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Subject: Agricola vs. Puerto Rico - The Ultimate Show Down rss

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Ok, maybe a bit of a dramatic title, but I often find users posting asking which one is better to buy. As they both hold the #1 and #2 game slots on the Geek, I can understand why.

After being introduced to settlers and other entry level board games, many people look for the next logical step in gaming. Something that has a deeper level of strategy, but not completely off the deep end. Enters Puerto Rico and Agricola, both excellent and widely popular games.

Now the tough decision is this? Which one to buy first? I say buy first because both games are must haves!

Having answered this question once or twice, I decided to expand upon it and create a nice and logical review:

One of these things are not like the other:

PR (Puerto Rico) and Agricola are COMPLETELY different different games
aside from the fact that you 'make stuff' and you get points for stuff that you build/make.

The game mechanics are completely different as well as the game play experience. People tend to compare these two games, but they really can't. Its really like comparing apples and oranges. Both are excellent games, just for different reasons.

PR's essentially based on the idea of Role Selection/Simultaneous Player Action and Agricola is a work placement/resource management game.

Key Mechanics:

PR: Role Selection/Simultaneous Player Action

In turn order (which cycles through the game), every player selects a different Role. Then each player executes that Roles action with an advantage of selecting that role, and every other player in order has the chance to execute that action as well. Unselected roles accumulate $ as incentive for their selection on the next turn ensuring that all roles are selected at some point or the other.

This simple mechanic drives PR. Roles are selected as needed, so the game play ebbs and flows nicely. Each role is related to the others, one feeding into the other. Simple and elegant.

Agricola: Worker Placement/Resource Management

Agricola focuses on worker placement. You start with two and over the course of the game you can expand this up to 5. For each worker, you can take an action on the board (collect a resource or build something).

Much of Agricola is spent on deciding what action is the 'best' at the moment and knowing the timing of when it is best to take a specific action. You spend much of the game trying to perform long multi turn planning to execute a series of actions to give you the outcome you desire.

Game Weight:

Aside from game mechanics, PR is the lighter of the two games. I find in PR that every decision that you make has a significant and immediate impact. In Agricola, its extremely difficult to immediately relate a move early game to a move late game where most of your VP are garnered.

Player Interaction:

In PR, I find there is much greater level of player interaction, though all indirect and sudtle. In PR you an predict the flow of the game and apply a long term strategy. Also, its easy to correlate the impact of your actions on other players, where in Agricola, this is extremely difficult to do. All player interaction in Agricola is through fighting for turn order and over resource selection. Its really only towards the end of the game that you are afforded the opportunity to make moves to deny your opponent point garnering moves.

Game Complexity:

I love Agricola, but the cards adds a significant level of complexity and time to read/and understand them. The cards are what makes Agricola a great game providing all the replayability and variation, but for most 'average' gamers, it takes a level of foresight, planning, and complexity of interaction that most people struggle with and won't enjoy. I can look a my 14 cards and quickly pick out which ones I can benefit from during the course of a game, what will work together etc. pretty quickly, but I can tell you that most people can't.

I know that my first few plays of Agricola everything was a mystery. I really struggled with connecting early games moves with the end. It took me 4 or 5 plays to really make the connection and balance the value of the moves that I am making.

With PR, each and every move has a significant and immediate impact. Its really easy to glance at the remaining roles, evaluate the state of the ships, the state of the other players boards and determine how your move will impact you and others. At the same time you are able to also predict at what the other players moves will be and plan ahead for your next turn. Being able to reliably plan makes a big difference and removes that mystery that I find you have in Agricola. It provides a level of understanding and a sense of control over the flow of a game. I find that people are generally more engaged with PR, that each and every move has an direct impact on the game. You can see someone make a move and know that 'oh, that was a good move'. In Agricola, its not as readily apparent. Not that the same is not true in Agricola, its just much more removed.

Also in Agricola, sometimes it feels like Agricosolo. I look at someones board and I can sometimes guess what they will need to do (i.e. they need to get some food before a harvest) but not reliably so. This is difficult to grasp and deal with for most average/casual gamers.

In PR, when you perform an action, you have an immediate impact (i.e. take the Captain role and screw people out of shipping by filling a boat with your goods first).

Game Flow:

PR is a very 'tight' game. Being driven by Role selection, where each role depends on the other in one way or the other to drive the game play through necessity. All actions are well balanced, depend on timing and change in value from turn to turn. PR is elegant where I find Agricola to be less so.

The sheer volume of options, card and strategies in Agricola creates a very open ended game. This lack of *clear* direction I guess is what I see issue with. Yes, your goal is build a farm engine and end the game with the most points, but its much more about making 'best choices' which is often difficult to do and predict in this game.

PR has a simplicity to the game that provides a very slick game flow. Roles are selected at need, and are forced into selection once enough coins accumulate.

Difficulty to Learn:

PR is much easier to teach and grasp for beginners, but scales well in difficulty as players become more experienced.

I find that Agricola fails the WLT (the wife litmus test) but PR passes with flying colors and I find that most 'casual' gamers feel the same way. PR is simple enough that you can just pick it up if only play it every so often. Agricola, there is always alot to remember and much of it can be forgotten between game plays.

Brain Burn:

I find that in PR, you can actually spend time chit chatting during game play. The game doesn't require 100% of your attention. Agricola on the other hand does.

After a couple of plays, my one friend stated: "This is the most complicated game I have ever played.". I can see why. Since the situation is constantly changing in Agricola, it makes it much more difficult to make longer term plans, especially in a game where longer term plans are key.

You really have to pay attention in Agricola - all the time.

Conclusion:

Either way, both are great games. In the end, Puerto Rico for me is the next logical progression into 'meatier' games. From there, Agricola.
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Steven
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Great comparison. But I disagree with you on two points:

mwdalrymple wrote:
Difficulty to Learn:

I find that Agricola fails the WLT (the wife litmus test) but PR passes with flying colors and I find that most 'casual' gamers feel the same way. PR is simple enough that you can just pick it up if only play it every so often. Agricola, there is always alot to remember and much of it can be forgotten between game plays.

Brain Burn:

I find that in PR, you can actually spend time chit chatting during game play. The game doesn't require 100% of your attention. Agricola on the other hand does.

I found it much easier to teach Agricola to my fiancee, even though she was somewhat familiar with Puerto Rico's mechanics due to several plays of San Juan. My fiancee just found Agricola's mechanics a lot more "concrete" and straightforward than Puerto Rico's. After you place a worker in Agricola, you perform the related action, and that's it. In PR, by contrast, several of the roles have lots of complicated sub-rules: for instance, my fiancee kept confusing the rules for placing goods on ships and placing goods in the trading house.

For a related reason, we both found Agricola less brain-burning than PR. I think PR has very elegant mechanics that interact in complicated ways and are easily disrupted by another player's actions. In Agricola, on the other hand, we found that each of us was pursuing several parallel tracks (animals, fields, house), and when one path was blocked, we would just choose another one. Plus, we felt much less stressed out falling behind in Agricola, since we get so much satisfaction out of building our farms, even if we're technically behind in points!
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celiborn wrote:
Great comparison. But I disagree with you on two points:

I found it much easier to teach Agricola to my fiancee, even though she was somewhat familiar with Puerto Rico's mechanics due to several plays of San Juan. My fiancee just found Agricola's mechanics a lot more "concrete" and straightforward than Puerto Rico's. After you place a worker in Agricola, you perform the related action, and that's it. In PR, by contrast, several of the roles have lots of complicated sub-rules: for instance, my fiancee kept confusing the rules for placing goods on ships and placing goods in the trading house.

For a related reason, we both found Agricola less brain-burning than PR. I think PR has very elegant mechanics that interact in complicated ways and are easily disrupted by another player's actions. In Agricola, on the other hand, we found that each of us was pursuing several parallel tracks (animals, fields, house), and when one path was blocked, we would just choose another one. Plus, we felt much less stressed out falling behind in Agricola, since we get so much satisfaction out of building our farms, even if we're technically behind in points!


Its not taking the action that I have issue with in Agricola and the difficulty of teaching that aspect of the game.

Great, take your man put him on an action and do it. Its the next step "Now what?" is the real issue.

For instance, in Puerto Rico, taking a role/action and planning x turns a ahead for a goal is much easier. You doing one of two things in that game, taking actions to get $ to build stuff later or are building stuff to ship. Both are simple since you will always get what you need at one point or the other, what you need to happen, happens. Craft, then ship = points. done. Rinse repeat.

Look at Agricola. To set up a bread baking/food strategy requires 2 actions to get the materials, 1 action to build it, 3 actions to get a grain, plough and sew. Even for animals, you need to get wood, build fences, gain animals, then gain clay and build a hearth of some sort to be able then consume those animals.

There is large disconnect between the early and end game of Agricola and not so in Puerto Rico. Everything is much more incremental where Agricola is exponential. Look at how many points you gain in the last two turns of the game compared to the first 10 to give you an idea. You don't have that in Puerto Rico.

There is a lot less to keep track of in Puerto Rico than Agricola. Its amount of options at any given time, cards and their complexity of interaction that is the issue. It really takes 4 or 5 game plays to really 'get' Agricola. Puerto Rico, 1 game play.

Puerto Rico just has a much simpler decision matrix at any given time in relation to the outcome of that decision. There is a much stronger correlation between each decision in Puerto Rico than in each decision in Agricola.

Its not that I don't love and own both games. I just think that one is easier to play and understand than the other

Nice points though and I know what you mean about the satisfaction part with building your own farm
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Grzegorz Kobiela
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Agricola is way lighter than Puerto Rico in its simplest variant, the family game. You can teach the game to children and they will know what to do. Puerto Rico is more brain burning as you need to plan every single move exactly. It has no tolerance for mistakes, and it really suffers from a left-right problem. You can't play Puerto Rico with newbies without crushing them. I've tried - they didn't enjoy the game. However, they did enjoy Agricola at once. Everything in Agricola is so connected with the theme, whereas Puerto Rico feels more of a mechanic game, a typical eurogame, in fact.
Admittedly, I needed a very long time to really get the strategy in Puerto Rico. At first, we swore on shipping. Then, in a tournament, people crushed me with their heavy building strategies and I was stunned. What is that?! This is a cool strategy! From then on, I can say I really mastered Puerto Rico and know the strategies well. This ook a long time, though! Agricola was different. My very first game of it was the full game with cards. I was overwhelmed at first, but everything made sense so perfectly! I've even won this very first game against veteran players. To grasp the basic strategies was easy. In the end, every player aims at the same goals. Not so in Puerto Rico. There are two basic ways to win, and the hybrid: building or shipping, or both. In Agricola, there is: improve your farm. Grow your family, get animals, get veggies. Easy. The only difference is where you make your emphasis. One player can concentrate more on agriculture, the other more on animals. Another one can try to get at least 1 point in each category. This is way easier.
I agree, Agricola is the more complex game. Puerto Rico has some very limited, yet elegant mechanics, and they're all simple in nature. However, their consequences are more long-term than actions in Agricola. Of course, some things in Agricola need to be prepared, and therefore you need some long-term plan (building->growth, fences->animals, plowing->veggies), but they're fairly easy to plan. There is a recipe for everything you want. In Puerto Rico, you need to play your opponents and accomodate to them, if necessary. I agree, there's more interaction in Puerto Rico. This makes the game more difficult to master.
So I have to disagree and say: get into Agricola as your next step after gateway games. It's easy, yet complex. It has so much variety, you'll never be bored. If you want to play another great game, get Puerto Rico, especially if you want to burn your head. Then come back to Agricola, get the expansion and burn your head entirely at level 3.
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Marcel Van Assen
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I played PR four times, Agricola at most fifty times.

I am used to playing strategic games, having started with playing chess and card games, and love playing them.

My opinion on both games is that for playing either game very well, you need to practice to get a feel of what is very important. I disagree with the writer of the post that it is not clear what strategies to use in Agricola, or to see the long term effect of some choice, or how to deny someone else to advance his position or points in the game. After having played dozens of games, it becomes clearer and clearer. What makes the game of Agricola REALLY interesting (to me) is that how you play can depend on your cards, and the cards of other players.

Comparing this to PR, I do not see so much variation in PR. This is for me the biggest difference. Do not get me wrong - PR is a nice game!

I agree with Grzegorz Kobiela that Agricola is easier to learn. It took more time to explain PR than Agricola. However, I suspect that, on average, the learning curve for Agricola is flatter than for PR - since the play of the game in Agricola is more different across games than it is for PR.

Anyway, I am happy with both games - they enlighten my 'game fun'

I plan to buy Power Grid (another good game, they say) on the Spielmesse in Essen in one month, the largest game fair of the world
 
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Kevin Peters Unrau
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I've only played each game a couple of times. Every play was with a mix of experienced players and first-timers.

Both were fun games and I enjoyed the complexity of each. I didn't experience either as more suitable to in-game conversation and both had opportunities for strategic and tactical decisions.

However, Agricola did have the "problem" of experienced players having a better sense of the rhythm of the game and were able to build towards a big finish. The better players determined the winner of the game (themselves).

But in Puerto Rico, the "problem" was the new players setting up others for big scoring opportunities. The weaker players determined the winner of the game (player to their left).

I will gladly play either game again but for introducing new players I would lean towards Agricola. It can be frustrating to watch an experienced player walk away with a game, but I find it even more difficult to see a game handed away unintentionally.
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Trent Hamm
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These are both excellent games, but I agree that Agricola is more complex than Puerto Rico. I would far rather teach someone Puerto Rico - particularly someone who was just getting into Eurogames via "gateway games" like Settlers, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride - than teach Agricola.

On the other hand, if someone really enjoys the complexity and depth of Puerto Rico, I'd be chomping at the bit to teach them Agricola.
 
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Craig Liken
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I have to say I agree with the OP for the most part, and disagree with most of the subsequent posters who mainly suggest Agricola as a better next step.

I probably wouldn't be quite as hard on Agricola in terms of its solitary play - I dont't find it quite like that. Also I don't necessarily think it is that easy in Puerto Rico to see how the roles chosen will map out for subsequent roles selections/turns. That takes quite a bit of experience in my view.

I have had just under 30 face to face games of each and would tend to introduce PR first. My main reason is the overall "feeling" of the game:

Agricola "feels" like you are playing in a telephone box, purely due to the feeding requirements. I have seen this put quite a few new players off. PR on the other hand "feels" more like a walk in the park - sure you can be a bit constrained with cash and colonists, but it is nothing like the feeling you can get in Agricola.

Off topic, but if I am going down the worker placement track then I would certainly introduce new players to Stone Age before trying them on Agricola. It also "feels" more open - the resolve in any order mechanic helps with this.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Fwiw, my crew progressed from Starfarers/Settlers of Catan, then a brief diversion into Carcassonne, then smack into Puerto Rico. I tried them on Tigris & Euphrates, which met with utter disdain (bummer!), and then Agricola came out. Ron is now addicted to it, I like it a great deal, and Brian and Skyp will generally play whatever. Brian picked up Ages of Empires III, which we all like, but haven't really beaten senseless yet like we have PR and Agricola. I'm fairly certain we will, though.

Anyway, good post and a good discussion!
 
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Rob Bradley
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Call me when you post the Space Hulk vs. Agricola review.
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Andy Van Zandt
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i'll chime in my disagreements:
-role selection and worker placement are actually very similar. rather than placing a worker on the action cards in agricola, pretend you were picking up the roles actions to take them. and lots of them, if not taken, get more resources put on them to make them more tempting. there are certainly differences, but not as vastly different as portrayed, by any stretch.

-PR is a "lighter" game, which would be good for introducing to other players... unfortunately it's got ugly pieces and a boring box/name, which most bgg'ers can overlook. however, to new gamers it's a HUGE turnoff. I like PR just fine, but I do not recommend trying to force this visual brussel-sprouts down a new gamer's throat.

-interaction in Agricola is way higher than you present. assessing what someone will want is use is almost the exact same as in PR- what do they have, what do they need, and will taking a particular action cripple them before harvest? Action blocking key.
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Will
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Good comparision!


Also, one thing I think you forgot to mention (unless I missed it) was that similarly to PR, on agricola things you dont choose stack up with incentives to choose them
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I like the level of discussion that this has brought about Its good to see people debate things from both sides of the fence!

A few comments:

Yargo wrote:
Also, one thing I think you forgot to mention (unless I missed it) was that similarly to PR, on agricola things you dont choose stack up with incentives to choose them


Yes, I did chose to ignore this for the reason that role selection, to enable 'ALL' actions for everyone with an incentive is much different in Puerto Rico than the idea of resources accumulating in Agricola. The reason why is that each action you take in Puerto Rico has the potential of directly benefits everyone else (in one way or another) once selected. The biggest example of this is the selection of the craftsman.

In Agricola, the selection of a space after the accumulation of resources in my opinion is much more about 'best choice' and 'timing' of taking an action, it has nothing to do with driving the game play. In Agricola, as its a worker placement game, its all about trying to get the most out of each of your actions. The cards in the game as well as the accumulation timing support this.

Puerto Rico the incentive collection is much more about ensuring that each role is selected at some point or another to keep the gaming going as well as fueling the economy by providing another source of income to help keep the game moving, especially early game.

A small thing really, but its the reason why I excluded it as a similarity.

truekid wrote:

-interaction in Agricola is way higher than you present. assessing what someone will want is use is almost the exact same as in PR- what do they have, what do they need, and will taking a particular action cripple them before harvest? Action blocking key.


My point is that each action in Puerto Rico has a direct and immediate impact on other players that turn, where in Agricola, I find that interaction to be far removed. As other have pointed out, if a space is selected, there is usually another good choice for a player to select. Its much harder to make an overt move to really screw someone. Not that it doesn't happen, but in general, the action/result of these moves are much removed from immediate game play.

An example of an overt move would be grabbing the fishing pond when you no someone is short on food for the next harvest or taking the renovation actions to deny someone from upgrading their house for additional points during late game. Even so, each of these action blocking moves takes a significant number of pieces of information to base this decision on that new players find hard quickly identify. A house renovation requires stacks of two resources + up to two spaces for the opportunity to take said actions as well as determining if there is not another move that the player could make that would garner more points (i.e. selecting cattle, doing a plough and sew etc.). There are just many many variables, options and possibilities. Many more pieces of information to easily identify and act upon.

In Puerto Rico its just much more apparent and it directly affects that turn. For instance, grabbing the Captain role to fill up a ship before someone else or doing the same thing with the Trader. Its very easy to see as less information is required to make these decisions.

Now as to the many remarks that people have made w/r to newbies giving the game away. That is really true in both games. Puerto Rico might be more sensitive to it, but if everyone is starting out together at the same level of knowledge and experience, I think that the learning curve in Puerto Rico is not as steep as Agricola. There is a much smoother progression for people as they discover the different strategies that work in the game. Not that the same isn't true in Agricola, but its takes much longer to figure out what works and what doesn't than in Puerto Rico as well as connecting actions early game to end game.

Both are really great games and I enjoy both for various different reasons. One is just easier to start with than the other!


 
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Spacehulk wrote:
Call me when you post the Space Hulk vs. Agricola review.


ROFL! Too funny!
 
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Andy Van Zandt
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the few times (because it's very rarely every turn, even with bad players) you can directly affect someone negatively in PR generally stem from someone else making a bad choice. in AG, you're doing it every turn- again, i think you're underestimating the impact of denying resources.
 
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truekid wrote:
the few times (because it's very rarely every turn, even with bad players) you can directly affect someone negatively in PR generally stem from someone else making a bad choice. in AG, you're doing it every turn- again, i think you're underestimating the impact of denying resources.


I guess my problem is that it seems like its single faceted in this interaction I guess.

There just seems like there are more ways to affect the flow of game play in Puerto Rico. In Agricola it just feels like dropping the Robber on someone like in Settlers? Does that make sense? In Puerto Rico it just seems like there is more finese to it, and its very overt and explicit. There seems to be an 'aha' moment? Rarely in Agricola I find that. Every so often during the game, where my opponent takes something that I desperately needed, where I can't just say 'oh well, I will do x instead' and give it right back to them.

I guess its just b/c what I am doing on my farm board doesn't directly impact them where in Puerto Rico what I am producing and selling/shipping in good does?

Maybe its just a psychological thing? lol!

Its not that there isn't competition for things, its just I generally can't take a move to punish the other player in a way that really hurts them. Where in puerto rico I can do things like take my men off my factories to speed up the game ending with the mayor phase phase. things like that. It just seems like you have a bigger impact on what other people are doing in Puerto Rico than say in Agricola, and that there is a straighter line drawn between action and result?

Not that I would ever change Agricola nor does it diminish my esteem of it. Its just how I feel that the one games differs from the other.
 
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Mike T
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Its not that there isn't competition for things, its just I generally can't take a move to punish the other player in a way that really hurts them. Where in puerto rico I can do things like take my men off my factories to speed up the game ending with the mayor phase phase. things like that. It just seems like you have a bigger impact on what other people are doing in Puerto Rico than say in Agricola, and that there is a straighter line drawn between action and result?


Play a few 2 player games of Agricola against a real jerk of an oppenent (like me), then tell me your actions can't punish your opponent. What's more punishing than starving your enemy's children?

(note: I'm not necessarily claiming that the "jerk" playstyle is consistently successful strategy, only that I do it, and it hurts).
 
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2 players Agricola is definitely much different then three+. Most of my games are 2 player actually and it is much easier to punish your opponent for sure. There is just just much less to keep track of which makes it much easier to know when they are going to be screwed. So yes, I agree with you!
 
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Vern Ryan
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truekid wrote:

-PR is a "lighter" game, which would be good for introducing to other players... unfortunately it's got ugly pieces and a boring box/name, which most bgg'ers can overlook. however, to new gamers it's a HUGE turnoff. I like PR just fine, but I do not recommend trying to force this visual brussel-sprouts down a new gamer's throat.


How is Agricola any better? Farming? OOh excitement. I get to collect piles of round and square wooden pieces. I can hardly wait!! Doesnt that cartoony farmyard on the front of the box just scream action!!!

Sorry but at least Puerto Rico is in the Caribbean which I would find exciting come February and the dark and cold winter. Neither game generates much excitement based on theme or components. Give Agricola the edge on quantity but that's about it.
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Andy Van Zandt
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i believe my primary point was the ugly, which PR has in far greater quantity. and while i admit that they're both far from ameritrash-exciting themes, telling someone a game is about farming has generated more interest in my experience than telling them that a game is about colonizing puerto rico... by quite a bit.
 
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Eirik Sandaas
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I disagree on the brainburn... Agricola leaves more ways open, so you can pursue different or complimentary tactics simultaneously.

The screwage-factor is somewhat more subtle in PR, but often more devastating, which some new gamers will take badly. In Agricola an aggressive strategy with planned blocking usually backfires quite badly.

PR is a simpler game, and somewhat easier to learn, but at the same time I have thought Agricola to a number of relatively new gamers, who grasped the game easily. One player managed to set up a 3 card combo which, I think, lead to her building a 2 acre pasture with a stable and a sheep in one action and for the total cost of 4 wood... quite effective when she did it on two consecutive turns. And she was very pleased with herself for seeing the opportunity. I think she came in second in a field of 5 where 3 had played it earlier.
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Vern Ryan
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Obviously people have different tastes. I dont find Puerto Rico ugly especially in comparison to the drabness of Agricola. The bright blue ocean and the sandy beach is much more attractive than the drab wood and stone rooms and dirt fields.

Both are great games but I cant see this as a valid criticism of Puerto Rico and certainly not an advantage for Agricola. How the theme hits other people I'm less certain of. It's possible farming has more widespread appeal but I wouldnt think it's a huge margin if it does exist.
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Andy Van Zandt
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I enjoy both games too, but no-one I've met IRL prefers PR's visuals to AG's, so while my experience may differ from yours, it is an extreme margin in that experiential difference. Additionally, AG has the advantage that when you finish, even if you just have cubes and discs, what you've got resembles a farm. at the end of PR, what you've got looks like a board full of light purple, 3-minutes-in-photoshop-gradient'd squares.

(and don't mistake my disdain as being just for PR's graphic design, most of Alea's games are stricken with the ugly disease.)
 
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I have tried using the updated graphics that can be found here on the geek for the buildings. It actually goes along ways to 'pretty up' Puerto Rico.

Though me personally, I love bits and things being fussy.. call it ameritrash or whatever.. but add in lots of nice 3-D or pretty game bits to a game is something that really agrees with me!

Puerto Rico bits are functional.. but I do like the artwork on the game boards. They are good. Agricola's 3-D nature, wooden bits and bobs, lots of pretty tiles.. it just lends itself to be pretty.

Though in the end, that part of the game experience doesn't really affect how I feel about how the game plays.

For instance, I love dominion.. but damn. Its just a card game with so so artwork.
 
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Here's another vote for Puerto Rico.

I find that Agricola is too unforgiving, where one wrong choice can cause you to go hungry or miss out on many future opportunities.

I also find that Puerto Rico plays more smoothly, whereas Agricola can be too much of an AP brainburner. Add to that the cards I have to manage (figuring out when to play them and what needs to be played before something else can be played.)

Just my 2 cents.
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