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Subject: In Which I Claim that Agricola is Only Slightly Above Average. rss

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Justin Redmon
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Number of players: 2-5

Components: (7)
This game has a ton of them! The card quality is great, and all the tokens are easily understood. The animals are represented by cubes(there is an addition with Animal shaped pieces. These pieces can only be bought separately). The only problem that I have is that you're likely to run out of certain materials and have to use (the included) mulitpliers to keep track. This has never happened in a two player game from my experience, but is very common in a 4 player game.

Rules: (10)
The rules may be intimidating for those unfamiliar with games more complex than what players of mass market games are used to, but they're well written with plenty of examples.

Setup: (7)
Again, this isn't a complete nightmare but it will be something that many people may be intimidated by if they're not familiar with euro games.

Area required to play: (5)
This game has a central board that all players will use, and each player will need a place in front of them for their own board. There are also a ton of cards and various other bits around the table.

Fun: (8)
I enjoy playing Agricola, but not often. There isn't a lot of interaction (which is something that I always look for), but there is some. Each round as you select what action your workers take, you will limit what actions can be taken by other players. That's pretty much the end of the interaction.

Theme Integration / Mechanics: (10)
You're supposed to be a farmer in the middle ages, just barely producing enough food to keep your family alive. That's about what this game feels like. Everyone dreads a bad harvest.

Replay Value: (10)
With all the cards and different strategies to pursue this game is very replayable.

Storage: (3)
This box is sturdy, but good like making sense of a way to store everything back in the box in an accessible way (and then trying to get the box to close again, too!). Overall, however, I'm satisfied that they didn't make the box a complete monster to cope with all the components.

Accessibility: (7)
It's easy enough to teach if a person is willing to learn it. It looks very complex, however, and that will turn some people off the game. It will also turn some people on to the game. You just have to find what works for the people that you're playing with.

Over-All/Bonuses/Biases: +0 = 67.

Overall Rating

6.7
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Jarek Szczepanik
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Well, Agricola does have a few defects (IMO the biggest ones are setup time, the lack of production wheel (I always forget to put a sheep or a reed), and some pretty strong cards that make a player nearly unstoppable), but I don't agree with some of your claims:

(i) Components. I'm not sure about the current American edition, but here in Europe all latest editions have animeeples instead of cubes.

(ii) Farming theme. It takes place after the Thirty Years' War, and not in the Middle Ages.

(iii) Storage. I had a lot of plastic bags in my copy, so it helped a lot in components segregation and storage. All components both from the basic game and from Farmers of the Moor Expansion fit well in my box for the basic edition

(iv) It was my second complex euro game (after Puerto Rico). It took one 30 minutes tutorial on YouTube to explain everything to me.
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Bryan Thunkd
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I don't think that area to play and storage are really intrinsic to how good the game is. Make sure to play on a big table and buy a big Plano box and you've eliminated those two issues. Adding the points back in gets you to an 8 rating, which is lower than I'd rate it, but definitely not average.
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Roger
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Err.. You are assessing it against 9 criteria only, which I assume are on a 1-10 scale so it is 67 out 90...
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Eric Knauer
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Defective rating scale: (10)
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Justin Redmon
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Thunkd wrote:
I don't think that area to play and storage are really intrinsic to how good the game is. Make sure to play on a big table and buy a big Plano box and you've eliminated those two issues. Adding the points back in gets you to an 8 rating, which is lower than I'd rate it, but definitely not average.


I think they can be. What I'm looking at is how likely I am to suggest the game. It the same is very fiddly and takes up the entire table, rug, and half the hallway, I'm very unlikely to want to play it very often.


Roger_Jay wrote:
Err.. You are assessing it against 9 criteria only, which I assume are on a 1-10 scale so it is 67 out 90...

The last "overall/biases/bonuses" accounts for the 10th rating and allows me to include anything that I didn't include elsewhere.
 
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Roger
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JrStrange wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
I don't think that area to play and storage are really intrinsic to how good the game is. Make sure to play on a big table and buy a big Plano box and you've eliminated those two issues. Adding the points back in gets you to an 8 rating, which is lower than I'd rate it, but definitely not average.


I think they can be. What I'm looking at is how likely I am to suggest the game. It the same is very fiddly and takes up the entire table, rug, and half the hallway, I'm very unlikely to want to play it very often.


Roger_Jay wrote:
Err.. You are assessing it against 9 criteria only, which I assume are on a 1-10 scale so it is 67 out 90...

The last "overall/biases/bonuses" accounts for the 10th rating and allows me to include anything that I didn't include elsewhere.


a proper bonus can't be part of a scale, otherwise it is not a bonus... And including the "overall" as part of the rating itself is redundant.

Defective scale: 10/10
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Agree with the above 2 posters. Also, interaction, you're leaving out cards which, when played, pass to opponents who can play them later, cards which give things to opponents (usually at a cost or by giving yourself something better), cards which give extra action spaces where you get something for opponents going there, cards which give end of game bonus points for everyone in the game who accomplishes a goal, and the fact that not only spaces are limited to 1/round, but major improvements are generally limited to 1 copy of each per game.

And that doesn't even cover that you're implying that blocking isn't a MAJOR type of interaction.

And that's also ignoring drafting cards, which is pretty much the default way to start a game for many at this point, which is EXTREMELY interactive.

Overall, I think it's a very interactive game, just not in a way that lets you easily directly attack someone else which, in itself, is a brilliant mechanism.

On the flipside, I find it interesting that you think the rules are well-written and that it's well above-average on ease of teaching/picking up. I think the rules are pretty poorly written, the action spaces are not extremely clear, what is required and what is not, and nearly every card in the game has further explanation, errata, or further explanation somewhere to clarify how it interacts with other cards, or just how it works. I find the barrier to entry for the game is its' biggest downfall.

edit: and by 2, I apparently mean like 15 O_o
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Bryan Thunkd
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JrStrange wrote:
I think they can be. What I'm looking at is how likely I am to suggest the game. It the same is very fiddly and takes up the entire table, rug, and half the hallway, I'm very unlikely to want to play it very often.


You must have a minuscule apartment that Agricola takes up your table,rug and hallway. It's takes up space but nowhere near that amount. And I'd rather play an incredible game regardless of how much space it takes.

I don't think I've ever found myself thinking "Hey, you know that perfect game, the one that I rate a complete 10? I think I'm going to have to stop playing it and play inferior games that are more compact and space efficient."
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Luke Morris
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It's got a box.....what more storage do you need?!
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Christian B.
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JrStrange wrote:

Storage: (3)
This box is sturdy, but good like making sense of a way to store everything back in the box in an accessible way (and then trying to get the box to close again, too!). Overall, however, I'm satisfied that they didn't make the box a complete monster to cope with all the components.




I almost never comment on written reviews, but I feel the need to do it now as I don't understand this (and a few other things, see below). Surely, you must be joking? Yes, I give Agricola a 10, but that has absolutely no impact on the fact that I think you are way off here regarding the box.


In my Agricola box I have stored 3 other decks than the EIK (which are all in sleeves) and I have bought a LOT of ressource/veggie/animeeples which take up way more space than those which come with the game - and I can EASILY close my box? I don't use plano boxes or anything, so I have absolutely no clue why you say that there isn't room for anything, so can you elaborate on this? The "3" should be something like an "8" imho. And yes, it's great that they didn't put it in a oversized box!


Anyway, the most important criteria is obviously "Fun" and after that probably mechanics/replayability (imho), and you give those an 8-10-10 for a rating of 9.333!

Sorry if any of this sounded harsh, it wasn't my intention - I just REALLY don't get how you can rate storage a 3 considering everything + much more fits into the sturdy, small sized box?


Also, I'm curious how you can rate it 6.7 overall considering the various criteria; how can they be of exactly the same importance to how good you actually think the game is?

And why is the bias/bonus = 0? I see that you have given lots of games +10 in this section, Dominion 3 and Abalone -35. I'm just wondering why it doesn't get a +something or -something and what your criterias are?


Finally, thanks for taking the time to write your opinion on this game!
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Justin Redmon
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ChrB wrote:
JrStrange wrote:

Storage: (3)
This box is sturdy, but good like making sense of a way to store everything back in the box in an accessible way (and then trying to get the box to close again, too!). Overall, however, I'm satisfied that they didn't make the box a complete monster to cope with all the components.




I almost never comment on written reviews, but I feel the need to do it now as I don't understand this (and a few other things, see below). Surely, you must be joking? Yes, I give Agricola a 10, but that has absolutely no impact on the fact that I think you are way off here regarding the box.


In my Agricola box I have stored 3 other decks than the EIK (which are all in sleeves) and I have bought a LOT of ressource/veggie/animeeples which take up way more space than those which come with the game - and I can EASILY close my box? I don't use plano boxes or anything, so I have absolutely no clue why you say that there isn't room for anything, so can you elaborate on this? The "3" should be something like an "8" imho. And yes, it's great that they didn't put it in a oversized box!


Anyway, the most important criteria is obviously "Fun" and after that probably mechanics/replayability (imho), and you give those an 8-10-10 for a rating of 9.333!

Sorry if any of this sounded harsh, it wasn't my intention - I just REALLY don't get how you can rate storage a 3 considering everything + much more fits into the sturdy, small sized box?


Also, I'm curious how you can rate it 6.7 overall considering the various criteria; how can they be of exactly the same importance to how good you actually think the game is?

And why is the bias/bonus = 0? I see that you have given lots of games +10 in this section, Dominion 3 and Abalone -35. I'm just wondering why it doesn't get a +something or -something and what your criterias are?


Finally, thanks for taking the time to write your opinion on this game!


The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

Some people have an easier time storing this game that I do, it seems. I try to keep everything very organized in the box so that I can set the game up as quickly as possible. To have everything sorted out (in a Plano box, as you mentioned that you didn't use) in a such a way takes up more room than you're provided with. Again, I'll take this over having a box that is unwieldy.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

I'm glad that my review has stimulated discussion, even if most of it isn't in my favor. I actually expected something much harsher from Agricola. On the flip side, I can almost be sure that if I used to same system and rated this game a 9 or a 10 it would be much less commented on, but would have a thumb or two more.
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Christian B.
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JrStrange wrote:
ChrB wrote:
JrStrange wrote:

Storage: (3)
This box is sturdy, but good like making sense of a way to store everything back in the box in an accessible way (and then trying to get the box to close again, too!). Overall, however, I'm satisfied that they didn't make the box a complete monster to cope with all the components.




I almost never comment on written reviews, but I feel the need to do it now as I don't understand this (and a few other things, see below). Surely, you must be joking? Yes, I give Agricola a 10, but that has absolutely no impact on the fact that I think you are way off here regarding the box.


In my Agricola box I have stored 3 other decks than the EIK (which are all in sleeves) and I have bought a LOT of ressource/veggie/animeeples which take up way more space than those which come with the game - and I can EASILY close my box? I don't use plano boxes or anything, so I have absolutely no clue why you say that there isn't room for anything, so can you elaborate on this? The "3" should be something like an "8" imho. And yes, it's great that they didn't put it in a oversized box!


Anyway, the most important criteria is obviously "Fun" and after that probably mechanics/replayability (imho), and you give those an 8-10-10 for a rating of 9.333!

Sorry if any of this sounded harsh, it wasn't my intention - I just REALLY don't get how you can rate storage a 3 considering everything + much more fits into the sturdy, small sized box?


Also, I'm curious how you can rate it 6.7 overall considering the various criteria; how can they be of exactly the same importance to how good you actually think the game is?

And why is the bias/bonus = 0? I see that you have given lots of games +10 in this section, Dominion 3 and Abalone -35. I'm just wondering why it doesn't get a +something or -something and what your criterias are?


Finally, thanks for taking the time to write your opinion on this game!


The bonus section is (as are all board game rating systems) completely arbitrary. It's the section that I used to modify the score that I feel the game deserves by my estimation.

Some people have an easier time storing this game that I do, it seems. I try to keep everything very organized in the box so that I can set the game up as quickly as possible. To have everything sorted out (in a Plano box, as you mentioned that you didn't use) in a such a way takes up more room than you're provided with. Again, I'll take this over having a box that is unwieldy.

I see that some people find flaw in my rating system, but to these people I will reiterate what I've said before: This system, along with anyone else's, is entirely down to personal decisions regarding what makes a game good or bad by your own estimation.

I'm glad that my review has stimulated discussion, even if most of it isn't in my favor. I actually expected something much harsher from Agricola. On the flip side, I can almost be sure that if I used to same system and rated this game a 9 or a 10 it would be much less commented on, but would have a thumb or two more.



Yup, a rating is totally personal! That's why I wrote "imho" and I just wanted to know WHY you feel this way as I don't personally get it (and why Yinsh has a 10 and Elder Sign an 8 and Dominion a 4 and such). It's all good!


Cool to know about your personal bonus section. It just seemed odd to me when looking at your other ratings for other games, hehe.

Anyway, the most important thing is that you are having FUN (8) and that you are feeling it's thematic and the mechanics are great (10) and that you think it has great replayability (10) - at least once you've managed to get the pieces out of the bad box and set up the game!
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Dan Likos
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Why storage and fun carry equal weight I will never know.

Dominion (with expansions) deserves a storage score of a 3.
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Bryan Thunkd
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dlikos wrote:
Why storage and fun carry equal weight I will never know.


Because he'd enjoy a game that had a storage rating of 8 and a fun rating of 3 exactly as much as Agricola obviously!
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Justin Redmon
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dlikos wrote:
Why storage and fun carry equal weight I will never know.

Dominion (with expansions) deserves a storage score of a 3.


Because if a game gives me the shits when I think about putting it back in the box, I'm less willing to take it off the shelf in the first place. My rating system isn't about how much fun I have, it's about how much I enjoy the entire experience. Turns out that I have Dominion and all the expansions I own stored in one box, with everything sorted in such a way to make finding whatever sets of cards I need a snap.

Thunkd wrote:


Because he'd enjoy a game that had a storage rating of 8 and a fun rating of 3 exactly as much as Agricola obviously!


Either that or I'd use that "bias" section at the end to modify my rating to what I feel that game deserves. Probably this, actually.

Listen, I don't feel that Agricola a great game. Agricola isn't really even a good game to me. Agricola is an okay game to me. I don't understand why it offends you so much. Did you design this game? Are you dating Uwe Rosenberg? Are you now or have you ever been a farmer?

 
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Dan Likos
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I have it rated as 7, AVERAGE.

I was just wondering why you had storage and fun on an equal scale, and you answered it. Thanks.

Wondering how you have Dominion packed into one box though, That would greatly increase my likelyhood at purchasing more expansions...

If you plan on publicly questioning the high ranking of the #2 game, you need to plan on having criticism of your review. Personally I think you are trolling for responses...so I will bite again...what kind of review system has an equally weighted section for personal bias? Most if not all resistance to your review has to do with this inequity in your system...not your 6.7 rating against Agricola
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Bryan Thunkd
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JrStrange wrote:
Either that or I'd use that "bias" section at the end to modify my rating to what I feel that game deserves. Probably this, actually.

Listen, I don't feel that Agricola a great game. Agricola isn't really even a good game to me. Agricola is an okay game to me. I don't understand why it offends you so much. Did you design this game? Are you dating Uwe Rosenberg? Are you now or have you ever been a farmer?


I'm not offended, I just disagree. What does offend me is your rating system. You set it up under the premise that it is a very precise system, i.e. I rate this game a 3 out of 10 on storage, but you have weirdly unbalanced categories (I mean who really weights storage and fun equally?) and then you have a catch all category that completely undermines the rest of the rating system, i.e. I'll give Abalone a rating of 10 on half the categories but then in the adjustments/bonus section deduct 30 points. What that tells me is that the categories and weights you've set up in your rating system don't really represent your true rating and you have to fudge the system with your special category to make it come out to what you want it to be. In that case just give your opinion, don't try to dissect it by category but then ignore the score you calculate.
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Justin Redmon
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dlikos wrote:
I have it rated as 7, AVERAGE.

I was just wondering why you had storage and fun on an equal scale, and you answered it. Thanks.

Wondering how you have Dominion packed into one box though, That would greatly increase my likelyhood at purchasing more expansions...

If you plan on publicly questioning the high ranking of the #2 game, you need to plan on having criticism of your review. Personally I think you are trolling for responses...so I will bite again...what kind of review system has an equally weighted section for personal bias? Most if not all resistance to your review has to do with this inequity in your system...not your 6.7 rating against Agricola


I would argue that all rating systems for board games are based entirely on personal bias. Is there really some definitive authority on what criteria should be judged or what game is the most entertaining? Okay, okay. I don't think the BGG rankings fulfill that role! Personal preference can't be accounted for, really.

As for Dominion being on one box? I had this pretty large box from buying a bulk lot of Magic cards. I think it housed four thousand cards, but I can't remember. Anyway, I just alphabetized the cards and put them in plastic baggies. There is plenty of room for all the tokens and whatever else from other expansions.
 
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Dan Likos
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Jabbing my eye out with a silver spoon

Players 1-10

Components - 10 - Hell Yeah, the spoon is silver!

Rules - 10 - Jab spoon in eye...twist. Pretty easy to learn!

Setup - 10 - Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play - 10 - I can play this on the bus on my way to work!

Fun - 1 - This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics - 10 - Doesn't get more real than this!

Replay Value - 1 - Pretty sure I don't want to play again!

Storage - 10 - Fits right in with my silver ware!

Accessability - 10 - Anyone can play!

Overall Bonuses/Bias - 0

72!

7.2



Pretty Awesome Rating System



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Justin Redmon
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Thunkd wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
Either that or I'd use that "bias" section at the end to modify my rating to what I feel that game deserves. Probably this, actually.

Listen, I don't feel that Agricola a great game. Agricola isn't really even a good game to me. Agricola is an okay game to me. I don't understand why it offends you so much. Did you design this game? Are you dating Uwe Rosenberg? Are you now or have you ever been a farmer?


I'm not offended, I just disagree. What does offend me is your rating system. You set it up under the premise that it is a very precise system, i.e. I rate this game a 3 out of 10 on storage, but you have weirdly unbalanced categories (I mean who really weights storage and fun equally?) and then you have a catch all category that completely undermines the rest of the rating system, i.e. I'll give Abalone a rating of 10 on half the categories but then in the adjustments/bonus section deduct 30 points. What that tells me is that the categories and weights you've set up in your rating system don't really represent your true rating and you have to fudge the system with your special category to make it come out to what you want it to be. In that case just give your opinion, don't try to dissect it by category but then ignore the score you calculate.


That's exactly what I've done. Very nice observation. However, I don't see how that's wrong at all? Abalone, to me, is a terrible game with great components and I believe that my review reflects that. I never claimed that anything about this system or anything else in my life is very precise. My system isn't perfect and I never intended for it to be. I do feel like it could be helpful to some people, but I have no intention that I will be among the best or most insightful reviewers of BGG. I'm not passionate enough to dedicate my time to that, really.
 
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Justin Redmon
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dlikos wrote:
Jabbing my eye out with a silver spoon

Players 1-10

Components - 10 - Hell Yeah, the spoon is silver!

Rules - 10 - Jab spoon in eye...twist. Pretty easy to learn!

Setup - 10 - Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play - 10 - I can play this on the bus on my way to work!

Fun - 1 - This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics - 10 - Doesn't get more real than this!

Replay Value - 1 - Pretty sure I don't want to play again!

Storage - 10 - Fits right in with my silver ware!

Accessability - 10 - Anyone can play!

Overall Bonuses/Bias - 0

72!

7.2



Pretty Awesome Rating System





Ha ha! I laughed at that and then laughed because you live in Missouri!

Anyway:

Players 1-???

Components (4) The spoon isn't actually silver, but is some lesser metal that is silver plated.

Rules (4) Poorly written with a notable lack of examples. Do you stab the left eye, the right eye? Do you twist clockwise or counter-clockewise?

Setup (10) Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play (10) It's just a spoon!

Fun (1) This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics (2) This game is pretty themeless, but the mechanics are very flawed. It's hard to convince yourself to actually stab your eye out.

Replay Value (2) Most people can play this game at least twice.

Storage (10) Fits in my pocket!

Accessability (1) It's so hard to find willing players!

Overall Bonuses/Bias (-44) Not for me.

Over all: 0
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dlikos wrote:
Jabbing my eye out with a silver spoon

Players 1-10

Components - 10 - Hell Yeah, the spoon is silver!

Rules - 10 - Jab spoon in eye...twist. Pretty easy to learn!

Setup - 10 - Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play - 10 - I can play this on the bus on my way to work!

Fun - 1 - This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics - 10 - Doesn't get more real than this!

Replay Value - 1 - Pretty sure I don't want to play again!

Storage - 10 - Fits right in with my silver ware!

Accessability - 10 - Anyone can play!

Overall Bonuses/Bias - 0

72!

7.2



Pretty Awesome Rating System





Wow! I'd really like to try this now. laugh
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Dan Likos
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JrStrange wrote:
dlikos wrote:
Jabbing my eye out with a silver spoon

Players 1-10

Components - 10 - Hell Yeah, the spoon is silver!

Rules - 10 - Jab spoon in eye...twist. Pretty easy to learn!

Setup - 10 - Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play - 10 - I can play this on the bus on my way to work!

Fun - 1 - This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics - 10 - Doesn't get more real than this!

Replay Value - 1 - Pretty sure I don't want to play again!

Storage - 10 - Fits right in with my silver ware!

Accessability - 10 - Anyone can play!

Overall Bonuses/Bias - 0

72!

7.2



Pretty Awesome Rating System





Ha ha! I laughed at that and then laughed because you live in Missouri!


Ah Man...I gave you an out too...you could have just as easily said "You see Agricola sucks worse than poking your eye out with a spoon!" Too bad you had to let your true negativity shine and bash Missouri...Missouri? Really?
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Justin Redmon
United States
Middlesboro
Kentucky
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We'll see.
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Bro, why you so mad?
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dlikos wrote:
JrStrange wrote:
dlikos wrote:
Jabbing my eye out with a silver spoon

Players 1-10

Components - 10 - Hell Yeah, the spoon is silver!

Rules - 10 - Jab spoon in eye...twist. Pretty easy to learn!

Setup - 10 - Takes less than 10 seconds to set up.

Area required to play - 10 - I can play this on the bus on my way to work!

Fun - 1 - This game sucks!

Theme Integration/Mechanics - 10 - Doesn't get more real than this!

Replay Value - 1 - Pretty sure I don't want to play again!

Storage - 10 - Fits right in with my silver ware!

Accessability - 10 - Anyone can play!

Overall Bonuses/Bias - 0

72!

7.2



Pretty Awesome Rating System





Ha ha! I laughed at that and then laughed because you live in Missouri!


Ah Man...I gave you an out too...you could have just as easily said "You see Agricola sucks worse than poking your eye out with a spoon!" Too bad you had to let your true negativity shine and bash Missouri...Missouri? Really?


NO! You replied during the time that I decided to edit my post. I have nothing personal against Missouri, really. Nothing against the people or the climate. It's the topography that concerns me.
 
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