Poll

How do you primarily use The Barns?

To gain an extra bonus point per City for a Farm.
1 (6.7%)
To boot out a rival for a Farm.
6 (40%)
To claim a Farm and make quick points later by connection Farmers to it.
6 (40%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (6.7%)
I don't ever play with or don't own Abbey & Mayor.
1 (6.7%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Voting closed: January 16, 2015, 01:54:17 PM

Author Topic: The Barns – Element of the Week #18  (Read 6709 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« on: January 09, 2015, 01:54:17 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE BARNS

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 BARNS (from Abbey & Mayor [Expansion #5]). This has to be one of the most versatile elements in the Carcassonne pantheon of elements. In fact, its introduction is what forced Rio Grande Games to finally abandon 1st edition Farmer scoring. The idea is that when a Barn is placed on a field, all farmers are immediately scored as if it were the end of the game and the Barn now takes dominance. Whenever a Farmer ends up on the Field via connecting tiles, it immediately scores 1 point per City in the Farm. Barns are immune to The Towers, The Dragon, and The Catapult, making them a truly permanent feature on the landscape. This bugger does not joke around.

Of all the elements of Abbey & Mayor, this one has to be one of the best. Mayors are decidedly the weakest, Wagons are useful but finicky, and Abbeys are awesome but require specific conditions to be used—the Barn, meanwhile, is always an option. And they're unforgiving. To make it even more fun, they provide an endless array of uses in a game. From the moment a Barn enters play, it can be used aggressively. You want that Farm? Take it; who cares about rivals (except other Barns)! Bonus points? You got 'em: each connected and completed City is now worth +1. Other people trying to butt into your Farm, connect them and give them the boot. They'll score only 1 point per City. Oh, it was your own Farmer? Awesome, you just made some points. Do it again and again throughout the game and watch your points steadily increase. The Barn is one of the most strategically aggressive elements ever introduced to the game, yet it rarely is noted for its aggressive qualities because it seems to benign. Discuss your relationship with The Barns, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week: The Corn Circles  :meeple: :meeple: :meeple:

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1428.0

Offline Decar

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 12:54:15 AM »
I think the most powerful thing about barns is the double opportunity to score.  If you drop a barn in a farm you own:
You score immediately and get a meeple back.
You score at this end of the game as well.
This means for me farms become more important sooner in the game; and often I'll invest in making large farms for more cities.
If you've managed to place a strong barn, the other plays have to frantically start throwing their own meeple into it to in order to compensate; which helps make larger fields.
I also really like make sure my pig is sat in the field just before joining another farmer, the extra +1 per city can makeall the difference.

Edit: yay 100 posts

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 02:45:22 AM »
I usually try to place my barn in what looks likely to develop into the biggest farm as soon as possible after the start of the game, because it's more difficult for other players to join a barn onto a farm that it is to join a simple farmer onto a farm.

I must admit that I'm not as good at adding farmers to barn farms for repeated scoring as some other players (I think I remember Rosco doing this very well in one of our Thursday games). Although, since you can do this to anyone's barn farm, it wouldn't appear to affect your own barn placement that much.

P.S. Before next week's element gets posted, is there a final ruling on the English name? We use crop circles in the CAR, which I much prefer. No one says corn circles in English; putting 'crop circles' into google gets 10,500,000 results, while putting 'corn circles' in gets 1,500,000 results, with the No. 1 result for the 'corn circles' search being the wikipedia entry entitled 'crop circles'. Basically, the only reason people use corn circles for this mini-expansion is because it sounds closer to the German word, but, of course, that's not how translation always works. The same thing is true for cloisters but we are too far down that path to change it now (although there appears to be an attempt underway...).

Edit: I just showed my (American) non-Carcassonne fan wife a picture of a crop circle and asked her what it was called. She said crop circle straight away, and when I mentioned corn circles she made a face and asked 'corn circles?' in disbelief. So voila.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 02:48:41 AM by jungleboy »

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 03:27:39 AM »
 True all around, but the mini got published as Corn Circles in English, so that's what it's called. I, for one, have called it that since the beginning. But we can hold off on the debate till next week. We don't want to hijack Barns's glory.

Offline Carcking

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 07:48:29 PM »
I usually try to hold off as long as possible so I can build up a farm that I own. Then I get the most points by placing the barn initially. But I generally try to get my barn down first - having first choice of the largest/best farm.

After the first barn is placed I work diligently to barn-score as often as possible to rack up points. If it's my own barn I am trying maximize points. If it's my oponent's barn I am trying to neutralize his barn points by barn-scoring it at least four times. Sometimes a tall order but that's my general goal.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:16:16 PM by Carcking »
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 03:25:09 AM »
I usually try to hold off as long as possible so I can build up a farm that I own. Then I get the most points by placing the barn initially. But I generally try to get my barn down first - having first choice of the largest/best farm.

After the first barn is placed I work diligently to barn-score as often as possible to rack up points. If it's my own barn I am trying maximize points. If it's my oponent's barn I am trying to neutralize his barn points by barn-scoring it at least four times. Sometimes a tall order but that's my general goal.

Great tips, thanks Carcking!

There's a lot I like about Barns. For one thing I like how careful everyone is at the start of the game not to leave any openings for anyone else to play their barn if a worthwhile farm is developing. Nobody wants to talk about it lest they remind someone else who hasn't been eyeing up every available opportunity to get their barn down from the start of the game, and the first barn to be placed is always met with disgruntled sighs and complaints from the other players (unless it's placed somewhere random)!

A couple of months ago I took part in one of my favourite online games with jungleboy, Rosco and B1nder. Rosco was the first to get his barn down, but jungleboy placed his nearby and I ended up getting mine onto jungleboy's farm. Then the two of us joined forces to get our barn farm to join with Rosco's barn farm and the whole thing was very funny. I can't even remember who won, but it really became the focus of the game and provided a great focal point for most of it!

I tend to place my barn early on and will spend the rest of the game trying to increase it's final value. I also like sneaking extra farmers on for the 1 or 2 points per city (depending on whether the pig is involved) wherever possible. It's worth remembering here that the pig can be placed on the tile that joins the farmer to the barn farm and is scored and returned immediately. In the biggest games I play, barns are usually worth 40 - 50 points at the end of the game but you can usually get the same again throughout the game, especially if you end up placing your barn on a farm that you have already claimed.

I think there's a lot of strategy behind Barns and if I'm honest I'm still learning about how best to utilise them, but this is providing a good opportunity to discuss them...
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2015, 01:35:38 AM »
A couple of months ago I took part in one of my favourite online games with jungleboy, Rosco and B1nder. Rosco was the first to get his barn down, but jungleboy placed his nearby and I ended up getting mine onto jungleboy's farm. Then the two of us joined forces to get our barn farm to join with Rosco's barn farm and the whole thing was very funny. I can't even remember who won, but it really became the focus of the game and provided a great focal point for most of it!

I am crushed that you don't remember that I won this game! Here is the game report. This was the game that Rosco dominated from start to finish, but somehow I overtook him in the end, thanks largely to connecting my (and Dan's) barn to his barn farm. I also shared a city with b1nder that was finished right at the end of the game in the northwest part of the countryside that really helped.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2015, 01:49:14 AM »
A couple of months ago I took part in one of my favourite online games with jungleboy, Rosco and B1nder. Rosco was the first to get his barn down, but jungleboy placed his nearby and I ended up getting mine onto jungleboy's farm. Then the two of us joined forces to get our barn farm to join with Rosco's barn farm and the whole thing was very funny. I can't even remember who won, but it really became the focus of the game and provided a great focal point for most of it!

I am crushed that you don't remember that I won this game! Here is the game report. This was the game that Rosco dominated from start to finish, but somehow I overtook him in the end, thanks largely to connecting my (and Dan's) barn to his barn farm. I also shared a city with b1nder that was finished right at the end of the game in the northwest part of the countryside that really helped.

"Crushed" eh? Bear in mind that I'm currently organising the groups for the next competition so maybe crushing your spirit before we've even begun is part of a cunning long-term strategy which I've accidentally just revealed. Oops.  :-[

Seriously though, it was a great game. I think Rosco perhaps deserved to win despite our best efforts, but my completing the city you shared with B1nder gave you more of a boost than I'd anticipated while winning the King token away from him.

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 03:54:12 AM »
Barn is one of my favorite figures too. After placing the barn I also try to connect additional farmers to it as many times as possible. From my practice - first placed barn is the most valuable one (in 95% cases).
But one thing not mentioned here - barn is a VERY special figure, it cannot be removed from the board neither by Plague, or Tower, or Dragon or something else! It's a stronghold, not a barn! :) The only way to remove placed barn from the board is Festival tile, and even in this case only the owner can remove it. Also, barn cannot be "outplayed" - you can only share barn's points with someone - you cannot win in barns' battle alone.
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 12:55:02 PM »
I like the barn for it's safety. Once upon a time, a farmer minding his own business was perfectly safe. Then, suddenly, the landscape became over run by dragons, plague, towers, corn/crop circles ( :P), catapults(!) and yes, even giant wheels with mystic powers. And then, like a bolt from the blue, that beautiful farm you were working on is gone. But not with the barn! Stick that bad boy down and your farm is safe. No more worries. Even if someone else gets their's on, as long as not everyone does, it's not the end of the world.

I like to get a farmer down, add a pig and then score him by playing my barn. Score a few farmers throughout the game by joining them on as you go. This is brilliant because you can score good amounts by using the pig and can get farmers back instead of sinking them into the table for the whole game. If playing with the count, I enjoy having a follower in the market so that anytime another player joins their farm onto my barn, I can jump in and score the points too.

Barns are great, but I think it helps to be the first one to get your barn down. Hakuna matata.
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Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 01:20:37 PM »
Whoa after reading this, I have been playing barns all wrong.  I would purposely connect other people's farms to my barns to limit their farmers to 1 point per city.  Example, their farmer is attached to 5 cities and my barn is attached to 5 cities.  By connecting their farm to my barn, they get 10 points instead of 15. 

You are all connecting your own farmers to your barn to get your meeple back and get quick points. 

Offline Valheru

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 01:40:35 PM »
Whoa after reading this, I have been playing barns all wrong.  I would purposely connect other people's farms to my barns to limit their farmers to 1 point per city.  Example, their farmer is attached to 5 cities and my barn is attached to 5 cities.  By connecting their farm to my barn, they get 10 points instead of 15. 

You are all connecting your own farmers to your barn to get your meeple back and get quick points.

I made the same revelation today after reading this!
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Offline Christopher

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 01:46:03 PM »
Whoa after reading this, I have been playing barns all wrong.  I would purposely connect other people's farms to my barns to limit their farmers to 1 point per city.  Example, their farmer is attached to 5 cities and my barn is attached to 5 cities.  By connecting their farm to my barn, they get 10 points instead of 15. 

You are all connecting your own farmers to your barn to get your meeple back and get quick points.

Nothing wrong with doing it both ways! Attach their farms to reduce the points they score and add the cities to your farm so it scores more at the end. Absorb your own farms to score some points from each city and and more later!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 11:48:12 PM »
Whoa after reading this, I have been playing barns all wrong.  I would purposely connect other people's farms to my barns to limit their farmers to 1 point per city.  Example, their farmer is attached to 5 cities and my barn is attached to 5 cities.  By connecting their farm to my barn, they get 10 points instead of 15. 

You are all connecting your own farmers to your barn to get your meeple back and get quick points.

Nothing wrong with doing it both ways! Attach their farms to reduce the points they score and add the cities to your farm so it scores more at the end. Absorb your own farms to score some points from each city and and more later!

I learnt a lot about Barns from our Abbey & Mayor league last year. It's so easy to be blinded by the "place farmer, join to barn farm" tactic that you can forget how useful individual/ classic farmers are for building towards a winning score. If the option arises, it can be very tempting to join a farmer to your barn farm even when it makes little sense to do so!

However, Barns seem like a strange expansion for a game where players have previously complained about the size of potentially game-breaking farms. To reward an extra point per city (4 rather than 3) is one thing, but the idea that farm growth is encouraged by the quick scoring of farmers as they are joined to a barn farm (albeit only for 1 point per city, but this can still net a decent handful of points, especially if the pig is involved) makes the farms even bigger and more of an obstacle to anyone who hasn't had the foresight/ good fortune to get their barn down early.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Barns – Element of the Week #18
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 02:37:13 AM »
Whoa after reading this, I have been playing barns all wrong.  I would purposely connect other people's farms to my barns to limit their farmers to 1 point per city.  Example, their farmer is attached to 5 cities and my barn is attached to 5 cities.  By connecting their farm to my barn, they get 10 points instead of 15. 

You are all connecting your own farmers to your barn to get your meeple back and get quick points.

Nothing wrong with doing it both ways! Attach their farms to reduce the points they score and add the cities to your farm so it scores more at the end. Absorb your own farms to score some points from each city and and more later!

I learnt a lot about Barns from our Abbey & Mayor league last year. It's so easy to be blinded by the "place farmer, join to barn farm" tactic that you can forget how useful individual/ classic farmers are for building towards a winning score. If the option arises, it can be very tempting to join a farmer to your barn farm even when it makes little sense to do so!

However, Barns seem like a strange expansion for a game where players have previously complained about the size of potentially game-breaking farms. To reward an extra point per city (4 rather than 3) is one thing, but the idea that farm growth is encouraged by the quick scoring of farmers as they are joined to a barn farm (albeit only for 1 point per city, but this can still net a decent handful of points, especially if the pig is involved) makes the farms even bigger and more of an obstacle to anyone who hasn't had the foresight/ good fortune to get their barn down early.

I agree that it was a strange thing to release. It large games, I find that a few players get their barns on the game-breaking farm and those that don't are almost out of the running, which is a shame.


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