Agricola (2007)

Players: 1 - 5
Playing time: 120 minutes

Related Games:

Data from BoardGameGeek
In Agricola, 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?

The game supports many levels of complexity, mainly through the use (or non-use) of two of its main types of cards, Minor Improvements and Occupations. In the beginner's version (called the Family Variant in the U.S. release), these cards are not used at all. For advanced play, the U.S. release includes three levels of both types of cards; Basic (E-deck), Interactive (I-deck), and Complex (K-deck), and the rulebook encourages players to experiment with the various decks and mixtures thereof. Aftermarket decks such as the Z-Deck and the L-Deck also exist.

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 job cards (of more than 160 total) and 7 item cards (of more than 140 total) that he/she may use during the game if they fit in his/her strategy. Speaking of which, there are countless strategies, some depending on your card hand. Sometimes it's a good choice to stay on course, and sometimes it is better to react to your opponents' actions.

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Phillip McCaughey

  • Rated this 7/10
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Graham Charlton

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Richard Fisher

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Alan Beaumont

Too many cards to even scratch the surface of possible options. Best players generally triumph. That isn't me, but I don't seem to mind.

  • Rated this 9/10
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David King

A highly addictive mix of limited action placement and an almost collectible card game method of customisation, if occasionally tilted in favour of the player with the best cards, assuming all players are otherwise equal. It seems easy to get into despite the reliance on making sure you approach it with right eye for what actions are needed and when, and the variety in the cards that are drawn each game mean that I doubt I will get tired of either the multi-player or the solo games any time soon. The theme is also curiously appealing, and adds to the gentle and accessable feel of a game that would otherwise appear quite cutthroat, which has put me off some similar titles. Maybe it's because I've been recruited to help down at my local allotments from time to time, but it makes a nice change from angry space colonists and anti-social mages!

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Vic Chatfield

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Toast Crumbs

Leant to Kerrie & Pete on 26-06-2016.

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Simon Marks

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Shane Lam

can't really put it into words ... I just don't feel it (I've won a recent game of it also - and still the same feeling)

  • Rated this 1/10

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