Poll

Which option do you usually choose when using The Catapult?

Knock out – because hitting a meeple on the board is probably the most entertaining option.
2 (9.5%)
Seduction – because sexism is definitely something that Carcassonne's been lacking.
2 (9.5%)
Target hurling – because you actually want to take this expansion seriously.
1 (4.8%)
Catch – because you don't actually want to take this expansion seriously.
2 (9.5%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (4.8%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Catapult.
13 (61.9%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: March 27, 2015, 02:24:12 PM

Author Topic: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28  (Read 6799 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« on: March 20, 2015, 02:24:12 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE CATAPULT

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 CATAPULT (Expansion #7). Out of all the expansions ever released for Carcassonne, this is the most notorious. It sparked the term "Catapulted the Meeple" as a term for a game that has jumped the shark or nuked the fridge. When it released in 2008, Carcassonne was experiencing a nose-dive of expansions with each less interesting than the previous, a period that included Wheel of Fortune, The Festival, The School, and The Phantom (though the last proved to be quite a nice addition). Just to get past the formalities, the expansion includes 12 tiles which depict "Fairs" on them (not to be confused with Festivals or Bazaars). Whenever one is placed, the player does their move wood phase and then gets to choose how they want to entertain themself for the next two minutes: Knock-out, Seduction, Target hurling, or Catch. In knock-out, each player tries to hit a meeple on the board using a token launched from the Catapult. In Seduction, the goal is the same but the player gets to swap the hit meeple with one of their own. In Target hurling, players try to land their token closest to the tile just placed. And in Catch...well, nobody plays Catch and I'm not going to dignify it with a description. See the rules. On second thought, rip up the rules and use it in your rabbit cage.

Okay, so, what this expansion really introduces is 12 new tiles, including a few fun ones, that can be used in variants, because nobody takes the Catapult expansion seriously, even if they are playing with the rules. What Hans im Glück was thinking with this expansion is beyond reasoning – apparently dexterity with a terribly difficult to control wooden catapult was just something they felt Carcassonne needed. They were wrong. Today, Catapult remains the only large expansion to not see a reprint in multiple countries and the only one that is difficult to find in the United States. Z-Man has not commented on its plans to release a version, and the rules for it are strangely still available at Rio Grande Games, despite them not producing the game since 2013. In other words, this expansion is an enigma which everyone has something to say about (hear that? EVERYBODY!) even if they haven't played it. So speak up and let us all know what you think about the most controversial expansion to hit Carcassonne.

Next Week: The Halflings    :o :-\ ??? ;)

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1628.0

Offline kettlefish

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 03:18:22 PM »
The wooden catapult

We German say "Grillzange" = Barbecue tongs
I think that is a bette use for the wooden piece.

Even when I talk with HiG or Klaus-Jürgen about this wooden piece we use that word.
I never played this expansion. I have it only for complete my Carcassonne collection.

Perhaps I will use some parts of this expansion - the tiles and tokens for a play with the fan-expansions / variants
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 03:20:48 PM by kettlefish »

Offline DLloyd09

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 05:13:14 PM »
Can't wait to see how many "I don't own / I never use" votes THIS one gets!  ;)

I actually DO own it, but it's still in its shrink-wrap. I'll probably never use it unless I stumble upon a second copy at a reasonable price so I feel like I can open it and play with it.

Offline bloggins

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 03:36:43 AM »
Played it a couple of times. First time was after my son spotted the 'Grillzange' (copyright, kettlefish ;D) and insisted we try it, and the second time was when we tried to work out why we were so rubbish at it the first time.

I thought it was quite fun and my son more so, especially when I kept knocking my own meeples off the board! But it definitely feels non-canonical - we might as well have been playing skittles or bowls as opposed to Carcassonne.

Offline Halfling

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 10:34:57 AM »
Got it, played it and now use the tiles only. (As suggested in the annotated rules with +5 points if a meeple played on the tile).

 
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Offline Paul

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 02:19:49 AM »
Got it, played it and now use the tiles only. (As suggested in the annotated rules with +5 points if a meeple played on the tile).

That's how we eventually ended up doing as well. The catapults I own, none of them work properly.
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Offline Nicholas Mystikos

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 02:29:08 AM »
The catapults I own, none of them work properly.

Maybe that's the next challenge for Basically Wooden - to make a better catapult? Or should we just let this expansion die? :)

Offline Paul

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 04:36:11 AM »
I still have one unopened. Sort of love hate with it. I love to open any Carcassonne box, but then again, I won't be using them and the value would sink. Then again... I doubt able to sell it.  :@

Offline Safari

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 10:16:13 PM »
The catapults I own, none of them work properly.

Maybe that's the next challenge for Basically Wooden - to make a better catapult? Or should we just let this expansion die? :)
Why Basically Wooden? Be envy on my CATAPULT >:D :P

Or the other two [fist] [second] I found online. XD Plus: Extra DIY fun!  ;D
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Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2015, 04:32:40 AM »
I think range is something you don't generally want with Catapult. And for the record, Safari, the "[second]" link is a trebuchet, not a catapult. Pull yourself together, man, You've got to get your wooden, miniature, medieval siege weapons straight. Otherwise you'll never besiege the cathars and catapult the tower. Gosh!

Offline Safari

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 04:33:38 PM »
Sorry, my bad.

Good that I play with neither of them. I'm more the strategist that the weapons maniac. ;)

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 12:50:12 PM »
Working my way through the Element of the Week posts, I've finally made it to The Catapult. And what to say? I very rarely use this expansion. Occasionally, if we're feeling silly, we'll use these tiles, though seldom with any other expansions as we'll want a quick game with the catapult and then a proper game after. We don't drag out the game by adding more tiles. This expansion is good for a few laughs, but we never use it in serious games. We don't even bother using the tiles for a five point bonus. Unless we're playing Mega-Carcassonne! And then, we'll usually just give out the five-points. Although, once, we played Mega-Carcassonne with the actual catapult! Boy, what an afternoon that was.

I fall in the same camp as most others, in that this was an odd expansion. Tiles are nice though. And it's fun to play with every now and then, just not with anything else.
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Offline hunnymonster

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 04:02:48 AM »
Given the fact it's selling out everywhere and from memory, it's the only thing left in original artwork that I don't have in my hand (or on the way) apart from Cathars and that I saw a copy for sale for a silly low price, I have a Catapult en route to me now. Not sure it'll even get opened but FOMO means I had to have it...
Whatever it is, it's probably in the post from Germany...

Offline Ry4Christ

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2017, 06:13:14 PM »
I finally got my hands on this expansion and played it with two of my friends. It certainly doesn't seem to fit within the "spirit" of Carcassonne, but we had a lot of fun with it! One of my friends consistently aimed it more accurately, so it seems there's at least a bit of trick to it that can be used strategically. The second to last turn it ended up causing a meeple switch on a German Monastery, causing an almost 60 point swing, and changing the winner! As others have said, it's not one I'll probably play with very often, but it's still fun and quirky, and since I'm quirky, it worked for me  ^-^ I'm very glad I own it now, and think it's a fun element in the Carcassonne universe.

Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Catapult – Element of the Week #28
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 11:42:10 AM »
We finally played this today.  We played with GQ11, Cult, Siege, and A&M.  We were never able to hit any meeples with knockout.  I scored the most points with the target practice, but a lucky shot with "Seduction" gave my wife control of the big farm and won her the game.  I must say that we started this with the lowest expectations and having done so was probably for the best.  We enjoyed the first 4 or 5 catapult tiles, but it was wearing a bit thin by tile 10.  The ruler came into play only one time as it was either very obvious who was closest or the other 2 players completely missed the table.  I was surprised by how accurate I could be one turn and how inaccurate I could be the next.   

It did lead to an attractive final board.


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