Poll

How do you primarily use The Bazaars?

As an opportunity to obtain a much-needed tile.
5 (23.8%)
To deprive another player of a much-needed tile.
7 (33.3%)
I generally don't bid on Bazaar tiles and just get what is left.
3 (14.3%)
I use them in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (4.8%)
I don't ever play with or don't own Bridges, Castles & Bazaars.
5 (23.8%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: February 13, 2015, 09:59:52 PM

Author Topic: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22  (Read 11800 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« on: February 06, 2015, 09:59:52 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE BAZAARS

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 BAZAARS (from Bridges, Castles & Bazaars [Expansion #8]). In the late 2000s, Carcassonne was having a slightly dark time. Wheel of Fortune proved to be less interesting to everyone as they had anticipated, and The Catapult was a pure disaster on an epic scale. Even the smaller expansions like The Corn Circles I, The Festival, and The Phantom were less impressive than they could have been. Then, the light at the end of the tunnel finally became visible, and it included a new large expansion. Bridges, Castles & Bazaars was an inventive expansion, introducing completely new and unanticipated ideas to Carcassonne, but of its three titular elements, The Bazaars was probably the least welcomed. Besides the strange similarity between Bazaar tiles and Catapult tiles, there was the bidding element that was completely foreign to the game. With eight such tiles included, the Bazaars are unavoidable but terrible to scale. In 2-player games, they are virtually worthless unless one of the players REALLY wants a tile.

The rules are fairly basic: a player draws a tile with a Bazaar and places it as normal. They then draw from the tile stack or the bag enough tiles for each player. Then, in player order, tiles are auctioned off using points as currency. The current player is the auctioneer until they finally get a tile, after which the title passes to the first player who hasn't received a new tile. After the auction is done (all players have a tile), then players, again in turn order, place their tiles and take a full extra turn. Additional Bazaar tiles drawn do not prompt second auctions (at least I believe that is the case  ::) ). As an alternative—and one that I always prefer—the tiles are placed out and players, in turn order, just take one. No bidding or auctioning. No points used as currency. Straightforward gameplay. Period. Anywho, discuss your relationship with The Bazaars, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week: The Plague   :P :'(  :-[

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1508.0

Offline Paul

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2015, 11:51:59 PM »
I've chosen "I generally don't bid..."

But there should be an option "Using a variant or home rule..." for this one.

 :-\
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Offline tp10053

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 12:23:52 AM »
I've chosen "I generally don't bid..."

But there should be an option "Using a variant or home rule..." for this one.

 :-\
same here. We have a house rule that we never bid, but any player can start bidding if he really wants some tile

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 02:21:32 AM »
Well, that's why the other options are there, I guess. Technically, the discussion regards the official rules, so that's why I didn't call it out as an option, though for this one I probably should have considering I also play it with the official no-bid variant.

Offline Paul

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 03:33:36 AM »
Well, that's why the other options are there, I guess. Technically, the discussion regards the official rules, so that's why I didn't call it out as an option, though for this one I probably should have considering I also play it with the official no-bid variant.

I think it's safe to say, that in this case, a house rule is an official rule!

 ;D

Offline Decar

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 03:55:45 AM »
I think this is one of the most difficult game elements to balance strategically.  In theory it should make you ask some interesting questions.

In a 3 player game, how many points would Player1,2 or 3 get with tileA, tileB or tileC? 

If you're first to draw you've got a lot of calculations to consider and you have to rely on your opponents inability to score; you can essentially nullify the worth of a card.

Consider a slightly contrived scenario where there is a bidding war between two players.

 :red-meeple: is auctioning a Cloister;  To  :meeple: it is worth 9 points, perhaps  they can play and score it immediately somewhere.
 :meeple: may want that tile because they could play it somewhere else worth 12 points.  Perhaps it scores 9 and connects a farm.

if   :meeple: Bids 4 or Less,   :red-meeple: should buy the card.    :meeple: will earn 4.  :red-meeple: will earn (9 -4) =5.
If  :meeple: Bids 6 or More,  :red-meeple: should sell the card.   :red-meeple: will earn 6.  :meeple: will earn (12-6) = 6.

It's interesting if  :meeple: bids 5.

If  :red-meeple: sells.    :red-meeple: earns 5.   :meeple: earns (12-5) = 7
If  :red-meeple: buys.    :meeple: earns 5.   :red-meeple: earns (9-5) = 4.

So it's interesting in this example, where a  :meeple: with more to win can pull a 1 point lead by correctly bidding and knowing what  :red-meeple: could do.  It's also good because the cloister worth 9 or 12 points is now reduced to +1 making it less significant.

Hopefully, I've not made a glaring error in that!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 09:58:39 AM »
I find these very disruptive to the flow of the game to the point that it always makes me sigh whenever anyone draws one of these and then we have to go through the whole process of auctioning (or just taking) the tiles etc. Overall I dislike this to the point that I don't play with it, and fortunately everyone else I've ever played with has felt the same way!  :(n)
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Offline obervet

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 10:27:01 AM »
We don't play with bazaars too much anymore. In a 2-player game they're not too bad, since you can choose your tile and get on with the game. In a 4- or 5-player game, though, analysis paralysis becomes a huge issue and the game often comes to a grinding halt with each bazaar, since you have to consider all possible tile placements for each tile in the auction. Some people are bad enough about placing the one tile that they drew; if they have to decide which tile to take and how much it's worth to them, we're going to be here for a while.

Offline Durbs

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 02:04:39 AM »
I ordered it, then cancelled it (it was delayed) as I hadn't fully appreciated the mechanics of it and it just sounded too disruptive (combined with the bridges essentially making traps impossible).

Don't really have much reason to re-buy it, and hardly a glowing review here either :)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 02:29:52 AM »
I ordered it, then cancelled it (it was delayed) as I hadn't fully appreciated the mechanics of it and it just sounded too disruptive (combined with the bridges essentially making traps impossible).

If anything spoils the game for those of us who like to trap it’s got to be the Abbeys, but I wouldn’t avoid Abbey & Mayor just because of this. Whilst I don’t like the Bazaars at all, Bridges and Castles can be fun in larger games if you’re not taking them too seriously!  :)

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 04:12:56 PM »
I agree, dan. The bridges and the castles are fun, even if the bazaars are not. Were the bazaars not tiles, I probably would never play with them, but since they are, they get occasional use. And we have a standing rule that if a tile depicts a feature, we play with that feature. The only exceptions so far are the volcano in The River II and the sheep in The Halflings II and The River III.

Offline Hounk

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 04:35:38 AM »
*off topic * The volcano tile in River II you can easily get rid of by using rather the second source from River I. Then you need just one river end, which can be the volcano if you are playing with P&D or the other one with the city, when ever not. Plus it looks even more natural with two springs uniting to one river.

Offline Leven

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 07:07:31 AM »
Plus it looks even more natural with two springs uniting to one river.

...which flows into a small lake at last, instead of reaching the sea.  ???
I would still not call it very natural (except for a river in a desert).

Offline Safari

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 11:32:11 AM »
Plus it looks even more natural with two springs uniting to one river.

...which flows into a small lake at last, instead of reaching the sea.  ???
I would still not call it very natural (except for a river in a desert).
No, no. The lake is not the end. It goes underground from there on! Didn't you know?!  ;D
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Offline Hounk

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Re: The Bazaars – Element of the Week #22
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 12:06:08 PM »
Well, Carcassonne is anyway full of bizarre landscape, cities bridging over cities, etc. Nevertheless I prefer the river floating together rather than splitting up. (Not that I played it that way yet, but I will do so, once I got "River I" from CundCo.)


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