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Subject: The Gamer Nerd Reviews: Agricola: Bielefeld Deck rss

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Nicolas Shayko
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Ohio
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Read the full review w/images at: http://www.thegamernerd.com/reviews/agricola-bielefeld-deck/

The Bielefeld Deck is a mini-expansion for Agricola. Mini means that it only has 24 cards, 13 minor improvements and 11 new occupations. This is much less than a typical card expansion, which is usually 120 cards. The Bielefeld Deck costs $5.99 at retail and (of course) must have the base game to be useful. Is this deck the 1st expansion to buy for Agricola? Not in the least. The Bielefeld Deck is basically a fun shot of new cards for experienced Agricola players to add to their collection. There have been other mini-expansions that have come out that really ought not to be used in the game, but fill the role of a collector’s item for the Agricola fans. This is not true of the Bielefeld Deck. Most of these cards are fun and will be enjoyed by experienced Agricola players. I will assume people reading this review are knowledgeable of the game, if not, read my Agricola review first. Here is a look at 6 cards in order to give you a flavor of what the Bielefeld Deck is.

Minor Improvements

Bielefeld is a place in Germany, and the minor improvements are very thematic and serve as a tribute to Bielefeld. A cool feature of the deck is that separate cards not for play come with the deck to explain the significance of including each card in the deck.

Spielwiese: Spielwiese is a gaming association in Bielefeld. This card is a fun car that allows players to draw additional occupations. Typically, it can only be played early in the game because it has a requirement of having, at most, 1 occupation on the table. At a cost of 1 food it gives 2 new occupations and can even give extra building resources at the same time. The way it does that is silly, but it is a fun card that does not break the game. I always like when fun cards like this make their way around the table.

Alm: Alm is a football stadium in Bielefeld. It is similar to a base game card called Forest Pasture. Forest Pasture allows unlimited wild boars, while Alm allows unlimited Cattle on the card. It is much harder to play, requiring the payment of a sheep; you must also have a stable on your farm. The stable can be removed to receive a cattle. It is a specialty card, but it is a cool variation on a base card.

Conspiracy: Conspiracy is a Bielefeld card that does not work. I mean, it will work if you play with only the Bielefeld cards or just a few other cards. Still, most people playing with the Bielefeld cards will be playing with a ton of others, and the chances of having a lot of Bielefeld cards on the table is low. Conspiracy is a card trying to be too cute, giving out free food and bonus points dependent on the number of Bielefeld cards played.

Occupations

The occupation cards are, as a whole, more solid cards to mix in with the basic occupation cards. There is 1 exception to that, which I will talk about shortly.

Survivalist: I love this occupation card. It is very creative, not overpowering, and allows for different strategies. Survivalist actually has some flavor text on it, which is atypical of the game, as it says, “your family will eat anything.” Each harvest you are allowed 1 of each building resource for 2 food, except the 1st food gained this way must go to fishing. I love cards that give alternative ways of feeding, and survivalist does the trick.

Member of a Co-operative: I am not a fan of Co-op games. I am a fan of this card which basically lets you piggyback off other players. If you play it down early enough, it allows a family growth without room as long as enough other people take a family growth with room. The number of family growth needed to be taken is equal to the number of players. It is a fun and creative way of allowing family growth without room.

White Brazilian: This card is just downright silly. In fact, it is so silly that my wife and I immediately agreed to remove it from the deck and stick it on our fridge, never to be put into a game. It facilitates a dexterity angle to Agricola, which makes zero sense. The card says you stick a stable in one corner of the farm and fling a boar onto that space from another. This card is good for a laugh but little else. I can’t see a serious player wanting to play with this card.

Conclusion

The Bielefeld Deck is a nice little mini-fix for the hardcore Agricola player. If the newer Agricola player wants more cards, I would point to the World Championship Deck as the 1st new set of cards to add to your game. Next would be the Gamers Deck. After that, if you want a lot of cards, try the Dutch or Belgian decks, but if you want a smaller addition, dropping the $6 on the Bielefeld Deck is worth it.

www.thegamernerd.com
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Bastian Winkelhaus
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Mainz
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niczone wrote:

The occupation cards are not related to the town of Bielefeld like the minor improvements.


They are not?
I thought they were, like Suvivialist being Rüdiger Nehberg, a person born in Bielefeld, or White Brazilian being Ansgar Brinkmann, a football player who played for Bielefeld (at the Alm-stadium) during his career.
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Nicolas Shayko
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Thanks!

I don't know how I missed this all of the occupations do have some relation to Bielefield. You are correct on both Survivalist and White Brazilian.

I will revise the review accordingly
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