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I popped round to visit some friends earlier this week and a 4-player game of Agricola sprang up, as often happens. One of the players hadn't played before so we ran through the rules for her benefit. While stables were being explained, I "helpfully" chimed in with the fact that, if you have 2 stables in a two-space pasture, each one doubles the capacity of the pasture - so you end up with a pasture capable of holding 16 of one type of animal.

My host who was explaining the game was unimpressed. "Actually that's not true - it would only hold 8 animals."

I said I was sure I was right, and he said no, they'd looked this up in the rules specifically. I immediately started leafing through the rulebook in search of justification for my position, and thought I'd found it. "I think you're misreading this rule that says you can only have one stable per farmyard space. That doesn't mean you can only have on stable per pasture."

"No," he retorted wearily, "you can have more than one stable per pasture, but nowhere does it say that that keeps redoubling the number of animals. All it says is that a pasture with a stable in it has double capacity. Anyway that's the way we play it and that's the end of it."

And it did seem as though he had a point, the rules didn't seem nearly as explicit on this subject as I had imagined them to be. In addition, it's actually really unlikely that you'd need a pasture holding 16+ of one type of animal in Agricola, so it wasn't something there was any point in having a big fight over.

Still, on the principle of the thing: which of us was right and which wrong on this point? Is there anywhere in the rules, or in an external authoritative ruling, that clarifies how multi-stable pastures work?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Each stable doubles the capacity of the pasture.

While not usually a great move, there are situations where this could be useful.

From the rules, top right on page 9: (Emphasis is mine)

Each stable costs 2 Wood and can be placed on a fenced or empty unfenced farmyard space. A fenced stable doubles the holding capacity of a pasture. Each farmyard space can hold 1 stable. Each space within a pasture may have its own stable: the pasture’s capacity is then multiplied by 4, 8, etc.

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