Author Topic: Four games on a rainy Friday afternoon  (Read 2720 times)

Offline jungleboy

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Four games on a rainy Friday afternoon
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:12:47 AM »
Today on a rainy Friday afternoon I played four Carcassonne games with my regular partner Aimé. She had swept me 4-0 the last time we played so I was eager for revenge…

We played what seems to be our new standard afternoon slate: one game each of Ark of the Covenant, Carcassonne: the Castle, Carcassonne: the City, and regular Carcassonne.

Ark of the Covenant

Aimé (red) 146, jungleboy (green) 107

Now that we’ve played this game five or so times, we’re starting to use the different intricacies of the game a bit better. I scored a lot of points with the ark in this game because I had three or four meeples close together in one corner of the board, so I could use the ark to claim two or three points and leave the ark in a place where Aimé would need to pass through one or two of my meeples to get it near her own meeples. On the other hand, she played the temples smartly and scored the seven points 2-3 times.

I placed my prophet in a large developing city early in the game and it looked to be very closable, since at one stage it only needed a CCCX tile left, and only two CCCX tiles were on the board at that stage. Eventually Aimé tried to surround the tile, so I had to place a tile to make it a CCCR tile needed rather than the CCCC that she would have gone for (since the CCCC tile was already out). In the end, she drew both remaining CCCR tiles, so I never completed the city, and that was the end of the game for me. If i had completed it, the scores would have been very close.

We both wasted too many meeples on farms, but we also both grew our farms better than in the past, especially Aimé. In the end this helped her to her 5th straight win.

Carcassonne: the Castle
(Or ‘The Swedish Game’, as she calls it, because it was sent to me by Paul!)

Aimé (dark) 57, jungleboy (light) 47

Aimé usually beats me in the Castle and so it happened again. But this time the game was quite unusual and very low scoring. I will cross-post in the Facts and Feats thread, but 57 seems to be quite a low winning score.

Usually she is very good at taking an early lead and timing her points to allow her to claim the majority of wall tiles, but this time it was more even in this department and we both had a lot of trouble picking up the little scores needed to claim a wall tile. I led by about 15 points early on, but she responded by closing some towers and houses, including a five-tile house that gave her the largest keep. We were very close the rest of the way. I was building an even larger keep but I wasn’t able to complete it, which cost me the game. I also had a nice, efficient 15-point court at the very bottom of the castle, but it wasn’t enough. Her wall tiles were very helpful (a 5-point bonus and one that gave her points for an incomplete tower), while mine were useless.

Note: we made a placement mistake that neither of us realised at the time. Who can be the first person to spot it?

Carcassonne: the City

jungleboy (green) 153, Aimé 137

Finally, a victory after six straight defeats!

The key to this one was my 28-point residential area that was quite comfortably the highest-scoring single feature of the game. I claimed it early and kept adding to it with strategic tile placement, and when it was large enough, I closed everything around it to make it impossible to glom onto. I also scored more with towers to offset Aimé’s larger guard points. Once we were into the third stack of tiles, it became clear that ending the game quickly was in my best interest, so I worked to complete some features to trigger wall-building for this purpose.

Traders & Builders, Mage & Witch, Siege, Halflings

Aimé (red) 240, jungleboy (green) 173

After three spin-off games, and the discussions we’ve had here this week about Carcassonne II, it was a joy to open up my Basically Wooden box and see our beloved Carcassonne I tiles.

This was quite a random combination of expansions. She loves T&B (and is a trade goods fiend) and we both like the halflings although I still have trouble incorporating them into my strategy (i.e. I always think I’ve smartly blocked her only to realise that she can get out of it with a halfling tile).

I started well in this game, taking an early lead in trade goods and on the scoreboard and getting into the dominant farm. But she used the mage very well to score extra points on the two largest cities on the board (in the south), and took a comfortable lead. She also joined up two farms that I’d hoped to keep separate (because they had four common cities), and then completed an 11-tile road with the mage in it. I was hoping that my 56-point farm would get me back in the game, but she had a 36-point farm herself that I wasn’t able to glom into, and she ended up winning two of the trade goods, so it was a fairly comfortable win for her.

So, all in all it was another great Carcassonne day. Although I won only one out of four games, that was an improvement on last time! It looks like we might be able to fit in another session next week too...

« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 11:33:41 AM by jungleboy »

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