Game of the Day # 3
Agricola by Uwe Rosenberg (2007)
Agricola is a game about farming in 14th Century Europe. Sounds exciting right? Well it is. Agricola has won numerous international game awards and it is considered by many to be the definitive example of a worker placement game.
The goal of the game is to have the best farm at the end of the game, you improve your farm by having your workers (family members) do actions like plow a field, plant crops, make bread, get resources, etc… Actions are at a premium so you try to do as much as you can with the few actions you have. To make things worse there is the constant pressure of having enough food to feed your family. In fact most of the game is spent just trying to stay alive while you try to improve your farm when you can.
At the beginning of the game everyone is dealt some cards which (when used as actions) give the player some benefit. Usually the person who best uses these Occupation and Improvement cards wins the game.
But do not be deceived, this game is brutal. It is the poster child for having too much to do with not enough time to do it and disaster is always one step behind you.
I remember when I played this the first time with my gaming group. The game was intense. When we finished we just sat there looking at our farms. Someone said, “My brain hurts.” “Yeah”, said another, “I feel like my brain just got beat up.” There was silence for a bit and then I said,” Who wants to play again?”
We all said yes and we started setting up for the next game.
Agricola is that good.