Recommend
224 
 Thumb up
 Hide
76 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Excellent expansion rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At first, some background information:

I was so excited for months to play this expansion. I had the chance before, in May, when Uwe has come to Hannover with the prototype, but I've played another prototype of him instead. Only my wife had played this expansion before.

On Saturday, Hanno had organised a preview event in Bremen, where we could play the printed version. Melissa and her family were also there to play this expansion for the first time. Uwe, however, couldn't come.


So, what is this game about?

"Agricola Farmers of the Moor", basicly, is an expansion for the Family version of the game. There are three different levels which you can play the expansion at. Level 1 is without any hand cards, thus, on family game level. Level 2 introduces new minor improvements that come with the game (in 2 decks: beginner's and advanced). Level 3 is for the insane people among us: this level is played on the non-family side of the board and uses all of the cards.

Regardless of the level you choose to play at, at the beginning of the game, each player gets to draw a card that shows a certain setup of Forest and Moor tiles they have to place on their board. Uwe likes to explain this part like this: "So, you want to play Agricola, but these tiles hinder you to do it. Thus, you need to remove them first!" To remove these tiles, there are some new action cards that allow to do it. I'll come back to them in a minute.

Additionally, this expansion introduces a new form of currency: in addition to food, there are heat markers. During every harvest, your family not only wants to get a warm meal, they now also want a warm home! For each room in your house, you need to pay 1 heat marker. Like you may convert grain and veggies at any time to 1 food, you may convert wood at any time to 1 heat. Of course, there's a penalty to not heat your home entirely.


You're kidding? Even more to do in so little time?!

Yes and no. You already know the struggle for food in regular Agricola and how important it is to get a running food engine in time. So, now the game forces you to focus on another engine - the heating? How is one supposed to develop one's farm when there is even more stuff to do that doesn't improve your farm at all?

Here we come back to the new action cards. There are 2 or 3 of them, depending on the number of players, lying in the middle of the table. However, here comes the ingenious new mechanic: these special actions are not taken with your family members! If you want to perform a special action, you just take the card and lay it in front of you - instead of moving your family member. Thus, you still have the family member to perform a regular action in your next turn! Special actions are additional actions at the cost of taking regular actions later and, possibly, allow for better options for other players. Also, you aren't limited to one special action. If your opponents allow for it, you can take any number of special actions (up to 3 - there are only 3 special action cards) before placing your family members on regular action spaces.


So, what are these ominous special actions?

There are 7 of them, printed on 2 or 3 cards. Thus, one card shows at least one special action. However, if you take the card, you can only perform one of the available actions on the card. If you want to do so, take the card and lay it face-up in front of you. This card may now be re-used by any other player if he pays 2 food (to the supply). In this case, the card is placed in front of the other player, face-down. No other player can use it again this round. So, each special action card can be used twice - first time by one player for free, and the second time by another player for 2 food. No player can re-use a card, they've taken themselves. However, if you re-use another player's card, you may decide to choose another action of this card. You needn't take the same the first player has taken.

So, now that you understand the concept of the special cards, let's look at them closely:

1. Take 1 horse. Yes, I've said "horse"! I didn't mention them before, but the expansion comes with a new type of animal: horses. They do not accumulate on action spaces like regular animals and can only be aquired by this special action or minor improvements (if you decide to play with them). In return, each single horse is worth 1 victory point, without limit. 10 horses - 10 victory points. As easy as that!

2. Take 1 food. Stop laughing! Remember this is a special action and doesn't cost you a family member's action at all? Also, this action is one of several other, better ones, on the same card. Taking the 1 food option will deny other players to perform the other actions on the card (unless they're willing to pay 2 food). So, the 1 food for free isn't that bad at all!

3. Pay 1 heat to play a minor improvement - and pay the costs of this improvement regularly. Ignore this action if you play the level 1 game without any hand cards.

4. Pay 1 heat and 1 food to play a major improvement - and pay the costs of this improvement regularly. This is a nice way to get a major improvement out without losing an action. Of course, you need to pay the resources for the improvement on top of that 1 heat and 1 food cost. However, for the cost of 1 heat and 1 food, you save an action. - "But wait a minute! Why do we need a special action to play major improvements? There are only 10 to play. Isn't this a little exaggerated?" - Maybe you'd be right if... - "If what?" - ... if there weren't 14 NEW for a total of 24 major improvements! Yes, the expansion comes with 14 extra major improvements - mainly dealing with heat and horses. However, they aren't all available at the same time. 12 of them lie underneath another one - the regular major improvements (from the basegame) lie on top of the new ones. Cards hidden by other cards can't be purchased unless the hiding card gets purchased. So, if you want to buy this new Fireplace thingy that allows you to cook horses, you need to wait first until a regular fireplace has been acquired. Of course, with a regular Fireplace, you can't eat horses.

Finally, we come to the two actions dealing with the tiles on your board hindering you to play Agricola - remember? Here they are:

5. Remove a Forest tile to replace it with a Field tile. Replace the useless Forest tile with something very useful: a field to grow crops. In effect, this is a saved "Plow 1 field" action. However, the old Agricola rule saying you need to place Field tiles next to each other is still valid. Depending on the initial layout of your Forest tiles, and where you've placed any regular fields on your board, you might not be able to choose this option.

6. Remove a Forest tile and receive 2 wood. Yeah! This is the solution for all players who complain about wood scarcety. As each initial setup comes with 5 Forest tiles (and 3 Moor tiles, by the way), there are effectively 10 additional wood per player in game - assuming you don't remodel Forests to Fields by action 5, of course. There's a major improvement that even raises the number of wood you receive from this special action - so, possibly, there's even more wood. However, don't forget, wood can be used as heat, and from time to time, you might be forced to heat your house with plain wood.

7. Remove a Moor tile and receive 3 heat markers. Woohoo! Finally, an action that gives these ominous heat markers in a different way than converting precious wood to heat! And, like with action 6, there's a major improvement that raises the number of heat markers you receive through this action. Double yay!


Phew, we're through! But wait, what if I do not heat my home?

The answer is simple: You won't beg - you'll go to bed! If your family has to freeze during winter because you've forgotten to collect some fuel... they'll become sick! For each heat marker you're short, next round, one family member stays in bed. Bad luck! While in bed, they won't work and do not perform any actions. So better heat your house!

However, this isn't that bad. An ill person may be moved to the hospital and receives 1 food. Also, you remove the bed marker you had to place on the family member to show they're ill. In fact, you didn't lose the action, but it was a bad action: there are way better options that taking one food. So, nevertheless, better heat your house!

On a sidenote: The hospital is the only action space in the game that multiple players may take. So, all ill people will go to hospital in the round after the harvest they've got the flu.


Are we through? Yes we are!

Now, you're familiar with all the changes this expansion comes with. In fact, there aren't that many rules to learn. The concepts are fairly easy and, I can't repeat it enough, ingenious! There's maybe one thing I didn't mention and that is important: any Forest and Moor tiles you didn't remove until the end of the game count as used spaces. So you won't get negative points for not removing them entirely - they even prevent negatives.


Well, what do I think about this expansion?

This. Is. A. Musthave. Period.

I am sure, I'll never play Agricola without the expansion again! So far, I've played on levels 1 and 2, and I'm sure I'll try level 3 soon. Agricola was a superb game before this expansion, and it's an even better one with it! The expansion adds a fair amount of complexity. Uwe admits, he isn't going to ever play it on level 3 - he thinks level 2 is pretty brain-burning on its own. And it is! You now have so much more to worry about and despite the fact that these special actions are for free (action-wise), you've got still so little time to do so much! Even more than before. And I love it! I enjoy this new level of complexity and the new mechanics. This is just an excellent expansion. I clearly rate it 10/10.


Some final words on play time and components and other thoughts?

With this new elements added, the game definitely will take longer - way longer for the very first sessions until you get familiar with all the concepts and new major improvements. With each round having now basicly 3 extra actions, the game will be slightly longer than usual anyway. After two plays I can't say how much longer it'll usually take, maybe 5 extra minutes per player.

The components are great - as usual. The horses are wooden models and no cubes. The heat markers are cardboard like the food (exactly the same size). The three little extra boards are thick and durable. The cards come in regular Agricola quality. There's nothing to complain about component-wise.

I've looked through all the new minor improvements and my initial impression was: man, these are so damn good, and these here are so bad. Our first level 2 session felt exactly like that - I've got lousy cards, my wife has got some really cool ones. It slightly felt like a little more extreme than with the cards from the basegame. Time and more sessions will tell if my initial impression was correct.

Finally, I strongly recommend to use some 3-player action cards in the 2-player game. The new major improvements need clay so badly, and in the 2-player games there's only so much. This really reduced the fun factor and we'll try to use "take any 1 building resource" and the extra "1 clay" action next time we play 2-player. My very first game at the Pre-realese event in Bremen was 4-player and it worked very well. Thus my high rating and my excitement about this expansion!
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt R
United States
Keller
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Noonespecial wrote:
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp

When you can't get dog....
42 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Everts
United States
Foothill Ranch
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
"Nobody gets me. I'm the wind, baby!" - Tom Servo
badge
"Push the button, Frank!"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. I'm interested but kind of confused too. On Level 2 you only use the minor improvements from this expansion or do you shuffle them in with the base game minor improvements?

And you never use the Occupations unless you play the non-recommended Level 3 game? I loved the Occupations so weird its not really designed to play well with them.

Seems like a major part of the original game has been deleted if you roll in the expansion.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm sorry if I have confused you, Scott. I'll explain the level thing more precisely:

Level 1: Family board, no occupations (there's no action space for them at all), no minor improvements.

Level 2: Family board, no occupations (still no action space for them), but with 7 minor improvements per player. Use the minor improvements from the expansion. However, advanced players may also mix in some minors from the basegame. There are no pros or cons with doing this.

Level 3: Regular board, per player, deal 7 occupations, 4 minors from the expansion, and 3 minors from the basegame. Actually, this is the proposed setup - you may change the mix whichever way you like.

Please don't get me wrong: Yes, the game has been designed for the family version as Uwe didn't want to make it ubercomplex. During playtests, however, hardcore Agricola players have complained that there are no occs and the other cool minors from the basegame, so Uwe allowed for playing with them altogether on the regular board. This works perfectly, but increases complexity exponentially. If you aren't scared by it, go ahead and play the "uberfull version"! The playtesters did enjoy it very much, so, most probably, you will do also.
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Noonespecial wrote:
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp


Hehe, this reminds me of another hilarious anecdote of Uwe's. He usually explains the reason why 12 of the major improvements are hidden by others with saying: "I don't want little girls to scare away by letting them know they can eat their sweet horsies... When it comes to the point, where I actually need to explain these cards, I tell them, they, in fact, do not eat the horses. Instead, I tell them the horse has won in a competition, thus, the food is its price. However, the horse is so tired, it couldn't come back to your farm."

If this helps...
76 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
UA Darth
United States
Boca Raton
FL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's a silly question.. I haven't played for a while... the family game was the most basic game, correct? If this expansion is only for that, why is this a must have?

I skipped over the basic cardless version.

What am I missing?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This expansion is not only for the Family version. It's based on it in two variants. The third variant is played with the full game. You can make your game as complex as you like. Thus, MUST-HAVE.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
badge
Bffffttt, Pffffttt, Buuuuurtt........
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
shadow9d9 wrote:
Here's a silly question.. I haven't played for a while... the family game was the most basic game, correct? If this expansion is only for that, why is this a must have?

I skipped over the basic cardless version.

What am I missing?
The family game is a excellent game unto itself. Very little randomness, still plenty of interesting decisions.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jbrier
United States
Aventura
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't get all the fuss about basic versus advanced ways to play. If you want to play with the Occs, you can. If that makes the game too long or complex for you, then play without them. Everyone should get what they want..
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
flag msg tools
admin
designer
May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
badge
Mostly offline, but trying.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ponton wrote:
Noonespecial wrote:
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp


Hehe, this reminds me of another hilarious anecdote of Uwe's. He usually explains the reason why 12 of the major improvements are hidden by others with saying: "I don't want little girls to scare away by letting them know they can eat their sweet horsies... When it comes to the point, where I actually need to explain these cards, I tell them, they, in fact, do not eat the horses. Instead, I tell them the horse has won in a competition, thus, the food is its price. However, the horse is so tired, it couldn't come back to your farm."

If this helps...


Two things:

1. DO NOT google "Horse Slaughterhouse". Really.

2. When we explained the rules to the Bigster (who is 11), we got up to the new cooking improvements and she said, "But you CAN'T cook horses!"

She collected 8, in her first game. Fraser collected 11; someone at another table got to 12. I am not aware of any being cooked.

Yet.
25 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt R
United States
Keller
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At the cost of having to spend one of the "free" actions to get a horse, and giving up a bonus point for the horse, it does seem like a somewhat strong penalty to eat the horse at the cost of a bonus point.

However, I have no idea what the food returns are, so it may all depend (just like in regular Agricola regarding eating animals).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Eating horses is the worst thing you can think of: regardless of the major improvement you get, horses provide only 2 food when eaten.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ɹǝsɐɹɟ
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
badge
Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The best conversion of horses to food I saw was two food for a horse, I did ask Melissa about a glue factory card, but she said there wasn't one.

The only time I would consider cooking a horse would be to avoid a begging card since a horse is a victory point and potentially breeding stock as well.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grant
United States
Cuyahoga Falls
Ohio
flag msg tools
One of the best gaming weekends in Ohio since 2010. Search facebook for "BOGA Weekend Retreat" for more info!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Karlsen wrote:
...and potentially breeding stock as well.

I got the impression from Ponton's review that the horses didn't breed like the other animals. Do they actually reproduce during the harvest like other animals? Seems like it would be overpowered if they did.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
flag msg tools
admin
designer
May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
badge
Mostly offline, but trying.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
grant5 wrote:
Karlsen wrote:
...and potentially breeding stock as well.

I got the impression from Ponton's review that the horses didn't breed like the other animals. Do they actually reproduce during the harvest like other animals? Seems like it would be overpowered if they did.


They breed.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin
United States
Creve Coeur
MO
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great overview. Looking forward to it!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Pessano
United States
Tampa
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Noonespecial wrote:
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp


Have you ever actually eaten horse? It is very good. I had it in Sicily last November and it was sorta like beef but leaner and a tad sweeter. I would eat it again in a heartbeat!!

Thx
jonpfl
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
grant5 wrote:
Karlsen wrote:
...and potentially breeding stock as well.

I got the impression from Ponton's review that the horses didn't breed like the other animals. Do they actually reproduce during the harvest like other animals? Seems like it would be overpowered if they did.


Sorry for that wrong impression. Like Melissa says: horses do breed like any other animals, and they behave exactly like the other animals (need space in home, stable or pasture; same limits on horses per pasture; same breeding rule: max. 1 extra horse). The only difference is their scoring (still -1 for having none, but 1vp without limit for every horse) and the hard way to acquire them.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maaike Fest
Netherlands
Nijmegen
Gelderland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jonpfl wrote:
Noonespecial wrote:
You had me until you started talking about cooking horses. Ewww... gulp


Have you ever actually eaten horse? It is very good. I had it in Sicily last November and it was sorta like beef but leaner and a tad sweeter. I would eat it again in a heartbeat!!

Thx
jonpfl


Yes, it is very tasty. In Holland we often eat sliced smoked meat on our sandwiches, and we have sliced smoked horsemeat as well, you can buy it in the supermarket. It is darker and saltier than the usual sliced smoked meat, and very tasty .
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Doing some quick math, if you were able to get 2 horses before the first harvest, without cooking any, you could have 8 by the end of the game. That's a good boost in scoring at first glance. Offset that by the fact you have more to do because you have to heat your house, maybe everything will even out.

I think someone should send me an advance copy of the English version so I can check it out for sure. I think that would be a good idea. Really.

After reading this thread, I'm digging the emphasis on keeping your family fed and healthy.

Q: From the pictures, it looks to be an 'E' and 'F' deck. We already have an 'E' deck, so are they compatible?

Maus
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Lernout
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The expression "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse" springs to mind.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Maus wrote:
Q: From the pictures, it looks to be an 'E' and 'F' deck. We already have an 'E' deck, so are they compatible?


E = Einsteigerdeck (beginner deck)
F = Fortgeschrittenendeck (advanced deck)

The Moor Farmer cards are numbered differently than basic Agricola cards (prefix 'M' + 3 digit number). The decks are all compatible among each other. These new E and F decks deal only with elements of the expansion, so make sure you have at least 3 of them in play when playing the expansion. The recommended setup for level 3 is: 7 occs, 4 new minors (E/F), 3 old minors (E/I/K).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ponton wrote:
The Moor Farmer cards are numbered differently than basic Agricola cards (prefix 'M' + 3 digit number).


That's great! I was hoping something like that existed so I can split the cards up into their respective decks at the end of the game.

Thanks for the quick reply!

Maus
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grzegorz Kobiela
Germany
Hanover
Lower Saxony
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Editor at Lookout Games
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Also, the new Major Improvements have a darker background color on both sides, so you can seperate them easily, even without looking at their card numbers.

I didn't check if this is the same with the new minor improvements - they show, of course, the same back as the basic cards, but I didn't look too closely on the front colors.

Edit: Hanno corrected me: the new minor improvements do also look differently.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  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.