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Messages - Whaleyland

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Bad news is, that it looks line new design standard. We can call it 2.2? Or 20 but this can be replaced with 2.0. so I prefferen 2.2 used in Peasant revold for first time. We will see how it will be when otherimi will be released. I hope that it will be on december, like last year

Odoslané z SM-A202F pomocou Tapatalku
I would definitely call it 2.2, especially since it did not originate with the 20th Anniversary Edition. I suspect like the roll-out of 2.1 that it will take a few years to trickle down from Hans im Glück to its distribution partners, but I also assume the Spiel '21 tile is the final official iteration of 2.1, just like the Spiel '17 tile was the final of 2.0.

I am in the minority with this, I know, but I welcome the change. The tiles look tremendously better than 2.0's tiles and work fine with the 2.1 tiles since the colors still match, but these tiles are the first in Carcassonne's 21-year history to actually depict a lived-in city. It just seems right even if the aesthetics around the edges are less than ideal. The fate of any tile-laying game is that things will be unusual around the edges—Carcassonne has avoided this problem somewhat by making the edges really boring, but making them more exciting naturally leads to other problems.

News and Events / Re: The Gifts - New mini expansion announced
« on: October 21, 2021, 04:39:35 PM »
I'm hoping for one new mini and waiting for the Spiel '21. With a mini, I should just be over €20. I hope they don't push the limit to €25 or higher, though, because there's really nothing else I want. My cart currently has The Gifts, the two 20th Anniversary bags, and 1 pink Abbot (I bought a pink set years ago but never got the pink Abbot since it was pre-2014).

That's true! This edition finally seemed to address the double-tile issue in a satisfactory manner. Of course they count as two tiles in most situations, why was this so hard of an answer to come to?

The fact that Hans im Glück thinks this edition is some quasi-spin-off and not a base game is ridiculous. I still had not purchased a copy of the base game in the new art style until I got this and without this, I probably wouldn't have bought one at all (my partner is still wondering why I bought least until I told her it has an exclusive expansion, then she just rolled her eyes). Instead of using the 20th anniversary to try to attract new players while also providing something fun for old players, they made this: a beautiful box with beautiful tiles that neither satisfies old players nor attracts new ones. I feel it's a wasted opportunity. Wheel of Fortune was far more bold and even the 10th Anniversary Edition with The Festival at least provided an interesting, if basic, expansion.

Note: This is only a review of the 20 extra tiles in the game. This is not a review of the edition as a whole.

Carcassonne has been around for over two decades now, so it is pretty impressive that expansions are still being released annually for it. The only other game with such a track record is Catan. That being said, many of Carcassonne’s expansions have been less than impressive, and some have been downright dull or confusing. The 20th Anniversary Expansion—or rather “inspansion” since it is exclusive to the 20th Anniversary Edition of the base game—chose to play it safe, but as a result it sort of just makes parts of the first three full-sized expansions redundant. Let me explain…

Pride & Prejudice
  • I’ve Seen This Before – Hans im Glück loves its legacy and it knows that the first two expansions, Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders, are the most popular expansions in the series. They have been included in every Big Box as well as several combo boxes over the years. So, instead of developing something new, the designers of the 20th Anniversary Edition decided to borrow the most popular concepts from the first three expansions, namely Big Meeples, the Builder, and Magic Portals (from The Princess & the Dragon). This is all done through 20 extra tiles (15 are marked with a lazy “20” watermarks on them—the remaining 5 are new River tiles with nothing interesting to note except for the double-sized source tile with a “20” emblazoned in the middle) that are shuffled into the rest of the tiles. The tiles are uninspired—many are just base game tiles with the new mechanic on them—and the actual mechanic is lazily depicted in a relatively small blue arrow that can be difficult to differentiate. Furthermore, playing a game of Carcassonne using both the 20th Anniversary Expansion and any of the first three expansions will inevitably result in confusion and a general feeling of repetition between features and rules.
  • Double the Punch, Half the Impact – While there are certainly tactical advantages to the new mechanic where a player can double-up their meeple presence on a feature, thereby replicating the effect of the Big Meeple from Inns & Cathedrals, the end result may be that two of your meeples are now stranded on a feature for the rest of the game. Inns & Cathedrals addresses this by providing an entirely new meeple that doesn’t cost you one of your normal meeples. The mechanic in the 20th Anniversary Edition, however, does the opposite. It now costs a player two meeples from their core supply of 7—that’s a high cost! If someone manages to trap those meeples, they are there for the rest of the game unless you also mix in an expansion like The Festival, that helpfully can be used to remove trapped meeples from tiles. While the benefit of dropping a second meeple on a feature can be shocking and game-altering, it is a risk that rarely equals the reward.
  • Bad Strategy, Now With Punishment – One mechanic I always dislike in games is account-keeping. It’s just annoying. Whenever I play The Princess & the Dragon expansion, I ignore the bonus points from the Fairy. In 2-player games especially, it rarely moves so just continues to accrue points each turn for whoever happened to move it last, and trying to remember the +3 points for completed features with the Fairy is futile. Other than the Fairy, Carcassonne hasn’t really had a ton of account keeping. But this game has it twofold. First, if a player places a tile so that the bonus action arrow is not pointing to an adjacent tile, then the player receives two points. This is just dumb. Don’t reward a bad move. If the player didn’t get the bonus action, it’s probably because they had a more valuable use for the tile. But then to add a dumb rule to a dumb rule, a player in a later turn can place a tile adjacent to an arrow and activate the bonus action. I get that this is to further emphasize the importance of these bonus tiles, but just no. We forgot about that rule at least twice when playing, and also forgot about the +2 points for not using the bonus action. And then there is the situation where you don’t want to or can’t use the bonus action but don’t qualify for the bonus points. It’s all a bit too much.

Sense & Sensibility
  • Return to a Land of Magic – Introduced in The Princess & the Dragon as a way to claim vacant features left incomplete from previous rounds, the Magic Portals are by far one of the most popular and useful features introduced to Carcassonne. Thus, their return in the 20th Anniversary Expansion, albeit in a slightly modified format, is extremely welcome. Any player of Carcassonne knows that there are situations where a player must leave something vacant because something else is potentially more valuable. This little addition corrects for that by allowing a player to claim any vacant feature left over from a previous round. And I mean ANY, including empty Gardens or Monasteries, or unclaimed Fields. This feature can be a game changer in all the right ways!
  • Churning Those Tiles – Another popular mechanic from an expansion is that of the Builder, which allows a player to take a second turn if they expand a feature that has their Builder figure on it. In the 20th Anniversary Expansion, players only have to draw and place the appropriate tile to receive this bonus, but the benefit is still very nice. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like getting a second tile to place in a row, and this mechanic also helps go through the tiles a little faster.
  • More is Better – Perhaps the simplest but best feature of this expansion is the fact that it adds 20 new tiles, however simple they may be. Among these new tiles are 2 new Gardens, which are always welcome since they are slightly less represented across the line than Monasteries, and a new Monastery, which increases the number in this edition to eight total. I have always felt that Monasteries, which are limited to 6 in the base game (7 with The River), get short shrift in Carcassonne despite the fact that 10% of people in the Middle Ages were directly involved in some capacity in the Church. Adding new Monasteries and Gardens helps increase the odds that a player will pull one of these tiles, increases the chances that they will be able to claim a Garden, and provides for a more exciting play experience. The other additional tiles, including the new double-sized source tile, the new lake, and the 3 other new River tiles, are always welcome, although I wish this version of The River expansion had its own unique watermarks like those on the Big Box 6’s River tiles.

This expansion was certainly not Hans im Glück’s best, but it also was far from its worse. At least everything was fairly straightforwards, which is more than can be said about the Carcassonne Minis and half of its promo expansions over the years. Nonetheless, I feel that this expansion was a missed opportunity to do something that respected the legacy of the series but in a new way. Simply copying mechanics from the first three expansions doesn’t respect the legacy, it undermines the first three expansions! In 2011 and 2016, The Festival was released as a new expansion with a simple but useful mechanic. I think that 15 bonus tiles (not the new River tiles—those are fine) could have done something similar, perhaps by borrowing concepts from some of the most popular spin-offs or creating something equally useful and new. This is not the place to propose alternatives, but it is the place to say that Carcassonne deserved something more useful and interesting to commemorate 20 years of an amazing game. Fortunately, Hans im Glück is giving us The Gifts at Essen this year, so there is perhaps some little bonus expansion that will satisfy, if not replace the disappointment that is the 20th Anniversary Expansion.

Playability: B+
Affordability: D
Compatibility (with other expansions): B
Aesthetics: B
Learning Curve: B

News and Events / Re: Spiel tile 2021
« on: October 14, 2021, 03:51:17 AM »
Now that is a strangely scaled tile! People are as tall as the walls!

General / Re: Query on tiles
« on: October 13, 2021, 06:38:48 PM »
Specifically, the River II from Count, King & Cult, which you can tell from the crown watermarks. The original stand-alone version of this expansion did not have watermarks.

News and Events / Re: Spiel tile 2021
« on: October 13, 2021, 03:45:33 AM »
So it's small "gift" for us.
A small gift that requires a minimum €20 purchase. This has gotten harder and harder to meet since shipping for the maps is a fortune and I already own every game component for Carcassonne. Every year it’s another struggle to get up to €20 (+shipping that often costs the same or more), all so I can get one tile. That’s why I hope this is the last year of Spiel tiles. They’re so exploitative. Maybe for Germans everything is cheap and easy, but shipping internationally has increased substantially over the past year and I can’t keep trying to find enough stuff to buy each year.

News and Events / Re: Spiel tile 2021
« on: October 12, 2021, 04:24:41 AM »
It’s released at Essen SPIEL. Last year the festival was moved online so the promos weren’t announced the same way. You’ve got to wait for the festival to start and for someone to post this year’s (hopefully last) promo tile.

News and Events / Re: The Gifts - New mini expansion announced
« on: October 10, 2021, 04:40:33 PM »
Sorry carlium, but I am one of the "I love it!" people, although I feel that is a tad exuberant. And I still am very much a fan of the original Doris Matthäus art. That being said, medieval cities were quite tightly-packed and lived in, and I have felt from the beginning that the cities in Carcassonne look too empty, probably contributing to almost everyone incorrectly calling them castles. These new city formats make it quite clear that you are dealing with a population centre, with people living and working in the narrow streets.

Am I annoyed that the roofs and buildings get cut off? No, not particularly. After all, the city walls have always had a strange perspective and those are heightened where a wall meets another wall. Many of the cities don't even have a gate and some are absolutely tiny rugby/American football balls. So I feel buildings with cut off roofs and walls is really the least of these cities' problems, and none of them bother me much at all.

News and Events / Re: Carcassonne Maps
« on: October 06, 2021, 01:49:54 AM »
How well do the maps stay flat? Do you need to keep the corners weighted?
I actually store all of them upright behind a bookshelf and they stay mostly flat. Slight curve on one side, but I just put a mug or something on that corner.

Official Rules / Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« on: September 27, 2021, 02:59:52 PM »
I think a much simpler solution is that when a Road with a Tunnel is claimed, that player *must* place both tokens at the same time. This may stop people from claiming Tunnel Roads early on, but it would virtually eliminate the stranding capacity since it would be the obligation of the player who claimed the Road to claim both sides of the Tunnel. I think also not having the Tunnel tokens player-specific helps.

News and Events / Re: 2020 Winter Edition crossing the Atlantic
« on: September 26, 2021, 06:35:40 PM »
Since CundCo seems in no hurry to make it available, I’d be interested but I’m in New Zealand…

News and Events / Re: Carcassonne maps: Taiwan
« on: September 20, 2021, 04:52:02 AM »
It seems that the copyright section has been cleaned up now, with the CundCo logo still included,  and that there are a few icons on some spaces, suggesting additional rules. I’m finding it more likely that this will be available from CundCo at some point.

General / Re: Muller winter edition
« on: September 17, 2021, 08:22:00 PM »
Fingers crossed that it will be available from Cundco. I don't want to buy from Müller and I seem to remember them not shipping to me in New Zealand anyway...or it was über expensive. Can't remember.

News and Events / Re: The Gifts - New mini expansion announced
« on: September 14, 2021, 02:11:54 PM »
It looks like the entire page is just an advertisement for CundCo, hence why there are three different games on the page. But The Gifts is definitely a new expansion, probably intended for distribution at Spielfest before arriving in time for the usual Winter promos on CundCo. Hopefully it is available at the same time the Spiel '21 tile and any new map expansions are available. I also would love to see the Winter Edition with the River, since I bought the Gingerbreadman a few months ago specifically to accompany the new Winter Edition.

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