Author Topic: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018  (Read 4332 times)

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2018, 02:19:48 PM »
I have completed my first draft of the meetup, but now it looks as if Word has crashed and not saved my 12 pages of write up :(
Just open plain Word and autosaving feature must reload your document at last autosaving state.
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2018, 02:24:15 PM »
It's recovered!  I was worried because while word wasnt responding I opened a new instance and the recovery files were not in the recovery folder.

Eventually it crashed properly and I was able to recover the lost file!

I'll get it posted tomorrow!  Wonder how many posts I'll need  ;D

Offline kettlefish

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2018, 02:32:24 PM »
Decar,
you don't need to write a novel about our great meeting.
It is enough to say that the members should come the next time themself to such great meeting. Then they will learn what great fun we had...  >:D

Offline kettlefish

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2018, 03:05:18 PM »
The story about the travel to the fan meeting - 3rd of July 2018:

Benny lives in the west part of Germany and the fan meeting was at the east side of our country. I live in the (north) middle of Germany. Benny started at around 5am. He switched one or two times the train.
I started at around 8:20am. My neighbour drived me to the bus station in my part of the town. The bus brought me directly to the central station. At 9:10am I went into the same train where Benny was sitting inside. Together we traveled to Dresden. We arrived there at around 12:30pm. PresetM waited for us at the central station. He used a bus from his town to Dresden. Now we were 3 members - we went to a restaurant at the central station. During our small lunch time Udo Schmitz (Carcassonne-on-Tour = CoT) and Moritz Brunnhofer (manager of HiG) meet us at this restaurant.

Then at around 1:30 we go to the train gate where maik63de came out of his train and together (now we were 6 persons) we walked to the Carcassonne-on-Tour bus. Then we drived to the Airport to pick up Decar and Mrs_Decar.

I think that the next part will come from Decar in his long story...

Offline danisthirty

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2018, 03:22:36 PM »
kettlefish,
you don't need to write a novel about how everyone got to your great meeting.
It is enough to say that everyone got there and had a wonderful time together, and that more people should come next time. Then they will learn how everyone else got there for themselves... >:D
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2018, 12:32:15 AM »
I will start by saying no amount of words, however well written, will do the First International Carcassonne Fan Meeting justice.  It is impossible to capture the experience of having met so many great people, played so many great games and laughed so hard so frequently, in such a short space of time.

I’ll do my best to cover the things we did day by day starting with the outbound journey and the venue and the providing a breakdown of the games we played, the tournaments & contests, the people, the food and drink and any other business as it crops up.

Day One - Tuesday
The Outbound Journey & Venue:

Mrs_Decar and I had a very early start on Tuesday morning, we left my parent's house at 5:15 in order to get to London City Airport for our flight to Amsterdam.  The flight from Amsterdam was mostly uneventful - though we were met by a Llama in Dresden airport. 



After about 20-minutes: Udo Schmitz (carrying a Blue Meeple Tour Sign), Benny and Kettlefish came to greet us!  It was great seeing them again.  We had not seen each other since Essen '16!  Outside of the airport the Carcassonne-On-Tour bus was waiting for us - I was already excited, I have seen many photos of this famous bus and now I got to ride it!
Moritz Brunnhofer, PresetM (aka HD) and Maik63de (aka Maik) were already on the bus and greeted us too.

A question many of us have wondered:  What is inside the Carcassonne-On-Tour bus?  Well now I can tell you:  As one would expect, it was full of Carcassonne paraphernalia!



We were to be staying at the St Marienthal Abbey in the small town of Ostriz, about 25 minutes from the small city of Goerlitz; the journey took about 90-minutes from the airport.
At the Abbey, we had to sign in and Mrs_Decar and I were given room keys.  The Abbey has a large building with bedrooms upstairs and facilities downstairs which we used during the week.
One half contained a kitchen and the other half the conference room we had to make use of.  Many of you know that the St Marienthal Abbey as it was included in the Abbey's of Germany Expansion.  It was a fantastic experience associating the abstract-tile from Carcassonne with a real building.

On the 2nd day we would have an exclusive tour of the Abbey, given by the kind groundsman, so I have included pictures of our fantastic venue:



Food and Drink
The Abbey has been in constant use since the year 1234, making it the longest such active Abbey in Germany.  There are currently 12 (or 14?) nuns active there but they live a secluded life dedicated to their religion.  The Abbey is/has been an important part of the surrounding community, offering work and education to the local population.  Being a Cistercian nunnery means one very important thing though.  They are allowed to brew their own beer, (just like the Trappists of Belgium).  During the tour on the 2nd day Mortiz explained that the story goes: some monks were ordered to send the beer to the pope so it could be approved - apparently it was a very hot summer and the journey took a long time over the mountains of the Alps.  As such, the beer had gone-off and tasted awful.  The pope thought the beer was so bad that brewing and drinking such a drink would be good penance - and thus the Cistercian Order are allowed to brew beer.

It must be said, I rather like beer and the St.M produces 2 kinds: light & dark (drunkel).  The dark beer was very malty and provided a nice rich head that lasted for the duration of the drink (like any good beer should).  We would have to work hard to get through all of our large supply!

Back to our first day, while we waiting for others to arrive we visited the local pub - we discussed many things about the world, such as the Brexit vote and Germany's interesting political situation.  We also talked about learning Germany in school many years ago and how our countries education systems differed.  Mortiz talked about some of the Asmodee changes and how difficult it is for his small company to compete in today's world of e-commerce. But more on this later...

Before dinner all of the guests had arrived: Christof Tisch (HiG), Annett (& Mario) (Carc-on-Tour), Mr Numbers & Maj. Frost (CarcC) as well as Martin & Gerti (from CarcF) and of course Klaus-Jurgen Wrede.  In total there were 15 in our party.  Dinner was held in a large refectory building were a selection of traditional German dishes were served each day.  I rather enjoyed the ransom-butter (or wild-garlic-butter) as well as the Herring in Mustard sauce - the later being something I wouldn't have considered trying!  Being in a Catholic abbey meant that food followed a traditional menu (eg: Friday Fish!)

After dinner - GAMES!:



On the first night:

Majesty
Christof was kind enough to explain the rules of most games we had not played before.  I wanted to try Majesty as I had a pretty good idea how it was played.  I missed a turn, but I don't think it made much difference.  Having played the A-side we played the more advanced B-side, which changed the feel of the game quite a bit, it was a lot harder to save meeple having spent them.  I found it difficult influence other players and I found it hard to keep track of other player's scores.  Christof explained that an expansion is due for release in Essen that added more cards as well as an additional player (the core game only supports 4) as well as 5-coins, a large amount of the game is swapping 2s for 10s and 1s for 2s and 10s - I find it quite laborious.  I found the card setup fiddly with 2-players, I played Mr Numbers with 2-players on day-4 and it seemed like only 2x2-tier card would ever be added to the buy-line in their last turns.  I feel like we made a mistake.



Azul
We played a number of games of Azul - though I find it straight-forward I find it difficult to know what the best outcome is I believe MrNumbers was able to channel the tile-spirits and determine the best course of action:



Carcassonne Safari:

I was excited to play this prototype copy that Christof had prepared.  I've promised not to share any sensitive material on this game, but it provides an interesting twist to Carcassonne, like all the around-the-world spin-offs do.  City/bush scoring similar to GoldRush/South Seas and the tiles encourage more collaborative sharing and completion of features and without giving too much away, tokens provide alternative scoring mechanics.  The copy we played seemed close to completion in terms of mechanics and tile distributions.  Of the Around the World Series, I don't think it beats South Seas - but after 3 plays it feels close and definitely in the top 1/2.

Skull King
I believe this is Mr Number's 3rd favourite game (after Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride of course) - I do not frequently play Trick Taking games, I usually find them somewhat irritating to play.  However, Skull King is the exception.  During the week, when there was doubt on what to play Skull King would hit the table.  There's just the right balance of luck/chance of killer moves which created several hilarious moments during the week.  That and shouting: Yo-Ho-Ho during before casting you bet for the round created a lot of energy.  Thanks to Mr Numbers for showing this game to us.  Udo was kind enough to give Jenny a copy because she enjoyed it so much.



DAY 2: - Wednesday

After Breakfast we started the very important Tournament created by Present M.  You can read the rules here:



Essentially, 12 boxes of Carcassonne had 5 tiles removed and put into a bag.  Then 5-tiles are added back into each of the boxes at random.  This prevented those stronger players (Mr Numbers, Udo and maybe myself) from being able to count tiles during their games.  KJW watched over the preparation of the decks.  Teams were made up of 2 players each.  When a team played 2 matches would be played p1 vs p1 and p1 vs p2.  2 Points would be awarded for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss.  On the first day Mrs_Decar and I played Kettlefish and Maik63de.  I don't recall much of my first games but managed to score a 12 point victory against Maik, looking at the board I invested a few farmers at the right time and shared a large incomplete feature.
When playing kettlefish I recall finishing a large city and sharing a large farm - the score didn't reflect the game so well.




Before lunch I played the customary game of South Seas with Maj.Frost, Mr Numbers, Christof & Benny:



Maj.Frost won by an alarming amount!

After lunch we had the tour of the Abbey that I have already mentioned.  Mortiz was kind enough to translate the groundsman's descriptions for the non-German speakers in our group.  The Abbey sits a bend in the River which separates Germany from Poland; at the end of the 2nd world war the SS wanted to demolish the building to prevent Russian occupation - however the nuns living there were able to persuade/ delay the decision until the end of the war.  Also unlike most abbeys, St Marienthal is non-symmetrical because an additional floor was added during a baroque-vogue.  You'll see from the photos that the East Wing is 3 stories high, while the rest of 2 stories high.

After the tour, Udo took the bus to a local super market for us to buy provisions - the area is very rural - there are no shops within walking distance of the Abbey!
On the way we visited a bridge that went across the river into Poland - this was the first time I visited Poland.  Shortly after arriving, some air-raid sirens went off....I hope they knew I was British  ;D



During Coffee and Cake session, in the afternoon, it was a QnA session with Mortiz Brunnhofer about HiG - I posted about this in detail here : Coffee, Cake & The Future - Please take a good look at this and make some suggestions!
Annett had baked a lovely cherry-sponge-cake, as well as meeple cookies for everyone to eat.

In the evening was the 2nd round of the tournament.  We played HD and Annett.  With my last few tiles I managed to take a farm and HD couldn't get his last farmer because I had managed to block one of the access points.  I don't recall much of the game with Annett, but I recall carefully considering where to place the FRCR tile with the last move, I took a sneaky 6-point farm which ultimately won me the game.  These games were quite funny as you'll see both games started to merge into each other.  We had to use blue police meeple to keep the games separated!



During the evening I played Carcassonne:Safari with Christof and Mrs_Decar for the second time.  I asked if I could take a photo, but promised not to share it:



 :P

As I recall, Mrs_Decar used one of the new scoring mechanics well, but I did not - Christof won the game however by being more flexible with 'the cloisters'

Next up was Ganz Schon Clever, played with Mr Numbers, Mrs_Decar and Christof.  I had played this with Rich the Fish last week and enjoyed it, but with more players there's 2 less rounds so I felt it was less satisfying:



Next Up: MORE Skull King!



MrNumbers also taught us a game (Signs) a party game where we needed to collect sets and make a sign for our team mate to spot.  Safe to say I didn't spot Christof's sign, even though I knew what it was and thus MrNumbers and MrsDecar won the match!

We finished the night with some Heckmeck, a game I'd not played before, Mortiz and Kettlefish joined us.  As I recall Mr Numbers was obsessed with stealing by 21-token; but finally, Kettlefish managed to keep it!  Mortiz obliterated us when it came to final scoring.




I'll post more later.... it's time to go to work now!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 12:51:26 AM by Decar »

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2018, 12:48:12 AM »
Day 3 - Thursday

After breakfast MrNumbers taught us how to play Team Play.  Mr Numbers thought I was mad risking 6 points on 5 consecutive blue cards, but I had 4 of them in my hand at the start of the game.  Unfortunately, it took far too long for one of the blue 4s to come out.  In that time Jenny and Gerty managed to clear up enough cards.  Mr Numbers and I both made a valiant last stand, but there was no hope for us.



During the morning tournament session, team UK had to play team Latvia (Mr Numbers & Udo).  I got to play Udo first.  It was a very tough game, I was several points behind Udo for most of the game - we both knew that I would have to take the farm in order to win the game.  With Udo's last tile he decided the claim a city for a few week points.  While he was deciding where to play, I pre-drew the last tile and took a quick glimpse.  My heart froze....relax Decar....don't draw attention to yourself...just don't look at the tile again.....breath....give Udo his time.....Unbelievable!  I had draw a RRFF tile allowing to me to take the farm.  Udo couldn't believe it, if he'd played the tile the other way he would have blocked me and allowed him to win the game!  Many lessons learned from this game!



Next up was my game with Mr Numbers - The first game I lost - I scored a lot of points for the dango on the left but failed to get in on the large central farm - the final score was 84:90 so very close end!



Before lunch, we played KJW's Mistkafer! with Udo and Mr Numbers - it was a great game and the first time I'd played it.  There's a push your luck element and it's fun stealing dice from each other. I was able to get the 12 required dung piles to win the game!



Next up was KJW's "One to 9" a game similar to Rummy, but I'd not seen it before.  Like all KJW's designs there are only a few choices available, but it's very difficult to know which the best is to make!  Mrs Decar, Christof and Mr Numbers played.



Finally, we played “Do de li do” and broke many fingers slapping the crocodile.  What a silly game, it’s great fun and a great ice breaker!

While we were playing, Klaus-Jurgen Wrede demonstrated 2 games he was working on.  I can’t tell you much about them, but they were consistent with KJW’s decision making games…also more tiles!

In the afternoon we visited the old town of Gorlitz.  A tour guide took us for a short walk through the town:





After the tour we grabbed a coffee and I took part in play-testing a prototype mini-expansion with Mr Numbers, KJW, Udo, Moritz and Christof.  That was going to be a tough game at the best of times and I performed really badly.  I got to play the expansion again with 3-players later and I’ll be interested to see how they develop – it will be an very long time until they are made available to the public.

Dreams come true
On the way home, the Carcassonne-on-tour bus at the Gorlitz go-karting track.  Mortiz, Klaus-Jurgen, Mr Numbers, Mrs Decar and I spent 20 minutes on the ring.  It’s the first time either of the Decars had been on a race-track, so we didn’t offer much of a challenge.  In the end I believe we were a good 70 points behind having been lapped once (on the new score track of course).  I say: dreams come true, because I would never in a million years have thought I’d be on a race track being over taken (or undertaking in the UK) by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede and and Mortiz Brunhhofer.  It was a surreal experience!  Klaus Jurgen won the race and Mr Numbers took third!



We got back to the Abbey a little later than dinner, so some food had been kept for us.  We had dinner with Klaus-Jurgen and we chatted about the types of games we like to play.  In typical fashion, you can never remember the games you’ve been playing when someone puts you on the spot.  He said he likes to house rule some games to suite his game groups – I joked that being a game designer probably makes that a lot easier!

After dinner, it was time to compete in “Beat the Meeple” a contest of mental and physical ability – the Carcassonne Fans took on KJW and MB in a gameshow of 10 rounds.  Each round the scores available jumped increase from 1point up to 10points.

Here is a collection of photos from the events.  We were very lucky to have Mr Numbers on the team.  One game required us to estimate the distance, as the crow files between 2 points.  Mr Numbers knew that the distance must be shorter than 1200km because that was the distance he drove from Riga to Ostriz.



I took on the Meeple-catapult event.  We had to race to launch 3 meeple on the end of a spoon and get them to land into the cup.  In British fashion, I noticed a technicality in the rules are performed something equivalent to the Fosby-flop.  Be sure to check out the photos.  Through I was accused of cheating, the technique was considered valid as I had already asked that the spoon and cup could be place anywhere on the cup.   My technique will be seen again in later tournaments ;)



Other hilarious moments involved our team exactly guessing the combined height of Moritz and Klaus-Jurgen.


Needless to say:  the Carcassonne-fans won and we were awarded sets of followers as prizes!



To finish we took a photo of all the attendees of the First International Carcassonne Meetup:



Then it was time for more games!   

Mr Numbers taught us another game, which I cannot remember the name of – it involves trying to find treasure within a certain number of guesses.  After 6 guesses the cards are reshuffled.  Two players were ‘locals’ trying to prevent the treasure from being taken.  I quite liked the game, as I don’t really like bluffing games, but I felt this was well implemented:



Next up:  MORE SKULL KING!

I lost this game because I stupidly didn’t use a pirate to escape a turn, for some reason I’d hoped I could have thrown the last round.

After that I played Carcassonne: Safari Again, The Decars played with Maj.Frost and Mr Numbers – if I recall I managed to win by one-point – I managed to complete quite a few ‘cloisters’ giving me a lot of choice in later rounds.



While we were playing Kettlefish, Martin and Mortiz spent approximately 3 hours reviewing rule clarifications from Carcassonne Central’s forum.  I know Kettlefish will update us on this in the coming weeks!  It’s good to see the HiG team spend so long considering the answers!



Finally, while everyone else was playing SKULL KING,  I played Over Hills & Dales with Christof and Kettlefish.  It was quite funny, because none of us could quite remember the rules.  I’ve only played it a couple of times and Kettlefish had done the rule clarifications.  Christof had written the rules and didn’t remember them either :D

I won by a single point – and also made the German Flag!



We finished the night playing Love Letter.  It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’ve only played this game once before even though it’s immensely popular!  Having the German edition made it bloody difficult!  I got some good tips from Mortiz:

However, after about 20-minutes it made sense.  But by then Maj. Frost had taken the victory.

Mr Numbers and I finished the night with a quick game of Majesty, as I mentioned before, I felt like I forgot something….but neither of us could find anything in the rules to contradict what we’d done.


Day 4: FRIDAY

After breakfast, I caught up with Benny (from CarcF) to see what improvements he had made to his Carcassonne-Magnet set.  He’d been able to recess the magnets in the meeple, and they worked far better than previously!

I took a couple of snaps comparing the tiles to regular, travel and his special edition:



Another victory for Black!

In the penultimate round of the tournament the UK had to play team Hessen (Martin and Gerti).  I played Gerti first and though I won by almost 50 points, thanks to a farm, it was a stressful game.  Gerti was missing one or 2 important tiles and managed to draw all but 1 cloister, so the potential for big scores were on the table!



My game against Martin was very successful.  He accidentally trapped 2 of his meeple in a cloister and spent most of the game with no meeple.  I trapped another, which was a pretty mean move and that resulted in me taking my time to claim the best farms.  I recall a good opportunity for Martin to merge my large farm with his smaller one, but I think I blocked it and backed up a farm with the last few turns.

Before lunch I played The Fruit Trees with Kettlefish,  I couldn’t find this expansion when I looked for it a few weeks ago, so this was the first time I played it.  It’s quite good, but our trees came out near the end of the game.



Meanwhile:

During the morning Klaus-Jurgen was kind enough to spend a few minutes chatting with me.  I passed on several of the messages from members of Carcassonne Central that you’ve posted here and thanked him for all his hard work.  He signed several tiles for us, he confirmed that he doesn’t sign cheques; a question I’ve been wondering about for a while.  He told me he doesn’t mind signing things because he plays tennis and has strong wrists.




He wrote this very important message to everyone here at Carcasonne Central:



While this was going on I was playing a game of Go with PresetM.  I saw he had brought a board with him, and I mentioned I used to play.  PresetM used to write a Go-newsletter for the DDR.  He absolutely mashed me, but I like to think I made him think once or twice during the game.  I managed to kill a very large group of my own stones.  If I had simply connected them, or better yet, make a set of eyes sooner, the thrashing would have at least been closer.  It was great playing Go again and appreciative of PresetM’s teaching!



For Coffee & Cake Annett made us waffles with cream and jam. Afterwards it, was the final games of the tournament:



First up I had to play Benny, he managed to draw every road tile at the worst possible moments – I had to work quite hard to stay ahead but near the end of the game Benny was out of meeple, allowing me to nip ahead.  We both needed a cloister with a road to come out, but when I looked over at Mrs_Decar’s game I realized they had 3 in their game….and no surprise:  our deck only had 1!

The next game for me was vitally important!

Mr Numbers had lost 2 games (against Benny? and Kettlefish) , while I had yet to lose one.  If I was able to win this next game I would be ranked the top player of the tournament.  The UK team had lost a point to Latvia meaning they would have to lose their matches to come joint 1st on the team prize!

My final opponent was non-other than Maj.Frost – It was my turn to score nothing but roads.  It was pretty clear that the only way I would catch up would be to take the majority in the farm, with 9 cities.  Maj.Frost had set up 2 excellent opportunities to join the farm, but some how the wrong tiles were coming out for him.  As you can see by the map:  I managed to get one last farmer down on the RRFF tile Maj.Frost needed!



It was a terrific game all in all and meant Mrs_Decar and I would be able to claim the non-cash prizes for 2nd place team also!

The afternoon included even MORE SKULL KING and the sorting out of all the base games:



We also played this game…. I have no idea what it’s called…..we lost pretty badly!



I recall playing dodiledo again and breaking a few more fingers!

Time for some more games of Azul and Love Letter.  Mr Numbers….are you the princess?




The evening started with the important prize giving:

I was awarded the top-overall player prize – which was a prototype tile created by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede for Carcassonne: South Seas.  It’s a wonderful tile because it shows the banana and fishing-boat mechanics.  The tile is numbered: #3




Mr Numbers & Udo (Team Latvia) won the Overall team prize, Udo was unable to attend, so Mr Numbers got to collect the impressive 5kg concrete Meeple.  We all joked that his farming skills will be much improved with this large meeple to contest with :D
Mr Numbers was also presented a Horse print from the artist of Carcassonne:Over Hills & Dales (Doris Matthaus).


Mrs_Decar & I (Team UK) won 2nd place for the team prize – we were presented with a special Carcassonne Clock as well as another signed print of a Sheep.  The sheep was very apt as my wife had spent a number of hours spinning at the event.


Next up was Meeple: Bingo!

Many prizes were presented – Mr Numbers won another signed print from Doris Matthaus & Jenny won a copy of the Hunters & Gatherers + Robber & King mini-expansion.  Maj.Frost required this expansion to complete his collection and Klaus-Jurgen Wrede had already presented me with his final copy that he had signed for a giveaway.

Benny, PresetM & Kettlefish also won prizes:




We played some games with the rest of our evening, I was invited to play a very secret prototype which may be released some time next year by Carcassonne-on-Tour.  I can’t say much about it, other than we played it on Friday, so I hope it receives the title: “Much Ado About Herring!”



Over on the other table Mrs_Decar and Mr Numbers teamed up against Gerti & Maj.Frost with Star Wars: Carcassonne!


More later back to work now
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 12:35:00 AM by Decar »

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #67 on: July 11, 2018, 12:48:24 AM »
Day 5: SATURDAY

With no more tournament, in the morning, kettlefish, Mrs_Decar, Maj.Frost, Mr_Numbers and I played a rather large game of Carcassonne.  We couldn’t find a copy of Expansion 1 – it happened to be in one of the other boxes btw.  So, I decided to swap it for expansion 10, which has quite a few tiles and supports more co-operative play.  On numerous occasions during the game I could have eaten Mrs_Decar’s meeples, but decided I would have a better journey home if I didn’t…..



I managed to get close to a 50-point lead at one point during the game, but realized I needed to get in on the 64-point farm to maintain it.  With my last tile a FRRR, I was able to join my farmer into the main field.  But with the last move Mrs_Decar moved the fairy away from my farmer and activated the dragon so she was able to take one of my farmers off.  As a consequence, I was able to use the dragon to eat Mr Number’s meeple causing him to lose majority on the farm.  I’d been really luck up until that point, as generally most of my attacks to join the farm were weak and late!  Mr Numbers could have won the game with pretty much any other combination of tiles for the last 2-3 draws!



Interesting note, Fairies are assigned to meeple, not features, so I think acrobats should score 3-points to the assigned meeple, not 9 points across all 3 of them.  Also, worth finding out if the Fairy can be moved prior to scoring the acrobat tile.

After lunch Maj.Frost had to say his goodbyes and travel back to Poland.  Gerti, Mrs_Decar, Mr_Numbers and I went on a 2km walk around the outskirts of the Abbey.  It was nice strolling through the forest.  Mario had been on the walk the night before and saw a small deer – but alas we didn’t see much wildlife.  That concluded my exercise for the week….or so I thought!



On Saturday Coffee and Cake was a meeple chocolate cake baked by Annett.  It was very nice, it had a layer of jam in the centre.  All of the cakes we had during our stay were very scrummy – big thanks to Annett for feeding us!



We sat down to play Between Two Cities with Martin and Gerti.  Mr Numbers wasn’t too sure about it, but I told him it was a numbers game, so he wanted to give it a try.  I’d not played this since the first CarcC meetup, almost 2 years ago when Rich The Fish showed me.  I had a terrible time scoring…..every time I moved the city pieces, assuming I was even moving the right one, the score track disappeared underneath me.  Martin then swapped the board over to use the snake’s path – it was interesting they decided to implement 2 different tracks.  It didn’t help though, I asked for a Carcassonne score track instead :D



The first game caused us much confusing because 2 cities scored the same points, while the other 2 scored the same points.  All 4 of us needed to tie break.  The German rules were not too clear on how to resolve a tie-break.  When back at home I’ve subsequently checked the English rules, possibly updated.  But eventually I got an app, which did the scoring for us.  Gerti won the first game because she had access to the most shops.

We immediately played another game.  This time the score was much clearer as my lower city was in joint 2nd place, obviously meaning my upper city was 1st.

We had a short break and then PresetM and Maik63de joined us – a victory for Mr Numbers if I recall! I had to throw away 5 points by placing a Factory on the last turn, which ultimately gave us a 2nd place majority, what seemed like a terrible move actually transpired to be good.  I really enjoyed this game, far more than I had done the first time I played.  It’s really great collaborating with each other, while trying to maximize scores across both cities.



After dinner, Gerti explained the rules of Saboteur, and safe to say - I lost pretty badly.  Jen seemed to be a natural swindler.

But afterwards, the real sports began….Meeple Sports….. The 1st International Meeple Olympics!

The following events were available:  Pyramid Building, Meeple High Jump, Tumblin’ Meeple, Shove A Meeple and Meeple Skittles!

Here are some photos:




I was quite happy with my score of 21 in Shove Meeple – but I didn’t do so well at the other events.  It took me 4 minutes to build my first pyramid because it slipped apart 4 times!

Mr Numbers took 1st place (even if he did score 8 in Shove Meeple :D)  and Gerti took 2nd,  finally Kettlefish took 3rd place.



It was a really fun event and just goes to show you don’t have to be an expert Carcassonne player to have fun with meeple!  It was a really novel way of using meeple in fun ways.  It’s given me a few ideas to include in the future!

Our final event was upon us, the opportunity to make some meeple art.  Kettlefish made a lovely cloister; while Gerti and Mrs_Decar made a football related montage.  Afterwards, we all constructed the flags of the nations that attended the first International Meetup:



Most of the group finished the evening with a game of Trans-America Railroads.  However, Mrs_Decar and I had an early start in the morning so decided to play Carcassonne: Gold Rush with Kettlefish.  Mrs_Decar won the game!



DAY 6: Sunday

We were up early, so I help to pack a few of the Carcassonne-on-Tour games into their boxes.  After dinner Mario was kind enough to drive us back to Dresden Airport.  Before we left I took a few shots to remember our adventure:



It wasn’t too late for another game of Carcassonne though… Mrs_Decar and I played a quick game on the plane :D



As I said at the very start of my post, I can’t quite believe how much we managed to cram into 6-days.  It truly has been one of the most pleasurable experiences Mrs_Decar and I have had.  I was somewhat apprehensive at first as I thought we’d be locked in a tower playing nothing but Carcassonne for a week.  Instead we’ve been introduced to many new games.  It’s been doubly successful because Mrs_Decar now wants to attend Essen in October!  The main reason for this though isn’t games; it’s the people.  Everyone had their part to play making the event a success.
Udo and Annett went to every trouble to make sure we arrived safely and had plenty of activities (and cake) to keep us busy.  PresentM created a wonderful tournament that kept us engaged until the very end and he also mashed me graciously during our game of Go.  Maik63de made me smile when he shouted: “ WE DID IT, WE FINSHED ALL THE DARK BEER” on our final evening.  While we were mostly gaming Maik was testing rules and carefully considering their impact on Carcassonne.  Martin and Gerti were great companions, it was always a lot of fun playing with them, usually ending in hysterical laughter and they showed us a lot great games we had not played before!  Special thanks must also go to Kettlefish for all her hard work.  She has taken many notes about the rule clarifications Mortiz provided and was always up for a game of Carcassonne!  Benny was also a marvellous companion, it was great catching up with him again and hearing about his up and coming adventure across all of Germany; it was really fun being able to play his updated magnetic Carcassonne too and I’m not saying that because I won!  It was great to finally meet our forum member Maj. Frost from Poland.  He was a highly worthy opponent during the tournament, but he more than got his own back playing Love Letter!  His dry sense of humour kept us laughing for days and I know I’ll enjoy reading his posts here at Carcassonne Central now I can picture him saying it!  Special thanks also have to go to Mr Numbers for showing us so many games, especially SKULL KING!  It won’t be long until we play that with friends – YO HO HO!

Mrs_Decar and I felt so welcome to participate in every game and every event while we were in Germany.  It was wonderful meeting Mortiz Brunhoffer, Christof Tisch and of course Klaus-Jurgen Wrede.  Though I met them briefly at Essen ’16, these are the names of people that come up time and time again.  They’re truly dedicated to their continuation of German board-gaming and both Mortiz and Christof explained rules of games they enjoyed, even though they were not published by HiG.  Christof knew exactly when and how to enhance a game during those moments of hard decision making; we laughed a lot!  It’s great knowing Carcassonne’s rule books are mostly in his safe hands.

One lasting memory of Mortiz will be how open he was during the Coffee & Cake meeting.  He wants to continue making sure that HiG and Carcassonne continue to develop and not simply produce cheap quality items for the most profit.  During our play-testing session Mrs_Decar punched a tile and the tiniest piece of backing paper remained on a corner.  Mortiz was not impressed and proceeded to check the serial number, so he could determine which factory was to blame for this lower quality component.  Personally, I thought it was trivial, but this attention to detail is what separates HiG from it’s competitors.  They know they ask for a lot of money for games and it’s important their standards are maintained.  He also thought my post here on CarcC about the Ü key was hilarious, little does he know how hard it is to make appear on an English keyboard layout.  He also bought us beer and cake!

Similarly, Klaus-Jurgen Wrede could simply be a prolific boardgame designer but having met him in person and having time speaking with him.  He carefully considers and listens to everyone’s opinions.  During play-testing he made sure everyone had their say when sharing their opinions.  As I said earlier, he went out of his way to make sure he could do what ever he could for our community here.  Some may argue that’s just what you have to do; part of his job perhaps.  But it’s the little things that make me realise a considerate person, for example, when we were tidying up, he took a moment to take some empty plates and a pot of whipped cream from me rather than simply walk away because his task was complete.  While we were at St Marienthal, we were a community of equal participants.  I don’t think there many boardgame designers with half as many credits who are half as humble.

At this point you’d think my post would be over…. But it isn’t… everyone who attended wanted to know about a member of Carcassonne Central who couldn’t be with us.  I popped in to see him on the way home and begin Decar’s Delivery service (the trans-European-Carcassonne delivery service), to deliver a birthday gift from Mr Numbers:



Belated Happy Birthday Dan!

Without your contributions here, I know Mrs_Decar and I would never have dreamed of venturing out on such an amazing journey!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 12:48:27 AM by Decar »

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #68 on: July 11, 2018, 12:49:02 AM »
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Offline Maj. Frost

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #69 on: July 11, 2018, 01:43:40 AM »

Maj.Frost won by an alarming amount!


Beating both Decar and MrNumbers in one Carcassonne game, priceless  ;D

Offline franks

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #70 on: July 11, 2018, 09:33:10 PM »
Decar, a well deserved merit from me for such an epic report!

Thanks for sharing the details and photos! What a great time you all must have had!

Cheers,
Franks

Wanna play Carc? Can we add just one more expansion?

Offline aenima

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #71 on: July 11, 2018, 11:20:28 PM »
sooner or later ... maybe next year ... it would be nice to participate and meet you all ... maybe I start with Essen

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2018, 12:03:08 AM »
really a nice post, Decar! Merit for you! looking at the photo of Klaus throwing the meeple in the glass I can think of something to ask ... did you talk about the catapult?

Offline aenima

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2018, 12:42:39 AM »

While we were playing Kettlefish, Martin and Mortiz spent approximately 3 hours reviewing rule clarifications from Carcassonne Central’s forum.  I know Kettlefish will update us on this in the coming weeks!  It’s good to see the HiG team spend so long considering the answers!


So, maybe, we can hope to something more then "there will be not clarification playing with other expansions"  :D

Offline Decar

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Re: 1st International Carcassonne Fan Meeting, July 3-8, 2018
« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2018, 12:51:43 AM »
The 3rd and final part of my report is complete.

I also added 2 photos I missed from the 2nd post - one is a picture of our cakes, the other a great action shot!

Mrs_Decar has now requested leave for Essen'18 - There is the annual meetup of course during the day, but maybe we can schedule a small event one evening?

It would be great if you could join us Aenima!


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