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Subject: Agricola; All Creatures Big and Small; Caverna rss

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Benjamin Benson
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I played Caverna and loved it.
I played All Creatures Big and Small and enjoyed it.
I tried Agricola and hated it (haven't tried family version).

Does anyone know of a way to play Agricola that is more like ACBaS? I like the building the pens for the animals but wished it also had the farming aspect but LOVED that there was no feed the people element.

I didn't see anything in the variant section on making Agricola more like ACBaS. Maybe the family version does that but I am under the impression that family is just a 'no cards' version.

Any knowledge of playing Agricola like an ACBaS with farming as well as animal breeding?
 
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Patrick G.
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There is one sure fire way to play agricola like ACBaS. Take a sharpie. Get your ACBaS box and scribble out the name. Then write AGRICOLA in big letters.






But seriously... don't feel bad for not liking agricola. Just enjoy it's relatives like you are currently doing.

I have personally never understood the question: "How can I play game 25 like game ABC?" I mean I understand if it is one mechanic(my play group ignores LoS as written in both Descent 1st ed and Doom) but that is only one out of literally 100's of rules that we had a minor problem with.


Enjoy what you like. I am sure there are other games out there that fit what you are looking for!
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Geoff Burkman
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Remove all categorical scoring limits; thus, if you can manage to accumulate fifty veggies, you will score fifty points. Also, cut all feeding requirements in half.

That should successfully remove all play tension from the game.

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Robert Forrest
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Why not just play the ones you like and not bother with the one you hated?
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Fred Wojtkielewicz
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We play a fair amount of these three games, agricola almost always family style, the cards are cumbersome.
 
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Benjamin Benson
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Edward J Grug III wrote:
Why not just play the ones you like and not bother with the one you hated?


Well, cause I already own it. I like the idea of farming and animal raising and I fear ACBaS will lend itself to getting a system and then the game after a while will be repetative whereas Agricola can be more than two and also has the card feature.
 
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Patrick G.
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wojtkielewicz67 wrote:
We play a fair amount of these three games, agricola almost always family style, the cards are cumbersome.

The cards make the game. With out them it is just another soulless Euro.
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Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
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Putting the 'why' to one side, I guess you could re-implement Agricola like ACBaS.

My suggestion would be to do it like this:
- Everyone starts with a house with three wooden rooms and three family members. However, during the game you can't build any more rooms and you can't add family members.
- Food to start with is as normal.
- Since you can't build rooms and can't grow your family, the family growth action spaces are out of the game and 'build rooms and/or stables' is reduced to 'build stables'.
- The game lasts 12 rounds instead of 14. However, all round cards are available from the start (to get a decent supply of animals).
- The game has a harvest after each two rounds. Feeding is 1 food per worker (i.e. 2 food in total per player). Harvest fields and breed animals as normal.
- Scoring: 1 point per animal, 1 point per vegetable, 1/2 point per grain, 1 point per field, 1 point per pasture, 1 point per clay room, 2 points per stone room, 1 point per fenced stable, -1 point for an unused space.
- Cards: remove cards that relate to room-building or family growth from the game. From the remaining cards, draw 7 occupations and 7 minor improvements per player and display them on the table. Anyone playing an occupation or minor improvement can pick from those still on display (just like the major improvements).
- Action cards for extra players: add these as normal (full game side, not family game).

I realize that this will probably be completely unbalanced, but I'm just trying to come up with something that would work for OP

For extra ACBaS fun, you could even include some buildings from ACBas (expansions) that you can build unto your farm.

I considered eliminating feeding from the game completely, but that would make a lot of action spaces and most major improvements useless...
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David Janik-Jones
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Ben, just stick with what works, ACBaS. It's a fun game.

I too am among those rare gamers who despise Agricola (three-and-a-half plays was enough to convince me I disliked it intensely) but though I don't own it anymore, I actually wound up actually enjoying ACBaS. Playtime, less punishing, etc all made it much more fun than it's big brother. ACBaS is the only Rosenberg I've found I like at all (though I might play Le Havre again if there were no other games in the room, whereas if Agricola was the only game in the room, I'd rather stare at a wall while poking myself in the eye with a sharp pencil for three hours), outside of my love for Rosenberg's criminally under-rated and overlooked Merkator.

The other way you could consider house-ruling Agricola to actually make it palatable is to remove absolute choice denial from the game ... someone already taken all the clay or wood? That's okay, your worker can still go to that blocked spot and take some "always available" minimum number of that resource. None of this, sorry, you have third turn again, all the resources you need are gone, too bad. Sorry about your family starving and you having no chance to win 25% of the way through a game.
 
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Benjamin Benson
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janwillemvl wrote:
Putting the 'why' to one side, I guess you could re-implement Agricola like ACBaS.

My suggestion would be to do it like this:
- Everyone starts with a house with three wooden rooms and three family members. However, during the game you can't build any more rooms and you can't add family members.
- Food to start with is as normal.
- Since you can't build rooms and can't grow your family, the family growth action spaces are out of the game and 'build rooms and/or stables' is reduced to 'build stables'.
- The game lasts 12 rounds instead of 14. However, all round cards are available from the start (to get a decent supply of animals).
- The game has a harvest after each two rounds. Feeding is 1 food per worker (i.e. 2 food in total per player). Harvest fields and breed animals as normal.
- Scoring: 1 point per animal, 1 point per vegetable, 1/2 point per grain, 1 point per field, 1 point per pasture, 1 point per clay room, 2 points per stone room, 1 point per fenced stable, -1 point for an unused space.
- Cards: remove cards that relate to room-building or family growth from the game. From the remaining cards, draw 7 occupations and 7 minor improvements per player and display them on the table. Anyone playing an occupation or minor improvement can pick from those still on display (just like the major improvements).
- Action cards for extra players: add these as normal (full game side, not family game).

I realize that this will probably be completely unbalanced, but I'm just trying to come up with something that would work for OP

For extra ACBaS fun, you could even include some buildings from ACBas (expansions) that you can build unto your farm.

I considered eliminating feeding from the game completely, but that would make a lot of action spaces and most major improvements useless...


Thanks so much for this. I will try it. I will also give standard Agricola another chance, maybe it will grow on me. Thanks for your suggestion though, I appreciate it.
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Benjamin Benson
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Ben, just stick with what works, ACBaS. It's a fun game.

I too am among those rare gamers who despise Agricola (three-and-a-half plays was enough to convince me I disliked it intensely) but though I don't own it anymore, I actually wound up actually enjoying ACBaS. Playtime, less punishing, etc all made it much more fun than it's big brother. ACBaS is the only Rosenberg I've found I like at all (though I might play Le Havre again if there were no other games in the room, whereas if Agricola was the only game in the room, I'd rather stare at a wall while poking myself in the eye with a sharp pencil for three hours), outside of my love for Rosenberg's criminally under-rated and overlooked Merkator.

The other way you could consider house-ruling Agricola to actually make it palatable is to remove absolute choice denial from the game ... someone already taken all the clay or wood? That's okay, your worker can still go to that blocked spot and take some "always available" minimum number of that resource. None of this, sorry, you have third turn again, all the resources you need are gone, too bad. Sorry about your family starving and you having no chance to win 25% of the way through a game.


Thanks for your response. I will check out Merkator. I also saw the is a 2-player version of Le Havre, I am going to check that out too. Though I still need to play Le Havre, it looks more forgiving.
 
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Jan-Willem van Leeuwen
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Sonicwarhol wrote:

Thanks so much for this. I will try it. I will also give standard Agricola another chance, maybe it will grow on me. Thanks for your suggestion though, I appreciate it.

You're welcome, have fun! Remember that I came up with it while thinking about it during lunchtime, so I'm sure I forgot a couple of things. For starters: -1 point per missing animal kind and points for improvents, but I'm sure you would've caught that

Share your experiences!
 
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Moe45673
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2p Agricola is easily playable in an hour so I can't understand those complaining about the time length. Yeah, 5p can drag but ACBaS is only 2p so it's not like you can really compare the two outside of that player count!

OP, it sounds like you like Rosenberg's later designs which involve less tension. If you like 2p, look into Fields of Arle. It's a Rosenberg design through and through but without the tense atmosphere of Gric.
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Benjamin Benson
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Moe45673 wrote:
If you like 2p, look into Fields of Arle.


Thanks. Will do. I actually just bought the iOS Agricola to give it some practice and see if I change my mind, I want to like it. haha.
 
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Sonicwarhol wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
If you like 2p, look into Fields of Arle.


Thanks. Will do. I actually just bought the iOS Agricola to give it some practice and see if I change my mind, I want to like it. haha.


Fields of Arle is definitely worth a look if you are looking for a lower tension version of Agricola. While you don't build fences for pasture you do build stalls and stables to house animals, while slowly reclaiming land from the sea to expand your farm. Feeding your family is very low stress in this game. There is also the interesting addition of vehicles, which allow you to travel to other towns to trade goods. All in all a great 2p only Uwe game. I just played my first game of Agricola with Moe and enjoyed it, but it is definitely higher stress than Fields of Arle. Rahdo does a great runthrough that is worth checking out:

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Marc Hawkins
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corkysru wrote:
wojtkielewicz67 wrote:
We play a fair amount of these three games, agricola almost always family style, the cards are cumbersome.

The cards make the game. With out them it is just another soulless Euro a tenser version of the "full" game.


FTFY.

But seriously, the family version is unexpectedly far more tense to play than the full version as getting cut out of what you need (which your opponent will know as you don't have any cards to hide behind) really hurts (because you won't have any cards to weasel your way out of a pickle). Call it an unexpected design quality.
 
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Patrick G.
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hawk-x- wrote:
corkysru wrote:
wojtkielewicz67 wrote:
We play a fair amount of these three games, agricola almost always family style, the cards are cumbersome.

The cards make the game. With out them it is just another soulless Euro a tenser version of the "full" game.


FTFY.

But seriously, the family version is unexpectedly far more tense to play than the full version as getting cut out of what you need (which your opponent will know as you don't have any cards to hide behind) really hurts (because you won't have any cards to weasel your way out of a pickle). Call it an unexpected design quality.

Heh. You want a tense game? Play sideways Jinteki: Replicating Perfection versus Gabe or Kate(Android: Netrunner reference).

You want a soulless Euro with no flair or need for creative playing... play the family edition of Agricola.
 
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Steve
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Sonicwarhol wrote:
I tried Agricola and hated it (haven't tried family version).

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.
 
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stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.
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Lawcomic wrote:
stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.

I agree with Lawcomic.
 
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Lawcomic wrote:
stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.

Someone who loves Agricola introduces a new player to the game, but finds the family version boring so insists on using the cards. New player gets overwhelmed, hates the experience, and never plays again. I've seen it happen. I'd use cards with some veteran gamers I know, but I wouldn't insist on it with everyone even though I'll probably enjoy the game less. Anyway, old argument.
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stevepop wrote:
Lawcomic wrote:
stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.

Someone who loves Agricola introduces a new player to the game, but finds the family version boring so insists on using the cards. New player gets overwhelmed, hates the experience, and never plays again. I've seen it happen. I'd use cards with some veteran gamers I know, but I wouldn't insist on it with everyone even though I'll probably enjoy the game less. Anyway, old argument.


Was taught Agricola on Sunday, the family version. It made for a great learning experience and now I am looking forward to trying it with the cards. FYI, I am an experienced gamer.
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Patrick G.
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
stevepop wrote:
Lawcomic wrote:
stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.

Someone who loves Agricola introduces a new player to the game, but finds the family version boring so insists on using the cards. New player gets overwhelmed, hates the experience, and never plays again. I've seen it happen. I'd use cards with some veteran gamers I know, but I wouldn't insist on it with everyone even though I'll probably enjoy the game less. Anyway, old argument.


Was taught Agricola on Sunday, the family version. It made for a great learning experience and now I am looking forward to trying it with the cards. FYI, I am an experienced gamer.

I am an experienced gamer and I learned the full game, with farmers of the moor and the k and Z decks.
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corkysru wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
stevepop wrote:
Lawcomic wrote:
stevepop wrote:

One's first play of Agricola should usually be the family version, but you probably would have hated it anyway.


I'll dissent to this. I see no reason to ever play the family version.

Someone who loves Agricola introduces a new player to the game, but finds the family version boring so insists on using the cards. New player gets overwhelmed, hates the experience, and never plays again. I've seen it happen. I'd use cards with some veteran gamers I know, but I wouldn't insist on it with everyone even though I'll probably enjoy the game less. Anyway, old argument.


Was taught Agricola on Sunday, the family version. It made for a great learning experience and now I am looking forward to trying it with the cards. FYI, I am an experienced gamer.

I am an experienced gamer and I learned the full game, with farmers of the moor and the k and Z decks.


Looking forward to the full experience!
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