Poll

How do you primarily use The Halflings?

To complete a feature.
8 (38.1%)
To block an opponent from completing a feature.
8 (38.1%)
To obsessive-compulsively fill in wholes left by previously-placed Halflings.
3 (14.3%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
0 (0%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Halflings I or II.
2 (9.5%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: April 03, 2015, 04:04:38 PM

Author Topic: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29  (Read 6237 times)

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2490
  • Merit: 79
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« on: March 27, 2015, 04:04:38 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE HALFLINGS

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 HALFLINGS (from Cundco and Spielbox). When this expansion was first announced, if caused confusion and joy from many. For the first time, Hans im Glück was releasing a variant that broke away from the square tile design. With the exception of starter tiles, nothing like this had been done before. And the result: universal praise. Each player receives two Halflings tiles at the beginning of the game and may place them instead of a normal tile on their turn. For all intent and purposes, a Halflings tile is a normal tile except it only needs to abut two tiles to be placed. And after much discussion with HiG, it has also been determined that a Halflings tile is not considered an "open" space for any adjacent features, so they count for completing cloisters, extending monasteries, etc. But they can stop the extension of farms, cities, and roads, which is important strategically.

This little expansion, split between two version released concurrently via Spielbox and CundCo, has made filling those awkward gaps in boards a task not just relegated to an Abbey. For the first time, players are able to ignore part of the board to place a tile with no reliance on Bridges. This expansion changed the shape of Carcassonne and is conveniently being followed with the German Castles expansion this year, which will introduce double-sized tiles—as if half-sized ones were not enough. What's next? Tetris-shaped tiles? Discuss your relationship with The Halflings and how you optimise your use of this strategic element.

Next Week: The Bridges  :red-meeple: :green-meeple: :black-meeple:

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1641.0

Offline Frommarn91

  • Villein
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
  • Merit: 2
  • Meep! Meep!
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 03:47:12 AM »
I love the idea of the halfling tiles. But there are some things that I wished they had put in more time to fix. First of all, they are slightly larger than a normal tile, so they don't fit nicely in a square hole so you have to misalign the entire board (or at least that particular row and column) when playing them (if not played on the edge of the board). Another thing is that the hypotenuse of the triangles are slightly arched outward and not straight which just adds to the previous size problem. I have pondered if it is possible to just take a really fine sandpaper and "trim" the edges but I'm afraid that I will just end up ruining the tiles. Might try it out on the "rule" tile from the 10-year anniversary expansion (the one with fireworks) first and see how it goes...

But these problems are hugely outweighed by the new gameplay and strategies introduced by these little fellows, you can use them to either block your opponents or use them to sneak in on a farm/field, or both at the same time!

So even though their shape could have been more precisely cut/stamped I highly recommend them for any Carcassonne player :)

Offline aenima

  • Viscount
  • ****
  • Posts: 723
  • Merit: 34
  • !!!
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 04:49:49 AM »
I vote "To obsessive-compulsively fill in wholes left by previously-placed Halflings" because is too beutiful!  ;D
but in reality I use the halflings  "To block an opponent from completing a feature" ...and to feed my orcs!
I love this expansion!

Offline Halfling

  • Baron
  • *****
  • Posts: 1015
  • Merit: 48
  • Welcome tournament 2015 winner.
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 11:45:44 AM »
The Halflings are definitely used as a blocking tactic when I have some in my hand.  My best move to date has left two opposing meeples in partially completed cities for the remainder of the game.

In case of potentially frustrated opponents I have used in conjuction with The Festival so that stranded Meeps can be returned to their owners stash, or The Tower and the Dragon.  Fun to see the owner capture their own meeps to get them back in play.
The Geek shall inherit the earth if we get a good die role

Offline Allan in Brisbane

  • Villein
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
  • Merit: 0
  • Psalm 139:14
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 12:27:39 AM »
Some of the Halflings have a huge capacity to join farms, even multiple number of farms.
There is one tile which has two stubby roads on it, this joins farms nicely.
So, if I can, I think ahead about where farms are and make sure I have the meeple power needed to take them all.
The pieces are also excellent for last minute points grabbing.

Offline franks

  • Marquis
  • ***
  • Posts: 500
  • Merit: 23
  • I love Carcassonne
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 08:07:07 PM »
We tend to use these mostly to complete features. Though there are times when one just can't pass up a good block. I got one from my wife in our last game that basically shut down a city that had a good number of meeples and resources.

We have really enjoyed both halfling sets. We do have a creative use where we place all the tiles from each set in the Sheep bag, (we found that bag too large for the sheep tokens. We further use the 'School' bag for the sheep, the size is much more suitable). At the start of the game we take two halfling tiles each. If and when both players have played their two tiles, we are then allowed to draw another two each. In our mega carc games we tend to use an average of 8 tiles each.



Franks

Wanna play Carc? Can we add just one more expansion?

Offline Christopher

  • Count
  • **
  • Posts: 297
  • Merit: 12
  • It's not the years, it's the mileage.
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 12:58:15 PM »
Ooh, Halflings!

What a wonderfully delightful expansion! Triangular tiles, fantastic. This was a brilliant idea for the novelty of not-square tiles if nothing else. They open up some great possibilities.

I tend to use the halflings for completion. I'm not a hugely aggressive player (he says) so I use them to finish a feature in an awkward place.

That being said, I'm not completely opposed to a little blocking! If a prime opportunity comes along, I'll take it.

I enjoy that there are two versions of this expansion, although I prefer the Spielbox version as it's more suited to finishing features than blocking. I think it's interesting that the two versions differ in that way. Spielbox is more suited for finishing features as all of the features depicted end on the tiles, with the exception of two, which have the features crossing the two short, square ends. All of the long, triangular sides are field and can be added to with any other halfing, if desired. The Cundco version, on the other hand, has lots of features continuing across the tile onto the triangular side. Thus, using these tiles is no good for finishing your features. It is, however, perfect for blocking an opponent! Placing a tile which extends their feature onto a long side means they need a halfling to finish it! And given that they likely only have two halflings, this is tricky. Horrendous behaviour. In fact, I think this method of blocking is a bit powerful. If the player doesn't happen to have the correct halfing tile to place against the long end, he has no chance to finish that feature. Unlike a normal blocking situation, in which they hope to draw the right tile from the stack. I know that's all part of the game, but it's infuriating when it happens!

In larger games, we often give each player more than two halfings in order to balance the increased number of tiles compared to halflings.

*EDIT*

Taken out the bit about an abbey because even that wouldn't help them!
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 03:19:49 AM by Christopher »
Look to the north. Keep looking. There's nothing coming from the south.

Offline MrNumbers

  • Global Moderator
  • Duke Chevalier
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
  • Merit: 91
    • View Profile
    • Carcassonne Latvia
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 12:15:21 AM »
If the player doesn't happen to have the correct halfing tile to place against the long end, he has no chance to finish that feature, unless they have their Abbey.

How Abbey can help you to finish an object, which requires a halfling? Unless you have something like this :D
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2490
  • Merit: 79
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 12:51:28 AM »
If the player doesn't happen to have the correct halfing tile to place against the long end, he has no chance to finish that feature, unless they have their Abbey.

How Abbey can help you to finish an object, which requires a halfling? Unless you have something like this :D
I think he means if there is a hole on the board, either a Halfling or an Abbey can usually fill it (or part of it, anyway).

Offline Christopher

  • Count
  • **
  • Posts: 297
  • Merit: 12
  • It's not the years, it's the mileage.
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 03:13:28 AM »
If the player doesn't happen to have the correct halfing tile to place against the long end, he has no chance to finish that feature, unless they have their Abbey.

How Abbey can help you to finish an object, which requires a halfling? Unless you have something like this :D
I think he means if there is a hole on the board, either a Halfling or an Abbey can usually fill it (or part of it, anyway).

Actually, I was thinking of the fact that an abbey can be placed against a hafling like this. But that still wouldn't finish the road, would it? So even if they have an abbey, they're still stuck!


Offline Paul

  • Marquis Chevalier
  • ***
  • Posts: 2430
  • Merit: 85
    • View Profile
    • sydby.com
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 03:38:57 AM »
If the player doesn't happen to have the correct halfing tile to place against the long end, he has no chance to finish that feature, unless they have their Abbey.

How Abbey can help you to finish an object, which requires a halfling? Unless you have something like this :D
I think he means if there is a hole on the board, either a Halfling or an Abbey can usually fill it (or part of it, anyway).

Actually, I was thinking of the fact that an abbey can be placed against a hafling like this. But that still wouldn't finish the road, would it? So even if they have an abbey, they're still stuck!

And here I thought this wasn't a legal move. Does CAR mention this? I'm unable to check this atm.
World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2490
  • Merit: 79
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2016, 04:04:32 AM »
I doubt the CAR answers that specific issue, but it is a legal move if we always assume a space with a Halfling tile in it is "completed" in relation to adjacent tiles.

Offline Christopher

  • Count
  • **
  • Posts: 297
  • Merit: 12
  • It's not the years, it's the mileage.
    • View Profile
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2016, 04:19:17 AM »
I doubt the CAR answers that specific issue, but it is a legal move if we always assume a space with a Halfling tile in it is "completed" in relation to adjacent tiles.

The CAR does address this specifically, there is an annotation and a captioned diagram which indicates that it is a legal move.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 11:30:40 AM by Christopher »

Offline Decar

  • Global Moderator
  • Chatelain Officier
  • *
  • Posts: 5274
  • Merit: 236
  • Shut up and take my money!
    • View Profile
    • tehill.net
Re: The Halflings – Element of the Week #29
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2016, 07:11:57 AM »
I doubt the CAR answers that specific issue, but it is a legal move if we always assume a space with a Halfling tile in it is "completed" in relation to adjacent tiles.

This isn't true - kettlefish confirmed last year at Essen, that a Cloister needed all 18 halflings to be considered complete.  This is a change to the previously, originally, published rules.  The CAR has not been updated to reflect this, obvert considered this area incomplete and likely to change again.

Halflings is a terrible expansion, it structurally breaks the physical dimensions set by all other expansions, especially Abbey and Barns.


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
Castles - Element of the Weak (unofficial Element of the Week)

Started by Gerry

2 Replies
1897 Views
Last post December 29, 2014, 01:37:18 AM
by danisthirty
question
The Mayor & The Halflings II – Element Match-Ups #12

Started by whaleyland

0 Replies
1104 Views
Last post December 04, 2015, 02:14:16 PM
by whaleyland
question
The Castles & The Halflings I – Element Match-Ups #18

Started by whaleyland

0 Replies
1177 Views
Last post January 21, 2016, 08:08:39 PM
by whaleyland
grin
The Pig – Element of the Week #3

Started by whaleyland

16 Replies
7697 Views
Last post February 23, 2016, 03:06:32 AM
by Christopher
xx
The Catapult – Element of the Week #28

Started by whaleyland

14 Replies
6856 Views
Last post March 04, 2017, 11:42:10 AM
by dirk2112