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Subject: Playing Agricola this Friday. What should I know??? rss

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Peter Mal
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First, I want to say that I was deeply saddened by the ratings hoopla surrounding this game. Why can't we let games be games and rate them on their own merit?

Second, what do I need to know to win? Secrets? Tips? Tactics?

Finally, I am sorry if you have tried to play this game, but up till now can't find a copy or anyone with it. I'm sure your time will come.

 
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Luke Morris
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You need to know that the game is neither the second coming nor Satan's own faeces.
It's somewhere in between.
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James Bentley
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Rest this Thursday.


 
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T. Rosen
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Grow your family. Yeah it costs more food to feed them, but it's worth it. Get wood and reed to build a third room, and then be one of the first people to have a child around round 7 or so. Don't try to play all 14 of your cards. Just pick a few that sound good and seem to maybe work together and play those, and don't worry about the rest of your hand of cards. Lastly, getting enough food is always your top priority. You can't afford to not have enough food and get a Begging card. Enjoy
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Gary Sonnenberg
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If you're playing with other first-timers, use our house "rule": First game, just try something.
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Ryan Strand
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Try to get a good food engine early. I'm defining good as the ability to gain enough food for one harvest using only one action. If you have to spend two actions to get food every harvest, while opponent/s use one, you'll get pretty far behind.

Also, you may want to skip it for the first game just to avoid confusion, but at some point you should check out the following thread to help understand some confusing cards and errors.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/326815

 
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Brian Morris
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Think food first second and third.
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Jan B.
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Do not hesitate to grow your family, even if you think you won't be able to feed them in the future. At worst the child feeds him/herself. But the extra actions will be absolutely worth it.

To grow your family you'll need wood and reed. Get two reed in the second round and try to snatch as much wood as possible.

Play at most three occupations during the first 7-8 rounds.
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Russ Fade
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petermal wrote:
First, I want to say that I was deeply saddened by the ratings hoopla


I hope you have found a way to cope. The important thing is to not become a recluse. Your family and friends can provide an important network of support during times of deep sadness.
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Byron Collins
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Don't neglect all of those unused spaces on your farm. Build barns, plow fields- anything- they subtract 1 point each if unused at the end of the game.

Diversify your animals and crops and take a look at how they are scored.

Family growth and adding onto your hut is vital. Do this as early as you can.

Build the Well. It's worth 4 points at the end of the game.

Also, I highly recommend a fireplace or hearth. Vital to convert crops and animals into food.
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Jesse Dean
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1. Expand your family early and often. Try to make sure you have an extra room (or two if you get the right cards) built by the end of stage 1. This way you are in a good position to grab family growth if it comes out the beginning of stage 2.

2. Get your food engine on-line by the end of stage 2. After stage 2 harvests come with increasing frequency making it increasingly tough to feed your family.

3. For food strategies follow the path of least resistance. Usually in each game the majority of the other people will go for animals or baking, not both. Unless you have card(s) that make one or the other path better, go for the path of least resistance.

4. Do not underestimate the points-generating power of stone. Not only can you buy the well, but the ovens are usually worth reasonable points, as are the Joinery/Pottery/Basketmaker's Workshop. Lots of high point minor improvements are also worth some nice bonus points. Also renovating to stone can be a pretty nice point swing.

5. Always try to combine actions. If you know you are going to be renovating or doing family growth or grabbing start player so that you can play major or minor improvements.

6. DO NOT TAKE BEGGING CARDS. While it is quite possible to win if you take them, usually you do not. Also beware of the Medicant card. It is a trap.

7. Keep track of what other people are doing. While some people complain about the game being solatairish this is not in any way shape or form true. Keeping track of your opponents and taking actions based on what they are going to grab can be the difference between defeat and victory. Also: If you have the choice between two equally useful actions, taking the one that will hurt your opponents the most is usually the right choice. Note: This situation will come up rarely, as there usually will not be a situation where you are choosing between two equally useful actions.

8. DO NOT PLAY TOO MANY OCCUPATIONS. This is one of the mistakes that I see people make most when playing Agricola. They have all of these occupations in their hand that they think are awesome and they want to play them all. This is almost always a bad idea. Pick one or two that are the best (maybe three) and play them when it is situationally appropriate. Putting down four is usually a bad idea. Putting down more is almost always a bad idea and will typically cause you to lose.
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tim
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doubtofbuddha wrote:

8. DO NOT PLAY TOO MANY OCCUPATIONS. This is one of the mistakes that I see people make most when playing Agricola. They have all of these occupations in their hand that they think are awesome and they want to play them all. This is almost always a bad idea. Pick one or two that are the best (maybe three) and play them when it is situationally appropriate. Putting down four is usually a bad idea. Putting down more is almost always a bad idea and will typically cause you to lose.

My wife usually beats me, she usually plays more cards than I do. I've started playing more cards and have gotten my scores up. My best game to date was 62 points in a 2 player game with the I deck. I played 6 occupations, and 5 of my minor improvements and 2 major improvements.
 
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Jesse Dean
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eightbit wrote:

My wife usually beats me, she usually plays more cards than I do. I've started playing more cards and have gotten my scores up. My best game to date was 62 points in a 2 player game with the I deck. I played 6 occupations, and 5 of my minor improvements and 2 major improvements.


I have mostly played 3 to 5 player games so far, and it seems that, generally, playing more than 2 or 3 occupations ends up resulting in too high of an opportunity cost for it to be worthwhile.

Do you remember what cards you played?
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Have fun and don't worry about it. All first games are learning games. Play it how you think it should be played and see if it works.
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Bryon Quick
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In all the games I have taught, there is one rule that folks seem to not be able to grasp until it is too late.

The way to turn grain into food is to Bake Bread. To Bake Bread, you have to already have an improvement that lets you Bake Bread and have 1 or more grain in your personal supply. Then you place a worker on the "Sow/Bake Bread" space to convert the grain to food (the amount determined by the improvement you are using for this action).

Of course, there are other cards that break this process (for example some improvements let you Bake Bread immediately when you get them), but they are all very explicit on how they work.
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Bryon Petrie
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The only way to win is not to play.
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Peter Mal
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RKFade wrote:
petermal wrote:
First, I want to say that I was deeply saddened by the ratings hoopla


I hope you have found a way to cope. The important thing is to not become a recluse. Your family and friends can provide an important network of support during times of deep sadness.


I found a good counselor and am planning to bring a copy of Puerto Rico with me just to put next to the Agricola box. It will be good for the two of them to just talk things out and realize that this was just a misunderstanding, caused by media hype and being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Peter Mal
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Thanks everyone. I'm even more excited to play now.
 
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Inno Van
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Scott's video explains the game pretty well.

http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=87
 
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