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Subject: Shall I pick up? rss

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Alex Hammond
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Hello

I’ve been checking back on the forum for some update thoughts on this game, because I really don’t know what to think.

On one hand - it’s got some very mixed thoughts from the general gaming popular, on the other hand it’s got some very high praise from some reviews I really respect. It also looks exactly like the kind of game I’d love.

So, why isn’t this game game rushing into the top 100 as I’d expect it too - or is something I should just take a punt on and trust my gut?
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Steve Carey
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As much as I (really) like Agra, it isn't the easiest game to get on the table.

For example, in the time it would take to play Agra, last night my group instead was able to play both Azul and Manhattan Project Energy Empire, with a short meal break in-between.

It's just up to players' preference.
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Brett Davis
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If your group is willing to play games multiple times in relatively short time I’d give it a shot. Otherwise it’s probably not worth the cost and time investment to get the teach down.
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David Larkin
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The board lets it down and makes it seem more complex than it is. The arrows between buildings and the buildings themselves could be a lot more clearly depicted. The slanty pillars are also over fiddly, straight forward cubes would feel more stable.
I have only got it to the table once and one of the guys I usually play with took an instant dislike to it as he found it too complex, although he happily plays games of similar weight. I think he just didn’t fathom the graphics. It does make it difficult to get to the table again when one of your main players has taken against it.
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alan beaumont
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Should you pick up? Meditate on
It's a decent game buried under a quite hostile graphical treatment. To summarise:

Someone took a bicycle pump to the game board and cards and forgot to do the same to the icons.

The game probably wasn't blind tested because several product icons closely resemble each other and it is crucial they are easily distinguished.

Despite what the board illustration infers, bricks aren't a building material; which irritates me at least.

The size of the board means the Guild display can be rather far away, leading (I assume) to the quaint decision to turn it into a dexterity sub game with the occasional avalanche, so you could find yourself picking the game up even in play.

I feel you would do better to try more accessible titles higher in the ratings, or look for a second hand copy. The one in my games group was hastily traded away.

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Matthias Habelitz
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Alexandjef wrote:
Hello
So, why isn’t this game game rushing into the top 100 as I’d expect it too - or is something I should just take a punt on and trust my gut?


1) High prize tag - I think in the USA and Canada it might be a higher prize than in the EU (62€ actually), which is still pretty high for a non Kickstarter game

2) Availabillity - In Germany you can just preorder the game at this point, so my guess that there had been a small amount of games arround Essen and the 2nd edition will hit the stores soon

I didn't play Agra yet, but I'll buy this one because La Granja was good, Solar Mission is a all time top 10 game to me, so I am pretty sure I'd like this one very much
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Michele Nicastro
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if this is the kind of game you like go for it. this game is great and the main complain from people is in regard of how clear the board is. Personally I didn't have any problem with neither the arrows on the board nor the icons.

BUT:
-the game is long, some people like it, some people don't.
-the game is quite sandboxy, so you need to like the concept.
-i usually do not have any problem with AP, but this game feels AP-prone because of how many options you have to do one single action. (it happens some time that i need to take 1 or 2 minutes for one action, but it happens once every 10/15 turns)
-the game has quite complex rules, so it requires the time investment to learn it.
-the game benefits a lot from multiple plays. the first game was quite overwhelming for me, the second was more smooth, the third was even better, in the forth I felt like I was able to plan for a strategy for the whole game instead of just 10ish turns ahead.

Why the game didn't rush into the top 100 is an easy answer for me, it's not a game for everyone. it does not have a reputation and his designer is quite niche, so a lot of people are not willing to put the time investment into the game.

I personally really enjoy the game, so if you think it may be something for you I heavily suggest you to try it
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alan beaumont
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If you insist
Matthias19281 wrote:
I didn't play Agra yet, but I'll buy this one because La Granja was good...
I would say La Granja is very good, which was why Agra was such a disappointment. With a similar scaling and graphical restraint Agra would have been as accessible; I don't think it is significantly more complex, but neither do I think it is as interesting.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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Agra is difficult to teach and takes us 45 minutes to get through the rules. Then 4 hours to play.

I sort of like it, but it just has SO MUCH going on.

For similar weight, I might prefer Florenza, Mombasa, or Madeira.

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Mike Keller
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Here are some links from Youtube reviews who show you what you have to expect:

https://youtu.be/Vi3QDuo3JqE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MH04rYyeQk

Some more are found here in the Video section...

For me it's not a question picking this up ninja

Enjoy...
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James Rucker

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Alexandjef wrote:
Hello

I’ve been checking back on the forum for some update thoughts on this game, because I really don’t know what to think.

On one hand - it’s got some very mixed thoughts from the general gaming popular, on the other hand it’s got some very high praise from some reviews I really respect. It also looks exactly like the kind of game I’d love.

So, why isn’t this game game rushing into the top 100 as I’d expect it too - or is something I should just take a punt on and trust my gut?



Alex - one of the things this game offers you is a LOT of choice. I've now played a few times and there are certain paths to victory I've come to focus in on, not because I think they're better, but simply because I've not branched out and tried other avenues of choice.

If you break it down into it's fundamental parts (resource generation, management and processing and multiple locations for resource delivery) it's not terribly complicated. Where the complexity comes into play is with the nuances of the game: remembering to process a good when another player does, or collect coins correctly when delivering to notables, or remembering there's a cap on how many deliveries can be made to each of the guilds at different times during the game...

these can often lead to a moment in a turn where a player goes "oh, crap... I can't actually do that..." and then the player has to re-wind several actions to take an appropriate turn, often refunding players a few things in the process.

It's definitely a high-complexity game, but I think the difficulty is more in teasing out what route you want to take towards victory and remembering nuance than anything else.

To put it in context, a buddy and I played 2 player GWT and Agra in one evening. we played for about 7 hours (in total) with a healthy coffee break and conversation in-between games. I taught him Agra without any preparation on his part and he was able to play confidently about 1/2 way through the game.

If you buy it, get it to the table a lot to explore all the options of strategy, otherwise you might not enjoy the depth as much.

----

as for the fiddliness of the slanted board and the resource processing paths, these issues are usually over-exaggerated I feel. I've not had an "avalanche" of pieces in any of my games, but I'm also extra mindful not to cause one. As for the resource pathing, this could have been visually better, but once you know it, you know it.
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Dai Reds
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If you like "heavy euro games", you might like it!
It's a simple worker placement game hidden under a somewhat "complex" system (for no reason?) and underwhelming visual and mechanic design.

Perhaps a game variant might make it "more fun".
 
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Mark-Willem Dogterom
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or check this review bij rahdo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdwMQoNzIXY
 
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Toad Bennett
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I'm sure the OP has made his decision by now, but for people coming across this thread, I'll just say I'm glad I did pick it up.

I think some of the criticisms in this thread--long teaching session for new players, long play time (at least for us so far), some annoying component and graphic choices--are totally valid, but after my first couple of plays, I'm sort of obsessed with this game. Whether it will stay among my favorites only time will tell, but I have reason to hope that it's going to be a top 10 2p game for my wife and me.

Most of the discussion in this thread has been about learning it and getting it to the table. It's like discussing a whether a car will give you a good test drive--that's just the entry, not the experience. This is a game that a group will need to live with for a while--it's going to take more than two or three plays with the same players to really get going. If you're not the type to put a heavy Euro into heavy rotation, then you might prefer something more mid-weight, like some of the excellent ones that have been mentioned. I live on mid-weight Euros myself, but this one is a heavier deal.

"Heavy" means that it's not going to be a straightforward design of one elegant mechanism and nothing else. Any heavy game is vulnerable to being called over-designed by people who don't like it. It's a system of sub-systems interacting to produce nested strategic and tactical puzzles, and the particular flavor of it is something you start to feel over time. I think Rahdo gives a good sense of this one in his Final Thoughts--it's a sandboxy worker-placement game, involves timing and priority choices among rich opportunities (it's not a game of scarcity or avoiding disaster, there's no tax, feeding of workers, or take-that), and it does play great with 2 with the Guard variant that isn't in the rule book, but is easy to find here in the forums.


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Scott Nelson
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Okay, after getting it to the table. Thanks to the hard work put in by all the reviewers who tackled it, it was a rather easy teach. It was long for a teach, but it was not hard to grasp the intricate details. Only 1 rule was missed till it came up (I knew about it, but failed to mention it during the teach), and then we recovered nicely, backing up only 1 player's turn to fix it: 1 less buck each build it resulted in.

And now, not including the teach, the game clocked in at 2.5 hours, fun hours. Repeated plays it would go faster. So, when I hear it took 4 hours, I suspect it was 4 player and stumbling through the rules most of time. The rules are tricky in parts, due to the flow of the game is not exactly the way the rules are laid out. It does broad strokes and then narrows it down in some sections. Because the game turns are about doing a small meditation action or 3, and then a single worker placement, followed by a simple donation if you like to, it is not that hard to play.

There are some fun complex turns but they don't take long either, and sometimes everyone gets to piggyback if they have goods in the right place at the right time, so you are engaged on others turns even.

Okay the artwork is a problem they say...Nope, they have a simple advancement right across the board, left to right, with a detour for the first processing buildings; but those are uniform as well. Artwork was nice and not in the way. My wife loved the colors for the pieces as they stood out among the artwork nicely.

Many paths to choose from, but the depth is right there from the start, nothing you grow. The bonus tiles and cards don't break many rules and enhance what you already do, so not hard to grasp either.

Result: a very fun game. It mainly has 4.0 Complexity not 4.0 Depth, so don't run away at the 4.3 weight - it is skewed a bit high. If you can handle and enjoy some of the more complex Feld games, this one will be right up your alley.

I'd say a 10.0 game but I have to see about the 2 player as it might be less fun with having to pay to kick your own guys out all the time might get old. But I am looking forward to my next play. And a bonus, you can't tell who is winning (hidden points mostly), and not much you can do to stop a player from doing what they want to do.

edit: that angled board did get bumped and the pieces moved a bit. I heard about this, so I took pictures of it every so often.
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Mike Keller
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Thanks Scott for your insights cool

If you look forward to a 2p game, please check out the 2p Variant i wrote down here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1956576/guard-variant-recom...

Enjoy...
 
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Scott Nelson
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Freakgeims wrote:
Thanks Scott for your insights cool

If you look forward to a 2p game, please check out the 2p Variant i wrote down here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1956576/guard-variant-recom...

Enjoy...


That sounds like it will work nicely. I see favors lacking in the 2 player experience, and this brings it back in.
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