Agricola (board game)
The box cover of Agricola
|Players||1 to 5|
|Age range||12 and up|
|Setup time||5–10 minutes|
|Playing time||30–60 minutes per player|
|Skill(s) required||Economic management, Resource management, Strategic thought|
Agricola is a German-style board game created by Uwe Rosenberg, and published by Lookout Games in Europe and Z-Man Games in the US. The goal of the game is to build the most well-balanced farm at the end of 14 rounds, consisting of plowed fields for crops and fenced pastures for livestock. The farm should have little fallow land and a large farmhouse built of high quality material. The player should also expand the family tending the farm from its initial two members to a maximum of five.
The game was released at Spiel 2007, where it was voted second-best game shown at the convention, according to the Fairplay in-show voting. The game was released in English by Z-Man Games in July 2008.
Each player begins with a small two-room farmhouse for a family of two. This allows them two actions per round, such as gathering building materials, plowing or sowing fields, extending their house, or building improvements to the farm. The number of different actions available varies according to how many are playing, and each action can only be played once per round.
There are two sets of rules: the Family version and the Standard version. The main board of the game is reversible: one side is for the Family Version (as noted by the icon of two adults and a child) and one side is for the Standard Version. In Standard gameplay, each player is dealt two sets of seven cards: one for occupations, such as woodcutter, bread seller, rat catcher, etc.; and one for minor improvements, such as a fishing pole, an improved plow, a bean field and so on, which grant small advantages such as extra food or resources. With the Family rules, all the rules are identical, except no cards are used.
There are 169 different occupations, and 139 different minor improvements, so the game will play differently every time.
As the game progresses and players expand their home, they can add new family members who then allow more actions to be taken each round. An additional action space also becomes available each round, adding the ability to acquire vegetables and animals (sheep, wild boar, and cattle) for planting, breeding and cooking.
Every few rounds there is a harvest turn, in which crops are reaped, animals bred, and, most importantly, each family member must be fed. This is one of the most challenging aspect of the game, as failure to feed family members is disastrous for a player's score.
Aside from feeding the family, players must seek a balance of building a well-rounded farm. Failure to farm the land or keep animals or pastures will result in penalty to the player's score.
Major expansions 
- Farmers of the Moor
- Released at Essen 2009, Farmers of the Moor introduces new major and minor improvements. Horses can now be collected and bred like normal animals, and are worth one point each at the end of the game. Houses now must also be heated by using fuel, which can be harvested from peat bogs now located around the farmyard.
- Gamers' Deck
- Released at Essen 2010, the Gamers' Deck is a medium-sized expansion that includes 119 new minor improvement and occupation cards. The deck is playable alone but it can be mixed with the cards from the original game.
- World Championship Deck
- The World Championship Deck for Agricola is a new set of 115-cards. The 60 Minor Improvements and 55 Occupations are divided into five Mini-Decks and were created for the first Agricola World Championship 2011 in Vienna.
- The NL Deck
- The NL-Deck is a new set of 120 cards for Agricola. The 60 Minor Improvements and 60 Occupations can be played as a stand-alone deck or shuffled into other decks. Play Agricola with a new thematic setting! Discover the Netherlands - a small country with more than just the stereotypical windmills cheese and tulips.
- The Goodies
- Released 2010 The Goodies contains many small expansions for Agricola that were previously released, mostly in German language. Lookout Games, the publisher, also introduced deluxe wooden pieces to complement the game. The Goodies Expansion contains:
- Agricola X-Deck, Agricola Ö-Deck, Agricola CZ-Deck, Agricola L-Deck
- 5 double-sided theme boards—Western, Spring, Autumn, Winter, and Mars.
- Sticker Sheet (70 stickers) -- 35 adults, 33 children, 1 alien, and 1 werewolf.
- Wooden Meeples -- Veggiemeeples, Animeeples, and Resourceeples.
Minor expansions 
- 12 Occupation and 12 Minor Improvement cards as part of a Czech Republic-themed expansion deck. Currently available only in German and Czech outside of The Goodies.
- 14-card promotional deck available electronically; nine were commercially printed and given away individually at Essen 2008.
- 12 Occupation and 12 Minor Improvement cards distributed with Österreicher (Austrian) printings of the game and The Goodies expansion.
- Four cards of five different types (Alien Actions, Merchants from Outer Space, Alien Artifacts, Alien Events, and Alien Occupations), released with Spielbox Magazine: 2008 issue 5.
- 12 Occupation and 12 Minor Improvement cards distributed with early printings by Z-Man Games, and as a promotional item.
- Through the Seasons
- Small 4-space board printed on a postcard and given away at Essen 2008.
- BoardGamer.ru Game of the Year
- Lucca Games Best of Show (Italy) Side Award Best Game Mechanic
- Nederlandse Spellenprijs Winner
- Ludoteca Ideale 2009, Game of the Year
- Jogo do Ano 2008 Spiel Portugal (Portugal) Winner
- Gra Roku Game of the Year (Poland) Winner
- Gra Roku - Gamers' Choice (Poland) Winner
- Gra Graczy - Gamesfanatic.net (Poland) Winner
- Golden Ace (France) Special Jury
- Les 3 Lys (Canada) Hobbyist Game Winner
- Golden Geek Award Best Gamer's Board Game Winner
- Golden Geek Award Board Game of the Year Winner
- Spiel des Jahres "Complex Game" Winner
- J.U.G. (Portugal) Game of the Year Winner
- Deutscher Spiele Preis (Germany) Game of the Year Winner
- International Gamers Award General Strategy/Multi-player Game
- Hra roku (Czech Republic) Winner
- Spiel der Spiele (Austria) Spiele Hit für Experten (Hit Games for Professionals)
- Tric Trac d'or (France) Game of the Year Winner
- Jda "Juego del Año en España" (Spain) Winner
- 81st game to be added to the Austrian Hall of Games
- Golden Geek Award Best 2-Player Board Game Nominee
- Golden Geek Award Best Board Game Artwork/Presentation Nominee
- Golden Geek Award Best Family Board Game Nominee
- Golden Geek Award Best Gamer's Board Game Nominee
- Meeples' Choice Award Winner
- "Boardgame News Convention Report". Boardgamenews.com. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Board Game Geek comments". Boardgamegeek.com. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Stefan Ducksch (2008-05-25). "Spiel des Jahres 2008: Best complex game 2008 (German)". Spiel des Jahres. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Deutscher Spiele Preis 2008 (German)". Deutscher Spiele Preis. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Games sorted by rank". Board Game Geek. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Agricola (board game)|