Poll

How do you primarily use The King & Robber Baron?

As a goal to achieve.
10 (66.7%)
I try to manipulate the other players into fighting for the tokens.
0 (0%)
I ignore it and let other players compete for the tokens.
2 (13.3%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (6.7%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The King & Robber Baron (or Expansion #6).
2 (13.3%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Voting closed: October 17, 2014, 03:27:53 PM

Author Topic: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5  (Read 8762 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« on: October 10, 2014, 03:27:53 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE KING & ROBBER BARON

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 KING & ROBBER BARON, from Count, King & Robber (Expansion #6). This expansion originally released as a stand-alone expansion paired with five vanilla tiles and The Scout expansion for Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers. It later was compiled into Expansion #6 with The River II, The Cult, and the Count of Carcassonne. The two elements were so similar to each other that there was no reason to separate them as separate elements. Yet each does contribute something slightly different to the game.

The King and Robber Baron are awarded to the players with the largest City and longest Road respectively. At the end of the game, bonus points are awarded to the player who holds the tokens. But tracking the size of the features can be difficult to track with numerous methods suggested to do so. Furthermore, the winner of the tokens may gain a huge advantage at the end of the game if other players, through random drawing, were unable to compete. Yet those bonus points may also lead to hard-won victories or beautiful sabotages. Discuss your relationship with The King & Robber Baron, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of these elements.

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

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1121.0

Offline Paul

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 11:14:58 PM »
Best option I could choose was "I ignore it let others compete..." which is the case for everyone I play with.

The reason is, we only play megaCarc these days and these few bonus points is just a blip on the score radar not worth fighting for.

 ::)
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Offline whaleyland

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 11:53:19 PM »
Best option I could choose was "I ignore it let others compete..." which is the case for everyone I play with.

The reason is, we only play megaCarc these days and these few bonus points is just a blip on the score radar not worth fighting for.

 ::)
Definitely a point for megagames, the tokens just aren't worth enough in the grand scheme of things, though the games can sometimes still be surprisingly close. What is the point gain from a King or Robber Baron token? 20 points? Or is it based on the size of the largest/longest feature? I can't even remember (I rarely play with it).

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2014, 12:35:41 AM »
What is the point gain from a King or Robber Baron token? 20 points? Or is it based on the size of the largest/longest feature? I can't even remember (I rarely play with it).

I always thought it was a straight 10 points, but per the CAR, it's one point per completed city/road for the player who is in possession of the king/robber baron at the end of the game.

I use it for the extra five tiles more than anything else, especially because one of them is a CFFR which would otherwise not exist at all in a game featuring the base game, I&C and T&B. Plus I like the bridge city tile and the city + cloister tile.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 03:42:39 AM »
I know it's not very popular amongst most players but I really like this.

The important thing to remember is that the king/ robber baron tile is awarded to the player who completes the largest/ longest city/ road (in terms of number of tiles) and is nothing to do with who owned the city/ road or won points from it. I just think this is a fairly neat concept as it means there is an added incentive to complete other people's features which can lead to far more interesting games. In this way I think it adds to the game without complicating it or taking anything away from it which is a good thing in my book!

Officially, the points awarded are based on the number of completed cities/ roads on the board at the end of the game. Counting them can be a pain, especially in large games, but this helps to keep the bonus relevant to the size of the game. A game of MegaCarc could easily have 40 or so completed roads which is definitely worth competing for. Alternatively, you can just allocate a fixed value which is often suggested as 10 points for either or 30 points for both. We normally play 10 points for either, but there's no additional bonus for getting both. Doing this makes them artificially worthless though, particularly in big games.

The 5 playable tiles themselves are quite interesting but nothing much to write home about. The only other thing worth mentioning is that I keep two spare meeples with my King & Robber Baron expansions so that I can keep track of the largest/ longest completed city/ road for the purposes of knowing when to award these.

In short, it's a big  :(y) from me!  :)
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline Fritz_Spinne

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2014, 04:40:36 AM »
I never played it but this could be an variant: the player owning the King gets 1 point for every completed city until another player owns the King, the same with Robber and roads.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2014, 08:21:00 AM »
Are you suggesting that the King/ Robber Baron bonus could be awarded every time the tile changes hands? Because that could make things very interesting indeed! It would certainly make it worth competing for!

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2014, 09:06:10 AM »
I think he is suggesting something even better: a point is awarded every time a road/city is completed, like this variant listed on page 39 of the CAR:

The player who completes the first road receives the Robber Baron and keeps it until another player completes a longer road. Until that time, the player receives 1 bonus point every time a road is completed. The same applies for the King and cities. (Thanks to dustyu).

Offline frankdux

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2014, 11:25:38 AM »
Best option I could choose was "I ignore it let others compete..." which is the case for everyone I play with.

The reason is, we only play megaCarc these days and these few bonus points is just a blip on the score radar not worth fighting for.

 ::)
Definitely a point for megagames, the tokens just aren't worth enough in the grand scheme of things, though the games can sometimes still be surprisingly close. What is the point gain from a King or Robber Baron token? 20 points? Or is it based on the size of the largest/longest feature? I can't even remember (I rarely play with it).

What? In a game of MegaCarc, the king and the baron are EXTREMELY valuable. At the end of the game you get a point for each complete city or each complete road. This is usually between 35 and 50 points in a large game. My group actually found this to be TOO MANY points so we usually make the king and baron a fixed point bonus (awarded at the end of the game as usual) - typically somewhere between 20 and 35 points depending upon just how large the game is.

We've also extended the concept to monasteries. You get a friar chip for each occupied monastery you complete, regardless of ownership. Whoever has the most friar chips also possesses the friar tile. (tie goes to whoever had that number of friar chips first.) If you have the friar tile at the end of the game you get a point bonus just like the king and the baron.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2014, 11:31:14 AM by frankdux »

Offline Paul

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2014, 11:35:02 AM »
Best option I could choose was "I ignore it let others compete..." which is the case for everyone I play with.

The reason is, we only play megaCarc these days and these few bonus points is just a blip on the score radar not worth fighting for.

 ::)
Definitely a point for megagames, the tokens just aren't worth enough in the grand scheme of things, though the games can sometimes still be surprisingly close. What is the point gain from a King or Robber Baron token? 20 points? Or is it based on the size of the largest/longest feature? I can't even remember (I rarely play with it).

What? In a game of MegaCarc, the king and the baron are EXTREMELY valuable. At the end of the game you get a point for each complete city or each complete road. This is usually between 35 and 50 points in a large game. My group actually found this to be TOO MANY points so we usually make the king and baron a fixed point bonus (awarded at the end of the game as usual) - typically somewhere between 20 and 35 points depending upon just how large the game is. Also, given how many roads and cities there are to count, we've almost certainly made mistakes in counting, so it's more sensible to just agree on a fixed point amount before hand so that no counting mistakes can be made.

We've always played these as a 15p endgame bonus for whomever has one of the tiles (or 30 if both). Following 1p per city is a compromise we've had to take because there is just no way to keep track of this.
  I should also point out that it's not because of lazyness or we do not know a good system. It's because after 5 hours up to 2 days of play, literally each and every one of us become insane trying to keep track of this scoring.

 :o

But still, we love to play these megaCarc.  :@

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2014, 03:09:30 PM »
The player who completes the first road receives the Robber Baron and keeps it until another player completes a longer road. Until that time, the player receives 1 bonus point every time a road is completed. The same applies for the King and cities. (Thanks to dustyu).

That is a great idea! Definitely how I will be playing next time I get to play with this. Thanks.

Offline frankdux

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2014, 06:02:06 PM »
Best option I could choose was "I ignore it let others compete..." which is the case for everyone I play with.

The reason is, we only play megaCarc these days and these few bonus points is just a blip on the score radar not worth fighting for.

 ::)
Definitely a point for megagames, the tokens just aren't worth enough in the grand scheme of things, though the games can sometimes still be surprisingly close. What is the point gain from a King or Robber Baron token? 20 points? Or is it based on the size of the largest/longest feature? I can't even remember (I rarely play with it).

What? In a game of MegaCarc, the king and the baron are EXTREMELY valuable. At the end of the game you get a point for each complete city or each complete road. This is usually between 35 and 50 points in a large game. My group actually found this to be TOO MANY points so we usually make the king and baron a fixed point bonus (awarded at the end of the game as usual) - typically somewhere between 20 and 35 points depending upon just how large the game is. Also, given how many roads and cities there are to count, we've almost certainly made mistakes in counting, so it's more sensible to just agree on a fixed point amount before hand so that no counting mistakes can be made.

We've always played these as a 15p endgame bonus for whomever has one of the tiles (or 30 if both). Following 1p per city is a compromise we've had to take because there is just no way to keep track of this.
  I should also point out that it's not because of lazyness or we do not know a good system. It's because after 5 hours up to 2 days of play, literally each and every one of us become insane trying to keep track of this scoring.

 :o

But still, we love to play these megaCarc.  :@

I'm actually still a bit confused as to what you are losing track of. Is it the counting up of all the cities at the end?

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2014, 06:16:33 PM »
The size of the longest road or city.

Offline eddebaby

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2014, 09:00:11 AM »
I tend to use is a lot as it is an easy to understand addition, that adds another aspect to the game. It also goes well with the trade goods in T&B by giving benefits to completing other peoples features.
I want to try the variant were whoever has the king/baron gets a point when the city/road is completed, it gets hard to track otherwise. We used to just go with the 10 points each at the end of the game, but I recently got some wooden pieces to mark things on the score board. Mini-meeple to count the points the king/baron is worth and a city/road piece from Catan (I think) to mark the biggest/longest feature. It's easy to work it out at the end of the game, but remembering to move the pieces every time becomes its own challenge!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The King & Robber Baron – Element of the Week #5
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2014, 11:46:51 AM »
Here is a photo of the markers I use to keep track of the size (number of tiles) of the largest city/ longest road:



Whenever anyone closes a city or road we check the size of it against the current position of the relevant marker on the score track in order to determine if the King/ Robber Baron tile needs to change hands. It also makes it easier to see what you need to aim for if you want to win either of these from their current owner...

Obviously this doesn't help with counting the number of completed cities/ roads, but this is made easier by placing some sort of marker (meeples work well for this) on every complete city/ road on the board and then counting them all up as you collect them afterwards...
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 01:09:31 PM by danisthirty »


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