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Subject: Agricola - not quite all it's cracked up to be. rss

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Steve Duff
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clydeiii wrote:
Steve, still more interested in Pandemic over Agricola?

Absolutely. Played both of these again a few times in 2012, and it just re-affirmed how great a game Pandemic is.
 
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Clyde W
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Steve, still more interested in Pandemic over Agricola?

Absolutely. Played both of these again a few times in 2012, and it just re-affirmed how great a game Pandemic is.
Wow! Crazy. I feel like Pandemic hasn't aged well at all, while Agricola (with its many new decks) just keeps getting better and better.
 
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Luke Hector
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I've only played a couple of solitarie games because despite a few Euro players liking it locally, I keep getting unlucky and end up with the guy who hates worker placement games so it never gets played! I do have a mate who will join me for a 2 player though and I will keep pushing us to try a proper 4 player+ game soon.

I want to like this game - you can trip this game out and it looks nice , the theme is good and it cost a bomb to buy! So far I'm meh, mainly due to the bizarre "balanced VP" system for scoring and also because I found that even when playing by myself, the cards didn't do a lot, feeding your family became pretty much the focus of your farm due to the high requirements for food (seriously are these people 30 stone or something?) and you just don't have time to do much apart from get a couple of fields with maybe 3-5 animals and a couple of vegetables. Granted I need more experience with it and I've only used the basic deck (want to see if the complex deck adds more to the game perhaps), but so far it's not grabbing me.
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Steve Duff
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Good to see you, Lee. Have at 'er.

I've never understood the "puzzle" criticism of Pandemic. All board games are puzzles. Here's the situation, you must make a move. What move do you make that will best move you forward on the path to victory?

That sentence is equally true of Agricola and Pandemic.

As for game design and tension, let's just say I heartily disagree. Where is the game design in Agricola? It's just a bunch of copied mechanics (worker placement and harvesting), with a billion cards included so that folks can say "oooh, never had that before".

And a bunch of wooden toys so that people can build a toy farm like they were 6 years old again. devil

I probably should update this review, it doesn't reflect enough how scripted and samey I feel this game is. And that numerical rating is waaaaay too high. cool
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Andrew Foerster
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Good to see you, Lee. Have at 'er.

I've never understood the "puzzle" criticism of Pandemic. All board games are puzzles. Here's the situation, you must make a move. What move do you make that will best move you forward on the path to victory?

That sentence is equally true of Agricola and Pandemic.

As for game design and tension, let's just say I heartily disagree. Where is the game design in Agricola? It's just a bunch of copied mechanics (worker placement and harvesting), with a billion cards included so that folks can say "oooh, never had that before".

And a bunch of wooden toys so that people can build a toy farm like they were 6 years old again. devil

I probably should update this review, it doesn't reflect enough how scripted and samey I feel this game is. And that numerical rating is waaaaay too high. cool

So bizarre because I'd venture that nearly all of your criticisms could be leveled against Stone Age, which you rate really highly.

Is it that Stone Age lacks the "derivative" harvesting mechanic? Or that Stone Age is less "samey", despite most players going automatically for a initial village action (thus likely to be pretty balanced on key metrics like tools, family size, and farming)? Or is the unplannable, but statistically "self-balancing" randomness of the dice in Stone Age (and, beyond this, the randomness of the Civ cards in SA) acceptable, but the core randomness of the cards in Gric (and, I guess, secondarily, the randomness of the actions?) unacceptable?

Hmmm ... it's hard to suss out, but I've always detected a hint of contrarianism in the low (and yet still too high) rating of Agricola here.
 
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Andrew Foerster
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
And a bunch of wooden toys so that people can build a toy farm like they were 6 years old again. devil

Also, LOL at this particular line ....
 
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Branko K.
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Ah, BGG. The place to go to when you feel like arguing about semantics. Bonus points if you can actually tie it with boardgaming.

A "puzzle" is a problem which requires logic on behalf of the solver to reach the desired solution. If you want, you can apply this to anything. Perhaps you are in town, you have no money on yourself and you are hungry. How do you become non-hungry? There you go - a puzzle.

So if you want, you can put the "puzzle" stamp on every boardgame - there's the desired "solution" (victory), there's choices to be made, logic to apply. Sure, if you want, you can say that the puzzle shouldn't change, that the puzzle-ness factor is lessened by the amount of factors outside your control, but bottom line is - if you want to call a specific boardgame a puzzle I'm pretty sure you can much more easily come up with arguments to support it than to refute it.

For me personally for something to be called a "puzzle" it needs to present a problem which is self-contained and compact. Take Chess for example - would you call that game a puzzle? No. But there *are* Chess puzzles which give you a specific, usually end-game scenario and tell you to finish it in a certain number of moves. Is there a definite precise limit where you stop call something a "chess puzzle" and start calling it a regular mid-game scenario which you continue playing from? No. But if you presented to someone a chessboard with pieces in their starting positions and said to them "hey, here's a chess puzzle, win in 100 moves or less" I'm pretty sure they would have lots of interesting things to say, probably fitting in the word "idiot" in there somewhere.

So yeah... Pandemic and Agricola. Yes, they are puzzles. Also, they are games. Pick and choose your stamps and stick'em, go nuts. But bottom line is - do you (and your group) enjoy those games or not? If you do, great. If you don't, also great. It's nice to share opinions why you do or do not enjoy it... but fighting over labeling something as a puzzle is maybe fun when you have time to waste and no more interesting youtube videos to watch, but rather futile if you want to reach an actually useful point.

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