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Subject: Dark Fantasy (Simple) Co-op Variant rss

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Paeter Frandsen
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Agricola: Fallen Kingdom A.K.A. "Farm For Your Life"!

In an effort to create a co-op version of this already fantastic game, and to add some dark fantasy flavor as well, I'm playing around with a theme and some simple rules that I'd love to get feedback on. (Especially the rules, as the "math" involved in balancing games is not my strength and I'm fairly new to Agricola.)

STORY:

The Kingdom has fallen. The band of heroes we placed our hopes in fell to the wicked blade of the Dark Lord. Now The Kingdom's cruel new master has begun establishing his rule over the conquered lands.

The Dark Lord has instituted "The Culling". Every farming community has been given an allotted period of time to demonstrate their worth to the Dark Lord's new empire. At the end of this time, only the most productive farmers will be permitted to live. The rest will be slaughtered, along with their families.

The small farming community of Agricola has received word of The Culling, and now begins to fearfully labor in the hopes of preserving the lives of their families and the chance that one among them may eventually rise to dethrone the Dark Lord and restore freedom to the land. (Because all great heroes start out being raised on farms, right?)

The Dark Lord has a widespread reputation for executing anyone who even remotely seems unsatisfied with the state of things. So the people of Agricola also make every effort to go about their day to day lives as though nothing is wrong, hiding their terror with pleasant smiles and "how do you dos", knowing that their very lives depend on their perceived "positivity".

To smother any sparks of rebellion, the Dark Lord has placed his soldiers in every city, village and community. These unruly warriors, bored now that bloody war has ended, amuse themselves by disrupting the lives of the defeated peasants, knowing they will not dare be opposed.

It is a time of fear and despair in Agricola, masked by superficial smiles, as everyone is forced to "farm for their lives."

RULES:

In a normal game, no rules changes are needed, and one can simply use the theme above if desired. However, in a normal game in which you wish to "feel" the above theme, or in a co-op game, the following rules can be implemented to keep things challenging and more thematic.

You will need a six-sided die, a ten-sided die, a twenty-sided die and three menacing counters to represent the Dark Lord's soldiers. (I use the "skull tokens" or Chaos Warrior figures from HeroQuest)

Place the six-sided die above the six spaces on the left side of the board used for multi-player game cards. Mentally number these spaces from 1 to 6.

Place the ten-sided die above the ten basic work spaces that the game begins with. Mentally number these spaces from 1 to 10.

Place the twenty-sided die above the spaces on the right half of the board reserved for Round cards. (These spaces are already "numbered" from 1 to 14.)

In a co-op game there is no starting player. Players may discuss where they would like to place their family members and place them in any order they wish.

At the beginning of each round, before any players place their family members, roll all three of the dice placed above the game board. (You do not need to roll the six-sided die or the twenty-sided die if there are no cards placed below them.)

For each die rolled, place (or move) a soldier counter onto the corresponding space of the board below it. (Only one soldier counter may be in each of the three sections of the board at a time. )

When a soldier counter is placed on a space, an Imperial soldier is in some way disrupting all potential for that activity to be performed. Remove all resources from a space with a soldier counter on it. No worker may be placed on that space this round. Spaces that generate resources will resume generating resources as normal (starting from scratch again) once they no longer have a soldier counter on them.

If you roll a number for a space that does not contain an action (or for a space that does not exist as with the numbers 15-20), place the soldier marker above the game board. The soldiers in that area are thankfully amusing themselves elsewhere for that round.

At the end of the game, the total number of victory points earned by all players must be equal to or greater than 40 x "P", where "P" is the number of players in the game. (Ex: In a two player game, players must earn a combined total of at least 80 victory points. In a three player game, 120, etc.)

You may increase difficulty as desired by either increasing the base number of victory points required (from 40 to 45 for example) or by adding one or more additional soldier counters to the 10 space action area of the game board.
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Bryan Thunkd
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This reminds me of my tic-tac-toe variant which plays much like Agricola.
 
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Geoff Burkman
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Dice. Ack! Heresy!
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Eric Cunningham
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This sounds fun. I have a few other thoughts:

5 occs and 5 MIs per player, but all players use common pool. The number of occs and MIs may need to be adjusted according to player count if using a common pool. I think play-testing would be required. (Also, if using a common pool, it is conceivable that the players can get a better "hand" so you could increase the point threshold).

I would also suggest either 2d20 or 1d12 for blocking the round spaces. (If using 2d20, don't add. Block both). The soldiers will miss rather frequently over the course of the game because it isn;t until round ten that there's even a 50-50 chance of the soldier landing on a space. Of course, it's the d10 and d6 fellows that do even more to mess up the game because all the building resource accumulators are over there.

It sounds fun. I'll give it a play or two with the gf and let you know what happens.
 
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Paeter Frandsen
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IcyManipulator wrote:


It sounds fun. I'll give it a play or two with the gf and let you know what happens.


Cool! And thanks for the additional ideas!
 
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