Agricola is a 2-5 player game that’s best played with 4 players. The game places you as a peasant farmer in the Middle Ages where you’re scraping by, trying to farm your land as best you can and feeding your family. To do so, you can set your family members to work, collecting resources, plowing fields and then sowing them with seeds which can be harvested later for grain or vegetables, fence off pasture space on your board to fill them with animals, and then using cooking implements to cook your animals or turning grain into bread.

In addition to the basic farming work that you’ll be doing over the course of the game, you can also upgrade your house by adding more rooms or changing the overall structural material your house is made of by upgrading it from a wooden house to a house made out of clay or even stone! You can also undertake different occupations or buy many different farm improvements which can allow you access to more resources or allow your family members’ actions to become even more efficient. And the baby-making part is fun too! Not as fun as the real thing, but pretty close.

But beware. Other players will be jockeying for the same resources that you’re looking to obtain and they have the potential to keep you from reaching your goal. On top of that, god forbid you let your family starve, because if you do, victory will become that much harder to attain…

Agricola in a nutshell

Core Mechanics: Worker placement, building and board development.

Victory Condition: Agricola’s victory conditions are simple enough: get the most points! But it’s how you obtain points that can be challenging. In Agricola, you’re rewarded for having a diverse farm; you’ll want a little bit of everything to maximize your score. So crops give you points, animals get you points, family members give you points, and special structures that you can build will give you more points.

Ease of learning: Heavy – I would not teach this game to other players unless I were confident in their ability to understand varied game mechanics. Agricola features a lot of moving parts and a giant deck of occupations and minor improvements that are all linked together, making it hard to grasp on your first playthrough since you don’t know what’s good and what’s not. For most players’ first time, I just tell them to try not to starve and learn the game mechanics as they go.

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Basic Agricola Strategy Guide
Agricola Single-Player Strategy Guide
Agricola Review
Agricola Video Guide

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