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Subject: Learning to Play Agricola - Online rss

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I recently picked up a copy of Agricola (which I have yet to play!) and I decided to learn how to play the game online.

So this is actually a review of the Agricola online experience, as a method to learn the game.

U.I.



Its reasonable, a bit counter intuitive a times, but there are some nice automation/actions and plenty of handy shortcuts.

Sometime is required to learn what all the short cuts are as with what the 'macro' operations do (i.e. Pay4All and Harvest All are quite handy).

The game boards themselves are spawned in separate windows for your hand, each players farm board + the action board. Kind of messy, but no big deal with you have a 24" computer monitor All the boards and cards are actual scans of physical copies of the game (the guy running the site has 13 copies of the game in storage).

All in all, even though its klunky and slightly buggy, its definitely workable. The lack of rules enforcement allows for easy correction if something goes amiss.

Enforcement of Rules/Game Flow:



The U.I. does not enforce any rules, so if you are not familiar with them, you can easily cheat if your opponent is not watching. Having a physical copy of the rules, cards and board was quite helpful in determining what one should be doing.

The few automation buttons helped in performing 'macro' actions, but did little to demonstrate the flow of the game. This also applies to the various occupation and minor improvement cards.

I take this a slight plus in that its just like real life, you have to interpret what is written and act upon it. Though from a learning standpoint, a bit of automation as to 'how to do something' is always nice.

After my third game, I had gotten the hang of things... not that I was scoring very high, but I have a good grasp on the game now. It changed my initial impression of the game from multiple rule reads and a bit of solo play on my own.

What I got out of playing online:

Solo games only teach you so much. I personally take no enjoyment from that sort of thing, playing with other players (AI or Real Life) is where it is at. By finding a few patient and kind players to let me muddle through things to get the hang of the ropes, I quickly became proficient at using the U.I. as well as learning some of the finer details of the rules that the rule book does not convey very well.

A few things I learned:
a) the importance of wood
b) expand your family pronto - having only 2 or 3 family members at the end of the games sucks
c) most of the points in a game are earned during the last 3 harvests when you have the family to perform multiple actions in a turn.

Overall:


Though clunky, and waiting around for an opponent isn't always fun. Its a good way to allow someone to try the game out before making a purchase (not that I did that).

I liked it, and I learned the game well enough to feel confident enough to teach it to some friends this weekend.



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Erik Leppo
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I have to ask the obvious. Where are you playing online and can you provide a link?
 
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http://www.ccom.ucsd.edu/~cdeotte/Games/Board2/Agricola.html

This link can be found on Agricola's landing page.

Hope that helps,
 
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Chris Shaffer
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mwdalrymple wrote:
you can easily cheat if your opponent is not watching.

I would rather say "you can easily make a mistake if your opponent is not watching."
 
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ha ha ha.. I made a few of those the first game. I was wondering why my score was so high compared to the two that followed.

I made the mistake of harvesting EVERYTHING on a harvest, not just one off the field stacks.. something that I had missed from the rule reading I had done... which really changed the game significantly.



 
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Jonty
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I tried playing solo once online and I didn't know what the heck I was doing. Never had the time to go back to try again.
 
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yeah, I agree. That is why I wanted to play with someone else... so that they would catch stuff like that. the person that I found to play with (twice in a row) was super patient and was of a great help.
 
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jj mes
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Ive been playing the app game and love it but the online sucks. They should look at ticket to ride on ipad and see how they do it. Its quick and everyone plays at once. No waiting.
 
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