Author Topic: Getting off to a good start: frfr  (Read 2750 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Getting off to a good start: frfr
« on: February 16, 2017, 09:25:39 AM »
It's always exciting at the start of a new game of Carcassonne to see what the first tile is going to be, especially if you're the person who gets to place it. Some placements are more obvious than others and it can be difficult to justify anything other than taking an easy 4-point city from the city segment on the starting tile if you draw one of the 22 tiles that would enable you to complete it from the start of the game. However, it isn't always obvious and I've often wondered about why I've seen different players doing different things, and what their "best" option really was.

So this is the theme of the series of discussions I'm proposing with this post: first drawn tiles and what to do with them. We'll start off by looking at the different tiles from the basic game and look at how people would place them if they were the first tile of a game and it was up to them to place them. I don't believe there are any right or wrong answers necessarily, but I'm very interested in hearing everyone's justifications for their decisions.

To kick things off, and because it's something that I still can't quite decide what to do with, let's come to terms with how disappointing it can be to draw a straight road (frfr) as the first tile of the game. After all, when it's an important game that you were desperate to get off to a good start with those 4 easy points, a straight road at this stage is not what you were hoping for...

You have 3 choices: continue the road to the east of the start tile, continue the road to the west of the start tile (both pretty much the same) or start a new road below the start tile.

My personal preference is to ditch this tile below the start tile and leave it unclaimed. I don't want to risk a meeple on a 2-point road unless it is already closed at one end, otherwise the number of turns required to get him back (at least 2) isn't worth the effort considering how few points he is likely to be worth. But I don't want to leave a 2-point road unclaimed either, in case my opponent draws something like a t-junction (frrr) on their first turn and so can claim a safe, 3-point road that's already closed at one end. So, as far as I'm concerned, the best option is to place it underneath the start tile and hope that my opponent doesn't draw a city cap on their turn (and then that I do)!

What do you do, and why?

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3175.0
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Offline dirk2112

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 10:17:15 AM »
It depends on the number of players and how many expansions.  If we are playing with few expansions and few players, I increase the size of the road and put down a farmer.  Otherwise, I extend the road and let someone else enjoy the 2 points. 

To be honest, I so rarely go first that it doesn't come up much. 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 10:22:08 AM by dirk2112 »

Offline SRBO

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 02:22:39 PM »
Good idea Dan,

Maybe it's a good idea to also post a picture or an image of the starting tile + the drawn tile (in this case frfr) to give a better look to what we are facing.

Well, i certainly would expand the road. But! I would directly place a farmer on the side of the city. In this way, I have a big risk, but it could be worth lots in the future.
If i play with more players, then i would just take the road.

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 01:07:18 AM »
I would just extend the road and claim it.

I don't want to risk a meeple on a 2-point road unless it is already closed at one end, otherwise the number of turns required to get him back (at least 2) isn't worth the effort considering how few points he is likely to be worth.

Ehh, I don't think it's that big of a risk. You still have six other meeples in your supply at this stage. I think it's always a decent idea to have an open road so you can have somewhere to stick all those straight road and corner road tiles (which together make up more than 1/5 of the tiles in the base game). And if it's four-player, base-game only (as in some tournaments), you should play a meeple on virtually every turn if you can because you have so few turns (17/18). So I think placing it under the start tile and claiming nothing is a bit of a waste.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 01:47:46 AM »
It depends on the number of players and how many expansions.

For clarity, the context of my decision here was a head-to-head base game (i.e. no expansions). In a 4-player game I would probably place to the east of the start tile and claim the road as, like jungleboy said, meeple management is far less important in a 4-player game due to the limited opportunities to deploy them in the first place.

Maybe it's a good idea to also post a picture or an image of the starting tile + the drawn tile (in this case frfr) to give a better look to what we are facing.

Good idea! I've attached a photo showing the position at the end of my turn to this post!

Ehh, I don't think it's that big of a risk. You still have six other meeples in your supply at this stage. I think it's always a decent idea to have an open road so you can have somewhere to stick all those straight road and corner road tiles (which together make up more than 1/5 of the tiles in the base game). And if it's four-player, base-game only (as in some tournaments), you should play a meeple on virtually every turn if you can because you have so few turns (17/18). So I think placing it under the start tile and claiming nothing is a bit of a waste.

I agree that it’s useful having somewhere to place unwanted road tiles but in some games I’ve regretted these if they end up getting stuck either because they become trapped or I don’t seem to draw any road endings. Straight roads and corner roads may make up a fifth of the tiles (almost a quarter in fact) but this doesn’t mean that scoring 1 point per tile from them is their primary purpose. In my opinion, they’re more useful for building around my opponent’s features to restrict their options, or to trap if possible. So with this in mind, I’d rather waste a turn without providing any significant opportunities for my opponent than risk wasting a meeple...

Offline Chuck

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 02:04:05 AM »
Normally, I extend the road and put a farmer on the city side.

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2017, 04:43:49 AM »
I am with jungleboy here: I usually claim this 2-point road, so for some period I don't have to think much, where to place coming road pieces.
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 12:50:26 PM »
Until my wife lost my iPod during a frantic house tidying session on Saturday morning, I had been playing a game with James Cook via the iOS app. I think we've got between 20 and 30 tiles left to place, and to be fair to him, he has drawn some terrible tiles, but I'm in a favourable position at the moment. However, despite the more fortunate draws, one of the reasons that the game is going so well for me is that he has a long road which he has been adding each of his road tiles too. Which is fine, it all adds to his score, but he has ignored some great opportunities to make my life more difficult with several road tiles but he's let me off because he was more interested in continuing with his mega-road. Will have to see what happens when/ if I ever find my iPod but I'm cautiously optimistic...

Lots of differing opinions here, and some interesting suggestions. Anyway, the discussion is still very much open so please post here if you have any alternative ideas or strategies that you'd like to share! :) :(y)

Offline Decar

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 12:33:15 AM »
And if you do extend the road, do you go left or right  :o ???

Offline ny1050220

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 06:24:24 AM »
I guess either way is equally good. The tiles in the base game are symmetrical other than the cfrr and crrf tiles, but there are three of each.

Offline Windekind

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2019, 06:11:06 AM »
This message is somewhat outdated. But I thought it was still interesting to think about this.
My conclutions are:

Left or right:
Tile + Rover: Here you have at least 2 points. You can easily extend the road. But there is a chance that you will be 'trapped' by the city.
Tile + farmer above the road: It is a risk, but you are almost 100% sure that you will have at least 3 points at the end of the game.
Tile + farmer below the road: Not interesting yet because there is still no certainty that cities will be built on this side.
Tile + no meeple: Here you save your meeple for other interesting projects. But if you put them on the road, that is not bad, you still have 6 other meeples about.

Below:
Tile + Rover: If you place a road here, you can connect with the upper road over time. The risk is higher to not connect to the upper road. This is because the opponent can place a T or X crossroad.  But there is no chance that you will be 'trapped' by the city.
Tile + farmer above the road: Certainly not interesting because there is a great certainty that your farmer will be locked up between the roads.
Tile + farmer below the road: Not interesting yet because there is still no certainty that cities will be built on this side.
Tile + no meeple: Here you save your meeple for other interesting projects. But if you put them on the road, that is not bad, you still have 6 other meeples about.

Offline Decar

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Re: Getting off to a good start: frfr
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2019, 12:50:25 AM »
Tile + farmer above the road: It is a risk, but you are almost 100% sure that you will have at least 3 points at the end of the game.

You have a lot less than 100% idea if you're going to get 3 points. There are 70 tiles left in the bag and 35 of them could be used by the other player to snag this from you.


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