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In Agricola, you're a farmer living in a wooden hut with your spouse and little else. You start with a lot of barren land, no building materials and limited time to build a farm for your family - who need feeding!
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.
Agricola can also be played without cards (family game) and can even be played solo.
One of the best!!!! Fun for hours and hours.
Excellent game, although the instructions are completely overwhelming for the uninitiated (translated from German - lots of details, but no actual simple description of how to play).
My advice is to look up a play guide on YouTube to get a quick overview of how it works.
The box recommends age group 14+ but two nieces aged 9 and 11 enjoyed the game and wanted to play again (pick the 'family game' version).
The game isn't *vindictive* in the same way as traditional games such as Monopoly or Risk is, so less potential for bad feeling when playing between players of differing ability. Players are in control of their own game board which can't be interfered with by other players; the competitive aspect comes in at the end when the score is totted up.
You don't really *get* the mechanics of the game and what your goals should be until you've played through once, at which stage you've probably spent too much time already to play again immediately. This is the only drawback to the game.
Really glad to have it in the house and looking forward to my next play.
We spent a couple of ours reading the rules and watching instructions on youtube before we finally figured it all (almost) out. But once you do get it, it's a cool game, gives lots of opportunities to be creative, and is really fun. Just be prepared to look at the rules before every move when you play at first. It was great not having to order it from abroad, and I collected it from Peter the next day.
Have played with 3-4 players. Difficult learning curve, but worth the effort. Players compete to create the most complete farmyard using resources and improvements. Agricola's beauty is its finite length and variety of options. Once players have mastered the rules and format, this game takes over your mind, as you try to plan your optimal farmyard while others seem determined to undermine you at every step. There is never enough resource and never enough time, so frantic and imaginative alternatives are always needed. This game captures the excitement of the "end-game" right from the start, and does not let up. This is the game we return to again and again, each time believing as individuals that we know what we're doing, only it never works out as planned! Beware: you will have Agricola dreams and sleepless nights. Expensive, but if you love games, definitely one to own.
After looking for a board game to move to after years of playing settlers of catan, I purchased this game. While it is not exactly like Settlers (thankfully), it is comparable and everyone has enjoyed it as much as that game.
Once learned the game takes very little time to play through, in fact the game feels shorter and shorter each time we play. It is a strategy game which demands that you plan ahead and make the most of each move. It seems that chance is a minor role when compared to settlers.
This game has many modes to play through and allows for years of gameplay.
I would recommend watching a youtube video on how to play when you get this game, if you do not have someone to teach you. As others have said, the rules don't make sense to newbies. They are clear after you have played the game through, but I know there were many, "Ah-ha!" moments while watching the video like, "thats an action square!" and others.