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Juegos de Mesa

🚜 Agricola: Rules and Review

In this opportunity, we will analyze one of The Most Sold Board Games in the Last Decade: Agricola.

It is a thematic board game that has been awarded many times, having even received the prize “Golden Geek Award” for Best Board Game in 2008. Created by Uwe Rosemberg and edited by Homolúdicos, Agricola is designed for the whole family, who should join together to develop a farm.

Agricola belongs to the category of “complex games” but this does not mean that it is difficult to play, what it means is that match of this game represents a whole thematic universe. Players will quickly find themselves putting into practice not only agricultural growth strategies, but also economic, financial, and trading skills that will give them the tools they need to expand their farms.

The main challenge of this game is that the farms must not only concentrate on expanding, but they also represent the home and at the same time the main source of livelihood for their families. Therefore, while farmers want to grow economically, they must make sure that the basic needs of their families are met.

Lookout | Agricola | Juego Familiar | Juego de Mesa | 1-4 Jugadores | A Partir de 8 años | 45 Minutos | alemán
  • El juego competitivo de conocedores Agricola regresa con una versión adaptada a la familia, ponte en el papel de un agricultor, construye tu propia granja y gestiona a tu familia
  • Suministra a tu familia en la que creces la granja, pides cultivos y ganadería, coloca tu figura en un campo de acción para poder realizar la acción directa y fácilmente
  • En los campos de acción puedes recolectar granos, arar campos y construir molinos de viento, no operes monocultivo, porque solo con una economía equilibrada de campo y ganado estarás victorioso
  • Las reglas del juego clásico Agricola se han simplificado considerablemente en la variante familiar, el juego familiar Agricola te ofrece diversión estratégica con toda la familia
  • 1-4 jugadores | A partir de 8 años |45 minutos de tiempo de juego por partida | Autor: Uwe Rosenberg | Juego en alemán

And remember, to play Agricola we recommend that you watch this video. It is ambient music that will surely give an extra point to your game!

Game Theme. What’s Agricola About?

Agricola is characterized by a fairly strong theme without leaving much room for the imagination of the players. The game is designed with a background story that takes place in the 1670s in a Europe that is just beginning to recover from a plague that would have invaded it since 1348. As the plague subsides, the desolate lands begin to be worked again by provincial families.

The point is that, as in real life, so many years of no production have greatly reduced the purchasing power of families in the regions. These families, therefore, have no choice but to start from scratch. That is why at the beginning of each game, players only have a small hut with only two rooms and only two members per family.

The economy of the farm is directly linked to the amount of work the family is able to do. To do this they must plan ahead because while it is true that the labor of new members is always necessary, they must also take into account that a larger family involves higher consumption costs, and without a strategic plan, they may end up not having the resources to feed them all.

How to Play Agricola

Agricola is a game of strategy. The players and their teams must apply planning methods with the main objective of expanding their farms, an objective in which luck does not play a part. The chance that characterizes other board games, in this game is almost non-existent.

Each move will be a product of the strategic planning of the teams and, therefore, the winning team will be the one with more productive, economic, and financial skills.

Agricola Game Specifications

In addition to being classified as a strategy game, it is also a resource management game. The idea is that players get the most out of the plots that are assigned to them at the beginning of the game, hence the need to manage their resources in order to multiply them

As for the technical aspects of the games, these can last up to two hours. Also, the basic version can be played by one, two, three, or four players. As for the recommended age, the minimum is twelve years old. However, we think that younger children can learn to play it with the necessary practice.

What is included in the Agricola Game?

The game is equipped with boards, cards, and markers. The boards are 3: the main board game, four farm boards, and a resource board. While 120 playing cards are sorted into blue, green, red, Beggars Cards, and Game Help Cards. Finally, the Markers include 44 food markers, 3 hint markers, and 10 resource markers.

With special emphasis on the cards, it is necessary to explain each of their categories, which are:

The blue cards are the so-called round cards. They allow all players to execute new actions such as extending the family, building new rooms, planting new crops, and so on.

Green cards or action cards. They are arranged visibly and face up. The number will depend on the number of players so that the number of green cards always exceeds by one the number of players in the game.

Red or acquisition cards. They are placed on the corresponding board and once nine of these cards are accumulated you must turn the board over.

Begging cards. They can be used during the feeding phase and can be applied when the family is short of a meal, or when, having a meal unit, you do not wish to consume it to feed the family. When using this card you must leave it visible to all players and it has the ability to cover the need for food, but at the same time, you get three points for each missing unit.

Game help cards. These are instructional cards, distributed so that each player has one and serve to know the phases of the game and the final score.

The development of the game

The game consists of 14 rounds which are in turn divided into six eras, you will know that one era is over when it is time to harvest. Each round has 4 phases:

1. Round start: you draw a blue card and distribute the shares among the family members. These actions can consist of plowing a field, learning a trade, getting wood for the fire, getting animals to raise or consume, planting vegetables, expanding the house, among others.

2. Replacement phase: in this phase is included to the board the resources that the family has, which can be food, wood, animals, among others.

3. Working day phase: mobilizing only one member per shift, in this phase each family member must be incorporated in the activity assigned to them.

4. Return home phase: to finish the round, each member of the family must leave their assigned tasks to return home.

  • Harvest phase: this event does not happen in all the rounds, only in rounds 4, 7, 11, 13, and 14.
  • During the harvest, the families will be able to collect the fruit of their hard work, this means they will be able to pick the harvested vegetables, which will be distributed one part to feed the family and another part to sell or exchange.
  • Also, during the harvest, they breed the animals that will help meet the needs for food, serve as an exchange for other goods, or simply continue to reproduce and expand the breeding.

Finally, during round 14 the boards are cleared and the final sum is made.

Whoever has obtained the higher score is the winner of the game.

Diversify and Win

In Agricola, the aim is to recreate farms that are self-sufficient, for this it is necessary that all the fields are developed. It is not worth that families concentrate only on growing vegetables, or only on raising animals. The idea is that they can do everything equally, and the winning farm will be the one that succeeds in this purpose.

To guarantee these diversity guidelines, the game has a maximum score per category. In this sense, families can only accumulate a maximum of four points per category. After reaching these points, the best thing to do is to dedicate efforts to another area. Another reason to dedicate time to all categories is that if the family fails to do anything in one of the categories, one point will be deducted.

With Agricola, worker placement and resource management games gained considerable popularity. What makes this game so fun is that it perfectly combines the game mechanics with the farm theme. At first, the game cover may not look too appealing, and the idea of having fun planting and growing does not sell much entertainment. But the truth is that a single game is enough to get you hooked on Rosenberg’s creation.

Another point of brilliance in this game is that it is designed to concentrate on a set of boards and cards an entire and realistic universe. With little effort, players will see themselves developing almost a sense of ownership over their acquisitions, the rivalry with other farms and the difficulty in expanding the fields, makes every advance on the farm truly valuable.

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Gabriel Rodríguez
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