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Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small» Forums » General

Subject: Agricola or Agricola ACBaS for 2 players? rss

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Norberto Leiva
Spain
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Hello

I have played Agricola online in boiteajeaux about 12 times, and I like it. I see it maybe best with 3-4 players, but I find really good with 2 as well. I love its nearly endless replayability, its several aproaches/strategies you have to take according to you cards, the feeding tension, and its depth. But it isn`t a perfect game for me for some reasons:


1. Price for 2 players: Agricola has many cards, boards and other stuff which are not used in a 2 player game, so if I am always going to play 2er I am not sure if it is worthy pay its high price.

2. Luck in the draw: A minor point, but I think among leveled players, the luck in the draw could decide a game. This wouldn`t be a bad thing for a 30 min game but it could be after a 90 min game.

3. Variety with 2 players: Agricola works with 2 but not at best, perhaps some viable strategies in multiplayer are missing with 2er.

4. Diversification is the key: Specialization is not a viable strategy in Agricola due to its scoring system. There are, of course, several possible approaches to get a balanced farm BUT, at the endgame you have to get a bit of everything to win, so your farm looks pretty the same every game, and I don´t like this.

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small seems to solve 1. and 2. issues: it has a very competitive price if just 2 players are going to play, and with no luck at all, the most skilful player will win every time. About 3., Agricola clearly wins: its variety and replayability is huge even with 2 players.

My question is: What about issue 4.?. Is it possible to win specializing in 1 or 2 animals?, or not expanding your farm at all?, or not building at all?...or...Do you have to make/take a bit of everything to win?

Another question: I know that Agricola ACBaS is a lot shorter game than its parent, but if we measure the depth of both games in terms of 'number of hard decisions per minute' instead of number of decisions in a full game, how do you compare 30 min of play of Agricola with 30 min of Agricola ACBaS?

Thanks in advance,


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Shane
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I've only played ACBaS once so far; my initial response is that you'd be happier with the full Agricola.
Diversification is still a factor. You are dinged -3 points for each type of animal for which you have less than 4. The horses and cows of course are the most valuable and hardest to get.
As has been discussed in other threads, if you have the budget there's no reason to not have both.
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Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
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You have to diversify in ACBaS. There is a hefty -3 points for each animal species you fail to collect more than 3 of.

I would put both Agricola and ACBaS at the very pinnacle of the 2P worker-placement tree, ahead of Caylus. They are sufficiently different to make them both worthwhile.
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Corin A. Friesen
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I think you would be disappointed with Agricola's luck of the draw if you are only playing with 2 players. You can only play with certain occupations with only 2 players, and some of them (yes, Seasonal Worker, I'm looking at you) are wow wow wow good.

If you can eat the bill, Agricola + Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is a great combo with two players. Farmers of the Moor isn't a stand-alone, so you would have to get both. But it my opinion, Farmers of the Moor makes Agricola much better. Occupations go away, and there are only major and minor improvements. Perhaps it makes the game feel like it's more about building a farm instead of feeling like it's about having good fantasy-game-like special abilities in play. Occupations are imbalanced because they all have the same cost. Minor improvements, on the other hand, are more balanced because better abilities come with greater building/playing cost (I assume). Besides, you don't need the occupations to have special abilities; the minor improvements give you enough special abilities.

edit for articulation of point
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Colin Sham
Canada
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Ontario
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That's exactly what a Cylon would say!
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Despite owning ACBaS, I'd be interested in hearing other people's thoughts when comparing the two.

I purchased ACBaS because the price point was more reasonable than its big brother, because the animeeples were superior, and because I am focused on a 2 player game. I have a lot of 4-5 player games (and Troyes for that occasional 3) so I didn't see a reason to pick up Agricola. However, I could see how the game could feel same-y after a while. The same two players could produce a lot of groupthink!
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Doug Becker

Indiana
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Colin -- there's a reason why Agricola is consistently ranked in the top 10 games - it really is that good. If you ever find yourself on a desert island for 100 years with only 3 games and a wife to keep you company, Agricola, Go, and Dominion are the games to bring.

I get that people argue that with 1/2 the number of occupations, the game can feel like it lacks some of the replayability that having all of the occupations would have. But, realistically, you could easily have 50 games of Agricola with 2 people without feeling like you've exhausted it.

Your mileage may vary, and of course, the price tag does factor in.
 
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