Author Topic: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?  (Read 585 times)

Offline kothmann

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Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« on: August 02, 2022, 12:13:53 PM »
I'm hoping to have a few games with the Wheel of Fortune soon, and I'm wondering about tips for tactics and also what expansions work best?

Here are my thoughts, but would love advice from those who have actually played.

Adjustments to Basic Play:
  • Be more eager than usual to have two knights in a city, particularly when there are multiple pennants in that city.
  • Place farmers earlier--you will probably have chances to remove them later and they can bring you points from the wheel even if you aren't winning that field.
  • Similarly, be more likely to place monks, because you can get points from the wheel and have a chance to remove them.

Placing a Meeple on the Wheel:

I started with some math.  The distribution of pig motion distances are: 11 one tiles, 5 two tiles, and 3 three tiles.  So, the chance that the pig hits the next space around the wheel when the first wheel tile is drawn are 11/19, or 58%.  The chance that it hits the second space on the first tile is 5/19, or 26%, but it will also hit the second space on the second tile 58% of 58% of the time (33%), so the total chance for hitting the second space on the first two wheel tiles is 59%.  By similar math, the chance of hitting the third space on the first time around is 65%.

Since you don't want to wait too long to get your meeple back, you should always pick the first or second spot after the pig, preferring the one that pays 6 points if there is no other meeple on that spot?

Expansions to Use
  • Magic Portals Because of the Pestilence wheel space, there will be empty features, so these should 6 tiles should be useful?
  • Traders & Builders Because 17/19 wheel tiles are roads, it would be good to make cities more exciting?
  • Flying Machines Because of the city-heavy Traders tile mix, it might be good to add some more roads and open fields, as well another way to sneak into features?
  • Shrines Still more tiles that are heavy on roads and fields and create empty features after a challenge? (I'll actually be using the volcano tiles from P&D as surrogate shrines.)

Looking forward to hearing other thoughts.  Thanks!

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6041.0

Offline Decar

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Re: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2022, 03:26:02 AM »
I find this expansion and strategy don't work well together.  The primary problem is that the scoring of meeple on the centre circle is basically random.  The plague messes up most people's play, which can leave large claimed elements exposed to the next player.  And when the tiles run out, your meeple are stuck doing nothing.  The only thing that's worked for me is to get meeple on the centre circle near the start of the game; typically you find you'll rack up points for little work.

You can probably tell it's not one of my favourites :D  But maybe I've not played it enough to learn the subtle strategy, or played with players with equal understanding of it.

I've not played it with expansions but the ones you've suggested are probably good ones.  I suspect expansion 1 will offer additional points for traditional players not risking the centre square; but maybe that's not what you want to happen.  Having one or two meeple occupied in the centre means you'll have less to risk with other expansions.  I've got a feeling that Hills and Sheep or an expansion that gives you an extra couple of meeple to use may be good to try with it.

But don't listen to me. Have fun with the experimentation.

Offline Halfling

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Re: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2022, 03:56:01 AM »
The improved tile variation over the base game is a big positive for me. The wheel adds more options for when you get yet another road tile.

I tend to add the 10 gq mini expansion non-river tiles to give more variety without adding rule complexity.

A definite tactic is to leave a meeple on a low level road to try to limit losses from the plague, as is scoring opposing meeples that are using this tactic to up impact of plague to your opponents.

If you enjoy a mega game with loads of tiles the WoF can be a good start tile as opposed to The 12 City tiles. The extra option of using the wheel has to be carefully thought out as the numbered tiles come out less frequently. Lots of extra points will be scored and the opportunity to reclaim a rashly placed meeple via the plague.

Inns and cathedrals and traders and builders work well for sure.  Magic portals can be used instead of the flyers, better tiles, but risk element removed.

Finally, if you like a smallish game with oodles of points, try with just Under the Big Top expansion!
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Offline Weetek23

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Re: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2022, 12:40:04 AM »
WoF became very popular for our family games after I finally got my hands on one after many years (a long and dull story short: I held a box of fresh new WoF game at a stall of Czech Carcassonne publisher in Prague "For Games" fair back in 2010 but as I was told that a Czech edition would be due, I did not buy it. The Czech edition never materialized.)
I noticed that most of family players largely refuse to deploy a meeple on the wheel unless we play Phantom. One extra phantom meeple makes them use it frequently.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2022, 02:10:15 PM »
Thanks for the comments @Decar, @Halfling, @Weetek23.  This got put on the back burner for a bit, while I experimented with Delonge's Fjords and Trans Europa, but I opened the box again last night for some self-play tests.

Based on the comments and a few quick tests, I decided to try to keep the total number of tiles at 72, keeping all 19 of the Numbered Wheel tiles, but replacing other base wheel tiles with some of the tiles from Traders and Magic Portal.  That way I don't mess up the frequency of Number tiles, and keep the game from getting too long.

You can probably tell it's not one of my favourites :D 
I expected to feel this way, too.  But I actually really like it!  I think the added tile variety and collection tactics of Traders may help?
 
I find this expansion and strategy don't work well together.
It's definitely chaotic.  But maybe not totally devoid of strategy: just a bit more like Poker than Chess?   >:D

I noticed that most of family players largely refuse to deploy a meeple on the wheel...
And when the tiles run out, your meeples are stuck (on the wheel) doing nothing.
I've been experimenting with removing meeples from the wheel when the pig passes by (hops over you due to moving 2 or 3 spaces).  So, meeples never get trapped in the center (assuming you don't place a meeple behind the pig on the 5th and final lap!)  This takes away the risk of a stranded meeple, but you still have the trade-off of passing up other opportunities for your meeple.  Also, the meeples on the wheel only give you 3 or 6 points, so you shouldn't have risk similar to a monk.  Plus you can't remove them during the plague.  I'll have to evaluate in a real game, but I think this is a fun change.

The Magic Portals work well, but were less important than I expected because it seems like players usually don't abandon monasteries, so the unoccupied features are quickly reclaimed anyway.

One other idea I haven't tried yet is to use the Builder, but only allow it to be placed on roads, as an extra incentive to put meeples on roads.

I'll post again after I have some real games and settle on a tile distribution...

Offline kothmann

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Re: Wheel of Fortune: Tips for Tactics & Best Expansions to Use?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2022, 02:33:26 PM »
I've been experimenting with removing meeples from the wheel when the pig passes by (hops over you due to moving 2 or 3 spaces).
This wasn't very good.  Too much betting on the wheel and randomly placed road tiles.

Quote
One other idea I haven't tried yet is to use the Builder, but only allow it to be placed on roads, as an extra incentive to put meeples on roads.
I didn't like this much.  Placing the builder takes a "moving wood" action and there is already the alternative to place a meeple on the wheel, so no builder for me with the Wheel.
[/quote]

Quote
I'll post again after I ... settle on a tile distribution.
Here is what I decided on:

  • Kept 72 total tiles to preserve the frequency of Numbered Tiles.
  • Included 5 of each Trade Good from T&B.  We use Alternate scoring of Trade Goods to keep things exciting to the end.
  • Included 6 Magic Portal tiles to recover features abandoned during Plague
  • Included 10 Das Fest tiles.  House rules: all players have the option of removing a meeple from the wheel whenever any player draws a DF tile.  This will happen before the tile is placed (same sequence as wheel actions when a numbered tile is drawn) and does not affect the active player's ability to place a meeple.  Note that the usual "remove a meeple from the landscape" action is not available--that happens when the pig lands on the Plague space.
  • Reduced the number of pennant tiles from 10 to 7.  There is a curious strategy in which a player may attempt to repeatedly invade their own large city with multiple pennants.  If they get lucky enough to draw a lot of pennant tiles, this can create a very lucrative payout when the pig lands on the Tax space.   For example 3 meeples in a city with 4 shields pays out 21 points.  This could potentially be repeated 2 or 3 times in the game, for a huge payout.  Having slightly fewer pennants weakens the Tax space a bit, but it seems to be okay.
  • Note that the tile mix includes at least one of every edge combination, so the variety is even better than in the original Wheel mix.

Completed a couple of 3-player and 4-player self-play tests and I really like it.  Hope to have actual game results in a couple of weeks...


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