Author Topic: Best functioning combinations of Expansions  (Read 6161 times)

Offline TheSteveAllen

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Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:16:44 AM »
I hope that I am not necroposting here, but I would be very interested to know what expansions of Carcassonne work well together. I play virtually every day with the tiles in various combinations, and I have found that some of the expansions complement each other quite well and lead to a game which is even better than the sum of the parts. Recently we have been playing The CII base game with the abbot, the river, Inns and Cathederals, The Abbey and Mayor and The Watchtowers, and this really appears to be a satisfying combination that produces close and interesting games. I have also tried other combinations which do not work so well together. I would very much like to try out the Bridges, Castles and Bazaars with the tunnels, as this gives an almost 3D aspect to the game, especially if we were to include the fan expansion of tunnels 2.

If anyone has a favourite set of expansions that they know complement each other, I, for one, would like to try it out.

By way of illustration of what I mean, I have added this recent photo showing the finished board with lots of cities, roads, farms and other features evenly distributed. This, for me, is preferably to games which end up fighting over a large city or a single large farm. Here, everyone has a chance to win several little "battles", which is what makes the game both interesting and addictive.

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3306.0
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 12:10:09 PM by TheSteveAllen »

Offline Dragonlord

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 10:36:05 AM »
I will start a simulated mega-carc with over 150 different expansions, you will see some picture of the progress of the game soon.  :black1-meeple:
Of course, some will be impossible to play together.

Offline TheSteveAllen

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 10:41:02 AM »
I will start a simulated mega-carc with over 150 different expansions, you will see some picture of the progress of the game soon.  :black1-meeple:
Of course, some will be impossible to play together.

Although I think that I would find this fun, I am thinking of combinations that make up a good entertaining game for about 2 to 3 hours, with about 150 to 200 tiles, where the rules of the expansions work well together. A good example of what I mean is the use of the Count of Carcassonne with Traders and Builders, where closing someone else's city is rewarded in 2 ways.

Offline Decar

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 02:27:10 PM »
I don't have time to reply in full right now - but wanted to say: great idea for a topic Steve.  I don't think we've had a topic like this for quite some time and there have been a few additions to the Carcassonne family since then.  So +1 merit from me for coming up with the idea!  :(y) :(y)

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 02:56:16 PM »
A good example of what I mean is the use of the Count of Carcassonne with Traders and Builders, where closing someone else's city is rewarded in 2 ways.

I have made some impassioned pleas around here about playing the Count with certain expansions to allow it to thrive. Traders and Builders is one obvious example. I also think German Castles is another expansion that goes well with the Count:

Here are the two reasons why:

1. The count tile (and I suppose, the Wheel of Fortune tile too, for that matter) is a great way to get the German Castles out on the board right away. If you're looking to claim the castle for the potential 12 points, it makes sense to play it immediately - literally on your first turn - alongside the City of Carcassonne to give yourself a headstart on filling all the spaces needed to complete the castle. This in turn creates all sorts of interest right out of the gate, with lots of meeples on the board and bonus points available.

2. One of the problems with the Count (in my view) has always been that it's never really worth it to go into the cathedral or blacksmith quarters of the City of Carcassonne because cloisters and roads don't usually score enough points to make it a worthwhile move. But with German Castles worth 12 points as a cloister, and with the three-point bonus attached to all roads leading out of the German Castles, both of these features get a points boost and therefore become more valuable and more enticing to try to tie-up or steal via the Count mechanic.

So, in earlier posts regarding expansions that go well with the Count (which I like, even though most people don't), I focused on elements where finishing other people's features is advantageous (most obviously Traders & Builders, but also King and Robber Baron). Today's discovery is that I also think elements that boost roads and/or cloisters (e.g. German Castles, vineyards, inns) also go really well with the Count. German Monasteries might be the best of all presuming you can join one of them as an abbot at the end of the game from the cathedral quarter.

Offline TheSteveAllen

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 03:10:02 PM »
Thank you for this detailed reply Jungleboy, I will try out the combination that you suggest tomorrow. I think that this will make a very interesting game, totally different from 'regular' Carcassonne shifting heavily the emphasis on completing features rather than just 'owning' them. I have a feeling that it will need quite a few trial runs to work out tactics, but I think that it may well be worth the effort.

Thanks too to Decar for showing his support for this topic. I am looking forward to his thoughts on this subject.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 03:12:55 PM by TheSteveAllen »

Offline Leven

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 04:54:53 AM »
Yesterday we played a three-player game with Princess and Dragon, Crop Circles and Labyrinths (including the extra tiles of stalcupojoy). I think this combination worked quite well, too. It made Labyrinths even more powerful. E.g. I was able to complete a Labyrinth's road structure with a crop circle tile with a "club" image on it and two of us added another thief on this road which increased the value of the labyrinth by 4 points. Moreover, I moved the fairy there, so I gained 17 points altogether. Seeing how rewarding the labyrinths are it was tempting to use magic gates to deploy a follower to an unclaimed road branch of a labyrinth.

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 05:20:44 AM »
I often play with a few sets of expansions that seem to cohere so well that Hans im Glück designed them to interact.

For example, there is Inns & Cathedrals, Princess & Dragon, Bridges, Castles & Bazaars, and River II (BC&B includes two tiles with Inns, while the River II has a Volcano and an Inn).

There is also Hills & Sheep, River III, Halflings II, and the Corn Circles (River III and Halfings II includes Sheep, while Halflings II also includes a Corn Circle).

Functionally, The Festival and The Phantom goes well together since they makes meeples hop on and off much more rapidly.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 05:57:10 AM »
Good idea for a discussion TheSteveAllen! :) :(y)

I normally only play the base game but if I do include expansions and intend to create a big game I’ll often go for a combination of Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, Mage & Witch, King & Robber Baron, Besiegers and the Phantom. It doesn’t make for a huge game in terms of tiles but as a 3 or 4 player game it usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete and provides about the right amount of different factors to keep track of (in my opinion at least).

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 07:36:16 AM »
I can't play the base game by itself.  I am always mixing various expansions. 

I like adding either Magic Portals or "The Flyers" to the Plague
I like Hills and Sheep plus Traders and builders because it gets out all of the cool wooden pieces I bought.
Princess and Dragon plus Bridges and Castles works well.  The dragon can't get into the castle. 


Offline Decar

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2017, 12:37:06 AM »
It's no secret that I'm a basegame player and don't particularly like to play very big games.  For this reason I like the elegance of Inns & Cathedrals, Abbey & Mayor and Princess and Dragon.  I like Princess and Dragon because new new types of tile are added to the deck.  Sometimes, rather than Abbey and Mayor, I add the Festival in; but ignore the rules.  The expansion allows for an opportunity to escape a trap.

I've said before: Cult & Cathars and River, always works well together too.

I've going to throw a curveball in, as we've been talking about coherent expansion like Hills & Sheep with River 1.1 and Halflings.

I think the Abbot on the new Carcassonne edition provides this very well.  The problem with cloisters, is they score a lot of points, but it's relatively easy to get a meeple trapped on them.  I think the abbot does a great job of devaluing cloisters, by introducing more of them, in the form of gardens.  The abbot can also escape a trapped cloister, for less points which seems fair and allows for a weaker player to continue to score points, where otherwise they may be trapped and out of the game.  The abbot is a worthy edition to the game and has been added coherently across the new expansions.

Offline TheSteveAllen

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 02:59:13 AM »
A good example of what I mean is the use of the Count of Carcassonne with Traders and Builders, where closing someone else's city is rewarded in 2 ways.

I have made some impassioned pleas around here about playing the Count with certain expansions to allow it to thrive. Traders and Builders is one obvious example. I also think German Castles is another expansion that goes well with the Count:

Here are the two reasons why:

1. The count tile (and I suppose, the Wheel of Fortune tile too, for that matter) is a great way to get the German Castles out on the board right away. If you're looking to claim the castle for the potential 12 points, it makes sense to play it immediately - literally on your first turn - alongside the City of Carcassonne to give yourself a headstart on filling all the spaces needed to complete the castle. This in turn creates all sorts of interest right out of the gate, with lots of meeples on the board and bonus points available.

2. One of the problems with the Count (in my view) has always been that it's never really worth it to go into the cathedral or blacksmith quarters of the City of Carcassonne because cloisters and roads don't usually score enough points to make it a worthwhile move. But with German Castles worth 12 points as a cloister, and with the three-point bonus attached to all roads leading out of the German Castles, both of these features get a points boost and therefore become more valuable and more enticing to try to tie-up or steal via the Count mechanic.

So, in earlier posts regarding expansions that go well with the Count (which I like, even though most people don't), I focused on elements where finishing other people's features is advantageous (most obviously Traders & Builders, but also King and Robber Baron). Today's discovery is that I also think elements that boost roads and/or cloisters (e.g. German Castles, vineyards, inns) also go really well with the Count. German Monasteries might be the best of all presuming you can join one of them as an abbot at the end of the game from the cathedral quarter.

As promised I tried out Jungleboy's suggestion last night and it provided me with one of the most tactically interesting games of Carcassonne that I have witnessed so far. We used the base game with Inns & Cathedrals, Builders & Traders, King, Count and Robber Barron, The German Castles and the German Cathedrals.

The start of the game was based around the German castles and German Cathedrals, with both players closing each other's short roads and small cities to get meeples inside the Carcassonne city to be able to rob some of the road and cloister points that we abundant at this stage. The game developed into a battle for cities and farms, with both of us gaining lots of points for 'small battles' along the way.

The highlight for me came right at the end when, after blocking my opponent's builder (and 2 of my own meeples) in the big city, I finally got the CCRF tile that allowed me to close it. This gave me the majority of the silk, grain and wine tiles, as well as giving me the 'King' card and another 4 points added to my biggest farm. Unfortunately, my opponent brought in his big meeple from the city of Carcassonne and stole the 54 points for the city!!

I strongly recommend this set-up to everyone to try out. I am certainly going to play it again, possibly with the robbers next time, to make it even more devious!  >:D

A big thumbs up  :(y) and thanks to Jungleboy for the suggestion.

Offline kettlefish

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 11:58:42 AM »
Quote from: 'jungleboy'
2. One of the problems with the Count (in my view) has always been that it's never really worth it to go into the cathedral or blacksmith quarters of the City of Carcassonne because cloisters and roads don't usually score enough points to make it a worthwhile move. But with German Castles worth 12 points as a cloister, and with the three-point bonus attached to all roads leading out of the German Castles, both of these features get a points boost and therefore become more valuable and more enticing to try to tie-up or steal via the Count mechanic.
I have coloured the wrong part. If a meeple stands in the cathedral quater of the City of Carcassonne, then it can't placed onto the German Castle. The job of the meeple onto the German Castle is not a monk - it is the castle owner (German we say "Burgherr"). A German Castle is not a cloister.

Offline GinCarc

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2017, 11:17:53 PM »
So Friday nights my wife and I usually play our favorite board game carcassonne but we usually do a Mega Car with about 250 Tiles. and we use all the tiles we have from all our expansions:

Base game
Inns and Cathedrals
Traders and Builders
Princess and the Dragon
The Tower
Abbey and Mayor
Japanese Temples
The Labyrinth
Watchtowers
The Festival

And we include some off the features in our old art boxes as the new art boxes have not been released:

Bridges,Castles and Bazaars
Hills and Sheep

But that said we have found that we use a certain set of base rules from certain expansions that work well for us below the rules we use from each expansion that work well and dont over complicate the game for us:

Base game -All the Rules Including starting with the River 1 and using Abbots.
Inns and Cathedrals-All the Rules
Traders and Builders-All the Rules including Pig and custom resource tokens:)
Princess and the Dragon-All the Rules
The Tower-NOTHING only the tiles
Abbey and Mayor-All the Rules including the Barn and Mayor but we use the cart as a regular follower
Japanese Temples-All the Rules
The Labyrinth- Custom 2 point rule per tile with no points if not completed at the end(Same as inns)
Watchtowers-All the Rules haha when we remember but this mechanic actually doesn't work well
The Festival - removal removal removal :)
Bridges,Castles and Bazaars- All Rules but we stay far away from the Bazaars! (Bridges original, castles subbed with custom castle figures)
Hills and Sheep- Only the shepherd, we exclude the hills and vineyards

Our game currently consist out of 243 tiles as some sets are double, and take 2 players around 3 hours to play, each player normally scoring between 400-600 points at the end.

My manege Frei and King,count and robber are on their way will post in a week or two a new version mega carc with those expansions included.

Manege Frei- Horrible game but we will use the tiles and I cannot leave my collection semi complete and use the additional follower
King count and robber- when we play our old art version we usually include, king and robber but not the count rule.

but when we include the expansion 6 we usually do this in games with 4-11 players and we start with the City or carcassonne tiles as a cool starting base and then river 1 and river 2 to start the game, count generally stands in the middle of the map looking cool:)

Cheers
Gin

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Best functioning combinations of Expansions
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2017, 01:43:40 AM »
As promised I tried out Jungleboy's suggestion last night and it provided me with one of the most tactically interesting games of Carcassonne that I have witnessed so far.

Great! Glad you enjoyed it. Excellent game-end photo too!

Quote from: 'jungleboy'
2. One of the problems with the Count (in my view) has always been that it's never really worth it to go into the cathedral or blacksmith quarters of the City of Carcassonne because cloisters and roads don't usually score enough points to make it a worthwhile move. But with German Castles worth 12 points as a cloister, and with the three-point bonus attached to all roads leading out of the German Castles, both of these features get a points boost and therefore become more valuable and more enticing to try to tie-up or steal via the Count mechanic.
I have coloured the wrong part. If a meeple stands in the cathedral quater of the City of Carcassonne, then it can't placed onto the German Castle. The job of the meeple onto the German Castle is not a monk - it is the castle owner (German we say "Burgherr"). A German Castle is not a cloister.

I guess I'll just make a house rule then, since it makes the Count mechanics much better if cloisters are more valuable and therefore worth joining. Hills and Sheep could be another good expansion to play with the Count for the same reason, because cloisters can be worth more due to the vineyards.


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