Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Agricola - Don't Start Slow! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andrew Walters
United States
Hercules
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife, son (14) and daughter (12) and I had a chance to play Agricola last night for our fourth or fifth time. We hadn't played in a month or more, and the grownups forgot how badly this game will bite you if you don't come out of the gate running. We played the family game, we haven't moved up to occupations and minor improvements yet.

My son, like many American teenage boys, can't get enough basket weaving. He goes for the Basketmaker's Workshop every time, and counts on that to help feed his family. Since the BW produces three food compared to two for the wood and clay convertors, this isn't a bad strategy. Early in the game three food mean a lot, and later in the game you can usually pick up a lot of reeds easily, so he makes the most of this card.

Early in the game I was late in the play order so had meagre choices. I foolishly bypassed some anemic chances to pick up two or three resources, hoping to grab fours and fives that materialized only for other people to pick them up. As a result I took the actions that don't accumulate, plowing and taking wheat. Before I knew it my son had a herd of sheep and had made preparations for the boars, and I was looking at losing to him for not the first time.

Unfortunately my wife forgot how quickly Harvest comes, and how much food you need. I managed to grab four food, but she was stuck with four begging cards by the end of the second harvest. This is a tough game, you only get eight actions before the first harvest, and it usually takes at least two to pick up four food. Its tough to setup a bread baking operation or animal and hearth food making operation in just eight actions. The Basketmaker's Workshop may be one of the few shortcuts to food that can be assembled by first harvest.

My daughter demonstrated one of the great features of this game in that she had a great time while never pursuing the win. She just had a good time building up her little farm She had plenty of food, some animals, plowed a couple of fields, and improved her house to stone. She had nine empty spaces at the end of the game, but she really had fun and wasn't as worried as the rest of us were at times. She sort of personified Proverbs 17:1 "Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife." That's no way to play a board game, but we all had fun together so its hard to complain.

So by mid-game my son and I were the contenders and I was really behind - only two family members, nothing sown, no animals, what had I been doing for twelve actions? But I pulled it together, adding a room, a family member, a hearth, and a lot of fences. I had to eat some vegetables and animals, but I got the acceleration thing happening and pretty soon I had five family members.

Late in the game I built the well, mostly because I had a lot of stone and spare family members. My son expanded his herds and built another improvement, but everyone else was still at three family members.

The final score was me 33, son 24 (he forgot about the penalty for empty spaces), wife 7 (after losing 12 to begging), and daughter 5, but she was happy she had the stone room with the cat. I'm happy that my kids can navigate this game so comfortably. Obviously my daughter needs to be a little more competitive and my son needs to learn when to quit working on the engine and go for points. My wife just didn't remember how many actions you have to sacrifice for food early on. She had piles of resources, but hadn't turned them into something useful until later in the game.

We need to play this game a lot more. It requires creativity and thinking ahead, which is good for kids.

Andrew Walters

10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Torsten Denke
Germany
flag msg tools
andreww wrote:


This is a tough game, you only get eight actions before the first harvest, and it usually takes at least two to pick up four food



you know that you start with 3 food tokens(2 if youre starting player), don´t you?!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walters
United States
Hercules
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We forgot that last night!

As I said, we hadn't played in a month. That explains why the first harvest was so tough. Didn't seem to bother the kids, though; they always had plenty of food.

They'll be very relieved to be reminded of this tonight at dinner, thanks.

Andrew
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Remember that kids only need to eat 1 food at harvest time!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Homo Ludens
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
My son, like many American teenage boys, can't get enough basket weaving

Is this a comment on the growing economic recession in the US?

Quote:
She sort of personified Proverbs 17:1 "Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife." That's no way to play a board game, but we all had fun together so its hard to complain.

I like it - these are the kinds of comments that make session reports interesting.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marc Richter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Seelenfeuer wrote:
andreww wrote:


This is a tough game, you only get eight actions before the first harvest, and it usually takes at least two to pick up four food



you know that you start with 3 food tokens(2 if youre starting player), don´t you?!


I thought non-starting start with 4, starting starts with 3?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
andreww wrote:
...Obviously my daughter needs to be a little more competitive...


Well, you did say she's only five. I give her max credit just for lasting out the game! Great report, btw, and I trust that from now on you'll remember that Starting Player begins the game with two food, while everyone else gets three.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
richtermarc wrote:
Seelenfeuer wrote:
andreww wrote:


This is a tough game, you only get eight actions before the first harvest, and it usually takes at least two to pick up four food



you know that you start with 3 food tokens(2 if youre starting player), don´t you?!


I thought non-starting start with 4, starting starts with 3?


Incorrect - it would alleviate the need for gathering ANY food the first harvest.

Correct setup is:
Start player: marker + 2 food
Everyone else: 3 food

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walters
United States
Hercules
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

She's twelve years old, five was her score. She was having fun playing farm and not competing with her brother. Agricola is fun for roleplayers...

Andrew
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Oops! My mistake, Andrew. Just a little bit of lack of attention to detail there.

No wonder I have so much trouble winning certain games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 6 year old plays this unaided with Occupation and Minor Improvements. I am not sure that he plays the same game as the rest of us though. He focuses on cards and food to the exclusion of almost everything else, except one good, large fencing action. As a result, it is never safe to go for a major improvement without checking his resource status and if you need to take a food action with more than two food.. forget it. Despite ignoring most of the scoring areas, he always scores in the 20s and wreaks good havoc on everyone else.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.