

Oh, and Le Havre works great with 2...for those that keeping saying it is only a 3-player game.

I enjoy Caverna also, but its replayability, in my opinion, is MUCH lower than Agricola. I enjoy Caverna, but it just feels a little bit samey if I am comparing it to the variety of Agricola.

I find Le Havre only works with 2 players if you are playing the short game. There are too many buildings taken out for the long game to be interesting.
 
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