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Topics - DIN0

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General / Alien sightings in Carcassonne...
« on: May 17, 2022, 06:29:23 AM »
...so in one of the topics not so long ago, I was joking that i should start preparing my 666th post:
Quote
I should prepare for my 666th post  >:D
And here it is >:D :green-meeple: >:D a big conspiracy theory about the little green (or are they?) men who have been influencing the Carcassonne countryside far longer than you have imagined... this might be a crazy topic but here goes ;D:

The first obvious sign of extraterrestrials comes in the form of crop circles expansions. Not only are the real-life equivalents of these shapes commonly associated with space-faring visitors, but the box they originally came in had a sticker depicting an alien meeple [1].  The text used to promote the expansion even read "Sind da Aliens im Spiel?" Are the aliens involved?
The mechanics of the kornkreise tiles are clearly a play on the alien abductions. The option B (removing a follower of the associated type) means that the meeple was just abducted by aliens and taken away for studying. Option A (adding a meeple of associated type) represents the act of disguise and infiltration by the invaders who try to integrate into meeple society and learn more of their culture. Imagine a new knight suddenly moving into the immediate neighborhood of your city, perhaps with a strange accent that seems very foreign but you cannot quite pinpoint what it might be...
And all of these unsettling occurences seem to be somehow connected to the strange shapes appearing in the wheat. But the summer is not the only season this takes place, even during winter when no crops are there to be flattened, the same shapes appear melted into the snow.

These are actually the marks left behind by the engines of alien spacecrafts, pressure bending the crops, heat melting the snow. They have three types of ships dedicated to studying three different occupations taken by the common folk, each craft having a uniquely shaped exhaust. One of the ships tends to park in the middle of the crossroad masking its presence with a sophisticated cloaking device [2]. The travelers have often wondered what strange force blocks their way...

The aliens have been visiting the land of Carcassonne for a very long time. We know there are few religions in the area including catharism, and there is even a mysterious third cult competing with the monasteries, building shrines and gathering around cult places. But have you ever wondered who it is these cults worship? No idea? Well luckily for us the shrines contain a depiction of this mysterious diety [3]... pale grey skin, elongated head, large black eyes and a red scafander. That's right, it's the aliens! Hiding in plain sight all along. Their long term presence explains many things about the world of Carcassonne.

In their time, the visitors learned much about the biology, culture and nature of this world and its creatures. They performed many experiments using genetic engineering or other enhancements. The tinkering would result in several individuals with abilities far surpassing the common folk. The benevolent Mage and the mean Witch are just two examples of people onto whom aliens bestowed what the society would come to view as "magic". Other more frightening sightings include Solovei Razboyink and his devastating whistles, human/fish hybrid Vodyanoy, strange demons blocking the path of the Bogatyr, or the living house of Baba Yaga. Sentient food springs to life in the form of Gingerbread man.

Using the geothermal energy produced by the high volcanic activity around the landscape of Carcassonne, the aliens powered their machines and facialities, including a system of teleporters for individual fast travel. These would later be discovered and unearthed by the meeple society and used as "magic portals". By studying the alien technology, meeple society eventually achieved technological advancements allowing them to build new stuctures such as Darmstadtium or tollhouses.
Volcanoes became homes to another one of alien biological experiments - the dragons. They often ventured out however and terorrized the meeples. Even aliens could not control them after their release to the wild and rampaging dragons would be inconvenient even for such a powerful species. The solution was to create another hybrid being capable of repelling the dragon's wrath. Meeples who saw this being interpreted its actions as benevolent and crafted the myths of the Fairy.

To this day aliens stay hidden, waiting, watching and studying. Origin of many strange phenomena lies with them. It is only a matter of time until meeples discover some more...


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The Marketplace / GeekMarket changes
« on: May 05, 2022, 02:03:07 PM »
Today, a change on BGG GeekMarket has occured. It is now separated into what is called GeekMarket beta, which has US listings only, and GeekMarket classic which has all the rest. I have no idea why this was at all necessary, nor what the advantages could be, so if anyone knows more about this recent change please let us know.

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Anything Else / Non-standard uses for gaming material
« on: February 28, 2022, 12:01:27 PM »
I am someone who can find use in almost anything and it is not always a use intended by the manufacturer...
One category of such things is gaming material and components. This topic is dedicated to sharing your unusual uses for parts of the game material, leftover components, or gaming accesories. Here is my first contribution...

Card sleeves are certainly one of the most common gaming accesories and have been  widely used for years. But cards are not the only things worth protecting with the sleeves. I use the Mayday standard size premium sleeves to store nitrocellulose membranes for western blot analysis. For those unfamiliar, this is a method used for immunodetection of proteins utilizing specific antibodies (similar principle to antigen testing for viral infection)
The card sleeves provide great protection to fragile membranes. Pictures in the attachment.

What are your unique game material uses? Feel free to share them here  :(y)

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General / Bundle?
« on: February 13, 2022, 03:49:49 PM »
What constitues a bundle? From what I can see on the WICA page of base game variants, these are base game plus one or more expansions wrapped together in a shrink-wrap. Is that all there is to the qualifications? If so, there are many different (probably unquantifiable) additional bundles released in other countries. I can give an example of at least one from the top of my head but I'm psitive there are random bundles all over the place with no real way of tracking all of them. Shouldn't the section include about it not being an exhaustive list?

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Official Rules / SPIEL DOCH! expansion variant?
« on: February 03, 2022, 08:08:52 AM »
So, this is something I knew about for a few years at this point, but the time has come to question it. On the BGG page for SPIEL DOCH! miniexpansion from 2018 there is this variant included: you can use them to play the variant where the player who manages to place the two new tiles in the correct order immediately receives five extra points.
I could never find any reference to this anywhere else, so I have to question is this a real variant or just something the author of said description came up with on their own?

Any additional info on this? Maybe it could be included as a house rule on WICA - I have played with it few times and its fun.

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Strategy Guide / Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« on: December 31, 2021, 07:29:11 PM »
Happy new year Carcassonne players!

Allow me to present to you the first of my Carcassonne projects: Game notation for Carcassonne!
As you know, one of the ways to play Carcassonne is a competitive game or a tournament where two players face off against each other using the base game only. Several other highly competitive games have notation systems dedicated to record the games in the form of a transcript. And now Carcassonne has one too! These can later be used to reproduce the specific game perfectly. This has various uses such as studying and analyzing past games to get better, develop strategies against specific players or using the data contained in these games for statistical analyses.

Even non-competitive players can find a use in the notation - the system can be used to set up various scenarios for puzzles or quizes, or example situations. Some might simply want to immortalize memorable games.

This game notation system is meant to serve as a powerfull tool for the community. It can either be written in any text editor or on a physical paper.
The project consists of two parts, both of which can be found in the download section of the forum, 1) pdf file of game notation manual where the system is explained in detail, 2) excel file with a pre-written notation sheet.

The manual has many examples to help you grasp the system and also includes several transcripts of real games, last of which is a final of Slovak Championship 2021.

That concludes the introduction of project 1A. As a heads up for the future, project 1B will be an extension of this notation for the whole game - this however will not be released any time soon.

I hope you will enjoy the game notation and will try it for yourself! Details in the manual. You are welcome to ask any questions in this topic :(y)

Link to download page: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?action=downloads;cat=1

Other members have contributed toward making the notation accessible to more people. Please check carlium's amazing game notation app: https://carliunterik.github.io/cgn/

ERRATA:
page 14: The second to last sentence of the third paragraph reads "comma", but should be "colon". The intent behind it is still readable based on examples and the symbol usage summary.
page 29: The tile list is missing two tiles cfff and frrr.
page 17: Figure 13 e, f, and g have their y coordinate shifted 1 tile.
page 25: In the trancript, turn 09. has a missing colon between tile orientation and code. Also coordinates for the turns 67. should be [-4;-1] and for turn 71. [-5;-1].

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News and Events / Announcement - Carcassonne community-oriented projects
« on: December 20, 2021, 08:33:47 AM »
Greetings fellow Carcassonne enthusiasts!

I have a big announcement to make. In the following years, starting with 2022, I will be releasing and supporting few Carcassonne related projects, which have been in the works for several years now. All of them are intended to benefit this amazing community and to serve as useful tools or guides in various fields of interest related to our favorite game.
Currently there are 2-3 projects in the works. Namely projects 1A, 1B and 2. Project 1A and 1B are essentially the same, however project 1B is an extension of project 1A. Project 2 is its own separate entity. These projects do have actual titles, but those will be revealed upon their release.

As the new year approaches I think it is only appropriate to announce that the Project 1A will be released here on CarcassonneCentral on 1st january 2022 (12 days from now) :orange-meeple:

That will be my new year gift to the community, right after the 20th anniversary of Carcassonne  :D
I realize I did not give you much specific information in this post, as I'd like to keep it as a surprise. But even still, feel free to speculate and/or ask any general questions. I will try my best to answer  :(y)

PS: And to the few of you who might now something concrete about what is to come, keep it to yourselves for now ;) The contents you suspect are included in another project, not this one yet.

RELEASED PROJECTS:
Project 1A: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5644.0

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The Marketplace / Le Sac at ebay kleinanzeigen
« on: December 05, 2021, 10:57:41 AM »
Attention collectors, rare Le Sac is now available at ebay kleinanzeigen for a very good price.
https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/carcassonne-le-sac/1953586274-23-1218

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The Marketplace / WTB CutCassonne from the advent boxes
« on: November 29, 2021, 04:54:01 PM »
Hello, if someone ordered the advent boxes and does not need/want the gift box itself, I would like to buy it for the CutCassonne on the bottom  :orange-meeple:

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Greetings fellow members! I am looking for someone from either Germany or Netherlands who would be kind enough to help me with a purchase through the ebay-kleinanzeigen site  :orange-meeple: If someone is willing to help me with this, please contact me via PM for specific details.

In general I would like to ask this person to initially make the purchase in my place and recieve the package (since it can only be shipped to Germany or Netherlands) and then send it to my destination. I would of course cover the price of the item as well as all the shipping expenses and fees.

Any help is quite welcome  :(y)

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Strategy Guide / Mayor - the failed concept
« on: September 04, 2021, 05:40:26 AM »
With the current discussion on the 5th major expansion ongoing, I decided this was ripe time to post the topic i had in mind for a long time.

Let's discuss the titular component of this expansion box - The Mayor.

Mayor is the first of the highly specialized meeples tied to a specific feature-type, namely the cities. It's main function is simple enough, it is meant to serve as a guardian of your main big city you are currently working on. The intention is that if used correctly, Mayor would thwart the invasion efforts of the opposing players by making it so demanding and resource expensive, that such tactic would quickly become inviable. With such overwhelming support, the city would be guerenteed to be in the ownership of the Mayor-player when completed and net great points, or if not completed trap a lot of enemy meeples for the cost of one (Mayor).

All of this sounds very good and promising on paper, but this is where the problem comes. The concept is good, however its actual implementation is an utter failure. Let me elaborate...

Mayor can only be deployed to a city and its majority value equals the number of pennants (shields) in the city it occupies. This has potential to grant it tremendous majority strength. Other players would surel need a lot of meepels to overpower a Mayor right? Not exactly.
Let's look at the way a pypical city invasion usually occurs.
Player A establishes a city with a single meeple.
Player B places a nearby city tile and places their own meeple with intention of joining.
Player A places a tile inconveniencing Player B by making the joining more difficult.
Player B lucks out and draws a tile he needs anyway and joins the cities into one. Both players have equal strength 1A=1B.
Player A does not intend to go down that easily and prepares a new nerby city segment with a big meeple. He succeeds in joining it to the big city. 3A>1B.
Player B now needs at least two meeples to neutralize the majority of Player A, and an extra meeple to gain majority of his own.

This goes on until the city is completed and one of the players gains majority and points. Other player can join too in the process. The players go back and forth by joining in individual meeples (or rarely more than 1 by single tile placement if set up beforehand), which translates to majority values of 1, or perhaps 2 if using big meeple. Majority is generally gained/lost by increments of 1 or rarely 2. Larger the increment and/or the number of increments, larger the necessary amount of actions (tile and meeple placements), thus total value change requires an equivalent amount of setup.

How does Mayor change this dynamic?
Let's modify the previous scenario with the Mayor included. Player A builds a city with two of his normal meeples. Player B invades by joining a big meeple catching up 2A=2B. Player A in subsequent turns joins in the Mayor. The city already has an X amount of pennants (let's say X is an arbitrary number bigger than 5). Player A just swung the majority largely to his side by minimal effort, which is the intended function of the Mayor.
Player B is now in a position where she needs a very large investment to overpower Player A. Or does she?
Player B proceeds to join a city segment with her own Mayor. Since all Mayors draw their strength from the same pennants, Mayor B will have exactly the same strength as Mayor A, effectivelly neutralizing it on the spot.

And this is the problem with Mayor. It does not matter how many pennants there are in the city and how powerful your Mayor becomes as a consequence. All the opponent ever has to do is to invade with their own Mayor and the advantage will be lost instantly with the same minimal effort. The increments by which the majority changes, regardless of how large, are always the same for all Mayors.
There is no difference between a normal meepele and Mayor fighting for the majority: its is either +1A=+1B; or +XA=+XB. You gain majority by one tile/meeple placement, then opponent catches up by one tile/meeple placement, equal effort.
This effectively negates any special privileges Mayor has.

Whe there is big city on the map, the opponents WILL try to join in. Original owner would want to increase his/her presence in that city and Mayor is the obvious joice, but it is rendered functionally useless because opponents can just proceed wit the invasion with their own Mayors, making the process no different from when just normal meeeples where included.

So how does the Mayor change the dynamic of city invasion? He doesn't - at all.
If you want to effectively use your Mayor, you would have to wait until the opponents are already using their Mayor in a city of their own. But why would they do that? Surely not for defensive purposes, that would mean they are trying to defend a big city, which would just invite the other Mayors including yours. They wouldn't waste their Mayor in a small city either because then they couldn't join in with the others Mayors in some different large city when opportunity arises, leaving them out of big points.
Even if one or two players did have their Mayors stranded, chances are remaining enemy Mayors will invade anyway.
There is one other situation when one could use the Mayor ability with no fear of it being negated - that is when all every single player has their Mayor deployed in their own city. But by that point, if used correctly no one will even try to invade the other's Mayor-ruled mega-cities. Additionally, when such cities are completed and scored, big point gains will roughly equalize each other, making the Mayor usage once again inconsequential.

So the only two optimal ways to use Mayor meeple are either the opportunistic invasion leding to all mayors being in the same mega-city negating each other, or each Maor being in their own city where no one gains any advantage from them. This makes Mayor completely useless.
The only instance where Mayor's intended function would be used effectivelly is when opponents make suboptimal play. In other words, if all players play well or at least decent, Mayors end up in one of two situations where they are useless, and it is always a bad idea to play them otherwise.

So far I described how the special ability of Mayor is useless, but it is actually far worse then that. One could argue that if not for its special ability, Mayor could at least be used as an additional meeple. This is where the specialization comes to haunt the Mayor once again. It can only be played in a city, so its overall usefulness is reduced significantly. And when inside the city, not only does it not provide any advantage, but it can very easily be worse than a normal meeple. Since it draws its value from the number of pennants, if there are 0 in the city Mayor alone cannot score any points upon completion. This forces the player to make the cities with Mayor bigger and more valuable which in turn invites others for invasion, where Mayor once again fails to do its job.
So you effectivelly end up with a meeple without any special ability, which can only be placed specifically in a city and even there it is worse than a normal meeple. :o

One has to reach to other expansions and combinations in order to look for some kind of saving grace for this meeple, but do not be surprised to be dissapointed even there.
There is some invading potential when combined with the Count of Carcassonne or Flying machines. A surpise attack with massive majority value can be advantageous, but it only prolongs the inevitable equalization by the enemy Mayor, or Mayor-Count counter strategy.

There is the interesting tidbit about Mayor being able to be the Knight in the castle from Exp. 8, but this curiosity is useless, because the castle cannot be scored due to no pennants. The only exception to this is playing with carcassonne Maps, which do in fact have convertable small city segments with a pennant, so one could have a Mayor in castle here which can be scored. But keep in mind these special segments are always located on the edge of the map, making the value of th castle lower because of the reduced castle area. So while somewhat viable if you wish to make such castle but not dedicate a meeple that could better be used somewhere else, this is still not a major advantage. The fact that the best way to use Mayor is to make it a throwaway piece that shall not be missed if its castle will go wrong (and only when playing with Maps), does not paint a pretty picture for this piece of wood.

So because of all I described, I consider the Mayor to be the most useless splinter of wood to ever be introduced to the world of Carcassonne. And yes that includes the Catapult - I genuinely consider it to be more useful than Mayor.

 :orange-meeple: :orange-meeple: :orange-meeple:

So now that we established all that is wrong with the Mayor, is there a way this could have been averted or corrected?
I propose a modification that could have been made when concieving the rules,one that actually allows Mayor to do what it is supposed to:

General rules of Myaor remain the same with one adjustment - the pennants in the game are subdivided into six colors based on the player color. When a Mayor is deployed to a city, it only gains value based on the pennants of the same color. This way, Mayors inside the same city have different values and this number can be adjusted by adding additional pennants of the chosen color. It creates further tactical decisions when deciding where to put you Mayor.

Of course this might introduce few difficulties of their own such as the need to keep the number of pennant colors at least roughly equal. But it's not like this i impossible - games like Bang! the card game have been doing something like this for years. Each expansion there seeks to keepthe suits of the cards balanced and percantages at their set values. This could surely be solved when it comes to Carcassonne.
Another issue might be the fact that Mayor comes in the 5th Expansion, so there would be a lack of foresight from the previous material released. In the original C1 release perhaps, but what about C2? There is a lot of foresight and forward planning in C2 already, the farmhouses and sheds, the robbers at the roads. All of these are elements that had no function upon first release and then for some time, but were clearly included with some function in mind later down the road. Not to mention the still as of yet unused water towers. All of C2 material could have easily included pennats of six colors from the very start and only make use of them when Exp. 5 was re-released in C2.
Changing or adjusting the functionality of already existing elements from C1 in C2 is no new concept either - look at the wagon. The fact that its change occured in the very expansion where the Mayor comes from makes this a no excuse situation.

One would hope there is still a chance for this amazing concept with a failed implementation in the future.

And if someone can find some special niche actually useful usage or interaction with the Mayor please post it here. Other ideas for adjustments to the basic rules are also welcome.

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The Marketplace / Looking for CutCassonne
« on: August 01, 2021, 05:33:39 AM »
I never thought I would utter these words ::), but I am looking for a fresh copy of CutCassonne. If anybody has a spare one for sale, please let me know!

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Official Rules / Question - Wagon and Wheel of Fortune
« on: July 20, 2021, 11:56:50 AM »
Question: Can wagon, which has just completed and scored a road leading directly into the Wheel of Fortune drive into the wheel and onto the crown spaces?
Suspected answer: The roads are directly adjacent ad connected to the wheel, so there is nothing blocking the wagon function. Meeples can indeed be deployed onto the wheel, specifically crown spaces. This happens just like any other meeple placement in the move wood phase of the turn. It follows that one should be able to move wagon over to the crown spaces once the road is scored.
Interestingly, the roads do lead to specific wheel sectors, which contain specific crown spaces. This may imply wagon can only be deployed to the sector connected to the road through which it has driven. However seeing as under normal circumstances player can deploy meeple into any crownspace, regardless of the sector, same should be true for the wagon entering this feature.

Reverse situation:  if a wagon is scored on the crown space can it be instantly moved onto another feature? If so, is it a new crown space or a connected road?
Suspected answer: The reverse situation should also be possible, but wagon should not be capable of moving to just another crown space, as that would not count as leaving its current feature. It should however be able to move onto directly connected, incomplete, unoccupied road.
Argument could be made that the crown space while scored is never completed, so the wagon's ability should not activate. This would mean wagon can enter WoF via it ability, but cannot leave it using this method.

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The Marketplace / Looking for Russian Wheel of Fortune
« on: May 04, 2021, 12:33:20 PM »
Alright fellow Carcassonners, I have a dificult task ahead. I need a new in shrink copy of Russian Wheel of Fortune: Каркассон.Колесо фортуны.
If anyone has it and is willing to sell, or knows of a seller online, please let me know. This is quite important for me at the moment :orange-meeple:.

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The Marketplace / WTB set of 13 Teachers
« on: April 25, 2021, 01:00:30 PM »
I am looking for the 2018 set of 13 Teacher meeples. If anyone is willing to sell it, please send me a PM.
Thank you  :orange-meeple:

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