Author Topic: Maximizing Use of the Abbot (Carcassonne II)  (Read 11152 times)

Offline CarcinFool

  • Vassal
  • *****
  • Posts: 83
  • Merit: 2
  • I enjoy a good game o' Carc!
    • View Profile
Maximizing Use of the Abbot (Carcassonne II)
« on: January 13, 2015, 07:04:39 PM »
The Abbot is a new expansion that comes with Carcassonne II. In this expansion, the Abbot is a new special follower that can be placed on cloisters or gardens. His special ability is that you can take him back on any turn that you don’t place a follower AND score the uncompleted cloister or garden. You can read the full rules on the last page of the rulebook.

[photo of an Abbot on a cloister]
[photo of an Abbot on a garden]


NOTE: A different Abbot is also used in German/Dutch/Belgian Monasteries expansions, but that's not what is discussed here.

Abbot Math

In the Carcassonne II (CII) base game of 72 tiles there are six cloister tiles and eight garden tiles. There is one additional cloister and another garden on the 12 Carcassonne II River tiles, so that brings it to a total of 16 tiles with locations to place an Abbot.

In a CII game with or without the River about 20% of the game tiles are targets for this new follower and someone will draw a cloister or garden about every 5 turns. In a 2-player game you can expect to get half of these tiles, so on average you'll have seven or eight chances to deploy the Abbot. If you average even just four points per chance that's 32 points from your holy man!

Basic Strategy

I think everyone will agree that there is very little downside to placing the Abbot when you have the chance at any point in the game. You should always prefer to use him as opposed to a normal follower on a cloister, and in addition he can be placed on a garden.

The key to maximizing the Abbot’s potential, however, is not in the placement, but in returning him to your supply quickly. The Abbot has special training like a Navy SEAL so he can’t get trapped in a cloister (or garden), so you can send him on dangerous missions where normal meeples wouldn’t dare venture.

You should look to pull him back at your very next opportunity, especially early in the game when there are so many cloister/garden tiles left to draw. Leaving your Abbot on the board to eek out a few extra points over your next five turns is not the best strategy. This is because there is a high likelihood that you’ll draw another one of those cloister or garden tiles in those next turns, which would allow you to deploy the Abbot again. The next turn on which you expand one of your existing cities or roads (or for whatever reason don’t place a new follower) score your Abbot's points and take him back.

As the game progresses there is an increasing number of positions to place a cloister/garden tile where it will be immediately surrounded by four or more tiles. That’s big points for your Abbot and you haven't even tried to build anything for him yet! You want to avoid drawing a tile with an opportunity to place the Abbot when you already have him deployed.

If you draw another cloister/garden tile (or magic portal, see below for more on this) that will provide you with another chance to get him deployed and earn more quick points. Even if you are only earning 2-3 extra points when you take back the Abbot having him back in your supply will pay dividends over the course of a game. He essentially enables you to wring out extra points of the move wood stage of your turn when you otherwise wouldn’t move wood.

The Abbot and the Portal

When playing with Princess and the Dragon, a magic portal can enable you to send the Abbot through to a garden/cloister (NOTE: I didn’t not see this in the CAR, so this is unconfirmed, but the rules and CAR indicate that he is a follower). There are almost always uncompleted cloisters/gardens on the board, so sending the Abbot on an inter-dimentional ride through the portal is a great way to boost your point total. And since the Abbot doesn’t have to stay on the board until the cloister/garden is completely surrounded you can grab him back shortly and take the points.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1446.0
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 05:14:13 AM by CarcinFool »

Offline CarcinFool

  • Vassal
  • *****
  • Posts: 83
  • Merit: 2
  • I enjoy a good game o' Carc!
    • View Profile
Re: Maximizing Use of the Abbot (Carcassonne II)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 07:05:05 PM »
Feedback please?!  :-)

Offline danisthirty

  • (well, 38 actually)
  • Administrator
  • Chatelain Grand Officier
  • *
  • Posts: 6263
  • Merit: 230
  • "First to 4 points wins?"
    • View Profile
Re: Maximizing Use of the Abbot (Carcassonne II)
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 02:14:44 AM »
This was a very interesting read. I'd never really given a lot of strategic thought to the Abbott before but it certainly makes sense to deploy him whenever you can, but then get him back as soon as possible which is a much bigger change to the base game than I'd realised.

The Abbot has special training like a Navy SEAL so he can’t get trapped in a cloister (or garden)...

This bit made me laugh  :))

 C:-) "You're late again. Give me 200 press-ups"
 :black-meeple: "Yes sir. Sorry sir."
 C:-) "Did you get trapped in your garden again?"
 :black-meeple: "Affirmative."
 C:-) (sigh)
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline obervet

  • Authors
  • Count
  • *
  • Posts: 362
  • Merit: 36
    • View Profile
Re: Maximizing Use of the Abbot (Carcassonne II)
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 09:34:14 AM »
The Abbot and the Portal

When playing with Princess and the Dragon, a magic portal can enable you to send the Abbot through to a garden/cloister (NOTE: I didn’t not see this in the CAR, so this is unconfirmed, but the rules and CAR indicate that he is a follower). There are almost always uncompleted cloisters/gardens on the board, so sending the Abbot on an inter-dimentional ride through the portal is a great way to boost your point total. And since the Abbot doesn’t have to stay on the board until the cloister/garden is completely surrounded you can grab him back shortly and take the points.

I also believe this is legal. The C II rules don't refer to "followers" as such, just meeples and abbots. Thus, they don't really address the question of whether the abbot is truly a follower per the older versions of the rules. However, since it is a point-scoring entity which is analogous to the mayor (i.e. a follower with certain restrictions), I would also treat it as a follower. (I know, the barn is a point-scoring entity that isn't a follower, but it's kind of an odd duck anyway.)


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
Abbot expansion / Carcassonne 2

Started by ficovolante

2 Replies
207 Views
Last post October 04, 2018, 07:42:40 AM
by Sinscerly
clip
Carcassonne II: When can i get abbot back?

Started by sunnychan16

4 Replies
2449 Views
Last post November 04, 2016, 11:19:32 AM
by Fritz_Spinne
xx
Abbot and Tower

Started by rfielder

11 Replies
4788 Views
Last post October 10, 2014, 05:18:42 PM
by rfielder
xx
Abbot Pieces

Started by ARabidMeerkat

8 Replies
3288 Views
Last post March 18, 2016, 01:40:51 AM
by hunnymonster
xx
The abbot gray

Started by quevy

18 Replies
6121 Views
Last post March 28, 2015, 10:37:46 AM
by quevy