Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Agricola» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making the game a little easier w/o resorting to family version rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Allen Hoffmann
msg tools
So my girlfriend really likes agricola, but doesn't play at the same level I do already. part of the issue I think is a bit of sensory overload, simply having too much choice in terms of occupations and Minors. at the same time she doesn't quite see the value of resources all the time, and ends up getting really screwed at times.

so I have read through here and thought of a couple of ways I could change the advanced game, specifically only when playing 2p with her:

certain cards (lover, wetnurse, chamberlain, taster) were removed, as were all of the O and Z deck.

for 2p games, the 3p squares are added, allowing her more flexibility in terms of actions to be taken

an increase in options over time for occupations and improvements. Both players start the game with 4 of each, and draw 1 of each at harvest. yes this does lead to more options over time, but that should be balanced by the chances of drawing occ's that are best early or late out of sync with the game itself rather than starting with them.

thoughts? I'm really trying to make the game easier for her, I know this will result in higher average scores but thats fine, atleast then she's happy to play it
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Forsythe
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
What we do is play a round zero (before the first action card is placed). Also, we only play with the E deck.

Next time we play, we'll be playing with a card draft. First we'll try the variant from the back of the published rules (each player draws seven cards, takes one, passes), and see how that works. Also considering doing the same thing, but dealing ten to each player, then discarding the three that remain unselected, allowing a bit more flexibility in building a deck.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen Hoffmann
msg tools
so we played a game as described. ended up being very even, 48-52. I did expect higher overall scores, but she's into seeing the farms grow and since its more resources for everyone, its a fair game. reed ends up being tough, but when isn't it in a 2p game?

the drawing at the end of harvest was neat, but hard to remember to do that so I might just go back to the draw 7 at beginning. it was the extra action squares that made it worth it

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andreas Krüger
Germany
Krefeld
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The less cards you draw, the more likely is an uneven distribution of powerful cards. There are always some cards which just don't fit your style of play, and if you draw just these, you are in a bad position.

Try playing the E-deck only. This is the "beginners" deck and should have easy to understand cards which can easily be used.

Extra action spaces change the game very much, and if you get used to it, you will have difficulties with competitive multiplayer games where the other players are not ready to play with this variant. But it is possible of course.

If you enjoy discussing strategies, you may try to play some solo games together.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Forsythe
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
nazdr3g wrote:
an increase in options over time for occupations and improvements. Both players start the game with 4 of each, and draw 1 of each at harvest. yes this does lead to more options over time, but that should be balanced by the chances of drawing occ's that are best early or late out of sync with the game itself rather than starting with them.
I think this could be an interesting variant; however, I think this would only serve to make the game more complex, contrary to your purposes. If you've got all of your cards in hand up front (whether you received them via draft or just a straight deal), you know what your options are. If you get more cards as the game progresses, you're faced with reevaluating every time you draw a card. And frankly, if one is doing well, cards drawn during the last two to four harvests will be ignored (unless lady luck is screamin').
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen Hoffmann
msg tools
yeah the drawing is great, but definately made it harder for her. so the draw 7 of each is back. the extra squares were helpful, basically things could accrue longer. definately made it easier for her! i'm not worried about her adapting to multiplayer, she likes to only play casually and I get in a weekly fix of more competitive gaming

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played ~10 times and I've never ventured beyond the E deck. I wouldn't mind doing so, but I would certainly never try to throw anything else at a new player, and there have pretty much always been a couple new players every time I've played. I'm pretty sure the designer has specifically recommended that the decks not be mixed...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
I'...I'm pretty sure the designer has specifically recommended that the decks not be mixed...


That is incorrect. You can confirm this at the bottom right of page 2 of the rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Julian Steindorfer
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
why don´t you play the family version ?
it´s quite fun and it shows the players the core mechanics because many people tend to play to much cards ,while not seeing easier ways for scoring points! and if this is no option i would recommend you play e-deck only and add the one wood card(from the more player decks) to your 2player games ,because it helps to make wood not so game breaking!
also making a analysis together of her play after your games may help!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Benjamin Notrevealing
United Kingdom
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
May I add my voice to the "play only the E-deck" idea. When I play the full game with people for the first time, I deal everyone 5 E cards, 1 I card and 1 K card. This means the cards are mostly straightforward, but also there are 2 more complex cards in there to make it more interesting for those of us who have played more often. It is rare for these 2 more complicated cards to confuse the new players.

The I and K cards generally aren't inherently more complicated to understand when you read them - but the implications of them are. People can spend a long time figuring out why this card might be good or bad - and getting carried away with cards is a common newbie mistake. Keep the cards simple and they can more easily concentrate on the core game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Hoffman
United States
Vienna
Virginia
flag msg tools
Yes, shrubberies are my trade. I am a shrubber. My name is Roger the Shrubber. I arrange, design, and sell shrubberies.
badge
Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land; nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange & design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sometimes with new players we use the Family Game side, but with Minor Improvements and no Occupations. This halves the number of cards the new player has to sort through while making it a little easier to keep your family fed.

Another option along the same lines would be to play the standard game, but with Occupations instead of Minor Improvements. Occupations are usually easier to play since they only cost food, whereas many Minor Improvements require a mix of resources that may be difficult to acquire.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
r0gershrubber wrote:
Sometimes with new players we use the Family Game side, but with Minor Improvements and no Occupations. This halves the number of cards the new player has to sort through while making it a little easier to keep your family fed.

Another option along the same lines would be to play the standard game, but with Occupations instead of Minor Improvements. Occupations are usually easier to play since they only cost food, whereas many Minor Improvements require a mix of resources that may be difficult to acquire.


Not to mention the Occupations played requirement. How do you handle that in the first instance?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Johnson
United States
Vernon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisterG wrote:
r0gershrubber wrote:
Sometimes with new players we use the Family Game side, but with Minor Improvements and no Occupations. This halves the number of cards the new player has to sort through while making it a little easier to keep your family fed.

Another option along the same lines would be to play the standard game, but with Occupations instead of Minor Improvements. Occupations are usually easier to play since they only cost food, whereas many Minor Improvements require a mix of resources that may be difficult to acquire.


Not to mention the Occupations played requirement. How do you handle that in the first instance?


If you are already removing the cards for more players (3+, 4+), it does not seem like it is that big a deal to remove the X Occupations cards as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Limey Sponge wrote:
If you are already removing the cards for more players (3+, 4+), it does not seem like it is that big a deal to remove the X Occupations cards as well.


That's true, but says nothing when you're playing with more than two players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mi Myma
United States
Fountain Valley
California
flag msg tools
Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
badge
There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How 'bout playing with just one occupation, that you get for free at the beginning of the game. Play the Family Game, but each player gets an occupation. Or you could get one occupation at the beginning of the game, and another one after each harvest.

Or you could do the same thing with minor improvements, or a combination of the two.

No additional decisions to make, but you still get a good taste of how the cards effect the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Johnson
United States
Vernon Hills
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisterG wrote:
Limey Sponge wrote:
If you are already removing the cards for more players (3+, 4+), it does not seem like it is that big a deal to remove the X Occupations cards as well.


That's true, but says nothing when you're playing with more than two players.


It is still not that big of a deal to remove the occupation based cards before you shuffle them. I am afraid I don't see why this seems like a big deal to you, Geoff. I haven't checked the deck to make sure there are enough, but I suspect that won't be a problem.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Limey Sponge wrote:
MisterG wrote:
Limey Sponge wrote:
If you are already removing the cards for more players (3+, 4+), it does not seem like it is that big a deal to remove the X Occupations cards as well.


That's true, but says nothing when you're playing with more than two players.


It is still not that big of a deal to remove the occupation based cards before you shuffle them. I am afraid I don't see why this seems like a big deal to you, Geoff. I haven't checked the deck to make sure there are enough, but I suspect that won't be a problem.


Please don't misunderstand; it's not a big deal to me. I'm just being fussy about clarifying things. The more players you have, the less Minors you're going to have per player, so if you have to knock out all the ones that have Occupational requirements, that ratio is going to drop even further. Just seems a wee bit self-defeating to me.

Beyond that, I just don't see the sense in playing the game with just Occupations, or just Minors. I fully endorse teaching the game to newbies by playing the Family version, but beyond that, once you get them into the cards, I see no sense in introducing just one type or the other. It makes much more sense to do what the game recommends in the first place, which is use just the E-deck to start, and then work your way up to incorporating the other decks. It really doesn't take long to realize that shuffling all the cards together is the way to go once you're familiar with the game.

So anyway, happy gaming, no matter how you choose to play it!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Olson
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Limey Sponge wrote:

It is still not that big of a deal to remove the occupation based cards before you shuffle them.


Instead of removing the occ cards (or "K" cards, or "4+" cards, etc.) before you deal, just deal all the cards and let the players discard the ones that don't fit the game. This way, all the cards wear evenly, and you don't have to sort out the deck every time you play just to remove a couple of cards from each hand.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Bordelon
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've not yet played the game.
What about variable ending round number, after #14, roll 1d6: this is the number of extra rounds to play. Maybe this number could be rolled secretly by the player who is losing? Maybe if this number is even, no more harvesting allowed? Maybe there should be a system like in Railroad Tycoon where players have a small control over the end game.
 
 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.