When you first pick up this box you know that there are quality components inside by the weight.
Now, picture the scene. I’m at my Friendly Local Gaming Stores (FLAGS) just browsing the boardgames section looking for any new additions, when I came across Agricola. I reached up on tip toe to the top shelf where it had been placed only to find my fingers only just reach the underside of the box.
I look around, the Manager is behind the till keeping an eye on a bunch of squawking kids buying Magic The Gathering (MTG) boosters and flicking through the collectible rare cards folder while bartering like pros. The other way an assistant is in deep conversation about the Watchman film with two other customers. I look for the third assistant but he has disappeared into the gloom at the back of the store. How come you only get that kind of darkness in gaming shops?
It was no good I was on my own. I reach up and could just get enough friction on the cellophane wrapper with my finger tips to slide it closer to the edge. Here it come……almost there……… I changed my footing preparing to catch the box while trying to look half cool in the process. Then the box gave into gravity and slipped from between the two boxes where it had been sandwiched.
“Wow that’s moving faster than I expected” flashed through my mind as the box tumble through the air towards me. I reached up and grabbed the box with two hands. ”Oh balls” was the next thought as the box was not stopping, all I was left with was two hands full of cellophane. It had slipped through my grasp heading towards the floor. ”That bugger was bloody heavy!” I stuck out a foot to stop its on its way towards the floor. “Ow!” and then there was a loud clang as it hit the metal shelving making the assorted Warhammer miniatures dance inside their sale 50p brown cardboard box.
Silence. Then the bend of shame to retrieve the box from the floor where it has landed. The fiancée leaned out from the gloom to see what had happened, shook her head and then went back to her 3 for 2 Fruit Basket & Battle Royal Manga hunt. I looked towards the till to see all the CCG midgets looking at me with huge grins and laughter in there eyes.
“I’m going to have to buy this now” I thought as I inspected the back of the box. So I headed to the till with my head lowered in shame. Gave over my debit card, punched in the pin, sniffed and then went outside to wait for my other half.
And that was how I ended up with Agricola.
So this weekend I decided that it was time to open this heavy bad boy up. No wonder it was heavy it contains about half a tree in tokens. honestly, almost all the tokens inside the box are made of different coloured pieces of wood.
Then you take a look at the rule book. It starts out in nice large text on the first couple of pages and then it gets smaller and smaller and smaller until you need a magnifying glass to see the wording. It makes the game look like it is the most complicated rules system since StarCraft. Which is a real shame as when you play it you realise how simple the game is and how addictive it has to get the perfect farm.
Agricola is a game for 1 to 5 players and takes 30 mins per player to complete. You start the game with two farmers, mum and dad, but this can be expanded with children later if you have room in your house. You assign each person on your farm to tasks for each round. Tasks range from collecting grain, fishing for food, buying sheep, having children etc. etc. At the end of each round there is an extra tasks added so you have more options to choose from. If another player takes a task on the board the other players are unable to use it until the end of the round and all the farmers are removed.
At the end of selected rounds you have to feed your family with food produced on your farm, harvest grain and veg from your fields. Then love is in the air and the sheep, cows and boar have babies.
There is nothing quite like starting out with a two wooden rooms with a empty field and then ending up with a fully working farm with babies, veg in your fields and multiplying livestock.
At the end of the 14th round your farm is scored. The key to a good score is to have as much going on in your farm as possible. Don’t just focus on one aspect like crops. You need to start upgrade you house from wood to clay then to stone. Sow lots of fields and grow both Grain and Veg. Have a large number of pastures with sheep, cows and boars. Have a big family but make sure you have a way to feed them.
It really is Farmville, but much better as you can play it with actual people in the same room and not annoy the sh!t out of all your facebook friends. Am I bitter? Too bloody true I am.
Pictures will be on the way. We forgot this time due to eagerness to have our dinner. But by how addictive this game is and how Tamz is hounding me to play again that wont be long.