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Author Topic: Caverna vs. Agricola  (Read 4981 times)

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eHalcyon

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Caverna vs. Agricola
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:14:37 pm »
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So I started looking up interesting new games that I missed during a period of not checking board gaming news at all.  Apparently Caverna is a hot new title, like Agricola 2.0?

Has anybody has experience with this game?  Is it much better than Agricola?  Is it different enough or good enough to warrant getting it even if you already have Agricola?  Does the lack of special player powers (present in Agricola via occupations and minor improvements) limit the game, or do games still play out differently each time despite the same initial start?
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 03:05:05 am »
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I've only played it once but for what it's worth I do (slightly) prefer it to Agricola. There are more harvests, but because there are more things you can do with yourself it's actually easier to feel like you're accomplishing something rather than merely "surviving".
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Watno

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 06:26:08 am »
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I haven't played Caverna often yet (2 times I think), and so far I think I like Agricola a bit better. I just really like the different hands that force you to adjust every game.
Caverna has some stuff I really like as well, though, like the fact that growing your family is not as much of a no-brainer as it's in Agricola. I'm not really sure, but I think there's still quite a bit of variability to it, but as much as in Agricola.
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DG

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 07:44:02 am »
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Caverna is a better game than Agricola as you can't get shut out so easily from the most basic options. There is still depth in the choices and competition for spaces. If you already have Agricola then you can stick with it, imho, as the other titles are expensive and Agricola ultimately has more variation with all the cards.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 09:50:28 pm »
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Thanks for the thoughts!

Caverna is a better game than Agricola as you can't get shut out so easily from the most basic options. There is still depth in the choices and competition for spaces. If you already have Agricola then you can stick with it, imho, as the other titles are expensive and Agricola ultimately has more variation with all the cards.

Does that really make it a better game?  This is a serious question.  Agricola is a game where you are constantly struggling, which I understand can be a turn-off to some people.  I have a friend who doesn't like Agricola that much (he's only played it once or twice though), and this might be part of the reason.  Tom Vasel from the Dice Tower likes Le Havre a lot more because of this, and has this same enthusiasm for Caverna over Agricola.

Interestingly, one of the top reviews on BGG seems to suggest that Caverna could be played just as cut-throat as Agricola.

My question is still whether it's possible that there is some optimal strategy out there that can't be avoided in Caverna.  With all cards available every time and alternative choices that prevent being blocked by opponents, will players not settle into the same general strategies every time?  Agricola gets variation from the cards.  On the flip side, Agricola strategy almost invariably involves growing the family and then getting a little bit of everything.
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thespaceinvader

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 06:36:36 am »
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Played it a couple of times.  Definitely enjoyed it more than Agricola, partly due to having a bit more theme, partly due to having a little les random chance (i.e. chance to get combos of cards which are amazing versus terrible), and partly due to being a little less punishing on its harvesting and feeding.

I liked it a lot and would tend to prefer it over the 'gric, but the same is not true of all my group.
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DG

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 08:18:16 am »
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Quote
Does that really make it a better game?  This is a serious question.

Yes it does. Just because there are both plough+take grain and plough+sow options, there's nothing to stop you depriving your opponent of the plough+sow space if they need it.
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junkers

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 02:02:22 am »
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Necrobump from a curious new player. I opted for Caverna over Caverna 0.5 because of my perception that it simply offered more. Having only played a couple of games, and having never touched Agricola, I can't say that I made the right choice.

One thing stood out for me, though. A lot of people claim that Agricola is "harsher", but I nearly ended up in negative points during my first run because I didn't concentrate on feeding my dorfs. At least for a first time player, it seems like Caverna is equally capable of slapping you about with its country-grown vegetables if you don't recognize what you're doing and don't decide on a strategy straight away.

The reason I'm necrobumping, but, is because I'd like to hear if any of you still feel the same way you did a couple of years back. Did the initial fascination with having more things to do wear off in time, and make you feel nostalgic for the more limited options that encouraged strategic adjustment every game? Or did you keep on with Caverna, and houserule it to make it a bit more stabby?
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eHalcyon

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 11:41:06 am »
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Quote
Does that really make it a better game?  This is a serious question.

Yes it does. Just because there are both plough+take grain and plough+sow options, there's nothing to stop you depriving your opponent of the plough+sow space if they need it.

Not sure why I didn't reply to this way back when it was first posted.

My point was that, yeah, Caverna is a lot more forgiving that way, but is it really better because of it? Ultimately it'll be subjective, but I think there is good game play and strategy in those limitations. You have to plan against opponents blocking you and try to block them right back. If it's so much more open in Caverna, that makes the competition for spaces at least a little less meaningful.

@junkers if you'd played the same way in Agricola, you might have ended up deeply in the negatives. :P
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junkers

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2016, 08:31:00 am »
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@junkers if you'd played the same way in Agricola, you might have ended up deeply in the negatives. :P
And that was based on quickly realizing how badly I'd screwed up and seeking to get back on track. I'm guessing that Agricola would've afforded me with far fewer opportunities to even attempt to pull myself out of that particular pit.

For those with Caverna - what storage solutions have you opted for? I think I'll go with tackle/bead boxes, maybe knock up some tuck boxes if I can be bothered. Usually when I get a game, I want to pull it out as often as possible to get my head around things before I teach it to the group; but I simply don't feel like dragging this behemoth out again without anything in place to minimize set up and tear down.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Caverna vs. Agricola
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 09:14:03 am »
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For those with Caverna - what storage solutions have you opted for? I think I'll go with tackle/bead boxes, maybe knock up some tuck boxes if I can be bothered. Usually when I get a game, I want to pull it out as often as possible to get my head around things before I teach it to the group; but I simply don't feel like dragging this behemoth out again without anything in place to minimize set up and tear down.

I was looking to make a thread about Caverna, and found this. And hey, an unanswered question! So there's a Broken Token insert for Caverna that I don't have, but it on my wish list. And it's the only time I've seen a Broken Token insert and though "I need to get this". For the most part their stuff just seems unnecessary. But I've played copies with and without the insert, and it makes a world of difference.

Anyway... so I finally got to play 7 player Caverna last weekend. It was surprisingly good. The game flowed really well; with less downtime than expected. Jonts destroyed everyone, with 111 compared to the other 6 scores all being 70s or lower.

As for the actual thread, I definitely prefer Caverna. I like Agricola fine, but I always have more fun playing Caverna.
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