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Subject: Family Game weight rss

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Luis Brunson

Florida
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On BGG Agricola has a weight of 3.63, what would you say the weight is using the rules for the Family Game? I've been playing this way with my son (8y/o) and he's been really enjoying it. Just trying to use that as a gauge of what other games he'd be able to handle.
 
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Dave Eisen
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Lughaidh wrote:
On BGG Agricola has a weight of 3.63, what would you say the weight is using the rules for the Family Game? I've been playing this way with my son (8y/o) and he's been really enjoying it. Just trying to use that as a gauge of what other games he'd be able to handle.


3.63

Really the family game is no lighter or heavier than the full game, the only difference being the cards which definitely add complexity but do not add any depth to the decision making. So consider the family game to be lighter if you want to as that term is not clearly defined. More to the point: you know your son and know whether his limits are tested more by managing a lot of things at once (i.e., the complexity of cards) or by making strong decisions when presented with information which is difficult to analyze effectively.
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David desJardins
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dkeisen wrote:
Really the family game is no lighter or heavier than the full game, the only difference being the cards which definitely add complexity but do not add any depth to the decision making.


If you are watching what your opponents do and trying to infer what cards they hold and therefore how they are going to play and what you might want to do to interfere with them, that's a whole new element of play that doesn't exist in the family game.

Even if you ignore that element, every time your opponents play a card you have to readjust and recalibrate your strategy, something that you wouldn't have to do in games with no hidden information.
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Shush Ruth
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Lughaidh wrote:
On BGG Agricola has a weight of 3.63, what would you say the weight is using the rules for the Family Game? I've been playing this way with my son (8y/o) and he's been really enjoying it. Just trying to use that as a gauge of what other games he'd be able to handle.


I would think something like Keyflower would be in the complexity range between the family game and the full game. I looked at it's "weight" rating and it's around 3.4.
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Rebecca Carpenter
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The cards, even drafted, are one of my least favorite parts of Agricola. There I said it. They add secret information and randomness. I like how building tiles are drawn in Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small with both expansions, they are public knowledge. It makes for a more cutthroat 2 player game. You have a better sense what to block people from getting. Of course ACBaS is more of a filler than 'Gric.
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Jimmy Okolica
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CoffeeRunner wrote:
They add secret information and randomness.


They do in Bridge also. The mistake is thinking that 'Gric is just another worker placement game. It's first and foremost a card game... who can play their hand of cards the best. I prefer the revised edition because the cards are more balanced, but it remains a card game.

To the OP: I'm surprised your son is doing well with 'Gric with or without the cards. My 10 yro and 14 yro still have trouble with the long term planning/strategy. At this point, 'Gric is the only game where they've had a problem. They do well at just about anything else I've shown them. The only games I've avoided are (1) other Harvest games, (2) 18XX, (3) Splotter, (4) heavy Martin Wallace games.
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Ben Bateson
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DaviddesJ wrote:

If you are watching what your opponents do and trying to infer what cards they hold and therefore how they are going to play and what you might want to do to interfere with them, that's a whole new element of play that doesn't exist in the family game.


Even amongst experienced players, I'd say this is marginal at best and only really applies if you are drafting.

If I see you setting up a big Day Laborer combo, am I going to go out of my way to deprive you of the Day Laborer space? No. I'll satisfy myself with picking up all the Clay/Stone that you won't be taking otherwise. Doesn't add any real decision-making.
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Ben Bateson
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
They do in Bridge also. The mistake is thinking that 'Gric is just another worker placement game. It's first and foremost a card game... who can play their hand of cards the best. I prefer the revised edition because the cards are more balanced, but it remains a card game.


I disagree with this as well. Out of every 10 times you take the Start Player space, at least 9 times it's to get Worker Placement advantage, not to play a killer Minor. The card interaction and combo-making are far weaker than in something like Dominion.

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Rebecca Carpenter
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
CoffeeRunner wrote:
They add secret information and randomness.


They do in Bridge also. The mistake is thinking that 'Gric is just another worker placement game. It's first and foremost a card game... who can play their hand of cards the best. I prefer the revised edition because the cards are more balanced, but it remains a card game.


Another aspect I like better in Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (with expansions) is the tighter spatial element of planning farms. I'm really looking forward to A Feast for Odin for the spatial mini games of the feast and main board thing. I've never thought spatial elements in games were my strength, but after 300 games of Patchwork, I really love the challenge. I think Uwe does it so well. I realize this is off topic shower thoughts, and will leave now.
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Dave Brown
Canada
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Ontario
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I disagree that it is more of a card game than a worker placement game.

It is one of the strongest worker placement games along with Caylus. It might even have a stronger worker placement element than Caylus.

Everything in Agricola is about threatening moves to force your opponents to allow you to have better ones. For example, if no one threatens build rooms, then I can just wait and grab better resources. Possibly even build 2 rooms at once.

That said, the cards are important and do add a lot of depth. There is a lot of skill and nuance to drafting. It's not just what you keep, but what you pass as well.

One other element to Agricola is a shifting of value. The value of resources and spaces fluctuate as the game progresses and with the cards that are available. Recognizing those shifting values is a key skill to doing well at the game.

In the family game the only shift in values occurs with the random distribution of the round cards.

In short, the Family Game is easy enough to solve. Optimal opening moves lead into optimal middle and end games.

Also remember that randomness does not mean a less strategy. I believe it was Richard Garfield who illustrated this by postulating adding a rule to chess where a d6 was rolled at the end and on a 1 the person who was checkmated won. Even though there is an added element of randomness in the game, the amount of depth of strategy remains equal.

In the case of Agricola adding cards adds further random elements and greatly increases the depth of strategy.
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