Author Topic: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014  (Read 8527 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« on: December 03, 2014, 03:05:16 PM »
Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014


Welcome
Hello you! As exciting as December is (especially if you've got an advent calendar), it's pretty dim and gloomy outside at the moment and I'm guessing that I won't be the only person reading this who misses the sunshine. If this is the situation you're finding yourself in at present, I'm only too pleased to be able to brighten your otherwise dull day with this, the latest (fifth!) edition of Carcassonne Central News...

If you're feeling out of touch with what's been going down on the forums lately then you could do worse than to have a flick through the Forum News section for a quick taste of some of the latest typed offerings. Also, bridges! Where would we be without them? They've changed my life and yours, admit it, so it's high time they were recognised via the tips section. Plus, Big Guy brings us his thoughts about the fan-made Mountains expansion and there's another CKT to get stuck into (be careful, it involves a dragon) and a few other bits as well. Enjoy!


Under Starter's Orders
Can't decide which player should go first? Tired of having to come up with increasingly intricate ways to ensure that whatever "random" mechanism you've convinced the other players to use will always be favourable towards yourself? There's a good reason that each player has seven meeples sitting in front of them y'know, and it's nothing to do with claiming features once the game has begun...

Try this: next time you play, get each player to select six of their sturdiest looking standard meeples and build a pyramid out of them. When players have finished their pyramids they must balance their seventh meeple on top of their head and shout "Look at me!" at a volume befitting of the occasion. The first player to do this wins the privilege of drawing and placing the first playable tile and may also help themselves to a biscuit or nominate another player to go to the shops to buy biscuits if none are available.


(I always feel sorry for the one that gets left over)

If you have an alternative method of choosing the start player that you'd like to share with the rest of the community, please let me know! Seriously, do. As you can probably tell, I am getting desperately low on ideas now and it's only a matter of time before they start getting truly ridiculous (if they haven't already). Help?  :-\


Forum News
News and Events\ 3.Fan-Meeting with Klaus-Jürgen Wrede - Burg Konradsheim - 23.11.2014
Someday I'd love to visit one of the many Carcassonne fan-meetings so that I can meet Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and everyone else that gets to make the big decisions regarding what's next for Carcassonne, and take part in the various competitions. Since they're almost always in Germany though, this is rather difficult to justify at the moment, so it's fortunate that we have the next best thing right here on the forums in kettlefish who went to Erftstadt recently and has reported back about what went on...

News and Events\ RCA project. the CAR translated in italian
Here's something for the Italians amongst us: The Regolamento Completo Aggiornato (an Italian translation of our much-loved Complete Annotated Rules). This is the brain child of aenima with some assistance from quevy, but if you can speak/ read Italian then I'm sure they'd both be glad to hear from you!

CarcCentral Carcassonne League\ World Cup of Carcassonne Central\ World Cup - Knock-out Stage!
The World Cup of Carcassonne Central finally has its first champion! Despite letting him use his favourite colour, Carcking ( :green-meeple:) beat MrNumbers ( :red-meeple:) by 349 points to 327. So please join me in congratulating both players, and stay tuned for news of our next online competition(s) ;) :(y). Also, if you were one of the 20 who took part in this, please remember to drop me a PM if you want to be on the receiving end of your prize(s)!

General\ Ark of the Covenant availability
If you've bought copies of the Dutch/ Belgian Monasteries expansion through SRBO or The Darmstadt expansion through Khonnor then you'll already be aware just what a wonderful place these forums can be when its members pull together to help each other out (see this post for further encouragement). With this in mind, Yellow had just discovered that his local store in Sweden still have copies of one of the most difficult to obtain spin-off Carcassonne games: Ark of the Covenant, and he's willing to help all other interested parties get their hands on a copy too! Please check this post if you're interested.

General\ Element(s) of the Week: The Builders, The Cult, The Wagon and The Count
Whaleyland's "Element of the Week" series has continued throughout November with four more interesting posts discussing specific features of Carcassonne and how people prefer to use them. So if you're interested to know how you can use your builder to help steal someone's city or use a Cult place to recover a trapped monk, look no further than the links below:
General\ The abbot gray
In September this year we learnt about the new version of Carcassonne: "Carcassonne 2.0". It wasn't until he'd bought it though, that quevy discovered there was no Abbot meeple in grey! So what did he do? Like a one-man A-Team, quevy made his own grey Abbots! And not just one either; he's made enough Abbots to... umm... do something that would normally require loads of Abbots. I must admit that I'm struggling to think of such an event, but I'm sure there are loads of them. Anyway, Abbots (grey ones).

General\ I love the postman...
If you've just become the proud recipient of some new Carcassonne expansion, spin-off game or other accessory then don't keep it to yourself. Share your excitement with the rest of the community (along with photos of said purchases) by declaring your love for your postman/ postwoman here.

CarcCentral Carcassonne League\ Upcoming Scheduled Games\ Weekly Online Game
The weekly online game has been running for 8 weeks now (although on one of those weeks only one person played; congratulations on your impressive win MrNumbers). It has become the source of much fun and banter between several of our forum members and is also a great opportunity to test some of the strategies discussed in the Element of the Week series. So if you're free at 9:30 (CET) on a Thursday and feel like grabbing a slice of the action then please do; there's plenty to go round and we've got custard to go with it...

The Workshop\ Crafters' Guild\ Carcasonne wooden box(es)
Carcassonne storage was discussed at length on the forums during November as most of us are finding it increasingly difficult to store our ever-growing collections in one place. However, new forum member Valthornet was able to prove, in one post, that I've wasted my life chasing around after databases and should have become a carpenter...

Anything Else\ 2014 Jack Vasel Memorial Auction
Congratulations to everyone who took part in this years Jack Vasel Memorial Auction (Board Game Geek) which has raised an unofficial total of over $72,000 for charity! There were several interesting Carcassonne items available including Ark of the Covenant (won by jungleboy) and the original Corn Circles (won by gmartinscott). Well done guys, I hope you enjoy your new additions!


Carcassonne Player's Guide #5: A Bridge Too Far?
Owing to the fact that MrNumbers has ventured back to the dark and dangerous land of being Dad to a brand new baby all over again, you're going to have to make do with me for this month's tips section I'm afraid. Or simply skip it altogether. But why would you do that when I have so many bridge pictures to show off?

Bridges come as part of the 8th large expansion for Carcassonne: Bridges, Castles & Bazaars. Along with towers, bridges can add an aesthetically pleasing third dimension to the landscape that develops during games of Carcassonne, but there's much more to them than this! In their simplest form, a bridge allows you to extend a road over another landscape tile (the tile you're placing or one adjacent to it) provided that the bridge is placed with its feet in a field on both sides. It doesn't take long to get to grips with them, but they can be very handy in a variety of situations which I've described below.

How many times has someone done this to you?



With the basic tiles there's no way out of this and the game is over for this meeple. But if you happen to be using bridges, the meeple can still be recovered and will win you four points in the process:



Bridges can also be helpful when you're trying to take over another player's city as they can negate most efforts made by your opponent to make this as difficult for you as possible:



Bridges can also help you to defend your roads too. My normal reaction to something like the situation below (left) would be to build around the tile required to join the two roads in Blue's favour such that a t-junction would be required, splitting the two roads in the process. But this doesn't guarantee any kind of safety when expansions are used. If you use a bridge though, you can extend both roads away from each other which will hopefully buy you enough time to complete your road before your opponent has developed another opportunity to steal it!



All else aside, the most important thing to remember about bridges is that they are very powerful when they're used to merge farms since bridges don't separate fields. In the example below you will see two farms divided by a road running between them. Blue has two farmers in the top farm but this farm is worth just six points. The bottom farm is far more valuable but Red controls this with two farmers against Blue's one:



Thanks to a cleverly placed bridge, Blue has merged both farms into one which he now has overall control of!



Another example of how bridges can change the game in terms of farmer placement is shown below, this time in a game that also includes the Phantom. Bridging over the road that separates the normal meeple from the phantom means that they are both now joined to the main farm at the same time:



That's all for now. I hope these tips inspire you to buy this expansion if you don't already have it, or to think creatively about how best you can make the most of your bridges if you do. Just a word of warning though, farms can be significantly harder to keep track of when there are a dozen or so bridges on the table so make sure you're aware just how huge that huge farm really is! Also, please note that the bridges shown in the examples above aren't the standard wooden bridges that come with this expansion as I have replaced these with "pimped" bridges.


Member of the Month
Although it hasn't happened yet (but will happen soon - I promise - blame it on my kids) each month the winner of our Member of the Month award receives a specially made tile out of recognition for the contribution they've made to Carcassonne Central. On this occasion however, I'm fully expecting that the special tile will be carefully and artistically redesigned by its recipient, making it into a triangle in the process, before being posted back onto the forums for others to download. This revelation in itself will probably be enough for most of us to guess who this month's winner is, but for those who haven't got it yet, here are some further clues...

:(y) He might be interested in a game of Hunters & Gatherers with you as long as the Scout expansion is NOT included

:(y) He doesn't want there to be any confusion over which players have built the highest tower or completed most monasteries, most cult-places or the biggest forest

:(y) He doesn't do things by halves when it comes to storage...

:(y) ...but he certainly does when it comes to designing new tiles

I don't know how much more help I can offer (but click the thumbs by the points above if you're interested) so I might as well just tell you if you haven't guessed yet. So, many congratulations to Darwin and thank you so much for your valuable input regarding so many different issues!


Fan-Span Focus: Mountains (by Scott and Novelty, review by Big Guy)

INVASIVENESS: D
  • Tiles used in said game: 117, New from Expansion: 45
  • Number of total followers per player: 7, no change from base game
  • Meeple Types: 1 (normal), no change from base game
  • Tile Shapes: 1 (square), no change from base game
  • Tile Side types: 4 (City, Road, Field, Mountain), New from Expansion: 1 (Mountain)
  • Feature Types: 3 (City, Road, Field, Cloister), no change from base game
  • Other additions: 2 (Mountain placement rules, Mountain scoring rules)
  • This is a moderately invasive expansion. The biggest addition is a new tile side type, which affects tile placement in several ways. The other important addition is the Mountain scoring rules, which are moderately complex. D-score, which is consistent with another similar expansion: Forests.

QUALITY: 5
  • Very good tile quality and artwork. Rules document is top-notch. The rules are in the correct turn format and worded well. All rule additions make sense. No rule gaps found. Well done overall on the quality here.

FUN-NESS: 3
  • BREAKING THE RULES: Mountains are not a new feature type, because features can have owners. This makes mountains unique: you can score points for them without owning them. They can't be owned. It also doesn't matter if mountains are 'completed', which is good since there's no reference to 'completing' mountain ranges in the rules. It only matters if you 'add onto' an existing mountain range with your tile placement. This ability to score points without the need of followers is exciting, and while I appreciate how the base game punishes those who mis-manage their followers, I also appreciate the additional options presented by this expansion.
  • MOUNTAINS IN THE WAY: Any expansion that adds a tile side type makes the game a little more clunky, IMHO. It is now that much harder to close gaps, that much more likely that there will be un-closable gaps, and that much more unlikely to find that PERFECT 4-sided tile you need. Given the tile count, roughly about 1 in 3 tiles drawn will have at least one mountain side. Annoyingly, 1 in 3 of the mountain tiles drawn will have ONLY mountains and fields, allowing for very few follower placement options. And many tile combinations simply don't exist now. For example, there is no tile in this expansion that contains 2 or more city sides AND 1 or more mountain sides. Anyone who needs a tile that fits this description is out of luck. There are other examples, but this is one of the most common.
  • THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I MEAN POINTS: Points are awarded based on how many sides of the tile you just placed border other tiles, and how many of those sides were mountains. Hefty point sums can be had in certain scenarios, but this doesn't present balance issues as many of these scenarios are highly unlikely. It's exciting and dangerous to set up 'mountain gaps' in the board, as there is no way to 'own' that gap before it's complete, or stop your opponents from netting points for closing it. Those who want more reliance on luck will like this mechanic, and those who don't may not like it as much.

OVERALL: 3
I have mixed opinions about this expansion. The quality is excellent, and it's very easy to pick up and play. The possibility of getting some hefty points without investing a follower is exciting, and the mountains are a unique addition to the game. However, the higher reliance on luck as well as the higher chance for 'un-closable gaps' brought the overall score down for me. It's definitely a fun, professional and inventive expansion, and I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to try having another tile side.

It's also worth noting that the HIGH PLACES expansion addresses several of the more likely 'un-closable gaps' that occur in this expansion. I'd recommend playing with either HIGH PLACES or another sub-expansion for the MOUNTAINS, and add a point for the FUN score and the OVERALL score if you do.


Carcassonne Knowledge Tester (CKT) #5: What's For Lunch?

Last month I taunted you with a particularly vicious Carcassonne Knowledge Tester. Apparently it wasn't quite vicious enough though as no less than five people were successful in finding all of my deliberate mistakes (plus one more in some cases). Let's have a look at what they were:



  • 1. Mayors can only be placed in cities. This one is on a bridge, which is a road, so is not allowed. What a knight-mayor! (this is the only pun I have)
  • 2. There is a builder in a city by himself. A player's builder can only be added to a city if the player already has at least one knight in the city. If their last remaining knight is removed from a city that also contains their builder then the builder must also be removed.
  • 3. There is a pig on a farm by itself. A player's pig can only be added to a farm if the player already has at least one farmer on the farm. If their last remaining farmer is removed from a farm that also contains their pig then the pig must also be removed.
  • 4. Every time a tile with a volcano gets placed, the dragon must be moved to it immediately. So where is the dragon? He's nowhere to be seen, so this is another mistake.
  • 5. The Mage figure has been left standing on a complete feature (a road) rather than being removed from the board as soon as the feature he occupied was completed. However, it has also been pointed out to me that there are no tiles bearing the Mage & Witch icon either so the Mage shouldn't even be on the board to begin with! Whilst this is true, it was entirely unintentional so well done if you spotted it!
  • 6. Why is this farmer on the board? Farmers and barns can't live happily together on farms like this! If a farmer has already been placed when a barn goes down on his farm then he receives his full score (3 points per city) and is returned to his owner. If a farmer is placed on an adjacent farm that gets joined to a farm with a barn then he receives 1 point per city and is returned to his owner.
  • 7. Bridges must go from field to field (the parts of them that touch the ground must always be touching field rather than city or road. The bridge with the phantom on it is fine, the one below it has been placed illegally.
  • 8. There is a direct "u-turn" in the river. Some people are more lenient than others with regards to what actually constitutes a u-turn but direct u-turns like this are never allowed as they can prevent the legal placement of any/ all subsequent river tiles. And deep down, nobody wants that.
  • 9. Abbeys can only be used to fill a hole so must have all tiles othaganolly adjacent to them (i.e. directly to the north, east, south and west) already in place before they can be placed. In this case there is no tile directly to the north of the Abbey, so this is not a valid placement.
Congratulations to SRBO, Guy, MrNumbers, jungleboy and Vital Pluymers who were all brave enough to take this on and put right what once went wrong in doing so. Kids nowadays eh? They don't know their Carcassonne...

Considering that we're all adults, the fact that most of us here are afraid of... dragons... may be rather surprising to some. But if they'd ever felt the pain of a game-winningly valuable farmer of theirs being eaten before their very eyes, you can be sure that they'd feel the same way as we do. So please try to cast your terror to one side for a moment, and let's have a look at the apocalyptic scale of the damage that our mutual foe can inflict in the example below:


(whoops! Please ignore the "deliberate" mistake [Abbey tile is illegally placed] as it was late and I was in a hurry when I set this out...  :-[)

As the tile in the top-right corner is placed, your task this month is to identify anything on the board that is safe from becoming the dragon's lunch, if indeed anything is safe! If you think you know the answer or even if you don't but feel that you can trust your instincts and guess, please let me know via PM. It's good fun, you can have as many guesses as you like and you'll get an honourable mention in next month's newsletter. So what's not to like? As usual, the correct answer will be discussed next month. Good luck!  8)


C-art-cassonne
It's now time to tut and shake your head and ask yourself "is that art?" as we have a look at some of November's artistic offerings and other images that will be of interest to any aspiring Carcassonne player. There were quite a lot to choose from this month, but these were my favourites:


(posted by jungleboy in General\ Carcassonne background pictures for phones/tablets/computers)


(posted by kettlefish in General\ The Wagon - Element of the Week #11)


(posted by Ailurus in Meet the Members\ Ailurus)


(posted by Yellow [of what the postman brought him recently] in General\ I love the postman...)


Forum Statistics
Since October is always a very busy month for Carcassonne Central, our November stats might seem a little disappointing by comparison. So, this time I've compared last month's stats against the same period for 2013 so we can see what a difference a year's made:

83 new topics: up 246% on 11/13
1423 new posts: up 305% on 11/13
85 new members: up 44% on 11/13
50 members simultaneously online: up 85% on 11/13
226,204 page views: up 94% on 11/13

496 Facebook fans
88 Twitter followers

When viewed this way, our incredible growth is hard to ignore. So thank you everyone for your enthusiasm and dedication to our favourite game, and for filling our forums with so much mutual encouragement and support in the process! ;D


The Last Tile
And so, as another newsletter draws to a close, this is the place to say Happy Birthday to quevy and to congratulate MrNumbers on the safe arrival of his brand new baby daughter ("MissNumbers"?) It's also worth pointing out that "you don't need to go to SRBO" (I've turned this into a sort of jingle in my head) if you're after a copy of the Dutch/ Beligian Monasteries as these are now available directly from cundco.de. Also available is the Spiel 2014 tile for Carcassonne 2.0 which is free if you're placing an order and write them a little Christmas poem (yes seriously). So, the next time you see someone on eBay trying to sell either of these things for £25 feel free to laugh at them very loudly indeed...

All that remains is for me to wish you a very merry Christmas. I'm already looking forward to reading about all the cool new Carcassonne stuff that our members will be receiving from various loved ones (hopefully), and seeing new members discover the wonderful world of Carcassonne after being introduced to it for the first time over the holidays. Have a good one!


Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1306.0
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 09:46:41 AM by danisthirty »
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline SRBO

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 01:29:13 AM »
I like the way that you write dan, its a pleasure to read. Merit for that.

Very intressting tips. Both phantom and bridges are new for me since today so im definitly gonna try them!

Offline Darwin

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 03:36:41 AM »
WOW!!! :o That was an unexpected honour. :D
I am humbled to be the named as the member of the month in this great forum.

An interesting read, as always danisthirty. Like your “pimped” bridges. :(y)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 03:43:39 AM »
I like the way that you write dan, its a pleasure to read. Merit for that.

Very intressting tips. Both phantom and bridges are new for me since today so im definitly gonna try them!

Thanks SRBO!  :) The Phantom is one of my favourite expansions. I'm fond of bridges and castles too, but feel that bazaars are best left in the box...

WOW!!! :o That was an unexpected honour. :D
I am humbled to be the named as the member of the month in this great forum.

An interesting read, as always danisthirty. Like your “pimped” bridges. :(y)


You're welcome Darwin, thanks for everything you've done for our forums!

The pimped bridges were from eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wooden-board-game-Bridge-tokens-solid-wood-ideal-for-Carcassonne-/171559394954?

Offline Darwin

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 10:53:18 AM »
The pimped bridges were from eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wooden-board-game-Bridge-tokens-solid-wood-ideal-for-Carcassonne-/171559394954?
They look really great, and it's the same guy who has pimped the ferries too!!! :D I think the “pimped” Ferries and Bridges will be a nice Christmas present from me to myself this year.  ;)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 01:47:34 PM »
The pimped bridges were from eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wooden-board-game-Bridge-tokens-solid-wood-ideal-for-Carcassonne-/171559394954?
They look really great, and it's the same guy who has pimped the ferries too!!! :D I think the “pimped” Ferries and Bridges will be a nice Christmas present from me to myself this year.  ;)

They are. I can definitely recommend both!  8) :(y)

Offline kettlefish

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 01:05:31 AM »
Dan,
this Newsletter is again great.
Thank you

kettlefish

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #5 - November 2014
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 01:54:51 AM »
Dan,
this Newsletter is again great.
Thank you

kettlefish

You're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it.  :(y)


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