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Subject: "Ah!!!! Le Havre or Agricola!?!?" thread #548 rss

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Joel Eddy
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So here's the deal. I have a wife. I love her very much. She's starting to like some Euro's. Her favorites so far are: Glen More, Power Grid, Stone Age, Settlers, Carcasonne, and Battle Line. Roughly in that order. She hates Dominion, Caylus, and Blokus. So ya... there's some random information.

I have been a Euro fan for a few years now. You can check my game ratings if you like.

This will be mostly for two player games, with the possibly of adding my 10 year old son into the mix. I've also been known to break out a solitaire game if I'm in the mood. I can't say which interests me more to be honest. They both look good.

Should I get Agricola or Le Havre? Thanks.
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Martin Manning
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eekamouse wrote:
Should I get Agricola or Le Havre?


Yes, you should.
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Joel Eddy
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ludopoly wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
Should I get Agricola or Le Havre?


Yes, you should.


My closet only has room for one, and if I store one of them elsewhere, my other games will turn on me.
 
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Robert Forrest
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I say (eventually) get both.

If you're looking to add your son, start with Agricola, as it is the one with more of a narrative for him to follow, and it's fun to be building a farm, raising animals etc.
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Quinn Martindale
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If it were me, Agricola. The 2 player version is still pretty playable whereas I feel like 2 player Le Havre doesn't work well.
 
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Albert Hernandez
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What is it about Caylus your wife doesn't like?

I hate to be a trouble maker, but maybe you should start with At the Gates of Loyang. I think the game play of this one makes it a bit more accessible than the other two.
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Joel Eddy
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fractaloon wrote:
What is it about Caylus your wife doesn't like?

I hate to be a trouble maker, but maybe you should start with At the Gates of Loyang. I think the game play of this one makes it a bit more accessible than the other two.


Too many paths to victory combined with too much screwage. Gates of Loyang looks boring to me. /shrug
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Geoff Hall
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For me it's Agricola every time.
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David C
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I always like not having to explain how to build a farm in Le Havre, and it's even easier to explain:

1.) Get stuff
2.) Do stuff with stuff, on the cards
3.) Profit.
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Joel Eddy
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bippi wrote:
I always like not having to explain how to build a farm in Le Havre, and it's even easier to explain:

1.) Get stuff
2.) Do stuff with stuff, on the cards
3.) Profit.


That's what's getting me. However, I think the farm building part my wife will like. I guess explaining a farm isn't that hard. *shrug*
 
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Ben R
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I have yet to play Agricola, but I really do like Le Havre. 3 players is the sweet spot, but it works just fine with 2 players. Agricola is pretty easy to teach, the problem is that there are so many options available to you (and they all seem like great options!) that it can take a while to get a flow going your first few games. But I think it is a safe bet that you will enjoy the game if you get it.
 
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The Other Tom
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eekamouse wrote:

Too many paths to victory combined with too much screwage. Gates of Loyang looks boring to me. /shrug


With that statement you should go with Agricola, it's much more limited in options of what you can do each turn. Le Havre is very open-ended and the number of options could seem overwhelming to some players.

Neither game has much direct screwage though.

Loyang is good, but Agricola and Le Havre are great.
 
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I like Glen More and Stone Age, and will play Settlers on occasion. My preference is Agricola > Loyang (close second) > Le Havre (distant third).

Agricola has the fun wooden bits you can get (and Loyang comes with fun bits). I like the satisfaction of building up a farm. Le Havre runs a little longer for us. I like the idea of Le Havre, but it's just never been as fun for me as the other two.
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Le Havre is more like Caylus than Agricola is. Compared to Agricola, Le Havre has less well-defined goals, a longer strategic horizon, considerably less swingy luck in the middle of play, and probably more painful blocking if the stronger player is really paying attention [i.e. all the stuff Caylus has].
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Albatros
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So here's the deal. I have a wife. I love her very much. She's been playing Euro's for about three years. We play a lot of two-player games in the evening after dinner. As far as Uwe's games go, her preference is:

Loyang > Agricola > Le Havre

Don't discount Loyang. As a two-player game, it shines. My wife has always like card games and the drafting mechanism in this game appeals to her. So does the puzzling through her turn to fulfill her customer's and plant her fields.

As for Agricola, she enjoys it, but like me, prefers it with more players. We find it's gotten stale with just the two of us so if we want a "veggie" game, we almost always go with Loyang.

Le Havre? Forget it. She won't even play it as a two-player game. It takes too long, is too boring, and my AP drives her crazy. She'll play it occasionally, however, as a four-player game. BTW, of the three, it's my favorite, but even still, I wouldn't play it as a two-player game.
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Max Maloney
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I agree with the majority that Le Havre sounds a little more on the heavy side, and her dislike of Caylus suggests it might not go over as well. I distinctly prefer it of the three, but I would recommend against it in your situation.

Agricola is an extremely well-loved game for a reason. Many people really adore it. If you don't want to try At the Gates of Loyang, Agricola seems like the best choice. It's a spendy choice of course. Do you know any other gamers with whom you might try it out?

If you do get Agricola, I strongly encourage you to play several games of "the family game" included in the rules. I'd go for at least 4-6 plays of that to get it firmly under your belt before adding cards.

Good luck!

(My girlfriend's tastes are perhaps completely unhelpful, but she likes Glen More, Stone Age, Carcassonne, Dominion, Blokus and Le Havre. She's quite ambivalent toward Power Grid, Caylus and Agricola.)
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Joel Eddy
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Aha! I forgot about the family rules.

Done. It's Agricola. I can do the family rules, and then move into the real rules. That's helped in the past with my family for other games.
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Johannes cum Grano Salis
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Agricola. You build a farm. Everyone knows what a farm is. There's tension because farming is serious business and in the game you never feel like your farm is good enough or complete enough, which is a bit like how I feel about my garden, which is not nearly as high stakes as if I had a real, working farm that needed to feed my family. The tension works, the nervousness works.

In Le Havre, you're building.... what, exactly? A port? Are you borrowing a port? Does the port already exist and I just work there? Why does someone else get to use my building? Who am I in this game, why am I responsible for feeding these workers, and where did this food even come from? Wait, why is it taking me 25 minutes to stack up all these tiny square chits of cardboard, and why do I keep knocking the piles over with my knuckles? Why do the chits say "coal" on one side and something completely different on the other, and WHY AM I ARRANGING THEM ALL IN NEAT PILES? OH MY GOD, JUST MAKE THIS GAME START ALREADY. No, just put the building cards away, you can't tell me that I have any more setup to do. AND NOW I HAVE TO SPLAY THEM. DEAR GOD MAKE THIS STOP. WHAT I WOULDN'T GIVE FOR SOME DICE RIGHT NOW, OR MAYBE THAT SPINNING THING FROM THE GAME OF LIFE WHEN I COULD JUST BE A TEACHER AND GET MY 24 GRAND EVERY TURN. DADDY, I'M TEN, WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME PLAY THIS GAME?

It sounds like you value your marriage. Agricola is a fiddly game. There's a lot to do between turns, a lot of cubes to push, and a lot of stuff to manage. Agricola has a lot of wooden pieces, but they tend to stay in bags until the end of a round, and then you place them on the board. Le Havre requires up front sorting, arranging, stacking and tidying the likes of which I have never seen. It is boardgaming, but also Spring Cleaning. It's practice for that day you wonder if you should rearrange your silverware drawer and make sure all your forks and spoons are nested properly. It is exactly what a board game would be if I imagined my most OCD friend wanted to live out his very carefully choreographed fantasies of working at a shipyard, complete with props. It will cost 70 dollars and the box will weigh 90 pounds, all unpunched cardboard chits. Crack open a bottle of your freshest wine, and sit back and punch eleventy-thousand game pieces before your first play. After your twelfth board, start to notice that maybe this particular board's pieces were punched a little more off-center than the last few -- I wonder if that'll affect gameplay? What is coke, anyway?

If this is either/or, just get Agricola. If your wife is only "starting" to get into Euros, there's no need to subject her to the moments just after purchasing Le Havre, and there's no need to make her sit there and either watch helplessly or (God forbid) help set up Le Havre for a 2-player game if she's not fully gung-ho about the hobby. Both games will be on the dry side, both will offer great strategy, but there's absolutely no flipping way you're going to ever setup Le Havre for a solitaire game. I sometimes play solitaire Agricola over lunch, and it's very easily manageable.

[/$.02]

J
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Joel Eddy
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Rare Vos... that was awesome.
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Robert Washington

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I really try not to shout down other people's opinions and I hope I'm not taken the wrong way, but really, for my money, "P Low/Lowengrin's" comments are the only ones that sound like they come from someone who's played all 3 games.

I KNOW that's not true, in fact I'd expect most everyone who's commented has played 2 or all 3, but that's just how much I agree with the minority shouting for LOYANG.

For all of their merits
(and I really do think they're both great games)

- AGRICOLA'S very fiddly to set up, as should be evidenced by how many recommendations for it have some flavor of "not that bad when you get used to it" swirled in; it's really less than easy to explain, difficult to get the strategy of even after several plays, and it's victory/scoring conditions seem deliberately designed to leave you feeling like a pathetic loser until you're an expert at it ("Okay,I built my lil' house up to stone and got my family to 5 members, but I got no animals or crops, so I still suck")

- everything that's annoying about AGRICOLA is worse in LE HAVRE, including the whole "I can't figure out what to do so I'll just sit here hoping everyone falls asleep and I can just do whatever I want crippled by Analysis Paralysis."

IMHO, ya just can't be too careful/gentle/easy with 1st time/inexperienced/'learning' gamers; LOYANG is far from perfect, but I wouldn't hazard any other of the 3 with such and expect a positive outcome - again, for the bombast, just my 2 cents, really...they're awesome games, just not awesome introductory games...and LOYANG is also about building up farms and serving customers, just like You-Know-What...
 
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Robert Washington

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ldsdbomber wrote:
Honestly I sincerely feel the fiddliness and difficulty of the gric and le havre are vastly overrated, we found Loyang to be just as fiddly, the rulebook just as confusing in some places.


I'm sorry, but that's all but provably untrue - the fact that both of the other 2 games require an entirely different setup based on the number of players, and each of the other 2 games has 2 separate cardsets that have to be sorted and set up a very specific way based on the number of players is as tangible as it gets in the
"these here 2 are more fiddly than this one here"
Boardgame CSI Evidence Lab.

ldsdbomber wrote:

Ive played AGricola over 80 times in total, 2P with the wife, and Le Havre a dozen times with her (and after 1 game she was pestering to play it all the time).


Yes, but you're just talking about a small part of the whole here:

- how many times did you play each game before you tried it with the wife

-how much work/effort went into your learning how to explain it, and what was the process on that

- how many times did you play it with her before you and she understood it

- how many times did you 2 play before both of you felt you understood how to win???

Because I won my 1st games of YS, BLOOD FEUD IN NEW YORK and LOYANG, came in 2nd in my 1st games of DIE MACHER, IMPERIAL, DUNE, LEHAVRE and STRUGGLE OF EMPIRES, and obliterated everyone who's ever faced me in freakin' DRAGON PASS, so I'm no stranger to fiddly and overly complex, but I can't say I have an answer for either of those last 2 questions when it comes to AGRICOLA or LEHAVRE.

ldsdbomber wrote:

Loyang was a lot more "meh" than both, and after all the difference in playing well and badly is like 1 or 2 points. Nowhere near the depth of the other two, and remember he asked about Le Havre OR Agricola, he didnt say Loyang!


It's great your experience went that way, mine was the opposite - the attempt to explain AGRICOLA to a set of new/intro-level/light gamers I witnessed was a travesty - the game didn't finish because analysis paralysis and poor grasp of the mechanics made the 5 player game take over 4 hours
(and I do not exaggerate at all)
and the 2 total newbs who tried it out have never been seen again
(again, no exaggeration -they just don't show up anymore).

LE HAVRE went better in terms of having no specific complaints and forced no one to swear off gaming forever, but I was the only new player who didn't regularly complain about not understanding what was happening or why I lost and the only newb who felt he understood what was going on, and I still almost hosed myself by not keeping in mind the @%!$ Energy mechanics...

And again, I really enjoyed LE HAVRE, much much more than I have ever enjoyed AGRICOLA, I just have no problem saying it I find its annoying aspects less annoying than AGRICOLA, but not as enjoyable as LOYANG.

I certainly agree it ain't an easy choice for the Original Poster...
 
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Amoena aka a girl likes games
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I'm a girl and I enjoy Le Havre a lot, it's actually my favorite game. Though I'm into games so that makes a difference. I think Le Havre is easy to explain: "collect goods to build ships to sell stuff". Or at least that's how it works for me. And I think it works very well as a two player game, though I've only played it once with more players.

I like Le Havre mostly because I can do so many things... and I usually I do things based on how I happen to feel... If I feel like gathering cattle and turning it to meat, I do so. And even though I don't really analyze my strategies so much, I usually do rather well in the game. My boyfriend wins me every time, but I don't mind because I feel I'm never so far behind. The difference in our score is usually +-10 vp.

I have never played Agricola or Loyang, but they're on my wishlist and I'm definitely going to get them too!
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eekamouse wrote:
So here's the deal. I have a wife. I love her very much. She's starting to like some Euro's. Her favorites so far are: Glen More, Power Grid, Stone Age, Settlers, Carcasonne, and Battle Line. Roughly in that order. She hates Dominion, Caylus, and Blokus. So ya... there's some random information.

I have been a Euro fan for a few years now. You can check my game ratings if you like.

This will be mostly for two player games, with the possibly of adding my 10 year old son into the mix. I've also been known to break out a solitaire game if I'm in the mood. I can't say which interests me more to be honest. They both look good.

Should I get Agricola or Le Havre? Thanks.


Sorry. In a rush and can't read the whole thread, so I'm sure this has already been said.

If you play mostly two with your missus, and those are her faves, then At the Gates of Loyang is the one you should be looking at.



N.

 
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The Other Tom
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Moviebuffs wrote:
eekamouse wrote:
So here's the deal. I have a wife. I love her very much. She's starting to like some Euro's. Her favorites so far are: Glen More, Power Grid, Stone Age, Settlers, Carcasonne, and Battle Line. Roughly in that order. She hates Dominion, Caylus, and Blokus. So ya... there's some random information.

I have been a Euro fan for a few years now. You can check my game ratings if you like.

This will be mostly for two player games, with the possibly of adding my 10 year old son into the mix. I've also been known to break out a solitaire game if I'm in the mood. I can't say which interests me more to be honest. They both look good.

Should I get Agricola or Le Havre? Thanks.


Sorry. In a rush and can't read the whole thread, so I'm sure this has already been said.

If you play mostly two with your missus, and those are her faves, then At the Gates of Loyang is the one you should be looking at.



N.



BUZZ! I'm sorry the choices were only A and B. Please stick to OP's original request.
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Johannes cum Grano Salis
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Ok, look. I can accept that I probably overemphasized the fiddly aspect of Le Havre in my reply, but that was mostly for comic effect; it was 2 in the morning and I had been drinking adult beverages. But the OP has given two critical pieces of information, and both were basically overlooked:

1.) His wife hates Caylus. Le Havre, right there in the instruction manual, says that it's a cross between Agricola and Caylus and was inspired by both. Now we don't know *why* his wife doesn't like Caylus, but insisting that he give equitable treatment to a game that has Caylus in its lineage is a ~65 dollar gamble. He has a modest-sized game collection, which tells me he doesn't often make ~65 dollar gambles. YMMV.

2.) Le Havre is also a Puerto Rico descendant. If you look at the OP's game collection, he has rated Race for the Galaxy a 7, which he likes better than Puerto Rico. Which means that Puerto Rico is, at best, probably a 6.5 for him. So he should buy a more expensive game than Puerto Rico, which he's not wild about, and play it with a partner who doesn't like Caylus?

*I* like Le Havre. It's clear that many of *you* like Le Havre. But I'm not convinced, at all, that Le Havre works for him, based on the information we've been given. Moot point anyway, it seems, since he's already added Agricola to his collection.

Joel: I hope you like it. Once you get a few plays under your belt, do let us know if the recommendation was a swing-and-a-miss, or if it worked out.

J
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