Wednesday, January 29, 2020

#38: Agricola (Mark's Top 50 - 2020)


  • rank: 29
  • rating: 7.97
Print Status
  • in print
Why It's On The List
  • The theme - farming in medieval times - shouldn't be terrifically compelling (why do I care about the travails of a farmer?)... and yet the game system makes you sweat every purchase, every family member you send out to collect wood or stone or to get a job...
Tips & Tricks:
    • I don't pretend to have a decent grasp on Agricola strategy - particularly when playing with 4-5 players. At the same time, it's important to remember that you don't have to do well at everything - but blowing off a scoring category completely must be compensated by complete success in other categories.
    • There's a long-winded diatribe in me waiting to get out on this next tip: don't be "super-gamer" and dismiss the badly named "family game" (the 'simpler' version of Agricola). I don't care how experienced you are as a gamer, there's so much going on that it's worth playing this version multiple times for two reasons: (a) it's a good game w/out the cards!, and (b) you'll play the version with Minor Improvements & Occupations much better if you understand how everything works together..
    • This is a game where adding players to the mix adds substantially to the length of play - so, while the game works very well with five players (and even has cards that are specific to that number), I like it best with two or three players. 
    • The Farmers of the Moor expansion is enjoyable, but does increase the complexity of the game another step. On the other hand, I'm not sold on the extra decks - I find the oddball humor to be jarring & some of the cards to have some serious power creep...
    • I like Caverna - but I don't need both of them.
    • The iOS app is splendid... both for the solo game and for multi-player. (My son away at college & I just played via the app last week!)

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