Agricola is a popular board game based on 17th century European farming! Although the topic may not wow you, believe me this family board game will hold your interest and is addictive!
The Storyline of Agricola
It draws upon all your strategic skills and is one of those games that you can learn from and get better at – making repeat play continually exciting.
Agricola is for 1-5 players and the basis of the game is that you and your spouse live in a small wooden shack on uncultivated farmland. You need to transform your family's fortunes and build a thriving farm as well as deal with the demands of a growing family.
How to Play Agricola
Each player has their own game board and is dealt a hand of cards which they use for each of the 14 rounds. These cards are made up of 'Occupation' and 'Minor Improvements'. Occupation cards give players different abilities. Improvements cards indicate positive changes to the farm and farmhouse.
Each turn you take two actions, one for you and one for your spouse (more if you have any kids). Turns involve the couple working on farm activities and caring for the family.
Game Strategy for Agricola
Game decisions that you need to make include if/when to have children and then ensuring you provide food for them. In addition you need to balance this with preparing for and undertaking farm tasks such as ploughing and sowing fields, building stables or fencing and more. The farmhouse can also be extended and renovated.
However, as in real life every decision you make has repercussions…. Want children? If so you'll gain an extra turn each round but you'll need to feed your child (there are penalties if anyone goes hungry) plus you'll need to build an extra room in your farmhouse.
Whatever actions you take your opponents will also be working hard so you are not only grafting to survive and hopefully prosper, but you also need to be achieving more than the other players. As you become a more experienced player you make better choices and learn strategies to plan for avoid potential pitfalls.
One thing we liked about the game is that players aren't given a score until the very end so it's nice to have the anticipation all the way through. The final score is based on the size of their farm and how well run it is. You gain points for all the things you have added to your farm but are penalized for things that are missing.
Review of Agricola Board Game
One nice touch with Agricola is that you can get different decks of cards that operate at different levels - so kids and novices are best to start off with the beginners version but can then try a harder deck once they have mastered the game. The game can also be played solo so it’s very versatile.
On the downside, Agricola is quite a complicated game that takes time to learn. There is pressure the whole way through - this is no light-hearted game.
However, on the upside, Agricola is definitely a game with substance that maintains interest and challenge throughout the game. It has developed a very big fan base. Every game is different - lots of variety due to the big pool of cards and the various options and choices you can make.
Overall opinion – a great addition to your games cupboard. Go try out Agricola for hours of family fun!