Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
44 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Agricola» Forums » General

Subject: When would you introduce Agricola to your family? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hello fellow gamers,

I am trying to decide on a worker placement game to introduce to my family.
My original thoughts where Fresco, Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep.
However; a few people have recommended Agricola.
I would love to play this game, but I am not sure if my family is ready for it.

My two oldest children are 7 and 10, here are some of their favorite games to play:
Summoner Wars
Marvel Legendary
D&D Legend of Drizzt
Carcassonne
King of Tokyo
Memoir 44 (with my son, age 10)

My wife is not a huge gamer, but she is always willing to try something new.
Her favorites are Carcassonne and Jaipur.
Although I would not say game weight is an issue with her, she does not lika a game that has cards with all kinds of special abilities (ala Legendary).

Why I Want Agricola:

1. Theme, I think we would all get into the farming theme (I would probably get animeeples)
2. Scalability, we do not buy many games and I love the idea of buying a game that we can increase the complexity of as we learn how to play it.
3. # of players, the concensus seems to be that this game plays well with 2 - 5 which is great for us.
In my house I end up playing a lot of 2,3 and 4 player games.

What would you recommend I buy?


1. Should I stick with more of a gateway wp game first (LoW, SA or Freso) and then introduce Agricola?

2. Should I start with just Agricola: All Creatures?
Is that a good intro to the game, or will it muddy the waters when I teach Agricola eventually?
Also, I want to get animeeples (I do not care about the food resources, etc.) because I know that would help draw my family into this game and I could get AACBAS for $25.
Plus I would love to add another quick, 2P game for my wife and I to play.

3. Agricola + Agricola All Creatures
Would owning both games be overkill?

4. Agricola

Thanks for reading this long post and any advice will be greatly appreciated!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Williams
United Kingdom
St Just
Cornwall
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My children are 8 and 11 and really love playing the full game of Agricola (that is with Occupations and Minor improvements).

However they had played many other worker placemant games before we tried Agricola (which we only bought this Christmas). I do feel it's probably worth trying a simpler game first, so they get used to the worker placement mechanic - but maybe make Agricola your second stop.

Lords of Waterdeep worked very well for us in this regard. It's pretty much as straightforward a Worker placement as you could imagine, but with a little bit of theme which you can embrace if you like it. For my children it was necessary to take out the 'Mandatory quests' cards as this added to much inter-sibling rivalry, but other than that it was a very smooth game for us to learn and play.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Blorb Plorbst
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
I think we're all bozos on this bus.
Avatar
mbmbmb
7yo is going to have a little trouble strategy-wise and may have difficulty getting their family fed and that might put them off it.

If you're ok with managing that and helping them then it could be fine.

However, I don't think Agricola - especially the family game - is any more complex than the other games you mentioned (haven't played Fresco).

And since Agricola is so awesome - I say go for it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Moore
United States
Savannah
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love Agricola but I would avoid it for now if I was you.

Your wife is not much of a gamer and agricola is gamers game. It can be very frustrating because you never seem to be able to do all the things you need, especially with the harvest always looming, and the game can get quite long if you had all 4 of you playing. Rule of thumb for experienced players, 30 min per player.

Now only you know your family, but I would recommend LoW.

1. It falls into the themes your kids already like. (arguments of pasted on themes aside)

2. You feel like you are accomplishing things even if you're losing.

3. You generally don't have huge runaway winners. Stone Age can be devastating at how bad you can lose. (This could crush the spirits of certain kids)

4. Less downtime than Stone Age because you get to resolve your placement immediately.

5. Overall play time is short. This can help with a wife that's not much of a gamer.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Fournier
Canada
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Beer Card!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd go with option #3, both Agricola and AACBAS.

Full disclosure : I think Agricola is the greatest game ever, so you might want to take what I say with a grain of salt.

Around 8-9 years old is probably right to introduce the family version. Especially if they already play a lot of games. There's just the food requirement that can be tricky and brutal if you don't pay attention. Kids might struggle at first, but it's great for developping logic and establishing priorities.

It might be a good idea to play AACBAS first. A few rules are different, but they're mostly details and it's definitely simpler. It's not gonna be a problem to 'graduate' to the big game after...

We own both games and don't regret it. They scratch different itches.

It's cute, it's fun, it has lots of versions/variants, the theme's very nice and it has great replayability. Go for it!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Evans
New Zealand
Wellington
flag msg tools
www.evanswhanau.co.nz
badge
...um, not really.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Definitely go for it.

I taught my daughter to 'gric when she was five : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/879778/teaching-agricola...

Since then her reading has improved enough to start introducing her to occs and minor improvements. The only reason we don;t play more often is because the younger sister feels left out.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Up Front fan, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander series fan, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Fields of Fire fan
badge
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm a rare 40-year+ gamer that utterly loathes Agricola so my facetious answer to your question would be "Never."

devil

My appropriate answer would be to start with a worker placement game like Stone Age, where the only real issue is explaining the end of game scoring. I find it a much friendlier and fun game to play (less absolute choice denial player interaction), and one that's easier to explain but that still retains many strong aspects of great worker placement games, especially since your youngest is 7.

But I do think both could handle the game if you really like it, and I do "get" the game's popularity.

Just my $0.02.

P.S. Not knocking your 7 year old's game playing abilities, btw. Both my kids (now 15 and 11) have been gaming since at least the age of 4 or so ... my oldest starting beating me regularly at chess when he was 6 (then again, he had a Class D ELO rating of over 1200 at one point) and my 11 year old is a wicked Up Front player and regularly cleans my clock at Power Grid and Troyes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
david landes
United States
oak hill
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My kids were 6, 9, 10, and 11 when I introduced them to Agricola. We played the Family version initially (no minor improvements or occupations) and that is a great starting point.

My 6 year old found the farming metaphors very intuitive... ie - you have to get grain seed and plow a field before you can plant the seed to grow grain... you have to have grain, a way to bake it, and some time to do the baking before you can have bread.. etc.

After they have mastered the basics and understand the pressure of feeding a family (starvation sucks.. GACK), they will love the added possibilities lent by the MI and Occs.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Paterson
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Droo!!!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 7 year old has no problems with Lords of Waterdeep, (although she likes playing the mandatory quests on me!), or Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small (the animeeples are cute - she does like to pretend the pigs are hippos though...).

I think she (my daughter) would have a problem with Agricola - there are too many other interesting things to do while still trying to keep your family fed. I know she would get pretty disheartened by this. Both this, and it is a longer game.

All creatures Big & Small is quicker, and you don't have to worry about feeding your people, or planting crops. It's got a very similar feel to it's big brother. One downside - it's only 2 player (but it does that fairly well).

Lords of Waterdeep is not really any more complicated than either, but its playing time is about 1/2 way between the 2 Agricola's.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love Agricola... but I think Lords of Waterdeep is the better introductory game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My friend's 7 year olds really like the family version - I think they started playing it when they were 5 or 6. They are very experienced gamers and of course they weren't terribly good at it, but they understood the basic idea of getting resources and turning them into stuff for your farm. It sounds like your kids would be ready to at least play with it. I would worry about getting frustrated about starving - you could try starting with 1/food per family member to feed or something like that.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunkd wrote:
I love Agricola... but I think Lords of Waterdeep is the better introductory game.


I disagree with that. Kids will understand "use wood to build a house/fences" much more readily than "use abstract cubes to get abstract points for an abstract reason". Waterdeep is mechanically simpler and the kids would probably get *better* at it faster, but I doubt they would take to it unless they were already invested in the Waterdeep setting (or at least Dungeons and Dragons).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I love Agricola... but I think Lords of Waterdeep is the better introductory game.


I disagree with that. Kids will understand "use wood to build a house/fences" much more readily than "use abstract cubes to get abstract points for an abstract reason".


I think some of the reasoning chains are a little advanced for kids in Agricola... i.e. I need to plow, get grain, plant grain, get clay, build oven, then cook bread. Even if they don't take that route, it's hard for them to follow what you are doing.

One of the great things about LoW is that my eight year old often knows exactly what I'm trying to accomplish (as he can see and understand all my quests) and blocks me by taking the adventurer type I need. The goals and the routes to accomplish those goals are a little more obtuse in Agricola.

I'm not saying that kids can't get Agricola, just that they're going to have to work a little harder. But if you start them off in Low, they can learn worker placement mechanics and the value of being start player, blocking opponents, etc. and then when they come into Agricola they're learning more the particulars of Agricola rather than that and also how worker placement games work.

Plus LoW is much quicker generally and younger kids will often start to tire out after a while and lose focus/interest. I think the shorter timeframe of LoW is a huge advantage.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Moore
United States
Savannah
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cferejohn wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I love Agricola... but I think Lords of Waterdeep is the better introductory game.


I disagree with that. Kids will understand "use wood to build a house/fences" much more readily than "use abstract cubes to get abstract points for an abstract reason". Waterdeep is mechanically simpler and the kids would probably get *better* at it faster, but I doubt they would take to it unless they were already invested in the Waterdeep setting (or at least Dungeons and Dragons).


His Kids like D&D the legend of Drizzt.

And frankly there's not much difference between abstract cubes representing adventures or cattle, sheep and wood.
Now the white disk is reed and the white cube is sheep, right.

Low of waterdeep. Get Abstract cubes to fulfill goals on a card.
Agricola. Send out big disks to get abstract small disks and cubes

They are both Euros. I just don't get why there are people that can suspend belief and grasp the theme of one abstract representation and not another.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Mills
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dale-not-Chip wrote:
They are both Euros. I just don't get why there are people that can suspend belief and grasp the theme of one abstract representation and not another.


All games are abstractions, some are more abstract than others. I can't imagine how anyone could say that Agricola is anything but a farming game - the theme is central to the mechanics of the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Max Lampinen
Finland
Espoo
none
flag msg tools
(and a hermit)
badge
Fan of FUN games!
Avatar
mbmbmb
Agricola, even on "family game" setting, is pretty rough as first worker placement game.
Lords of Waterdeep and Stone Age are good choices to try first, if theme isn't problem then definitely Lords of Waterdeep.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Moore
United States
Savannah
Georgia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
millsyboy wrote:
Dale-not-Chip wrote:
They are both Euros. I just don't get why there are people that can suspend belief and grasp the theme of one abstract representation and not another.


All games are abstractions, some are more abstract than others. I can't imagine how anyone could say that Agricola is anything but a farming game - the theme is central to the mechanics of the game.


You know I didn't say it wasn't a farming game.

However, the mechanics of Agricola could be rethemed. I could see it where we are building a space station.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Thunkd
United States
Florence
MA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dale-not-Chip wrote:
However, the mechanics of Agricola could be rethemed. I could see it where we are building a space station.


Challenged!

Actually I totally think you can retheme it as a space station, but as I'm too lazy to think it all through I just want you to do all the heavy lifting for me.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
badge
Find me on Twitter @bgg_geraldkw
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Still haven't introduced it to my family (meaning brother/sisters/parents). I find the family game pointless and getting a handful of 14 cards that are not even the main focus of the game (well sometimes they are but that makes it even worse) just feels like too much.

I play tons of heavy Euros and the initial card deal on Agricola still causes my brain to melt half the time. There is just too much up front analysis needed, which is perfect for a strategy game but overwhelming to those with less heavy gaming background.

I think Le Havre would be a better intro to the resource collection/worker placement of Uwe Rosenberg for less experienced players. I plan to roll that out with the family and only if that goes really well will I try to teach Agricola.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Tierney
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I already posted in your other thread here but I will add one more point to consider.

Agricola is complicated, but it has the advantage that most of the actions you will take are "positive" actions to get something you need -- not to block someone else. Your kids will get blocked, but it will usually be because the other person needed that spot as well. Games like Lords of Waterdeep rely much more heavily on direct interaction, via the Intrigue cards (even if you remove the mandatory quests) and because cases like, "No building will give me anything I really need this turn so I am going to take the one you need." come up more frequently. Plus you choose who to hurt -- it won't necessarily be the leader and this can lead to bad feeling with kids.

I'm not saying direct interaction is bad, or that to play Agricola well you don't need to block. It is just that some games can be played more "friendly" and still be fun. I think Ticket to Ride is a good example, especially TtR:Europe. You can play nice and try to achieve personal goals, or you can play to block and cut other players off. Your family will control the feel of the game. Agricola is like this. LoW is not -- it would be incredibly dull without the interaction.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Fuhrmann
United States
Harrison
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played the family version of Agricola with my daughter when she was 5. She did need some help, but she enjoyed it. I would usually give her about 3 options that would all be decent moves for her, and then she would choose what to do. She really liked building a farm. For her, the biggest issue at that point was attention span; that may be a consideration for your kids, too.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Burkman
United States
Kettering
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Peekaboo!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thunkd wrote:
Dale-not-Chip wrote:
However, the mechanics of Agricola could be rethemed. I could see it where we are building a space station.


Challenged!

Actually I totally think you can retheme it as a space station, but as I'm too lazy to think it all through I just want you to do all the heavy lifting for me.


My preference would be for building and equipping a military organization, but space station comes pretty close to that.

I'd hate to have to re-theme all those cards, though.

As for the OP, I say if your kids are bright enough to handle simple math and deductive logic, introducing them to the family version would be a great intro to worker placement games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dick Butler
United States
Paynesville
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
STONE AGE is the best choice--easiest to teach and learn. Lots of choices. Opportunity to work on those math skills for the youngsters. Lots of dice rolling, but this can lead to lots of laughter and family fun. I like Agricola, but I'd wait a while to introduce it to your family. Stone Age is surer to be a hit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr. Blue
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My 9 year old daughter learned the family version of Agricola at age 8, but I would suggest using house rules to make the feeding part of the game easier.

Stone Age is a great game, but there is MUCH more math involved on a turn-by-turn basis. Every turn you need to calculate how many resources you get for your die rolls, whether you need to use tools, whether it makes sense to buy particular cards with resources, etc. That can be a positive or a negative depending on who you are playing with.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will Plante
United States
Greenville
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaveyJJ wrote:
P.S. Not knocking your 7 year old's game playing abilities, btw. Both my kids (now 15 and 11) have been gaming since at least the age of 4 or so ... my oldest starting beating me regularly at chess when he was 6 (then again, he had a Class D ELO rating of over 1200 at one point) and my 11 year old is a wicked Up Front player and regularly cleans my clock at Power Grid and Troyes.


Thanks for the post!

Troyes was originally the worker placement game I most wanted to get due to the use of dice, the three distinct areas and the artwork.

However, most of the advice I got warned of the complexity found in the game. So I decided to put that one on the back burner for now.
How old were your kids when they started to play Troyes?

Are Troyes and Agricola similar in terms of difficulty?



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.