Agricola (board game)

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Agricola game.jpg
The box cover of Agricola
Designer(s) Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher(s) Lookout Games (Germany)
Z-Man Games (U.S.)
999 Games (Netherlands)
Homolúdicus (Spain)
Players 1 to 5
Age range 12 and up
Setup time 5–10 minutes
Playing time 30–60 minutes per player
Random chance Low
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. It is a worker placement game with a focus on resource management. In Agricola, players are farmers that sow, plow the fields, collect wood, build stables, buy animals, expand their farms and feed their families. After 14 rounds players calculate their score based on the size and prosperity of the household.[1]

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.[2] The game was released in English by Z-Man Games in July 2008.[3] Playdek released an iOS conversion of the game in June 2013.[4]

Agricola won the Spiel des Jahres special award for "Best complex game 2008" and the 2008 Deutscher Spiele Preis.[5][6]

It was also the game which ended Puerto Rico's run of more than five years as the highest-rated game on the board game website BoardGameGeek, staying at the top of the rankings between September 2008 and March 2010.[7] As of 2015, Agricola is ranked 6th among all board games on BoardGameGeek.[8]


A game of Agricola being set up.

Players start the game with a farming couple living in a two roomed hut. Each round, they take turns to place their family members on action spaces to get resources and improve their households.[9] Only one family member can occupy each action space within the same round, so players need to time their actions to get maximum profit while denying progress to the opponents.[10]

The game is played in 14 rounds, divided by 6 harvests. At each harvest, people are fed, food is grown, and animals multiply.[11] Players lose victory points if they have trouble feeding their family, which makes food production a major point of tension in the game.[10]

At the end of round 14 comes the final harvest after which victory points are counted. Scoring in Agricola rewards a middle of the road strategy. Players are penalized for not focusing on any one aspect of the game, and stop scoring in any area they focus on too much. The player with the most balanced and prosperous farm wins.[11]

The available actions vary according to the number of players and the rule set used.

Standard game[edit]

To achieve variation between games, players are dealt a hand of optional cards – occupations and minor improvements.[12] Players get additional resources and various bonuses for playing these cards. They can also get an initial direction for their strategy, based on the occupations and improvements they were dealt.[11]

Family game[edit]

The family game offers a simplified set of rules for less involved players,[13] in which occupation and minor improvement cards are not used.[14][15]


Major expansions[edit]

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.

Expansions Decks[edit]

Belgium Deck
Bielefeld Deck
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.
The Legen*dairy Deck
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.

Minor expansions[edit]

Through the Seasons
Small 4-space board printed on a postcard and given away at Essen 2008.
De Lage Landen



  • 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 – (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

2008 Nominations



  1. ^ "Best eurogame: Agricola, Caverna, Puerto Rico or Terra Mystica?". Netivist. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Boardgame News Convention Report". Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Board Game Geek comments". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  4. ^ "Playdek’s highly-anticipated agricola challenges players to build the most productive farm; plough, sow and reap victory". Gamasutra. June 13, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  5. ^ Stefan Ducksch (2008-05-25). "Spiel des Jahres 2008: Best complex game 2008 (German)". Spiel des Jahres. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  6. ^ "Deutscher Spiele Preis 2008 (German)". Deutscher Spiele Preis. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  7. ^ "BGG Top 50 Statistics". Board Game Geek. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Browse Board Games | BoardGameGeek". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  9. ^ Temkin, Max. "Agricola". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  10. ^ a b "Agricola – Mechanics and Tension". A Cardboard Empire. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  11. ^ a b c Appelcline, Shannon. "Anatomy of a Revision: Caverna". Mechanics & Meeples. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  12. ^ "Eurogames". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  13. ^ "Review: Agricola". Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  14. ^ "Game Publisher :: Zman Games" (PDF). 
  15. ^ Meyer, Benjamin. "Agricola Unofficial Rule Book" (PDF). 

External links[edit]