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James C
United States
Great Falls
Virginia
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I've purchased all three of these games when I've been able to get them for a deal. And they are just sitting here not getting played. The reason for this is they are all a little bit longer and heavier than games my wife and I typically play.

At the Gates of Loyang is our heaviest (and longest) game played to date. It usually takes us about 70 minutes or so to play. There's a lot to think about during the card drafting phase and I think that makes the game a little longer than I want. My wife doesn't seem to mind taking her time with it and has beaten me more often than not.

Her favorite game is Suburbia, a much quicker playing game, but still with a lot of decisions to be made.

The other medium weight games (that are on the longer side) we enjoy playing are Firenze, Scoville (her more than me I think), and Targi. These usually clock in at just under an hour.

Generally I prefer shorter games that can be played twice in a row like Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, San Juan (second edition), Patchwork, Jaipur, Glass Road, Ticket to Ride and Lost Cities as examples.

Here are my thoughts on the three games in the thread title. Am I right? Wrong?

Agricola (revised edition): we enjoy ACBAS quite a lot, but it's far shorter and less complicated. I don't think she would mind the "stress" people talk about in feeding their family. I think the problem would be that it's often confusing about how you can consume food and when you need an oven or not. I've played a bunch on the app, and I've got it down now, but I don't know. Am I overthinking this? Is this aspect any more tough to grasp than things in Loyang? I think the Revised edition solved some of the other problems I had previously about harvest timing and correct action spaces to use. With two players would we be around 70 minutes or less?

La Granja: same theme, different stuff going on. This comes in a little heavier (according to the community), but is it mostly because the 4 way use cards? The rest seems pretty straightforward. What complexity am I overlooking? Can it be confusing that there is one type of wood for all the different goods? Again, would this be a good 60-70 minute game (the shorter the better for me I think)?

Fields of Arle: more farm activities! I bought this originally to play with a guy who I had the opportunity to play Caverna: The Cave Farmers with and thought he would enjoy. He just lives too far away and we are both busy enough to make this unlikely to happen. This is certainly the heaviest of these games and the longest. I think all of the small rules in this one would be overwhelming for my wife, but maybe I'm selling her ability to figure it out a bit short? But it is fairly complex, right? And the quickest we could get this down to is what? 90 minutes?

Any thoughts about one or more of these games would be greatly appreciated. Should I try to play them or trade/sell them while they are still NIS?
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Alicia
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I had many concerns about picking up Agricola, as my husband has a harder time with learning complex rules, and I was also worried about the length of play. It was the best buy I've made for us to play together. Starting with the "family version" of the game makes it easy to scale up (I am assuming the revised edition allows for you to start with the simpler version and then add in the occupations and minor improvements, as the old version does) and while there is a lot going on, many of the rules are pretty intuitive (you need wood to build fences, you need a field to sow crops, etc.), or are printed on the board for easy reference. We play in around 60-70 minutes, sometimes less.

I am also interested in the other two games you mention. My concern is that Fields of Arle is a two-hour game, and with so many actions and things to do available right from the start, it can be overwhelming. Agricola sort of eases you into those decisions, starting with just a few available actions and adding one each round. In Arle, everything is out all at once, and it's a big open sandbox to explore, which can be fun, but also can cause analysis paralysis, I'm sure. It's one I might get one day, but yes, a different style of game, with a whole lot to digest at once.

Le Granja - another one I'm interested in! It seems to have a good deal of complexity, but looks rather interesting. Seems like it might be a bit less intuitive to pick up and start playing, but looks like quite a neat game.
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Peter S.
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La Granja is the faster game, in my experience, so if that's a factor then it leans in its favor.

That said, La Granja really didn't feel that deep to me. I ended up getting rid of my copy after only a few plays. As a mash-up, it doesn't explore any one of its mechanics as deeply as the games dedicated to those specific things (i.e., a Chudyk card game, or Stefan Feld's Luna). But these do give the game a lot of variety and a different feel than Agricola; if you already have ACBAS, and especially if you have the expansions, it'll give you something more different than ACBAS than simply grabbing Agricola.

For this reason, I'd say you owe it to yourself to open La Granja and try it out, then make the call.

(Separately, if you already have and like ACBAS and aren't planning on playing with more folks, I'd say either go get the expansions or go ahead and hop into Fields of Arle rather than pick up Agricola.)
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Gabriel Cohn
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Once you learn Agricola well (5+ plays), 2pl game takes less than an hour, including drafting occupations and improvements. Don't overthink it. Just play.
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Fields of Arle is the longest and heaviest, and it doesn't sound like it will get played.

La Granja isn't that bad, you just have to follow through step by step. I think it's do-able, especially since it's surprisingly painless to set up.

My husband and I have done some 2p Agricola games just shy of an hour, if it's set up. With Loyang, Glass Road, and A:ACBAS under your belt, I think you could do regular Agricola if it was something you were interested in, as long as you figured out some storage and quick setup tricks ahead of time.
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John Burt
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Since my wife and I own and like all of these games, here's my opinion:

First is that for games like this, "complexity" is only a potential problem early on when learning rules. After you become familiar with the game, the confusion will fade and the game will likely seem simple in retrospect.

So, it will come down to a question whether you can play enough games for it to "click" for both of you before you give up. My wife rarely likes complex games at first, but she picked up all of these games after at most three plays. Coincidentally, Fields of Arle was love at first play, while it took three plays to get past the fiddlyness of La Granja, but she loves the game now.

So basically, I'm saying, give these titles a fair shake, they might end up being your favorite games!

SuperGLS wrote:

Agricola (revised edition): we enjoy ACBAS quite a lot, but it's far shorter and less complicated. I don't think she would mind the "stress" people talk about in feeding their family. I think the problem would be that it's often confusing about how you can consume food and when you need an oven or not. I've played a bunch on the app, and I've got it down now, but I don't know. Am I overthinking this? Is this aspect any more tough to grasp than things in Loyang? I think the Revised edition solved some of the other problems I had previously about harvest timing and correct action spaces to use. With two players would we be around 70 minutes or less?


I think you're overthinking it. You should be familiar with the game before teaching it, but feeding has never been a problem to the people I've taught Agricola. What my wife finds annoyingly overcomplicated to this day is the occupation and improvement card play mechanism. She knows how to play them, but she finds it just overly bothersome to use them. Sometimes we play the family game just to keep it simple.


Quote:

La Granja: same theme, different stuff going on. This comes in a little heavier (according to the community), but is it mostly because the 4 way use cards? The rest seems pretty straightforward. What complexity am I overlooking? Can it be confusing that there is one type of wood for all the different goods? Again, would this be a good 60-70 minute game (the shorter the better for me I think)?


This game has the closest vibe to Loyang of any other game I've played. It uses unique multi-use cards and has more phases than ATGOL, making it a little more complex, and it drove my wife crazy for a few games. But once you get past that, the game really opens up, and you discover that the meat of it is finding cool combos of card plays and main board actions that give you big point bonuses. Play it at least 3 times before giving up.

Quote:

Fields of Arle: more farm activities! I bought this originally to play with a guy who I had the opportunity to play Caverna: The Cave Farmers with and thought he would enjoy. He just lives too far away and we are both busy enough to make this unlikely to happen. This is certainly the heaviest of these games and the longest. I think all of the small rules in this one would be overwhelming for my wife, but maybe I'm selling her ability to figure it out a bit short? But it is fairly complex, right? And the quickest we could get this down to is what? 90 minutes?


This is one of our favorite games, and it will never leave our collection. As I said, both of us loved this game after the first play. Like many Uwe games, there are a lot of rules, but they are logical and it only takes one game or so to get them down. The action board is large and intimidating at first, but it is really straightforward how to use those actions to get stuff done. This game is a true sandbox: there are many ways to get VPs, but it is also fairly obvious what you might want to do (breed animals, build buildings, convert goods, etc). This is the game I most strongly recommend that you give a try with your wife before selling off.
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Dave Schmidt
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My wife (she's not a gamer and doesn't really like that many games) enjoys playing Agricola with me. She finds the occupation cards annoying though and so we generally only play the family version. She didn't have a hard time with the rules at all, but she had played A:ACBAS beforehand. (which she also likes)
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James C
United States
Great Falls
Virginia
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Sounds like I should at the very least get out Agricola. The iPad has a decent tutorial, so I might have her try that first if she's up for it.

Anyone else have any thoughts?
 
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I haven't played the revised version of Agricola, just the first edition. I really enjoy the two player game, and the revised version looks like it includes new options for 2p which is cool. 2P Agricola seems pretty fast paced to me and I personally love the card play, the cards are actually what makes the game stand out IMO. I may even pick up the revised version at some point due to some of the tweaks and card modifications.

I enjoy Fields of Arle but I wish it had the variability Agricola has. However the upcoming expansion may give FoA the extra pizazz.

La Granja is a nice game.
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April W
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Here is a review I did on playing Fields of Arle as a newbie. It might be helpful in giving you a feel for the complexity of it. It's not that it's a complicated game, it's just an involved game and, yes, long. But I like it.
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James C
United States
Great Falls
Virginia
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Decided to put up La Granja and Fields of Arle up for sale and play Agricola. Someone is picking up La Granja from me tomorrow so that makes me happy.

We just finished our first game of Agricola and she beat me down 37-19 and she was quite happy (of course.)

So yay and thanks everyone! Enjoy a few more GG cents.
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