So, I finally got to try Agricola, which my brother brought with him when he came to visit. I’ve heard about it, read a little bit about it, and now I’ve had a chance to play it. It’s a complex game — the strategy is, well … I’m not sure. It has strategy like StarCraft has strategy, like how Civilization has strategy. It takes planning ahead, it takes adaptation, and it takes micromanagement (“micro”) skills.

There are fourteen rounds in the game, and at the end of each round is a harvest. Each player starts with two turns per round, based on the number of family members they have. Like Harvest Moon, you can expand your house, and you can also expand your family — which nets you more actions per round.

The first point of difficulty comes in that you must feed your family at the end of each harvest. If you don’t have enough food (2 units per family member), you have to “beg,” which costs you points at the end of the game. The second point of difficulty is that there are a limited number of actions that can be taken in each round. Someone else might take the “plow field” or “sow crops” actions before you can get to them.

You need resources to perform most of the useful actions. You need wood and reed, then clay, and then stone — the latter two once you “upgrade” you living conditions — to expand your house. (Reed is needed at all times to thatch the roof.) These same resources are used to make improvements to your property. And gathering resources is one of the actions you have to compete for when your turn comes.

It’s a game I’d like to study. There are some interesting concepts I’d like to explore.