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Subject: Five things to know if you are considering Agricola rss

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J. Jefferson
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Columbus
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A lot has been written on Agricola, so this list will be brief and focus on the things that I think are important to know if you are considering Agricola. I sat on the fence for a long time, but now that I've taken the plunge, I, like so many others, love the game.

1) Agricola deserves its spot as one of the highest rated games on the Geek. It's a good game with a lot of depth. Though the mechanic is pretty easy to figure out, the strategy does not become routine. Each game, you have to look at your cards and figure out your strategy anew. Unlike so many games, you will be unlikely to find a single strategy that you like and successfully pursue that strategy every time.

2) It is going to take a few games to figure Agricola out. Agricola has a lot of moving parts, for that reason, it will take a few games for it to seem natural. There are a lot of little things to do in between rounds, and a lot of options to consider. Do not despair, once you've got a few games under your belt, it will stop feeling fiddly and complex.

3) The game doesn't take that long to play. Because it is highly rated and somewhat complex, I assumed that Agricola was a very long-playing game. It is not. My wife and I can play a two-player game, box open to box close, in an hour or less. That said, each additional player will add 30 minutes. Other than in setup, there is no economy of scale in number of players and playing time.

4) The interaction is almost entirely indirect. For some players, this will determine whether they love or hate the game. It can feel a bit like multiplayer solitaire, but this is not really a fair criticism because there is a lot of indirect interaction. The actions that the other player(s) take limit what you can do. This can make or break a game. In my most recent game, I lost because my wife saw that I was going to need to take a vegetable, and she took it before I did.

5) Get the animeeples, vegimeeples, and resource-meeples. The version I got came with discs and cubes. These are pretty abstract. Adding the meeples just made the game seem a lot nicer. Subsequent games have (I think) learned from this (e.g. At the Gates of Loyang comes with vegimeeples).
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Dave
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I agree with that all; you've summarized the decisions points well. I'd especially like to emphasize 5: it's easy to confuse all the cubes, and the *meeples really help prevent mis-plays.

I'd also like to add:

6) Consider Le Havre and/or Kingsburg also. Note: "also", not "instead". I have all three and like all three, but they have different strengths and weaknesses as games. I'm not fool enough to say one is "better" than the others, but players' tastes differ, so people should consider them all before buying any one... or more whistle.
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Stephen Sanders
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Henderson
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DNA results: 50% West Europe; 19% Great Britain; 16% Ireland; 8% Scandinavian; 4% Iberian Peninsula; 2% Italy/Greece; 1% West Asia; -1% Middle East
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Good points here. Getting used to the card play will make your game better as Jeff points out, and it take a little getting used to - but its worth the effort.
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Geoff Burkman
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To be honest, I wouldn't really call the OP a review, but the poster's points are quite legitimate, with the possible exception of #5. Animeeples and such are nice, but are in no way essential to enjoying the game.
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Ben
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MisterG wrote:
To be honest, I wouldn't really call the OP a review, but the poster's points are quite legitimate, with the possible exception of #5. Animeeples and such are nice, but are in no way essential to enjoying the game.


Agreed. I personally prefer the cubes and disks aesthetically, but I recognize that I'm in the minority on this one.
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Blake Rule
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MisterG wrote:
To be honest, I wouldn't really call the OP a review, but the poster's points are quite legitimate, with the possible exception of #5. Animeeples and such are nice, but are in no way essential to enjoying the game.


I agree with both your points here. And I might as well put in my two cents here to state that Agricola is me and my wife's favorite game.
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James Klemm
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Evilest Dave wrote:
I agree with that all; you've summarized the decisions points well. I'd especially like to emphasize 5: it's easy to confuse all the cubes, and the *meeples really help prevent mis-plays.

I'd also like to add:

6) Consider Le Havre and/or Kingsburg also. Note: "also", not "instead". I have all three and like all three, but they have different strengths and weaknesses as games. I'm not fool enough to say one is "better" than the others, but players' tastes differ, so people should consider them all before buying any one... or more whistle.


I don't get why you would feel the need to chime in with other games.
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Bob Archer
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blake33 wrote:
MisterG wrote:
To be honest, I wouldn't really call the OP a review, but the poster's points are quite legitimate, with the possible exception of #5. Animeeples and such are nice, but are in no way essential to enjoying the game.


I agree with both your points here. And I might as well put in my two cents here to state that Agricola is me and my wife's favorite game.


I have considered buying the Animeeples and Meeples... but the resource meeple things seem like they would make it harder to use. The disks, while abstract stack nicely on the resource spaces and on the edge of my farm and I can quickly count them on my farm or anyone elses.

Although, I have considered buying the Goodies add-on for the extra decks.

...and I could use the resource disks to make tokens for 18AL... the newest game I have been playing the past few days.

BOb
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Clement Tey
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I would actually say things to consider would be more of things you have to actually consider. For instance,

Space: Agricola takes up a huge amount of space.
Fiddlyness: Having to restock cubes every round is rather fiddly.
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Bryan Maxwell
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Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.
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Bob Archer
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Mr_Nuts wrote:
Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.


Which one do you use? I have a box I store all the resource/food bits in, but don't play with it, not enough room on the table for it.

BOb
 
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Lewis Wagner
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pilotbob wrote:
Mr_Nuts wrote:
Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.


Which one do you use? I have a box I store all the resource/food bits in, but don't play with it, not enough room on the table for it.

BOb


I use the Plano ProLatch StowAway 4-21, also labeled as 2-3601 utility box. Academy sells them in the fishing section as tackle boxes for ~$4. It's the one with the maroon tabs. It holds all the shared pieces with a separate compartment for each. It fits in the Agricola box, and the box still closes all the way.
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Bob Archer
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lewis wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
Mr_Nuts wrote:
Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.


Which one do you use? I have a box I store all the resource/food bits in, but don't play with it, not enough room on the table for it.

BOb


I use the Plano ProLatch StowAway 4-21, also labeled as 2-3601 utility box. Academy sells them in the fishing section as tackle boxes for ~$4. It's the one with the maroon tabs. It holds all the shared pieces with a separate compartment for each. It fits in the Agricola box, and the box still closes all the way.


This one? http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Plano_Pro_Latch_Utility_Box_3...

Do you have a pic of how you fit all the stuff in it?

Thanks,
BOb
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Lewis Wagner
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One point the OP missed is to always start players new to Agricola with the Family game. This is more, not less, true when those new to Agricola are otherwise experienced gamers.

Many boardgames have an intro game that's too simple, and many board gamers habitually skip the intro game for this reason. This is not the case with Agricola. The Family game is a serious game in which it is harder to get high scores than the game with cards.

The Family game is faster. It lets people learn the mechanics and what to plan for in future turns without the added distraction of the cards.

I've seen many people successfully introduced to Agricola with the cards. However, there is a significant chance of a dramatic fail with that approach. I've never seen a fail, much less a disaster, starting with the family game.

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Lewis Wagner
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pilotbob wrote:
lewis wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
Mr_Nuts wrote:
Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.


Which one do you use? I have a box I store all the resource/food bits in, but don't play with it, not enough room on the table for it.

BOb


I use the Plano ProLatch StowAway 4-21, also labeled as 2-3601 utility box. Academy sells them in the fishing section as tackle boxes for ~$4. It's the one with the maroon tabs. It holds all the shared pieces with a separate compartment for each. It fits in the Agricola box, and the box still closes all the way.


This one? http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Plano_Pro_Latch_Utility_Box_3...

Do you have a pic of how you fit all the stuff in it?

Thanks,
BOb


Your box won't look quite this full. I have nearly double the normal resource disks. When I stickered my disks, I reversed wood and clay which left me very short on wood in a 5 player game. So, I got a second set of resource disks. I have animeeples, but not the other meeples. 1 compartment is holding only extra dividers that came with the plano box.

 

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Bob Archer
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Cool.. nice I think I'll try to find one, or order one. Where did you get the stickers? You just use zip baggies for the player pieces and the cards?

BOb
 
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Katie Schumm
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I think adding a storage tray improves the game 100%. After 1 attempt opening baggies over and over we put the game away until we made a tray. For the cards I suggest printing out the excellent boxes that are in the files section on some heavy card stock.

As far as the original post I think it is a great list. I love the meeples but we passed on the resource meeples. I like the stacking of the disks. We did find the carrots and grain that stack.
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Lewis Wagner
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pilotbob wrote:
Cool.. nice I think I'll try to find one, or order one. Where did you get the stickers? You just use zip baggies for the player pieces and the cards?

BOb


The stickers are from this file on bgg.

I use baggies for the player pieces, one baggie per color. I put a hairband around each deck of cards. (Hairbands are cheap, durable, and much better for holding cards than either rubber bands or baggies.) The cards fit just above or below the Plano box, with the baggies along the sides. I later added a cut down box to hold all the cards, which made it easier to get just a few things in and out, like the rules.
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Donal E
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Jefforama wrote:

5) Get the animeeples, vegimeeples, and resource-meeples.


What the ef is a meeple??
 
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Laszlo Molnar
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donal wrote:

What the ef is a meeple??

Welcome to Board game geek!
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Jim Jamieson
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lewis wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
lewis wrote:
pilotbob wrote:
Mr_Nuts wrote:
Though I agree that the animeeples/vegimeeples are nice to have, I'd replace 5 with:

5) Get a Plano box for the many, many bits Agricola has. It will drastically reduce the time it takes to restock the board between rounds as well as setup and teardown time.


Which one do you use? I have a box I store all the resource/food bits in, but don't play with it, not enough room on the table for it.

BOb


I use the Plano ProLatch StowAway 4-21, also labeled as 2-3601 utility box. Academy sells them in the fishing section as tackle boxes for ~$4. It's the one with the maroon tabs. It holds all the shared pieces with a separate compartment for each. It fits in the Agricola box, and the box still closes all the way.


This one? http://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Plano_Pro_Latch_Utility_Box_3...

Do you have a pic of how you fit all the stuff in it?

Thanks,
BOb


Your box won't look quite this full. I have nearly double the normal resource disks. When I stickered my disks, I reversed wood and clay which left me very short on wood in a 5 player game. So, I got a second set of resource disks. I have animeeples, but not the other meeples. 1 compartment is holding only extra dividers that came with the plano box.

 



Has anyone tried this with the full set of meeples from Lookout Games? It seems like it could work but I'm not sure.
 
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Trevor Schadt
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ciggie wrote:
Has anyone tried this with the full set of meeples from Lookout Games? It seems like it could work but I'm not sure.
Yes, although it's a different model of Plano box (I don't remember which one OTTOMH). It holds all the resources nicely, and even has enough room to add the little rooster figure that I bought at Michael's Crafts to replace the start player marker. I'll see about getting a picture and uploading it tonight.
 
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How'd you get the box to stick to the wall?

shake
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Jonty
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markgravitygood wrote:
How'd you get the box to stick to the wall?

shake


Box on the wall, easy, I want to know how much time is spent stacking the bits in place!
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