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28

Pat Ludwig has mentioned some good ideas. In my opinion, the four most important things are: Decide and work towards your food strategy early. You need a solid plan to get food. This is the foundation that gives you the breathing space to do everything else. The first couple of turns feel relaxed, because it's ages before the first harvest. Don't let that ...


27

Yes, you can cook them directly. From the rulebook, p.9: 1 Sheep (Stage 1): Place 1 Sheep on this space in the Replenish phase (Phase 2) of each round. A player who selects this action takes all the Sheep from the Action space and must either put them into his farmyard or use an Improvement to turn them into food. Sheep that cannot be pastured or ...


24

As the available actions change based on the number of players, I'll say up front that this advice is primarily for the 4p game. Also, these are general guidelines. There are exceptions for everything! Don't play too many occupations! No more than 3 before the first harvest. 2 is probably better. Reed/Stone/Food is the best square in the game. Stone ...


22

Erik P's reference to Wiktionary is correct, but he is interpreting the IPA pronunciation incorrectly. /aˈɡri.ko.la/ is ah-GRIH-koh-lah. You can hear it pronounced by Merriam-Webster here.


22

Field Watchman, Head of the Family, and Braggart. In statistics gathered from about 2000 games that used drafting, these occupations were picked on average earliest by the player who won the game. See this forum post for the full details, and a list of the first chosen minor improvements too. Edit: It turns out that several occupations are not included in ...


17

The Agricola Compendium is a superb resource for this kind of rules question. In this case, it has your answer: You receive the grain before you've taken the action. For example, if you use a sowing action, you can immediately sow the grain from the Outrider. It sounds like you're interested in the principle behind the answer. I'd love to explain it, ...


17

Play an open game If your friend is willing, why not play a completely open game? All players show all of their cards and explain why they're taking each action. If your friend really is significantly better, you could learn a lot by discovering why he makes certain moves. Perhaps there's some critical flaw in your strategy that's preventing you from ...


16

I've played Agricola (my favourite game) about a million times, and Le Havre only once so far. But I'll give you some of my basic impressions. Agricola and Le Havre are much more similar to each other than, for example, to other Uwe Rosenberg games like Bohnanza and At The Gates Of Loyang. Both are about creating a working food engine in an environment of ...


16

Agricola is an excellent two-player game. In fact, I find that I prefer the two player version of the game to higher numbers of players. I originally bought the game so I would have something less aggressive to play with my wife, and it works brilliantly for that purpose, both because of the game mechanics and because the theme is quite peaceful - Agricola ...


16

Playing Time: I think with practice, a 1 hour game of Agricola is certainly possible, if you don't think every decision to death and you work out a quick way to restock the supply! But I think you'll be (or at least feel like you are) rushing. Especially with setup and teardown. I've played 4 player games in 2 hours, but it doesn't scale precisely. 1 hour ...


15

Suggestion I'd start you with one to three "traveling worker" tokens. Once per turn, when it's your turn to place a family member, you can place a traveling worker token instead of a member of your family (ie: You get to occupy and take an extra action.). The traveling worker goes away at the end of the turn you used it. You never have to feed your ...


15

No, The first part is mandatory, the second optional. The Rules for Family growth (page 5) state: Players must have room for offspring in their home before they can use this action – that is, they must have more rooms in their home than they have Family members. After taking Family growth, the player may choose to purchase a Minor Improvement ...


14

For a grain-based strategy the Clay Oven is key. It's incredibly efficient (1 grain-> 5 food), and crucially, requires only one stone, so you can get it early (guaranteed before the second harvest). In most of my Agricola games, one player will take the fireplace/animal eating option, and the other will go for a grain/baking option. My other key improvement ...


14

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 ...


14

The only time that a family member is only fed 1 food instead of 2 food is if that family member was just added to the family in the round that immediately preceded that harvest. In other words, if that family member has never yet taken any actions.


13

Traveling Players only becomes really relevant in the full game, when players' Occupations and Minor Improvements may trigger off using it. So why is it still there in the family game, you ask? Well, Agricola is a pretty tough game for newbies to "grok" on the first play, or even the first few plays. The last thing you want is for them to have three ...


13

The Bohnanza rulebook on page 3 states that the "first card" in each player's hand is the one that is fully visible when fanned. Rulebook here.


13

I think the house rule will be harmless, and also that after playing a few games, no one will take advantage of partial renovation - because it's a terrible idea. It also introduces unnecessary complexity. Balance: The only balance consequence I see is that the Renovation action can be taken much more often than in standard Agricola. In principle, you ...


12

Here are my rankings of the Major Improvements: Fireplace (2 clay): Hands down, the best Major Improvement. The person who gets this has an easy food engine. In most cases it will take 2 actions for someone else to get into the action giving you time to collect your sheep. You also are first in line to get a cheap cooking hearth. Well: 4 resources for 4 ...


12

You don't say whether you're playing with the Farmers of the Moor expansion; if so, the following suggestion may not apply, as having to heat your 4-room wooden house becomes quite an operation, but: In the standard game, I'd say that growing your family is THE dominant strategy, especially playing against newbies. If you can accumulate 10 wood and 4 reed ...


12

It sounds like it's not the randomness of the action spaces that bothers you, but the unknown factor. If you're playing in person and others share your opinion, I'd suggest revealing the cards after they're shuffled and just use something else to track what round you're on. You'd have to keep an eye on upkeep to make sure you're not letting things accumulate ...


12

The third member will occupy the third room of your house, even if you use the "Family Growth even without a room" action. The relevant rule starts on page 9 of the rule book, under "Family Growth even without a room": Note: If a player who uses this card later extends her home, she may not use the other Family Growth card again until she has more rooms ...


11

Draft Occupations/Minor Improvements The Family version of Agricola is a game of very low randomness. If one player is consistently beating another, then the second player will just have to step up their game, there isn't really any satisfactory way around that! Maybe I am a purist. However! The full game, with the occupation and minor improvement cards,...


11

The definitive answer was given on BoardGameGeek by Hanno Girke (editor of the rules). The Pilgrim has priority. The Pine Forest just states a standard rule, it doesn't create a new rule. Therefore, as soon as you play Pilgrim, you override this rule. There is some background at play-agricola.com, where the Gamer's Deck was designed. As ...


11

Unfenced stables give you a point by removing an unused farmyard space at the end of the game. Since you get -1 point for each unused farmyard space, and stables count as a used farmyard space, they are also 'rewarded' with one point. In order to keep the balance, the rules ensure that you effectively get one point for each stable no matter where it is ...


11

You can add at most one newborn regardless of the number of empty rooms you might have. The rules are clear on this: After Family Growth, also 1 Minor Improvement (Stage 2): A player may only use this Family growth space if he has more empty rooms than Family members. A player who chooses a Family growth action adds their newborn offspring to the ...


10

You need to have a plan for food. You should choose one of these options and work hard towards it: Animals - You want to get the first Fireplace, probably take a bunch of Sheep once they've accumulated up to about 4 and cook most of them. Sets you up well for the later game. You'll want to start breeding soon, so you'll need lots of wood for stables/...


10

I've upvoted the other two answers, as I agree with them completely, but I just wanted to throw in my couple of bits: It's definitely a great 2 player game, and I might even go so far as to say that the 2 player games I play with my wife are my favourite way to play Agricola. Certainly I don't ever think "yeah, this is fun, but if only we'd been able to ...


10

Normally I wouldn't like to answer my own question, but I have played a lot of online Agricola since posting this one, with the specific goal of taking as little wood as possible, so I hopefully have some interesting new information to provide by now... Wood is a really hard commodity to ignore in Agricola, just because it's so versatile. You need wood for ...


10

I'm certain you always have the option to beg if you want to. The rules (p.4) say: A player who cannot or does not wish to produce the required Food must take a Begging card for each missing Food - players may not give up members of their family to avoid the need to feed them. At the end of the game, players lose 3 points for each begging card. So your ...



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