Poll

How do you primarily use The Builders?

To expand roads.
4 (20%)
To expand cities.
13 (65%)
I usually forget to place or don't get an opportunity to place my Builder.
0 (0%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
3 (15%)
I don't ever play with or don't own Traders & Builders.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: November 14, 2014, 06:17:09 PM

Author Topic: The Builders – Element of the Week #9  (Read 7137 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« on: November 07, 2014, 06:17:09 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE BUILDERS

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 BUILDERS (from Inns & Cathedrals [Expansion #2]).This is probably one of the most logical elements from Carcassonne's expansions, with a simple mechanic that allows a player to place a second tile whenever a feature with the Builder atop it is added to. Thus it can only be used with Roads and Cities. The problem often is that placing the Builder quickly is often impossible, so it enters and exits play repeatedly. The Builder does, though, speed up the game and sometimes give you that one extra tile you needed to complete a feature. Discuss your relationship with The Builders, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: The Cults  >:D >:D >:D

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1242.0

Offline Paul

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 07:33:51 PM »
Two things.

1. I place it on a road and expand it outwards so each road tiles gives me 1 point while I get to take another turn.

2. I place it on a city and expand it until I get a Cathedral placed on it.

Now that I have several builders, I could be enticed to test how balanced or unbalanced this would be.  :@
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 12:49:18 AM »
Traditionally, I use the builder for cities, though sometimes using them for roads has value as well. Just yesterday in an iOS game with Jéré, I put a builder on an inn road early on, but soon after we began competing for a cathedral city and I wished that I had my builder available for the city (because Jéré soon put his builder in the city). For quite a few turns, the road pieces I drew were straight roads and corner roads rather than t-junctions or other road-end tiles. In the end I completed the road with an inn for 20 points and I won the city too  :green-meeple:

But I answered that I use the builder in another strategic way, though it is related to the expansion of cities. As we know, the best way to glom on to someone's city (or to any feature) is to place a tile and a follower so that it only requires only one more tile to connect to the feature. But sometimes there is no possible way to place a tile (any tile) to be within one tile of joining the city (i.e. there are not enough surrounding tiles). The most satisfying way to use the builder for me is to place a tile that both adds to the city (giving me a second turn) and opens up the opportunity to place a tile within one tile of the city, then to use my second turn to place that tile in a glom-on position and add another follower.

If this doesn't make sense, see the pictures below.

Offline Paul

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 01:43:04 AM »
Traditionally, I use the builder for cities, though sometimes using them for roads has value as well. Just yesterday in an iOS game with Jéré, I put a builder on an inn road early on, but soon after we began competing for a cathedral city and I wished that I had my builder available for the city (because Jéré soon put his builder in the city). For quite a few turns, the road pieces I drew were straight roads and corner roads rather than t-junctions or other road-end tiles. In the end I completed the road with an inn for 20 points and I won the city too  :green-meeple:

But I answered that I use the builder in another strategic way, though it is related to the expansion of cities. As we know, the best way to glom on to someone's city (or to any feature) is to place a tile and a follower so that it only requires only one more tile to connect to the feature. But sometimes there is no possible way to place a tile (any tile) to be within one tile of joining the city (i.e. there are not enough surrounding tiles). The most satisfying way to use the builder for me is to place a tile that both adds to the city (giving me a second turn) and opens up the opportunity to place a tile within one tile of the city, then to use my second turn to place that tile in a glom-on position and add another follower.

If this doesn't make sense, see the pictures below.

That's a good strategy.  :(y)

Offline kettlefish

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 02:10:31 AM »
I use the builder mostly for cities.

When I have a follower on a road with inn - then I use the builder there too.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 11:04:14 PM »
I voted for expanding cities although I'm just as likely to use it on a road in most games.

I like jungleboy's strategy; I'll be looking out for this on Thursday!

If a game is drawing to a close and there are maybe 20 tiles or so left to draw, I find it's often helpful to have a "dumping ground" which is simply a city that I have no intention of completing (either because it wouldn't be possible or because I don't want my opponent to be able to claim the points. Even in a state of incompleteness, these can often be worth 10 points or more which can make all the difference in close games. If my builder's free at this stage of the game I'll always add him into my dumping ground cities purely to generate as many bonus turns as possible so that my opponent gets less tiles and so less opportunities to score...
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 11:25:47 PM »
Of course, the flip side to my strategy is that if you execute the first part and then don't get the tile you need for the second part, it gives your opponent(s) an opportunity to glom on on their next turn.

If a game is drawing to a close and there are maybe 20 tiles or so left to draw, I find it's often helpful to have a "dumping ground" which is simply a city that I have no intention of completing (either because it wouldn't be possible or because I don't want my opponent to be able to claim the points. Even in a state of incompleteness, these can often be worth 10 points or more which can make all the difference in close games.

I'd like to dump a cathedral on your dumping ground with a few tiles left...  :green-meeple:

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 12:28:01 AM »
If a game is drawing to a close and there are maybe 20 tiles or so left to draw, I find it's often helpful to have a "dumping ground" which is simply a city that I have no intention of completing (either because it wouldn't be possible or because I don't want my opponent to be able to claim the points. Even in a state of incompleteness, these can often be worth 10 points or more which can make all the difference in close games.

I'd like to dump a cathedral on your dumping ground with a few tiles left...  :green-meeple:

This tactic definitely works better either if you're not playing Inns & Cathedrals or if both Cathedrals have already been placed. Of course, even if there is still a cathedral or two to come, the fact that you can easily get a bonus turn whenever you draw a tile with a city segment on it somewhere means that in a 2-player game you're more likely to draw it then your opponent (depending on where their builder is).

Online tp10053

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 07:08:17 AM »
When playing with school I found that when you take the teacher, other players will quickly finish some low point features such as two point road or something similar to deprive you of the advantage. Thanks to builder I have found a solution: I occupy a school road and place my builder on it. Then I wait until someone has a big city on a brink of finishing and finally I finish my school road recieving a teacher  and with my double turn I finish my opponents' big city thus getting points from it >:D
It is also great fun to combine builers' power with some other multi-turn/multi-tile placement expansions to create monster combos O0 :(y) In extreme cases, you can place 8 tiles in a row !!! :black-meeple:

Offline Big Guy

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #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.
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Offline Rosco

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 10:51:02 AM »


In extreme cases, you can place 8 tiles in a row !!! :black-meeple:

How??
Just lay the damn tile!

Online tp10053

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2014, 11:25:48 AM »


In extreme cases, you can place 8 tiles in a row !!! :black-meeple:

How??
First I draw a bazaar tile wich extends my feature with builder,-1st tile ; I set up an auction and perform my builder turn- 2nd tile; then the auction takes place, let's say it's the short variant, I place myauction tile-3rd tile; it extends the feature with  my builder and I take my builder turn;4th tile; with this I finish some of my features and land on a dark spot  thus recieving a message, it is the one that alows me to draw a new tile ;5th tile ; this tile has a bazaar and I also extend the feature with my builder on it and the scenario from before repeats again so thats 6th, 7th and 8th tile ! Thats how ! :black-meeple:
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 11:27:26 AM by tp10053 »

Offline Rosco

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2014, 11:44:03 AM »
Is that allowed?

Online tp10053

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2014, 02:53:01 PM »
Yes it is, I have already checked CAR  :)

Offline Carcking

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Re: The Builders – Element of the Week #9
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2014, 06:19:12 PM »
I typically plan to be conservative with my Builder early on so I do not get him trapped. I will look for a run away road to put him on so my opponent cannot easily block it and trap him.

My main objective in being conservative with him is to have him available near the end. In close games it is quite often that a certain tile or two will make the difference in the game - whether you're fishing for a certain city tile or a certain road tile to join a key Farm it is critical to get as many draws as possible late in the game, hopefully limiting available tiles for your opponent. By then it's not important if the feature he is on ever gets completed - it is just a tool to get the extra tile draws when they're needed most.
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!


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