Poll

Where should Black place the tile?  Should they place a meeple, and if so, where?

Option A
0 (0%)
Option B
10 (66.7%)
Option C
5 (33.3%)
Option D
0 (0%)
Option E: Other (please specify)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Author Topic: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07  (Read 796 times)

Offline kothmann

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Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« on: October 19, 2021, 07:07:25 AM »
See the series introduction here.

<--Last Week

JCloisterZone File.

Introduction: So far, situations have mostly been about battles for cities and farms.  I was working on some Cloister and/or Farm-merging ideas when I stumbled across this situation, early in a self-play game.  Even thought it is again mostly about a city battle, I thought it was very interesting, so I'm sharing it here.

Also a bit short on time so using JCZ game images.  :-)

Configuration: Base game only (72 tiles & 7 meeples per player)

Players: Black, Green, Red, Yellow (order of play as listed, alphabetical by color name).

Score: B=4, G=R=Y=0

Previous Turns & Scoring:
 1. B[ 0; 1] RRCR / knight / B+4
 2. G[-1; 0] RRRC / knight /
 3. R[ 0;-1] FCFC / knight /
 4. Y[ 1;-1] RRRR / /
 5. B[ 0;-2] FCFF / knight /
 6. G[ 0;-3] FFFF / monk /
 7. R[ 2;-1] FFFC / /
 8. Y[ 2;-2] FFCC / knight /

Current Decision (photo below):
Black has now drawn a CCFF tile.
Where should they place the tile?
Should they place a meeple and if so, where?
Please offer comments on moves 5-8 as well!


Option A (photo below)
[ 3;-1], CCFF, meeple as knight in the city.


Option B (photo below)
[ 2;-3], CCFF, meeple as knight in the city.


Option C (photo below)
[ 1;-3], FCCF, meeple as knight in the city.


Option D (photo below)
[ 0;-4], FFCC, meeple as knight in the city.


Option E (none of the above)
Please describe a better play in your reply.

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5512.0

Offline Ker42

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 07:37:50 AM »
I like Option B.  It's the start to a nice unshared city, and it doesn't help green's monastery.  Another viable option would be a variation of Option C but turned -90 degrees so that the newly placed black knight is facing the contested city, thus giving black dominance if connected.  But this would tie up another meeple and continue a battle for a city that may never be finished, so I prefer the simpler, cleaner Option B.  :black1-meeple: 
It's all fun and games...until the Mirror Zone comes out.

Offline Allograft

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 01:38:31 PM »
I like Option B.  It's the start to a nice unshared city, and it doesn't help green's monastery.  Another viable option would be a variation of Option C but turned -90 degrees so that the newly placed black knight is facing the contested city, thus giving black dominance if connected.  But this would tie up another meeple and continue a battle for a city that may never be finished, so I prefer the simpler, cleaner Option B.  :black1-meeple:

Concur

Offline Willem

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 12:11:22 AM »
I agree with that, Option B gives you a nice start to a city, and might even limit Green's monastery
To be or not to:
A.  B
B.  C
C.  P

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 03:14:50 AM »
Well. I wanted to write that my choose is clear and it is C.
But last game I lost because my daughter not place Cccc tile and I don Arn double bonus.
So It important also to consider also this option. Block close of city to not allow to score double points.
Hore is quite different option due to black have only one point.
Ok. We don't need to spoke about missing options (on [-1;-3] which allows to invade black into city. Because it option for green to block 4 meeples.
So Option B is nice. Option C is safe. For future game development and possibility to get point from large city.

So Is very beginning of game.
My option is C

Maybe in same situaiton but in later turn (30-60 tiles placed) in game development, or on really close to end of game, my decision will be different.

Odoslané z SM-A202F pomocou Tapatalku
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 04:13:18 AM by Bumsakalaka »

Offline wolnic

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2021, 06:46:37 AM »
Another viable option would be a variation of Option C but turned -90 degrees so that the newly placed black knight is facing the contested city, thus giving black dominance if connected.

(If I understand your suggestion correctly) Since the CCCC has already been played the city would never complete, nor Green's monastery - so Black would now have two followers stranded until the end of the game, but might get a few points for this new city. Black might prefer not to place a knight on this tile.

I'd probably go with B, which still leaves options for the city and monastery to be completed - all 4 players have a reason for the tile to the upper right of the monastery being placed (CCCF or CCCR), so hopefully none of them has a vindictive streak and places a CFFF immediately right of the monastery!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 06:56:03 AM by wolnic »
AutumnForest (C2), Catch Of The Day (C1/2/WD), Cliffs&W'falls (C1/2), Coast (C1/2), FishHuts (C2), Fluvium (C2), NewForest (C2), Harvest (C1/2), Stone Circles (C1/2), Wells (C2), Jordan River 2 (AotC), River I/II (GR)
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Offline Ker42

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2021, 07:16:18 AM »
Another viable option would be a variation of Option C but turned -90 degrees so that the newly placed black knight is facing the contested city, thus giving black dominance if connected.

(If I understand your suggestion correctly) Since the CCCC has already been played the city would never complete, nor Green's monastery - so Black would now have two followers stranded until the end of the game, but might get a few points for this new city. Black might prefer not to place a knight on this tile.

Ah, good point, wolnic!  I missed the fact that the CCCC had already been played.  Definitely not a good idea to strand 2 followers!

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2021, 08:29:54 AM »
My option is C
Poll results so far show 6 votes for B, Zero votes for C?  You should be able to change your vote if you still want C...

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2021, 10:06:09 AM »
I chose Option C.

...so hopefully none of them has a vindictive streak and places a CFFF immediately right of the monastery!
"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” --Redd, Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Quote
all 4 players have a reason for the tile to the upper right of the monastery being placed (CCCF or CCCR)...
Yes, but they don't all have the same level of incentive!  Placing a tile at [1;-2] increases the players' points as follows:

   Black+7; Green+1; Red+3; Yellow+7

Of course, if the city completes, the points for everyone except Green double.  On the other hand, if [1;-2] becomes a permanent hole, then all 4 players will have a trapped meeple, but Red and Green will earn more points with their meeples than either Yellow or Black.  So, in terms of winning the game, it is a bad outcome for both Green and Red to have a tile placed at [1;-2], because the game is decided only on relative points.  If your opponents are nice, or they just prefer neat maps without holes, then you don't have to worry about this.  But if I'm playing Red and Green, I'm definitely trying to make a hole there after Option B--it's like playing a game where everyone starts with only 6 meeples, but one opponent and I am given a few points before the game begins.  I accept!

Assuming Red and Green will try to make a hole, how likely is it that they will succeed, given that Black and Yellow will be trying to prevent the hole?  After Option B, there are 8 available compatible tiles (3xCFFF, 2xCFCF (1 city), 3xCFCF (2 cities)) that could be played at [1;-3] to make a CCCC hole.  There are 7 available compatible tiles (3xCCCR, 4xCCCF) that can be played at [1;-2] to prevent the hole.  And there are a total of 62 tiles available.  Green and Red both have turns coming up next, so overall odds are clearly better than 50/50 that they will draw one of their 8 key tiles before Yellow or Black draws one of their 7 key tiles.  But not a lot better than 50/50.

By comparison, if you play option C, there are now only the 4 CCCF tiles to fill the hole, but the odds that Red and Green get all 4 of them are only about 1/16, so Black and Yellow will almost certainly get into the city eventually.

Given the greater than 50% risk of being trapped in a 1-point city after Option B, I would take the slightly less desirable knight of Option C in exchange for the much higher chance of preventing the hole.

Option B is definitely better than either A or D, because you grab the extra tile and make your city easier to complete.  With no completed cities available to Black, there is no place that warrants a farmer, either.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 10:07:41 AM by kothmann, Reason: Replaced embedded YouTube with link »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2021, 08:09:26 AM »
Oops--I forgot something important!
...There are 7 available compatible tiles (3xCCCR, 4xCCCF) that can be played at [1;-2] to prevent the hole. 
Yes, but there are also many FxFx tiles that can be played at [1;-3] to make a hole that can be filled (like Option C)!

Here's a summary in photos.  I think selecting Option B means that Yellow and Black have to be worried about Green or Red making a hole, like this:


My previous post said it was more than 50% chance that Green or Red would be able to do that before Yellow or Black would be able to connect the cities, like this:


That's true.  But I forgot that Black or Yellow can also place tiles that create a hole that can be filled, like this:


And there are 16 available tiles (8xRFRF, 3xFFFF, 2xFFFR, 3xFFFC) that can be used for this purpose. Black and Yellow might not be willing to make this play with the cloisters, but they probably would with the other tiles.  So, unless Green or Red draws one of their 8 unfillable-hole-making tiles on their first turn (about 20% chance total), Black and Yellow can likely avoid being locked out.  As a result, the relative advantage of choosing C over B is much less than I thought.  :-[  I might be convinced now that the superior knight you get from option B  (much easier to close the city) offsets the risk of the trapped 1-point meeple.  But it is a close call.  As Black, I really hate leaving myself so vulnerable here.  So, I'm not changing my vote.  :)

After posting, I play-tested and discovered some other interesting things.

First, regardless of which option Black chooses, Green has to be very worried that the big city will be completed, giving all 3 opponents 20+ points.  So, in addition to trying to make the hole, Green has an urgent priority to block or join at the other open edges of that city.  I found that Green was often able to succeed, because the landscape is pretty dense.

Second, Red has a very strange incentive system.  As I argued before, I think Red should be trying to make the hole at [1;-2] to gain an advantage over both Yellow and Black.  But Red also needs to try to close off the other edges from further invasion.  So...Red is in the very strange situation of trying to close all but one open ends of a big city!  When I was playing against myself, it was easy to forget that Red didn't want the city to close, so I kind of doubt whether most players would actually play that way.  Probably not.  But I still think they should play that way.  :)

Thanks to everyone who commented and voted!   :(y)

Offline unclewill

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2021, 11:22:08 AM »
I like B. A nice proto-city that helps no one else. If I was playing Black I would be anticipating my other meeple was going to get trapped and play accordingly.

If Black or Yellow can close that hole between them they likely will. Red might not depending on what else has happened to the city, how likely it is to complete and for how many points. It might end up being better for Red to solely score an incomplete city rather than share with everyone but Green and accept that all 4 players are down a meeple. Green is likely to in hope of completing the monastery but may end up giving everyone else more points than they get.

A nice little scenario kothmann, thanks.

And thanks to the JCZ team who have given so much time to developing such an awesome tool!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2021, 07:06:07 AM »
I like option C here. I don't want to leave that city cap hanging for someone else to come in and take 4 easy points with another city cap, but I also want to make some effort to defend my attempt to join Red's city. It creates a cccf gap which Green would like to see filled for his cloister (although he might not want to see it filled so much that he'd place it there himself if there is still a good chance of the city completing without him) and Yellow and Black would like to see filled to join their meeples to the shared city.

Building a city from B is a nice enough option, but I'm not entirely comfortable with leaving my attempt to join the city open to being blocked as there are 3 x cfcf (split cities) + 2 x cfcf (single city) + 3 x cfff = 8 tiles left that would kill it. Maybe I could defend the attempt to join on a subsequent turn or hope that maybe Yellow (or perhaps Green?) will defend it for us, but I prefer not to leave it to chance...

Another viable option would be a variation of Option C but turned -90 degrees so that the newly placed black knight is facing the contested city, thus giving black dominance if connected.  But this would tie up another meeple and continue a battle for a city that may never be finished, so I prefer the simpler, cleaner Option B.  :black1-meeple:

Apologies if I'm misunderstanding your intention here, but I think this would be a mistake as it would require a cccc tile to join both black meeples to the city, and the cccc tile has already been placed.

Offline unclewill

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2021, 04:46:09 AM »
Building a city from B is a nice enough option, but I'm not entirely comfortable with leaving my attempt to join the city open to being blocked as there are 3 x cfcf (split cities) + 2 x cfcf (single city) + 3 x cfff = 8 tiles left that would kill it. Maybe I could defend the attempt to join on a subsequent turn or hope that maybe Yellow (or perhaps Green?) will defend it for us, but I prefer not to leave it to chance...

One of the great things about games is that within a common set of rules, people see different things in a situation and different opportunities/ options to follow from it. As someone who hasn't been playing Carcassonne for that long I can't see who would gain from blocking the city in this way and would like to understand the rationale from a more experienced perspective.

As the game currently stands, Yellow and Black would (in my opinion) waste one of their tile placements to lock up one of their own meeples for the rest of the game for a single point so they aren’t likely to.

Red would be better served using a future CFFF, CFCF splitter (in particular) or connector at either of the other open edges (1, 0) or (-1,-1) to limit Green/ Black/ Yellow invasion opportunities and/ or help close the city.

Green would similarly be using a placement to ensure their own monastery doesn’t complete, but would gain in relative terms against Black and Yellow and could limit Red. Instead, Green could place any of the mentioned tiles at (-1,-2) in a future attempt to invade the city which would also help their own monastery too.

Like I say, that is just my interpretation and it isn't based on a long playing history against a wide variety of opponents.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 05:04:24 AM by unclewill »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2021, 05:15:14 PM »
I won’t add to my earlier thoughts, but I really like your emphasis here on making the most of your tile placements.  It is easy to overlook the “opportunity cost” of using a turn to block an opponent instead of create or expand your own features.  So, I think you are further persuading me that B is really very close to C.

Also I think the opponents matter a lot.  I’ve played a lot more poker than Carcassonne.  Again “loose” players who call too much, you should almost never bluff.  Against “tight” players who are afraid to call without very strong hands, you should bluff very often.  So the question “should you bluff” is not just a matter of what cards are in your hand and on the table.  For me, trying to figure out what types of players my poker opponents are is a big part of the fun of the game!

Same thing in Carcassonne.  My daughter would definitely try to block that city as Green or Red, but my nephew would be excited to complete it no matter which color he was playing.  Against unknown opponents, I’d have to make my best guess and then take note of what they do for future reference!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Tactical Tuesday -- Week 07
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2021, 02:08:44 AM »
Building a city from B is a nice enough option, but I'm not entirely comfortable with leaving my attempt to join the city open to being blocked as there are 3 x cfcf (split cities) + 2 x cfcf (single city) + 3 x cfff = 8 tiles left that would kill it. Maybe I could defend the attempt to join on a subsequent turn or hope that maybe Yellow (or perhaps Green?) will defend it for us, but I prefer not to leave it to chance...

One of the great things about games is that within a common set of rules, people see different things in a situation and different opportunities/ options to follow from it. As someone who hasn't been playing Carcassonne for that long I can't see who would gain from blocking the city in this way and would like to understand the rationale from a more experienced perspective.

While it's probably fair to say that I have more experience than a lot of players, the vast majority of my experience comes from 2-player/ head-to-head games and I haven't actually played a 3+ player game for as long as I can remember, because I simply don't enjoy it as much. So without necessarily meaning to, I find it difficult/ uncomfortable to avoid my leanings towards options that might make more sense in a 2-player game than they would here! I can at least explain my thinking though, which is based heavily on the current situation rather than the infinite potential avenues that may follow...

At the moment Red has an advantage over Yellow and Black who are both trying to join to a more valuable city. Red's part of the city is worth 5 points and Black and Yellow have 1 point each. If it's shared, all three of them have the same number of points which represent a 4 point loss for Red. A further consequence of this would be that Green falls behind as the city grows, so on reflection, would probably prefer that Yellow and Black don't join to the city even though he needs them to in order to complete his cloister.

As the game currently stands, Yellow and Black would (in my opinion) waste one of their tile placements to lock up one of their own meeples for the rest of the game for a single point so they aren’t likely to.

Absolutely. Yellow and Black want to fill that hole in order to get into the city above. My plan would be to create the cccf gap in the hope that either of them draw one of the four remaining tiles and would place it there without hesitation.

Red would be better served using a future CFFF, CFCF splitter (in particular) or connector at either of the other open edges (1, 0) or (-1,-1) to limit Green/ Black/ Yellow invasion opportunities and/ or help close the city.

Perhaps, but I'm not entirely convinced. Red doesn't want Yellow and Black to join his city because it represents a loss to him against all players except Green. If he can block them from joining, he kills off Green's cloister and has plenty of options to throw additional city tiles at his ruined (uncompletable) city to increase its value. While it won't ever be complete, he does need to be careful to build it safely as he doesn't want to create too many opportunities for other players to share it with him even if it can't be completed as it could well end up being the most valuable feature on the board.

There is, I suppose, the argument that Red might want them to join to his city in the hope that it can be completed which could well and truly push Green out of the game if the completed city was shared equally between them. I think this would be quite hopeful as the city is already in a position whereby chances of completion can be reduced significantly from three spots, or even if nobody tries to kill it, surely someone else will find an opportunity to attack it again in a bid to win it outright.

If I were playing as Red and I didn't kill the city/ cloister, I would almost certainly be looking for ways to get a second meeple of my own into the city. Otherwise, by spending my turns attempting to bring the city towards completion I'm literally working on behalf of Yellow and Black who will more than likely join me eventually for an equal share of the city.

Green would similarly be using a placement to ensure their own monastery doesn’t complete, but would gain in relative terms against Black and Yellow and could limit Red. Instead, Green could place any of the mentioned tiles at (-1,-2) in a future attempt to invade the city which would also help their own monastery too.

As Green, I would be very nervous about that city. If I could guarantee that Yellow and Black wouldn't join it, but could find my own way to join it from elsewhere then that's 100% what I'd do. Assuming I could fill the other spaces around my cloister, I'd be happy to settle for 3 trapped meeples if mine is worth 8 and the Yellow and Black ones are worth 1!

So those are my thoughts anyway. At the top level there is increasingly talk about "mistakes" being made and inherent "correctness" of certain moves. It's difficult to ignore that certain choices can put you at a disadvantage or provide opportunities for your opponent to make your life more difficult in some way, but my attitude is that most moves are valid as long as your justification for making them holds water, because you never know what the next tile is going to be! This is why I enjoy these little discussions so much, and as yourself unclewill, feel that there's always something to be learnt by seeing a game through someone else's eyes (not literally).


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