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Messages - kothmann

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General / Re: Mega-Carcassonne how many base games
« on: Today at 10:57:31 AM »
I like a second copy of Exp#2 because it helps break up mega-farms.  Double the Goods points, too?  And throw in the 6 extra Inns from Exp#1 for more relevant roads.

Please share photos of the game!

General / Re: I love the postman...
« on: Today at 10:52:50 AM »
Haven't posted in a while...
Two weeks can feel like an eternity when Carc is in the mail... ;D

Track package... Check front porch... Track package...

you could make an imaginary plot…
Did somebody say “imaginary plot”?!  Excellent!  :@

I definitely went a little overboard here.  Thought it could be informative to see comments in (mostly) “real time”, meaning I don’t know what’s gonna happen.  Once you have played it is hard not to think in terms of what you know is coming.

It could be really interesting to have a live chat where a group of people walk thru a game and discuss.  But tough to organize with such a global network.

Anyway, I’ll look forward to your reply when you have time.

And maybe this weekend build a JCZ translator for your logs…(just the tile order not the play, so people can replay by themselves more easily.)

The Marketplace / Re: WTB: Carcassonne Für 2
« on: January 25, 2022, 06:04:37 PM »
Here is an image I posted on BGG showing the 48 tiles and what I think is the closest approximation you can get using 48 tiles taken from the full-size base game.  (Approximation has the same number of each edge type, C-F-R.)

Strategy Guide / Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« on: January 25, 2022, 06:02:08 PM »
As promised, here are my comments on the rest of the game.  Same disclaimers as before:
  • I didn’t proofread for mistakes.
  • This is much easier in hindsight.
  • I don’t really know what I’m talking about, having rarely played competitive 2-player games, so I’m mostly hoping to learn from anyone who might disagree with my thoughts here.

I hope you will post more interesting games.  This took several hours, but I think if I did this even once a month I would become a much better player.  Again, thanks and another +1 merit for the system and the great example.

25.  I like [-2;1]W:crrf>NE:F to secure the second farm and also give B an easy play at [-2;2] to connect to the field while also completing A’s monastery.  But I guess A wants to conserve meeples with 5 monasteries out.
26.  I expected [-2;2]E:ffrr to secure the field before A can get in.  There are 8 tiles that play at [-2;0] to create a CRFR hole at [-1;0], so I guess that’s a fair alternative?
27.  Nice defense, but now B can place a robber on a road tile at [-1;-2] with a great chance to share the large road.  Also, the monastery is more difficult to finish now.
28.  A steady stream of monasteries now would be a gold mine for B!
29.  Wow, yeah, I don’t like how A has boxed themselves in here, while just giving the farm to B.  I think closing the road at [-1;-2] would have been better here.
30.  As expected.  Interesting dynamic here.  Now both players are down to 1 free meeple, and A has the better end of the road, so only B will close it?  Note that if B has not placed cccf+ at [4;0] in turn 24, they could have now played [4;0]W:frfr>W:F and made invasion of the farm in the northeast very likely, but even if that failed, they still get at least 6 points from that farmer.
31.  I was focused on finishing the monastery at [-2;1], but I guess there are still more tiles that do that job than there are that close this nice little 8-point city.  Also B may want to play at [-2;1] to recover the robber at [-1;1].  I wonder how the game would have ended if this tile had come at turn 29.  Presumably A would have put down the farmer while closing the city, leaving themselves with a free meeple.  That is probably a huge turning point in the game.
32.  Yeah, no great options here.  Only 5 city caps left, so this might not be quick and there are 4 monasteries still to come and B needs a FFFx to finish the monastery and also now A gets another city?  I thought maybe a throw-away at [1;6]? 
33.  A does care about the big farm after all!  Now only 2 city caps and the monastery went from 6 possible completing tiles down to 2.  This was a big shift.
34.  I thought [1;6]W:cfcf+ would set up a play at [0;6] to make it tough for the farmer to join.  Actually, as I look now, I see that for B to complete their monastery, they have to join the second A farmer into the northeast field, and then it can get around the corner at [0;6] to takeover the northwest field, too.  Yikes.
35.  I like [1;-2]N:cccf to make a big empty city in the south that can definitely never be completed, so not likely to be occupied anytime soon.  This play creates a 4-point city that could still be completed so it is more dangerous.
36.  Not [-2;1]S:ccff=+9A+4B?  I think B needs to get a meeple back!?  A has a meeple, so giving one more to A doesn’t matter as much?  I suppose going from 2 to 5 tiles that complete the city in the northeast is good, but not A can place a tile at [4;4] with a northward facing city to try to invade and there are no more separating tiles to stop them!  {Read the “stupid” comment after writing this.  And I didn’t think about the simple road block that came with 39.}
37.  Again I like [1;-2]N:ccff to make a permanently incomplete city.  This dead city in the west is starting to get valuable!
39.  Rough.
42. Seems risky to build a potential farm when A has more free meeples?
44.  Still not [-2;1]?!  Hmm.  The “escape” can again be hindered, although an invasion is less likely than before.
48 Not [-1;0]?!  At present, both players will get 5 at the end of the game, but A has a meeple, so can keep racking up small gains, while B has no meeples, so it seems to me like it is much better to finish that big road?!
50.  Why connect to an existing road?!  If A draws frrr, they can immediately score 3 at [-3;4], instead of 2 anywhere else?  Playing [-2;-2]N:ffrr makes sure the big city in the west won’t close and doesn’t offer a quick 3.
51.  Was this expected, instead of the quick 3 points?  Was turn 50 an attempt to lure A away from this move?!  Wow.
53.  This feels overly defensive to me?  I suppose A wants to keep their meeple, but in trying to prevent that city from closing, A has made it big and if B draws the last ccff+ tile, even open the city is worth 10 points!  {OOPS!  I assumed the placement here was W:ccff, to ensure that a lucky draw could not close the city in one turn!?  Yikes, I think N:ccff was a big mistake?}
56.  If turn 48 had been played at [-2;1], then presumably A would have placed a meeple on either turn 51 or 53, but this turn would have been worth 9 more points and B would have 2 meeples to 1 for A?  Also, I’m really suspect of joining the farms, but I suppose B has to, in case A draws the other FFFR tile.  Wow, really complicated situation.
57.  I don’t know about placing the knight.  Save the meeple to try to invade the big city in the northeast? {I’m confused—see OOPS at turn 53}  Or get on the road in the east?  Or a farmer in the south?  This city is still unlikely to close.
58.  This is a huge swing.
63.  Yuck.  Finish the big road with a farmer in the South for a guaranteed 6 points and prevent B from getting those 6.  There are only 2 tiles to connect here and one tile that blocks, so this is a big goof.
64.  This is sneaky and totally kills the attempt by A to get onto the road (A now has to play the crrr tile to block and can’t play the ccrr tile to connect). On the other hand, for this attack to work, B has to connect A to the big road.  Playing [3;7]S:ffrr>NE:F has the same 2 critical tiles, but now if B gets the key tile, A doesn’t connect.  So interesting and very clever…
65.  Playing [5;0]W:crrr doesn’t give B the meeple back and creates a future block of the farm invasion with any of 4 tiles (2xffrr, fffr, ccrr+).  But yeah, this is probably necessary.
66.  Oh, wait!  I’m just now seeing that turn 65 still leaves B with the possibility of FFFR at [6;2] to get into the field!  Did you see this ahead of time?!  Wow.
67.  This is a blunder, for sure.  [5;1]N:ccff>W:F gives A two ways to win.  They draw the fffr tile to prevent B from joining the huge field, or they get the cfff tile to get a winning 3rd farmer in the field!
69.  If B draws the cfff tile here, they can play [5;1]N:cfff>W:F and then hope to get the ffff and play it at [6;1] to win the field.

Congratulations on a great win!

Official Rules / Re: Legal ways to un-trap.
« on: January 25, 2022, 01:24:57 PM »
You can also judiciously choose tiles from expansions to eliminate potential holes.  Here are all the hole types in the base game and the expansions that have tiles to fill them.  I put this list together quickly, mostly from memory: the complete answer can be found on WICA here:

CRFF (T&B, DF10)
CRCR (I&Cx2, T&B, P&D, M&A, DF10, GQx2)
CRCF (T&Bx2, GQ)

Cherry-picking at least 2 of each of these types of tiles, along with Abbeys and bridges should help a lot, I would think, by making permanent holes a lot harder to create.  The wheel of fortune base game version also has many of these tiles included, so you could start with that as well.

For the players who dislike being trapped, or have trouble seeing potential traps, they should try to avoid large features, which make better trap targets.  And they should try to cooperate as often as possible, so that they effectively have more ways to draw a tile that closes a hole (everyone who will get points is usually willing to place the tile that fills a hole).  Also, whoever cooperates with the most opponents is often in a good position to win!

In a 4-player game, it isn't that valuable to trap, unless you target the leader in a large feature.  Are the trapping players winning more often because they are trapping?  If not, then the problem is really that some players are not trying their best to win, preferring instead to be malicious, and that can wreck any multi-player game.

I hope your game doesn't fall apart.  It seems like a special thing you have going.  Good luck.

I had the thought this morning of coding Excel or Google sheets to produce a JCZ file with the tile order set from one of DIN0’s logs.  Probably no time til at least this weekend.

News and Events / Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« on: January 23, 2022, 12:15:29 PM »
…might it be possible to setup some kind of Patreon or similar…
Yes!  How can we all help?

Also thanks to Dan, Tom, & Hector.  Very grateful.

Your tireless enthusiasm & patience, to say nothing of knowledge, are inspiring.

Great diversity of skill & interest among the 3 of you as well.

Strategy Guide / Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« on: January 23, 2022, 09:31:13 AM »
...has anybody had a chance to reproduce the game yet? I believe kothmann was about to get to it.

So, I started going through this game this morning, trying hard to take each tile without looking at placement information in the log and think about what I might do.  I wrote comments after looking at what actually happened, but mostly without looking ahead at the next move.  (A couple of times I misinterpreted the log and then had to backtrack.)  This is super fun and interesting, though it does take time to give it so much thought.  I had to stop part way through and didn't carefully proofread, because I actually have some work to do today.   :-\  Hope to go through the rest of this game soon.  I’ll post again when that happens.

Also important disclaimer: these are comments with the benefit of having minutes to think when needed  ???, and having all the remaining tiles right in front of me.  Many of the interesting decisions would definitely be tough to make in real time.

Thanks again for posting this.  Your system is definitely a great tool for learning from games.  Particularly if people are willing to add to the conversation.  Hopefully someone will disagree with some (many?) of my ideas, so I can learn from my mistakes!  >:D

03.  I don’t like [0;-1].  This will leave a city cap that B can use to score a quick 4 points.  If A plays [0;2]N:cfcf-S>N:K, the points for the south city cap might be shared with B, but there is a chance A gets all those points with a ccff-S, and at least A will share the points, instead of let B have them outright.04. Alternatives: [-1;0]S:crfr>S:K, to attack the other city.  I also think [-1;0]Ncrfr>W:R is good.  Gives away a 2-point city cap, but in exchange for avoiding a 3-point open road.  I don’t understand “keep up point momentum”?
05.  Early in the game there is no big rush to close 4-point cities?  Especially when there are so many “free” road points on the landscape?  I prefer [-1;0]W:crrf>N:R, to claim the 4-point road with a pretty easy close on the north side.  [2;1]Wcrrf>W:K, tries to win back control of what will now be a huge city.  This second idea is definitely risky, because if [1;1] becomes a hole, A will have 2 stuck meeples.
06. Good to make that open city cap harder to claim.  But having only 1 meeple on the board so early seems bad to me, so again, maybe I prefer claiming the road with [3;0]E:crrr>W:R?  (Lots of deployed meeples = lots of ways to get points on future turns?)
07.  I thought [1;1]S:ccrr-S was an automatic play here.  Both players get 1 tile added to their cities, but A keeps B from sharing the 3-net-tiles of A’s larger city.  Is the threat of B attacking from the west side of [1;2] big enough to make this play foolish?  Interesting…
08. There were a total of 16 tiles (5xccrr, 5xccff, 4xcccf, 2xcccr) that would have cut off A’s attempt to come back into this city.  More evidence that A’s play on turn 7 was not strong?
09. “Player A …and sets up an opportunity for further invasion for either player.”  Yes, this seems poor, because they give B first bite at the attack apple!  That little football city was not vulnerable, so no rush to close.  Again, get meeples on the landscape!  Something like [0;-2]S:cfff>S:K would be good.
10. This is risky for the same reasons that I mention for A placing at [2;1] in turn 5: it isn’t too hard for [2;1] to become a hole here, and then B will have 2 stuck meeples.
11. Now A has a lot (20+) that will turn [2;1] into a ccrf-hole.  B has to close that big city ASAP!  If A plays [3;0]N:ffrr>W:R, they still have the same hole-making odds, but now they also claim the road—is this too risky because it might be difficult to fill in [-1;0] (this is obvious in the current game, after the next move).
12.  Is “[-1;+1]” a typo that should be “[-1;0]”?  Is the advantage of having only a single open end on a road really worth the extra 2 points this early in the game? 
13. There are now 7 tiles that connect B to the big city, but still over 20 tiles that make [2;1] a ccrf-hole, so A could wait.  On the other hand, if B gets any cfxx or ffxx, then they place this at [3;1] and make it very likely that B eventually connects and wins, so A playing for the big-city tie here is good?  I guess so, but huge bummer for A not to have drawn one of the very many hole-making tiles here.  Here's a photo showing the big pile of dangerous tiles that A didn't get (Yellow=A, Red=B):

16Interesting.  My inclination would be to play [-2;1]S:cccr>N:K=+3B.  But I think I might be too eager to start a large open city, and should be more cautious, like this.  Hmm…
17. Finally!  :-)
18.  Did you think about [1;3]W:cfff>N:F?  That field has 3 completed cities already and that big one will get completed when someone needs meeples, or just by you to grab the farm points?  I know it is not well guarded from invasion at [4;0], and also still a bit early, but just curious for thoughts about farming at this point.
19. Haha, now a farmer.  Playing the third city on an unoccupied farm is always such a pain, because you don’t want to give up those 4 points, but you know the opponent is likely to grab the farm.  Yes, I like this farm, but I don’t love giving away a ccff+ tile to get it.  Those turn into 8-point cities very quickly.
20.  I think [0;4]W:cfcf-S>E:K is much better?  Why leave the pennant city open for A?!  Also, this creates another 3-city field with plenty of chances for A to grab it, and they now have the incentive to close the huge city and free up more meeples after playing another farmer.
22.  Again, no big rush to complete here?  That farmer seems pretty weak?  Is the plan to connect with 2 more tiles to a bigger field?  Could also try that with [3;-2]W:crrr>NE:F and then try to connect thru [4;0] and [4;1]?  I thought about attacking with [-1;5]S:crrr>S:K, but then A can just play any rfxx tile at [-1;4] to make a ccfr-hole trapping one of each meeple, with a 2-point net gain.  What about [3;-2]W:crrr>W:K, to grab the open city?  Things are getting very complex
23. Agree this is a blunder.  [3;3]N:ffff>N:M is one point less but much better.
24.  Interesting!  I agree that claiming a huge and wide-open city in the south is bad.  And completing the big shared city is terrible, because you have the meeple advantage and don’t yet have the farm in the west, while A gets the farm points for that shared city.  What about [-1;4]W:cccf+>W:K?  There are still 3xcfcf-J, 2xcccf and no cfcf-S, so he can’t finish that city in the north without sharing with you.  Furthermore, you have to be very worried that he gets a tile to play at [0;4] to claim the farm (even though he would probably have to share with you anyway).  There are 13 tiles that allow him to place a farmer and grow his city. You would cut that down to just 5 tiles, and they all would connect you to the city.

My preference would be that the Note prevents the city from becoming a Castle.  This makes tactics with the Note more interesting, because a player with a large city could place the Note in an unoccupied city cap that is adjacent to the city, in order to prevent another player from making that city cap into a Castle.

General / Re: I love the postman...
« on: January 22, 2022, 03:58:31 PM »
Would have been great if this plus Carc für 2 added up to a base game.  Maybe they can publish a 4-tile add-on with CCCC, CRFF, CFFR, and something like RRRF with roads connected…

My whole C2 collection is these little tiles and I like that…

General / Re: I love the postman...
« on: January 22, 2022, 01:39:58 PM »

Another item moved from "no interest" to "owns"!  >:D

Played right away after opening, and even 20 tiles is still a great game!  This goes everywhere now...

Unofficial Rules / Re: Avoiding Analysis Paralysis
« on: January 21, 2022, 11:06:57 AM »
For Abbeys or German Castles we put that tile on hold for next move.
We put the tile back in the bag.  This makes the Abbey & GC more valuable because you can use them to get rid of a "bad" tile.

I also recommend trying strategic variant with having 3 tiles on hand and choosing one.
I like the idea of this, too, but we tried it one time and immediately abandoned, because it was paralysis on steroids.

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