Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to explain the first game of Agricola to beginners...

Don't tell them how the final scoring works until... well... the final scoring.  Trust me.  I now have a partner willing and interested in playing Agricola a second time.   YES!!!

Oh and don't tell them how each action works either until they ACTUALLY have the option to take the action.  Seriously.


  1. Hmm... That seems like a good idea. I think I'll try that next time.

    I've yet to convince my regular game group to play Agricola. Every time, someone starts complaining about the complexity, and we switch to something else.

    On the other hand, I've managed to explain all the cardinal rules to others, but only when we are playing 2-3 players. I guess holding the attention of more than 1-2 people is hard.

    Now that I think about it, I was being interrupted a lot during the times I tried to explain to larger groups. You know, the questions of "What does this thing that you just explained do?" and "I know you're in the middle of explaining how Rounds work, and imma let you finish, but how does the K deck affect the game?"

    I don't mind the first type of interruption, if it's to explain something the wasn't understood. But I hate it when it's because people weren't listening, distracted and playing with all the shiny bits.

    And the second type of interruption just smack of not having any patience.

    (Oops, that was more text than I meant to write. I guess I'm a little annoyed. Sorry.)

  2. Oh, and we played the Family game, too. That seems like a must. I'm fairly new to the game and I have yet to try the Full Game. I actually think one needs to play the Family Game first a couple times to see the implications of their actions over a few rounds and to get used to the Major Improvements.

  3. Having said all this, I could never use this tactic with my mathematician friends. The lack of rigor would cause them all to seizure...

  4. I like this tactic, and perhaps not just for Agricola.

    I think if you don't claim to be explaining all the rules, then you are less likely to have to say, "oh, I forgot to mention (rule x)...!", or be accused of withholding some vital piece of information (I hate when that happens).

    This way, there is no pretense of full disclosure, and might be more willing to accept a certain lack of knowledge.

  5. I usually have people watch board games with scott's video on Agricola. Has worked well thus far.

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