Author Topic: First games with the Halflings  (Read 4946 times)

Offline jungleboy

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First games with the Halflings
« on: November 21, 2014, 08:57:53 AM »
Last night I played two games with my regular Carcassonne partner and we won one each. Rather than my usual review, I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss some new expansions and interactions.

The first game was won 162-108 by my opponent (based largely on her winning a huge farm at the death). We played with:

The Spielbox Halflings
The Tower
The Ferries
The Besiegers
The Flier

Halflings
This was the first game for either of us with the halflings - we played them face up and we really liked them. Before playing with them, I thought of the halflings primarily as a good way to complete features when you need a tile that is otherwise rare or non-existant. This is true, but I thought they offered so much more. It makes you think twice about whether to try to trap your opponent if you know they can get out of it with a halfling. Do you go for it anyway to force them to use one of their halflings, or do you not bother with it and focus on something else instead? The halflings are almost like mini-abbeys in the way that you can use them as 'wildcards'.

The halflings also definitely change the way you can go about your glomming on, especially for farms, because sometimes you can guarantee that your glom-on attempt will be successful if you already have a halfling available that can join it up. That's a huge advantage to have. On the other hand, if you try to glom on to an opponent's city (as I did) and they have the two-city halfling tile, they can just play it straight away to keep you out.

There is definitely a learning curve where you need to remember that the opponent has halflings available that can nullify your attempts to trap or to glom on.

Fliers and Towers
I thought the combination of these two expansions was really good and it goes a small way towards diminishing the destructive power of the towers (it was also the first time I had played with the flier 'in real life'). Basically, if you have a large farm developing as we did in this game, the flier can be the answer to the question of how to get into the farm without having your opponent be able to place a tower near your recently-placed meeple. With the flier, you can potentially fly yourself 'deep' inside the farm. If by luck or design, you manage to land your flier away from an existing tower foundation, you earn yourself a 'buzzer zone' that makes it more difficult for your farmer to be kidnapped by a newly placed tower (especially if you rolled a three). We both used this strategy successfully several times, so I think we'll always play with the flier when we include the tower from now on.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1280.0

Offline danisthirty

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 09:08:37 AM »
Some interesting points, thanks jungleboy! Nice photo too.

One thing though, I didn't think Fliers were allowed to claim farms? Or maybe you just made a house-rule to say that they are?
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 09:09:24 AM »
We played the second game with:

The Cundco Halflings
Hills and Sheep
Crop Circles II

I won 176-143 to get my revenge, also based largely on winning the main farm right at the end.

Cundco Halflings
My partner didn't like the Cundco halflings as much as the Spielbox ones, and I probably agree at this stage. There seem to be more possibilities with the Spielbox halflings because of the farm hypotenuse on all 12 tiles, even though it looks like we only made one complete square in each game. But I would say that the halflings played a greater role in the first game than in the second game. She didn't play the halfling with the sheep until late in the game, so it was a non-factor. I was the one with the hill halfling and I used this early on to gain an advantage in the largest farm, but my opponent neutralised this with her own hill later on so it didn't help me in the end.

Crop Circles
This was my first game with the crop circles and I was a bit disappointed. Firstly, the two-city + shield tile, which has quickly become one of my favourite tiles in the whole series, was buried underneath a hill. But mostly, the crop circles just didn't have any impact on the game - I don't think we added or removed any followers. It seems to me that this could happen regularly in a two-person game, and that maybe Crop Circles is better suited to 3+ players. What do others think?

Offline jungleboy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 09:12:55 AM »
One thing though, I didn't think Fliers were allowed to claim farms? Or maybe you just made a house-rule to say that they are?

I just assumed you could claim any feature. But it turns out that you are right. From the CAR:

The follower may not be placed on a field segment, even if there is not a farmer on the field already.

Personally, I don't like this rule and I don't see why it exists. I think we'll house-rule it from now on, especially because of how happy we were with the flier/tower/field situation described above.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 09:15:16 AM by jungleboy »

Offline danisthirty

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 09:21:10 AM »
It might just be that fliers are too powerful if you allow them to be used for farms. It seems like a bit of a clumsy/ lucky way of getting another farmer onto a key feature to me. But, if you've identified that they work well for some specific purpose when used with certain other expansions and you enjoy using them like this then that's what matters. Games are supposed to be fun after all!

I know what you mean about the Crop Circles. I've used them in a 4-player game once and they were fairly significant. In fact, I ended up winning the game because I forced an opponent to remove a farmer from a farm that we had been fighting for (I think this is what happened anyway). In 2-player games they've been mostly ignored though...

Offline quevy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 09:48:32 AM »
Beautiful pictures and considerations.
In fact I thought an even more evil to use the half tiles, put them in the hole opponent to not allow him to draw the tile he needs.
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His word speaks only truth.
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 10:01:41 AM »
Thanks evil quevy  >:D

Back to the flyer for a minute ... in real life, if you're going to parachute or paraglide and land somewhere, are you more likely to land in a city, on a road, in a cloister (!) or in a field? In a field, obviously, so for me it's counter-intuitive to have the flyer unable to land on fields.

Offline Carcking

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 10:27:20 AM »
I've bought both sets of Halflings and they've arrived. I can't wait to play them now. Great pics by the way!

Also, we have house-ruled that you can land the Flier onto a Farm. We couldn't understand why it was deemed ok to land on someone's 30 point City, let's say, but not on their 30 point Farm. ??  So, a house-rule was natural in this case.
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline Guy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 10:43:25 AM »
My partner didn't like the Cundco halflings as much as the Spielbox ones, and I probably agree at this stage.

I agree, my main annoyance is the fact that there are 3 hypotenuse city tiles meaning that whenever you use all three you are guaranteed an incomplete city.  I know that could be tactically useful in stopping people but it's a bit of a harsh move to play!

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 11:14:04 AM »
I didn't know of that potential before I bought the sets - but I bought two sets of each so that should lessen the impact of the hypotenuse city tiles. I love it when a plan comes together.  :o

Offline jungleboy

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Re: First games with the Halflings
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 11:19:50 AM »
My partner didn't like the Cundco halflings as much as the Spielbox ones, and I probably agree at this stage.

I agree, my main annoyance is the fact that there are 3 hypotenuse city tiles meaning that whenever you use all three you are guaranteed an incomplete city.  I know that could be tactically useful in stopping people but it's a bit of a harsh move to play!

I also thought this was strange when I first saw the Cundco halflings. But my experience with the Spielbox halflings from the one game last night was that we only completed one full square with two halflings anyway, even though the Spielbox halflings are all very compatible with each other. So maybe halflings are destined to remain largely separate no matter what the hypotenuse. I guess the halflings are so useful in so many places around the board that there's not usually much incentive to join them together if you can place one elsewhere in a position that's more advantageous to you.


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