Author Topic: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review  (Read 5904 times)

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Merit: 83
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« on: February 09, 2013, 10:47:09 PM »
With The Robbers, the Carcassonne Minis series is technically over, though the bonus tiles constitute an additional expansion in themselves. Regardless, the Robbers add an interesting element to the game that is both revolutionary and rather simplistic.

Fat Little Meeples Waiting For Some Gold
* A Wealth of Bad Icons - I find it funny that I'm complaining about the same thing in the same spot as my previous expansion review, but the point still stands: stop adding strange and overlarge icons to my Carcassonne landscape. There are better ways to implement mechanics that basing it off of tiles that decrease in importance as more tiles/expansions are added. The new icons look terrible and a bit creepy, depicting a Robber's head on a bag of gold. Ugh. Furthermore, linking abilities to tiles means that sometimes the ability cannot be used. In a 2-player game, we drew four robber tiles while both are Robbers were already out. In a 3+ player game, that means a player could move their Robber to a different meeple, but not so in a 2-player game. Wasted opportunities, all because the ability is linked to a specific tile.
* Fields Galore - I'm not really pleased with the tiles in this little box. Of the eight new tiles, two are straight roads and two are curved. Another is an intersection, and the remaining three are cities (one with a road). All of these tiles are vanilla tiles. Give us something new like with the previous expansions! Adding more vanilla tiles to the mix just makes the game more homogeneous.
* Robbing Does Not Begat More Robbing - It seems obvious that robbery does not initiate further robbery. That would just be confusing. But having new meeples on the scoring track, stalking opponent's meeples and "stealing" from them whenever they gain points is made significantly more confusing by having to remember that points earned from robbing do not earn another robber points. For two people, this isn't too difficult to track. For six people, nightmares abound.

Creeping Up to a Victory
* Sharing is Caring - Despite the name "robber", the little meeples don't actually "rob" anything. They simply share half the points of the player who earned them. Honestly, I think robbing may have been a better way to go, but that also would have made the game much more aggressive. In any case, the mechanic is fairly sound (see above for exception) and players can even switch which meeple they are following if another one ends up on the same space as the one they are stalking.
* Universal Suffrage - Also unlike previous expansions, when a robber tile is drawn and placed, ALL players get to place their Robbers in turn order. No one is left out in the cold, waiting for their lucky draw from the bag. This is especially important for large games with many players. It also means that someone usually will be able to benefit from the robber tile, even if not the player placing the tile.
* Underwhelming Odds - A feature I find good with this little expansion is that, while player can basically sift off other players' points, its pretty difficult to win that way. In fact, it's impossible in a 2-player game. One player will still get the majority of points so the other player will move up, but not as much. This makes the mechanic helpful for stragglers, but not game winning. Normal strategy and lucky draws will still be required for victory.

Inconclusion
Despite my reservations, I actually liked this expansion quite a bit. It surprised me by its relative simplicity, its easy of use, and its universality with other expansions. Indeed, most of the Carcassonne Minis can be played with other expansions without any real conflicts, which is a great thing that some expansions are not so good at. If you do not plan to purchase all the Minis (which you should), I'd recommend this as one of the items to choose. It doesn't clutter the board (except the score board) and adds a simple little mechanic to the game. Play with The Messages and you can double the amount of meeples you can stalk and "steal" from.

Playability: A-
Affordability: A
Compatibility (with other expansions): A
Aethetics: C
Learning Curve: A-
FINAL GRADE: B+

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=34.0

Offline Scott

  • Administrator
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Merit: 66
    • View Profile
    • CarcassonneCentral
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 10:52:20 PM »
I imagine in a six-player game, the act of having everybody place their robber could be quite time consuming if some of the players have analysis paralysis. Who has the highest value feature soon to be completed? That's who I'd want to follow.

Offline Fritz_Spinne

  • Authors
  • Viscount
  • *
  • Posts: 642
  • Merit: 19
    • View Profile
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 12:31:26 AM »
> when a robber tile is drawn and placed, ALL players get to place their Robbers in turn order

Only the next player (in turn order) who doesn't use his robber is allowed to use him additionally to the active player.

If the active player used his robber yet and gets a tile with robber-icon, he can place the robber next to another scoring meeple.

Offline Leven

  • Viscount
  • ****
  • Posts: 615
  • Merit: 39
    • View Profile
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 03:11:36 AM »
Now I checked the rules again, and you may be right. So I'm afraid I also misunderstood the rules so far. We always played it the way that Whaleyland mentioned: all players (in turn order) placed their robber if it was still in their stock. This interpretation seemed reasonable because it decreased the influence of luck (which player draws the tile with the robber symbol). Maybe we can call this a house rule then...

Offline Scott

  • Administrator
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2516
  • Merit: 66
    • View Profile
    • CarcassonneCentral
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:20:59 AM »
I just compared the RGG rules to the CAR, and I think I can see how the RGG rules could be misread.

Quote from: RGG
The next player in player order who still has his robber in his play area may similarly place his robber.

Quote from: CAR
The next player whose robber is still in his or her own stock may also place his or her robber in the same way.

The phrase "play area" was not immediately obvious to me because I think of the whole table as the play area.

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Merit: 83
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 09:15:08 AM »
I didn't actually use the CAR when I played that expansion, but that is rather unfortunate and tarnishes my like for this expansion. If only the next player gets to play their Robber, then that means luck is once again the primary factor. I like my house rule better. In any case, in a two-player game, all players get to place Robbers if a Robber tile is drawn since there only is one other person in turn order.

Offline Fritz_Spinne

  • Authors
  • Viscount
  • *
  • Posts: 642
  • Merit: 19
    • View Profile
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 09:43:58 AM »
So much confusion!

In the German rules of Mini 6 and of the BigBox 4 there is

"Der nächste Spieler in Spielerreihenfolge, der  seinen  Räuber  noch  vor  sich  stehen  hat,  darf  nun ebenfalls seinen Räuber einsetzen. "

In Englisch: The next player in turn order, who has his robber standing in front of him (not on the scoreboard), may place his robber.

In the Z-Man edition of the BigBox 4 :

"Then, in turn order, each other player may place their robber on the scoreboard."

So we all did what the rules said, but the rules are different.

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Merit: 83
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 11:20:56 PM »
So that means:

HiG Mini 6, HiG Big Box 4, and RGG Mini 6 all say that the Robber only is placed for the current player and next player, in turn order, that hasn't placed their Robber.

ZMG Big Box 4 says that the Robber is placed for all players, in turn order, that hasn't placed their Robber.

Very weird, though the ZMG version is clearly in the wrong here. Another footnote for the CAR...

Offline Carcking

  • Global Moderator
  • Duke Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1853
  • Merit: 31
  • I call Red!
    • View Profile
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 09:34:04 AM »
I imagine in a six-player game, the act of having everybody place their robber could be quite time consuming if some of the players have analysis paralysis. Who has the highest value feature soon to be completed? That's who I'd want to follow.

We played an 8 player game 2 weeks ago - which I have photos of, and will post up in the Sessions - I generally handle the scoreboard (not so mush as I'm good at it but I'm one of the Generals in the game - keeping the game moving, etc. which is a must in an 8 player game - and I am always aware when someone scores and what the score is. We've tried having other players do the scoreboard and it hasn't worked out so well.  :) ) Anyway, I estimate that the Robber added easily a half hour to the game - sometimes getting players to decide who they wanted to mooch from was painstaking. (We were calling it "mooching" because it isn't true robbing.) with Father Time being used the game ran about 2:45, plus clean up. Not bad really.

We were playing that when a robber tile was placed ALL players were allowed to place their robbers if they weren't already on the score track. That was our interpretation of the English interpretation of the rules that we pulled from the net. I bought German copies of the minis so we didn't have exact translations.
I can easily say that limiting the placement of the robber to just two players per tile will save a lot of game time.
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline whaleyland

  • Great Khan
  • Authors
  • Marquis Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2539
  • Merit: 83
  • Toulouse: Carcassonne's insignificant neighbor.
    • View Profile
    • Derek R. Whaley | Historian & Writer
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 09:45:16 AM »
I can easily say that limiting the placement of the robber to just two players per tile will save a lot of game time.

That's not surprising at all and probably one of the reasons they decided that. But it also means some players may never get to place Robbers while others will do it many times. Not sure which I prefer. This Wednesday, I think, my wife and I are going to try to combined Carcassonne Minis game—all six+both Corn Circles—and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.

Offline Carcking

  • Global Moderator
  • Duke Chevalier
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1853
  • Merit: 31
  • I call Red!
    • View Profile
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 10:00:31 AM »
This Wednesday, I think, my wife and I are going to try to combined Carcassonne Minis game—all six+both Corn Circles—and see how it goes. Fingers crossed.

Great, can't wait for your masterful review!

Offline MrNumbers

  • Global Moderator
  • Duke Chevalier
  • *
  • Posts: 1828
  • Merit: 91
    • View Profile
    • Carcassonne Latvia
Re: The Barbarian Report: The Robbers Review
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 12:14:50 PM »
I'm one of the Generals in the game - keeping the game moving, etc. which is a must in an 8 player game - and I am always aware when someone scores and what the score is.

That is exactly my role in all games and my feelings about every move on the scoreboard that is not made by me :) Literally, nobody is moving scoring markers except me 8)
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via furl Share via linkedin Share via myspace Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via technorati Share via twitter

  Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post
xx
The Barbarian Report: Little Houses Review

Started by whaleyland

9 Replies
5798 Views
Last post March 15, 2013, 02:04:33 PM
by kettlefish
xx
The Barbarian Report: Drunken Sheep Over Hill and Dale (Sheep & Hills Review)

Started by whaleyland

9 Replies
4927 Views
Last post April 23, 2014, 12:05:33 PM
by obervet
xx
The Barbarian Report: Attack of the Monasteries (Monasteries in Germany Review)

Started by whaleyland

25 Replies
9209 Views
Last post September 04, 2017, 10:40:49 AM
by Willem
xx
The Barbarian Report: Under the Big Top

Started by whaleyland

6 Replies
3133 Views
Last post July 28, 2017, 02:32:50 PM
by ARabidMeerkat
xx
The Barbarian Report: The Labyrinth – Getting Dizzier

Started by whaleyland

1 Replies
1653 Views
Last post April 21, 2016, 04:57:48 AM
by dirk2112