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Subject: Agricola Family Game --- with a twist..... A dad and two of his kids...... rss

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Rich Charters
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Agricola session Nov13, 2012
A dad and two of his kids.

My kids and I broke out Agricola the other day after sitting for more than a year. The first thing my kids said was: "these components are HUGE!" It’s true the fences and meeple-discs seemed giant!.....in a good way. That first night, we played the family game and had a great time. We’ve played a few times since then.

My kids will only play the family version. They mistakenly think the full version is too complex. What I started doing to help them get used to the cards is dealing 3 occupations and 3 minor improvements to each of us (3P game) and having us choose one occ and one minor improvement to activate immediately.....before the 1st round.

Here’s the cards we selected and what happened:
Dad
Dad’s Occ = Undergrower (get a vegi when you take ‘day laborer’).
Dad’s minor impr = Animal Yard (keep 2 animals on the card).
I started collecting and monopolizing wood immediately. I built fences early and started collecting animals. I snagged a fireplace started eating sheep and later got a cooking hearth. However, I was delayed in expanding the house and family growth..my usual strategy is to rush to grow the family. I finished with just 3 stone rooms and barely made 4 family members at the end.
Final score = 40 (Blue Player)

Dal
Dal’s Occ = Basketmaker (convert 1Reed to 3Food once each harvest)
Dal’s minor impr = Riding Plow (jackpot!!....Plow 3 fieds rather than 1 twice). His first few actions were ‘Plow’ and ‘get grain’. After 2 rounds his farm looked awesome! He did an early sow, so he could get that grain to sow the 2nd time. However, he went overboard with the grain and ended up with way too much grain and never able to build fences.
Final score = 33 (Green Player)

Jen
Jen’s Occ = Stockman (receive animals when you build stables)
Jen’s minor impr = Carp Pond (1F on each odd numbered round). Nice to start on round #1 for a total of 7F. And she’s always paranoid about food, so this was a good improvement for her. Jen has always been too scared of starvation to expand her family. She’s 11 years old and in the mode of collecting food rounds and rounds in advance....despite coaching to try something else. But with the Carp Pond, she took the lead in family growth. She had 4 family members relatively early. I was sure she would win the game, but she neglected parts of her farm (no vegetables, etc..) and ended up losing. But she had fun supporting her large family.
Final score = 27 (Red Player)



All said, it was a fun time and reinforced the high ranking of Agricola for us. Even with no expansions, even when playing the family version, you still get that feeling that you are creating a farm and you take pride in your farm, your crops, your livestock, your food engine, etc... We had a great session and reconnected with a great game.
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Brent Paschall
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Thaxton
Virginia
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richcharters wrote:

My kids will only play the family version. They mistakenly think the full version is too complex. What I started doing to help them get used to the cards is dealing 3 occupations and 3 minor improvements to each of us (3P game) and having us choose one occ and one minor improvement to activate immediately.....before the 1st round.


That's a great idea! Neither my wife nor my kids are up for anything beyond the family game, so I will definitely try this next time we play.
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Freddy Dekker
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Hm sounds like a good plan indeed.

We're about to play our first family game this afternoon and so it sems still a long way away from using cards, but if we get to it, it might indeed be better to start off with few to get used to the whole idea and than move on to more cards.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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