Author Topic: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale  (Read 7221 times)

Offline Decar

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First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« on: February 08, 2016, 04:59:00 AM »
Yesterday, I spent a significant amount of time, reworking my Study in the hope I could rotate my desk 90degrees, so 2 players could stick their feet under it and play games.  Usually, we end up playing on the floor, which is getting uncomfortable.  It took a while and some heavy lifting, but it was a success.

The first game to try:  Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale with my wife.

Going into the game, it was clear the artwork looked nice.  The configuration of tiles is very different; I thought the stables would be insignificant and that collecting an array of goods was important.

Having played the game, I was quite surprised!

Artwork
I'll begin with the overall artwork.  The fields (cities) and trails(roads) POP out of the landscape.  The bright colours made identifying features really easy.  It all looks very friendly to me and there are some sneaky touches which are only visible on closer inspection.

The scoretrack is beautiful.  The barnyard animals and vegetation give life to the usually overlooked game component.  The game comes with 50/100 score markers, which were very neat.

Here's a shot of our endgame:


Gameplay:

It's worth noting, we were not playing particularly aggressively.  A few good gloms, but not attempts at trapping; there's little point until you learn the tile configuration.

In 2-player basic-Carcassonne, if both players have equal majority in a city, there's little point finishing it, unless you need a meeple back.  In UHnD, completing a field allows you to make the first choice of tokens.  This is a great way to make completing fields worth while.  With only 4 meeple it's important to make sure they can come back to your hand too.

The wanderer was great.  My wife stacked up a lot of points early on just building a long road and extending it in either direction, scoring points like an arithmetic progression.  Our criticism here, is there's basically no point finishing a road.  Leaving both ends open allow you to place roads on either side and go wandering.  I eventually glommed onto the road to complete and score, but by then I'd easily lost 10+9+8+7+6... points.  I didn't get much chance to do any wandering, most of the roads seem quite short.

I was most surprised by the stables.  They score the animals which are located in the 9 surrounding tiles.  They scored quite a few points and MrsDecar put them to the best use.  The FFFF tiles were a nice addition too. 

The Token, set collection aspect, which I thought was important, turned out not to be so.  MrsDecar got a few scarecrows (wildcards) and that made it easy for her to catch up.  You'll see from the photo above I was a sunflower behind scoring another 5 points.

Overall
Overall, you've probably guess we enjoyed playing it.  I've still got a few spin-offs to try but this is a contender for favourite.  It's hard to tell with spin-offs because I've not invested the time to learn tile combinations and playing aggressively to trap or neutralize points is very important.  But if I can ignore those points for a moment, I was really impressed with the overall mechanics. 

Considering MrsDecar and I didn't know which was the best ways to score, we finished only a few points apart (in MrsDecar's favour):



This definitely deserves some more attention!

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2427.0

Offline jungleboy

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 05:19:45 AM »
Sounds like you had quite the Carcassonne weekend!

Merit for your report, but don't tell me this is another spin-off that I need to get. Maybe you can just bring your version to the next Draughts session :)

Offline Decar

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 05:49:08 AM »
Thanks Jungleboy!  I'm looking forward to it :)

Offline Paul

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 06:07:43 AM »
Nicely done! I really should get this. Looks like so much fun and less mayhem as the original, somehow. :)

And the title always reminds me of this song (refrain mostly):



(Not original composer.)
World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline Decar

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 06:10:34 AM »
Why stop at one Paul  ;D :(y)

Offline Paul

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 06:24:41 AM »
Why stop at one Paul  ;D :(y)

Optimus Prime in Revenge of the Fallen: "You'll never stop at one!" :)

Offline Valheru

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 06:50:43 AM »
Oh my, Paul, that brings back memories! Merit to you, good sir.
"In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming..."

Offline Decar

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 06:56:06 AM »
I have no idea what you're talking about.  I only know the original Transformers:

Quote from: Optimus Prime
Carcassonne must be collected ... no matter the cost.

Offline Paul

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 06:57:32 AM »
Oh my, Paul, that brings back memories! Merit to you, good sir.

I sometimes watch these movies for the effects. Like yesterday I saw TF4 for example. The first Transformers movie I've seen over 150 times now over the years. Insane, I know. Thank you for the merit!

Offline Valheru

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 06:58:25 AM »
Oh my, Paul, that brings back memories! Merit to you, good sir.

I sometimes watch these movies for the effects. Like yesterday I saw TF4 for example. The first Transformers movie I've seen over 150 times now over the years. Insane, I know. Thank you for the merit!

To be honest, it was for the Nightwish song haha

Offline Paul

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 07:06:37 AM »
Oh my, Paul, that brings back memories! Merit to you, good sir.

I sometimes watch these movies for the effects. Like yesterday I saw TF4 for example. The first Transformers movie I've seen over 150 times now over the years. Insane, I know. Thank you for the merit!

To be honest, it was for the Nightwish song haha

Woops! *embarrassed*

Offline danisthirty

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 10:20:34 AM »
Thanks for your report Decar, and thanks for the photos too. I still haven't managed to persuade Mrs_danisthirty to play this yet but based on your review I'm going to be trying extra hard to convince her to play this week! :(y)

A merit for your efforts.

Offline Halfling

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Re: First play of Carcassonne: Over Hill & Dale
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2016, 10:58:07 AM »
I played Over Hill and Dale for the first time this weekend.  It's amazing how a different nuance can be added to the same base concept and for it to feel removed enough to not be a straight clone.  The tokens are straight out of traders and builders, the stables are 3D monasteries but the fact that meeples can take a hike is new to me.

I built a 4 tile road and scored 12 hiking points before my daughter closed the road for me.  Spoilsport.

All good fun and a great addition to my burgeoning spin off collection.
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