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Topics - danisthirty

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1
Online Games and Competitions / UK Mini Teams Championship - Format & Rules
« on: February 08, 2022, 04:25:49 AM »
Overview

This competition is intended mostly to be a fun and friendly introduction to the format used more widely by Carcassonne.cat for the World/ European Online Teams Championships since 2020. It also serves to celebrate how widely Carcassonne is played with the UK, and to broaden the horizons of the existing UK team in the event that any new players would like to join us.


Teams

The “UK Mini Teams Championship” will consist of 6 teams. Each team will be captained by an existing member of the UK Carcassonne team and will include 4 other players.


Format

The competition will operate as a Round Robin between the teams, such that every team will play one match against every other team. Therefore, every team will get to play a total of 5 matches according to the following schedule (this has been updated to double the length of the first round):

  • Mon 14/02/22 – Sun 27/02/22:   First Match
  • Mon 28/02/22 – Sun 06/03/22:   Second Match
  • Mon 07/03/22 – Sun 13/03/22:   Third Match
  • Mon 14/03/22 – Sun 20/03/22:   Fourth Match
  • Mon 21/03/22 – Sun 27/03/22:   Fifth Match

As it’s an online competition, we will be using www.boardgamearena.com (BGA) to play all matches. All players are expected to have their own account there (premium if possible, though not mandatory) and should preferably be familiar with BGA’s implementation of Carcassonne.


Matches

Each week, team captains will liaise between their teams and the captain of their opposing team for that week in order to establish a mutually convenient date/ time for the match. There are no restrictions on this beyond that the match should take place before the end of the week in order that the next week’s matches can begin on time. Once a date and time has been agreed upon, both captains will submit a lineup of 3 players (numbered from 1 to 3) to take part in that week’s match. The players featured on the lineup are expected to change from week to week and will likely depend on availability within the team. It also means that no single player is expected to take part in all 6 of their teams matches, but should take part in at least 1.


Duels

A match is won or lost based on the outcome of the 3 “duels” of which it consists. Each of the 3 numbered players on the lineup for each team will play a single duel against their opposite number on the other team. A duel is determined by the player that wins the best 2 out of 3 games of basic Carcassonne with no expansions. This means that a duel could consist of either 2 games if the same player wins the first two games, or 3 games if both players win one game each from the first 2 and go to a deciding game to settle the duel. In the case of a tied game, the player that went first is deemed to have lost given that they had an extra turn compared to their opponent (regardless of whether this was useful). The match isn’t considered complete until all 3 duels have been completed.


Leaderboard

Teams will be ranked on the leaderboard primarily according to big points (match wins) and then small points (duel wins) and finally by total number of games won minus total number of games lost. Once all teams have played their 5 matches and results have been updated, the team at the top of the leaderboard will be declared the winner!

2
Yo dudes.

As some of you may be aware, alongside my admin job at Carcassonne Central I'm also the captain of the UK Carcassonne team. This isn't necessarily an official title, but in terms of Carcassonne's online World/ European Team Championships I captain the team that represents the UK, and am always scouting out new talent to join our team and share in the fun and excitement of these high-profile competitions.

In order to help welcome new members to the team, we will be running a mini teams tournament which I'm hoping to kick off on Monday 14th February. It will share a similar format to the WTCOC/ ETCOC events, but will be a round-robin format competition between teams of 5, with each match being won or lost based on the outcome of 3 "duels" (a duel is a "best 2 out of 3" between 2 players from opposing teams using the basegame only). This means that 2 players per match can be rested, but it is expected/ hoped that all players will be able to take part in at least one match. Everything is online, and is played via www.boardgamearena.com (BGA) so you won't need to worry about random people turning up on your doorstep to play Carcassonne with you! :o

Full tournament details will be made available soon and I can answer any questions you may have, but for now I'm hoping to rapidly assemble a sixth team as one of the teams dropped out recently and an odd number of teams will mean that one team has to sit out of each round which I'd rather avoid if possible. Which is why I'm writing this post! The five other teams are captained by existing members of the UK team who have drafted in UK-based friends, family members and complete strangers to populate their teams; and now I need to do the same...

So, if you are a UK-based Carcassonne player who would like a good excuse to play some online Carcassonne in a friendly, encouraging environment then I'd be delighted to welcome you to my team! :(y) It would be beneficial if you're already a member at BGA and have played a few games there, and of course it would be good if you already know how to play Carcassonne ::) But where there's a will there's a way, so if this is something you'd be keen to be involved in then please let me know either by replying here or sending me a direct message!

Cheers,
Dan :) :(y)

3
News and Events / Carcassonne Central News #9 - January 2022
« on: February 01, 2022, 05:04:39 AM »
Carcassonne Central News #9 - January 2022


Welcome

Hello there, and welcome back to another edition of "Carcassonne Central News" – the imaginatively titled monthly newsletter summarising the last month of toings and froings here at Carcassonne Central. It's been a little while since I last wrote one of these, over six years in fact! But it's something that I've always wanted to come back to, and now seems like as good a time as any to get the ball rolling again. I've tried to keep it fun and light-hearted, so there's lots to read and enjoy, and a few challenges along the way. I do hope you enjoy it, and look forward to seeing your feedback – good O:-), bad >:D or ugly :@ – below...



Under Starter's Orders

As always, we start at the start with something to help you get your games started! Fans of Squid Game may remember the Glass Bridge obstacle where the contestants had to make their way across a bridge via a series of 50/50 guesses; each guess being between a stable pane that would support their weight, and a fragile pane that would break as soon as they stepped onto it. Thankfully Carcassonne isn't often this dangerous, but I thought it might be fun to mimic this using Carcassonne tiles and meeples in order to create a quick and easy pre-game game to establish a triumphant starting player.

Start by taking ten unseen Carcassonne tiles and placing them face down in a grid that is five tiles long by two tiles wide. This is the bridge! Take one meeple from each player and place them all at one end of the bridge. Everyone chooses one of the two face-down tiles directly in front of the meeples, and puts their meeple on top of their chosen tile. Tiles may be shared by more than one meeple, but both tiles must have at least one meeple on them. As soon as all meeples have been placed, the two tiles are turned over and evaluated based on the number of distinct features on that tile (including fields). The tile with the highest number of distinct features is safe and any meeples placed here will proceed to the next round. Any meeples on the tile with the least number of distinct features are plunged into certain disappointment. If both tiles have the same number of distinct features then any tile that has a pennant is safe, otherwise both tiles are stable and all meeples survive. Repeat this across as many stages as necessary (I suggested five but draw more tiles as required if your meeples are especially good at Squid Game) until just one meeple remains. The player owning that meeple may then choose either to receive €455 billion or to be the starting player. If you don't have €455 billion, they must choose to be the starting player.

left: the six meeple are split equally between the first two tiles as a shady stranger looks on from the other side
middle: disaster for Green, Yellow and Pink as their tile contains just 2 distinct features vs. the 3 on the other tile
right: two rounds later, Blue emerges victorious as his ccrr with pennant beats Red's plain old ccrr



Forum News

Arguably the biggest news we saw this month was about how Carcassonne Central is now under new ownership. Not that there was anything wrong with the old ownership, it was more just that Gantry wanted to pass on the mantle and give someone else a chance to steer the ship. So that's what Decar, Meepledrone and I are now doing, although not literally as the vast majority of my limited ship steering experience has involved crashing. We can't wait to find out what the future has in store for our beloved CarcC though, and are doing everything we can to make sure it involves as much fun and collaboration as possible!

As the news above exploded all over Facebook and Twitter, the forums were starting to feel like the 1000th episode of a popular TV program, with no shortage of cameo appearances from some of the forums regulars of old who came back to the site to say hello, to thank Gantry for his years of hard work and to wish us all the best for the future. I won't try to list all the names that brought a smile to my face, but I will mention that kettlefish and Scott were among them. Scott in particular took the time to share a little about where his life took him when he felt the call to step away from Carcassonne Central for a few years. I won't spoil it, but it's been quite the journey and it was wonderful to read about it.

As far as we know, 2022 looks like it could be another big year for Carcassonne. With new-artwork editions of the basegame and latest Big Box scheduled to be released later this year, you certainly wouldn't be alone if you've ever wondered why there are so many "different" versions of Carcassonne that seem so similar, or what the differences between all the boxes actually are. Yet there's never been a suitably thorough and detailed account of Carcassonne's chronology... until now! Decar (with some help from Willem) has pulled out all the stops to put together this well-written and easy to understand history including details (and plenty of photos) of box art, scoretracks, international deviations and many other points of interest along the way. :(y)

I'm not a big Instagram user personally as I'm usually so hungry by mealtimes that it won't occur to me to take a picture of my lunch until I've already mostly eaten it, and I've been advised by the Police that I could face prosecution if I continue posting 200 selfies a day as - apparently - they "scare children" C:-) :(n). Thankfully, others have found more productive ways to use Instagram, so if you're not following them already please be sure to visit The Carcassonne Museum by Willem and MP Works by MMike. Neither of them ever seem to post photos of what they're about to eat, or selfies, but they do post a lot of fantastic Carcassonne content so please show your support by following them anyway.

Although there was too much in the way of news and discussion for me to summarise everything here, it would be remiss of me not to draw attention to Melvin Quaresma's awesome Carcassonne Everywhere project (you are hereby implored to make the most of this opportunity to be part of it), exciting news about the upcoming MSO Grand prix and Mind Sports Olympiad 2022, and finally Decar's insightful interview with Board Game Arena which takes us behind the scenes of one of the most significant online boardgaming platforms that's used by millions of boardgamers around the world (he posted it in February but I'll allow it because it's such a great read).



What Happens Next? (by Decar)

It's Black against Green in the Carcassonne World Championship final, and you're playing Green! Black draws the first tile and takes an easy 4 points with a cfff. Hate it when that happens! You go next and it's an fffr cloister which you drop on the east end of the road across the start tile, claiming the cloister with your first meeple of the game in the hope that it comes back to you quickly. Black's next turn, and it's an ffrr corner road. He extends the road across the start tile with the open end facing South and claims it. Now it's your turn again, and you've got a crrf to play. What's the plan boss?


I'd love to hear your thoughts on what your next move would be, and why. I have something in mind, but I also have an open mind, so share your thoughts and let's help GREEN become Carcassonne's next world champion! :(y) :green-meeple: :(y)



Member of the Month

The purpose of this little section is to recognise the efforts of those forum members who have championed some of the ideas and initiatives that have benefitted our community throughout the month. Everyone can contribute something (or lots of things) and we're very lucky here in that most people do! All things big and small are appreciated; whether it's acts of generosity such as we've seen from The-Edge with his recent giveaways, or simply just by exuding the sort of enthusiasm and positivity that kothmann and Challa007 have been demonstrating so consistently, it all adds up to making our little corner of the internet something that we can enjoy all the more and be truly proud of. 8)

While we (the admin team) do try to recognise and consider everyone's individual efforts, some efforts are rewarded in different ways, for example by awarding forum badges to individuals who have contributed significantly in specific areas. Recently, Decar announced on this post that oldbonz and Wolnic have both been awarded the "Author" forum badge which you'll now see just below their name alongside any of their forum posts. This is somewhat overdue considering how long they've been with us, but please join me in congratulating them both for the creativity and outstanding artwork that they've both been responsible for over the years.

Our Member of the Month for January though, is someone who promised us last year that he was working on a number of Carcassonne projects that he planned to share with us throughout 2022. This said, he was apparently so excited about the first of these that he couldn't quite wait until January before sharing his Carcassonne Game Notation with us on New Year's Eve! ;D Based on this, I'm sure I speak on behalf of the majority of our members at the moment when I say that I'm very much looking forward to his next project already, and am happy to name DIN0 as our Member of the Month based on this and his many contributions elsewhere across the forums. Congratulations to you, and thanks for all your hard work! :(y)



Carcassonne Knowledge Tester (by Meepledrone and/ or one or more of his imaginary friends)

Dear boys and girls,

Supervisor Nick wanted to share with you some insights about scoring. He noticed during the Advent Quiz that a few answers showed some issues when scoring roads or cities with complex layouts.

The issue stems from the fact that you may get distracted with the shape of the feature and count the same tile multiple times. This may happen  when the same tile has several segments connected to the feature. When you score a road or a city you always count the number of tiles, not the number of segments conforming the feature.

Let's have a look at the following examples showing a road loop with some surprises. The tile bottom right contributes twice to the road loop but we are used to that configuration and we count that tile only once automatically, because it is easy to spot. However, we may get fooled if the tile contributing multiple times to the road is not at one end.

The roads in the following examples have 7 tiles, no matter the configuration of the tile at the center (the tricky one ;)). Let's check each example:



* Example A: The 4-legged roundabout on the Spiel 18 tile is counted only once even if it connects several road segments, one of them even looping back.
* Example B: The tile at the center has two separate road segments connected to the same road. Even so, the tile is counted only once.
* Example C: The tile at the center has two separate road segments, one of them featuring a printed bridge, which allows one road to pass over the other without actually meeting. Both road segments on the tile are connected to the same road, and the tile is counted only once.
* Example D: This example features a wooden bridge. It will behave in a similar way to the printed bridge featured in Example C.

Therefore, Red would score 7 points for each of these roads no matter their configuration (7 tiles x 1 point/tile), since the tile count is what matters, not the total number of road segments in the road.

This said, Supervisor Nick would like to check you've been paying attention. How many points would Red score for this city?



Have fun!



Forum Statistics

Jan 2022  2022 to date  Jan 2021  2021 to date
New Topics72  72  67  67
New Posts1206  1206  1204  1204
New Members538  538  573  573
Most Online102  102  91  91
Page Views460,999  460,999  579,821  579,821

- 1967 fans
- 1852 followers

Total Members to end of Jan 2022: 8273



Homework

Now settle down everyone, SETTLE DOWN, or we'll all be here until half past three... OK? Good.

A previous homework that I set in an old newsletter required you to build the most valuable complete city from tiles in the basic game in order to discover that the most valuable city possible weighed-in at an impressive 84 points! But while city points are always important for keeping your score ticking over, sometimes lots of small cities are better than one big city, especially when farmers are concerned. So, with this in mind, the challenge I have for you this month is to arrange the tiles from the basic game only into some configuration that yields as many farmer points as possible. But to make it more interesting, I'm going to allow everyone three farmers and your score will be made up of the combined score of the three of them. We'll be going over your answers in class next month so please be sure to submit them before then! Here's a hint: DON'T put them all on the same farm ::)



The Last Tile

Thanks so much for reading January's newsletter, and thanks to Decar and Meepledrone for their contributions too of course. Naturally we hope you had a fun time reading it, and that it gave you plenty of Carcassonne food for thought, but it's your newsletter too so don't feel compelled to accept this collection of our collaborative efforts if there's anything else you'd rather see; let us know! I still have plenty of ideas for extra features I'd like to include in future newsletters, but haven't got round to writing yet, so please help to make sure I'm heading in the right direction by leaving a comment below, and I'll be sure to take your feedback on board.

Before I finally sign off for the month though, I'd just like to leave you with these words of wisdom from Siegbert Tarrasch (Polish Chess player: 1862 - 1934). He was actually talking about Chess when he said them, but I feel it applies just as much to Carcassonne (and most games):

"One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent."

See you at the end of February! C:-) :(y)

4
News and Events / Mind Sports Olympiad 2022 - Dates and Grand Prix
« on: January 31, 2022, 06:50:59 AM »
Hi everyone.

Just a quick note to share news of the Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) upcoming events. For anyone who has never heard of MSO, they're a professional organisation that runs a series of boardgame competitions along with other brain-intensive challenges. They now run many of the boardgame competitions at the UK Games Expo as well as their own separate events.

This year they will be hosting two of their own events; the MSO Grand Prix (online event) and the Mind Sports Olympiad 2022 (in-person event). Full details of both events can be found by clicking here.

The online MSO Grand Prix will be held between Friday 15th April and Sunday 29th May, while the in-person Mind Sports Olympiad 2022 will run from Sunday 21st August to Monday 29th August. Both competitions are international events meaning that boardgamers from all around the world are very welcome, and encouraged to join the fun. But if travelling to London in August isn't up your street, hopefully the online event will be considering the vast selection of games due to be played:



Having taken part in several of their tournaments previously I can vouch for their standards and professionalism, and am already looking forward to seeing how things go with their Carcassonne and Carcassonne + expansions events, as well as a number of other games... :(y)

5
News and Events / Carcassonne Everywhere - a request for photos
« on: January 28, 2022, 04:31:34 AM »
A great friend of mine - Melvin Quaresma - who came second in the 2021 Carcassonne World Championships and is a key member of the Carcassonne Brazil fan community, is a professional photographer. He is currently working on a project relating to Carcassonne and the fact that it is played by all kinds of people, all around the world. Melvin always set the bar very high for himself with everything he does, and this project is no exception in terms of the creative and original ways that he will find to use these photos to share our love of Carcassonne to those who will appreciate them most.

But enough pre-amble; the main reason for this post is to request your assistance in providing more photos of you and/ or your regular gaming group/ friends/ enemies/ partner(s)/ pet(s) playing Carcassonne. Any number of players is welcome. Any number of expansions is welcome (including zero). All we're interested in is seeing photos of people like you playing Carcassonne! People like these:



The only details you'd need to provide are the ones included in the example above: where the game was played, the names of the players (just first names is fine), and which expansions were included (if any).

I hope to see as many people as possible contributing to what is sure to be a hugely successful celebration of Carcassonne's international success, but please don't feel obliged to share anything you don't want to. I'll be sure to share details of his finished project when he is ready for it to be shared! Thanks :(y)


6
General / Tile Counting Apps/ Programs
« on: January 19, 2022, 08:41:55 AM »
If you ever play Carcassonne online either through BGA, JCloisterZone, other websites or any of the phone/ tablet apps I'm keen to hear your thoughts and opinions about the use of tile counting apps. Does their existence spoil the competitiveness within Carcassonne, or do they simply serve to level the playing field between players who can count the tiles in their head and those who struggle to do the same?

Speaking as something of a purist, I like to play competitive Carcassonne online in the same way as I would if I were playing against someone in person, so I stay away from anything that separates Carcassonne when played in person from Carcassonne played via a computer. Naturally this means that I'm not in favour of any kind of artificial assistance, and will avoid them even if they're built in to the app that I'm using to play them on (like on "Quick Games" via the old iOS app that I still play and love). I have plenty of reasons for this, but I've shared the main ones below:

1) Some day I'd love to win the UK Carcassonne Championship, or perhaps even the World Carcassonne Championships 8) so I don't want to get used to anything during practice games that I'll come to rely on and then won't be able to use during championship matches.

2) Tile counting is a mental skill that is part of the game. For me, my knowledge of the tiles, and which are left, is as much a part of the game as deciding where to place whichever tile I've drawn. Having something automatically telling me which tiles are left is akin to someone else telling me where to put the tiles! :(n)

3) This only really applies in certain situations where some people might use a third-party or external tile counting app that isn't provided as part of the platform that is being used to host the game, but it would feel very dishonest under those circumstances to be going above and beyond what's provided by the platform to improve my chances of beating my opponent. For me, a win is meaningless unless both players are playing under the same conditions.

I'd love to hear from you if agree, disagree or have anything to add to the discussion as I know that mine isn't the only opinion. And also, let's be clear, this isn't the place to judge anyone for what they would/ wouldn't do to get their next win. We're all friends here, so let's just have an open and honest discussion about where you think the boundaries of acceptable/ unacceptable online play are.

7
The Marketplace / Selling: Spiel 15, 16 and 21 Tiles (together)
« on: January 17, 2022, 06:37:54 AM »
I spent the weekend having a bit of a sort-out of my Carcassonne collection, and came across two tiles I'd forgotten I owned: The Spiel 15 and 16 tiles below.

I was tempted to keep them for spares, but already own a full set of these so decided I'd see if anyone here wanted them. I have a spare Spiel 21 tile too, which I've also included as per the photo below:



Unfortunately I can't afford to give them away for free as I have done in the past, and am asking for £90 for all three together. They're worth more than this, but I'd rather see them go to someone here who needs them than someone on eBay who's going to sit on them for a year and then sell them on for twice as much again.

I'll cover the cost of the (tracked/ signed for) postage to anywhere in the world, so that won't be any extra.

Please let me know via PM if you'd be interested in taking these off my hands.

Thanks! :)

8
News and Events / Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« on: January 17, 2022, 03:58:36 AM »
Yo dudes! I have exciting news to reveal, so please grab some popcorn and a fresh drink before continuing. Got it? Good. You may start eating... now!

If you've been around these forums for more than a couple of years then you might have heard some of us talking about Gantry, but I've quoted part of an eight and a half year old post below for those of you who don't (it's well worth reading even if you do know who Gantry is):

Gantry told me more about the history of Carcassonne Central. He was a regular user of BoardGameGeek, but found the forums difficult to use. (I think many of us can understand that feeling.) He tried to reach out to the guys who ran the site, but never heard anything back. Eventually, his frustration with the BGG forums led to his decision to create Carcassonne Central. He found a fan site about the game by Matt Harper, an Englishman living in Germany, and sent him an e-mail. (Matt's web site is still available here: http://carc.mjharper.de/) They collaborated on building a community around the game; Gantry was the technical "make it happen" guy, and Matt was the rules answer guy. Matt created the Complete Annotated Rules and posted it on BoardGameGeek, with a note that updates would only be available at Carcassonne Central, and only to members. Thousands of Carcassonne fans signed up just for the privilege of getting their hands on the latest version of the Complete Annotated Rules. Most never made a single post, but a core group of people arose. Some of those people moved on, and others took their place. Somewhere along the line, we started churning out fan-made expansions on a weekly basis. I feel like this coincided with a time where official expansions weren't being published by Rio Grande, and the community wanted more.

In short, Gantry has been there since Day 1 of Carcassonne Central. He and Matt Harper started it all back in 2008 and he's been leading the way (and paying the bills) for us ever since. He was prepared to give me the chance to become one of the site admins in 2014 and thankfully things worked out pretty well, but I never really had the chance to get to know him on the forums as life was taking him in a different direction at a time when mine was steering me directly towards Carcassonne. We chatted occasionally via email, especially during those awkward times when the forums were down and nobody quite knew what to do. Those were his moments to shine, and he always shone very brightly when we needed him to!

Last year, at around the time when the forums were down for 6 or 7 weeks, Gantry emailed me to say that he was considering selling Carcassonne Central. Furthermore, he was keen to know whether I might be interested in buying it from him and taking over his ultimate responsibility as Carcassonne Central's owner. You might say I jumped at the chance, but I know my limitations too and I recognise when I need a little help from my friends. So, I asked Tom (Decar) and Hector (Meepledrone) to stand by my side as co-owners. They agreed, and as of Wednesday 5th January when Carcassonne Central's website, database and files were moved from Gantry's host account to my own during this short outage, I'm proud to announce on behalf of Tom, Hector and myself that Carcassonne Central is under new ownership! 8)

Before I introduce the team, I'd just like to take a moment to recognise the years of hard work that Gantry has put into making Carcassonne Central everything that it is today. It takes great vision and drive to create something like this, and with so many Carcassonne fan communities springing up all around the world in recent years it's easy to forget that Carcassonne Central was the first of its kind. It's only because Gantry and Matt Harper did such a great job that we're still here today with almost ten thousand members, and with large followings on Facebook and Twitter that share our communities news and achievements to an even wider audience. Just saying "thanks" seems a little underwhelming, but I'm sure he'll continue to take great pride from Carcasonne Central in the future, knowing that he was the person who started it all. Let's do him proud... :(y)

So without further ado, here's a quick reminder of who Tom, Hector and I are:



(left: Tom looking delighted to have found a Carcassonne Big Box, middle: Hector: working his way through his latest set of rules books, right: me rejoicing after a well-deserved victory at the pingy-flicky game)

Tom/ Decar
Hello. I'm not exactly sure when I first started to learn about Carcassonne. I have been interested in board games for many years and sometime around 2006 I started to take an interest in the Japanese game of Go. Predominantly though, I was a computer or console gamer. Somehow, internet rabbit holes seemed to always end up with me looking at Carcassonne. I remember trying an early edition of JCZ with no idea what the rules were, and vaguely figured it out on my own. Adda was a much easier opponent back then.

Back in December 2014, I saw a post here on Carcasonne Central from JungleBoy asking if anyone was free for a game that evening. Back in those days you had to open up ports on your home firewalls to play each other, but I decided to take part. I still remember the game quite well; there was a big fight for a city (which describes about 85% of games of Carcassonne). Anyway after that I was well and truly hooked, and some days later DanIsThirty messaged me and we became friends.

In 2015 we all met up at the UKGE where Udo Schmitz was hosting a Carcassonne on Tour event. I played in the tournament and met someone else with the same name as me... who oddly had a wife with the same name as my wife. Thankfully, I was on a higher table than them, confirming my status as best person with my name. From then to now, I've had many an adventure thanks to Carcassonne, whether I'm crafting another fan expansion, creating my own meeple, organizing forum meetups, or attending events such Essen or the International Carcassonne meetup. I hope to be able to take part in some of these again soon.

Over all these years, the friendships I've found through our shared passions of a topological rendition of the fields and cities of particular area of the South of France have been something I doubt I could have found anywhere else. Possibly, the greatest reward of being a member here is seeing all the people who help each other with their side projects, or collections.

Although the management is changing, I have every faith in Dan, whose character allows him to mediate everyone's interests. I know that whatever changes occur, Dan will make the right decision.

Hector/ Meepledrone
I was introduced into the world of Carcassonne by a friend back in the summer of 2003... When the base game, I&C, T&B, River I and King & Robber were the limit :o... I loved the game at first sight...ehrr... play. I switched jobs shortly after and the game stayed dormant for a years.

But something terrible happened in May 2018... I went on a short vacation with my wife and a couple of friends to the seaside and it rained a lot in the evenings. Don't ask me why but it happened I have my Carcassonne collection with me by chance... We had the most terrific evenings playing Carcassonne. ;D

So, I went back home completely ecstatic and I started to scan the Internet thoroughly to catch up with everything Carcassonne-y, joined Carcassonne Central, and loved the CAR (my summer bedtime reading) and its fan expansions... So I became a Carcassonne fan-expansion completionist and even started to create some fan expansions on my own or in collaboration with friends from the forum and off-line...

In September 2018 I joined the WICA project (https://wikicarpedia.com) as a co-founder along with Maj.Frost, Wolnic and Sinscerly and added plenty of content and the craziest stuff I could devise: An updated dynamic version of the Reference Chapters of the CAR, covering the Game structure, the Order of Play, the Scoring Summaries, the Figure Reference (along with Murphy013)... So I became a Carcassonne rules completionist and started to run some Advent Calendar Scoring Quizzes starting in 2019. (At last a good use for all that useless information... :o)

What other things has the forum done for me? Well, I also became a C1-C2-C3 Carcassonne completionist due to the worst influences there, but I don't have plans for a museum or the time being. ;)

Away from Carcassonne, I'm happily married to a wonderful and understanding wife who allows me to talk about Carcassonne nuances for hours on end (Carcassonne again, really? ::)) while she rolls her eyes... I also love binge viewing TV shows, Lego, retro games, eating ice cream and doing nothing from time to time.

Dan/ danisthirty
I was given my first Carcassonne game as a birthday present in 2012 and I've barely stopped playing it ever since. Much of the blame for my rapid descent into Carcassonne Completionism Disorder (CCD) lies with Carcassonne Central and the people who frequent it, but I've always felt that the friendly and supportive atmosphere here is something truly special and I wouldn't change it for the world! I've loved serving as an admin here for the last eight years and find great reward in sharing my passion for Carcassonne in a way that encourages others to do the same.

I play Carcassonne regularly at www.boardgamearena.com (find me there: danisthirty) and captained the UK Carcassonne Team for the World and European Online Team Championships 2020/21. I co-wrote "The Book of Carcassonne" in 2019/20, have commissioned my own personalised meeples and have been responsible for numerous CarcC initiatives including tournaments, newsletters, quizzes, competitions, giveaways and this 15th anniversary gift for Klaus-Jürgen Wrede which Tom and I took all the way to Essen to present to him.

Away from Carcassonne, I've been married to my wife Becky since 2008, and have two energetic but hilarious kids aged 11 and 8 who keep me pretty busy. I like many other boardgames (though none as much as Carcassonne), retro computer games, collecting Lego minifigures (I have around 500 so far), running, Pepsi Max and cheeseburgers. And finally, please note that I'm not thirsty.


Hopefully you'll agree that the site is in safe hands, even if those hands no longer belong to Gantry. There's lots planned already, and lots to look forward to, so please be excited and watch this space! :(y)

9
General / Boardgames ranked by BGG plays: 2004 - 2021
« on: January 10, 2022, 02:18:16 AM »
Yo dudes.

I saw the following video on the Facebook BGG group this morning and found it really interesting:



The video is based on data collected from BGG over a 17 year period! In the creator's own words:

"Video for all months of 2004-2021. For every month I listed 10 games with the largest number of unique BoardGameGeek users who have played the game at least once in an entire month.
Actually this video is the history of modern board games. It shows when and what games were played the most and how long the interest in every popular game lasted."

The fact that the data is limited to only plays that were recorded on BGG will skew the results entirely in favour of more modern/ hobby boardgames that most of us are familiar with, rather than the likes of chess or snakes and ladders which most of the world are familiar with. But I think the insight is still valuable in terms of the context in which the data was recorded. With this in mind, I think it's quite amazing to see Carcassonne holding its own against the competition at a time when boardgaming was really taking off and there was so much choice available to boardgame players. Other games rise, and fall, but Carcassonne's always there, steadily and consistently holding onto its place in the top 10 for more than a decade.

10
News and Events / Downtime on Wednesday at 2pm (PST)
« on: January 03, 2022, 03:12:09 PM »
Hey all, and happy new year!

Just a quick message to warn you that there will be a short downtime window of approx. 1 hour this Wednesday @ 2PM PST time zone.

I won't go into any detail about it now, but I'll be sure to write again soon to explain why it was necessary... 8)

Dan :(y)

11
News and Events / Interview for Carcassonne Brazil
« on: April 09, 2021, 03:14:11 AM »
Last year, in the depths of lockdown, I was interviewed by a friend of mine from Carcassonne Brazil. He had been running a series of interviews with players from all over the world for their blog, and asked if he could interview me. Of course I said yes as I was hugely flattered to be featured alongside the likes of Marian Curcan, Genro Fujimoto and Vladimir Kovalev (world champions of 2019, 2018 and 2016 respectively). However, Carcassonne Brazil seemed to suspend posting interviews on their blog shortly after my interview and as disappointing as that was at first, I quickly forgot about it until a few days ago when my friend messaged me to tell me that he was going to post it that day!



The blog post can be found here - https://www.carcassonnebrasil.com/blog/dan-chard - and there's an English version of the interview at the bottom of the page. I hope some you will find it interesting to read and I'm always keen to hear any feedback!

12
General / Interview with KJW (by HiG)
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:45:30 AM »
Not sure how many of us here follow HiG on Facebook and/ or Instagram, but for those who don't I wanted to share this link to an interview with KJW that HiG have been sharing (one question/ answer per day) via their social media channels.

We're only up to day 4, so there's still 1 question to go, but I've been following it quite keenly as I like the style of the questions, the insight they provide into the world of Carcassonne's creator and the cartoons too!

I hope you like it. :(y)

13
Online Games and Competitions / European Team Championships
« on: October 09, 2020, 05:45:30 AM »
Hello!

In case anyone is unaware, I thought I'd take some time to share details of the European Team Championships that are taking place on BGA (http://www.boardgamearena.com) at the moment. I'm serving as the captain of the UK team, so obviously this is where my interest lies and is what I've written about below.

Firstly though, the European Team Championships is an online Carcassonne event being organised by Carcassonne.cat (http://www.carcassonne.cat). Each team consists of between 5 and 10 players (although you can only play 5 of them at once). Teams have been split into two groups and each group is playing a round robin so that every team plays a single match against every other team in their group, these have been split into rounds so that every team plays one match per week/ round (unless they are having a "sitting out" week in the case of groups with an odd number of teams). Each match consists of 5 duels, and is settled by whichever team wins 3 or more duels. Each duel is played between two players (one from each team) and is a simple "best of 3" games. Games are basegame only, and all 5 duels are scheduled to begin at the same time.



It's very nice to be in second place for now, but Russia and France play each other on Sunday so one of them will be pushing us down into third before the end of the round. There's also the fact that we haven't had our "sitting out" week yet, which will come in round 6 after we've played Spain and have just Russia to come (Ukraine and France also still have their sitting out weeks ahead of them).

Round 1:


The Netherlands are always a tough opponent for us with players like Bekse (former national champion) and humske (former world champion) who always seem to get the better of us, as was the case in this match. Jackface triumphed over Johnnoordwijk with relative ease (2 - 0), whereas my win over hulpspuppie was less clear-cut after I lost our first game by one point. Thankfully I was able to contain my opponent more effectively over the next two games and took the duel 2 - 1 as a result. Elsewhere, our team's newest player statmatt lost to Bekse in straight games while wallaceprime vs. Zwollywood and ted the notty bear vs. humske both went to third games. I was cautiously optimistic and watched both games very closely as a win in either would give us our third duel, and the match. But sadly it wasn't to be. wallaceprime played as well as always, but simply couldn't generate enough points with his last few tiles to outscore Zwollywood's powerful farms and... well, I'm not quite sure what happened in the other game. It all came down to a fight for the main farm in the end, and while it looked (to me) as though ted the notty bear drew the required tiles to win it outright, things didn't quite go according to plan and all was lost :(

Round 2:


The Ukrainian team have been a bit of a surprise to our group of this competition. I have a good record against Samuelsson so was fairly confident that this would be a duel in our favor but the other matches were hard to call. ted the notty bear and I were both successful, winning our duels in straight games. Revelations (@halfling) was unfortunate to have his debut game settled by Carcassonne.cat's unusual "starting player loses in the case of a tie" rule and went on to lose the second game by just 9 points. statmatt struggled to put anything past Lawyer too, losing their duel 2 - 0 and bringing the match score to 2 - 2. The final duel was being played between Han Shot First and Jubjic. I didn't watch it live, but it seems Jubjic won their first game fairly convincingly and was equally unrelenting in their second...

We tried to be optimistic about everything, but to have won just four duels from two matches wasn't where we wanted to be, and it wasn't the start we needed either. :-[ :(n)

Round 3:


This match taught me that while I thought I'd been helping the team by winning literally every duel I'd played in both the World Team Championships and now the European Team Championships up to this point, I'd actually been hindering them. Apparently, my less than impressive loss to Boulym inspired everyone else to win their duels and we took the match 4 - 1 as a result! This included a win for ted the notty bear against one of the highest-ranked (and current #1) player at BGA - "viv-" which was nothing short of incredible! :o I don't remember watching many of the other games as they were being played, which is most likely because I was too busy crying, or had gone canoeing, but there was much celebrating and mutual virtual back-patting as we finally took a long overdue "big point" for our first match win. :(y)

Round 4:


My first game with Antoniospqr1970 was a comfortable win after he allowed me to trap two of his meeples at a cost of one of my own, and then went on to invest three farmers in the main field (against my two - one of which never joined up). Since we each had another meeple locked up in another city, this meant he played most of the game with only one meeple at his disposal whereas I had three. This meant I could take more risks, and as a result I was able to build up a decent lead and take my own farm which was almost as valuable as the main one without ever feeling like I was in too much trouble.

Antoniospqr1970 was much more cautious in our second game and played far more safely. He got off to a great start with lots of short roads and built an early lead, whereas this time I seemed to be the one not managing my meeples very well. I wasn't at all confident that this was going to be another win after the first 20 or so tiles, but gradually I was able to start trapping his meeples while generating some points for myself and as we got towards the final 20 tiles or so it was too close to call. I thought it was over when my opponent drew the remaining ccff splitter and cut me out of his big city which was completed with the same tile, but I completed my half of the city a few turns later to pull things back a little. Towards the end I was able to block a bold attempt by Antoniospqr1970 to take the main farm outright, but he'd grown a 9-point farm elsewhere so I knew I was still in trouble despite this. Thankfully, I drew the final crrf tile towards the very end of the game, which I had been in desperate need of for most of the game! This allowed me to finish a worthwhile city and claim a road. And with my final tile of the game I finished another small city and farmed the other side, which all added to my winning score of just 7 points in a game that could very easily have gone either way at several points. With this, the duel was mine.

Having played both games in just half an hour, it was no surprise to see that the other four duels were still some way away from completion. However, I was slightly discouraged to see that the Italian players had won the first game in all four of them! I was starting to prepare myself for being on the receiving end of another crushing 2 - 3 defeat (or worse!) but thankfully wallaceprime and ted the notty bear both won their second games, whereas Jackface and statmatt lost theirs. The two deciding games were quite similar in nature and were won thanks to a large farm. wallaceprime's opponent had played tremendously but was a little too keen to put all of his eggs in one basket. On this occasion, that basket was a large but uncompleteable city which he controlled with 4 knights of his own against 3 of Chris'. The most valuable feature besides this was the main farm which was tied with two meeples each. However, Chris demonstrated a real masterclass in farming which enabled him to win the main farm outright with a third farmer. This was enough to take the game, and our second duel, which meant the match would be settled by ted the notty bear in his third game against Lorenzo79. Although he was some way behind on points when I started watching, it was clear that this game was all about the farm which ted was able to hang onto until the end of the game. It was an awesome moment, and for a second week in a row we could cheer and celebrate on our Facebook messenger chat group!

Full details of the competition can be found on Carcassonne.cat's website. Games can also be replayed/ watched through BGA and some are being streamed live either through meeplewizard's youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisInsaneTV) or on occasion through BGA TV (look for "boardgame arena" on Twitch). All in all, it's definitely taking Carcassonne as a spectator sport to a new level! :(y)

14
News and Events / The Book of Carcassonne: Strategy, Tips and Tactics
« on: July 01, 2020, 08:08:41 AM »
In August last year I received a PM from someone here to say that he was working on a book about Carcassonne, and to ask if I might be interested in collaborating with him on it. A Carcassonne strategy guide was something that I had been thinking about for years, but it wasn't until I was given this opportunity to work with an established author that I decided it was finally time to do something about it. I didn't have to think about his offer for very long, and responded to his message with a resounding "Yes!" the next day...

It's been a very eventful year (almost) since then, but we've persevered regardless of everything that 2020 has had to throw at us and I'm really excited not just by having my name on the front cover of a published book, but in terms of everything that we managed to cram into its 200+ pages!

 

For anyone who may be interested, here's a quick breakdown of the main areas the book focuses on:
  • How Carcassonne came to be, and the influence it has had over modern boardgaming
  • Competitive Carcassonne
  • Carcassonne Strategy: Basic and Advanced
  • Expert tips from 5 Carcassonne world champions
  • Carcassonne's 10 major/ boxed expansions - descriptions and tips
  • Timeline of Carcassonne spin-offs
  • An exclusive interview with Klaus-Jürgen Wrede about his feelings towards Carcassonne and how it has changed his life
Our hope is that we've included sufficient breadth and depth of detail as to ensure that the book appeals to new and long-standing Carcassonne fans alike, regardless of what specific areas they may be interested to read more about. It is now available through Amazon and costs a mere £7.95 so should be within most people's budgets.

If you do happen to buy a copy of the book and enjoy reading it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and encouraging your friends/ family/ colleagues/ random people in the street to buy a copy too! As always, I'm truly grateful for all the encouragement and support that I've received through the Carcassonne Central community with regards this project and I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of the finished article, so please be kind ;)

15
News and Events / World Team Carcassonne Online Championship
« on: April 30, 2020, 07:05:56 AM »
This looks very interesting to me so thought I'd share it here in case anyone else wants to get involved...


"In recent weeks, different Catalan players have had the opportunity to play online against a team of the best Japanese players in Carcassonne. The experience has been so enriching that Carcassonne.cat has thought of encouraging this type of confrontation that began the Japanese team a few months ago.

And what better way to do it than in a global format and online, given the current context generated by Covid 19. Thus, although the individual world championship held every year in Essen has been canceled , we are in a good time to launch a new game mode that in the future can become a classic and official event, the World Team Carcassonne Online Championship.

In this first edition of the World Team Carcassonne Online Championship will be able to participate those countries or regions in which the game has been published in its official language presenting a single team. Players of these teams must have or create a profile on the online platform www.boardgamearena.com, where the competition will take place.

From Carcassonne.cat we want the largest possible number of teams to participate in this championship, for this reason we will contact international players. At the same time, we leave our contact email for those teams that we can not reach and also want to participate in the championship: carcassonnecat@gmail.com.

The championship will be divided into two phases. In the first there will be groups with different teams, where they will all play with each other. In the second, the semifinals and finals will be played between the best teams in each group. The number of rounds will depend on whether 2 or more groups are made."


Full details can be found at the website here: http://www.carcassonne.cat/2020/04/28/world-team-carcassonne-online-championship/

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