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Messages - Big Guy

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General / Re: The Count – Element of the Week #12
« on: December 01, 2014, 08:29:51 AM »
I agree with Carcking and Dan that THE COUNT is not my favorite expansion, due to its tendency towards aggressive play.

Additionally, like Carcking, I tried my hand at making a variant for the COUNT rules. Mine is called THE BANDIT. It is in some ways similar to Whaley's INVADERS fan-expansion and Gwommy's TACTICIAN fan-expansion. I was hoping to create an expansion with simpler rules than THE COUNT. I didn't succeed, as the rules are still rather involved :cP, but I hope it's still fun.

I think there is a general basic principal everyone is missing with The Count (or any element for that matter). If a gaming group agrees to include The Count of Carcassonne in their game, then they have to understand what that means. It means people will be able to sneak in and steal features, sometimes hard-fought features, from others. It means the game is going to get aggressive and mean.


Enjoy it or not, but it won't last forever and you don't need to hold a grudge about it.

My wife and I have had at least one serious fight over Carcassonne games we've played, and specifically over AGGRESSIVE plays that were made by one of us to GLOM ONTO or STEAL a large feature. So, I support your point to act like an adult about it, but sometimes it's easier said than done :cD.

Great review whaley. I didn't even realize this was in the works. It's excellent to see an official effort to introduce tile shapes besides the standard 4-sided, and it's also excellent to see your analysis of what works and what doesn't.

That's too bad that two 'halfling' tiles combine to create a square larger than the standard tile. I hate a board with fault lines, as you already discussed.

Who should I contact to 'attempt' to get a copy of halflings I?

I've felt a little silly including 'number of tile shapes' in my review format, as up until now, there's been no point to listing that criteria. It seems much more relevant now :c).

General / Re: The Cult – Element of the Week #10
« on: November 18, 2014, 08:23:54 AM »
Great idea for the next element, Whaley.

I'm with the majority here: when I play using cults, I usually place them to avoid confrontation. Like others have said, the challenger in many cases starts out behind, and the rules that govern how there can only be one cloister/shrine pair can make tile placement a bit more clunky.

That said, I like any expansion that pays attention to the cloister mechanic, and for anyone interested, I recommend playing with both Cults, and with the rules from Chris Korfmann's MISSIONARY fan-expansion. In the MISSIONARY fan-expansion, Chris incorporates a form of a common 'house' rule for Cults: that when a challenge is won, the winning player scores for both his feature, and the challengers feature as well. This energizes the cloister/shrine challenge and makes it more enticing and fun, IMHO.

General / Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« on: November 11, 2014, 08:25:18 AM »
I really like the Abbey. Sorry I missed the voting deadline. It's a 'get out of jail free' card for everyone, and it feels fair and balanced. It's saved me more times than I can count, and I love strategizing about the best time to use my Abbey. I can't stand using it early in the game, and around half the time, I save it until end-of-game and try to plan the end-game board so there are a few openings surrounded by 4 tiles, so I can pick which works best for me and worst for my opponents.

I'd like to respectfully disagree slightly with Quevy's point above.

With the exception of end-game, I think it's almost always possible to create holes in the game board surrounded by 4 tiles.

General / Re: The Tower – Element of the Week #6
« on: November 11, 2014, 08:19:13 AM »
Fair warning, I'm about to be shameless in plugging my variant :cD.

I don't like the tower overall. I gave it a 2 out of 5 for FUN in my review thread, and here's why:

-I'm not very happy with how this expansion plays. The mechanics of actually capturing meeples and ransoming them are fun, and the placement of tower segments is very inventive, but the rules feel flawed and clunky as well. The mechanic regarding taking ownership of a tower to protect yourself from that growing tower seems especially clunky, considering it involves committing a meeple for the rest of the game and receiving no score for that meeple in return. I agree with others that being able to capture a meeple by placing a tower segment on the empty tower foundation of a tile next to that meeple feels unbalanced, and I support the house rule that addresses this, allowing only meeples on the tile with the tower foundation to be captured in this way. Too clunky, and the fun factor suffers."

Because I don't like it, I made a variant. And with lots of help from the community, you can now grab it here:

Figured I might as well be shameless. I really like the way MOVING-OF-THE-WOOD works with placing tower segments, and the presence of towers on the board just looks cool, at least to me. Making a Carcassonne game 3-dimensional makes me smile. It's just too bad about the existing tower rules for capturing. If anyone has any interest in the variant rules and either likes or doesn't like them, please let me know. :c)

General / Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« on: November 11, 2014, 08:07:51 AM »
Again, great examples of builder use from everyone :c).

I love the builder, both for cities and roads, but I prefer to use them on roads. I've had games where my tile draws are very 'road-heavy'. Before the builder (and road point boosters like I&C), having a 'road-heavy' game while your opponents get the city tiles can make it harder to score big points until it's field time. When using the builder, I can now get a decent tile draw lead over my opponents by placing my builder on an owned road, and expanding that road into areas where no other tiles are placed. This makes it easier to expand the road, and makes it harder for opponents to place tiles that hinder the road.

I've found builders in cities are awesome, but they also tend to get stuck in ALMOST COMPLETED cities way more than they get stuck on roads. If my opponent shows he's good at using the builder, my favorite strategy if his builder is in a city is to surround his remaining openings with tiles that make closing the city hard, effectively trapping his builder.

General / Re: The Princess – Element of the Week #4
« on: November 11, 2014, 07:58:00 AM »
Great examples of princess use. I'd never thought of using Princess in combination with Phantoms either.

I'm usually not a fan of the princess. Like Whaley and others, I usually play 2-player games, and I've found the princess dynamic to be unbalanced: you force your opponent's knight off the board (or vise versa), and there's no way to defend. This is fundamentally different than challenging your opponent for control of something by attempting to add followers. When attempting to add to (and so challenge ownership of) a feature owned by someone else, you first need to establish your own incomplete feature nearby. This allows your opponent at least a small chance to defend and is in many ways one of the best parts of Carcassonne (taking ownership and KEEPING IT until you score). When the princess shows up, a knight can just 'disappear' on you. So its GREAT if you're the one who played the princess (in most cases), but its horrible for the person who's knight runs away.

The Phantom example only reinforces that there are balance issues. Lets say you own a city that has six tiles, and only one open side is left. On any opponents turn, if that player gets lucky and draws a CITY-ON-ONE-SIDE-ONLY princess tile, he can potentially cause a 28-point shift (using the princess in combination with his Phantom), without you have any way of seeing it coming.

Again, fun if you're the lucky one. Not so fun and 'unbalanced' if you're the one staring angrily at the lucky one.

Reviews & Session Reports / Re: Rating System for Reviews, by BIG GUY
« on: September 03, 2014, 11:43:08 AM »
This review is also featured in DanisThirtys excellent newsletter, HERE

REVIEW of the fan-made FARMER IN THE DELL expansion, by Carcking and Others

This review is VISUALIZED only.

-Tiles used in said game: 96, New from Expansion: 24
-Number of total followers per player: 7, no change from base game
-Meeple Types: 1, no change from base game
-Tile Shapes: 1 (square), no change from base game
-Tile Side types: 3 (City, Road, Field), no change from base game
-Feature Types: 4 (City, Road, Field, Cloister), no change from base game
-Other additions: 4 (Bluffs, Corner House, Farmer scoring updates, ‘FARM-IN-THE-DELL’ Field Completion rules)
-Overall, the additions and changes here are minor. No new features, meeple types, or move-of-the-wood options. Bluffs and Corner Houses require almost no rule additions and play intuitively. Farmer scoring updates require moderate rule changes. Rules for Field Completion prior to end-game are minor. Overall, this gets a B!

-Tile quality is very good, and the bluffs and corner houses not only look great, but add a lot of depth to field design. The opening and graphics look crisp. Rules are clear and in the correct turn format, with no rule gaps found. Moderately complex rules for farmer scoring are handled well here. There is no turn example for scoring Farmer(s) in the Dell, but due to the detail in the description, I’m still awarding a top score here.

-I’M A FARMER, GIMME POINTS!: The biggest change here is in scoring for farmers, and being able to get your farmers back before end-of-game. This feels dynamic and fun, but at the same time potentially unbalances the game by making fields more important than other features. You can now score 1 point for each completed city bordering an incomplete (or just completed) farm on which you place a farmer (provided the farmer is not removed from the field that same turn, and provided you are at least tied for majority). You can also score 3 points per completed city when that farm is completed, meaning you can potentially score 4 points per completed city. Fields were important before, when they only awarded 3 points per city, and when they required a commitment of at least one follower for the rest of the game. Now, fields are more important still, with less risk. The only risk is getting trapped on an incomplete field at end-game, and receiving only 1 point per completed city because of it. Field play definitely feels more fun and exciting now, and there is balance here, as others can still challenge you for control of your farm, and place tiles to hinder your field completion. But even so, there are some hefty points to be had as a farmer now, hence the possible balance issues.

-CHOICES, CHOICES: Farmers can now make choices about when their workdays end. They must have unionized. From the moment you complete a field, until the final city bordering that field is completed, you get to evaluate your situation as a farmer in that field and decide whether to collect points each time a tile is placed that completes the field or a city bordering it. It adds strategy and depth to field play in a very refreshing way. Bluffs and corner houses make closing your farm that much easier, and decrease your chances of getting stuck on an incomplete farm, both good things here.

-I think this expansion energizes field play in a very refreshing way, and the addition of bluffs and corner houses is welcome and adds to the excitement of fields. There is more depth, more strategy, and more fun to placing a farmer now. This makes farms much more attractive as a feature to focus on, which introduces some balance issues for the other features, IMHO. But even so, its fun, its inventive and its definitely an expansion you should try. And if fields were your favorite feature before, add a point to the OVERALL score and try this expansion RIGHT NOW!

World Cup of Carcassonne Central / Re: Carcassonne World Cup!
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:38:24 PM »
Good luck to all entrants. Just got back from vacation and discovered I'd missed the entry deadline. Wish I'd signed up, but have fun everyone. I'll join the next one (which hopefully happens sooner than 4 years from now).


Reviews & Session Reports / Re: Rating System for Reviews, by BIG GUY
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:04:47 AM »
Hello Big Guy, your reviews are as always very nice, felt the lack of them.

Thanks for the welcome back Quevy. And congrats on the bump up to being a Moderator. I missed being on site. It's nice to post again.

Reviews & Session Reports / Re: Rating System for Reviews, by BIG GUY
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:56:01 AM »
After a long, long break, here's another review :c).

REVIEW of the fan-made BREWERIES expansion, by Meepleater

This review is VISUALIZED only.

-Tiles used in said game: 84, New from Expansion: 12
-Number of total followers per player: 7, no change from base game
-Meeple Types: 1, no change from base game
-Tile Shapes: 1 (square), no change from base game
-Tile Side types: 3 (City, Road, Field), no change from base game
-Feature Types: 4 (City, Road, Field, Cloister), no change from base game
-Other additions: 2 (BREWERY placement/scoring adjustments, HERETICAL MARKERS placement/scoring adjustments)
-Breweries is a minimally invasive expansion. All of its changes relate to cloisters. It adds one additional 'Moving-of-the-Wood' option if a HERETICAL MARKER tile is drawn, and it changes scoring for cloisters depending on their proximity to BREWERIES, and whether those cloisters are HERETICAL. Overall, rating this one a B for invasiveness.

-Tile quality is very good. Opening story functions well to introduce the idea of monks brewing their own ale into the land of Carcassonne. Rules are simple, clear and in the correct turn format, with no rule gaps found. The only complexity here is in the adjustments to scoring of cloisters, and the picture examples given in the rules make that complexity very easy to understand. TOP SCORE!

-LET'S DRINK!: It's fun to drink, lets be honest. And it's fun to get more points while you're at it. The idea of breweries in Carcassonne is fun AND makes historical sense. While scoring your cloister involves a little more work than usual, it's well worth it for those extra points. Breweries can potentially add a whopping 12 extra points to orthogonally adjacent cloisters, and up to 8 extra points to diagonally adjacent cloisters. Breweries outnumber cloisters 8 to 7 in the sample game described, so the chances of getting at least some bonus from breweries is high. There is balance in placing breweries as anyone can potentially use or receive bonuses from them. So drink up, I say!

-HELP OTHERS STAY SOBER: The addition of the heretical markers assists with balance as well. Use of the tokens is presented as another 'Moving-of-the-Wood' option when the right tile is drawn. So the tokens can be utilized to force your opponents to abstain from alcohol. They can also be ignored in favor of a better 'Moving-of-the-Wood' action. So help your opponents stay sober. They'll resent you later for it.

-I think this expansion is a blast. I like the idea, I like the historical relevance, I like the simplicity, I like forcing my opponents to stay sober, and I find no rule gaps or unclear areas to hinder any of that. As many of you know, I tend to like expansions that expand upon cloisters and their gameplay. If you don't like cloisters, you may find this expansion forgettable. But I really enjoy it. So DRINK UP, I SAY!

News and Events / Re: Cooperation between HIG+ZMG, CarcC+CarcF
« on: April 22, 2014, 01:53:35 PM »
Let me know if I'm interpreting the rules correctly. If I am, I have these follow-up questions:

1) How does it work if multiple Easter Bunny tiles are played on the same turn (i.e. using a builder)? Are multiple Easter Bunny movement events triggered at the end of these turns?
2) Can an Easter Bunny ever visit the same tile twice during one movement event (say, if one player finishes controlling his movement in a corner, and another player takes over)?
3) When an Easter Bunny is moved to a tile containing the follower, does the player moving the Easter Bunny get the egg, or does the player owning the follower get the egg?

News and Events / Re: Cooperation between HIG+ZMG, CarcC+CarcF
« on: April 22, 2014, 01:46:22 PM »
Merit to Fritz for this expansion.

I've got some additional feedback on top of obervets last post yesterday. Let me know if this further simplifies the English translation, or hinders it in any way:

The Easter Bunny in Carcassonne
At Easter, old practices have survived in Carcassonne: As a sign of fertility, the Easter Bunny delivers coloured eggs that you find in their nests. 

Extra pieces
22 new landscape tiles (10 with an Easter Egg nest and 12 with the Easter Bunny)
1 Easter bunny figure
A lot of Easter eggs made from chocolate
1 die - with 6 sides - 2 sides each with 1, 2, 3 (example: die from the mini expansion "The Flier")
The Easter Bunny hops across the land delivering his Easter eggs. Players attempt to collect Easter eggs by completing features or finding them on farms at the end of the game. Any uneaten Easter eggs are worth points at the end of the game :c).

The Easter Egg Nest is completed like a cloister and also yields Easter eggs.

This expansion is intended to be played with the base game and any expansions. The 22 new landscape tiles are to be mixed in with the other landscape tiles. Keep the supply of Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, and the die in a nearby general supply area.

The Bunny Figure enters play when the first Easter Bunny tile is placed (see rules below). While on the board, the bunny is not on any particular feature. The bunny is a neutral figure and his placement is in addition to any wood move.

1. Place a Tile
-Place tiles, including the new tiles, according to the normal rules of the game.
-When an Easter Bunny tile is placed, two events are triggered:
---immediately, the Bunny figure is picked up and moved to the just placed Easter-Bunny tile
---at the end of the players turn, the movement of the Easter Bunny is triggered

2. Deploy a Follower
-Deploy followers (or take other Moving-of-the-Wood actions) according to the normal rules of the game.
-If an Easter Bunny tile was played, followers may be deployed on the regular features but may not be deployed on the bunny icon.

3. Score
-Score all existing features using the normal rules.
-When a player completes the nine-tile grid surrounding a nest, the Easter Egg Nest is scored. It may be that a nest tile fills a hole and scores instantly.
---2 Easter Eggs go to the player who completed the Easter Egg Nest.
---Each player gets 1 egg for each one of his or her followers on the nine-tile grid.

4. The Movement of the Easter Bunny
-If an Easter Bunny tile was played this turn, it triggers the movement of the Easter Bunny.
-Starting with the current player, all players in turn order roll the die and move the Bunny as many tiles (hops) as indicated by the result of the die roll. The bunny hops from tile to tile orthogonally and may not hop diagonally.
-The Bunny may not hop to a specific location if:
---he started his movement from that tile
---he has already visited that tile
---there is no tile (he can't hop to gaps in the board)
-If the Bunny has no legal tiles to move to next, his movement is ended for this turn.
-If the Bunny hops on a tile with at least one follower, the players get one Easter egg for every follower on that tile; the followers remain on the tile.
Final scoring
-During final scoring, no eggs are given for followers on the nine-tile grid surrounding an incomplete Easter Egg Nest.
-The Easter Bunny has no effect on final scoring.
-The player with the most eggs gets 10 points, the player with second most gets 5 points. -
-If there is a tie, all players with the same number of eggs get the points.
Warning!!!: Only Easter eggs not eaten are counted for the final scoring.:) After the final scoring all eggs shall be eaten at one's own risk.
Adaptation: If you don't own the die from the Mini-Expansion "The Flier," we recommend ordering it soon.:) Also you could use a regular six-sided die and give the Bunny 1 hop at the result of 1 and 2, 2 hops at the result of 3 and 4 and 3 hops at the result of 5 and 6.

Interaction with other expansions
1st Expansion "Inns & Cathedrals"
The Big Follower simply gets one egg.
2nd Expansion "Traders & Builders"
The Builder and the Pig don't get an egg.
3rd Expansion "The Princess & the Dragon"
The Dragon eats the Bunny (the dragon would not miss out on Bunny). The Bunny and the Fairy may be placed on the same tile. If the nine-tile grid surrounding an Easter Egg Nest is completed with a Dragon tile, the scoring of the Easter Egg Nest is after the Dragon movement.
4th Expansion "The Tower"
The Tower cannot take the Bunny prisoner. A follower on a tower also gets an egg.
5th Expansion "Abbey & Mayor"
The Wagon and the Mayor get an egg, the Barn doesn't get one.

6th Expansion "Count, King & Robber"
A follower cannot be taken from the City of Carcassonne for the scoring of an Easter Egg Nest. A Heretic on a shrine gets an egg, too.
7th Expansion "The Catapult"
If the nine-tile grid surrounding an Easter Egg Nest is completed with an Catapult tile, the scoring of the Easter Egg Nest is after the Catapult round.
8th Expansion "Bridges, Castles & Bazaars"
A follower on a bridge gets one egg, too. Completing an Easter Egg Nest doesn't trigger the scoring for a castle. The Bazaar round follows the scoring of an Easter Egg Nest, if it was completed by a bazaar tile.
9th Expansion "Hills & Sheep"
Although he is not a follower, the shepherd gets an egg! Hills and vineyards do not affect the distribution of eggs.
Mini 4 "The Gold Mines"
The completion of an Easter Egg Nest doesn't trigger the distribution of Gold.
Mini 5 "Mage & Witch"
The Mage and Witch don't affect the distribution of eggs, and the Bunny may stand with one of them on the same tile.

General / Re: Expansion/Variant Contest
« on: April 02, 2014, 02:49:13 PM »
I do value others opinion on what made an expansion intuitive, sort of a roundup pros and cons.

We all have our ways on how we like things to show. Personally, I only need to know one thing before I try an expansion: Does it have it's own tile graphics and is it in good quality? This do bring about a wish for a mandatory upload of at least one tile preview.

But, first things first (for me), still reading CAR 6.4 trying to get up to speed.  :meeple:

I agree, in that we all have our own criteria that determines what we like and what we dont. And in that I should get my butt in gear and read through CAR 6.4 too.

I'd like to think less is more.

Less rating and judgement by others for starters. My taste varies a lot and reading any reviews literally won't help me at all deciding to download and try any fanmade creation.

I disagree, respectfully. Weve all decided to belong to a public forum, and many of us have decided to show our creative works in that forum. Rating and judgement comes with the territory. Id prefer to know what others think, even if its negative or an opinion I dont share. For me, knowing what others perceive helps me cultivate what Im creating, which hopefully makes it better. I want to have fun creating here, and second to that, I want to create something that others will enjoy.

More comments, more ratings, I say.

General / Re: Expansion/Variant Contest
« on: April 02, 2014, 01:47:36 PM »
Generating interest and interaction is a good thing. I don't know if something as deep as what you are proposing will thrive though. It seems aside from that the best and simplest method we have is the star rating and comments area on the download page itself. I know that doesn't necessarily generate communication on the forum though.

I don't know if it will work either. I dont have any other fun incentive ideas though :c).

Most of the expansions posted in the downloads dont have comments or ratings. Each one deserves some appreciation, but at the same time, going back and rating the work of others and leaving comments for them just because they dont have any yet can feel like "WORK".

If I ever get around to it, Id like to continue my review thread and add to it. Well see...

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