Poll

How do you primarily use The Fairy?

To protect a single Follower.
5 (25%)
To block an entire area from the Dragon.
2 (10%)
To earn a few bonus points.
9 (45%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
0 (0%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Princess & The Dragon.
4 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: January 09, 2015, 08:58:55 PM

Author Topic: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17  (Read 6273 times)

Online whaleyland

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The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« on: January 02, 2015, 08:58:55 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE DRAGON & THE FAIRY

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 elements are THE DRAGON & THE FAIRY (from The Princess & The Dragon [Expansion #3]). Few elements are so interrelated as the Dragon and the Fairy. The Dragon rampages across the board whenever a "Dragon Moves" tile is placed, and the Fairy protects wayward Followers, Pigs, and Builders from the marauding serpent. To encourage people to remember and fight over the Fairy, it's even worth a few points for the player who has it at the beginning of a turn. The Fairy can be moved as a "move wood" action, in lieu of placing a Follower or taking a number of other options.

The relationship between these two elements is intriguingly one-sided. The Fairy gains something (protection for Followers) while the Dragon gains nothing from the deal. It can work in surprisingly strategic ways, too: a player can take the Fairy and protect a Follower at a junction, thereby blocking the Dragon from moving beyond it if no other tiles are adjacent. The Dragon can easily be stranded this way, losing its precious 6 moves. The Dragon, meanwhile, is a temperamental beast, used by multiple forces often without reason. While it is capable of eating almost anything on the board, it often is moves away from such goals by the fickle and conflicting thoughts of players. The fewer players, the less destruction it wreaks. Often, the Dragon gets moved around a lot, but finds few snacks to enjoy. Discuss your relationship with The Dragon & The Fairy, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of these elements.

Next Week's Topic: The Barn     ???  ???

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1397.0
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 12:16:51 AM by whaleyland »

Offline kettlefish

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy – Element of the Week #17
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 12:26:21 AM »
That is a problem with the poll - I use 3 of the options.

The fairy and the dragon - both my beloved figures. And I like to play Carcassonne with these figures.
The fairy protects the followers on a tile and also the fairy gives points for the follower who stand close to her.
The figure of the dragon is really great. Klaus-Jürgen Wrede loves this figure and the rules of this expansion.
I like the dragon when he is on the way to eat all the figures...
When I heard the first time about the sheep and shepherd - my first question to HiG was: Does the dragon eat them, because the dragon is always hungry? And yes - the dragon can eat them too.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2015, 03:55:16 AM »
I never used to find the dragon all that damaging until we included it in a game that wasn’t simply a head-to-head. In a 2-player game you have enough control over the dragon that it’s actually fairly easy to steer it away from your most valuable meeples so he ends up doing nothing much, but if two or more opponents gang up on you there’s often nothing you can do about it (other than to wave goodbye to your meeples as they get roasted/ eaten).

The fairy is an interesting addition to the game but is often forgotten as the benefit never seems significant enough. The idea that you get a bonus point if you move the fairy and then nobody else moves it again before your next turn is a lot to remember and isn’t really worth it. The 3 points for completing a feature with the fairy in/ on it is a little bit more worthwhile, although it is to be expected in most cases as it’s often the case (in my games) that a tile used to complete a feature won’t have a meeple placed on it for some other feature (hence the fairy can be moved into the feature).

I would prefer to play with just the dragon and forget about the fairy but they are so closely linked that it seems necessary to include both or neither.
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2015, 05:41:20 AM »
I like the fairy as a counter to the dragon but the real weakness of the fairy is that you can't use it at the time you need it most - i.e. when you have a follower near the dragon and the fairy next to that follower and an opponent draws a dragon tile. The ability for the player drawing the dragon tile to move the fairy before the dragon moves AND to then decide the initial trajectory of the dragon with the first move is enormous. It means that the main determiner of who will lose meeples to the dragon is not which player uses the fairy the best, but which one draws the dragon tiles at the right time.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 05:48:04 AM by jungleboy »

Offline DLloyd09

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 07:57:32 AM »
The ability for the player drawing the dragon tile to move the fairy before the dragon moves AND to then decide the initial trajectory of the dragon with the first move is enormous. It means that the main determiner of who will lose meeples to the dragon is not which player uses the fairy the best, but which one draws the dragon tiles at the right time.
I completely agree; this is definitely the biggest weakness of the expansion--makes the fairy extremely powerful, but all that power is based in luck.

Offline Decar

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 02:12:23 PM »
I always like to place Dragon Tiles near the edge of the board during 2 player games.  As danisthirty said, there's often a lot of room during 2 players to avoid serious damage.  But I find it useful/damage in rat runs near the edge of the board.

Also, @whaleyland I thought your introduction to both pieces were brilliant - I'll never see that redish pink block of wood without thinking of it as a Marauding Serpent now :)

Offline Carcking

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 01:48:15 PM »
... The idea that you get a bonus point if you move the fairy and then nobody else moves it again before your next turn is a lot to remember and isn’t really worth it...

I'll remember that next time I beat you by one or two points Dan.  >:D
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 01:53:32 PM »
Me too Carcking! Plus you don't really have to remember it at all - just remember that if you don't place a follower, you can move the fairy. Whether or not the fairy is still there by the time your next turn comes around is out of your control. Now what I struggle with in real-life games is remembering to add the one fairy point to my score, but that's a non-issue with JCZ, the iPad app etc.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 12:33:19 PM »
I love the dragon in a many-player game. He's not as powerful as the tower and not as devastating as the plague, but can really shake things up when a tile is drawn. As was said, in a head-to-head there's little point as he just ends up skirting around most followers. I think the fairy is a fantastic compliment to the dragon, too. Having a way to protect from the marauding serpent ( :P) adds extra strategy to the expansion.

Or it would, if the player who draws the dragon weren't able to just move the fairy away!!  >:( I can't stand this rule. I think if a player thinks ahead and strategically sacrifices deploying a follower in order to move the fairy next to his important meeple that some snollygoster just laid a volcano next to should be able to bask in this foresight, rather than have the person who happened to draw the dragon tile snatch the fairy away just to watch them cry. We usually play that you can't move the fairy on the turn that a dragon tile is played. This reduces the power slightly of the person who drew the tile, evening out the balance. 

The point bonus from the fairy is nice, both the three points and the one each turn, but I would never forgo playing a follower to get it. I just try to remember to move him if I'm choosing not to play a follower on a turn.

On a side note, it's interesting that every other element has been separated for these discussions, even similar mechanics such as inns and cathedrals, but these came together! I can see why though.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 12:36:11 PM by Christopher »
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Online whaleyland

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 01:09:24 PM »
I consider the Dragon and the Fairy to be a part of the same "element" in that the Fairy is not really anything without the Dragon. Granted it gives points regardless, but the primary purpose of the Fairy is to protect Followers from the Dragon. Thus they are forever bound together. Kind of like the Mage & Witch.

Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2017, 07:38:21 AM »
My family finally been able to play enough games with this expansion so that I can have an opinion of it. 

First off, my son absolutely loves the dragon.  The meeple itself is probably the best piece of wood for Carcassonne.  When it wasn't his turn, he frequently wanted to hold it or play with it which made it hard to remember where the dragon was on the board. 

In our three player games, the Dragon wasn't very effective.  You need a lot to go right on an open board to get the dragon to eat anything when all three players are able to move him twice and the fairy is involved.  It took cooperation between 2 players to get the dragon to eat the meeple of player 3.  He worked best in straight lines of tiles where there really wasn't any choice where to move him.   My son used the dragon best when he used it to eat his own trapped meeples.  I am not sure that is the intent of the expansion, but it works. 

In our first game, I made the error of overestimating the dragon and waiting too late to put down farmers.  My wife had farmers down right away and through luck and fairy use, kept the big farm to herself the entire game giving her an easy win. 

In our games, the fairy prevented the dragon from eating a meeple on several occasions.  More than that, she provided quite a few points.  There were occasions where I considered moving the fairy to prevent my wife from getting points (thinking she may close the city with the fairy)  rather than placing a meeple to close a 2 point road. 

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2017, 07:44:55 AM »
There were occasions where I considered moving the fairy to prevent my wife from getting points (thinking she may close the city with the fairy)  rather than placing a meeple to close a 2 point road.

Assuming I'm reading this right, do you know that the fairy doesn't have to previously be in the city for the fairy bonus to score? As in, even if you moved the fairy out of the city in your example above, your wife could close her city, then move the fairy back in as her 'move the wood' move, and score the bonus.

Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 08:00:11 AM »

Assuming I'm reading this right, do you know that the fairy doesn't have to previously be in the city for the fairy bonus to score? As in, even if you moved the fairy out of the city in your example above, your wife could close her city, then move the fairy back in as her 'move the wood' move, and score the bonus.

We must have misunderstood.  I thought the points were only awarded if you started your turn with the fairy on your meeple.   I guess that is only for the 1 point and not for the 3.   

 :-[

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Dragon & The Fairy - Element of the Week #17
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2017, 03:34:59 PM »

Assuming I'm reading this right, do you know that the fairy doesn't have to previously be in the city for the fairy bonus to score? As in, even if you moved the fairy out of the city in your example above, your wife could close her city, then move the fairy back in as her 'move the wood' move, and score the bonus.

We must have misunderstood.  I thought the points were only awarded if you started your turn with the fairy on your meeple.   I guess that is only for the 1 point and not for the 3.   

 :-[

You're right about the 1 point: if the fairy is on a tile with one of your meeples at the start of your turn you get a point for free. However, if you're also able to close something that you already occupy you could also move the fairy to the same tile as your meeple on that feature to generate the 3-point bonus for the fairy being present when the feature is closed.


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