Poll

When playing with The River II, do you play with the Pig Herd rules?

Absolutely!
Usually.
Only when playing with Traders & Builders
Generally not.
Never.
Wait...the Pig Herd is a feature?

Author Topic: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53  (Read 3684 times)

Offline whaleyland

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The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« on: April 18, 2016, 08:54:55 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE PIG HERD

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 PIG HERD (from The River II). The Pig Herd was a rather sly element introduced alongside The River II, thus making it the only element that is restricted to play by a different specific element (hence why this series skipped it until now). The mechanics of it are virtually identical to the Pig meeple introduced in Traders & Builders in that the value of the particular Farm with the Pig Herd increases by 1 point per completed City. But it is still considered a unique feature from the Pig meeple, and so a Farm with both a Pig and the Pig Herd stack to produce +2 points per completed City at game end. That makes for quite the valuable Farm! Granted, it does not stack with Barns, but nonetheless, the Pig Herd can become quite valuable when placed. What makes the tile even more unique is, since it is linked to a River expansion, the placement of the tile is very limited and, if a player claims it immediately, they risk trapping their Farmer in a low-value (or valueless) Farm.

It should be pointed out that one of the most commonly-house ruled tiles in Carcassonne is using these rules for a similarly-stylised farm included in The Mini Expansion from Games Quarterly. While technically that is just an FFFF tile with nothing unique about it, the fact that the expansion clearly uses a derivative of this art suggests it is, to most people, the same feature. Thus, if you own that expansion, feel free to house rule it in as a second Pig Herd or a Pig Herd when not using The River II.

What are your thoughts on the Pig Herd tile? Is it too random who gets it? Too dangerous to claim? Do you just ignore the rules or not worry too much about the tile? Let us know your experiences when playing with the Pig Herd and any strategies you have used that have maximised the potential of this strategic element.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2640.0

Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 03:59:07 AM »
I don't own the River II :(.

For us, the GQ11 FFFF tile is a pig tile in most games.  We don't allow pig stacking though.  Having multiple pigs on the farm is like having multiple meeple.  I didn't even consider that they could/should stack. 

When we play Hills and Sheep, it is a free sheep tile.  It can come into play multiple times as someone can collect the flock and someone else can extend that field and add a shepherd. 


Offline Christopher

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 12:05:37 PM »
I like the idea of the Pig Herd tile, but we only tend to use it if playing with Traders and Builders, and don't make it stack. Honestly, I didn't know it did stack! I prefer the idea of it being a tile that permanently has a pig in it. Like the sheep in the River III. Even then, I'm not sure. It's a lovely idea, but it always seemed odd. I'm not sure why though. It's nice. I might suggest we use it more often.

I like the risk. The idea that you might end up being in a rubbish farm, or a powerful one. The problem being that as a river tile, it gets played early and you can add to the farm until the river finishes. I don't think I've tried house ruling GQ.

I don't know why I don't play with the pig herd! Next time I will. Probably with GQ too.
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Offline CKorfmann

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 12:09:12 PM »
I play with BOTH pig herd tiles. 
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Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 02:11:44 PM »
Notice: I fixed the poll to give the Traders & Builders answer. For some reason, I had put Inns & Cathedrals instead. Oops! Revote as necessary.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 02:17:19 PM »
Notice: I fixed the poll to give the Traders & Builders answer. For some reason, I had put Inns & Cathedrals instead. Oops! Revote as necessary.

I did wonder :P

Offline Ry4Christ

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 06:31:55 PM »
Rereading though some of the posts for the "Element of the Week" series, including this one, and I was wondering Whaleyland, if you're ever planning on making posts for the German Cathedrals, Labyrinth, Watchtowers, and the newest Russian promo if and when it becomes more widely available. I'd love to keep the discussion going, and want to thank you for all your hard work on this series of posts!

Offline Just a Bill

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 01:31:07 PM »
Rereading though some of the posts for the "Element of the Week" series, including this one, and I was wondering Whaleyland, if you're ever planning on making posts for the German Cathedrals, Labyrinth, Watchtowers, and the newest Russian promo if and when it becomes more widely available. I'd love to keep the discussion going, and want to thank you for all your hard work on this series of posts!

I second all of this. As a "prodigal meeple" who has returned to Carcassonne after a long period of not playing it, I'm finding the Element of the Week a tremendously helpful way to quickly get caught up on all the stuff I've missed, and would enjoy seeing the later items get added to the list and discussed.

Turns out the last set I collected was the Catapult, so until a couple days ago I was ignorant of everything that followed. On the one hand that was probably a good point to go on sabbatical, as the catapult seems to be a low point is for many and it was followed by a lot of unremarkable stuff. But on the other hand I've clearly missed a lot of great new content! After learning about cundco and finding their shipping to the US to be amazingly reasonable, yesterday I ordered German Castles, both Halflings sets, two sheets of blanks, and a couple more colors of meeple sets. Then I nabbed the Phantoms on eBay for about ten bucks shipped. Today, though, I was miffed to see that I had somehow overlooked the German Cathedrals on cundco, which I would have loved to have added to that order. (Anyone know if their latest batch has corrected the color problem?)

Next I'll probably be begging for advice here on which of the larger/more expensive sets are most worth tracking down. Bridges, Castles, & Bazaars and Hills & Sheep seem like no-brainers, but other temptations like tracking down The Besiegers when I already have CS&C need some forethought.
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Offline whaleyland

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Re: The Pig Herd – Element of the Week #53
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 08:21:40 PM »
Rereading though some of the posts for the "Element of the Week" series, including this one, and I was wondering Whaleyland, if you're ever planning on making posts for the German Cathedrals, Labyrinth, Watchtowers, and the newest Russian promo if and when it becomes more widely available. I'd love to keep the discussion going, and want to thank you for all your hard work on this series of posts!
Great idea! I've been hanging back in the shadows lately on CarcCentral, reading a bit but not doing a whole lot, but thank you for reminding me of my duties as "Element of the Week" ringmaster. I had been waiting for a while so that people can play the new expansions some, but Labyrinth and Cathedrals have both been out for almost a year now, so I guess it's time to get back to the elementals. I've updated the list with every new element I can think of, both for Carcassonne and its spin-offs. Let me know if I forgot anything. I'll try to open the first discussion for German Cathedrals tomorrow when I have a bit more spare time (maybe later today, we'll see).


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