If you know me well, you’ll know that Agricola is my favorite board game of all time. The much beloved worker placement game that has you trying to build the most awesome farm possible keeps me engrossed in using my workers in the most efficient manner as I struggle to farm and feed my family. The addition of the occupation and minor improvement cards makes every game different in the way it opens up new strategies. Needless to say, it’s an evergreen for me.
So when I heard that Mayfair was going to release a new edition of Agricola, I was a little concerned and wondered whether that would result in my old copy of Agricola to become obsolete. Or that it’d turn into something like Caverna, a game that I find OK and nowhere as fun as Agricola.
Well, Anthony Boydell on BoardGameGeek put those concerns to rest. His preview of the new Agricola has be intrigued. The good news: it’s still the same Agricola game I’ve come to know, love, and adore. A big chunk of the changes are UI changes to make more information readily available and understandable to the players. There are also some smaller changes like new cards and new action spaces that I’m really interested in finding out how they’re executed. So with that, let’s dive into some of the photos and comments related to them:
I do like how the pieces now fit together like a puzzle instead of having to fashion cards for the 3 vs. 4 vs. 5 player count. The addition of the point calculation system on the side of the board is also pretty helpful and helps people to see how many points they should be getting if they’ve hit certain thresholds for each of their farm components. The card in the older versions are nice, but this provides a good visual. A good change overall.
What we have here are the cardboard pieces that you punch out when you first open the box. The thing that intrigues me most about this photo are the extra action spaces. I’m curious to find out how they’re used within the game. Is this going to be an extra variant or something that’s driven by cards? Guess I’ll have to find out when I read through the game’s rulebook.
The most striking difference in this set of pictures is in how the UI for the cards makes it easier for people to understand what the cards do. While the Major Improvement cards in the original printing was decent, I really liked how the Basketmaker’s Workshop, Joinery, and Pottery cards make it obvious how many bonus points to award for each set of resources collected. Before, having to look past the “/” symbols was kind of a pain and made it a bit harder to teach others. This change was an improvement.
Less impressive are the changes to the multiple-function cards like Family Growth. I’m not sure if the image of the minor improvement cards makes it easy for players to decipher what to do. For old-timers, the card function is pretty obvious, but I’m not sure if I can explain to a new player which cards would be played as a result of placing a worker there.
Finally, as with any new add-on to Agricola, none would be complete without additional cards. There are new occupations and minor improvements sprinkled in, and for the most part, their abilities look pretty neat. I’m not going to make any power designations anytime soon, but am looking forward to seeing how they impact the game.
Any thoughts based off these images? Let me know in the comments below!