Poll

How well do The Builder and The Besiegers play together?

They are an excellent pair!
They seem to work well most of the time.
It really depends...
They don't seem to work well together.
They don't cooperate at all!
They don't appear to interact in any significant way.

Author Topic: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3  (Read 2853 times)

Offline whaleyland

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Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« on: October 02, 2015, 02:51:48 PM »
    VS   

Element Match-Ups is a new series of weekly challenges for all members of CarcassonneCentral. Each week, an element from a large expansion will be matched up with an element from a small expansion. Your job: try it out and let everybody know what you think about the pair. Consider this a quasi-scientific survey in that you are only playing with these two elements and the base game — nothing else! Otherwise the results will be skewed. You have a week to try the match-up from the time the match is announced until the next match is announced (which usually occurs sometime between Friday and Saturday, depending on time zone).

This week our elements are THE BUILDERS (from Traders & Builders (Expansion #2) and THE BESIEGERS (aka The Cathars, The Siege). The Builders allows players to continue to take an extra turn if they expand a City or a Road. Thus they disproportionately emphasise those two elements. Enter the Besiegers, a nice six-tile expansion that halves the point value of a City. The upside: Farms earn more points from besieged Cities at the end of the game. I can't see this going well...

The elements are set, the challenge is issued, and now it is for you to decide whether these elements work well together or are terrible companions. Summarise your experience below in however much detail you wish, and feel free to share any strategic advice you have for other players taking the challenge.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2101.0

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2015, 01:27:49 AM »
My first thought is that there doesn't seem to be a strong tie connecting these two elements. Maybe you could add to your city/road with builder on your first turn, then draw a Besiegers tile to stick onto someone else's city with your second turn, but other than that I don't see much of a link.

Of the elements from T&B, the pig is the one that would seem to go best with Besiegers because they both increase farm scoring. The other obvious combination for me with Besiegers is I&C because they check the power of cathedrals (but maybe too much so if you use the six-tile Besiegers rather than the four of Cathars/Siege).

Offline Rosco

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 03:54:47 AM »
However , if your opponent has their builder in a city and you add a beseiger tile then your are devaluing his builder points.
Just lay the damn tile!

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2015, 04:54:10 AM »
However , if your opponent has their builder in a city and you add a beseiger tile then your are devaluing his builder points.

Except that there's no such thing as builder points :P

Sure, if someone has a builder in a large city, then putting a besieger tile on it is a good move for an opponent to reduce the value of the city. But this is a good move regardless of whether there's a builder or not in it (although a builder can obviously help build bigger cities). If you do besiege a city with a builder, the other player can still use the builder to generate extra turns for himself, which is the main purpose of the builder anyway. So I still don't really see the connection. But maybe it's just me.

Offline Rosco

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2015, 05:21:14 AM »
Of course it is connected.  If you have a 2 tile city with a builder , every time you add a tile you are potentially adding 2 points or even 4 with a pennant to that city whereas if that city has a seige tile it is adding less therefore reducing the attractiveness of adding that tile to that city thus reducing builder related points. 

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2015, 06:28:28 AM »
Both are (or can be) related to cities, so in that way there's obviously a connection. But I still think it's a pretty small one.

Even if you have a Besieger tile on your builder city, placing your next tile in that city (if possible) to generate an extra turn thanks to the builder is still the best option available to you (all else being equal). So you'll score fewer points for the city of course but the use of the builder doesn't really change at all in my view.

Offline Hounk

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2015, 04:54:28 PM »
I think, regarding what have been written, this combo might boost the benefits of putting the builder on a road vs. in a city. Also the challenge reduces the use of the elements themselves. Reducing the game of all the tiles of T&B means, you have a lot less city tiles then normal when playing with the builder, so the likeliness of drawing a tile extending your builder road increases, of adding a city tile to your builder city decreases, especially, if you don't want to add a besieged tile to your city. Hence, you get more likely bonus tiles (which can of course be used elsewhere), when you put the builder on a road, and have less chances to get the profit messed up by a besieging of the opponent.

But this is just theoretically thought, no observation of an actual game.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 12:00:28 AM »
Alright! I am definitely joining the "Don't Work Well Together" camp after playing my trial game with my partner. We played the game as described (although we always play with 72 random Vanilla tiles drawn from all the expansions, in case that matters) and I won by about 20 points, ending 104 (she) to 125 (me). I drew three Besieger tiles pretty early and all three were the single-City-segment tiles, which are the most useful, I find. I capped off one of her Cities right away, finishing it and earning her half points. I did the same thing about three turns later. I then drew a third two turns later and completed a vacant City for half points (but still 5). The other three Besiegers didn't enter the game until much later. She drew the first two of them and both are impossible to use against me since I only had one occupied City on the board and it was trapped. I drew the last Besieger and used it to get me +3 points for a Farm at the end of the game as well as 3 points immediately by scoring for the City. Unfortunately, the two huge Farms at the end of the game both ended in ties: she snuck into my Farm and the very next turn I did the same to hers, so we neutralised ourselves. We tossed a few extra Farmers out there to try and double our strengths, but we both failed to groam into the tied Farms. I smartly found a spot with two completed (and one incomplete) besieged City, so that got me 12 points at the end of the game. She didn't have as much success, hence why I won at the end.

The Builders didn't play a huge role in the game for her. As per usual, my partner forgot to use the Builder multiple times, with it just sitting on the sideline wasted. I did use it, although it got trapped twice on difficult-to-complete features. I finally did get it back at the end, but there was nothing I could really put it on. I didn't claim any Roads or Cities late in the game and the Cities were all unlikely to be finished anyway. I did manage to use the Builder early on to make fairly large Cities, but my partner did the same thing (smaller, but still decently-sized). Once three Besiegers were out and I had my Builder back, I intentionally was more careful with where I placed it, fearing she would play a Besieger on me. So in that respect, the Besiegers and Builders did interact some. When she finally started using the Builder again, it was mostly on Roads, and those didn't earn much without something like Inns to boost their potential. I think her Builder was still on a Road at game end, too.

Anyway, so they didn't really interact much. They slightly affected my gameplay decisions, but it was only slight and I may well have done the same move anyway even without the Besiegers. I mean, I intentionally scored for two Besieged (unclaimed) Cities, so I didn't exactly avoid them. Neither of us attempted a Cloister escape, either, because the Besieged City was always finished with the Besieger tile.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 09:23:50 AM »
Both are (or can be) related to cities, so in that way there's obviously a connection. But I still think it's a pretty small one.

Even if you have a Besieger tile on your builder city, placing your next tile in that city (if possible) to generate an extra turn thanks to the builder is still the best option available to you (all else being equal). So you'll score fewer points for the city of course but the use of the builder doesn't really change at all in my view.

I think it all comes down to how and why you use your builder. Do you use it to help complete a big, valuable city? Or do you use it simply to improve your chances of drawing a specific tile that you need elsewhere (or reduce your opponent's chance of doing the same)? Personally, I'm probably in the latter camp most of the time. However, it isn't uncommon to get 10 - 20 points for a nice big incomplete city that's only as big as it is because you kept adding to it to get your bonus turn every time you drew a tile with a city side on it. If your opponent adds a besiegers tile to it and you don't complete it (which you probably won't because this wasn't really the point of the city and you wanted to make it as open and easy to expand as possible) then you won't get any points for it at all which could be a bit of an upset in close games.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 09:27:30 AM by danisthirty »
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Offline Hounk

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Re: Builders & Besiegers: Element Match-Ups #3
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 11:59:42 AM »
But I assume because of this, people would adapt there strategie, not using their builder like this. Because it would just be begging the opponent(s) adding a besieged tile to your city. Sure, they would do so anyway, but with Besiegers you should always aim to at least complete your cities.


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