Poll

How do you primarily use The Big Follower?

To numerically overpower an opponent's feature.
14 (77.8%)
To ensure that a feature remains yours.
3 (16.7%)
As a normal Follower.
1 (5.6%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
0 (0%)
I don't ever play with or don't own Inns & Cathedrals.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 18

Voting closed: October 31, 2014, 12:53:59 PM

Author Topic: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7  (Read 4814 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:53:59 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE BIG FOLLOWERS

Each week, a specific element from an expansion is chosen for deeper discussion. This is an opportunity for you, Carcassonne's biggest English-language fans, to discuss strategies and problems you have encountered through the years regarding specific expansion elements. All forms of critique – from the most joyous to the most scathing – are encouraged.

This week's element is THE BIG FOLLOWER (from Inns & Cathedrals [Expansion #1]). Simple mechanics were the idea behind this expansion and the Big Follower element was one of the simplest. The concept is that a Follower is worth 1 Follower, so a Big Follower is worth 2. Placement rules still apply, but once placed, it takes 2 normal Followers just to tie one of these suckers. Pretty gnarly. You can try to take over other players' features easily with one of these or use them as insurance against future takeover attempts. Oddly, though, many people just use them as a normal Follower. To each her or his own. Discuss your relationship with The Big Followers, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: The Abbeys   8) >:D 8) >:D

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1167.0
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 04:32:03 PM by whaleyland »

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 02:13:53 PM »
Well, I think the most obvious way to use it is to numerically overpower an opponent's feature - I think that is what the publishers had in mind when the big follower was created.

But ensuring that a feature remains yours is also something I like to do, especially if I pull the cathedral tile early in the game and can add it to an unclaimed city - in that case, I'm almost certain to play the big follower if I have him handy.

But now that I've started to play against all you top players, I've had to be more careful with the big follower, because you don't want him to get trapped. It can be a big advantage to have him in reserve at the end to add to the biggest farm.

Offline Paul

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 03:22:42 PM »
I use it mostly to overpower a city as a last resort or as an extra follower when all other are already deployed.

In smaller games (base game and 2 expansions) you have to be more thoughtful where you place it, so it won't get trapped. Still, it's easy to use it to conquer an ongoing segment because of the tile configurations.

On larger games, 150 tiles and up, it does not have that big of an impact as it's easier to expand the city and retaliate with your own big follower if someone tries to cut in on a project you are building.
  A good strategy is to enclose the city so it cannot expand and then just wait for the tile in the middle to either close off several cities or merge each section into one big city. Whichever grants you more points.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 04:32:16 PM by whaleyland »
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Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 10:42:14 PM »
Whatever I do with my large follower/ mega-meeple I always get dirty looks and verbal protests whenever I put him down with the intention of stealing someone else's feature (but then I'll usually face these at some point in most games anyway)...

These are such a good idea that they feel like an essential part of most of the games I play and it's difficult to imagine playing without them. Games without them do often feel somewhat "safer" though. In more competitive games he may as well have a bright red target painted on his chest!

Physically there isn't a lot of difference between a normal follower and a large follower. I've always wondered whether this was deliberate and that the difference is supposed to be quite subtle so that you have to be watching closely to notice when you're being out-competed for something.
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Offline tp10053

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2014, 11:54:41 PM »
I ussualy use him to steal other players' features during the game or I save him till the end as a farm stealer >:D

Offline Paul

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2014, 03:25:13 AM »
Physically there isn't a lot of difference between a normal follower and a large follower. I've always wondered whether this was deliberate and that the difference is supposed to be quite subtle so that you have to be watching closely to notice when you're being out-competed for something.

This has been the thought of many.
  I myself haven't missed seeing it in play (not yet at least!), but I know some of my co-players have.

If it's bothersome you can always use a Phantom box as a large follower.  :))
  But I like it being subtle.  :(y)

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2014, 03:49:21 AM »
I think the difference is large enough to avoid confusion. The big follower and the mayor are closer in appearance and harder to tell apart.

If it's bothersome you can always use a Phantom box as a large follower.  :))

 :(y)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2014, 04:11:57 AM »
If ever I want to make it REALLY obvious that I've used my large follower I'll use one of these guys:



(also pictured standard and "large" followers)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 01:08:22 PM by danisthirty »

Offline Paul

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2014, 05:05:49 AM »
If ever I want to make it REALLY obvious that I've used my large follower I'll use one of these guys:



(also pictured standard and "large" followers)

Now you can play at a distance... from the moon!  >:D
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 01:08:46 PM by danisthirty »

Offline Rosco

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2014, 07:36:33 AM »
Where did you get those? They are awesome
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Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2014, 08:24:27 AM »
Where did you get those? They are awesome

From my second-favourite website: www.meeplesource.com

It looks like they've stopped doing them now but they used to be their "Colossal Meeples". You can still buy "Giant Meeples" though which are pretty big (too big to play with but they look cool). I have a couple of them on my desk at work.  :)

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 01:42:28 PM »
I don't know what it is a about "variant" Followers but I never seem to use them very well. The Big Follower honestly just sits there for most of my games. I, of course, plan to use it in some aggressive way, but it never seems to work out very well. Often, I choose a feature nobody wants anyway so I just waste my Big Follower. Occasionally, I get it stranded on a feature, which is probably the most annoying. Even when I use it on a farm, it ends up being a junk farm. I can't tell if people are intentionally trying to make my Big Follower worthless or if I just have really bad luck/strategy. The same goes for the Mayor (no or only one pendant on the city by the end) and the Wagon (no roads end up connecting to anything). Heck, I can't even get the Builder placed on a decent feature most of the time

In other words, I love the concept of the Big Follower, I just stink at properly implementing it...or any other similar figure.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Big Followers – Element of the Week #7
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 12:59:26 AM »
Big followers are brilliant. Nice new element of feature stealing (which, let's be honest, is their main use!) that you can use exactly as would be done with a normal follower, in trying to join two incomplete features. It's not a sneaky way of stealing like with a flyer or from the City of Carcassonne (Count), the player knows exactly what you're trying to do the moment you lay down your big follower. It does get me in trouble though. Playing a regular follower to muscle in on someone's feature is tedious for them, but I find the people I play with don't mind too much because at least you'll both score. Lay down a big follower though, and that's insult to injury!
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