Next up on playing our games in order of rank on boardgamegeek is Agricola. Agricola was one of the first games I bought after playing a few gateway games (mainly Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride). I was drawn in by the cute animeeples, but underneath the cute exterior is a much harder and unforgiving game.
We played it a few times when I initially purchased it and found it difficult to play well, often with starving farmers wondering how to get them their next meal. So it sat unloved for quite a long time. In the meantime we’ve both played the solo game on the app. I enjoy the app game, particularly the way it runs a bit like a campaign with occupations carrying over. I can then get more done so I feel more accomplished at the end of a game.
I don’t think worker placement is one of my favourite mechanisms. Having experienced many more games since my initial purchases I’m much wiser when it comes to what to buy. However I enjoyed our revisit, and not only because I won.
I found for most of the game I was concentrating on feeding my family – bad memories of starving farmers made me reluctant to gain more workers. I think when we play again I need to focus more on expanding the house to give me more actions each turn as I often needed one more go each turn to achieve what I wanted. I don’t really like blocking mechanisms, I find it stressful trying to judge when to select an action. I also found it frustrating as I was often one resource short of being able to do what I wanted on a turn.
Would I buy it now? Probably not – I’ve mostly learnt not to solely buy a game based on the pieces. Am I happy I own it? Yes, it’s a classic with a lot of scope for further plays – we’ve never tried the interactive or expert decks. Would I play it again? Definitely, but I’d need to be in the right mood. It’s one of those games that takes a lot of thought and forward planning to play well.
Next up: The Crew: Escape from Planet Nine. This is much more our cup of tea so we’ll hopefully get a play or five in soon.