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Subject: This or Agricola? rss

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Billy Babel
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Hello, primarily an Ameritrash gamer right here, been blowing it up with Mage Knight and Galaxy Trucker, and Descent, and I want to venture into the dreaded world of the Euros.

I'm trying to decide between this and Agricola. I hear that Agricola is a bit more complex, which i don't mind, me and my friends play Mage Knight which has quite a few complex systems happening, but on the other hand Agricola's theme just seems so yawn inducing, that I'm not entirely sure i could get my friends to play it, while describing this sounds cool.

"You build a farm, and buy sheep and bake bread" as opposed to "You hire heroes to complete quests, and build taverns, and get the money for anyone who goes there"

It seems obvious which one will get people fired up, but on the other hand even if it does seem boring, Agricola is the cream of the crop according to the rankings, so any good reason not to head straight to the top?
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Josh Chen
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I have only played LoW myself and not Agricola. The one thing I can think of to choose LoW over Agricola is the weight of the game. Agricola apparently is a lot more complex and deeper than LoW.

This is the reason why I went with LoW as my first worker placement game instead of going to the cream of the crop first.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Agricola is the better game. The theme in Agricola, while more mundane, is better integrated than in LoW but the D&D theme might work better for some. Agricola, especially with the cards is more complex.

I own and like both, but if you can only own one, go with Agricola. (But then again I'm a hardcore Eurogamer who doesn't dabble with Ameritrash, so what do I know?)
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Robert Manore
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Warlord beats Troll, Troll beats Elf, Elf beats Water Sprite, and basically everything else beats Enchanted Bunny.
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+1 for Agricola. And don't worry about complexity. You can always play the family rules first. Makes it easier to get new gamers introduced to the game. Then you can play advanced rules.
 
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Thomas
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Lords of waterdeep is a better game for what you are looking for expierence wise. The theme may not be deeply integrated but the art is great and the engine is super streamlined and easy to pick up as well as teach. This is the best euro game to start with.
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Jonathan
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Agricola all the way. If you can play Mage Knight then the rules of Agricola will not be a problem and it's a more meatier game. If the theme is a problem, have you considered Yedo

Unfortunately Yedo is not released in North America until June. However, take from another thread, Tom Vasal had this to say about it.

Quote:
In naming it one of the Top Ten Worker Placement games, Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower said: “I LOVE this game. I was so happy to play this. […] Love the artwork, love the theme. This is really a heavy souped up Lords of Waterdeep. If you played Lords of Waterdeep but found it wanting, this takes it up a notch. If you’ve never played Lords of Waterdeep, but love the Samurai theme and worker placement, I think you will really enjoy this one. It is one I am going to keep, it’s a game I was really enamored with for a number of reasons.”
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Mark Mitchell
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I like heavy Euros and Ameritrash, but I despise Agricola, I however love Waterdeep. Agricola is very very dry, the theme seems quite quaint at first view but it is an extremely tight, somewhat random, numbers game. I really don't think the theme means anything in Agricola, I get absolutely no feeling of building a farm. In LOW I actually feel the theme better, the game is looser, slightly more random, has take that cards and I think a faster more interesting economic engine. I love LOW, I prefer it's lighter touch and there are interesting decisions without the feeling that your going to have an Agricola calculation aneurism.

I find Agricola is number crunching pain, LOW is a more player focused game with some smack talk and enough interesting decisions to make it a great lighter euro game. Agricola? Kill it with fire.

Just to clarify I love Le Havre so do like heavier Euros, but the type of Calculations as such in Agricola and the theme integration, I find, are uninteresting.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Agricola and it's not even remotely close. Lords of Waterdeep is barely connected to it's theme and the fact that all the cards/buildings come out at random (as opposed to most worker placement games where they are tiered) means the pacing of the game is "wildly varying" at best (and "really terrible at worst").

Honestly though it seems to me there are better options for a worker placement game with a theme that might connect with you better. Given that you like Mage Knight Dungeon Petz and Dungeon Lords by the same designer come to mind immediately. You also might be interested in Manhattan Project (though I will admit I haven't played it).

Also, I have to respond to the previous post - Agricola feels *exactly* like building a farm. You plant vegetables: they grow. You get animals: they breed (and you eat them, and you have to build fences for them). You want a bigger family: you need to build a bigger house. I've had people with basically *no* interest in these sort of games actually *like* Agricola because the connection to the theme was so strong.
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Mark Mitchell
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cferejohn wrote:
Agricola and it's not even remotely close. Lords of Waterdeep is barely connected to it's theme and the fact that all the cards/buildings come out at random (as opposed to most worker placement games where they are tiered) means the pacing of the game is "wildly varying" at best (and "really terrible at worst").

Honestly though it seems to me there are better options for a worker placement game with a theme that might connect with you better. Given that you like Mage Knight Dungeon Petz and Dungeon Lords by the same designer come to mind immediately. You also might be interested in Manhattan Project (though I will admit I haven't played it).

Also, I have to respond to the previous post - Agricola feels *exactly* like building a farm. You plant vegetables: they grow. You get animals: they breed (and you eat them, and you have to build fences for them). You want a bigger family: you need to build a bigger house. I've had people with basically *no* interest in these sort of games actually *like* Agricola because the connection to the theme was so strong.


Lords of Waterdeep offers variation more than most Euros, I have no idea what John is on about, the pacing is not controlled by the buildings in LOW, in fact the random draw is what keeps it fresh and interesting. In fact don't forget Agricola has random improvements, which really do effect pacing and can scupper you. Buildings in LOW are taken from a public pool so at least you have a choice and It's much less programmed than tier based Euros as a result. Agricola feels programmed and restrictive, this is the same with Dungeon Lords. Both of the games are quite a solo experience where your just trying to beat the system, yeah you can throw the more interactive card sets into Agricola but it becomes frustrating as Agricola punishes you hard so player interference can screw your entire game up.

LOW is far less programmed and has more player interaction but is more forgiving with many routes you can explore. It also plays much faster and is far more intuitive as a system keeping a very strong 'race' feeling. Euros rarely hold theme well, to be honest virtually all euros can have other themes pasted on, Agricola is no exception. I think LOW is the most fun and fast playing. I would play Dungeon Lords any day over Agricola so if you want a deeper experience with a fantasy theme go for this, it has an annoying 2 player (3rd neutral player) requirement. Alternatively just get Le Havre if you want a weighty Euro it's pretty clever with great theme integration.
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David Villa
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Checkers or Chess? Which game would you look forward to playing between the two and play more often? That's about how I equate the two.

Agricola is complex, deep, more lengthy and has many more variables going on at once and many more bad decisions that can punish you if you are not experienced in the game. I don't care for it or look forward to playing it.

To me, LOWD is lighter, but moves quickly, fun and easy to keep track of everything that is going on in the game. I really enjoy Waterdeep.
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Mark Mitchell
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dajebriza wrote:
Checkers or Chess? Which game would you look forward to playing between the two and play more often? That's about how I equate the two.

Agricola is complex, deep, more lengthy and has many more variables going on at once and many more bad decisions that can punish you if you are not experienced in the game. I don't care for it or look forward to playing it.

To me, LOWD is lighter, but moves quickly, fun and easy to keep track of everything that is going on in the game. I really enjoy Waterdeep.


Strangely enough I love Chess but hate Chequers.
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Let's make a list:
Things they have in common:
*Both play in ~45 min(2 players)
*Both WP games
*Both have huge replay value(Agricola has minors and occupations), LoW has Lords and the way the building and quests show up.
*Both have little luck, and the better player wins.
*Both play 2-4. 5 player LoW is bad.
*Both very good games

Differences:
*Agricola feels like it's got more depth to it, but LoW has depth too.
*Agricola, less placements per game. LoW more placements per game.
*You can solo Agricola(but it's not great)
*Theme. The theme in LoW is pretty good(esp if you're a fan of D&D)

Don't take the BGG ratings too seriously.







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K.Y. Wong
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Two considerations not mentioned yet are the playtime and player scaling.

Waterdeep consistently plays in 1 hr right from your 1st game thanks to how the board helps manage various aspects of the game. Agricola is a longer game.

Waterdeep also scales very well from 2 - 5 players, better than Agricola does I believe.
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Marty Devine
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thesleeper7 wrote:

*Both play in ~45 min(2 players)


Either you play really fast, or I'm really slow. I've never had a 2 player game of Agricola take less than an hour and a half. 2 player LoW, we can knock our in 45-60 minutes, but I can't even imagine playing Agricola that quickly.
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Jonathan
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As Chris mentions above, both Dungeon Petz and Dungeon Lords are worthy of consideration (I personally find Dungeon Petz better for 2-player).

Also, anyone who suggests that the theme of Agricola is as bolted on as LoW is just talking crazy.
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Bryan Thunkd
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gamecat_uk wrote:
I really don't think the theme means anything in Agricola, I get absolutely no feeling of building a farm. In LOW I actually feel the theme better


Completely disagree.

In LoW you have quests that require certain color cubes. If you take time to read the quest name and flavor text then the cube colors ("adventurer types") will often fit thematically, but I played my first several games of this without once reading the quests names or flavor text or learning what the cubes were. It never impinged on gameplay at all. Even the quest cards ignore adventurer types by depicting the required adventurers as cubes only.

Agricola on the other hand requires that you get resources for appropriate actions... build a fence --> you need wood. Want bread --> you need to get grain, plant grain, get clay, build an oven, and take the bake action. Without knowing what the resources were or what the building chain is thematically the game just wouldn't make sense.

I still like LoW for what it is (a streamlined quick worker placement euro without any unneeded complications to slow it down) but thematically it's just barely there.
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Team Ski
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I personally like LoW better than Agricola. LoW is FAR more likely to be played by my gaming group as it is easily explained and doesn't take a lot to get through. Agricola got a bunch of "why would I do that" sort of questions. I'll be honest, I didn't like Agricola simply because of all of the unconnected mechanics that watered down the overall experience for me.

-Ski
 
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Peter Schott
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I'd probably lean towards Lords of Waterdeep for a first worker placement game. It plays pretty consistently in a shorter amount of time than other games, which is good to get a feeling for the type of game. It's also convenient when you don't have that extra time for a heavier game.

Of course, you know your group best. If you regularly play games in the 2 hour range without blinking, then go with whatever you want to play. If you have the ability, maybe you could borrow or rent the games to see what works better before buying. Some shops have that as an option.
 
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David Tolin
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I would recommend Agricola over LoW every time, not even a contest. Clearly, there are others who disagree. People enjoy different things. However, here's the thing: Don't get suckered into buying LoW because of the theme. I own LoW and think it's a fun game, but it has zero thematic resonance.

True, it has thematic art, and thematic card text, and an abstract representation of heroes and warriors... but none of it feels like anything other than collecting certain-colored cubes to satisfy the requirements of a card and score some points. I was so excited about the prospect of the theme that I ordered a set of the DNDeeples (from another thread), thinking it would really push the theme over the top. Wrong. Even though my cubes have all been replaced by little warriors and wizards, etc., no one ever refers to the little guys as anything theme-related. Games always boil down to "hand me three of the orange guys," etc.

I suppose if you are really consistent about reading the flavor text on every card, and work really hard to inject some sort of good-spirited roleplaying or scene-setting into the game, then it might have a chance of feeling a little bit thematic. But that would be it--the only theme you'd achieve would be the chrome that you manage to lay on top of it. Mechanically, none of it feels thematic, and it is very, very straightforward.

As others have pointed out, Agricola feels like building a farm, and the actions you take in the game are directly tied to the theme. It is one of the game's biggest strengths. Dungeon Lord and Petz were also very good suggestions, as they share that characteristic.

I hope you find what you're looking for.
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Chad Miller
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This is heresy I'm sure but while I've played both games many times, I have literally never actually wanted to play Agricola after the first time. It's ironic that I see so many complaints about the lords from Euro-types because I feel like Agricola's cards actually are the obnoxious, stifling luck-factor that detractors accuse the lords and starting quests of being.

Now "Caylus vs. Waterdeep," is a choice that depends on my mood and who's playing. "Waterdeep vs. Agricola" is Waterdeep unless I got outvoted.
 
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Andrew Hung
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I think you already answered your own question with your quote:

"You build a farm, and buy sheep and bake bread" as opposed to "You hire heroes to complete quests, and build taverns, and get the money for anyone who goes there"

-- actually more like you are a farmer trying to survive the experience, or a political leader with hidden agenda hiring a bunch of thugs(ahem, heroes) to do your biddings.


It really depends on your play group. Since I play with both hardcore and causal, I would say LoW is better as the intro to Euros style for either. IMHO, Agricola is better for experienced Euro players.

LoW has a lower learning curve than Agricola and less forgiving if you makes mistakes. Worker Placement, a bit of pre-planning but you have to be flexible to other player's decision, has screw-you factor with Intrigue card (but not heavily)& First Player option.

LoW is playable with 2-5 player in about 3-4 hours (only 8 turns) and it actually scales well. I have only played 4-5 only but I think the sweet spot is 4 for this game, at least until they come out with expansion.

LoW has more player interaction (via Intrigue cards). Agricola was like playing a 4-players solitaire(quoting one of my experienced euro players).

My preference is for LoW but once you have played more Euro, feel free to try out Agricola. Both are excellent games! LoW has more chance of hitting the table than Agricola for my group.

 
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Bryan Thunkd
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andrewh63 wrote:
LoW is playable with 2-5 player in about 3-4 hours (only 8 turns) and it actually scales well. I have only played 4-5 only but I think the sweet spot is 4 for this game, at least until they come out with expansion.

What are you doing that it takes you four hours to play?!?!?
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Paul W
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Thunkd wrote:
andrewh63 wrote:
LoW is playable with 2-5 player in about 3-4 hours (only 8 turns) and it actually scales well. I have only played 4-5 only but I think the sweet spot is 4 for this game, at least until they come out with expansion.

What are you doing that it takes you four hours to play?!?!?


I was about to ask the same thing! I've never seen a play of LoW last more than 90 minutes or so.
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Vernon Evenhuis
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fizzmore wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
andrewh63 wrote:
LoW is playable with 2-5 player in about 3-4 hours (only 8 turns) and it actually scales well. I have only played 4-5 only but I think the sweet spot is 4 for this game, at least until they come out with expansion.

What are you doing that it takes you four hours to play?!?!?


I was about to ask the same thing! I've never seen a play of LoW last more than 90 minutes or so.



Yikes! I played a 4 player game of LOW recently with two of the players being not only new to LOW, but being non-gamers types as well. It only took 90 minutes.
 
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Vernon Evenhuis
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As far as choosing between these two games goes, I think you really just need to ask yourself one question...

"Do I want to grow corn and raise pigs, or recruit heroes and "Confront the Xanathar"? Hmmm?
 
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