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415 of 428 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I may have found my new favorite board game!
I have been an active player of board games for at least 35 years. I've played games at all levels of complexity, ranging from tournament level Avalon-Hill bookcase games to family and party card and boardgames. For the past five or so years my favorite board game has been "The Settlers of Catan" (and its variants), that is, until I played "Agricola".

OK,...
Published on January 10, 2009 by ARH

versus
109 of 127 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as much fun as I'd hoped.
Agricola / B001C7617Q

I bought this game for my husband - he loves European games and has all the big names and many of the little ones. I really like quite a few of the European games now, thanks to him, and I love farming games, so this seemed like a no-brainer.....but it wasn't actually as much fun as we'd hoped.

To start with, it's a little...
Published on July 25, 2010 by Amazon Customer


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415 of 428 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I may have found my new favorite board game!, January 10, 2009
By 
ARH (The Shadow of the Tetons) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
I have been an active player of board games for at least 35 years. I've played games at all levels of complexity, ranging from tournament level Avalon-Hill bookcase games to family and party card and boardgames. For the past five or so years my favorite board game has been "The Settlers of Catan" (and its variants), that is, until I played "Agricola".

OK, first, a bit about the game...

Each player in the game (up to 5 can play) represent a farmer in 1670 AD and his spouse. About now you may be thinking, "yawn," but just wait, there is some real strategy and fun to be had here. Play progresses as players use their farmer and spouse each turn to do different things including the possibility of building a larger house, raising crops, fencing in pastures, collecting food, collecting animals, having children (that can also work each turn), etc. All the way through the game there is a real challenge when it comes to feeding your family, and improving your lot in life. You can improve your chances of success by playing occupation cards that give your players different capabilites, and by playing cards that represent a variety of differing improvements to your house, fields, etc.

The neat thing about this game is that every occupation card and every improvement card is unique, and because players are dealt only a limited number of cards at the beginning of the game, the game is never the same twice.

This game takes about twice as long to play as a round of "The Settlers of Catan", but the time flies when you play.

Many websites that rank the popularity of games are seeing this game climb rapidly to the top of those rankings.

If you enjoy a game that employs a small element of luck (the cards you are dealt), and a large degree of strategy (what to work to have your family members do each turn), then this game may be for you. So, if you have taken games like "The Settlers of Catan", "Ticket to Ride", and "Carcassone" as far as you can and you are ready for a bit larger gaming challenge then you will not be disappointed with this offering.

OK, one last experience - my wife and I were playing this game recently when our 9-yr-old daughter came up and asked, "Is that game like the 'Game of Life'?" After a moment's reflection I told her it was more like the game of "real" life. You know, working hard, scrambling to feed the family, accumulating different commodities to improve the house, etc.

When I opened my copy of the game I was impressed that the game company had the foresight to go so far as to include a bag of small reclosable plastic bags that can be used to separate the different pieces and types of cards from each other, thus helping keep the game better organized in the box and making for quicker set-up times whenever you want to play. Thanks Z-Man Games!

This game is worth far more than 5 stars!

I believe that this game will remain a favorite of mine for many years to come.

I hope this review was helpful.

Note: One last thing, it is WAY easier to learn to play this game if you can hook up with someone that already plays the game than by reading the rules on your own.
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137 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Complex Euro Game, September 4, 2008
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
I had the opportunity to play Agricola over the past weekend and I must admit, I was impressed. First of all, this is a VERY weighty box. You get a lot of bits for your money. The game has 9 small boards (one for each player and several that create the shared interaction area), about 200 wooden pieces (representing people, resources, animals, etc.), several sheets of high quality cardboard tiles and several hundred cards. When you open it, the box is really full which is decidedly satisfying.

There are two versions of the game. The Family version (which I played) does not use most of the cards, but is still a very complex game. I recommend reading the rules and setting aside ample time on your first play to figure out the flow of the game. Also, definitely take the suggestion of starting with the Family game first. And this may be a good one to play 2-3 rounds of and then start over since the strategies only really become apparent after digging into the game. The length of the game is such that if you find yourself behind in early rounds, the rest of the game may be a major drag if you play it to the end.

The game play is not atypical of many Euro games (Puerto Rico in particular) with aspects of resource management, role selection and territory management all coming into play together. However, they are brought together in a very nice way that makes for a unique and challenging gaming experience.

One final aspect of Agricola that is appealing is that it can be played as a single player game. Although, I haven't played the single player version, I've heard that it is very challenging and satisfying which is delightful given the dearth of good solo games.

All in All, this is a top notch Euro Game. I would not recommend it for someone who is new to Euro style games as there are better gateway game choices (Carcassonne, Catan, etc.) but it is an excellent way to take your Euro gaming experience to a new level.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my two favorite games ever!, May 5, 2010
By 
E. Lambeth (Paso Robles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
I LOVE Agricola! I'll explain why later, and try to break the game down for those who enjoy that type of thing:

OBJECT OF THE GAME:
Score more points than your opponents! But there's no point scoring during the game. Points are tallied at the end. The object is to build the best, most complete farm. What goes on a farm? Fenced pastures with stables, animals in those fences, fields of grain and vegetables, and your home, which starts as a two room shack that you'll want to build into a more solid house. With end-of-game scoring, you're penalized if you're lacking any type of animal, if you're lacking fields of grain or veggies, if you've got unused acreage, and if your house is a pathetic embarrassment that a homeless cowboy wouldn't bother sleeping in on a rainy evening. You've got to consider everything!

GAME MECHANICS:
The Mechanics are simple: The game is broken into 14 rounds, and in each round, you have a minimum of 2 turns. At the beginning of a round, you furnish the "action" board with a round's worth of supplies. Put a reed disc on the Reed area, put 3 wood pieces on the wood area, put a couple pieces of food on the Fishing area, put a sheep piece on the sheep action area, etc. When it's your turn, you take your family member (represented by a colored disc) and put it on one of the action spaces on the board. For that round, that action is yours and yours alone. So if you put your piece on the Wood action space, you get to collect the three wood on that space. You put the three wood pieces in your supply area. When the next person has a turn, they have to pick a different action other than taking wood, because you just took that one. Maybe they'll take the Clay action (which is a commodity needed to buy a fireplace or build other things). When it gets back to your turn, you now have one more turn this round. Perhaps you choose to plow a field. That allows you to put a field marker on your personal farm board. Now your opponents cannot use that action in this round.
When the round is over (when everybody has had their two turns), you begin the next round (unless there's a harvest), and the start of the round, again, has you filling the action board with supplies. 3 more wood, 1 more reed, one more clay, etc. If nobody took a wood action in the last round and there were already three wood on the wood space, now there's 6 wood on that space. Every round, things like wood, sheep, reed, stone, etc keep getting added to until somebody takes them. So on your turn you have to decide: Do I want to take those 3 wood, or can I risk not taking them and waiting till the next round, hoping nobody else takes it and I can grab 6 wood with just one turn?

STRATEGY:
You start off with two people (farmer and spouse) which gives you two turns. You can add a kid to your family, which gives you an extra turn (each family member gets one turn, so a family of 4 gets you four turns per round). But early on if you want to add that kid to give you that third turn per round, it's going to require you build another room on your shack. That's going to take some wood and some reed. But you also need wood for building fences. You need fences to hold more than 1 animal in your field. You need a stable to hold many of one kind of animal in a fenced area, and that's going to require some wood to build, too. Using up action after action just to get 3 wood per shot isn't going to cut the mustard, because you also have to plow fields (there's one action), fill it with grain (there's another action) or vegetables (another), and you still have to feed your family, because come harvest time, each family member needs two food to survive. The way scoring works, you really don't want to be caught at harvest time without enough food to feed your family. There are actions (turns) you can waste on grabbing food, and there are also actions that allow you to convert grain into food, and actions that allow you to buy a fireplace or hearth to cook animals and make them into food for your family. So what do you do with your turns? What will your opponent do? If there are a few sheep on the Sheep action and you're the only one with a fenced area on their farm, you can wait out taking that sheep until somebody else adds a fence, and that might get you extra sheep for that one action. So each turn is a big decision. What can I do to improve my farm, and if I don't take this action, will that action be available to me in the next round, with greater value?
It might be nice to snag the reed action when there's a couple reed sitting there, but wouldn't it be nice to spend the same single action on that reed when there's four reed on the reed action spot?
You cannot waste moves in this game. When you waste a move or make a bad move, it will end up costing you in the end. You'll have situations where you need food come harvest time which will require you bake bread, but you've only got one turn left and you still have to add grain (1 turn) and sow/bake bread (another turn). Damn, if you only had another kid!

You need bargain moves, and you need to anticipate what your opponent needs, so you can pass up actions now and take them later at a better bargain.

SCORING:
You get negative points for having unoccupied farmland, a lack of a certain type of animal, a lack of a veggie or grain, etc. The more kids you have, the more animals, the better the house, the more fenced stables, the more plowed fields, the more improvements on said houses, the more points you get.

WHY I LOVE THIS GAME:
When you finish the game and you have filled your field (sometimes you wont) and you've converted your little shack into a 4 room stone house and you have fields filled with grains and vegetables and you have cattle, pigs, and sheep roaming in fenced areas, you feel pretty damn good about yourself and all that time thinking and banging your head against the table and taking 5 minutes to think of the best move possible and saying "I know I know. I'm almost ready. I'm thinking!" ends up being worth it. It's a frustrating game when you've taken some bad risks and find yourself behind the 8 ball so to speak, but it's so much fun when you see your last 4 or 5 moves on the horizon and feel like you've got a great chance to make an impressive farm. And then when it's over, you just want to sit there and look at all you've done. :) Don't clear the board yet. I want to look a little longer and talk about why I just kicked ass at this game. :-p

I love this game because even after I've played what I consider to be a decent game, I feel like there's SO much more intricacies to learn about this game and better strategies to play. Every game requires a lot of thought and nervous tension while you wonder what your opponent is going to do, what you're going to do, and how you're going to feed your family.

THE RULEBOOK:

The rulebook is useful as a reference AFTER you know how to play. Visit youtube and look up the Agricola Review from Board Games with Scott in order to learn how to play.
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97 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars View from a new board gamer, November 17, 2008
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
Just this year I was introduced to a game that chances are you know by now: Settlers of Catan. It was my first experience with European-style board games; up until then I only knew about Monopoly and Clue (granted, I have owned and enjoy Scotland Yard which I consider on a different league than those two, but not as good as Catan). After playing Catan for half a year, I decided to go for something else. I've had read good things about Agricola on Boardgamegeek (it's number one, after all) so I decided to almost blind buy, enticed by the idea of being a farmer (a dream of mine). So I've played this game enough to say that it's the next logical step from Catan to a "deeper" or more complex gaming experience. As a person who just got into complex board games, I can say that this game is deep and complex, but not difficult, which is a plus because people from different ages and non-gamers are more open to play. There's also no dice involved, so it's less a game of chances and more a game of choices (making the right ones). I can see this game is gonna consume a lot of my time. Highly recommended.
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109 of 127 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as much fun as I'd hoped., July 25, 2010
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
Agricola / B001C7617Q

I bought this game for my husband - he loves European games and has all the big names and many of the little ones. I really like quite a few of the European games now, thanks to him, and I love farming games, so this seemed like a no-brainer.....but it wasn't actually as much fun as we'd hoped.

To start with, it's a little disappointing that the game pieces for animals and crops are just different colored cubes. We'd been expecting ani-meeples and vegie-meeples, but you have to buy those separately. I'm not sure why this was so disappointing - we're perfectly used to the cubes in Puerto Rico - but maybe the difference is that in other games, the cubes are supposed to represent huge 'lots' of meat and vegetable for exporting, whereas here the cubes are actually supposed to represent crops taken directly from the ground and animals interacted with on a personal level. Whatever the reason, the cubes made the game distinctly less fun, so I highly recommend you buy the separate meeples if you do get Agricola.

The instructions are, unfortunately, what I've come to expect from European games - labyrinthine, overly-complex (as in, the game rules are complex, but the instructions make them seem even MORE so), and probably having enjoyed many adventures through the translation process - veterans will know by now that it's usually wise to cross-check informal player instructions online.

Once we started playing, I was surprised to notice how tense the game feels. I was expecting a more leisurely experience - like the gentle climb for dominance in several of the trading games, but with a more "Harvest Moon" feel, but Agricola seems determined to mimic reality by making you constantly aware of the finite moves left (the game feels intensely "short" in terms of moves), and the tension between worker supply and food supply. I can imagine a lot of players being as pleased as punch with the intense feel of the game, and I think my husband enjoyed it fairly well, but I personally frequently felt frustrated at how much of the game seems to be missed in favor of base survival. There's a lot of layers for extra functionality, and I very much wanted to experiment with owning all the animals, and farming all the crops, but too often the shortness of the game and the constant issues of needing to increase worker and food stores meant that there were only a few "correct" ways to play the game.

I'm giving this product 3 stars, because I don't think it's a bad game, or a poorly designed one - I just think it's not for everyone. If you're considering buying the game, I would recommend trying to find a copy to play through once, or perhaps looking for a recorded game to watch online - this isn't the leisurely "customize an awesome farm" game that I'd personally envisioned.

~ Ana Mardoll
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other eurogames, February 16, 2011
By 
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
The great reviews convinced me and my husband to buy this game to add to our rotation. We've had a great time with everything from Stone Age, Carcassonne, and Pandemic to Forbidden Island, Balloon Cup, and Citadels. After several games, I can say this one won't make it out of storage for a while.

Pros:
1. The rules were pretty complex, but made sense after a couple of plays. No real issues with the rulebook or explanations.
2. It's an innovative approach to a resource game that enables some different strategies each time you play (with limitations, see below)
3. Good quality pieces and boards. This game seems pretty durable.

Cons:
1. You're definitely restrained in your strategy, since there are never enough turns to get much of anything done. This just ends up being frustrating rather than fun, since it makes it feel impossible rather than like a nice challenge.
2. The set number of turns and phases make the game pretty predictable after a couple of games. Rather than encouraging strategizing, it just makes it feel stale. A little more chance would help here.
3. There's minimal interaction between players. You pretty much just play your board and ignore everyone else, unless you're exchanging a card. You do have the chance to get in each other's way when you choose your actions each turn, but that's it.
4. While you can take different approaches to laying out your board or choosing food sources (veggies vs. grains, sheep vs. cows, etc.), points almost always come down to having the maximum number of people (5). This makes the game pretty dull, since it's just a race to 5 people, with minor variations that may give you the winning margin.

Overall, we may try this a couple more times, both with a larger group and with just the two of us. But unless our experience changes a lot, we won't be pulling this one out very often.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fun!, February 3, 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
My partner and I are brand new Eurogames, although we've been playing "Ameritrash" for several years. We bought Agricola because we wanted to try a board game that didn't involve dice and - more importantly - pure chance in order to win. I did some online research and hit on Agricola, which we were drawn to because of its farming theme.

First, like another reviewer said, one box contains a surprisingly satisfying amount of stuff for one game, everything from little wooden fences to discs representing crops and building materials. It takes us about 10 minutes to set up the game, but we think that that's part of the fun.

We've only played the 2 player version so far (we're hoping to entice family members to join in on the fun soon), and we've found that it takes anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes to play through. Each turn follows the same "routine" that revolves around making decisions (sowing crops, building pens, making food, etc.) fundamental to running a successful family farm in 17th century Europe. The flow of the game repeats a number of elements, but there's enough chance in laying different cards at different times to make each game unique and challenging in its own right.

I do, however, have two gripes, and these might have more to do with my novice status as a game player than the game's faults.

1. We had a really hard time understanding the directions enough to get an idea of the fundamentals of the game. The booklet would refer to "the family board," for example, without identifying which of the six or so boards in the box was the family board. What is a "food disc" in one page is a "food chit" on another. This might not seem like a big deal, but when a game has dozens and dozens of components...

We even had a hard time figuring out how to begin the game. After carefully unpacking and sorting everything and reading the directions at least four times, we finally went online. Between a couple of useful step-by-step reviews and a wonderfully instructive video on YouTube, we got ourselves straightened out.

2. Some of the components run out before the end of the game. The first time we played, we ran out of sheep. The second time it was wheat. Maybe it's the novice way we're playing, but we've already decided that we're going to invest in more Meeple animals and produce if we get really serious about Agricola.

I highly recommend Agricola if you're looking for a challenging strategy game.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Fans of Resource Management, March 22, 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
It is truly a shame that German-style board games are not more popular in the United States, they have more of a fringe following than anything else. For people who are a fan of this genre of gaming, Agricola is one of the best titles to be created in a very long time. Between a well thought out theme, built-in balance and overall high quality of the game pieces, this is a game worth owning.

This title is a resource management game that puts the player into the role of a medieval farmer and his spouse. The goal is to obtain enough food and supplies to expand both the living area and eventually raise a family. This seems to be a mundane premise for a game but it is surprisingly entertaining. The game makes a little more sense once the board is set up and all the pieces are laid out.

The game is broken down into sixteen rounds and a round consists of one turn from every player. During a turn, each player places a worker into a set role. This role can consist of plowing a field, obtaining livestock, upgrading living quarters and even giving birth to a child and there are many more. With each round that passes, new tasks/roles become available giving the players more options on what can be performed. To keep the game competitive, only one worker can work on a task/role so it is a first come, first serve basis. Some roles/tasks have only one slot on the entire board so it is quite common for more than one player to want to occupy it. This means turn order, which can change by selecting a specific role, becomes very important. The ultimate goal is to ensure each player not only harvests enough food to feed the family but to build a farm big enough to completely fill the game board that represents the plot of land the farmer is working. With all of this said, a common question is how does the game end?

The game ends at the end of the sixteenth round. At that time each player's plot of land is evaluated. The first goal is to ensure that every space of the player's board is filled. If it is not, the player is penalized for each unused space. Next, the player is evaluated for the diversity of the farm. The player needs to have each type of livestock and crop (there is a penalty for each item type that was not produced) and then a value is assigned for how much of each resource was created. Then the player gets points for how big a family was created along with how big a house was built. Finally, players get bonuses for special items that were built over the course of the game; this includes things like cooking hearths or various other types of mills. Whoever has the most points wins the game.

To add to the variety of the game there are employees that can be obtained that gives the player special perks. Some effect the game as it plays while others change the way end scoring is calculated. One example is the Lover; this allows a player to have a child, which becomes another worker, without having a room for the child to live. This ability becomes available late in the game for all players but is a major advantage early in the game. Another example is the Yeomen Farmer. This employee prevents the player from taking penalties at the end of the game for not producing one of every type of crop/livestock. These abilities are random and will change with each game and they all greatly change on how a game plays out.

There are two flaws to the game. The first is that it can be a bit of a long game, especially with more people. A standard game is about two hours but can easily go to three hours with five players. It is time well spent but if your gamer group has one or more impatient players this is a factor to consider. The other aspect is that the rules are not exactly clear. There are some abstract concepts that are not clearly explained; or, the examples just could have been better. In any case, expect at least the first play through with some frustration and frequent reviews of the manual. The best workaround is to have two players review the rules. They are available online so the owner reads the rules and another player downloads and prints the rules for review. This way two people are informed and they can rely on each other while teaching everyone how to play. Once the rules are understood, and they really are not that complicated, the game has a natural flow that is easy to follow... It is just learning the flow that is a bit of a challenge.

The game board is high quality and they looks like they will stand up to years of play. To add to the quality, all the pieces are made of painted wood and the cards have a durable laminate coating. Zman Games even includes small plastic bags to keep all the pieces together for quicker set-up and teardown. The board and pieces do require a good-sized play area because the main board takes up a lot of space and each player has a board to represent the plot of land. On top of that, a location to keep all of the resource pieces needs to be established as well.

In the end, this title is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys German-style games that focuses on resource management. It has high quality pieces and well-crafted game board. There are rules and board variations for one through five players and there are even variants for people who want a simpler version of the game. This lightens the strategy level slightly making it more family-oriented. The price tag is a little higher than average but the cost justifies the quality.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Agricolicious and HOW TO PLAY EXPLANATION, October 6, 2010
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
I'd like to that boardgamegeek.com for my discovery of this great game. I bought this strictly based on the users reviews and praise and I was not disappointed.

I learned the rules with relative ease by playing the various freeware versions I found floating around the web and then taught my friends and wife the rules.

It can seem overwhelming, but really it's not hard. A lot of people seem to have problems getting the hang of this game early on so here's my quick how to. You'll need to refer to the instructions for certain things, but this is essentially how to play.

Setup:
Every player starts with 2 wooden rooms and 2 family members.
Turn over the first action round card and place it on the board.
Put the items (wood, reed, clay etc) on the board as indicated.
Everybody is dealt (7)minor improvement cards and (7)occupation cards. You can also do 10 each and throw away 3 each.

Play:
Roll a die to pick starting player.
The starting player gets the starting player icon. That person will go first every time unless somebody else takes the "starting player" action space, in which case that person will go first until it is taken from them. Starting player get's 2 food everybody else gets 3 food.

The starting player, begins the game by taking one of his family members and putting it on an action, ie "take wood" or "take reed" or "plow field" etc. The starting player places his family member on the action and then does the action, so for example, they "take wood" means they take all of the wood on that action and put in their supply, meaning in front of them. He then leaves that family member on that "take wood" action. That ends his turn.

Next, the second player takes 1 family member and put's it on an action. Note, they can't "take wood" because player 1 already claimed it. They need to do something else.

This continues in this pattern until it becomes the starting players' turn again. He then places his second family member and the cycle goes around again until everybody has used all of their family members. Once all family members have been used by all players, the round is over. Each player takes back their family members off the board and puts the back into their house.

So stage 2 of round 1, is about to start, flip over another turn card for round 1, stage 2. That introduces another new action into the game like "take sheep" or "Sow and or bake bread."

The board then needs to be replenished before the next round can start. So, just like when you started, add more wood, reed etc. Note, that if an action was not used during that round, let's say "take reed" was not used, you would still add another reed on that action, thus leaving 2 reeds available. If no wood was taken then the "Take Wood" action would have 6 wood on it for the start of stage 2 or round 1. Any player who puts their family member on the "take wood" action would then gain 6 wood.

So, whoever is the starting player starts just like during stage 1. If somebody used the 'starting player" action in stage 1, that person should now have the starting player icon, which is that yellow cylinder, and they should start. Do the exact same thing as the stage before. Each player places family members 1 at at time the go around until all family members have been used.

That is how the game flows from start to end. You can add more family members by using the "family growth" actions which appear later in the game. This allows you to play more actions per stage.

Harvesting:
So family members need to eat. You feed family members during the harvest, which happens at the end of round. Note I said "round" not "stage". If you look at the game board, you'll see when to harvest. Round 1 has 4 stages, so you harvest at the end of stage 4 in round 1.

Each family member you have must eat 2 food each. The only exception is if you use the family growth action in the stage DIRECTLY before the round ends. In this case, the new family member is considered to be a baby and only needs 1 food.

The instructions do a fine job of explaining how the stages of harvest work, but essentially it's > harvest corn and vegetables from your fields > cook food if you have an oven > feed your family > raise new animals if you have at least 2 of the same type of animal and you have room for it.

I'm not going to get into planting crops and animals as that is pretty easy to understand if you check the manual.

if you have specific questions, comment on this review and I'll answer them.

Hopefully this was helpful.

It's a great game and definitely worth the slight effort of learning.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic game with horribly written English rules - don't give up, April 26, 2010
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= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Agricola (Toy)
Imagine trying to learn a fantastic game like chess from a person who can't express simple ideas. That's the Agricola rules-reading experience for the English-speaking gamer. Wrong word choices, tortured sentence structure, horrible organization, all layered in with a desperate attempt at a "simplified" version that also completely eludes the writer's ability. Do not try to read the rules first. Scan them enough to get a sense of the turns and just start playing. Don't bother with the "simplified" version; it isn't. The English translator of the rules mentions many late-night discussions to arrive at the mess called the rules. How about learning how to play the game and then explaining it in English? Why would you need discussions? Late at night? Sadly, the first step, apparently skipped, is learning to write, in English, probably during the day.

Thanks to the huge number of possible combinations of your cards, opponents' cards, and ways to generate a strategy for a peasant farm family, Agricola is marvelously complex. But, like chess, it is not complicated. The game consists of several seasons, divided into turns, with new resources becoming available each turn. The peasant families compete to eke out enough to eat, fence pastures and grow crops.

The rules bog down in details before basic concepts are explained. Much of the detail appears to be devoted to preventing cheating. The rules legalistically detail what is not allowed, when the reader would merely like to know what is. Imagine chess being explained by the moves one is NOT allowed to make. "The bishop moves diagonally but not orthogonally, does not go off the board and come around the other side, does not move like a knight nor a pawn, unless the pawn is capturing, nor does the bishop have invulnerability bestowed on it by its religious training. The bishop cannot fly to another board and 'convert' allies to the cause. The bishop cannot 'return from the dead' nor raise other pieces from the dead, nor protect them from evil." Trying to anticipate every possible twisting of the rules by some real or imagined sociopath is not a reasonable approach to explaining a game.

The cards contain odd word choices, but are quite understandable. The cards generate much of the complexity, but the game itself has depth. Once players get the idea of the turns leading up to harvest, they set about building a farm and growing a family. And having played the game inefficiently stimulates people to play it again. And again. There is a deeper strategy in expanding your family quickly and often: the chore of getting enough to eat can be handled by a new family member, leaving extra moves for Mom and Dad to build infrastructure. Played correctly, the game is just barely long enough to achieve all the victory conditions. It's literally a rush. And worth figuring out. I sincerely sympathize with the negative reviewer who gave up on understanding the rules. Agricola needs to re-write them.
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Agricola
Agricola by Z-Man Games
$69.99 $43.50
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