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I played the Yoke minor improvement, and there was some disagreement as to whether it referred to the number of fields currently on the board, the number of times the "Plow 1 Field" action has been taken, or the number of "plow" minor improvements that had been played. What is actually meant by this card?

Card Text:

When you play this card, you can immediately plow 1 field for each Plow that has been played (by any player) or Harrow if it has been played.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

The Yoke is talking about the other minor improvements with "Plow" in the name: the Swing Plow, Stump-Jump Plow, Riding Plow, etc. So, for each one that's been built (and is still in play) at the time you build the Yoke, you can immediately plow one field.

If nobody has played any of the Plows/Ploughs/Harrow, then it's not useful. It's cheap to build (as long as you have cattle), but it's also not very powerful.

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I play, or used to play, a fair bit of Agricola draft and I think it's fair to say that the Yoke is almost always a last-pick card. Even given that Plows are usually very good, and people will generally play them if they can get them, the Yoke... isn't. Maybe in a 4 or 5 player game where everyone has ended up with a Plow? – thesunneversets Mar 27 '13 at 4:08
@thesunneversets Good point: it's a card with huge prerequisites (that you can't even control!) and an underwhelming effect; its one redeeming feature is the low cost. If there's only one Plow in play, then it's exactly the same as the Plow One Field action, except it costs you 1 Wood to boot. (Maybe it's still useful if you're more interested in taking First Player, but that's about it.) – Paul Marshall Apr 1 '13 at 22:00
Yeah, what REALLY makes the Yoke suck is that you can't even play it in the early game when you might need to grab first player. (Lots of Minor Improvements that cost 1 Wood are rather playable in the early game, but the Yoke's requirement of a cattle totally kills that...) – thesunneversets Apr 1 '13 at 23:02

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