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Caverna: The Cave Farmers» Forums » General

Subject: Agricola VS. Caverna rss

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Michael Scurti
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I want to get Agricola because I mean come on, you don't have a proper collection of games until you get Agricola, However I would want the Goodies expansion and yada yada, but now with Caverna in my scopes I'm wondering if I would enjoy this variant just as much if not more than Agricola?
Im also anticipating plenty of expansions for Caverna...

What do you think?
I think if I got Caverna and then they reprinted Goodies for $45 I'd be pretty bummed but I really don't think they will..
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Michael Scurti
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JohanCarstensen wrote:
Caverna is definitly easyer to play for beginners, since you don't have a problem with feeding your family. Bougth are still good games.


Really? I read a review saying that if you've never played Agricola before you shouldn't bother picking up Caverna
 
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Nite0fox wrote:

I think if I got Caverna and then they reprinted Goodies for $45 I'd be pretty bummed but I really don't think they will..

"The Goodies" is probably the worst 'value for useful content' expansion. The only thing you can't easily get elsewhere item-by-item is the unplayable X-deck.

If unavailability of "the Goodies" is stopping you buying Agricola, don't let it. There's nothing "must have" in it, unless you're an utter completist (I pretty much am) and anything 'nice to have' can be picked up easily item by item for a lot less than the cost of the expansion itself.

Caverna shares some similarities with Agricola but it is not just "a variant". I have both, and play both. They are different, yet familiar.
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Michael Scurti
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enoon wrote:
Nite0fox wrote:

I think if I got Caverna and then they reprinted Goodies for $45 I'd be pretty bummed but I really don't think they will..

If unavailability of "the Goodies" is stopping you buying Agricola, don't let it. There's nothing "must have" in it, unless you're an utter completist


I've been looking a bit closer into this, what I really want are all wooden pieces to not be disks. I want the Vegimeeples, Rawmeeples and Stickers for families.

I was looking at the Mayday games alternative. Im usually not a fan of mayday but is this a good replacement?
 
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Trevor Franklin
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Nite0fox wrote:
enoon wrote:
Nite0fox wrote:

I think if I got Caverna and then they reprinted Goodies for $45 I'd be pretty bummed but I really don't think they will..

If unavailability of "the Goodies" is stopping you buying Agricola, don't let it. There's nothing "must have" in it, unless you're an utter completist


I've been looking a bit closer into this, what I really want are all wooden pieces to not be disks. I want the Vegimeeples, Rawmeeples and Stickers for families.

I was looking at the Mayday games alternative. Im usually not a fan of mayday but is this a good replacement?


I have the mayday animeeples and really like them. To me, the animals needed to not be animal shaped, and the family members needed to not be discs. I'm just using caracassone meeples for the family members.
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Stephane Guibord
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Nite0fox wrote:
JohanCarstensen wrote:
Caverna is definitly easyer to play for beginners, since you don't have a problem with feeding your family. Bougth are still good games.


Really? I read a review saying that if you've never played Agricola before you shouldn't bother picking up Caverna


This is obviously false. Anyone who claim this had no clue what they are talking about. You can buy and enjoy caverna without owning agricola. Having played agricola before will make learning agricola a breeze since it shares about 80% of the same mechanics. The obvious differences are mostly cards for agricola vs cave furnishing in caverna. The rest of smaller differences like weapons and rubies in caverna. In agricola you need to place individual fences while in caverna you can't, it's 4 at a time in a fixed ship.

I own caverna and wondering myself if I should get agricola. The cards make the game different strategy wise vs all the furnished caved being available right from the start to everyone but I wonder if that difference is worth buying agricola vs getting an entire different game to complement my collection.

The "goodies" you mention are indeed really nice in caverna and means you won't have to buy separate like in agricola but has others have said, it's only cosmetic. If it's important to you, caverna might be a good option for you.

You are still require to feed your farmers in caverna but it's less stressful since you aren't require to built oven to convert resources to food like you do in agricola.
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If you have both you can always use the Caverna tokens in Agricola ...
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Roman Bode
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I have both and have put most of the tokens into a shared 3 boxes for both games.

I have bought additional meeples and components and have all of the Agricola parts (including the slandered 'Goodies' elsewhere in this post)

I basically now just play Caverna. It offers all the Agricola does and more and I am sure I may go back to play Agricola (but it would be with nostalgia).

To quote Zee Garcia from the Dice Tower 'Caverna is Agricola fixed'. I agree with this, though I do not share his hatred for the original.
 
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Michael Duong
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I played Caverna for the first time last night, and I've played Agricola something like 6 or 7 times. There was one newbie to both Agricola AND Caverna, two Agricola players with no Caverna experience (including me), and one player who has played both a few times. I won, so there's no "loser's bias" here. I think Agricola is way, way more enjoyable, at least for me.

Caverna is a "friendlier" game in that there are more options for points and food and the penalties are much less severe overall (the same penalty of -3/missing food, but you're scoring double your scores in Agricola...), but it has a greater amount of complexity. Objectively. There are just more *different* things to do in Caverna, so there's a greater rules overhead for newbies. Rank newbies also need to read and digest 20-30 tiles in the "beginner" game (obviously way more in the full game) in order to formulate some semblance of strategy, as opposed to 14 cards, although the cards are generally more complicated than the tiles.

Overall, I feel that finding synergies in the cards is generally more satisfactory than with the tiles, but that may have been because I didn't see like half the tiles, since I didn't play with all 48 or whatever of them. Also, I didn't see like half of them, because they were all upside down to me during the game! Haha.

The main issue though, is that the decreased emphasis on and difficulty of procuring food and the increased means of achieving points means that there's less competition overall for spaces. (Also, the Imitation space decreases competition as well). I haven't counted, but I think there are also just straight up *more* spaces too. This means that I experienced a *lot* more AP in Caverna than I ever did in Agricola. Agricola's scoring system is set up so that it's always pretty obvious what kinds of things you *should* shoot for point-wise (FEEDING, family members, houses, and whatever you're "missing" or are closest to the next point threshold for), whereas Caverna is so wide open that you have to grind through all the calculations to figure out what's more efficient. It's just more point salad-y, I guess. While I'm okay with point salad, I don't prefer it to what Agricola offers, even if Agricola's scoring is a little more complicated. The last round of Agricola is a big point grab, where everyone is fighting to eke out a few extra points grabbing animals or avoid negative points via big Fence actions. It's my least favorite part of Agricola. Every round of Caverna is like the last round of Agricola.

That AP was the real killer though. I try very, very hard to AP less in games, because I'm very prone to it. I think I'm generally pretty successful at forcing myself into playing quickly, but AP is always an issue for me and Caverna was much worse in this respect than Agricola.

The Expeditions are like double-time AP, and everyone at the table was having trouble with that. You have to first decide to use an Expedition space, and then you have to figure out, basically, like 1-4 *additional* actions? And one of those actions might be to Furnish a Cavern, which is picking from the Big Board o' Choices? There were a ton of times where someone would go to a 3 or 4 Expedition spot, and then spend so much time figuring out what he wanted that it became his turn again.

Get Agricola, man. Haha. The "Feeding stress" isn't that bad, especially after a game or two when you really understand the farming/baking/ranching systems and know how a food engine gets set up. It actually helps focus the game and reduce AP.
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