Poll

How often do you use house rules when playing Carcassonne?

Always
3 (10.3%)
Very often (but not always)
7 (24.1%)
Sometimes
2 (6.9%)
Rarely
4 (13.8%)
Nearly never
7 (24.1%)
Never
6 (20.7%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: Do you use house rules?  (Read 1648 times)

Offline NGC 54

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Do you use house rules?
« on: October 04, 2022, 02:24:59 PM »
This is a pool about the frequency of using house rules when playing Carcassonne. How many players prefer to follow their own path, and how many prefer to follow the HiG path?

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6106.0
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Offline ny1050220

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2022, 02:47:20 PM »
I believe we always award +1 point for each city tile and PENNANT if the mage is present. It's just easier on the counting. We feel this is a very minor deviation from the official rules.
And I think we used to switch back and forth between the official rules for capturing a follower with the tower and assigning a power range of the tower by counting a taxi distance (# of tiles moved horizontally and vertically).

Just curious, does using only tiles but not tokens from Catapult count towards house rules? ;)

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2022, 03:00:52 PM »
We generally stay fairly close to the printed rules.  We always play the rivers at random lengths.  Originally we would start with the source, then mix the lake in with all the other tiles so the lake would end the river at a random length.  Now that we play with the Center Scoreboard, we mix all of the lake tiles, minus the fork, plus both sources and all 3 lakes for making each river a random length.

The other thing that we basically always do is what we call sub-expansions. We might play with either the wagons or barns without using any of the Abbey and Mayor tiles.  Same is true for the Builder without the Trader tiles.

I submitted my vote for Rarely!


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carca82

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2022, 02:36:37 AM »
Almost every time, I have a journal where I write everything down, that's the "Bible" of our games and if something is written there, it wins over the official rules.  :green-meeple:

Offline NGC 54

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2022, 03:32:24 AM »
I believe we always award +1 point for each city tile and PENNANT if the mage is present. It's just easier on the counting. We feel this is a very minor deviation from the official rules.
And I think we used to switch back and forth between the official rules for capturing a follower with the tower and assigning a power range of the tower by counting a taxi distance (# of tiles moved horizontally and vertically).

Just curious, does using only tiles but not tokens from Catapult count towards house rules? ;)

When you have a city with 20 Coat of Arms, this would no longer be a minor deviation :)

Offline cicerunner

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 04:45:52 AM »
Nearly never. I think the only house rule I ever use is to use Abbeys as a handicap. Eg I might give my youngest daughter 2 Abbeys, my wife and elder daughter 1 and myself 0.

Online kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2022, 05:01:10 AM »
Always.  Only expansions without house rules are Goldmine and Mage & Witch.

Our favorite base game house rule is proportional scoring of farms.   >:D

Offline DIN0

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2022, 06:37:38 AM »
How does your farm scoring work?

Offline ny1050220

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2022, 05:24:59 PM »
I believe we always award +1 point for each city tile and PENNANT if the mage is present. It's just easier on the counting. We feel this is a very minor deviation from the official rules.
When you have a city with 20 Coat of Arms, this would no longer be a minor deviation :)

Caution!!! Nerd mode on! Scientist at work!  >:D ;)

There are somewhere around (just in case I missed anything) 28 pennants:
Base = 10
River = 1
Inns = 3
Princess = 3
Tower = 1
Abbey = 6
Catapult = 1
Halflings = 2
Plague = 1

If you pick just the base game and 3 large expansions with 3, 3, and 6 pennants, you'll have 22 pennants on 21 tiles in a game with 132 tiles. (Actually, if you pick Tower instead of Inns, you'll have exactly 20 pennants and 132 tiles in total. I claim that the numbers in the following argument won't change much to affect the conclusion without providing proof. The reader can check the math as an exercise  >:D. Oh how I love and hate math books at the same time.)

And you have to throw the extra 8 tiles from Witch. Now there are 140 tiles.
We assume a 2-player game. It's easy to see that it's more difficult to achieve this 22-pennant feat as the number of players increases. And it's worth noting that if the number of players is 7 or larger, it is impossible to have a city that has at least 21 tiles without conspiracy.
So, assume not conspiracy: your component does not help you build your monster city with a fragment containing pennants, ever. (Fair assumption, eh?)
That means you need all those 21 tiles in your share of 70 tiles in the game.
There is 1 way to select 21 tiles from 21 and 7.7e33 ways to select 49 tiles from 119. That means there are 1 * 7.7e33 = 7.7e33 ways you can have those 21 tiles with the pennants and 49 other random tiles.
There are 9.4e40 ways to select 70 tiles from 140. This is how many ways you can have 70 random tiles.
7.7e33 / 9.4e40 = 8e-8 < 1e-7. That is, the probability of your getting those 21 tiles in a random game is less than 1 in 10 million.

It's again worth noting that some sequences of tiles may lead to situations where a tile, particularly those with a pennant, has to be discarded due to lack of legal placement. If the discarded tile, with a pennant, is removed from the game, this sequence of tiles should be discounted from the 7.7e33 ways, making the actual probability smaller than 8e-8.

In conclusion, a 22-pennant city with a witch, hence an extra 22 points, per se, is indeed not a minor deviation. But its probability is so small. Overall, the expected extra score of a 22-pennant city is about 2 millionth of a point. And that is what I call a minor deviation.

It may be of interest to calculate the expected extra points of cities with 21-pennant or fewer. However, at a certain point, e.g., a 4-pennant city or an extra 4 points, should be considered a minor deviation per se, regardless of its probability. This division is surely purely arbitrary.

Further, I maintain that in a 140-tile game, unless the total expected extra score is large enough, again, an arbitrary number, e.g., 5 points, overall, the extra score is still a minor deviation. This obviously needs to be considered in conjunction with the total score of the game. The estimated expected total score in this 140-tile game may be achieved by computer simulation and is not within the scope of this calculation. Based on experience, I reckon the sum of both players' scores may be around 400 points. That would make an extra 5 points only ~ 1% of the total score.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2022, 05:26:37 PM by ny1050220 »

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2022, 10:01:08 PM »
1. We play River differently. I place source tile, mix river junction into deck and all needed lakes I mix and place to the end of deck. When river tile has to make U-turn, it is returned to the middle of deck and player draw another river tile.

2. Smalled Monastery includes German / Dutch Monasteries resp. Japanese buildings - I know that never is written that it has to be regular monastery, but ...

3. Ringmaster can get it's bonus when is placed also on feature from other expansions.

4. I think all other rules we are doint the best to play "written" and "clarified" rules. This means that time to time we have to change learned rules due to new clarification.
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Offline Halfling

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2022, 11:15:26 AM »
Given the lack of rules clarifications it is impossible not to use house rules unless you have a Meepledrone degree in all things Carc.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2022, 11:33:14 AM »
I've done the river starting with the fork. For the most part the games I play are by the book.

I found it interesting that KJW himself uses house rules for almost every game that he plays and he heartily encourages people to deviate from the printed rules.

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2022, 12:19:02 PM »
I've done the river starting with the fork. For the most part the games I play are by the book.

I found it interesting that KJW himself uses house rules for almost every game that he plays and he heartily encourages people to deviate from the printed rules.

I know very good game Jolly Joker and we play it in Slovakia a lot of variant called American Joker. Problem of this variant is, that it has zilion of modifications. So when you want to play with others, you have to talk about all modifications and find proper way what to do. And what dto do during game, when somebody use something which can be by som house rules made by cards, but it was not negotiated on before game discussion :D

As almost everyone from forum are playing online, we also try to play "same" version of game to prevent sometimes "bad" discussion about - it is allowed or it is not allowed. Because usually it will go to fight when somebody will loosing game or by this will winning game.

So sometimes rules are safe way how to enjoy game :D

Offline cicerunner

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2022, 12:35:58 PM »
+1 merit to ny1050220 for nerd mode calculations - beautiful stuff!!

Also +1 merit to DIN0 because I got confused and clicked the wrong person!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2022, 12:41:52 PM by cicerunner »

Online kothmann

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Re: Do you use house rules?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2022, 04:09:50 PM »
Caution!!! Nerd mode on! Scientist at work!  >:D ;)
+1 merit for nerd mode.  But I want to quarrel with some assumptions…

Quote
It's easy to see that it's more difficult to achieve this 22-pennant feat as the number of players increases.
In a multi-player game, “conspiracy” is how you win!  This is the magic of multi-player Carcassonne!  In particular, in a 7-player game, two players would likely be happy to join two giant pennant-filled cities in order to make the game effectively a 2-player game from then on.

Quote
your opponent does not help you build your monster city with a fragment containing pennants, ever. (Fair assumption, eh?)
No.  Even in a 2-player game, with I&C, you might gladly place a CCRR tile with a pennant in a way that adds to an opponent’s big city if: that city is not close to complete and contains a Cathedral; the road connects your single Inn to a long road on which you and your opponent both have one meeple (thus completing the road and scoring you all the points at 2/tile); and/or the tile connects farms in a way that is advantageous to you.  More simply, you might repeatedly add CCCF and CCCR tiles with pennants to a city with a Cathedral if the opponent gets close to completing it.

I think the overall conclusion of the math is definitely right, but the actual number isn’t very important.

Quote
This division is surely purely arbitrary.
Yes!  Who cares if it is a minor deviation!?  The only important question is whether it is more fun for your game.  The answer is obviously yes, so this is a great house rule!


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