Author Topic: Carcassonne is missing a tile?  (Read 12050 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« on: April 17, 2014, 05:14:43 AM »
72 is a lovely number as it has a lot of factors (mathematical factors). This means it's great for Carcassonne as it can be divided equally by 2, 3, 4 and 6 such that all players in a 2, 3, 4 or 6 player game get an equal number of turns. This doesn't quite work for 5-player games but you can't have everything I suppose!

But because 1 of the 72 tiles is the starting tile, there are only actually 71 playable tiles. 71 is a prime number which means that all players will never have the same number of turns each regardless of how many players there are (unless there are just 1 or 71 players). The result of this in 2, 3, 4 and 6 player games is that whoever goes last has one less turn than everyone else, or in a 5-player game the starting player gets an extra turn.

If the basic game consisted of 73 tiles there would be one starting tile and then 72 playable tiles which would make everything much fairer to all players (although it would probably also increase printing costs as it wouldn't fit onto 12 6-tile sheets making the game more expensive). Does anybody actually include any extra tiles in an attempt to address this or is it generally seen as such a minor disadvantage that it's usually ignored?

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=720.0

Offline quevy

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 05:25:34 AM »
If we do not make a serious game we do not give weight to the thing, if I want to balance the number of tiles join the event tiles "gq11."
1-3-5-7-9 for 2 players.
1-4-7-10 for 3 players
1-5-9 to 4 players
4-9 to 5 players
1-7 to 6 players

Obviously if you use T & B does not make sense.
A knight is sworn to valour.
His heart knows only virtue.
His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.
His wrath undoes the wicked.

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Offline rfielder

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 05:49:56 AM »
How many people play with only the base game, and no River, River II, etc?

Unless you have only the base game, and you got one with no River, the point is moot.
Robert Fielder
Brampton, Ontario, Canada  EST

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 06:01:09 AM »
I've entered the UK championships and this is played with the base game only so I've been thinking a lot about it recently. Additionally, if my wife and I want a quick game without any of the extra complications we tend to go for just the base game too, especially since it usually means we can fit two games into the same length of time as would normally be required for just one (with expansions).

Even so, I wouldn't necessarily say this was a moot point. It probably won't change things in the majority of cases, it just seems strange (albeit only slightly) that games should be weighted against whoever goes last, since they've already got the fact that they're last to place a tile against them as well as having one less turn than everyone else!

Offline Fritz_Spinne

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 06:36:55 AM »
If you want more universal equality you should take 60 tiles besides the one starting tile. It divides correctly through all number from 2 to 6. Or take 120, 180 and so on. In German 5 dozens are called a "Schock", I saw in english it's "three-score", an old unit for the number of 60. If you want a number to divide through fairly through 2 to 7 you have to take 420!

Offline rfielder

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 07:21:40 AM »
I've entered the UK championships and this is played with the base game only so I've been thinking a lot about it recently.
I am too new to Carcassonne to know about this - are you saying the championships do not use the River?

Here in Canada, it is possible to buy the base game without the River, but not easy.  The River has been shipping as part of the box for so long that people consider it to be part of the base game, not an expansion.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 07:41:47 AM »
Yep. Most officially recognised competitions use just the basic 72 tiles as far as I'm aware.

Starting with either/ both Rivers gives you a lot of options right from the start. This is all very well and good most of the time, but it isn't always what I want from a game. Call me a purist but I like being forced to start small and expand outwards, creating further opportunities as I go.

My first Carcassonne set was the RGG version which didn't include The River. When Z-Man games took over the publication of the English version they brought the river back and bundled it together with the original game.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 07:57:08 AM by danisthirty »

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 08:31:33 AM »
How many people play with only the base game, and no River, River II, etc?

Unless you have only the base game, and you got one with no River, the point is moot.
I almost always play with just one expansion at a time. Most of the expansions weren't planned with other expansions in mind (which is dumb, but anyway). You usually get the most out of an expansion by playing it alone or with only one other expansion. Thus, the point isn't really moot.

Here in Canada, it is possible to buy the base game without the River, but not easy.  The River has been shipping as part of the box for so long that people consider it to be part of the base game, not an expansion.
Rio Grande originally included The River with their base game, but when Hans im Glueck stopped, so did RGG. It wasn't a part of the Big Box 3 or Big Box 4 (some copies of Big Box 2 had it) and it pretty much disappeared in English until Z-Man took over. Even The River II was difficult to get in the US for a while there. Now that is part of Expansion #6 so easier to obtain as well. The River I is available separately at Cundco.de, too, in case you don't want to buy the base game again.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 08:35:11 AM by whaleyland »

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 08:38:54 AM »
I think certain expansions work well with certain other ones. For example, Traders and Builders and the Count both include benefits for completing features controlled by other players. Another one is that because the Cathar tiles are essentially the opposite of the Cathedral tiles, these can be nice to use together.

Anyway, I think figuring out how to strategise when using a combination of expansions is part of the fun because you need to consider a lot of different things.

Offline Carcking

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 09:02:05 AM »
The World Tournament does not pay regard to the issue of tile balance. When I played in tournament we just flipped a coin to determine who would go first. The rounds were single game elimination so you got what you got.

I would agree that there is an advantage though - of 3 points typically. It comes down to the last tile and any regular player will know that there are usually several plays that can be made with the last tile to claim at least 3 points. Most commonly it's a one-city farm. Sometimes you'll be lucky enough to find a two-city farm. Usually there are 2 point cities (or a 3 point one if there is a pennant) or 1, 2, or 3 point roads that can be had.

What you could do is allow the first player to play wood on the first tile, as his first move. The second player would then be playing the first drawn tile.

What I did, although not out of any concern for tile balance, is print the 9 custom Start tiles that were made by MOS back when. I printed them with a different color back. We shuffle them face-down and the first player picks from those for the first tile - and his first turn, with a wood move, etc. Then the rest of the tiles are picked up and put away - and the game resumes with the second player drawing the first regular tile. (I thought these tiles were in the Download section but now I don't find them there.)
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline SRBO

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 11:17:35 AM »
The problem is dat with 73 tiles you need one tile apart printed.
with 72 you easily can print 8 per page or 12 or 6

Offline jvnoledawg

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 05:00:13 AM »
...I saw in english it's "three-score", an old unit for the number of 60...

On an unrelated point, I only know this because Lincoln's Gettysburg Address starts with "Fore score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation...."  When you learn that in school they teach you that "score" means 20, so he was saying "87 years ago."

End American history lesson.  :)
JLV

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 12:16:52 PM »
"Fore score and seven years ago..."
lol. "Fourscore". We aren't playing golf here.  C:-)

Offline jvnoledawg

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 08:03:35 AM »
LOL! Can't believe I did that.  Nice.  Maybe Lincoln was a 4 handicap or something....

Offline mikea

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Re: Carcassonne is missing a tile?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 09:08:40 AM »
Whenever I play, whether it is just the base game or with expansions, if the number of tiles is not divisible by the number of players, we stop play after the last player when there is not enough tiles for another turn for everyone. That is, in a two player game with just the 71+1 base-game tiles, we play until we have both had 35 turns, leaving one tile unused. I like this, as I don't really like the aspect of knowing exactly what the last tile will be.

Another alternative solution, which I just thought about, would be to say that the starting player is "forced" to draw the starting tile, but is allowed to place a follower on it, after which the second player starts the game as normal. But I imagine people would often not want to place a follower on the starting tile.


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