Poll

How do you primarily use The Abbey?

To fill in a hole to complete your own feature.
6 (37.5%)
To fill in a hole to complete an opponent's feature.
1 (6.3%)
To fill in a hole for general aesthetics.
0 (0%)
I usually forget to place or don't get an opportunity to place my Abbey.
3 (18.8%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
4 (25%)
I don't ever play with or don't own Abbey & Mayor.
2 (12.5%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Voting closed: November 07, 2014, 02:17:41 AM

Author Topic: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8  (Read 9229 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« on: October 31, 2014, 03:17:41 AM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE ABBEYS

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 ABBEYS (from Abbey & Mayor [Expansion #5]). This little trinket of an element is quite simply used: each player gets an Abbey tile and may choose to place it instead of a normal random tile. The Abbey must be placed in a spot that is surrounded orthogonally by other tiles, and a Follower can be placed on the tile as a Monk, treating the placed Abbey like a cloister. As a bonus, the Abbey ends all features touching it AND all those tiles count toward the cloister's total value, which means you've already got at least five points (and usually more)!

There are two main reasons people seem to use this expansion: strategic and aesthetic reasons. It can be quite useful in ending difficult to complete features such as cities, and can also be good in blocking opponents from merging cities and fields. And for many, the simple act of filling in a hole on the board is worth it enough because the board looks incomplete otherwise. In either case, discuss your relationship with The Abbeys, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: The Builders  O0 C:-) 8) O:-)

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1209.0

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 03:28:51 AM »
I think at its heart the abbey is a wildcard that is used to complete your own features when MrNumbers/Jéré/danisthirty block you. But the more I play with this expansion (and it's an expansion that I like quite a lot), the more I think about different strategic uses for the abbey, so that's how I voted.

In the last game I played with it, my opponent and I were both invested in a large city, but all meeples were removed by the tower. There were only two possible spaces left for the expansion/reclaiming of the city, and both were blocked in on three sides and needed fairly rare tiles even with one side still free. I came up with a (possibly) brilliant plan that I then completely messed up upon execution. The plan was to surround one of the two possible expansion squares of the city, then play the abbey in the square. I would then place the wagon on the abbey to collect the nine points straight away and then immediately drive the wagon into the adjacent city to claim it.

The problem was that I got too far ahead of myself and played the abbey when only seven of the eight surrounding tiles were in place, meaning that my abbey cloister was not yet complete and I couldn't move the wagon into the city. As luck would have it, my opponent drew the required tile to claim the city via the other remaining square before I was able to complete the abbey cloister.

Anyway, I thought this was a good way to illustrate how the use of the abbey doesn't have to be only a defensive move to complete features and get meeples back. It can also be used strategically in certain situations as an 'offensive weapon'.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 04:57:54 AM »
I find Abbeys very useful in a variety of situations. Holes in the landscape don't bother me at all so I'd never use one specifically to fill a hole but I do use them if I end up needing a rare, already played or non-existent tile to complete a feature (usually a city). I've used them on plenty of occasions to stop someone else from getting into my cities too. If my opponent has someone waiting in a city on an adjacent tile and they're waiting for a suitable tile to join them up, it's often possible to surround the adjoining tile and then place the Abbey where it would need to go to ensure that they stay out.

In the last game I played with it, my opponent and I were both invested in a large city, but all meeples were removed by the tower. There were only two possible spaces left for the expansion/reclaiming of the city, and both were blocked in on three sides and needed fairly rare tiles even with one side still free. I came up with a (possibly) brilliant plan that I then completely messed up upon execution. The plan was to surround one of the two possible expansion squares of the city, then play the abbey in the square. I would then place the wagon on the abbey to collect the nine points straight away and then immediately drive the wagon into the adjacent city to claim it.

That is the most cunning plan I've heard of since some guy dropped two meeples (one normal, one phantom) on adjacent (but separate) fields of the same tile, then used a bridge to join them both on to the main farm with his next tile.  8) (and still lost the farm)  >:(

Anyway, was I taking part in that game per chance? It sounds like an excellent strategy anyway, too bad it didn't work. I didn't know you could drive your wagon from an Abbey onto a connected feature as I always imagine the red lines surrounding Abbeys being uncrossable. But if that can be done then it's well worth knowing about!
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Offline Paul

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 05:06:39 AM »
The Abbey tile is one of those features in a Carcassonne game best suited for smaller games where you often end up needing a certain tile.
  In a larger game it might still be useful, if only playing with a heap of base games or using the less unique tile formations from an expansion.

In a megaCarc with various expansions, you rarely end up not getting that special tile, but still, it can happen. Thus I would wait using it until the very last few turns to exploit, usually, the Cloister feature of the Abbey tile.

Past few game setup, though, I mostly am focused on the carcArt after the game is finished. Thus I allowed several Abbey tiles per player during a game session.
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 07:51:31 AM »
Anyway, was I taking part in that game per chance?

No, it was a real-life game.

It sounds like an excellent strategy anyway, too bad it didn't work. I didn't know you could drive your wagon from an Abbey onto a connected feature as I always imagine the red lines surrounding Abbeys being uncrossable. But if that can be done then it's well worth knowing about!

Well jeez, I didn't know we were bringing rules into it! Let me check.

Damn, it's an illegal move. From the CAR, page 76:

Quote
“Connected” means roads which lead to crossings and roads which head directly “into” a city or a cloister. Two cities never connect to each other (in the current land tiles). City walls that touch at a point (such as at the corner of tiles) are not considered connected, so the wagon cannot travel from one to the other. Thus, the wagon has to use the roads to move.

You guys are killing me today. My two best moves have been taken away from me!!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 07:56:51 AM »
Well jeez, I didn't know we were bringing rules into it! Let me check.

Damn, it's an illegal move. From the CAR, page 76:

Our favourite moves independent of the rules could turn into a bit of a free-for-all! C:-)

You guys are killing me today. My two best moves have been taken away from me!!

I too am mourning the recently determined illegality of the "Phantom Princess Scew-over" (the name it officially has from now on in my head). Today is the saddest Halloween for a very long time...

Offline Tacita

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 08:38:14 AM »
You guys are killing me today. My two best moves have been taken away from me!!
It appears the CAR is slightly inconsistent here.

"A wagon can be placed on an abbey. Additionally, the wagon can drive onto a directly connected city or road after scoring (and the other way round, from city/road to abbey), as long as the target feature has not yet been completed. " Page 76:238.

"The wagon can be moved from a city to a cloister that is within that city (or vice versa), as roads are not required for a 'connection,' just a shared wall/edge/surface." Page 76:239.
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 08:45:25 AM »
Oh wow, good find Tobias! Merit-worthy in fact.  :green-meeple: I had stopped reading at 'has to use roads'.

So I think it should read that a road is required for a connection except in the case of the abbey and a cloister within a city.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 04:54:25 PM »
I was the vote for completing opponent's features. I really hate people sneaking into my cities, so whenever I can, I'll use an Abbey to cut my losses and complete a city at the expense of another player tying with me. Sure I don't get as many points, but at least I get full points for the city I was working on. Aesthetics don't bother me either and it seems like such a waste to just use the tile to finish your own feature. It should be used aggressively, I feel. But perhaps that's my style. My second favorite expansion is Princess & Dragon, so there you go.

Offline kettlefish

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 01:16:48 AM »
I often forget to use the Abbey tile or when I remember it, then someone else has already placed the tile into that whole where I like to place it...

In my games I was seldom lucky to place the Abbey tile to the right time for me to get the most "profit" of it.

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 01:21:45 AM »
I was the vote for completing opponent's features. I really hate people sneaking into my cities, so whenever I can, I'll use an Abbey to cut my losses and complete a city at the expense of another player tying with me. Sure I don't get as many points, but at least I get full points for the city I was working on.

I'm not sure I understand. Aren't you just completing your own city here and not an opponent's?

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 02:17:44 AM »
I was the vote for completing opponent's features. I really hate people sneaking into my cities, so whenever I can, I'll use an Abbey to cut my losses and complete a city at the expense of another player tying with me. Sure I don't get as many points, but at least I get full points for the city I was working on.

I'm not sure I understand. Aren't you just completing your own city here and not an opponent's?
Well yes, technically, but I am completing it early to stop an opponent from trying to take it; and I am completing their feature too. That is as opposed to completing your own feature which has become stalled due to a lack of a tile (or unavailability of it).

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 02:37:21 AM »
OK, understood. The option in the poll makes it sound like you are just being nice and finishing someone's feature for them. But really you are trying to stop people glomming on to your city - using the abbey like a 2+ city segment tile - and if that happens to complete their feature in the process, then so be it.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2014, 03:22:11 AM »
OK, understood. The option in the poll makes it sound like you are just being nice and finishing someone's feature for them. But really you are trying to stop people glomming on to your city - using the abbey like a 2+ city segment tile - and if that happens to complete their feature in the process, then so be it.
i
Precisely. Sometimes I don't think through the poll questions as well as I should, though this is the first where the majority voted for the "other" option.

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Abbeys - Element of the Week #8
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2014, 03:30:45 AM »
The 'forgetting to place the abbey' option is an interesting one. Online play changes certain aspects of the game and this is one of them. With JCloisterZone, whenever you have an opportunity to place an abbey (i.e. whenever there is a tile surrounded by four tiles in the orthogonal directions), the first option presented to you when it's your turn is to play the abbey. So you can't really forget it. In fact, danisthirty gets so annoyed by the constant reminder about the abbey that I think he plays it the first chance he gets just to get rid of it!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 05:38:33 AM by jungleboy »


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