Poll

How do you primarily use The Acrobats?

I claim the feature and try to complete it using only my own meeples.
I claim the feature and try to work cooperatively with others to complete it.
I use the feature aggressively and try to trap other players' meeples on it.
I rarely claim the feature and just consider the tile in placement.
I use them in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
I don't ever play with or don't own Expansion #10: Under the Big Top.

Author Topic: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats  (Read 1657 times)

Offline whaleyland

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Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« on: May 13, 2017, 06:36:39 PM »
ELEMENT OF THE WEEK: THE ACROBATS

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 ACROBATS (from Expansion 10: Under the Big Top). The basic premise of this element is that players like to play with their meeples between turns and one of the main things they do is stack them in pyramids. This has become such a time-honoured tradition that there have even been meeple stacking competitions and games built off the concept. With the tenth Carcassonne expansion, Hans im Glück decided to bring that idea directly to the Carcassonne landscape with the introduction of eight Acrobat tiles upon which three meeples can be deployed. When a player places an Acrobat tile, they may claim one of the two Acrobat spaces on that tile. On later turns, players placing adjacent to the tile may add an additional meeple (any player can add to the feature). When there are three meeples on the pyramid, the feature is completed. However, it is not scored immediately. During a later turn, rather than placing a meeple, a player may score the Acrobat feature, scoring 5 points per meeple in the feature. Any player can prompt the scoring of an Acrobat feature, although it is unclear why anybody not invested in it would bother. Scored Acrobat tiles may also be reused, although the risk of trapping the meeples becomes much higher. Unfinished Acrobat tiles still score 5 points per meeple at the end of the game.

Functionally, this feature, then, served two purposes. If placed far out from the central board, it can be an easy way to earn up to 15 points. If placed near the centre of the board, it can be a good way to attempt to trap another players' meeple. But the rewards are low and the risk is high. The cooperative aspect of the element certainly appears more in high player-count games, making this a less useful expansion with only 2 players (much like the Bazaars). While it certainly holds strategic value, it also seems like a desperate attempt at a mechanic that can be loosely linked to the expansions' theme.

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

Next Week's Topic: The Chapels (from The Castle)    :white-meeple:   O:-)

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3327.0

Offline Decar

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 06:15:39 AM »
I got to play 'Under The Big Top' for the first time yesterday.

One has to be careful using Acrobat tiles, as it is potentially very easy to get your meeple trapped, but assuming you can get 7 tiles round it (assuming it needs to connect to you) there's 30 points available.

In our 2-player game, it made a lot of sense to complete a pyramid for a 5:10 point ratio, rather than leave them there and risk losing 15 points.

The significant advantage of the Acrobat is how well it works with 'The Big Top', it enables players to cluster meeple near a big top tile and score additional points when the Big Top moves to a new location.  Unlike most features you want to finish quickly, the Big Top gives you chances to hang out a little longer.

The trapping is a concern, and actually stuffed me up big time, at the end of the game, because my last two meeple were stuck; but it actually played out for the best, because I was able to position the last Big Top next to them for an additional 6 points - so 1 tile placement with 2 meeple scored 16points at the end-game, which is better than most cloisters score.  If my opponent had completed it, I would have had 10 points, he would have earned 5, and I would have lost 6 during the final scoring.

I think there are 8-acrobat tiles in the deck, which is quite a large number and significantly affects the base game.  The synergy of the Circus tiles is what makes this expansion work so well; unlike some of the older expansions (6 & 8) which just appeared to be a bundle of mini-expansions.  This one works best when all the tiles are taken together; this expansion is mostly about tempo and changes the feel of base-Carcassonne significantly!

Offline jesvin

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 01:39:08 PM »
Although this is not a particularly fun element on it's own, it fits really well with the circus. I use it primarily to rack up big points with the circus by getting many meeples in the piramid and only scoring the meeples AFTER the circus has moved.

Also, by scoring a piramid with meeples from someone else (even if you are not IN the piramid) can strip them of points from the circus.

Overall, I really like this element, but only if the circus is also in play.

Offline whaleyland

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 03:08:12 PM »
Also, by scoring a piramid with meeples from someone else (even if you are not IN the piramid) can strip them of points from the circus.
That explains why the meeples do not get scored immediately and why players can score for other players' pyramids. Interesting. I hadn't thought of how much the Acrobats interact with the Big Top.

I agree, though, that this expansion is much more coherent between the parts, especially with the comments above. I could quite easily argue that expansions 1, 5, 6, 8, and 9 are all mostly independent expansion elements combined into single expansions. But expansions 2, 3, and 10 seem to be quite integrated and coherent, which is good. I wonder if there are any other elements that could benefit from the Acrobats' meeple-stacking feature.

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 06:07:10 PM »
The FLGS said that this won't be released in the US until end of June beginning of July, so I have a while to wait.   For those that have played, do you think it will work well with other expansions or will the affects of this be to watered down in a megacarc game?


Offline Dragonlord

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 08:18:02 PM »
On my mega-carc game, I've only pick up the tent twice for now. There's some points to make but the followers are trapped till the next tent tile coming in play. So I don't try the acrobat yet.

Offline Willem

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Re: Element of the Week #60 – The Acrobats
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 10:47:11 AM »
Ive played the 10th expansion twice now and have gotten quit a lot of points through these acrobats. We turned out to mostly build our own pyramids, and only sometimes added to eachothers.

Like said before, ive scored some of my opponents pyramids to prevent them of getting lots of Big Top points, as it can add up to a lot.

I do like them, but not for every game
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