Agricola review

Agricola

Agricola was published in 2007 by Z-Man Games. It was designed by Uwe Rosenberg, the German designer famous for Bohnanza, Le Havre, Ora et Labora and Caverna.

The illustrations were done by Klemens Franz, Rosenberg’s frequent collaborator. He is known for his paintings is such games as Le Havre and Orleans (2014)

Game Components

  • Game boards:
    • 5 farmyards for the players
    • 3 game boards for the game actions
    • 1 board for Major Improvements
  • 360 Cards:
    • 169 yellow “Occupation” cards
    • 16 green Action cards with possible actions that depend on the number of players
    • 10 red “Major Improvement” cards
    • 139 orange “Minor Improvement” cards
    • 2 Deck cards (1 Deck I, 1 Deck K)
    • 5 Summary cards
    • 5 grey Begging cards
    • 14 blue Round cards with possible actions for rounds 1 to 14
  • Wooden playing pieces:
    • 5 Family member discs, 4 Stables and 15 Fences in each of the five player colors (blue, green, red, natural wood and purple)
    • 27 round, yellow Grain counters
    • 27 round, light brown Clay counters
    • 15 round, white Reed counters
    • 33 round, dark brown Wood counters
    • 18 round, grey Stone counters
    • 21 Sheep tokens (white cubes)
    • 18 round, orange Vegetable counters
    • 15 Cattle tokens (brown cubes)
    • 18 Wild boar tokens (black cubes)
    • 1 Starting player token
  • And also:
    • 3 Claim markers (with “Guest” on the reverse)
    • 36 yellow Food markers labeled “1”
    • 24 brown/red Wood/Clay hut tiles
    • 33 brown/grey Field/Stone house tiles
    • 9 Multiplication markers (can apply to animals, goods or Food)
    • 1 Scoring pad

Agricola - Inside The Box

Gameplay

You can play Agricola with one to five people. It is a farming strategy. Each player is in charge of their farm. On your turn, you can do one action. There are many possibilities to choose from, like collecting wood, clay, building fences for your farm, expanding the house, plowing fields, planting crops, raising animals, and so on. You get to take two turns during one round: one for the farmer and one for his wife. Later on in the game you will want to enlargen your family, but watch out: you will need more food when you have more mouths to feed.

There are fourteen rounds in total, and after every stage you gather the harvest. Stages finish after rounds 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 14.

Agricola supports different levels of difficulty. It is varied by using or not using special cards (Minor Improvements and Occupations). If you are a beginner, you may choose not to use those cards at all. When you get more advanced, you can start adding the decks. There are three decks for each type of cards: Basic (E), Interactive (I), and Complex (K). You can use those in your game in different combinations to add more levels of depth and variety to the game.

There is a solo variant of Agricola. In 1 player game, you play a campaign that consists of eight games. It is a good way of practicing rules if you are new to the game but is definitely less fun than playing with a company.

Agricola - Solo Play

You can find the Unofficial Agricola Compendium here. It contains the card text, the clarifications given in the appendix of the rulebook, and a number of additional rulings.

Agricola - 3 Player Game

Rules

In the beginning, your farm is empty, you have two rooms in your house, and two people in the family: the farmer and his spouse.

There is an action board, and you place your family members on the spaces for the actions you want to perform. One action can only be performed once every round.

When you start, one of the most important actions is taking resources. The resources in the game include Wood, Clay, Reed, Stone, Wheat, Vegetable, Sheep, Cattle, and Pigs.

You can expand and upgrade your house. Renovation is vital for earning points and family growth. If you have enough space, you can start growing your family. Every family member allows you to take one action during a round. But it is very important to always have enough food to feed your family. If you do not, you will have to take Begging cards, and they will cost you points at the end of the game.

Another thing you can do is grow crops.

If you feel like raising some animals, you can do that as well by building stables and creating pastures.

Then Minor Improvements and Occupations enter the game. There are special action spaces that allow you to play these. They let you break some rules or bend them a little.

When the game is over, you score your points. Everything you have on your farm will give you points: crops, animals, family members, fields, pastures, rooms in your house. Then there are some things that will cost you points like unused spots in your farm and not having some type of cattle.

The winner is the player who has got the most points.

You can find the full rules in PDF here.

Agricola - Final Score

Similar Games

Agricola vs Caverna

Caverna : The Cave Farmers Box Cover

These two games are both farming worker placement strategies. You plant crops, collect resources, and breed cattle in Caverna as well as in Agricola. Caverna is generally easier and has more options for every action. Though, the rules of Caverna may seem harder at first to understand.

As well as Agricola, Caverna has two different levels of complexity.

Caverna has a fantasy theme to it, which is something that Agricola does not have.

Agricola vs Stone Age

Stone Age Board Game

Stone Age, like Agricola, is a worker placement game where you gather resources and build things. It is very well themed and can appeal to inexperienced players by being less punishing than Agricola. If you are playing really badly, you will probably understand it only by the end of the game.

Agricola has definitely more tension than Stone Age.

Agricola vs Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica

Terra Mystica is an economic civilization strategy. You control a fantasy race that is trying to expand its civilization. It is a seriously heavy game that provides you with a really deep gaming experience.

Agricola vs 7 Wonders

7 Wonders

7 Wonders allows up to seven players and can last for ages. You are building a great city in the Ancient World. This is a card drafting, city building strategy.

7 Wonders is a more relaxed way of spending an evening than Agricola.

Expansions

Agricola Ereigniskarten (Agricola Event Cards)

Agricola - Ereigniskarten

This is a set of event cards that are given to people who visit different game conventions in Germany. Each card sets a rule for the game that affects every player.

Agricola L-Deck

Agricola - L-Deck

This is a promo card expansion. It is given away at Spiele Essen. Every year, a new set of promo cards is included in the L-Deck.

Agricola X-Deck

Agricola - X-Deck

This expansion was released via an issue of the Spielbox magazine. It includes 24 cards of five different types (Merchants from Outer Space, Alien Actions, Alien Artifacts, Alien Events, and Alien Occupations).

Agricola Z-Deck

Agricola - Z-Deck

This promo deck contains 12 Minor Improvements and 12 Occupations.

Agricola CZ-Deck (Czech Deck)

Agricola - CZ-Deck

This expansion based on Czech lore and history has 24 cards (12 Occupations + 12 Minor Improvements).

Agricola: Belgium Deck

Agricola - Belgium Deck

With this expansion, you get 60 new Minor Improvements and 60 new Occupations while discovering Belgium!

Buy “Belgium Deck” on Amazon

Agricola: Bielefeld Deck

Agricola - Bielefeld

This expansion with 13 Minor Improvements and 11 Occupations is dedicated to the German city of Bielefeld.

Agricola: Brakelhühner Promo Card

Agricola - Brakelhuhner Promo Card

This is Minor Improvement promo card that was given away at Essen in 2012.

Agricola: De Lage Landen

Agricola - De Lage Landen

This expansion has three decks: Netherlands-deck, Flanders-deck, and Wallonia-deck (240 cards in total). It also contains Agricola: Through the Seasons, stylized grain and vegetables resource pieces, and a sticker sheet.

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor

Agricola - Farmers of the Moor

This expansion brings you lots of new improvements and features. It introduces horse as the new animal in the game. Plus, now you also have to heat your house in order for you and your family to stay healthy.

Buy “Farmers of the Moor” on Amazon

Agricola: France Deck

Agricola - France Deck

This is a theme deck dedicated to history and culture of France.

Buy “France Deck” on Amazon

Agricola: Gamers’ Deck

Agricola - Gamers Deck

This expansion brings you 120 new Minor Improvement and Occupations.

Buy “Gamers’ Deck” on Amazon

Agricola: Glonnacker

Agricola - Glonnacker

This mini expansion honours the 90th birthday of Erwin Glonnegger, the legendary German game designer, and includes a special field.

Agricola: NL-Deck

Agricola - NL-Deck

This thematic expansion invites you to celebrate the culture of the Netherlands.

Buy “NL-Deck” on Amazon

Agricola: Ö-Deck

Agricola - O-Deck

This expansion dedicated to Austria was available at a gameplay festival in Vienna in 2008.

Agricola: Pi-Deck

Agricola - Pi-Deck

This expansion adds 12 Minor Improvements and 12 Occupations.

Agricola: The Goodies Expansion

Agricola - The Goodies Expansion

Buy “The Goodies Expansion” on Amazon

The Goodies Expansion brings together Agricola: X-Deck, Agricola: Ö-Deck, Agricola: CZ-Deck, Agricola: L-Deck, 5 double-sided theme boards, a sticker sheet, and wooden meeples, translated to Spanish and English.

Agricola: The Legen*dairy Forest-Deck

Agricola - The Legen-dairy Forest-Deck

Buy “The Legen*dairy Forest-Deck” on Amazon

Cards from this expansion form the Forest deck. It is inspired by fairy tales that take place in the forest and brings a new dimension to the game.

Agricola: Through the Seasons

Agricola - Through the Seasons

This is a promo card that was given away at Essen in 2008. It shows the four seasons, and each season comes with an additional field and some minor tweaks to some actions.

Agricola: World Championship Deck – 2011

Agricola - World Championship Deck 2011

This expansion with 60 Minor Improvements and 55 Occupations was designed for the first Agricola World Championship held in Vienna in 2011.

Buy “World Championship Deck – 2011” on Amazon

Improved Farming & Disasters

Agricola - Improved Farming and Disasters

This is a fan expansion. It includes 21 Occupations, 23 Disaster cards, 23 Minor Improvements, 18 start cards, 1 Fog Marker, and 10 new types of tiles.

The MY Deck

Agricola - The MY Deck

This is a print and play fan expansion. It has 15 Occupations, 1 Major Improvement, and 11 Minor Improvements.

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small

Agricola - All Creatures Big and Small

This is a 2-player redesign of Agricola that is concentrated on breeding animals. There are two expansions available – More Buildings Big and Small and Even More Buildings Big and Small.

Buy “All Creatures Big and Small” on Amazon

FAQ

Q: Is there Agricola for PC?

A: Yes, you can play it on http://play-agricola.com/ – a site that is specifically dedicated to Agricola online play. There is another site you may want to check out: http://www.boiteajeux.net/. It has plenty of board games you can play online. Also, you can download an iOS app here.

Q: Is there an Android application for Agricola?

A: No, currently there is not.

Q: What is the card size in Agricola?

A: It is 59×91 mm. You can get sleeves for them from Mayday Games.

Q: Where can I find tips and tutorials for Agricola?

A: There are plenty of videos and articles online. Try these for tips:

Then there are many tutorials:

This one is Tabletop simulator: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS3Sp8BJVUA.

Youtube

Conclusion

Agricola has definitely earned itself the reputation of a farming worker placement classic. If this what you like and you still have not played it – do not hesitate to get your hands on this Z Man masterpiece by Uwe Rosenberg.

Agricola demands quick wits, enterprise, planning, and tactics. You need to have a strategy, but you also need to watch what others are doing not to get behind.

Agricola is not the easiest game to learn how to play. It has plenty of rules. But it is worth trying. Because if you try it – you will love it.

You can buy Agricola on Amazon here.