Game I picked up because I thought I could get my family to play. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they like it! I'm very pleased with the 'weight'. You can put alot of thought and planning into a game.Have showed it to quite a few people now and all like it!
The quintessential worker placement, with an array of winning strategies to analyze. The Occupation and Minor Improvement cards offer interesting combinations to explore, but are difficult to fully utilize, which as the main source of game-to-game variety is unfortunate. The scarcity of food and resources is oppressive, especially for new players, but as an experienced gamer I cherish this. You'd never expect farming, and the ever-looming harvest, to invoke such intense stress and worry, but these emotions work to quickly immerse players into Agricola's bleak world. While many will point to agriculture as the theme, I would argue that Agricola is a story of scarcity. There will never be enough resources, or workers, or time, to complete all of your goals, but you have to do the best with what you have. It may be simple life but it's hard as hell.
When I'm in the mood for a pure Euro, this is what I typically reach for and it rarely disappoints. Some folks are turned off by the theme, but I've played enough Harvest Moon for a game about farming to get me excited.
This game would get a 10 for me, but can be a bummer with a bad luck draw. I like to use a house rule of drafting to include even more strategy.
Excellent game, although I often feel drained after playing, and I'm not always in the mood for that.
I love how tight this game is. You have so few actions to take during the game and need to score in so many different areas that the game requires your constant attention.
Great game. Not for the faint of heart, but very satisfying to play. Tough to teach noobs.
Excellent build-an-economic-engine game. The myriad card combos make my inner CCGer happy. This game has me thinking about all the possibilities when I'm not playing, and I just want to keep coming back for more. While some people complain about not having multiple paths to victory, I strenuously disagree: it's not about what your farm looks like at the end, it's about how you get there.(5+ plays)
I anticipated I'd like this more than I did.
Despite rumors, this will not find world peace, but it's still very, very good.
notes for later:adaptability (number of players)"geek" appeal -sorting and counting the bits -"oh, and what does this do" without extraneous crap -organizing them -systems and puzzlessystem discipline of PR with that little hint of randomness from the cardsmultiple deckssizemix of mechanics-resource management-card combinations-area controlgetting lost in the decisions to create an overall feeling of quality gameplay
Sanjay has a copy.
Opened and organized, never played. Box shows minimal shelf wear.
Struggle to survive and tight resources along with a sense of accomplishment and heavy theme integration makes this a classic. So many cards every game has some variation.
Everything you do matters immensely, but the cards recieved at the beginning can be too powerful, so I would recommend implementing a card draft at the beginning.
A brain burner for sure.. just the way I like them. It seems though that the drunker I am when I play it, the more I own people As I have been gaining experience with a number of board games, I've come to realise one of the greatest strengths of this game - sustained suspense, the quality that makes a 2+ hour session go by in a flash, simply due to the fact that it's so exciting from the word go.Other games have clever systems, yes, but their suspense factor fails. Take Power Grid, for example (a past favourite of mine). Unless there is a slave driver relentlessly announcing each step in each turn or unless the players are remarkably disciplined, the game breaks down into a cacophony of non-game related chatter. Now, I know some people don't mind this, but I personally prefer to focus on the game itself and chat later, when it's over.
Excellent worker-placement game from Uwe Rosenberg, and one which I have played a lot since I first got my German (and subsequently my English) copy of the game.I do prefer the game with fewer rather than more players: 2-player is fun, and 3-player is probably my favorite. With 4 or 5 players, there is too much downtime (particularly with 5 where the total game length also becomes too long).Also, and going against the current here, I am still undecided on whether I prefer the family version of the game, or the full version with cards. The cards do add a lot to the game, in particular variability and depth, and as a result an almost infinite replayability. On the other hand, they also introduce more downtime, and they add a significant amount of randomness to the game. Every single game I have played with the cards have seen one player triumphantly play strong (almost unbeatable) combos, and at least one player has been loudly cursing his bad luck.I'd describe the family game as a regular, proper medium/heavyweight euro, if one that has a tendency to become a bit stale and dry with repeated playing. The full game, on the other hand, doesn't really feel much like a euro. The core game is the same, of course, but the cards takes the game clearly out of euro territory.
2015-03-03 : Play it with drafting rules for a more balanced game. Score lowered from 9 to 8 after playing it again after many years.
First game bought on hype. Big mistake. The playdoh rush on this should have told me something. I can't think of another game that turned me off from playing it even once, but this game's dense, confusing, and bland rulebook, ridiculous '...meat eating habits we continue to this day' intro (shame on you Uwe Rosenberg for not adding 'bad' in front of habits and insinuating this is a game focused on meat farming.), and reviews of 'solitaire' sure don't make we want to slog through learning it or teaching it to others. The endless rules questions on BGG is another warning sign. Do you really want to bother with figuring out 360 cards and their combos? Sorry, but I had enough of that crap with MTG. Lesson learned: ignore hype and 'appreciating' a game just because it knocked another sucky game like Puerto Rico out of the number one spot. I've began to realize the majority of the entire top ten on this site is a joke and doesn't belong there. This is one case of too many cards. Really ads AP downtime to the game, as everyone struggles to find out what their cards mean and how they interact with each other. By the final third of the game, there are at least 25 actions you can choose from! Seriously, this is deranged. I understand that this game will take ten plays to become clearer, but I doubt most people will have the patience to reach that number. 7 hours for our first 3 player game, with ONE person in AP mode. This puts Agricola in the same category as 'Advanced civ' as far as game length, and 5 plus hours is not going to get this on the table very often, especially not when this is a clear homage to 'Caylus', a much more elegant game that does not rely on luck of card draws.
--Dec2007-- Very fine game, in my opinion. The game has modest duration with lots of lovely little decision points, and buckets of variability. In some ways, it's "Caylus done right": I've never wanted to play another game of Caylus immediately after finishing one; the idea of another shot at the Agricola puzzle, on the other hand, was completely compelling. Many thanks to Ted for teaching.--Aug2008-- My (English,Z-Man) copy arrived on the 6th. Whee!--Sept2008-- Perhaps surprisingly, both of my older children (13m, 8f) find the game fascinating. One might uncharitably suggest that the young one likes the game for the lovely little animeeples, but that doesn't explain why she keeps winning!
I'm pleased with the results. To be sure, there are negatives. The rulebook is poor given the relative simplicity of play, the components sprawl all over the place when playing and makes for an intimidating experience, the number of cards feels completely over the top - like a movie with a large budget but no editor - and in general, there's nothing terribly novel about the mechanics.On the up side, it has good pace (but plays long), flowed well and made sense. It does have a worthy depth to explore and I'd like to know it better. This game somehow "fits" well and plays smooth - great construction, not just in components, but in mechanics. The theme is cute and well integrated. My wife says she'd try it one more time and my daughter says she prefers Stone Age. Friends find it "alright" so far, but overly complicated (over powering by the number of components and cards) for what it is. As for me, I remain ready to play again. Something keeps drawing me back.
Must emphasize how important getting a fireplace or other improvement is to turn things, esp. animals, into food. Otherwise it's just frustrating for a new player to get engine going. It's incredibly tight and takes many moves to accomplish anything, yet it's not a particularly short game. I don't have a problem with difficult games-- In the Year of the Dragon is amazing, but I do miss the freedom afforded by something like Uwe's own A Feast For Odin. That game still has a lot of pressure to fill out negative scores and feed people efficiently, and there is still tension over competing for certain spots and boards despite looking much more open, but it doesn't have the feeling of disappointment when you realize, shit, I just have to eat my failure at this or that goal. The most fun part of this game is when you succeed, and manage just enough abundance to start going wild with things that will fill your farm and let you score, but honestly, A Feast For Odin has the satisfaction of feeding and filling and even occasional harvesting without making me feel like shit when things go wrong. And despite ostensibly having more going on, Odin is much more intuitive. If you're not interested in winning, Odin might not have as much tension as the binary pass/fail state of feeding vs starvation, but being forced to take a worse spot, or spend a whole extra worker on a similar action, can be quite detrimental, and if you're actually trying to win, you will feel that. You just won't be crushed by it. Unfortunately, Odin has some dice elements and unmitigated card draw that keep it from being perfect. Agricola has less of that, but it also has countless cards that are a pain to get familiar with and plan around, even sticking to the beginner friendly ones. This has mostly been a collection of criticisms and unfavorable comparisons against Agricola, and that's misleading. I often enjoyed myself. But I think if I put the same amount of work into another game, I'd enjoy myself just as much, if not more, and that's the saddest part. Much like the suboptimal moves I make while playing, a game of Agricola feels like wasted time because, in the back of my mind, I know I could be spending it better.
A surprisingly well-themed engine-building game; and not all that different from most engine-building games, apart from an unending supply of options. Nevertheless, it IS a very good game!It's only real negatives are two:1) There is not a great deal of player interaction, apart from, "Hey! I wanted that action, and now you've taken it!", and2) It is waaaay too long for what it offers. If I want an engine-building game (which I don't, very often), I (and you!) can get the same challenge from shorter games....Carson City, anyone?
Low interest in trading, but will consider for the right trade.
The classic worker placement game. Very tight, competing for spaces. Create a better farm than you neighbor, but make sure everyone is fed.
One of my three favorite games. Fantastic blend of long term strategy and short term urgency. Even in the basic game, without cards, there are lots of different avenues to success. We've seen players win with only 3 family members, and we've seen players win with a wood home. We've seen players win by carefully building and sustaining a food engine, and we've seen players fish all the way to victory. And then, once you are comfortable with the basic game, you can add 7 occupations and 7 minor improvements for each player (out of several decks that contain hundreds of unique cards) that will make each game completely different. It's precisely those decks of cards and the harsher feeding what, for me, elevates Agricola heads and shoulders over Caverna.
My brain hurts ...
After all these years, this is still one of the best games that I have ever played. Every decision that you make in this game is important and every single game is just as challenging and difficult as the last. When you come out on top, there's a very real feeling of accomplishment. That's one of the things that I love about Agricola.
Defies the term game! It is itself a hobby or better a torture, when someone likes to torture himself placing little stuff on dozens of cards! How this could be fun?
One of the first games I played beyond Catan. Agricola is the essential backbreaking euro. Can you feed all of your people?...not really, but somehow you do it. I love how hard the choices are in this game and how well the player interaction works in accordance with that. I prefer this to the looser system of Caverna.
The game of the moment, looking forward to playing this...****Keeper - Duh!
(I've played this way more times than are indicated). Love, love, love this game. Love building the farm. Love looking at the farm when it's all done. Candace and I mostly play 2-player and can do so in under an hour without issue.
We have revised edition
I haven't 'mastered' the game yet so it is still fun. I feel we need to play it with more players.
Top of the line worker placement game.
Are the cards balanced? Is there enough interaction? Is too much of the game wrestling with the system itself? Who cares? It's a hell of a lot of fun.
For 1-5 Players 30 minutes per player
Secret Santa Present 2011 Finally got to play this competitively, it was a blast. Can't wait to try it again and maybe add the expansions in Trade note: Comes with plastic containers for individual goods, mixed in with the Goodies Expansion (must take both) SOLD
[color=#CC0000] The peak of the strongly-controlled, highly-quantified, carefully-channeled breed of board games. I'll be surprised to see one go significantly bigger or more complex than this. This is a game where much of your destiny is kept under the thumbs of other players, while your thumb is firmly placed on top of theirs. In Agricola there are a broad enough array of options that you don't feel as claustrophobic as you do in others of this genre, and I give it credit for that, at least on the easier decks. Fundamentally though, Worker Placement titles such as this are disempowering and don't appeal to me because I feel that I'm taking actions to knock others, largely because there's nowhere left that would be beneficial for myself. Positive options not available, I finish my move getting in someone else's way and have to take contentment in the concept of slowing others down as a form of advancing myself. That's just not satisfying gaming for me. I won't turn down the game if it's offered, but I would much prefer other games when craving a similar level of complexity. Even something as esoteric as WoW: DoWWII with the full altitude rules is more satisfying. It's as complex and intense as Agricola, but your decisions are fundamentally your own to do with as you please. You're not stuck in a "choose the best of the junk that's left" situation. Dozens of other examples to choose from. That's likely not going to be a well-respected opinion here on BGG, but that's the heart of my concept of interesting game play. A game where the majority of your time is spent blocking others is not compelling for me. Alas, it's currently the darling of the industry, so I'm largely left playing older titles. [/color]
Good game. Play the revised edition.
What more can I say? The game is incredible, and the comments speak for themselves.
Crunchy Euro game, one of the best for difficulty and balance.
After finally getting in a play, I can understand the hype. I'm not sure if I agree with it completely, but it is certainly a good, enjoyable game. An amazing number of options combined with a limited number of actions combine to make each turn thoughtful and often agonizing. It appears to be balanced, but more plays would inform that opinion better. I look forward to a second play, now that each of us has had our "learning game."
Originally rated 7.75. Loved the theme and art. Downgraded to 7.5 since I didn't have anyone to play it with. Learning the cards made playing it with experts a challenge too.
What's the hype all about? Agricola is a good game, maybe even a great game, but the best game ever? Its going to take some convincing.
An enjoyable game with tons of replay value in the box. I cannot add to what has already been said about this title other than to state that it has become popular in our home among all ages -- 10 to adult (with the advanced rules, not the family rules).
Only one play so far. I enjoyed it. The theme really fit the mechanisms of the game. Enjoyable. I would play again. Possibly own too. Online Plays (boiteajeux.net) 2009-12-16 - Played with the "fuller" rules. 2009-12-12 - Bought 2010-09-18 - Sold 2012-11-01 -> 7.5 -> 8.5 (with the BAJ interface games are way faster and no setup/teardown) 2012-11-06 - Bought (Starlit Citadel)
I believe the cards can make the game unbalanced... there are some killer combos out there! Fun game, though, but doesn't live to all the hype created. Infinite re playability is a definite plus! Update: using card draft, combos can be balanced.
My rating is for the family game. So far at least the "gamer" version with the mass of cards rates a little lower. I seem to be unable to keep all the possibilities straight in my head and don't really have a clue what best to do each turn, especially when the Occupations and Minor Improvements are in play. 2010-04 Even playing 2-player with someone that I taught I've failed to score well in almost any game. The intricacies seem to be beyond me. 2010-07 Now I've played (a lot) more I'm probably just as willing to play either version of the game. As long as the others have played the "Family" game at least once before. 2011-07 After teaching a few people to play the "full" version I'd still rather teach the "Family" game but if the new people are wanting everything I'll teach that way. 2017-7 This has now been my favourite game for about 5 years. I prefer to teach the family version so new players have the base understanding of how things work. 2017-12 I've been gifted the revised edition. My plays will likely be more often that version now.
My enthusiasm for Agricola has largely faded. Caverns has eclipsed it. But I have had a lot of fun with Agricola in the past, and it still waits on the shelf, so it may yet see more action.
king of WP
I appreciate the mechanics; I just don't think it's very fun.
Probably my favorite boardgame, and has been for a while now (since we bought it in Dec 08).
I liked Agricola without the cards. The cards just seemed to cause the game to drag on.
My absolute favorite game! I love the depth and that there's so many things that you need to do on a turn but not enough actions to complete everything. I also really enjoy the stress of needing to manage an engine to feed my family throughout the game.
Love this game, top 5 overall
Had some good games, but have moved on. We just have the original and haven't delved into the world of the expansions. Prefer Caverna.