I must’ve been pretty nice, since Santa brought me Cuba (befriending game store owners helps). Haven’t tried yet, but the game looks drop dead gorgeous. Mechanisms seem sound as well. Should be fun, might be one of those “nice, but like too many other games” games.
My dear wife agreed to play a game with me, and I really wanted to see what she thought of Agricola. That was a good move, because she did like the game, like I expected. She loves solitaire-ish non-confrontational games, and that’s what Agricola is. Since there’s always so many things to do, losing a coveted action isn’t a big deal (particularly in the two-player there are always plenty of open options). There’s not much competition if you don’t want to, you can instead play against the game.
So yeah, this one worked out well. We actually played two games in a row! In the first one, Johanna was a bit confused about things and sort of waddled through the game with some help from me. She did pretty well, actually, losing points only to lack of fields and having lots of open space. In the next game she fixed that by having five fields and quite serious pastures! She scored full points for fields, pastures, grain and vegetables, beating me hands down. I mean, 35 points is a pretty mean score for a family game!
The two-player game is pretty mellow: the actions are not very restricted. Resources are a bit more, as there’s only one three-wood action space, for example. But you can pretty much always sow and bake bread, which seemed to be a major bottleneck in the five-player game. Taking the first move isn’t that critical, really. I don’t mind that; it’s a different experience from the five-player game. I certainly like the fact that we were able to finish our games in about 30 minutes each.
Johanna was quite open to playing the game again, which is extra nice. This was one of the better Christmas gifts this year!