Poll

How do you primarily use The Besiegers?

As a means of damaging an opponent's City.
5 (29.4%)
As an method of evacuating a City.
0 (0%)
To double points for an adjacent Farm.
9 (52.9%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
0 (0%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Besiegers.
3 (17.6%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Voting closed: June 26, 2015, 06:16:25 PM

Author Topic: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41  (Read 5062 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« on: June 19, 2015, 06:16:25 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE BESIEGERS

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 BESIEGERS, also The CATHARS and THE SIEGE. For being so small, this expansion is notorious for its multiple iterations and confusing provenance. The expansion was first released by Spielbox Magazine way back in 2004 as their first promotional expansion. It got a rerelease within months in the Carcassonne Almanach before disappearing for the better part of six years. In 2008, Rio Grande Games, bowing to popular demand, released their own version alongside another small expansion, henceforth called Cults, Siege & Creativity. In 2012, Spielbox "discovered" a bunch of old copies of Cathars and released them en masse, for the first time depreciating the Cathars market (Siege barely touched demand for the original, historically themed expansion). This depreciation has remained today, with copies of the expansion selling for lower prices than before 2012. In 2013, Hans im Glück finally undermined Cathars once and for all when it released The Besiegers, the first official Hans im Glück implementation of the Cathars mechanic, using graphics that mixed those used in Cathars and Siege and included six tiles in completely new arrangements than the four original Cathars/Siege tiles. Today, that expansion is available for cheap on Cundco.de.

For all its history, the expansion really isn't anything to write home about. The four-to-six tiles are mixed in with the rest of the tiles. When one is drawn, it is placed as usual. Any city that includes the "besieged" part of this tile is worth -1 point per tile and pennant. Incomplete cities as the end of the game do not score. As a somewhat strange "escape" clause, Knights in a besieged city can escape via a cloister that is adjacent to the besieger tile. This is a free move done at the end of a player's turn. Players do not score for escaped Knights. Farms score double points for completed besieged cities at the end of the game.

That's a lot of history and rules to take in, so I'll leave it at that. Discuss your relationship with The Besiegers and how you optimise your use of this strategic element.

Next Week: The Ferries  :blue-meeple: :blue-meeple: :blue-meeple:

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1886.0

Offline franks

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 10:51:27 PM »
I came about this addition from Cult, Siege. It can be a dreaded feature but I think it is more of a blessing than a curse. I see it as a benefit in getting monster cities under control. In larger games where a city can reach 100+ points with a Cathedral, that kind of score can be a deciding factor in a game.

There is a down side if one adds the Witch. Both stacking negative effects can be rough. At least with the Witch there is the possibility of removing it before scoring.

We have included Siege in most all our games and despite playing with it for so long, we keep forgetting about Escape rule. I don’t think we have ever used that effect once  :-\

In regards to the farm bonus, since we mostly play large games the netted effect is not all that noticeable.
Franks

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

Offline Koremu

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 02:29:39 AM »
Mechanically speaking, there are 10 tiles featuring the mechanic, as Siege and Cathars are identical in layout, just differing in Artwork.

Also, IIRC the Escape mechanic is officially a feature only of the later verions, not the Spielbox original. (I don't have Cathars, so I can't be sure).

Because it's so simple an addition, it is quite easy to use the tiles without the rules, or come up with variant rules.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 04:05:46 AM »
Mechanically speaking, there are 10 tiles featuring the mechanic, as Siege and Cathars are identical in layout, just differing in Artwork.

Also, IIRC the Escape mechanic is officially a feature only of the later verions, not the Spielbox original. (I don't have Cathars, so I can't be sure).

Because it's so simple an addition, it is quite easy to use the tiles without the rules, or come up with variant rules.
Escape was in the original Spielbox rules. Rio Grande changed them slightly, but HiG reverted to the original.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 08:44:00 AM »
The idea of escaping from a besieged city always seemed rather pointless (literally in fact, since you're still due some points for the completed city even if it's only half as many as it might have been).

I always thought it would be interesting if the presence of a besiegers tile could mean the "scoring" player(s) actually has his score reduced depending on the size of the city. Inevitably this would lead to an increasingly desperate attempt for at least one player to recall his knight(s) via an adjacent cloister (or abbey?) while the others work cooperatively to complete it before he can do so.
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Offline ooh_jim

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 05:21:46 PM »

I always thought it would be interesting if the presence of a besiegers tile could mean the "scoring" player(s) actually has his score reduced depending on the size of the city. Inevitably this would lead to an increasingly desperate attempt for at least one player to recall his knight(s) via an adjacent cloister (or abbey?) while the others work cooperatively to complete it before he can do so.

Same here. This would work well with the festival/crop circles/tower/plague removal mechanics.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 05:32:15 PM »

I always thought it would be interesting if the presence of a besiegers tile could mean the "scoring" player(s) actually has his score reduced depending on the size of the city. Inevitably this would lead to an increasingly desperate attempt for at least one player to recall his knight(s) via an adjacent cloister (or abbey?) while the others work cooperatively to complete it before he can do so.

Same here. This would work well with the festival/crop circles/tower/plague removal mechanics.

Now I'm thinking about the awful "Ant and Dec"'s next smash hit reality TV program: "I'm a knight in an incomplete besieged city... get me out of here!"

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2015, 04:11:33 AM »
I have always loved the idea and artwork of this expansion (in all its incarnations). I am very happy to own all three even though I don't usually feel the same need to get all versions of essentially the same expansion (crop circles, windroses etc). As for the cloister escape, I don't think this has much practical use (and I don't think I've ever used it), but I still really like the fact that it exists.

Edit: The only thing that bugs me is the different colours of the Cathars that don't match with the rest of the tiles - but obviously that's an issue with some other expansions as well (Plague, Festival etc).
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 04:21:39 AM by jungleboy »

Offline Koremu

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2015, 04:33:08 AM »
Escape was in the original Spielbox rules. Rio Grande changed them slightly, but HiG reverted to the original.

I stand corrected.



I did always think it was a bit odd that the Siege mechanic worked on complete & incomplete cities. You'd think that it wouldn't have any effect on complete ones (as they have a full set of walls).

Maybe something for a variant that; although it's a bit too close to Cathedrals I guess.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 11:37:55 AM »
Ah, siege tiles! I love siege tiles. It's such a simple mechanic and I think it's a wonderful addition to any game. It's a smattering of aggressive play but quickly executed, no muscling in on a city or removing a follower, just a simply deployment of a tile on a small city to bug another player or use it to wreck their score on a huge city. Wonderful.

Couple this with cults for a dynamite combination. I'd love to see a similar mechanic for roads, I don't know if there's a fan expansion which does this? I always think of a flooded road tile which halves the score of the road (rounded up). Might be nice.

As regards the escape rule, it seems utterly pointless as is. We sometime play with the rule that an escaping knight scores as it would if the besieged city were complete, one point per tile/pennant. This makes escape a viable option. The player can then choose to hold out for more points as the city gets more tiles, or they can cut and run. We also combine this with the (RioGrande?) rule that allows escape to a cloister adjacent to any of the city tiles in the besieged city, rather than just the siege tile itself. This makes escape more likely to be possible.


As I work my way through the Element of the Week threads, it occurs to me how many rule variations I seem to use! I hadn't noticed it, but apparently I like to play my own way! I always thought I was a bit of a stickler, but evidently not. I like that Carcassonne lends itself to that though. And I think my tweaks work well for my preferred way of playing.
Look to the north. Keep looking. There's nothing coming from the south.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 04:07:50 PM »
I'd love to see a similar mechanic for roads, I don't know if there's a fan expansion which does this? I always think of a flooded road tile which halves the score of the road (rounded up). Might be nice.

The witch (Mage & Witch) can do this, but obviously that's a very different mechanic than just laying a tile. It's still a good idea though, I would be surprised if nobody has done this with a fan-expansion yet...

As regards the escape rule, it seems utterly pointless as is.

I agree. Although I don't play with Cathars/ Siege/ Besiegers very often I don't think I've ever escaped from a city. It seems to me that someone somewhere thought it would be a cool idea, which it is, but it doesn't necessarily fit in with the game very well. What I think would be better would be if the score for a besieged city actually becomes negative. So rather than 2 points per tile/ pennant it could become -1 point per tile/ pennant. That way you really would want to escape from the city by any means necessary, and your opponent would want to close it for you before you could do so!

As I work my way through the Element of the Week threads, it occurs to me how many rule variations I seem to use! I hadn't noticed it, but apparently I like to play my own way! I always thought I was a bit of a stickler, but evidently not. I like that Carcassonne lends itself to that though. And I think my tweaks work well for my preferred way of playing.

I've noticed this too! ;) I think it's great that you're able to tweak the rules though, and if it results in a more fun game for you and your gaming group then that's all that matters as long as it remains fair and everyone enjoys the rules you're playing by. If you stick to the rules religiously even though there are problems with them or aspects that you and your friends disagree with then you're going to struggle with it, lose interest and play something else. I say keep up the good work and stay imaginative. You're undoubtedly providing many others with some great ideas in the process... :) :(y)

Offline Hounk

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 04:45:06 PM »
The escape rule may not be as often used, but it still serves it's purpose occasionally. Consider a city, which can't be completed. It will score nothing in the end, this will be the most likely purpose.

Also, I remember a game, I think I had with Rosco. We had a city growing big, worth a lot. I think, it included at least one Siege-tile and a Cathedral. At one point, we both had maybe 3 meeple inside. Then I got a 4th inside, while Rosco did not have any left, nor any other, which might return soon. So he placed a cloister nearby, and started to redraw. He knew, he couldn't win on the city, but that way he got some meeple back, and could score them elsewere, while otherwise he would have to wait, till I finish the city, since I had more in reserve.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 01:04:35 AM »
I'd love to see a similar mechanic for roads, I don't know if there's a fan expansion which does this? I always think of a flooded road tile which halves the score of the road (rounded up). Might be nice.

The witch (Mage & Witch) can do this, but obviously that's a very different mechanic than just laying a tile. It's still a good idea though, I would be surprised if nobody has done this with a fan-expansion yet...

I've just started a thread asking about this, but after thinking about it a little more, it probably wouldn't be that useful a tile. Roads already score less than cities and don't tend to be big scorers unless you have an inn or are working on a particularly big road. Unless the 'flooded road' tile happened to be drawn when someone was doing that, it probably wouldn't be that useful. Put it on any normal road and the player would simple close the road at the earliest opportunity and start a new one, with no more than mild irritation.

As I work my way through the Element of the Week threads, it occurs to me how many rule variations I seem to use! I hadn't noticed it, but apparently I like to play my own way! I always thought I was a bit of a stickler, but evidently not. I like that Carcassonne lends itself to that though. And I think my tweaks work well for my preferred way of playing.

I've noticed this too! ;) I think it's great that you're able to tweak the rules though, and if it results in a more fun game for you and your gaming group then that's all that matters as long as it remains fair and everyone enjoys the rules you're playing by. If you stick to the rules religiously even though there are problems with them or aspects that you and your friends disagree with then you're going to struggle with it, lose interest and play something else. I say keep up the good work and stay imaginative. You're undoubtedly providing many others with some great ideas in the process... :) :(y)

Thanks!

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: The Besiegers – Element of the Week #41
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2016, 02:01:05 AM »
Good example of escaping was in one of the weekly online games.
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)


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