In the game Agricola you become a farmer in a wooden shack with your spouse and not very much else. On a single turn, you are only able to take two actions (one for you and one for your spouse), from all the possibilities you’ll find living on a farm: collecting resources; building meadows etc. You might think about having kids just to get more work accomplished! But you will need to make your house bigger first and think about what you are going to feed them.
The Family Game is a streamlined version of Agricola reducing it to its key elements, making it easier to pick up and play with all the family. There are not any hand cards and instead of placing fences, you will place pasture tiles. The complicated scoring procedure is simplified with everything on your farm being worth 1 point each.
Agricola is a turn-based game with 14 game rounds occurring in 6 stages and with a Harvest at the end of each stage. Each player starts with two meeples which can each take an action per round. There are multiple options. Whilst the game progresses, you’ll have more: each round an additional option becomes available. Each action can be taken by only one player in each round, so it’s important to do some things with high preference.
While the original game had a family version of sorts, this is more than just the game without cards. Things have been simplified to make it easier to get into the game and for the whole family to play. The new action each round is fixed so you can plan ahead more. The removal of stone and vegetables reduces the complications. Instead of having fence pieces you have set pasture tiles you can buy as you build your farm up these are slightly cheaper wood wise, which is just as well as baking bread now costs a wood each time to fire up your oven. Having said that baking bread is easier in that you no longer need to take an action you can bake when you want to. Replacing the stone/veg and major improvement actions are actions where you can buy a set improvement. One minor improvement that has crossed over is the windmill. Here this allows you to turn 1 grain into 3 food and gives you 1 victory point for every 2 grain you have at the end. Talking of new improvements another one gives you 1 point for every 3 resources/grain you have. There is no player board instead you build up your board modular with tiles, so you are not restricted to what you can squeeze on to your board nor do you get negative points for not filling your board up. In fact there are no negative points at all, each player simply scores for all he has achieved
Agricola Family Edition can be played with between 1-4 players ages 8+ with an estimated playing time of 45 minutes. Available here.
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