Agricola (board game)

Agricola (board game)

image_caption= "Agricola" box cover
designer=Uwe Rosenberg
publisher=Lookout Games
Z-Man Games
999 Games
players=1 to 5
ages= 12 and up
setup_time= 5–10 minutes
playing_time= 30–60 minutes per player
skills=Economic management, Resource management, Strategic thought

"Agricola" is a designer board game created by Uwe Rosenberg, and published by Lookout Games and Z-Man Games. The aim of the game is to have the most well-balanced farm at the end of 14 turns, with ploughed fields, pastures, grain, vegetables and animals all present, with as little fallow land as possible, and with as imposing a house, with as large a family as a player can manage to achieve.

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. [ [ Boardgame News Convention Report] ] The game was released in English by Z-Man Games in July 2008. [ [ Board Game Geek comments] ]

"Agricola" won the Spiel des Jahres special award for "Best complex game 2008" [ [ Spiel des Jahres 2008: Best complex game 2008 (german)] ] and the 2008 Deutscher Spiele Preis. [ [ Deutcher Spiele Preis 2008 (german)] ] It is the first game to dethrone "Puerto Rico" as the highest-rated game on the board game website BoardGameGeek. [ [ Games sorted by rank] at Board Game Geek]


Each player begins with a small two-room farm house and a family of two. This entitles them to two actions per round, such as gathering building materials, ploughing or sowing fields, extending their house, or building improvements. The initial number of different actions available varies according to how many are playing.

Each player also has a hand of two sets of seven cards, one for Occupations, such as woodcutter, fisherman, rat catcher, etc.; and one for Minor Improvements, such as a well, an improved plough, a bean field, etc., which grant them small advantages over the other players.

There are 169 different occupations, and 139 different Minor improvements, so the game will play differently every time. With the English edition, a deck of Z cards has been added, which provides an additional 12 occupations and 12 Minor improvements.

As the game progresses, and players increase their house size, and then acquire new family members, more actions become available, including the ability to acquire animals (Sheep, Wild Boar, and Cattle) for breeding, and to plant vegetables.

Every few turns there is a harvest turn, where each family member must be fed. This represents the most challenging aspect of the game, as failure to feed a family member has disastrous consequences on a player's game-end score.


Many of the illustrations on the cards in "Agricola" reference popular culture, other board games, or games designers. For example the Dock Worker (Hafenarbeiter) is a caricature of Klaus Teuber, and the card ability directly references his game "Settlers of Catan" while the Stone Carrier (Steinschlepper) card bears more than a passing resemblance to Obelix (and is the reason for the presence of Wild Boar in the game instead of domestic Pigs). On some of the wooden and clay house tiles an in progress game of "Bohnanza" is laid out on the table. On some of the stone house tiles the game "Agricola" itself is laid out for play on the table. In March 2008, an Easter Egg hunt included references to a Village Beauty (Dorfschönheit). [ [ the Lookout Games website] ]


External links

* Lookout Games' [ "Agricola" homepage]
* [ Play Agricola Online 1-4 Players]

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