Poll

How do you primarily use The Plague fleas?

To aggressively pursue opponent's wooden bits.
4 (28.6%)
To block off areas from rivals.
0 (0%)
I just kind of let them roam freely.
2 (14.3%)
I use them in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (7.1%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Plague.
7 (50%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: February 20, 2015, 01:30:01 PM

Author Topic: The Plague – Element of the Week #23  (Read 7268 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« on: February 13, 2015, 01:30:01 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE PLAGUE

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 PLAGUE (from Spielbox Mazagine). With this element, we are definitely wading into the vague area where some members don't have or want the expansion, while others hold onto it tightly. That being said, The Plague is quite possibly one of the most chaotically aggressive expansions ever created. NOTHING escapes the Plague except NPCs such as The Fairy, The Mage, The Witch, and The Dragon. Everything else is Plague fodder. And the Plague is especially brutal. Whenever a player pulls a new Plague tile, a new outbreak occurs beside it. Players can keep feeding off the old active outbreaks or move on to the new one. And there are a lot of fleas: 18 of them! Any tile with a flea is anathema to wooden bits. If a tile gets a flea, say, from another player putting one there, everything gets removed and returned to its owner. Players do have the option to relocate to another tile in the feature on their turn, but even assuming they make it that far, only Farmers really have a chance of escaping the fleas. In 6-player games, the fleas spread fast and furious and even fleas that have been detached from an outbreak zone often become reattached. Put simply: The Plague is sheer craziness!

So, with that out of the way, the fleas and outbreak tiles can be used aggressively or defensively. Players can place them as far away from their heartland as possible, or they can stick them smack dab in the middle of another player's zone of control. It can be really mean. And since old outbreaks go sterile over time, they can provide safe havens later in the game. Playing Plague with Magic Portals and The Flyers is certainly something to consider since both will help reclaim abandoned and incomplete features. But don't expect your Plague games to end with high point counts. In fact, they will probably be your lowest scoring games ever. Those 50/100 tokens may never even get touched. Discuss your relationship with The Plague, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week: The Wheel of Fortune    :@ :red-meeple: :meeple: :green-meeple: :gray-meeple: :black-meeple: :blue-meeple:

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1527.0

Offline kettlefish

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 02:00:19 PM »
I never played the plague.
And as long as I don't get answers for the clarification of rules - I decide not to play this expansion.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2015, 02:05:37 PM »
Fair enough. Hopefully someday Hans im Glück will embrace The Plague, The Tunnels and the Little Buildings and create a big box expansion of the lot. It would make for a good expansion, I think, because they all work together. The Tunnels allow players to build around plague zones, while Little Buildings boost much-needed points if used correctly. It would certainly be a controversial expansion, though. Still, I'd buy it.

Offline Paul

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2015, 03:09:24 PM »
Although I've yet even today managed to master the rules for this expansion, mostly we don't use it because the tiles sticks out greatly from any other tile from other base games or expansions.

We are anti-cloth bags here and this sticks out in a stack like the plague that it is...  :@
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Offline Carcatronn

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 04:44:01 PM »
This is probably my least played, but most favorite expansion to play by itself and the base game. Just because adding too many expansions prevents the plague to spread very far or exhaust the fleas before each outbreak. The rules were pretty straightforward to me (as long as you are just combining with the base game).

But I never thought of playing with the Flyer - it's a small enough expansion to not dilute the tiles, but perfect to repopulate the plagued land! I may give this a shot this Sunday with our game night.  ;D
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Offline DLloyd09

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 05:35:09 PM »
I just bought this expansion today (thanks, Ted!) so I can't wait to be able to offer an opinion on this one eventually!

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2015, 02:50:47 AM »
Hopefully someday Hans im Glück will embrace The Plague, The Tunnels and the Little Buildings and create a big box expansion of the lot. It would make for a good expansion, I think, because they all work together. The Tunnels allow players to build around plague zones, while Little Buildings boost much-needed points if used correctly.

This is the kind of thinking we need, merit for you. One of the major criticisms of the Plague is that it doesn't go well with anything else. But I think if you can find things that go well with it, it gives the expansion the best chance to 'succeed'. I tried to do this with the Count a couple of months ago (by adding T&B and Crop Circles) and I think it worked well.

I don't own the Tunnels yet, and I only want it for completion purposes, and I just recently purchased Little Buildings (also for completion purposes) and haven't played with it yet. So it's nice to know that I could bundle these things together with the Plague and make a nice game out of it.

But I never thought of playing with the Flyer - it's a small enough expansion to not dilute the tiles, but perfect to repopulate the plagued land! I may give this a shot this Sunday with our game night.  ;D

Another good idea along the same lines - thanks!

Offline franks

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2015, 07:20:04 PM »
Another vote from me on, ‘other creative uses’.

I wanted to simplify the rules as much as possible but still include this for theme and novelty. We have now played this variant about 6 times and it is not polished yet, (thus not complete).

When a Plague tile is added place the lowest numbered marker with the rat. Then place a flea marker on that tile on all orthogonal tiles. This can stretch out a long ways in each direction. This is the only time that the plague spreads for that particular tile. A Meeple can still be placed as usual.

When a feature completes subtract one point for each flea that is present on the tiles. Those fleas are now removed back to the pool. (They can reactivate when another Plague tile is placed.) This applies to all features but we make an exception for farms because it is a little challenging to keep track of.

As mentioned, this is still clunky and needs some work. In practicality it ends up playing like a Siege feature which my wife doesn’t really like because it takes away points but in our mega games they are hardly missed.

There will be abandoned fleas around the board at some point. When this happens we just return them to the pool for later use as more plague tiles are placed.

I am resolute to keep working on this one, I don’t mind the chaos.
Franks

Wanna play Carc? Can we add just one more expansion?

Offline Halfling

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2015, 01:14:17 PM »
I enjoy playing the plague.  For me it is preferable to the Catapult and the Bridges, Castles and Bazaars official expansions.
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Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 02:46:01 PM »
Spotted today in a medieval town in Portugal:

Offline Decar

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2015, 12:08:44 AM »
How were the fleas?  :D

Offline Chooselife

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2015, 06:49:06 AM »
How were the fleas?  :D
They arrived today  ;D (I love the postman)
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Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 09:00:46 AM »
The recent What expansions do you own, but have yet to play with? thread has shown that quite a few people own the Plague but have never played it. I personally like the Plague, so I thought I'd revive this thread so that people who like it can say why they like it, so that those who have never played it might get a little bit curious and give it a try.

I like it because I am interested in medieval plagues to begin with (which always helps me decide what expansions I like) and because it creates a different game from usual which is also something I really value in an expansion. I don't have any problems with destructive expansions either; I loved the dragon when I first played with it (although I've gone off it a bit now) and I like the Tower.

Anyway, as most fans know, the Plague is not really designed to be used with other expansions and there are issues with rules when combining expansions with the Plague. So a good way to start with the Plague is to use it only with the base game. But I think adding a small expansion here or there could be good, like this suggestion in another thread from whaleyland:

Hopefully someday Hans im Glück will embrace The Plague, The Tunnels and the Little Buildings and create a big box expansion of the lot. It would make for a good expansion, I think, because they all work together. The Tunnels allow players to build around plague zones, while Little Buildings boost much-needed points if used correctly.

Whaleyland also suggested at the top of this thread that magic portals could also be a good element to include with the Plague.

Offline Hounk

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 03:11:30 PM »
I have not played "The Plague" yet either, but just because of lack of opportunity. It sure looks very appealing to me. Hopefully it will be added soon to JCZ. I do own the expansions for tabletop, but only have opportunity to get people to play it on vacations.

Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Plague – Element of the Week #23
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2015, 05:32:10 AM »
Also, there is a thread at BGG where some questions about the Plague are discussed (and answered by our own whaleyland!) which might help players who are confused by some of the rules.


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