Author Topic: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log  (Read 7382 times)

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2014, 02:07:10 PM »
I'm curious to know how Inns & Cathedrals and Ferries complement Mage & Witch. Just because of the bonus/minus points concept?

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2014, 07:25:34 AM »
I'm curious to know how Inns & Cathedrals and Ferries complement Mage & Witch. Just because of the bonus/minus points concept?

Yes, I wasn't thinking of anything deeper than that for I&C/M&W. The Ferries make roads potentially longer / more important, so I think this goes well with the inns.

You could also add the Besiegers if you wanted to emphasise the 'minus' a bit more.

Offline whaleyland

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    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2014, 01:51:36 AM »
Scenario #5 was an utter tragedy for me. I thought I had it from the start and I lost it all by not a small amount. The scenario included The River II and The Dragon (with the Fairy), and we both had a Phantom and Big Follower. My opponent also had three Castles that she won the previous game, which she used quite well. Too well, perhaps.

In any case, I started the game off right away by claiming the cloister on the River. I never got to complete it, though, because the Dragon took it fairly late in the game. Strategically, I placed three Farmers throughout the board in two large and one medium field. The two large fields merged near the end of the game, which made my Big Follower that was on one of those fields absolutely worthless the entire game. Two Cities near the third smaller field were never completed, which deprived me of points there. Meanwhile, my opponent snuck in a Farmer in a very small niche that happened to have six Cities and a Castle adjacent to it, earning a large amount of points at the end. The Pig Farm ended up getting trapped on the wrong side of a whole in the board, meaning I never got to earn the eleven bonus points it would have gained me from my large field. She drew a tile that would fill that hole, but she decided against placing it judging rightly that the automatically completed cloister in the middle of that tile would not be worth the points I would gain from connecting the Pig Farm. In hindsight, there was a road with an Inn beside it that had not been claimed, so she maybe could have placed her Phantom there and made a gain. Or maybe the cloister was actually a Volcano. Hmm, that was probably why she didn't place it there.

Right, so by the end of the game, she had earned over ten points each on two of her Castles due to strategic positioning around only areas with Cities (so there were no opportunities to end it fast by completing a road). Neither of us really used our Big Followers or Phantoms well, but she won the day in the end mostly due to her Castles. Next game we both get Castles, but she gets to learn about Bridges, which neither of us generally use much. She gets three of them all to herself, though, so maybe she'll learn just how dangerous they can be in connecting fields. I shudder at the thought!

As the points now stand, I have to win all four remaining games to win. If I lose even one, she has the victory. Not the best position to be in.

Dark Ages Running Tally:
Whaleyland 34 pts. / Opponent 46 pts.

Offline whaleyland

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    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2014, 09:24:34 PM »
Scenario #6 has come and gone and I am no longer capable of winning. With three games left in the series, my opponent, bless her soul, has stolen the requisite five wins for victory. That's right, I've only won once out of six games. Do I stink at Carcassonne? Probably. Is she great at it? Decidedly not.

The scenario involved The Inns and The Messengers. We also both had The Phantom, The Big Follower, and 3 Castles. She had 3 Bridges as a part of her previous victory, though she didn't use one of them in the game. The scenario began on a somewhat bad note when we realized we were playing The Messengers slightly incorrectly: we'd switched what six of the tiles do and weren't playing with three of those correctly. And on top of that, one of the remaining two tiles we also botched up, though I fortunately played it right anyway. All the same, the points for the game may have been a bit off at the beginning, but her 48-point win at the end was enough to resolve any possible disputes from earlier.

A huge city became apparent early on in the game when two CCCC tiles entered the mix, one with the double pennants. I had first dibs on this monster and held it well until the end, but she was finally able to swoop in with her Big Follower and claim it. Had I known how large this city would become, I would have put my Big Follower on it, too, but that was a missed opportunity. When it finally scored, I was out in the cold and she picked up 48 points...yeah, the amount needed to tie the game at the end. The rest of the game didn't go much better for me due to poor Farmer gambles, while she picked up no fewer than eight cloisters (I drew four, but only claimed two of them). She was even able to complete most of her cloisters, partially because she stuck them all near each other. By the end of the game, both of her scoring meeples had passed me and for all the help my Farmers did, they still only let me lap one of her meeples. A cold end to a windy day, if I've ever seen one!

The whole campaign is a loss to me, but we're doing the gauntlet of three, so I can still win in the end of the 27-scenario series. Fingers crossed! 'Course now she gets an extra Follower. Lovely!

Dark Ages Running Tally:
Whaleyland 40 pts. / Opponent 56 pts.

Offline Darwin

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2014, 10:19:26 AM »
I feel with you. My girlfriend and me have played 2 games of Hunters & Gatherers each evening the last week, and I have lost almost every game :'(

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2014, 12:07:50 PM »
I feel with you. My girlfriend and me have played 2 games of Hunters & Gatherers each evening the last week, and I have lost almost every game :'(
Ouch. Gotta upskill to beat the competition.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2014, 01:54:41 AM »
Scenario #7 proved that once you've lost, you've got nothing to lose. So I won! But I still have lost the campaign. Regardless, winning even one game was a welcome change of pace and this is the second one out of seven I've won, so yay me! The scenario used The Goldmines and The Festival, though we didn't actually use a single Festival option the whole game (we think the tiles work best in high player games, not 2-player). We also both had three Bridges, three Castles, a Phantom, a Big Follower, and she had a seventh standard Follower. Fortunately, that didn't swing the game for her.

The expansions all around were a bit of a dud. The Goldmines we completely forgot about until when we were cleaning up. I had a bunch more than her but I had already won, so the points didn't matter. During the game, I placed two bridges to connect fields, but I didn't end up needing either of them. None of the Castles got used and oddly, only three eligible cities were even built that could use them and there was nothing valuable around them to make the effort worth it. I mostly won because no fewer than eleven cloisters were in the mix and I got full points for five of them, partial for two, and I drew two more. Pretty bad luck for her. We also had a bunch of partially-completed mega cities that earned some nice end-game points, but didn't contribute much during the game except to lock out some of our Followers. I forgot, I did actually use the Festival very early in the game to free one of my trapped Followers, but that was the only time. In the end, the only way that I won was because of the cloisters. Otherwise, it was pretty close. The big Farm was split between us, i.e., worthless. And we each claimed one other Farm, mine worth 12 points, hers worth 9, so negligible.

I can't tell if I'm getting better or if I just got lucky this game. Hopefully next game will require the use of our bonus components more. I want to see my bridges and castles in action!

Dark Ages Running Tally:
Whaleyland 50 pts. / Opponent 62 pts.

Offline kettlefish

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2014, 02:44:44 AM »
Hi whaleyland,
it is interesting how do you have won with points in this scenario...

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Dark Ages Running Tally:
Whaleyland 50 pts. / Opponent 62 pts.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2014, 02:57:01 AM »
You can only win a maximum of 10 points per scenario. That tally is for the whole campaign, I won the scenario but have lost the campaign.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2014, 09:10:31 PM »
Scenario #8 went the way of the dodo bird for me. I lost, though it hardly matters at this point since I lost the campaign anyway. That being said, I put up a good fight. The expansions included in this scenario were The School, The Cult, and The Cathedral. We also both had three Bridges, three Castles, a Phantom, a Big Follower, and I had an extra normal Follower from winning the last game.

The game started off with a lot of Cities right from the start. For a random draw, in fact, we did not have any of the 16 FRFR tiles in the random draw except for ones with Cloisters or Cults on them. Very odd. Anyway, with so many Cities, the game was on and I got in early with a Farmer. She later caught on and dropped her own Farmer, but I dropped a second and claimed the field for the win there. A number of large Cities began to grow out and the School was making completing them even more dangerous since players could either double their win or lose it to a tie depending on who had the Teacher. I had it for most of the time, though she had it twice. We also lost one of the moments because one of the School's roads looped, killing two with one tile. I did manage to take some nice points but not enough, it turned out. She stole one large City away from me and crippled another late in the game by dropping a Cathedral in it. I never recovered from that. She also placed a couple of high-scoring Farmers at the end, that didn't rival my massive field but still paid out.

Final scores were tallied and she pulled ahead by 12 points. Not a landslide, but enough to take yet another win from me. One game left and she gets an extra tile for the final round (which has draw tiles). This does not put my in a good position. Ugg...

Dark Ages Running Tally:
Whaleyland 56 pts. / Opponent 72 pts.

Offline whaleyland

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    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2014, 01:16:31 PM »
Scenario #9—as well as the Dark Ages Campaign—is now over and whaleyland comes in for an epic win in the last scenario, though he still lost the campaign. The scenario included The Count, The Princess, and The King. We also each had three Bridges, three Castles, a Phantom, a Big Follower, and seven standard Followers. In the final round, players have a hand of tiles to draw from, with an additional tile drawn at the start of each turn. My opponent, for winning the previous scenario, had an extra tile over me, which also gave her the last tile placement.

So the scenario started off with both of us quickly getting Followers into the City of Carcassonne's Castle quadrant. A large City was already being built and it was clear that we were going to fight for it. She ended up using her Follower to swipe a second large City that finished first, while I utterly forgot to claim the original large City. It hardly mattered at this point, though, because I was systematically building up a huge Farm...and I mean huge. I had been working from the very beginning to get every possible City onto this Farm while also getting two Followers and my Big Follower onto it. I strategically used two Bridges to connect fields, one of which caused a major problem during final scoring since my opponent didn't realize that I had connected my fields with it (from her angle, she couldn't see over the Bridge. She thought there was a road or something that blocked it, which didn't ever make sense, but it still caused anger later). Meanwhile, my opponent was trying desperately to link her own Followers to the field. I blocked her Big Follower from connecting them, which left her out in the cold by the end. We gave up entirely on the City of Carcassonne after the initial use of it—it just wasn't worth the cost of our Followers and the promise of a delayed reward. I did get my one Follower off of it and onto a decent-sized City, but my real coup d'état was a relatively small, 5-tile City that happened to have 5 pennants on it, earning me 20 points right there. On top of that, I had a Castle next door so was able to double my points. Win! In fact, all of my Castles paid out pretty good with the other two doubling my own points from Cloisters (the only two cloisters I drew in the game).

In the end, it was actually the points from the Cities that really won it. Points were very high for the game with my opponent scoring over 200 and myself over 250. We calculated out to see if the mega Farm was a game winner, and surprisingly it was not. I had won fair-and-square without it OR without the King, which I claimed very early on in the game. In fact, the King was really a tie since we had two 9-tile Cities on the board. I finished and scored for the first one, so got to keep the bonus, which was another 13 points in the end. The final large field had 7 Cities on it and all 4 Castles, which gave me an impressive 37 points just for that. With the King, that gave me 50 points of pure awesomeness. Without them, my opponent would still have lost by 2 points. Not even close.

Dark Ages FINAL Tally:
Whaleyland 66 pts. / Opponent 78 pts.


Post-Campaign Recap
So with this game, the Dark Ages Campaign is done. To be honest, I'm glad it's done. I have learned a lot about Carcassonne since I started this campaign, and I've also learned a lot about my scenario combinations.

First, I am very glad I am rebooting these campaigns with all new combinations. I restricted myself too much by keeping expansion types (full expansions, minis, promos) mostly separated. This campaign focused on official minis and it seemed unbalanced at times without the larger expansions to prop things up. Sure, I had some large expansions in play, but only a few and often as rewards. I've restructured that completely in my new version, and I think it will be better for it.

Second, these campaigns aren't great with two players. The points system just doesn't work because players can, well, take an early lead and become impossible to beat. Sure this can happen in any type of campaign series, but I felt it quickly here as my opponent won game-after-game. In the end, it was a 6-3 win, with her taking all the glory. As a part of the greater campaign series, I think it could balance out, but in the individual campaigns, it can definitely make the later games feel inconsequential.

Last, I've come to realize that in these kind of games, fewer Followers are better for gameplay. One of the constant rewards I have is replacing Followers with alt-Followers (Big, Phantom) and then reintroducing the lost Followers as rewards. I won't be doing this again. I will start future campaigns off with one less Follower, which will be granted later, but when a Follower is replaced, it stays replaced. The original Follower is removed from the game permanently. This will keep the balance of Followers at 7 + Special Followers (Wagon, Mayor, Shepherd). We both had nine total Followers at the end of last Campaign and, to be honest, I felt it was too much. Scores shouldn't be in the 250 range when playing with 100 tiles including a few small expansions. That was only possible because we were able to claim so much.

Alright, so we're definitely going to be taking a break before embarking on Campaign #2: The Resettlement (my original campaign), but stay tuned. We'll probably start the next series in a month or so. We've got a lot of other games to play and they've been put off as we finish this series.

Gerry

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Re: Dark Ages Campaign – Continuing Game Log
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2014, 02:06:42 PM »
If you will all forgive some special pleading, I would just like to mention that Whaleyland's scenarios are what started me thinking to set up my Carcassonne spreadsheet.  I could easily set up custom tile decks for his campaign (if it is in the SCAR) with custom sets of meeples and it could be played by any interested forum members.

Just not sure how the catapult features would work, you would need one heck of a catapult to throw stuff from New Zealand, maybe that new NASA rocket could help with the delivery.


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