Friday 11 September 2009


In this award-winning game you are a farmer - and that means that you have to take care of growing food, expanding your pasture, managing your family life and doing a lot of other things a farmer usually has to do. The topic has been adopted in a great way and lead to one of the most popular games of the last years.

The box comes fully (!) packed. I've rarely seen so many different components in a box of this size. It's full of boards, cards, markers and wooden cubes - and the quality is appealing, also the artwork is solid (adequate to the topic).

Agricola is a turn-based game and consists of 14 turns (and 6 harvest phases taking place after certain turns). Each player starts with two tokens (= two family members) and therefore at the beginning can choose to execute two actions (enlarge the family, collect clay/wood/stone, improve the building, grow food, build fences for the cattle, and so on). Each available action can be chosen only once, therefore the turn order is rather important. As the game goes on more and more choices are available and also job-cards and item-cards can be included in the personal strategy. At the end your entire farm is "rated" depending on size and quality, and the player with the most victory points wins the game.

I like this game. I like the topic and the gameplay, it's a pretty good simulation from my point of view. The game comes with rules for beginners and for advanced play (adding job- and item-cards), and this ensures a simple and quick access. It also offers a lot of depth when playing with all the cards, enabling the possibility to adjust your strategy with different small choices. Meanwhile some expansions are available as well (Ö-deck, X-deck,...) which further broaden the gaming experience.
Agricola is fun, Agricola is exciting. I just can repeat myself: I really like this game.

From the publisher: In Agricola (Latin for "farmer"), you're a farmer in a wooden shack with your spouse and little else. On a turn, you get to take only two actions, one for you and one for the spouse, from all the possibilities you'll find on a farm: collecting clay, wood or stone; building fences; and so on. You might think about having kids in order to get more work accomplished, but first you need to expand your house. And what are you going to feed all the little rugrats?

Agricola is a turn-based game. There are 14 game turns plus 6 harvest phases (after turn 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 14). Each player starts with two playing tokens (farmer and wife) and thus can take two actions per turn. There are multiple options, and while the game progresses, you'll have more and more: first thing in a turn, a new action card is flipped over.Problem: Each action can be taken just once per turn, so it's important to do some things with high preference. Each player also starts with a hand of 7 Occupation cards (of more than 160 total) and 7 Minor Improvement cards (of more than 140 total) that he may use during the game if they fit in his/her strategy. This amounts to countless strategies, some depending on your card hand. Sometimes it's a good choice to stay on course, sometimes you better react on what your opponents do.

1-5 players, 120 min
author: uwe rosenberg
published by: lookout games (german), z-man games (english)
category: farming, economic

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