How do you primarily approach using the Watchtowers?

I place them in strategically advantageous positions.
I use them when I draw them with no real thought to strategy.
I rarely claim a tile just because it has a Watchtower on it.
I use them in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
I don't ever play with or don't own The Watchtowers.

Author Topic: Element of the Week #58 – The Watchtowers  (Read 1544 times)

Offline whaleyland

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Element of the Week #58 – The Watchtowers
« on: April 29, 2017, 10:01:28 PM »

Each week, a specific element from an expansion or spin-off 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 WATCHTOWERS. If first impressions were everything, this expansion would have two things working against it: first, it looks a lot like the Messengers expansion and, second, the rules are written pretty terribly compared to other expansions in the Carcassonne 2.0 line. But once those issues are overcome, the expansion itself proves to be quite unique in many ways. The basic premise is (or seems to be) that any meeple placed on a tile with a Watchtower gets to collect that Watchtower's bonus when their feature is completed (even if they do not score for the feature itself). The Watchtower bonus only applies to the eight surrounding tiles and the Watchtower tile itself (like a Monastery). There are five different bonuses, not all of which correspond to the Messenger expansions' bonuses. These include scoring bonus points for Road segments, meeples, Monasteries, coats of arms, and City segments.

In an ideal world, any of these bonuses could score up to essentially the value of a Monastery (although it is possible, albeit unlikely, that more points could be scored). But, since the meeple may also score for their completed feature, this ends up just being sheer bonus points, which is kind of nice. Despite being in the new art, the Watchtowers changes up Carcassonne by giving potentially valuable incentives for taking risks. It also introduces 12 new tiles, some of which have odd configurations (which is usually a good thing), and the element does not necessarily take a meeple away from doing something else. But good luck can mean one or two players may monopolise the tiles, while bad luck may mean that players are incapable of really taking advantage of the potential of the Watchtowers.

Discuss your relationship with The Watchtowers, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: Solovei Razboynik & Vodyanoy       :o      O:-)

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3293.0

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Element of the Week #58 – The Watchtowers
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 05:53:16 AM »
I like the watchtowers, but I don't exactly love them.  I wish they somehow worked like the watch towers in "Limes" and you could put a meeple on them. 

In the few games we have played with them, they seemed to generate more points than the Wind Roses expansion does, but they aren't over powered.  My wife likes them, my child doesn't care one way or the other.   They do lend themselves well to house ruling since the real rules aren't particularly straight forward. 

Offline Halfling

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Re: Element of the Week #58 – The Watchtowers
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 10:07:25 AM »
I enjoy this expansion. It has been used many times with my classic style tiles and the mechanic is understood by my lunch gaming buddies. The rules need a good rewrite but I prefer a good mechanic with naff rules to the reverse!
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