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.

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 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? Mar 27, 2013 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.) Apr 1, 2013 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...) Apr 1, 2013 at 23:02

The text in the card refers to 'Plow or Harrow' with capital P and Capital H. This is because they are nouns (note that when the verb is used, as in "you can plow..." it is not written with capital P).

The manual is specifically referring to the Minor Improvements whenever the Harrow is mentioned along with the other Plows.

It only makes sense that text in the cards follow the same semantic.

Also, actions are not played. Actions are taken. You can play a family member into an action space to take one (or more) of the actions in that space.


In the absence of specifics on this card it is incorrect to interpret that 'playing the plow' means playing the plow card. This is incorrectly restricting the meaning which has no justification in the official rule book. Playing a plow card is just one way in which you can 'play a plow'. The other way is playing the plow action space. 'Playing' a plow is a verb and this therefore means any action in which you plow a field either single or multiple. This includes playing a plow action space (the most frequent way in which a player can play a plow) or player a plow card (much less frequent). In regular play you cannot not therefore restrict the 'playing' the plow' meaning to any one way in which a plow is played since this is not supported by the official rules. Playing the plow there refers in unrestricted terms to any action (action space or card) by any player in which one or more fields have been plowed during the game.

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